Description

T-Bone is a slant or tilt equalizer that enables tracks to fit easily in a mix, often with just the turn of a single control. The advantage of a slant EQ is that it enables you to make quick tonal changes to a track or mix without throwing off its gain staging. Say for example you have a stereo drum track that has too much bass in the kick and toms and not enough sparkle in the cymbals. Simply turn T-Bone’s main knob clockwise and the highs will go up while the lows are cut. Naturally, Boz wouldn’t leave it at that. There are additional features designed to handle the shortcomings and acoustic byproducts that can occur with a single tone control, making T-Bone far more versatile and powerful than just a simple tilt EQ—while also remaining highly musical and super easy to use.

T-Bone—Just the Facts:

  • Slant EQ simultaneously boosts and attenuates for quick tone shaping without gain increase
  • High- and low-pass filters with resonance control
  • Boom and Harsh controls tame unwanted side effects
  • Wet/dry mix control
  • Clean filters up to Nyquist limit
  • Low CPU usage

T-Bone—Cracking the Code

What is a slant EQ?

If you’ve ever worked with a Pultec EQ (hardware or plug-in), you’re aware of the boost and attenuation controls on both the low- and high-frequency bands. One of the attributes that made the Pultec an essential studio tool was the ability to boost and cut bass simultaneously. Rather than working at cross purposes, the combination of these two controls created a similar EQ curve to the slant EQ, with a boost at the bass center frequency followed by a cut. The result was a separation between kick drum and bass that made low-end management a breeze.

It’s easiest to think of a slant EQ like a see-saw; one side goes up (boost) while the other goes down (attenuates), based on a central pivot point. With your standard see-saw, that pivot point is fixed. However, T-Bone lets you select the center frequency around which T-Bone boosts and attenuates. The benefit of a slant EQ is that it gives you the ability to brighten or darken a track very quickly, often with the slight twist of a single knob. As a bonus, it doesn’t increase gain like traditional equalizers. This not only preserves headroom, but also doesn’t fool your ear into thinking your tweaks are improvements, since we perceive louder as better. As such, you immediately know if your adjustments are working without the time-consuming hassle of level-matching.

Boz Fun Fact: The slant or tilt EQ can trace its origins to the 1950s. Peter Baxandall (arguably the real father of British EQ) invented the design, which he entered into a contest and netted a $25 watch as a prize. Subsequently, his circuit appeared in thousands of stereos. (Had Baxandall received any royalties, he’d have been a 1-percenter before we had 1-percenters.) In essence, Baxandall’s tone control was a single knob that increased treble when turned clockwise and conversely bass when turned counterclockwise—each without affecting the another. This circuit also inspired the Tilt EQ designed by Paul Wolff, former owner and principal designer of API and Tonelux. Tilt EQ offered a very inexpensive way to equalize channels with a single-knob. However, Tilt EQ often required some help in the form of high- and low-pass filters, which among other highly useful controls, are included in T-Bone.

T-Bone on its face

While T-Bone at its most basic is a very powerful tool, certain unwanted artifacts can occur with extreme boosting. Slanting too far to the left (bass), you can end up with a lot of low-end buildup. Slant too far to the right and harsh high-end may ensue. It goes without saying that Boz wouldn’t leave you twisting knobs in the wind. Hence, the creation of the Boom and Harsh controls. These controls let you add massive amounts of slant without the nasty side effects associated with boosting either side of the frequency spectrum. Boom and Harsh are essential to T-Bone’s ease of use and consistent musically useful results.

T-Bone’s main control knob, known as Slant to its friends (well, to everybody actually), is where most of the work is done. It’s variable from 0 to 100 percent clockwise for treble boost and counter-clockwise for bass. What appears to be a two-tone grey-blue and black background on its face, is actually the EQ slope display (grey-blue). It gives you a convenient visual representation of your settings and tweaking in real-time.

For greater flexibility, T-Bone has a high-pass filter with a selectable frequency range from 20Hz to 1.5kHz, and a low-pass filter ranging from 1kHz to 20kHz. Both are equipped with a resonance control with a -6dB to +6dB range. Resonance means that the cutoff frequency can be boosted while still rolling off frequencies below the cutoff. This feature is extremely useful for enhancing a kick drum (in the case of the high-pass filter) or in the case of the low-pass, bringing out the bell of a ride cymbal or putting some extra perk in your percussion without overhyping it.

T-Bone also has a mid/side mode and an analog mode that adds subtle distortion and compression to your sound. Enable analog mode for some presence-enhancing distortion, or disable it for super-clean tone shaping.

Clean filters up to Nyquist without a CPU hit

During the development of T-Bone, Boz Digital created some incredibly smooth filters that don’t produce any of the disturbing high-frequency artifacts (known as “wonk,” if you prefer technical jargon). Boz Digital’s wonk-free filters (we love technical jargon) not only give you a smooth frequency response up to the Nyquist limit, but also can do so without the resource-draining hit to your CPU that occurs with oversampled filters.

Applications

T-Bone is not an esoteric plug-in to be saved for special occasions. It should be on Insert 1 on several tracks or group channels. For example, it’s common to boost high frequencies on a hi-hat to bring it out in the mix while cutting lows to tame snare and kick bleed. Conversely, you may want to bring out the body of the hat without affecting the highs. A simple knob twist or two on T-Bone and Bob’s your uncle.

The same applies to acoustic 6- and 12-string guitars, on which many mixers will cut lows mercilessly while boosting highs. T-Bone does both tasks with a single clockwise turn of the knob. Plus, if things get out of hand, you have the Harsh control as well as the low-pass filter. T-Bone also works its considerable charms on electric guitars. Say you have a distorted guitar with a little too much low-end thump and not enough highs. Well, you know the rest . . . throw it a T-Bone.

If your drum tracks are a little dark, T-Bone on a group or stereo channel (if you’ve bounced to a stereo channel) can bring up the sizzle in cymbals while reducing low mids and bass. Say you have a similar problem with background vocals. T-Bone to the rescue. Speaking of vocals, T-Bone can also come in handy during tracking. To help a vocalist sing in tune, many experienced engineers will boost the highs alone with a shelving EQ. T-Bone does this with its eyes closed, plus, you can use the low-pass and Harsh controls to make the highs prominent yet smooth and easy on the singer’s ear (very important in terms of staving off ear fatigue). On bass guitar and kick drum, not only can you do the Pultec trick and add tight punch with the resonance control, but you can also bring out the mids and high mids to give the bass presence in the mix.

Another nifty trick is using T-Bone on your reverb aux bus to do the Abbey Road reverb technique. Cut highs above 9-10kHz and lows up to 600Hz. This will give a vocal or instrument body and depth without distracting high-frequency tails, or muddy the mix and take up space with unnecessary low frequencies. T-Bone’s waveform display lets you easily dial in the Abbey Road EQ shape and tweak to taste with Slant, Boom, Harsh, and Resonance.

To sum it up, with T-Bone on your main instrument groups, you can bring a rough mix into focus far more quickly than going track by track. Simply assess the brightness or darkness of each instrument or instrument group and give it the proper slant to find its rightful place in the mix. You just might find that T-Bone will satisfy your hunger for EQing every track individually.

As long as you’re going to have a stake in the outcome of your mix, order a T-Bone.

Reviews (12)

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12 reviews for T-Bone

  1. howardkyambadde143

    Compared to the T-lux company stuff this gives more control especially the ability to select the frequency at which the tilt occurs ; i started with the Tilty Wilty when it was first released and this is a very significant upgrade.

  2. Mickr59

    well done guys love this plugin good work

  3. tremper

    What ever happend to the contest etc…
    Was this one of the (original) entries?
    I never enter any, but got carried with this one for some reason but then most entries lost!?!? uggh
    Kind of disapointed…

    wanted to write more but if you dont have anything nice to say…
    …at least I like your plugs
    If you sent a message I missed it or it ended up as spam… wasn’t there something about us making up?

    original forum is gone, support forum is liveless… so yeah couldve shouldve email o.w.e… just let this message selfdestruct… or something

  4. OnCourse

    EXCELLENT !!! For me this is a life saver. Completely deaf in one ear and my remaining ear has quite bad hearing loss, so I’ve been finding it harder and harder when mixing. Even using my hearing aid with a specially tweaked music program everything sounds dull and lifeless. I tried many a long hour setting up an EQ on the master buss in an attempt to give me back what I’ve lost. I’m not a pro and the multi-band EQ thingy has not proved that successful. Then I discovered TBone, added it to the output channel, turned the main control to about half way and hey presto. A nice sounding mix.

    All I need to do is remember to remove it from the output bus prior to export mixdown.

    Thank you, Thank you and Thank you

  5. bjboydmusic

    Hi. I used the plug-in for the first time yesterday and really like what it does. Looking forward to finding out more about what it can do. However, appears to be problematic with mac as it’s having problems with the AU Manager in Logic Pro X saying that T.Bone version 1.0.3 failed validation. Any ideas?

  6. jam92189

    I love this plugin. Often times when I am give. Tracks that I did not record I have many issues such as low end it to loud and the top it needs a boost. Normally I have to use a eq to boost the top or cut lows then compensate with volume and the deal with harshness.or boomy tones. With this it all comes in a easy to use package. I can cut or enhance highs or lows while preventing the issues before. Because of the harsh and boom controls I can boost the low or top end alot to give something the huge tone change while stopping it from ever getting boomy or harsh due to the way it works. The high and low pass filters are super smooth and I love the resonant peaks I can add using just one knob. One thing to note is that the peaks never sound overly resonant. More like they just enhance the aria around them so for people who like smooth clean boosts it’s perfect. I love how you can choose where the tilt is actually located to it’s basically one of the only eqs that dies this. Overall a amazing eq plugin for changing the tone of a sound to sculpting it.

  7. 19trax

    Quality of the filters are top notch. Saturation is so good that I use it always on many channels just to give a nice touch of warming. Great job Boz, and we expecting full EQ with this filters please.

  8. brandon drury

    T-Bone is the fastest way to “EQ” a track in the world. It’s not exactly an EQ and that is what I love about it. Being able to jump right in and twist a single knob often improves a track about 300%. It’s a huge deal and everyone should try this style of “tone control”. I love it!

  9. bduersch

    EASILY the best money I’ve spent on a plug-in this year… it has become a permanent fixture as the second-last plug-in on my master bus (right before the maximizer) to make subtle changes to the tonality of tracks. The combination of the slant EQ and the hi-pass filter is great for simultaneously cleaning up the mud and adding a little presence to recordings. The harsh & boom controls are also helpful in not over-doing it. Also gets extra points for not requiring a PhD to use.

  10. info15

    Excellent plug-in and even better concept. Great way to effortlessly add contrast to your mix. You don’t have to think about frequencies, the levels don’t change (!) and it sounds supremely transparent.. You just think “this should be a bit brighter/darker” and turn the knob.

    I find myself adding this later in the mix; making little changes. You could also start with T-Bone and go on from there. Especially if you (or someone else) essentially recorded the wrong sounds; and you find yourself thinking “this SHOULD HAVE BEEN brighter/darker”.

    All the same: great plug-in, awesome GUI, excellent price!

  11. Jemusic

    This, in my opinion is what using excellent plugins is all about. Firstly the audio quality. It does what it does really well and sounds great doing it, ease of use, the great GUI, seeing what you are changing is also very cool indeed. Very fine increments in settings is totally easy. Solid feel of use and total reliability.

  12. jackhuggins3

    Wow, this tilt EQ does it all, and then beats the competition by using the best interface imaginable. Turn a knob and watch the huge graphic display change; it’s intuitive and fast, with the huge mouse targets helping you finish the job with speed and confidence.

    I didn’t think I would get excited about a tilt EQ but I was wrong.