Buzz Audio Zodiak: can this new hardware EQ change the way you mix?
Buzz Audio's innovative Zodiak "Tilt-n-Filter" EQ combines a tilt EQ with a parametric mid band and filters
Buzz Audio has introduced the Zodiak Tilt-n-Filter EQ. This innovative dual-channel EQ combines a tilt EQ with a parametric mid band and filters. Buzz Audio touts it as a “new concept in equalisation”. Can the Zodiak change the way you track and mix?
Buzz Audio Zodiak Tilt-n-Filter EQ
According to Buzz Audio, the New Zealand company of SOC-20 compressor fame, the Zodiak is the brainchild of audio engineer Zak Cohen. The dual-channel EQ is based on a series of plug-ins Zak would routinely set up in his DAW. It makes this processing chain available in an analogue hardware format for use during tracking and mixing. Its main element is a Baxandall style tilt EQ, which was originally used in the Quad 44 hi-fi preamp of the 1970’s, according to Buzz Audio. With the addition of a parametric mid band and high and low cut filters, the Zodiak combines the musicality and simplicity of the tilt EQ with tools for additional sound shaping.
A tilt EQ consists of low shelf and high shelf filters joined at a single frequency and operated with a single knob. In the case of the Zodiak, that frequency is 700 Hz. As you turn the knob, one side is attenuated, while the other side is boosted. This allows for quick, musical adjustments of a signal’s overall tonality. Buzz Audio says that this setup minimizes phase shifts and delivers exceptionally smooth-sounding results, compared to adjusting multiple bands of a traditional EQ.
The Zodiak combines a tilt EQ setup with a parametric midrange band, which provides up to 10 dB of cut or boost and reaches from 65 Hz to 8.8 kHz. This allows you to deal with any problematic frequencies that may remain. They’ve also added high and low cut filters with 12 dB/oct slopes. These can help to take care of excessive frequency content at the boosted end of the spectrum, Buzz Audio says. The mid band, high cut and low cut filters all have their own dedicated in/out switches. With these additions, the Zodiak eliminates the need for additional processors, while retaining the simplicity of the tilt EQ.
Price and availability
The Buzz Audio Zodiak Tilt-n-Filter EQ is now shipping. If you’re interested, you have a lot of options to choose from. Not only is the EQ available in black or silver. You can also choose from three different electronic configurations, depending on your sonic preferences and budget:
- Zodiak-ICT: Texas Instrument IC opamps in the signal path with an electronically balanced output – USD 1575 / EUR 1495 / GBP 1270
- Zodiak-ICX: Texas Instrument IC opamps in the signal path with a Lundahl LL1517 output transformer – USD 1735 / EUR 1620 / GBP 1415
- Zodiak-DCX: Buzz Audio BE41 discrete opamps in the signal path with a Lundahl LL1517 output transformer – USD 1995 / EUR 1820 / GBP 1610