‘BootEQ mkII’ – LF shaping

BootEQ mkII

BootEQ mkII - new LF controls

If you were a user of the very first BootEQ equalizer VST plug-in then you know about it’s limitations in the low frequency department: LF adjustment is limited to a +/-12dB gain control plus a HP switch at 40/60Hz. This is now reworked in BootEQ mkII which offers some new and probably surprisingly versatile (but still easy to use) control over the entire lower frequency region.

The newly added LF band of the mkII is now a frequency and gain adjustable peak filter as so is the ‘MF’ band but just with different (overlapping) frequencies and some minor adjustments to the specific lower frequency band (allowing some cool tricks but more on this later on).  The frequency range is selectable in a stepless fashion from 40Hz up to 250Hz and the curve is asymetrical (regarding cut/boost behaviour) as found in some analog designs.

Example peak curves at around 100Hz

Example peak curves at around 100Hz

The mkII versions design goal was to keep the overall workflow just exactly that simple and fast while providing more flexibility and LF detail control. To contribute to this the lowcut (aka highpass) option is now included into the LF peak filter as an switchable option which allows flexible cutting between 40 and 250Hz. Using the gain control of this band (which normally just applies to a peak filter) this now controls the so called ‘pass-band’ or ‘transition’ of the lowcut filter.

Low-cut transitions at around 100hz

Low-cut transitions at around 100hz

This allows to obtain different charactaristics of low-cut filtering with different shapes and steepness. The leftmost gain position is the most gentle and less steep one, the rightmost gain position is the most steep and features a slight LF ‘bump’ before cutting.

BootEQ mkII - new LF controls

BootEQ mkII - new LF controls

You may have noticed, that there is an additonal LF control knob on the right side of the plug-in as well. What is that exactly and why is that on the pre-amp side of the plug-in?

The right plate of this plug-in features the ‘pre-amp’ section and this contains some additional LF control but in a much different fashion. It basically controls the frequency range way below 200Hz but is capable of adding nice extra harmonic content in the low-mid frequency range. When boosting with the right side LF option then some additonal ‘transformer’ style harmonics are applied due to the nonlinear behaviour of the pre-amp simulation.

LF transfomer response

LF transfomer frequency response

Those plots where made in ‘vintage’ mode and this causes some slight dip in front of the LF boost but also slightly bumps the upper lower-mid region as well. This is often perceived as  ‘fat’ sounding and is quiet different to the ‘modern’ mode which behaves variable not only but particularly in the LF range.

Setting the right LF dial to zero (or below) leads to a more compact and tight dynamic response of the transformer simulation. Yes, right, this simulation does not only covers frequency and phase response plus distortion but handles some dynamic aspects as well.

The second order harmonics added from the transformer simulation are independent from the tube style ones and are variably dialed in. They made some important part of the color and sound perception of this simulation, especially in the lower frequency region.

Example pre-amp / transformer distortion

Example 'transformer' saturation harmonics

Given this options we have now the ability to add some LF content while cutting them at the same time – does that makes sense? Yes! Here is one example: Boosting the LF region with the pre-amp LF section achieves some extra low-mid frequency harmonics as well. Low-cutting now with the left side LF filter (which is applied in serial since the routing internally is pre-amp –> EQ) we are actually just cutting off  some LF frequencies but the added low-mid frequency harmonics (generated by the pre-amp) remains! Due to psycho-accoustics this could also improve the bass perception on systems which are not able to reproduce LF content at all.

LF section

LF + MF filters

What we have missed so far is the existence of the ‘MF’ equalizer which actually ranges from 1.5kHz down to 100Hz which  means of course that you can manipulate some LF region with this one as well. I’m not going to talk here about standard usages but will explain some way cool trick with this one in combination with the LF filter.

Assure that the LF filter is set to peak mode and set the MF to +12dB, 100Hz and the LF to -12dB. Now we are able to perform some push/pull EQ mechanics just by altering the LF frequency (the blue ‘FRQ’ knob) which results in some very musical sounding shelving filters.  This resembles some vintage EQ designs which offers frequency boost and cut options at the same time and on (nearly) the same frequency.

While dialing the blue FRQ knob between 40 and 100Hz we obtain now a filter frequency response which cuts some sub-bass but in the same time boosts some part of the LF spectrum.

LF shelving 1

LF shelving 1

If we then dial in LF frequencies above 100Hz then the curve flips around and we obtain sub-bass boosting and some dipping at little higher frequencies.

LF shelving 2

LF shelving 2

In BootEQ mkII everything can be combined of course and I especially recommend to use this in combination with the pre-amp section to achieve a very natural and musical sounding frequency shaping while adding pleasant harmonic content and gently touching the dynamics of the audio signal.

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  1. Oooo. Those curves…. they so damned sexy…

  2. Don’t you wish your EQ was hot like me? ;-)

  3. Wow, cool, unique stuff !
    Thanks for the detailed info/tutorial !
    This answers a few questions …

  4. Mercado_Negro says:

    Thanks for detailed information about BootEQ MKII. Is there a way to be part of beta team? I’d like to help on testing on REAPER.

  5. JWMMakerofMusic says:

    Oh man! :D I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Everytime you keep posting new stuff about this EQ, the more I can’t live without it. When is the release going to be?

  6. Probably next week …

  7. I think i just came in my pants! :-)

  8. JWMMakerofMusic says:

    I am really looking forward to this plugin!

    Oh, @ ha33y, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXfHLUlZf4 . Lol.

  9. JWMMakerofMusic

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..Brilliant, that’s how I felt when I saw this plugin ROFLMAO!! :-) :-) :-)

    Thanks mate, great laugh!

  10. JWMMakerofMusic says:

    You’re welcome! :D

  11. hey bootsie, do u ever plan to release the preamp section as a separate vst/fx?

  12. Hi bootsy,

    +1 about the preamp section to be offered as a separate plugin.

    Time will tell ;).

  13. Hmm, I’m a bit confused by the couple of people requesting a stand-alone pre-amp version, so i’ll just ask, and hopefully the guardian of the plugs can provide further insight and clarity into the issue: can’t you just leave the EQ-related knobs and switches at their respective “off” and zero positions if you only want the pre-amp sweetness? Unless there is some kind of technical advantage to lopping off the EQ, like a significant drop in cpu-consumption or something along those lines. Otherwise it’d seem somewhat redundant to have separate versions.

    It seems too that Bootsy, from what he’s written in his blog posts, has a vision for this plugin that’s more involved than duct-taping an EQ plug to the front of a pre-amp plug. It’s like… some kind of an epic VST love story: RomEQ and JuliAmp! Maybe the EQ and pre-amp really do need each other! Oh sure, you could separate them, but they’d die inside a little, they’d never be the same. They might even start crashing your VST host in their heartbroken attempts at suicide… so tragic.

    Ha, maybe not. But yeah, isn’t having the EQ stuff off essentially the same as not having the EQ there at all, and vice versa?

    • RomEQ and JuliAmp

      Hihi, I love that.
      In fact, each EQ band just consumes CPU if some gain is dialed in. There is a little overhead on top off that but you can just switch the whole EQ off. So why a separate Pre-Amp plug-in? However, I do not worry that much – if you ever once used this pretty combination in a mix you will get addicted anyway …

  14. bootsy man … can’t hardly wait for this thang …

  15. RomEQ and JuliAmp

    me waitin’

  16. It seems so much nice!

  17. As I couldn’t find any new info about this: Will mk2 work with rates ≠ 44,1/48khz (as I’m working with 96khz)?

    • As I couldn’t find any new info about this: Will mk2 work with rates ≠ 44,1/48khz (as I’m working with 96khz)?

      currently not. I already had plans for finally doing this but I’m currently focusing my time a little bit.

  18. Hi Bootsie,

    I left you a PM on KVR. The additional LF control sounds very promising! Beautiful GUI on this one too. I can’t wait to try this out in some mixing sessions.


  19. Ah Bootsie: I really appreciate your accurate ponderings concerning saturation effects. This is really stunning – thanx a lot!

  20. Bootsy,

    I’m looking forward to a version of the mk2 that supports 96khz, because this thing is great!


  21. Hi,
    I use the Mk II for life-bass-playing with my Laptop.
    It brings me perfect results !
    Thank you very much !!

  22. I love this EQ! It sounds so nice and the “color-behaviour” is like made excactely for me :-) This EQ runs at the same level like okther “expensive pro” versions but the sound is so lovely!

  23. Reblogged this on duART Studio Blog.

  24. I can not find a better EQ plugin than Boot EQ ll anywhere on this planet.
    A “go to?”
    For me, absolutely!

  25. now i know that nasty vsd is your older “console plug”, (and tessla can more or less be considered one)but i always thought making another one, possibly for the thrillseeker series, something with a bus mode, tone adj, etc, or even just a ‘strictly preamp version’ of the one on booteqmkII would be the shizz.


  1. [...] accurate and faithfull transformer style bass distortion simulation which was already introduced in BootEQ mkII. The audio input can be boosted +12dB and the core algorithm is four times oversampled to minimze [...]

  2. [...] bietet er zusätzlich noch eine Röhrenvorverstärker Sektion. Außerdem wurde die EQ Sektion im LF-Bereich mit Cut/Peak Modus und frei wählbarer Frequenz von 40-250Hz [...]

  3. [...] accurate and faithfull transformer style bass distortion simulation which was already introduced in BootEQ mkII. The audio input can be boosted +12dB and the core algorithm is four times oversampled to minimze [...]

  4. DocNoiz says:

    [...] BootEq MKii. En fantastisk lydende Preamp og EQ, der formår at tilføre et eller andet “analogt” [...]

  5. [...] BootEq MKii. En fantastisk lydende Preamp og EQ, der formår at tilføre et eller andet “analogt” [...]

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