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Review: Soundtheory Gullfoss EQ Plugin – A Smarter Dynamic EQ That Really Works

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It’s a special type of person that gets excited about EQs, and to be honest, it isn’t usually me. The minor character differences between different EQs that mix engineers get excited about are fairly often lost on me — I’m just not that good at listening (and I spent a lot of my early 20s standing next to angry drummers in small rehearsal rooms). So when Soundtheory’s Gullfoss landed in our inbox promising all sorts of snazzy intelligent processing that’s on a new level, I was admittedly a little skeptical.  

To give you the brief sales pitch, Gullfoss is an intelligent dynamic EQ that you slap on your instrument or master buss. It utilizes patent-pending programming and auditory perception modelling to make over 300 decisions a second for you about its frequency response and adjust accordingly. Gullfoss also identifies audible elements that are in danger of being drowned out by competing elements and allows you to recover them. Amazingly, this plugin claims to be able to do that with only 5 adjustable parameters; Recover, Tame, Bias, Brighten and Boost.

Here’s the wild part. It works astonishingly well.  There’s some serious programming black magic going on here. I can mellow out a harsh compressed mix, and have Gullfoss retrieve some hi-hats drowing in mid-range frequency mud — without making them overly bright. In fact, they sound quite natural. I don’t know how this is possible. Its like Gulfoss is sneaking around your computer and finding the stems – mixing them better than you can, and playing them for you..in real time.

Here’s a quick example I’ve whipped up. I’ve intentionally made this little house beat very flawed – the bass is far too boomy and dominating – elements are getting lost, etc.

 

Here’s what Gulfoss was able to do with it, no other processing or changes were made.

 

Pretty impressive right? That bass line is now far more in control, and the high frequencies are far more present. This took all of about 3 minutes to dial in.

There’s not a lot more to say and that’s kind of the beauty of this plugin. The manual is literally one page and it does what it says it does. It just works. Soundtheory have a fantastic product here.

This plugin isn’t cheap, but fortunately there’s a trial available so you can try before you buy. You do need have an iLok account for Gullfoss to run — fortunately these days that’s a free service that doesn’t require a USB dongle, provided your computer is connected to the internet.

Further info and free trial here – soundtheory.com

TL/DR:

Highly recommended plugin for those producing finished tracks. A problem solving and intelligent EQ that truly provides a polish to take your mixes to the next level.

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