McDSP-SA2 Dialogue Processor Review

Fidelity is a key quality in any recording. In most cases, especially that of recorded dialogue, the idea is to reproduce as sound that feel as close to natural speech as possible. Enter the McDSP-SA2 Dialogue processor plug-in. Modelled on a unique hardware used my premier Hollywood sound engineer, Mike Minkler, the McDSP-SA2 is marketed as an active equalizer plug in for your Digital Audio Workstation, although the software offers much more than just equalization.

The main job of the McDSP-SA2 is to ‘improve the overall sound of recorded speech’. Whilst trying to brighten up the sound of dialogue recording in film, Minkler was vexed by spike in the frequency spectrum making the dialogue sound unnatural and, well, recorded. With the help of an engineer, he built a unit specifically to tackle this very specific problem.

The digital result of this bit of kit is the McDSP-SA2. The ‘5 bands of active equalization’ are set to very specific frequencies that correspond to common problem areas when mixing recordings of the human voice, namely spikes at around 3k, 5k, 7k, 9k, and 11k.

Each channel has an adjustable threshold at which the unit begins to manipulate the signal, and there …