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Review: Nomad Factory Retrology Motown


Nomad Factory recently released Retrology Motown, a bundle of 2 equalizer plug-ins designed to improve the quality of digital sound recordings.

The plug-ins aim to recreate the warm sound qualities of legendary analog hardware passive equalizers used by Motown engineers.

Nomad Factory Retrology MotownImages from the development of Retrology Motown.

Retrology Motown includes Retro Music-Tone and Retro Film-Tone, two 7-band passive equalizer plug-ins. Except for the frequency bands, both equalizers are identical.

Music-Tone and Film-Tone both feature proportional Q’s which have:

  • a broad Q with small boost/cuts
  • a narrow Q with greater boost/cuts

In other words: small adjustments to the bands will result in more subtle changes over a wider bandwidth, while driving the numbers closer to min/max values affects fewer frequencies.

Installation of the plug-ins was pretty straightforward. Nomad Factory uses PACE Interlok protection, which seems to be problematic for quite some people. Although it’s my personal belief that this type of copy protection does not stop piracy, a company is entitled to try to protect their products. (If you dislike PACE enough to not buy their products, please just let Nomad Factory know they’ve lost a potential sale).

Anyway, I had absolutely no problems installing PACE and registering the plug-ins with the Challenge/Response authorization (iLok authorization is also available).

Nomad Factory Retrology Motown Film-ToneNomad Factory Retrology Motown Film-Tone

With everything in place I did a little comparison with a few other EQ’s. The samples below are identical except for the EQ used (files were normalized after recording).

Clean beat | Fruity Parametric EQ | KarmaFX EQ | Retrology Film-Tone

Note: since the Film-Tone has a Proportional Q there’s no way I could A/B them with 100% accuracy.

So what do I think?

The Retrology equalizers have a straightforward user interface which is easy to use. They are also very light on the CPU.

Whether or not you can call its sound analog or vintage I’ll leave up to you, but I quite liked the results I got with these EQ’s.

Nomad Factory offers a fully functional 10 day trial version, so I advice you try them on your own material to see how you like them.

More information: Nomad Factory / Retrology Motown

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While I respect the development of these plugins, the most hilarious thing is the picture above showing four Macs. I mean, COME ON, Nomad, get over it. I know you are trying to make sure everyone thinks you use the “right” computer for a sequencer, but it’s gotten to the point where too many people have figured out that a PC is superior for audio production. Not that it’s really superior due to sound, since the digital outcome IS THE SAME, but superior in that you can easily buy PC’s that are faster and cheaper. Which means the engineer can… Read more »


I’ve been very pickty about plugins eqs in the last 10 years, I’ve checked most of them and my latest options have been Waves API, SSL and V-Series because of their color and UAD-1 for that hi fi qualities. I have checked Nomad Factory new plugs (comp and eqs-music & film) and I think they are great, defenitly among my first options. What is really interesting is no eq plug fits every demand nowaday, and having this palette of colors is a godsend.