One of the tools MODEL 1 offers, in its quest to provide artists with a different way of approaching a mix, is the Sculpt EQ. Found between the Low- and High-pass filters on each of the 6 main input channels, the sculpt EQ is a single band, bell-shaped equaliser with a sweepable center frequency. You will also hear this type of control referred to by sound engineers as a “semi-parametric EQ”. This level of control is typically reserved for professional recording and front of house consoles.
The two controls of the sculpt EQ are labelled “FREQ” and “CUT/BOOST”. The CUT/BOOST control does exactly what it says on the tin: it cuts the selected frequency by -20dB when turned counter clockwise, and boosts it by 8dB when turned fully clockwise.
What seems to confuse most newcomers is the FREQ control, which allows the artist to set where the center of the frequency band is. The fully counter clockwise position sets the center frequency at 70Hz, making the EQ act on the bass frequencies. The fully clockwise position sets the center frequency at 7kHz, where the EQ is then affecting the high frequency content.
The two controls work in tandem to give the artist a level of control not offered by any other small format DJ mixer currently on the market. With the Sculpt EQ, you can hone in on a particular sound or element of a Track with the FREQ control, and then boost or cut that specific element, with the BOOST/CUT control, without affecting the rest of the record.
A parametric EQ is likely overkill for the traditional DJ that is simply fading from one track into the next. However, in the hands of a PLAYdifferently performer who prefers to layer 2, 3, or more tracks, it becomes an indispensable tool, allowing the artist to accentuate or mask certain elements from each record to create that magical “third record”. For example, you may accentuate the “clap/midrange” percussion on the elements of Record A, while pushing the high hats of Record B, all while Record C carries the kick and bass. At the same time, the midrange needs to be lowered to mask the midrange synth that just doesn’t fit the vibe. This is exactly the type of situation where a sculpt EQ provides you with the exact tool you need.
Occasionally you will be able to achieve this level of control with the traditional 3-band EQ, but more often than not you will find the 3-band EQ’s bandwidth to be too broad. A sound that you want to affect will fall in between the mid and high bands, meaning you can’t quite get to it without applying the effect to the overall track. You can think of MODEL 1’s Sculpt EQ as a surgeon’s scalpel, your tool with which you can precision cut single elements in a track.
Written by: Alex Zinn – PLAYdifferently Brand Manager