ooeksound’s soothe plug-in has generated a fair bit of hype recently. For good reason – it’s one of those rare, strictly digital processors that makes things sound plain nice. If used to taste, anyway. A mastering engineer I know complained clients have been “sucking the life out of guitars” by overusing soothe. That’s why you should always give your ears the final judgement. Still, as a self-adjusting dynamic EQ, soothe had no direct competition until now. Developer TBProAudio released DSEQ, which is pretty much the same thing – a dynamic equalizer with self-adjusting frequency bands. It’s used for de-essing, taming acoustic resonances and reducing digital harshness. Sounds soothing, hm?
Regardless, competition is a good thing. And TBProAudio is no wannabe developer, it has quite the respectable catalog actually. As expected, DSEQ has plenty to offer as a modern digital processor. It’s got a linear phase dynamic filter, 4 quality modes to balance CPU hit, L/R and M/S processing, 12 independent bands, signal monitoring modes (pre-filter, delta, side chain), a fully featured spectrum analyzer, loudness matching, resizable GUI, and other up-to-spec features. The interface looks orderly and accessible. It’s more of a workhouse than a designer piece, but audio engineers know what’s more important here.
TBProAudio DSEQ: An affordable alternative
Moreover, it’s certainly nice to have an affordable, working alternative to a hyped, sought-after plug-in like soothe whose EUR 199 price is certainly an investment. Instead of stealing from ooeksound, you can demo DSEQ for free and pay a very reasonable EUR 79 for the full version. Early impressions (and comparisons) on Gearslutz are positive. I believe TBProAudio, an indie developer doing little to no marketing, will get some well-deserved praise for coming up with DSEQ. Personally, I haven’t grown into this type of processing yet so I don’t have my own 2 cents to throw here.