NUGEN Audio SEQ-S, the high-res, linear phase spline and match Equaliser

NUGEN Audio SEQ-S is a high-resolution, linear phase spline and match EQ that allows for sonic sculpting and EQ matching in up to 7.1 channels. There’s an SEQ-ST as well, which is stereo only. This article covers SEQ-S and its power features. Except for its sonic sculpting capabilities, SEQ-S sets itself apart by offering a direct-draw interface and its computational algorithm being based upon FFT (Fast Fourier Transform).

The FFT foundation of SEQ-S allows for a clearer sound and sharper transients as no phase warping/smearing happens. Working with SEQ-S is an experience that I can’t compare to other equalisers. Most of them are parametric, they have several “parameters” to control various filters that can be applied to audio signals. In order for an equaliser to be considered parametric it must at least have control over gain, Q, and frequency. Most digital versions have up to seven control points on the EQ envelope that you drag to the frequency range you need to change.

In contrast, SEQ-S hasn’t got what you could call control points. The entire EQ spline curve can be drawn freehand. As drawing a smooth curve can be hard, depending on the banding option you select, you can change the smoothness of the envelopes from very sharp to very smooth. This will have an effect on the transitions, of course. The benefit of drawing the curve is that it gives you much more control over what the EQ curve will work on than what is possible with traditional equalisers.

Many other EQ plugins work with zones, which SEQ-S again doesn’t — at least, not necessarily. What SEQ-S proposes is a pair of draggable zone controllers that you can move to create your own zone. It means you can lock out areas of altering the curve you designate instead of having to do with pre-defined ones, but it also enables you to reverse the boundaries, allowing you to change the curve outside of the zone you defined.

Furthermore, you can have three envelopes, not just one. These can be used as a one-on-one alternative to the zone system others are using, but more interestingly, they can apply to different input channels. So, if you’re working with a 5.1 project and the track you’re on is surround enabled, you could set curve 1 to front left and front right, curve 2 to the sides and curve 3 to the back. Or, if you have a 2.1 system, curve 1 could take care of the stereo image and curve 2 of the bass tones that are routed to the sub woofer.

These features are pretty advanced, but there’s more. SEQ-S comes with two advanced modes: Match EQ and Morph EQ. Match EQ does what the name says: it matches the EQ setting you’re working with to another setting you “feed” the plugin with, for instance by using NUGEN’s Send plugin on another track.

The Morph EQ feature is more playful. As SEQ-S comes with two memory slots, you can compare your current settings with previous ones, but that’s only one — the most boring — purpose of this A|B feature. If you load either of the two memory slots with a curve that is audibly different from the other and you have an inbuilt capability to play and loop the morphing of one curve to the next, you have a creative sub-system that no other EQ plugin I know of delivers.

The Morph function even has two timebases: seconds or BPM based on your DAW’s settings.

SEQ-S isn’t cheap at €214 but as I have explained, it’s not a simple EQ either. If you’re in post-production, even a small operation will benefit hugely of its power features. For music production, the SEQ-ST plugin’s price is €129.

View my short walkthrough of the SEQ-S equaliser plugin here:

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