Plugin Boutique returns with a new episode of the Top 5 Friday series. This time Tim Cant takes a look at some popular software equalizer plugins.
Here’s Tim’s round-up:
5. Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ
Everybody should have at least one dynamic EQ in their collection, and we reckon it should be this one. If you’re not familiar with Dynamic EQ, imagine that every band has its own compressor settings, and you’re basically there.
With so much movement going on, you need an EQ you can trust, and Sonnox’ EQ pedigree makes this a dependable little plugin. You get five bands of their Oxford Type-3 EQ filters, which offer proportional-Q and an onset detection feature.
Oxford Dynamic EQ’s Listen mode. Audition only the audio that’s being processed, making it easy to make changes to the dynamics controls.
4. SplineEQ (Photosounder)
It’s not new, but SplineEQ is a very unique EQ indeed. SplineEQ uses Bezier splines to set its curves, meaning that you can have asymmetrical or even practically vertical curves.
SplineEQ’s visualiser displays frequencies in a more musical way, and it lets you visualize your cuts and boosts above and below the curve.
There’s also loads of useful EQ features such as Transpose and Overall Gain, to move the entire curve up or down in frequency or in gain. The Gain Scale brings the gains of all the bands up or down together, relative to each other.
SplineEQ’s maximum boost is an alarming 60dB, meaning that this is one powerful sonic superweapon.
3. TubeTech Equalizer Collection (Softube)
We couldn’t do an EQ round-up without including an archaic piece of hardware, or a ‘classic’, as some people would call it. The Pultec EQP-1A hardware EQ might just be the most modelled EQ of all time, thanks to its tube tone and its legendary reputation.
Softube’s PE 1C is just such a plugin, and it’s available as part of the Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection and Complete Collection, which include other vintage hardware-modelled plugins as part of the package.
Actually, Softube’s TubeTech EQ is a software emulation of the TubeTech, which is a hardware emulation of the original EQP-1A. It’s the inception EQ, basically.
But don’t let the Meta get you down – beneath the layers of abstraction, TubeTech is a great-sounding character EQ that lets you pull off the classic ‘Pultec technique’, both cutting and boosting the low band, at the same time, to get a solid-sounding bottom end.
2. EQuilibrium (DMG Audio)
If you love using classic EQs, and if you love getting anal about filtering, EQuilibrium is the one for you. The whole idea behind this plugin is that you can mix and match bands using circuit models of classic filters.
EQuilibrium has 19 bell filters, ten high- and low-pass types, eight shelves and one Notch. Each of them can be run to process two-channel stereo as normal, or mids, sides, left or right signals.
This plugin also comes equipped with a piano keyboard display to help locate specific note frequencies, and it has a ton of view options. Comprehensive.
1. Pro-Q 2 (FabFilter)
Of course. It’s the King, and the Queen, of EQ plugins. Pro-Q 2 has a mindboggling potential in terms of EQ functionality, and it’s also easy to use, with a fun but reassuringly accurate plot across the frequency spectrum.
So what can Pro-Q do that makes it the winner?
Up to 24 bands of eight types of filter, sidechaining functionality, EQ Matching, Linear Phase, Natural Phase and Zero Latency modes, left/right and mid/side operation, a piano keyboard X axis, analyzer freeze and spectrum grab, full-screen mode, all of which make Pro-Q 2 both a thing of beauty and a surgical superweapon. Sock it to me!
Check Out Plugin Boutique for some more EQ plugins.