During the editing phase of a recording, it is sometimes necessary to enhance the sound and embellish the harmonics of an instrument. This is what we will try to do today with the SPL Vitalizer MK2-T on a piano, a marimba and a vibraphone.
The MK2-T is a very powerful tube program equalizer that produces warm and rich sounds, but also bright and silky. In the examples below, we will use it on the master track to finalize the mix, before exporting it and doing a mastering.
SPL Vitalizer on piano
The first example is a solo piano extract recorded in an acoustic simulation of the Bayerischer Rundfunk Studio 2 in Munich. The work, titled Naval, is a piece composed by Yann Tiersen for the soundtrack of the movie Tabarly. In this case, the melody of the theme seemed a little dark and dull. So we used the MK2-T to raise and slightly boost the frequencies between 2 KHz and 20 Khz with the L-C and Intensity buttons.
The sound we finally got is brighter, alive and brings out the piano’s higher frequencies.
SPL Vitalizer on marimba
The second example is a marimba extract recorded this time in the Bayerischer Rundfunk Studio 1 in Munich. It’s a larger room than Studio 2 that allows the instrument to spread its low frequencies in a larger space. That’s what we wanted for this recording, and the SPL Vitalizer allowed us to boost the bass of the marimba while making the sound more warm.
The resulting sound is very subtle and the difference with the original mix is not easy to perceive for the untrained ears, but we could have accented this effect by increasing the MK2-T Compression button.
SPL Vitalizer on vibraphone
In the last example, we expanded the stereo image of the vibraphone to accentuate the tremolo effect, then add more intensity and presence above 2 Khz.
Beyond the examples we have seen in this article, the SPL Vitalizer MK2-T can be used on almost any instrument provided you don’t overuse it. This is almost always a matter of personal taste.