Oeksound Soothe 2 (Quicker Review)
✅ Cleans up audio, quickly without introducing artefacts
✅ Great for taming those frequencies that hurt the ears
✅ Fantastic stereo section for use in mid only, or sides only
✅ Ability to solo specific bands and switch the listening mode to hear what you're taking away
✅ Beautiful UI, keeping an incredibly in depth plugin, simple.
Oeksound Soothe 2 is a resonance suppressor, that cleans up those nasty, ringing and harsh tones in a matter of minutes. But is it worth all the hype and noise?
In this review we're going to put Soothe 2 to the test, so you can decide whether it's worth your hard earned music bucks.
What Is Soothe 2?
Soothe 2 is a dynamic resonance suppressor plugin, that helps to clean up your mixes, and remove unwanted resonances from your audio.
But what does that mean?
In simple terms, Soothe is going to clean up your audio and prevent the frequencies that either hurt, or sound jarring to the listener, from coming through in the final mix.
For instance – take a HiHat.
There's a lot of information we want to keep in a HiHat to maintain its sound, but a lot of the time, if you were to play an untreated HiHat through larger speakers, it would begin to hurt to listen to.
This is due to high end resonances you don't want.
Soothe can help to remove these high end resonances without affecting the useful, musical resonances you want to keep.
In a lot of cases you want to keep resonance that sounds musical. However, the ones that don't add any musical value, you usually want to remove.
Now you're probably thinking – well I can do that with a dynamic EQ, what's the point of Soothe?
Oeksound's flagship plugin is a little different to a dynamic EQ, and while you could get the same results with an EQ, you'd have to spend literally hours plotting all the Q points, whereas Soothe does it in a few clicks.
It's fundamentally different from using a dynamic EQ, because it uses clever algorithms to find, and remove your resonances at an extremely fine detail, in a few clicks. Of course you could achieve a similar result with a dynamic EQ, but you would need a lot of Q points.
How Does It Sound?
Soothe is a dynamic resonance suppressor, so it doesn't sound any kind of way. However, what we can tell you is that it ‘Soothes' things by dealing with problematic resonances (who would've guessed)?
If you have a harsh sounding sample that needs treatment, reaching for Soothe will resolve that.
And, while we can tell you it sounds great and you definitely need it in your plugin collection, we always find it's best to leave a few audio examples below, so you can hear the difference yourself.
There are some pretty awesome features inside Soothe, and in this section we're going to go over each, and explain what they do.
Inside the plug in, the first thing you'll probably notice is the massive EQ-looking thing you're presented with.
It has four parametric bands that you can use to pinpoint problem frequencies, or actually use Soothe to accentuate frequency areas you want to shine a little more.
These help Soothe decide where it's going to remove resonances, and also changes how the depth knob, sharpness & selectivity knobs act. It's an incredibly useful part of the plugin for obtaining a balanced sound.
Like any parametric EQ, you have options to change the filter from these options:
- Bell – normal bell shape
- Band shelf – flat top bell shape
- Low shelf – normal low shelf
- High shelf – normal high shelf
- Band reject – completely reject a frequency range
- Tilt – tilt all your EQ settings up or down
One of the coolest things this links up with, is the side chain compression. You can basically multi-band sidechain compress your signal, but with more precision. It's amazing for creating space in your mixes, or between two clashing instruments.
Want It Soft or Hard?
At the top left of the plugin you'll see there are 2 options to choose from:
- Soft mode – for a more eased approach to removing unwanted resonances.
- Hard mode – for harsh sounding samples.
These are just above the depth knob, and are pretty self-explanatory; they control how soft or hard Soothe is going to react to problem frequencies.
It will also affect how much turning the depth knob will affect your audio signal.
The depth control is basically the threshold of this plugin. It will change how much Soothe will choose to deal with problem frequencies.
If you push the depth up to 18, it will be reducing the gain a lot.
If you take it back to 18, it most likely won't be doing a thing.
Sharpness & Selectivity
Sharpness and selectivity are really useful controls that you can use to fine tune your settings, and get the right amount of resonance suppression, without ruining your original frequecny spectrum.
Sharpness controls how many points of resonance suppression you have.
Imagine you have a dynamic EQ, and it had a knob that would automatically add more Q points, and as you turn that knob up, the Q points get thinner, and more frequent – that's what sharpness does. You can control sharpness from 0 – 10.
For a visual representation, we've left some pictures below of what 0 looks like and what 10 looks like.
Selectivity controls how selective Soothe is going to be when picking resonance points to remove. The higher the selectivity, the more points it's going to take into account. The lower the selectivity, there'll be less bands, and the Q will be bigger.
What sets Oeksound Soothe 2 apart from the competition is the ability for control over the stereo of your signal. Things like Smooth Operator don't seem to offer this functionality (yet).
One of the coolest things is you can have 2 instances of Soothe – one controlling the mid, and the other controlling the sides.
Or, if you have a particularly bad stereo image, you could just control the sides and leave the mids alone.
You can also change the link, so you can either process the entire stereo signal the same, or you can tell Soothe to treat it as a dual mono signal, offering more control.
It really is an essential mixing tool.
Speed, Quality, Sidechain & Output
These are the rest of the controls found inside the plug in, and are also fantastic.
Speed is where you'll find the attack and release parameters of the plug in. These control the how quickly or slowly the processing comes in and goes out.
For something like this, you mostly want fast attack and release settings, but there are scenarios where you might want to change these around.
Quality is going to control the quality of the signal that Soothe processes.
There are 4 different options to choose from here:
- Oversample – spectral oversampling helps to improve the accuracy, response and smoothness of Soothe. The higher it is, the better, but larger CPU attack. You can choose between 1x – 4x.
- Resolution – increases the refresh rate of the internal processing. Higher will be better quality, but more CPU, lower will be lower, but less taxing.
- Real Time – this is where you change the settings for what you hear in real-time inside your project.
- Offline Rendering – this is where you choose how high the resolution or oversampling is for exporting offline. Doesn't work with a real-time bounce.
Sidechain allows you to put any side chain input, to duck out of the way of.
This is really useful when creating space in your mix, because you can select a certain frequency range to accentuate, or reduce. Having this ability, means you can sidechain only the problematic areas of the frequency range, and allow the rest of the signal to sing.
Using this feature is essential (IMHO) to getting a clean, balanced mix (especially in Hip Hop & EDM)
Output is where you change mix amounts, & listen to what you're removing.
This is a really useful section of the plug in, and the mix amount is perfect for when you want to use hard mode on your audio signal. It allows for the original dry signal to be mixed in with the wet, giving ultimate resonance suppression with minimal artefacts.
You also have a delta option that allows you to hear what you're taking away, so you can stay more informed about the decisions you're making.
Soothe 2 vs Smooth Operator?
Fundamentally Soothe & Smooth Operator are the same things – dynamic resonance suppressors.
They also have very similar features like sidechain input, solo-ing of bands, ability to change the threshold levels etc.
So what's the difference and why the price difference?
Putting it simply for you, Soothe 2 just deals with problematic frequencies better, but also has a fair few more options for control, and depth.
For instance, in Soothe 2, you can edit things like the stereo balance, change to midside processing, control the selectivity & sharpness, and also change the algorithm to either act in a soft or hard manner.
There's also options for mix, quality, attack & release settings – all of these not available in Smooth Operator.
(Another cool thing is you can hear what you're removing, which is incredibly useful)
That doesn't mean Smooth Operator is bad.
NO NOT AT ALL!
In fact we like to thing of Smooth Operator as Soothe Lite version (if there was such as thing). It's fantastic at removing unwanted frequencies, it's just more stripped back and, as a result comes in a lot cheaper than Soothe.
If you're talking in terms of sheer value for money, we'd actually say that Smooth Operator performs better on that front.
You're getting an incredible, affordable resonance suppressor which can help your mixes shine.
In the end, Soothe 2 comes out on top but, like we said, it's more expensive.
How Good Is Soothe At This Resonance Suppression Lark?
Short answer: 10/10, very good & nice, use sparingly, and your harsh samples will smooth out, and your ears will finally stop bleeding. What a plus! (P.S. I'm not a doctor I'm not licensed to give any medical advice).
Soothe 2 is an incredible plugin for mixing and mastering. You might think you don't need a resonance suppressor, but when you use it, you'll never look back. It's fantastic at cleaning up all the nasty bits that would've taken you an incredibly long time before, with an insane amount of points on something like a dynamic EQ.
Oeksound Soothe 2 also has some incredible features that make it a dream to use.
Things like the Delta mode let you hear what you're actually removing from the sample or audio track you have loaded, and also allows you to solo particular bands, so you can listen carefully for whistles, or tinny rings, & identify them to deal with.
(it has 4 parametric bands, up removes the resonance, down pushes the resonance up)
It's surgically precise, with only a couple clicks, and you can't complain at that.
Soothe is particularly good on anything, but we liked using it on problematic guitars, and vocals to help clean them, while still retaining their musicality. It works best when using solo mode to listen, and scanning through like you would with an EQ.
You want to remove the non-musical resonances, because not all resonance is bad (kinda like fats).
When doing this you're listening for things that sound bad to your ears. Anything that contributes to the melody and sound of your source signal, you want to avoid removing. Otherwise you're going to kill the frequency spectrum & sound.
Soothe also seems to work best on “Soft” mode. “Hard” is for really extreme scenarios, and you often won't be touching this, because it can really destroy your signal.
You'll want to keep the depth fairly low also, otherwise (in the case of vocals for instance), you'll start to hear people getting lisps or just not sounding right.
Like anything in life, you need balance. And, an uneven tonal balance is something you want to avoid.
Oeksound Soothe 2 (Quicker Review)
Soothe 2 is an essential mixing plugin for any music producer. It removes those pesky, unwanted resonances with a couple clicks, and has incredibly utility controls for ultimate precision. It's the best resonance suppressor on the market.
It's pretty pricey, but for a tool like this – it's well worth the money.
Soothe 2 will improve your mixes & masters tenfold.
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.