- Publisher: Sound Radix
- Product: SurferEQ
- Version: 2.0.5
- Format: AAX, VST, VST3
- Operating System: Windows 7 or higher
SurferEQ 2 is a pitch-tracking equalizer VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugin for Windows. Sound Radix SurferEQ 2 runs as a VST plugin, a VST3 plugin, and AAX plugin. Sound Radix SurferEQ 2 VST plugin can be used with all major digital audio workstations (DAW) including Live, Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, and others.
SURFEREQ a ground-breaking pitch-tracking equalizer plug-in that tracks a monophonic instrument or vocal and moves the chosen bands with the music.
SurferEQ 2 Review
While we see tons of classic hardware EQ designs revisited in plug-in form, it’s rarely something new comes along. Released around three years ago, Sound Radix’s SurferEQ was a singular, lightbulb moment of a plug-in, offering how to trace the pitch of incoming audio and have your boosts and cuts move musically thereto, without having to resort to programming time-consuming automation. In practice, it worked well, but the pitch tracking could occasionally get caught out by complex phrases.
Sound Radix is back with SurferEQ 2; an update that appears to create on the features and concepts of the primary version. Essentially, you’ve got a coffee pass and a high pass, plus five single bands, two of which may be switched to shelves. The specially developed, analogue-like algorithms have an excellent sound, even when pushed hard, although the Q slopes are a touch shallow, so you won’t be using this for surgical EQ tasks.
In addition, there’s a replacement harmonic filter with eight different types which will be used for selecting out the elemental and every one of its related harmonics, or for exploring more extreme sound-design ideas. There’s also a replacement Spectral Gate feature that permits you to interact (or disengage) any of the bands when the input crosses a group threshold, offering more control over when each band is employed.
These excellent features aside, the foremost important function is that the Surf button underneath each band. Switch this on, and therefore the plug-in will track the pitch input of a monophonic source in which a particular band will follow the incoming melody. There’s also an impact to pick the elemental or its related harmonics, so you’ll quickly reshape the general sound.
SurferEQ 2 Alternatives
As far as pitch-tracking EQs go, there aren’t too many alternatives. MeldaProduction MCharacter (€99) can generate harmonics and has pitch-tracking inbuilt (as do most MeldaProduction plug-ins). Plus there’s Sound Magic Neo EQ2 (£99), which claims to auto-track pitch; we haven’t tried it ourselves.
The Great Detective
New to version 2 are five controls at rock bottom of the GUI for Pitch Threshold, Pitch Tracking, Surf Time, Attack Time and Recovery Time, all of which help refine the standard of the pitch tracking, thus improving greatly on any problems encountered with version 1.
In practice, it’s a very rather wonderful tool to possess. We’ve often found ourselves trying to shape a bassline with a static EQ only to possess certain notes to begin or others disappear. With the power to usher in extra harmonics and have these changes move with the melody of the part, it’s almost like you’re controlling synth parameters on an instrument track.
Other new features include a low-latency Live mode, sidechain input and also a MIDI control, so you’ll override the pitch detection, or maybe play the EQ like an instrument.
While we won’t be using SurferEQ 2 for all of our EQ needs, it’s a particularly useful sound-design tool that allows you to create smoother, cleaner, and more natural-sounding mixes. The more extreme harmonic filters also open up many sonic possibilities, and therefore the well thought out additions and improved pitch tracking mean this excellent idea has finally developed to full maturity.
Sound Radix SurferEQ 2 – Key Features
- Groundbreaking pitch-tracking EQ
- Innovative harmonic filter
- Side-chain input enabling external pitch detection
- Spectral Gate
- Three-mode MIDI control
- Zero-latency mode