• Articles - PTC-2A Vintage Program EQ
The PTC-2A vintage Pultec inspired EQ is available as a VST, VST3, AAX and AudioUnit plug-in for compatible Windows, Mac OS X or Linux Digital Audio Workstations.
Although it is possible to emulate the characteristic EQ curves using conventional equalizers, or other plug-ins, even small adjustments can then become complex and time consuming.
The PTC-2A emulates vintage circuit behaviour and therefore the control interactions, making it intuitive to set up and much easier to adjust.
This article details one of the signature sounds associated with this type of EQ design, the famous Pultec 'low-end trick'. A short demo video, using the PTC-2A to EQ a simple drum loop can be found in the [ product demos ] section.
Vintage Pultec style EQs normally have separate controls for low-end boost and cut. This makes it possible to apply boost and cut simultaneously, unlike a more conventional modern EQ with just a single clockwise / anticlockwise gain control.
At first this may seem counter-intuitive, the combined boost and cut should just cancel out, bringing the EQ response back to flat, however, as the controls act on slightly different frequency ranges, the effect is to boost the low-end while at the same time reducing some of the low-mid range.
This low-end boost combined with a low-mid dip emphasizes the bass in a very tight and controlled manner, giving more 'kick' without losing detail. Setting the EQ in this way is often referred to as the 'low-end trick'.
Like other Pultec style EQs, the PTC-2A also has separate low frequency boost and attenuate controls, making it possible to emulate one of the iconic sounds associated with this type of EQ. More information about the controls and their functions can be found in the manual included with the free demo.
1. Set the Low Frequency selector switch to 30Hz initially - it may be necessary to switch to 60 or even 100Hz depending on the program material.
2. Select the required amount of low frequency gain by adjusting the 'Boost' control . On its own this will provide quite a broad increase in bass.
3. Finally, add a similar amount of low frequency cut by adjusting the 'Atten' control . As the control is increased, the 'dip' in the low-mid frequency range becomes more pronounced. The effect is to produce a much tighter bass boost without losing detail.
This effect can be applied either to a drum track, or across a final mix. It can also be used to enhance some acoustic instruments, giving them more 'body' or 'weight' without losing clarity, making the PTC-2A an ideal addition to a master buss, the secret ingredient which turns a great performance into an outstanding recording.
The PTC-2A plug-in emulates the signature sounds inspired by one of the most sought-after vintage EQs. Available to download and demo for free, or buy online at: www.overtonedsp.co.uk
- List price £30.00 excl. VAT.