There are equalizers, there are dynamic equalizers like Waves F6, and then there are “audio processors” like oeksound soothe. What’s the difference? An equalizer, a compressor, or a de-esser, for example, is a tool you largely operate manually. An audio processor is something you simply run some audio through, and you are 90% “there” already. But where, exactly?
soothe is a “dynamic resonance suppressor” that targets mid and high frequencies. It’s designed as a self-adjusting dynamic equalizer for the treatment of dynamic material, such as vocals and clean guitars. It’s supposed to tame unpleasant resonances and frequency peaks caused by improper recording or performance issues. Thus, it can act as an tool for cleaning up unpleasant or unwanted areas in the frequency spectrum, an automated de-esser, or an elaborate filter for bringing down excessive highs in instruments such as cymbals and piano.
soothe is largely meant to be used in a “set and forget” fashion. It does real-time signal analysis and adjusts the frequency bands by itself according to the material. So it’s not always-on processing, but a rather selective type, based on the musings of an algorithm. This means it will be fun to try this processor on problematic audio and see how it will handle it in comparison to your manual approach.
soothe’s user interface is rather soothing to the eye and features an animated frequency graph, along with a delta toggle to let you compare the isolated, treated signal with the original, untouched one. There are more traditional controls as well, such as frequency, bandwidth, and sensitivity (for the equalizer’s dynamic compressor part). The depth, sharpness, and selectivity knobs let you tweak the algorithm to taste, and the wet knob lets you mix in just the amount of processing you want.
At 150 EUR / 168 USD / 131 GBP, soothe isn’t a plugin for novice producers, though intermediate and advanced ones might enjoy its functionality as an audio processor with its own unique sonic print. The plug-in is available in 32 and 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX formats for Windows and macOS. More information and a fully functional 20-day trial can be found at oeksound.