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OSAKA Mix EQ | Tips and Tricks + Highlights from reviews

Here, for you, are some very useful tips and tricks + reviews from Gearspace and the AA FB page, meticulously collected by our kind power-user David Gary in one thread for our OSAKA plug-in.

OSAKA is a custom-built, solid-state parametric Oxford-esque equaliser, a mixing plugin designed for no compromise on quality.


Exploring OSAKA MIX EQ

OSAKA Mix EQ test with Acoustic Guitar and on Mix Bus

NEW Osaka 2.0

Using Fire the Pump by Acustica Audio with London Acoustics Plugins


a) The Osaka Mix EQ preamp is already interesting for itself, just try to tweak the TRIM knob (the result depends of the kind of audio injected, of course) and you can clearly hear a pleasant improvement of depth and wideness, and specially the audio will become more lively and dynamic.

Basically, the PRE reacts on the EQ so drastically to the input trim, that is, how hard you hit it. All this thanks to an accurate and a particular kind of sampling technique.
DRIFT+ is more like an additional effect to try when you found the preamp and EQ sweet spot. It will add some air and slightly more wideness, adding up to the 15th harmonic to the sound. Unlike the PRE and the EQ that was designed to work well on virtually any kind of track a genre, DRIFT+ sometimes doesn’t fit everywhere, but when fit it’s a bliss.

b) The routing is this one: Drift+ -> Preamp -> EQ.
The main element is the preamp, with its saturation effect that nicely enriches the signal, in a very musical way.
Then if the Drift+ (that is also a kind of preamp) is switched on, it engages an interesting mutual-interaction with the main pre. Expecially with a good signal level.
The equaliser is placed at the end of the rig, to be able to control everything, and sculpt the bands of the signal on your personal taste.
Find the sweet spot using the right incoming volume, then tweak the Trim, if needed, and set your curves in the equaliser. After that, try to switch on the Drift+ and hear if you like the difference.
Drift+ is usually very useful to give wideness and sparkle to a dull mono signal.
The preamp gives a nice dynamic, saturation and energy, and it’s in particular effective with acoustic guitars and voices. The EQ curves, with their pleasant phase distortion, do the rest.

Highlights from reviews

1) The preamps add just enough analog character to an otherwise clinical sounding eq to separate this from something like the Oxford eq.

2) Please make sure you guys experiment with the input trim knob. Even with the preamp switched off, it impacts how the EQ curves sound. This has got to be one of the dynamic nebula programs in existence. It really matters how hard the signal enters N4.

3) In practical use, if you have ever used a clean eq for surgical purposes (to cut unwanted frequencies), what tends to happen is at drastic settings the signal tends to lose energy especially in the mid-range area and can result in a sound dull. So, then you dial back the settings a bit but then the issue frequencies start to show up again. So, then we reach for more eq to add air or use saturation or clever use of compression to add back some life.
What the 2nd preamp does fantastic is inject life, space, depth and energy into the signal which can compensate for what was done with the eq portion. No extra fiddling with long chains of plugins. Just cut the nasties, engage the 2nd pre and push the trim (make sure to have everything gain staged prior for consistent results) to taste. Took me a few days to really hear it though. Not necessary on everything but very very very useful.

4) Very “powerful and tight” kind of sound in my opinion. It’s been working really well on a multitude of sources. I just finished a test mix (I’m practicing headphone mixing this week) and I had Osaka Mix EQ all over the individual drums. Worked awesomely for kick, snare, toms, overheads and rooms. I also had great success with it on DI bass and DI guitars + plugin amp sim.
I’m starting to suspect this could be a really good universal EQ thing for radical shaping of signals. I usually have this chain: Kazrog True Iron -> Pro-Q2 (for all tight notches and targeted fixing) -> a compressor (I have so many so I choose one that fits per instrument) -> Osaka Mix EQ
Oh, I also used Osaka Mix EQ preamp + drift (15 kernels apparently… no wonder it kills my old laptop) after various reverb and delay send channels. It seems to give these types of channels a bit of added width and a sort of “floating in the stereo field” feel.

5) The Drift+ feature makes this a must buy for me for my purely digital mastering. No preamp, the right EQ (love the low-end control!) and Drift+ with a tone of drive can lead to some incredible depth and vibe. Just dropped this into an existing chain for a project I’m mastering and it took it to the nth degree I’m always looking for. Huge subsonic impact in the 808 bass. Pure vibes!!

6) TIP: For mastering, use the EQ bands with “shift” button pressed, while click, to make more subtle mouse movements.

7) In an acoustic mix I am finishing, on individual tracks (Acoustic Bass and Guitar for example) the preamp is worth the admission fee alone. Really opens up the mix in a very musical way. I really must stop trying these N4 plug-ins it’s gonna ruin me. Lovely EQ too.

8) So far, I’m quite liking it, on vocals I was able to give them some nice air that seems not possible to obtain from a ‘standard’ IIR or FIR EQs. This is something I only seem to be able to get from Acqua based plugins but I don’t understand exactly why.
Tried it also on Bass, Distorted Guitars, Kick and Snare, in all of them I was able to improve the sound going further that what I previously had going on. It just opens the sound nicely. The low end it’s also very usable.
I was really surprised when boosting the mids to a nice but slightly muddy acoustic guitar… it came to life with a sound i could describe as ‘fluid’ or ‘alive’.
It definitely has a sound to it even with the Pre and Drift are turned off. I totally agree with bmanic, it seems the Trim knob gives you some control on the sound even with the pre’s turned off. Thank you for pointing this out.

9) I just used it in a mastering session for a minimalistic (ala Ph.Glass) tune (piano, bass clarinet, violin, cello) by adding a bit of low-self and a tiny bit of highs – with both Pre and Drift engaged. Pure magic – master done!

10) Yes, it is an absolutely gorgeous and very “organic” sounding EQ. I highly recommend experimenting with the input trim control. Try comparing how the EQ sounds when you are close to maximum dBFS versus -15dBFS that the plugin provides. There’s quite a difference in how it reacts. This is also why the EQ is so interesting on material with a lot of dynamics. It’s almost as if it EQs with different phase and curves depending on the incoming amplitude which makes for a really organic sound quality.
Yeah, I absolutely love this EQ. It’s amazing!

11) I’ve been using Osaka mix EQ for a week now after enjoying the demoes for a month or so and thought that I should let you know my thoughts.
My mixing journey has always led me to channel strips. I started with Waves SSL years ago after seeing the pros mix my records with it. I then moved onto Slate digital before eventually ending up in the Acustica camp for general purpose EQ and compression. I’d like to add that there’s still room for the brands previously mentioned, but the vibe I got with the EQs from Acustica just struck me, and so a life of slower knob turning began 😂
So, I was using Big Ceil and Violet as my go to utilitarian combo. Mostly used on vocals and subgroups, but I’d still reach for it first to try. You never know until you try.
Then I downloaded the trial of Osaka Mix EQ 2. I also downloaded the Sand trial just to see if I’d have that happy moment – being reunited with the SSL sound that I had grown to know and love.
Well. Colour me surprised. I spent a good 10 mins with the ssl g home brew EQ. Yes, it was pretty good, but after a good amount of slow knob twiddling, I still wasn’t happy.
So, I tried out Osaka Mix EQ 2. Jheeeezuuuus. 2 mins later I had a full, sparkly, but not harsh vocal. The preamp and drift modes literally helped the vocal sit in the mix with a couple of buttons. I was and still am seriously impressed. It’s very responsive on my system (8700k laptop) and after trying it out on drums, piano, bass and everything in between. It’s now my go to for sure.
Following this trend, I decided to trial Brighton. I’ve recently used Big Ceil to grab transients and Violet to smooth out what’s left. It’s worked well for me over the last year.
However, I tried Brighton on its own…OMG. They did it again, 2 minutes and my vocals were sounding smooth and alive! It can be damn fast for an opto compressor and the saturation control, paired with the transient control can really help tailor the sound, I tended to turn the saturation down on Brighton but probably because I was using the preamp and drift in Osaka. EQing into Brighton gave me great results and I am truly blown away by what London Acoustics have achieved here.
There are a handful of brands who I associate with quality analog style audio plugins, and London Acoustics are on that list without a shadow of a doubt.

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