Acustica Audio’s Ruby is an emulation of the D.W. Fearn VT-5. According to their website, the equalizer uses passive LC circuitry with class-A triode vacuum tube stages for the input and output. I found this EQ to be super musical and loved the fact that you only get a few choices for which frequency you will pick.
Check out the review and tutorial below.
Hey, what’s up. It’s Matty at mixandmastermysong.com. Today, I want to show you guys this really cool equalizer Acoustica just came out with. It’s the D. W. Fearn VT-5, which is a vacuum tube stereo equalizer, and the thing sounds pretty awesome.
I’m going to show you a couple examples really quick, show you how the thing works. And then demo it, check it out, see if you like it yourself. So for the top end, we’ll go over really quick.
So here it is, the EQ. It’s a pretty-looking thing. I’m a big fan of EQs mostly for boosting that have selectable frequencies. It helps me narrow down my choices. And usually, the selectable frequencies are pretty good places that you want to either boost or possibly cut. I really dig how this EQ is laid out in that fashion. It’s a lot like the Manny Marroquin EQ. I like that EQ a lot for the same reason, it already has pre-determined frequencies, and then it’s just boosting or cutting. This one’s a little different in that, but we’ll go over it really first, and then I’ll play you a couple examples of how I’ve been using it.
So it’s got a low cut at 30, 40, 100, and 400, and you can cut it from flat to negative 18. Then you got a low boost at 20, 40, 60, 100, and 140, which is a pretty cool frequency. And you can boost that up to 16 dB. Then, it’s got a mid-cut, which is pretty interesting and kind of cool. And that’s from 200Hz to 700Hz, and you can cut that by 16 dB. So that’s just a cut. Then another boost in the higher frequencies from 1k, 1.5k to 16k. This one actually has a Q on it, so you can kind of … if you want it a little sharper or a broader EQ, you can do that. Lastly, it’s got a high cut on it, which is cool, ’cause you can kind of boost the air frequency at 16k and then cut it back a little bit so it’s not too harsh. And then finally, just an input and output and the preamp section that’s in most Acoustica’s plugins.
So anyway, I kind of dig it. What I ended up using it on was the drum bus and the bass bus. So let me play you what I got. So this is the one on my drum bus, and we’ll mute it. Pretty simple drum beat. Let’s turn it on, and let you hear the difference. It’s pretty cool, brings some life into it.
So what I did, is I boosted it at 100 Hz, about 6 dB. And I also cut it a little bit at 30, just to get rid of some of that low rumble. I feel like by boosting up here quite a bit, I can cut a little bit here, and it will focus my low end a bit more. Did a mid-cut around 300. This one you got to be careful with, ’cause just cutting a couple dB can be a lot. And then I just did a little boost to give me some air, 8k at 4 dB. So that was that, and I felt like it really, you know, it brought some thickness and girth to my drums that it didn’t have before that.
And once again, just the real simple frequency choices, I was able to switch from 60 to 100 to 140. And I finally settled on 100. But it’s not like I’m sweeping frequencies. It’s just, does this sound good? So there are three choices, and that’s what I really dig about fixed EQs.
So let me just sweep that really quick so you can hear the differences. So pretty cool. Like I said, three choices. Which one am I going to pick? Really simple stuff.
The next spot I used it on was on the basses. And here we did kind of the same thing. But ’cause I was boosting at 100 over here, I wanted the bass to fill in a different part. And I always like to do that in my mixes is, is my kick going to be here or here? And like if this is our bass, is my kick here or here? So in this situation, it was kind of an [inaudible 00:04:54] bass but did have some girth in the mids. But what I did, was I boosted it at 40Hz, but I also cut it by 6 dB at 30Hz. So it was kind of gave me a bunch of low end, but not too sub-sonics and not sucking up a bunch of headroom in my mix.
The other thing I did, is I cut a little bit at 300 again here, and then I boosted a bit at 3k just to get some of the resonance … it’s like a saw based. You know, I should probably play it so you can hear it. But just to kind of pick up some of the resonance at the top or higher end of the bass I have. And then I also did a little high cut here, probably doesn’t do anything, but why not use it? So I’ll play with and without it here. So yeah, you can hear the difference. It’s quite big.
And then now, let me show you … let me get rid of this guy, ’cause we’re not using him right now. Let me play it with and without both of the Rubys on the drums and the bass. And you can hear, it’s a pretty cool difference. So yeah, that’s that.
So really cool EQ. I’ve used it on vocals quite a bit, which is actually kind of fun. I kind of like to use it as like the final EQ on a chain, right? So I use my Pro-Q to do surgical stuff, get rid of the frequencies I don’t like, do my compression and stuff, and then put this guy on, add a little bit more air, or in the case of the drums, a little more bottom. It’s like a really kind of like broad stroke EQ if you will.
It’s also great on the master channel. I was messing with it on there a bit. It brought some cool things. I got so much stuff on my master channel already that it’s just not necessary to put another EQ on there for me. I’m trying to get EQs off my master channel.
So anyway, check it out. They got a demo. Really cool to see the D. W. stuff as a plugin. I’ve always wanted to try their stuff out. This is like a $5,000 EQ in the analog world, so I always wanted to try their stuff out. So it’s pretty cool to be able to play with it just as a plugin.
So anyway, hope it was helpful. Please ask any questions you got in the comments below. Make sure to like and subscribe if you can. And if you need your songs mixed and mastered, hit me up at mixandmastermysong.com. Thanks.