No matter how many amazing equalizers that I buy, I find that I never have enough great outboard EQs for everything I need. In my opinion, the biggest advantage of expensive EQs is their ability to boost and manage treble, but I have often found myself using one (or even two) on kick drum to shape the lows, even as it feels like overkill. Before I encountered the Little Labs VOG (Voice of God) processor, I never would have imagined using a resonant high-pass filter to shape low-end on a kick, but it's proven to do a remarkable job. Whether I need a punchier kick or a more pillowy one, the sound improves significantly after I find the right frequency with the VOG. I almost always still need board EQ to notch around 400 Hz and boost the beater (typically around 2 kHz), and then the results sound great and sit perfectly in a mix. While the VOG theoretically feels like it would also work great on bass guitar, I generally don't find myself reaching for it — the equalizer that I'm using to shape the mids and articulation usually handles the sub-frequencies fine as well. The VOG has also done an amazing job of adding punch to low-frequency synth parts, reminding me of the impact of "Girlfriend Is Better" by Talking Heads. Little Labs takes pride in the build quality of the VOG, and the sound is definitely as clean as advertised. The interface confused me at first because it's unlike most other filters I've used (such as the classic Moog-type HPF). Now that I'm accustomed to it, I find it very quick and easy to dial in the sound that I want. Much like my Little Labs IBP Junior, which I also often use on kick drum, the VOG is a product that I never would have known would help, but I now am attached to. The VOG is available as a 500-series module or as the I-VOG standalone unit — and even as a UAD plug-in. Visit the Little Labs website to watch a video showing examples of the VOG in use.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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