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oeksound Soothe: Intuitive and Intelligent Dynamics Control (Review)

In the digital production world of equalizers, the options are many. Oeksound soothe is a unique dynamic equalizer that reacts in real time to incoming audio, and the processing can be tuned with 5 bands (3 parametric and HP/LP), offering intuitive and unparalleled controls.

Oeksound writes on their website that soothe was originally developed as a vocal processor, but it’s incredibly versatile from what we experienced in our testing. It’s hard to put into words what this device does exactly, which is probably why oeksound settled on the title of “dynamic equalizer”. Unlike most equalizers, soothe actively analyses the signal and adjusts the frequency-wise reduction based on the input. If the dynamics or timbre of the input change, soothe adjusts to compensate for the new sonic elements or tonalities.

The sharpness, selectivity, stereo link, oversample, and resolution functions also provide the user with additional options to dial in their sound. In our testing, 4x oversampling put a big load on our processor but worked great for mastering applications – we had to drastically increase our sample buffer to get clean audio through the plugin with our additional processing in series. We found the “Even More Ear Friendly Top on Master” preset was a great starting point to dial back some of the unnatural digital harshness created on our master by equalization, imaging, and other processing. You can also blend the dry/wet for parallel processing… this plugin is a beast! Soothe is the perfect processor to smooth your audio before sending it into a limiter for mastering.

We also found especially great use with soothe on drums and synthesizers, taming the harshness often created by digital synthesis, EQ, and saturation; because the plugin reacts in real time to the audio, you can quickly dial in your settings and still get impactful results that sound amazingly smooth.

Soothe has been hailed by numerous prestiged engineers worldwide, like Greg Wells (Katy Perry, Adele, Timbaland), Stefan (Dada Life), Ryan Hewitt (The Lumineers, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and more. Ryan Hewitt puts it excellently, “[W]ith soothe, I can spend more time being creative rather than fixing problems”.