Smooth Operator (Fix resonance)

Just checked out the new Smooth Operator from Baby Audio wondering whether it’s something I could use or not, had my doubts as I’m getting better with the EQs.

I’m currently making an electro track, I think its bass sounds great already so for some strange reason I thought why not slap this thing on it and see how it will be ruined :sweat_smile:

I couldn’t believe my ears … it improved the sound and revealed resonance around 500 and 1k that I have somehow gotten accustomed to. We are all different and I’m sure some of you would fix this in a few seconds with an EQ but I have made music for decades and this surprised me, check the Soundcloud link to hear yourself, it switches off and on.

The plugin is on sale right now, only $39 until the end of this month I believe, but try the trial on some of your songs and see what happens, you might learn what to listen for when working the EQ.

Maybe I should clean my ears, but I’ve listened to your example and to the examples on their website as well, and all I can hear is a little fix of the clarity of the sound. I do the same by using the native Renoise EQ5 on every instrument, especially synths, I just push the frequencies around 8000-10000 Hz. Just use your ears and the spectrum panel and you know if it’s necessary or not. You can also get a similar result by using the Exciter slightly. No need to burn 39 dollars. :wink:

It’s somewhat subtle examples but really if you care about finding these frequencies quickly then the 39 dollars are well spent in my opinion, and in this case where I didn’t even think there was any issue actually left me flabbergasted to be honest, the treated bass definitely has a nicer tone.

I actually don’t like their examples on their website and I watched a few youtube video reviews about it and decided against it but then it just happened they released a new update 1.0.1 with a high-res mode and I tried the demo as I was slightly bored, and you know the rest… I instantly bought it after my first test above :sweat_smile:

TDR GE eq range of plugins (nova, slick eq, slick eq M) have ‘smart operations’ which can ‘detect’ problematic frequencies and help you as a starting point:

also, sometimes you want the resonance to be present, due to nature of song… or mix… or theme… or whatever :slight_smile:

That’s true, I have probably beaten a few tunes to death that way

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sometimes there is a trade-off… i’ve done it personally numerous times… :smiley:

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I rather like Smooth Operator. I also own TDRs collection, as well as TEOTE by Voxengo.

Each has its own quirks. Smooth Operator is great as it follows the curve that you set, or just a nice flat curve, rounding off anything that is way out of scope of the rest of the mix. TEOTE follows it’s own unique curve. I rather like it, too. TEOTE tends to bring out the “detail” and “clarity” more, making the mix sound brighter. Throwing it on the Master Bus helps the mix translate on smaller speakers without being harsh or too sibilant.

TDRs EQs with the Smart Operations are fantastic for everything from Broad strokes to Surgical cuts. And you can’t beat the wonderful Harmonic Distortion of the VOS SlickEQ. (I sure do wish Variety of Sound would come back to VST development, I would pay way to much for their plugins and itd be worth every penny.)

TL;DR: Smooth Operator is simple and fast. You can use it to tame a mix, or for adding Harmonic Distortion (use the classic mode and not the new default Hi-Res mode). Can get some wild stuff out of it for sound design, too.

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Well, 39 Dollars isn’t much in general, and if you think it improves your sound, why not?
I maybe would think about buying it If I wouldn’t be irritated by the fact that it has “presets”, and the fact that I still can’t see what this program can do which you can’t do with native eq devices or any other eq. But if you’re in the right mood and furthermore got some time left, you maybe can throw this on one of our collab projects and show me how it sounds in comparison to the original version. But anyway, I’m convinced that these kind of programs aren’t magic. :wink:

There’s also Gullfoss, which is the first program of this kind I’ve heard from. There are many, many, many programs of this kind. They all do the same, right? But is it the real shit?

I’ve tried do this on our Impact collab. Five instances is used in total, DrumGroup, Bass line, c64 lead and two chords tracks. To be honest there’s not much difference in the overall mix on my headphones, I can hear the differences when soloing the tracks, maybe your new monitors tell a better story?

First half is without.

I think Soothe 2 is probably the best direct competitor and probably a better choice but it’s quite expensive.

After having used it a bit more I will say that it use 4% of my CPU which is a bit too much, but I like how it can guide you to find hidden resonance frequencies, then it’s up to us to use it or just apply an dynamic EQ or something, that’s probably how I’ll use it going forward. Of course you can do without if you have good ears and know what your are listening for.

The presets are gimmicky and I am surprised they include them, they are actually absurd as you definitely have to dial everything in yourself.

I can’t hear any difference on studio headphones, studio monitors or HiFi speakers.

199 Euros, hu? Well, Gullfoss isn’t that much cheaper, it costs 166 Euros. But seemingly many producers are using Gullfoss and it was developed by quantum physicists who are making music themselves. I like its simplicity with just a few knobs, Here’s the best review about it and it also includes the story of Gullfoss:

Maybe I’ll give it a shot. I think it delivers better results than Voxengo Teote in terms of clarity of the sound.
But on the other hand it’s 166 Euros for a tiny improvement which you can also achieve by eqing.

That’s what I’m looking for. I need something like a De-esser, but for the low ends.
I like the Renoise De-esser (with the Doofer) and I wonder if there’s something like that for low ends.

Just found out that you need to have an iLok account if you want to use Gullfoss, so no Gullfoss for me.
Instead I will check the others one more time.

Yeah it’s quite weird as it’s apparent when soloing, i thought it would translate more into the mix so that’s a bit head-scratching to me.

That’s also my thinking but it’s all these small improvements that adds up making you squeeze out a few more dBs making it sound more modern.

Smooth Operator does work well for this actually… but else find a Dynamic EQ or multiband compressor you like… or try be geeky and construct it yourself with the multiband send device

Yes, but as you already know it doesn’t matter how an instrument sound solo, it’s important how it sounds within the whole mix. So if there’s no difference in the whole mix, it doesn’t have the desired effect, right? :wink:

Right, the summary of small things make the difference. But to me the balance is the most important thing.

I leave that to techies like @ffx. :laughing:
Besides of that I don’t have a clou how to use the multiband send device, I never had to use it. I think I will have to get a closer look on Teote, which isn’t that expensive (80 USD) but delivers almost the same like Gullfoss. I would prefer Gullfoss because it’s more simple, more handy and more effective, but I don’t support shitty sales policy and I will never do. That’s why I also don’t own plugins from “Waves” or anything from “Native Instruments”. It’s a pitty that they sell it that way.

By the way, if you want to use soothe2 you also need an iLok account, just like Gullfoss.
What are they thinking? Who the hell needs an iLok account, what for? Crappy business policy…
All right, not much left. I think if I would buy something like that it’s gonna be Teote.

I highly recommend reading the manual for TEOTE. Some of the knobs operate on multiple parameters and it is not easy to decipher what exactly they are doing unless you read the manual. Or just use your ears, I suppose.

I prefer the resulting audio of TEOTE to Gullfoss, personally.

I can’t say for sure what I would prefer, all I can say is that I’ve listened to a lot of comparisons online and it turned out that seemingly Gullfoss sounds best. Furthermore Gullfoss is exactly how I imagine a program like this, and its technique is unique, different than the other programs. But it’s 166 Euro and you’re forced to get an iLok account, too. Teote in comparison only costs 63 Euro and works without any account at a third party platform. So even if Gullfoss sounds better and is more handy, Teote is the one more worthy to get supported. I mean, we’re talking about tools which might be nice to have and can make a couple of small things easier or faster to achieve, but they’re neither mandatory nor groundbreaking.

This manual? You can also watch this video:

But of course you have to use it yourself if you really want to learn how to. :slightly_smiling_face:

I find the bypassed version in the teote example video better sounding… btw you can set teote to remove stuff only and not adding anything, similar to a fft limiter then, if you move the boost t knob to full right.