|Price (MSRP)||Free / $29|
|Type / Tags|
A VST 2.x-compatible host
Mac OS 10.5+, an AudioUnit or VST 2.x-compatible host
|Copy Protection||Customized Per Customer|
SplineEQ is a linear phase equalizer plugin. Designed to be simple and flexible, SplineEQ allows you to create filters using Bézier splines, the best known way to design curves.
Linear phase equalizer. Offers a better sound quality than the more common minimum phase equalizers by not affecting the phase of sound, only the intensity of frequencies, which makes it easier to achieve good sounding results. Also has the advantage of not incurring aliasing artifacts.
Spline-based filter design. Filters are simply created by designing a spline curve which can be made to adopt any imaginable shape. No filter types to choose from, all points simply define part of the shape of the filter's spline curve. The actual filter's frequency profile is displayed as a dashed curve when it differs from the ideal spline curve (this can be changed by changing the filter's resolution).
Up to 60 bands (only up to 4 in the free version of SplineEQ) or as low as 1. You can create or disable bands by double clicking on the visualisation area of the interface and adjust them either in that area or using the knobs or even the automatable parameter sliders in the host's interface.
Simple curve modification functions. You can modify the curve as a whole using the transpose function to shift the curve up and down by up to 10 octaves, affect the overall gain to shift all gain settings up or down evenly or even change the gain scale to apply a ratio to all gains, thus enabling you to either flatten, exaggerate or reverse the shape of a curve.
Frequency analyser. More intuitive than your usual logarithmic curve frequency display, this frequency analyser shows you the intensity of frequencies before and after the filtering with colours. It's also fine tuned so that intensities at different frequencies are represented in a way that matches closely to our perception. It moves in a fluid manner in sync with the source sound and has a frequency resolution of about 10 Hz.
Smooth and fluid graphics. The whole interface responds fluidly to change, even the frequency visualisation has a great frame rate and all the graphics are perfectly anti-aliased.
-Infinite dB to +60 dB gain range. This allows you to completely silence entire ranges of the spectrum or to really bring back some fainter harmonics by boosting their amplitude thousandfold. Gains are represented logarithmically between -60 dB and +60 dB and linearly below -60 dB. Given the uniquely immense gain range there's also a built-in limiter whose knob lights up when over the adjustable threshold.
Smooth transitions. Changing parameters, either by adjusting the knobs, the graph or by parameter automation is always done smoothly and creates no audio artifacts.
Adjustable resolution, latency and CPU usage. The resolution of the filter can be lowered or increased (up to roughly 22 Hz) and the processing latency can be changed to obtain a lower CPU usage or a lower latency.
Good performance. Linear phase equalizers always require more power than other types of equalizers. However SplineEQ is as fast or faster than other linear phase equlizers, often with less latency.
Presets are available here and can be saved or open (not with the free version of SplineEQ). Their format is compatible across all platforms and hosts and can be edited with a text editor.
Also supports all sampling rates (384 kHz included), is available on both Windows and Mac (Intel and PowerPC), in VST (2.4) and AU format, in 32 and 64-bits. All input, output and processing are done in 64-bit floating point format and in stereo.
Reviewed By jrucks01
June 24, 2014
Well, a quick disclaimer and background before I start my review of SplineEQ. I had never heard of SplineEQ until today when asked to provide a review and my thoughts on the plugin. My mixing skills are adequate and continually growing and the opinions are solely mine based on my experience with the product. Now without further ado my review of SplineEQ.
SplineEQ was a completely new type plugin for me. I have only used a handful of EQs and mainly the stock PreSonus ProEQ (awesome by the way) and Waves Q10 & Renaissance EQs. There are more EQs in my arsenal but I usually stick to those that I know for mixing. Either I have had my head in the sand or just never caught up with the difference between phase and linear EQ - branching out during mastering EQ was using my Waves V-series EQs (I know rookie moves). However, having used the SplineEQ on a quick little ditty I threw together tonight my eyes have been opened in a shock of my ignorance. I will provide links to my examples using SplineEQ and same example without SplineEQ. But first my thoughts.
- any boosts and cuts need to be in moderation, but this plugin for some reason was very intuitive for me.
- use the provided presets for examples and starting points, I used the preset for the track and then adjusted to my liking and then saved for later use.
- the analyzer graphics are astonishingly useful; I prefer graphical analyzers in my EQ plugins and yes I use my ears but like having my eyes helping out.
- the only con is the CPU usage which is adjustable but never over the top in my limited experience.
The short track I recorded for examples consist of the following:
1 acoustic guitar (capo 7th fret) with a non-capo acoustic guitar accompany; bass; electric guitars; and Slate Drums 4 separated into channels for mixing.
Acoustic guitars both used my modified SplineEQ preset 'Acoustic - Bright and Balanced'
The electric guitars had a SplineEQ preset I modded 'Electric - smooth'
Bass guitar had SplineEQ modded preset 'Bass -12db limit for kick mix'
Snare used the preset 'Snare - 1' with a minor high-mid boost for rim shots.
Kick used the preset 'Bassdrum A1' with minor tweaks to remove the boxiness.
The drum bus had my FX chain preset of 1. PreSonus Pro Eq 2. IK Multimedia Black76 3. IK Multimedia Vintage 670.
Master bus had my normal setup of 1. Slate VCC 2. NI Bus Compressor 'Mix Glue' preset 3. Slate Tape Machine 1/2"
Each track has Slate Tape Machine and Virtual Console inserted before SplineEQ.
Here are the two examples:
First the mix without the SplineEQ: https://soundcloud.com/jrucks01/example-no-splineeq.
Now with SplineEQ: https://soundcloud.com/jrucks01/example-splineeq-active.
My take is that the SplineEQ gives each instrument its own space and allows the sounds to mix better. Having only spent several hours with SplineEQ I can already tell it will be a new go to weapon in mixing for myself and clients. Please let me know your thoughts on the review and thank you for reading.
*SplineEQ is currently selling for $19 until July 5th according to the website, so don't hesitate to buy. Low investment, big return in my view.
J. Rucks.Read more
Reviewed By solidtrax
December 27, 2012
A lot has already been said about this amazing EQ, as there are currently ten reviews already here on KVR. For me, it's not a surprise so many people are raving about this plugin, as I believe this one is unique in both sound and handling.
Let's start with some basic information. SplineEQ is a linear phase equalizer plugin. This means that it does not change the phase of a sound, and as a result, gives a more natural sound. All this comes with a price however, because a little bit of latency will be introduced. As I'm using this EQ mostly as a master EQ and a few instances during mixing, I'm not complaining about this latency, I'm more than happy to pay this "price" and get an amazingly good and natural sounding EQ for it in return.
An unique approach
When we look at EQ plugins like Sonnox EQ, DMG Audio EQuality or Duende X-EQ, we talk about parametric EQ's. This type of EQ is what most people are very familiar with. They often have a fixed amount of bands that include high and low pass filters, high and low shelving filters and bell filters. When you take a look at EQ plugin like the Waves API 560 or Voxengo Marvel GEQ, you will easily see they are different, and these are known as graphic EQ's.
When we take a look at SplineEQ, we will find it's not exactly a parametric or graphic EQ as we have come to known in the last few decades. So what is it? Well, it's more a parametric EQ than it's a graphic EQ, that's for sure, but you won't find the high and low pass filters, shelving filters or bell filters in this plugin. SplinEQ uses a very unique approach to making curves and it's called Bézier splines. SplineEQ gives you the ability to design your own curves. The retail version ships with up to 60 bands so your imagination is the limiting factor here. This way of shaping a sound might take a few minutes to grasp, but once you understand how it works, you will probably love it as much as I do.
An unique sound
This EQ being unique in the way it's working, that is something that we have established so far, but I have not said anything about the sound. Ladies and Gentleman, that's because I wanted to save the best for last. This EQ sounds amazingly transparent. You will not find any analog buttons, hidden tube emulations or anything like that in this plugin. The only thing this EQ is doing for you, is shaping the sound with a transparency that is breathtaking. Adding a few db's and cutting a few db's with a standard digital EQ often result in a sound that somehow sounds like it's been altered. It's like you hear that there is an EQ on top of the sound. With SplineEQ, it's like the sound has been changed from within, and the result sounds as natural as it sounded before. Of course there is a limit to this transparency and we hopefully all understand that boosting 30dB around 5Khz on a full mix will most likely give a very unpleasing result, but this has nothing to do with the EQ plugin, and all to do with the person behind the knobs doing something very weird.
SplineEQ in use
During the mixing process I do use SplineEQ when a sound needs fixing, or in other words, when my normal go-to mixing eq's don't have the precision to fix a problem. For example, a kick drum that is recorded without a lot of body/low energy. With SplineEQ I have managed to make a kick sound powerful and punchy again by adding and cutting more than a handful of dB's at some critical frequencies while sounding totally natural at the same time. The difference between the kick drum with and without EQ was nothing short of a miracle. I asked some friends to listen to the difference and they couldn't believe at first that this was the same recording with just some help from an EQ. Countless of times I used the help of a transient designer and compressor together with different eq's to fix this type of bad, lifeless recordings, but with SplineEQ, I managed to fix it quicker and better without the need for other tools.
Another example of a recording that needed to be fixed was a lead vocal that was recorded in a very tiny room with a crappy microphone and no room treatment at all. I was able to remove a lot of the resonating (boxy) sound of the room without destroying the rest of the sound. Again, the end result sounded very natural and the difference compared to the original sound was stunning. I tried a lot of other EQ's to do the same, and although I was able to get very pleasing results with another one of my favorite clean EQ's, in the end, I preferred SplineEQ. I don't like mixing bad recorded songs, but SplineEQ makes my life a bit easier when the client has no intention of delivering a better recording.
When mastering, I love clean/transparent EQ's and this is where SplineEQ shines! It's probably not a surprise that it has become my favorite mastering EQ. When I'm mastering a track I always (try to) respect the mixer engineer, so I always try to keep the character of the track the same, while at the same time, making it translate as good as possible on many different devices. With SplineEQ, I can fix certain frequencies with an incredible precision. I have been able to master tracks with this plugin that normally would have needed a new mix. Having said that, I still prefer a new mix that doesn't need this kind of fixing, but sometimes there is no money/time and SplineEQ can really save the day.
In my opinion, SplineEQ is an amazing plugin. The way you can shape the curves and the way it stays transparent even when boosting or cutting a pretty high amount of dB's, is both unique and impressive. I'm confident that this EQ will find it's way to most of my future mixing projects and all my future mastering projects, just like it has done for the last couple of months.
For $19 this EQ is a steal. To be totally honest, I don't know what the developer must have been thinking when deciding to sell this plugin for so little money. In my opinion, it's on par with the very best there is on offer in the digital domain.Read more
Reviewed By Feng
November 12, 2012
Making eq curves with Spline EQ is really simple and fast. You have a large x-y plot with frequency on x axis and gain on y axis. On the background there is a quite unorthodox spectrum analyzer. it doesn't show Fourier transform of incoming sound nor shows spectrogram, but it uses a different approach. It shows you frequency bands as vertical bars (using the x axis reference). This bars become brighter as more energy is detected in their frequency range, they become darker and disappear when low energy or no energy is detected in their frequency range. You can watch simultaneously the unaltered spectrum (below the eq curve) and the spectrum altered by the eq (above the eq curve).
The overall graphic effect is very pleasing. To draw your curve you simply enter a number of frequency centers (yellow spots, created double clicking on the desired frequency position) and drag them to set the gain at that frequency. On the sides of the yellow spots a blue and a red one are there to define the slope of the curve.
You can also control frequency, gain, slope by three knobs on the right.
As all linear phase eq, Spline EQ introduces some latency, that's clearly reported on the GUI. A knob called precision lets you set how many filters will be active. At lower resolutions the eq cannot always match the curve you draw, so it lets you see the real eq curve in form of a dashed line. Clearly latency issues grow with higher precision values.
Spline EQ in action
The gain possibilities are amazing. I never saw anything like that. Each point can have a gain varying between - infinity to +60 dB. It is that you can completely mute some frequencies and highly enhance others. I tried Splne Eq on all kind of sonic material: overall mix (where liner phase eq tend to be used the most), but also drums, male voice, female voice, guitar, synths, strings and I have to say that it really does a good job.
Nonetheless I feel that SPLINEEQ strength lies in some more unorthodox use of its enormous power where it can really stand out
1. You can easily use it to extract or mute single instruments out of complete mixes,
due to the very very extended gain. Obviously it works best with instruments that have a quite narrow frequency spectrum. In a complete mix I was able to extract without many problems the kick drum, the bass, the cymbals and some midrange synths.
2. You can apply juicy frequency sweeps
There's a knob called "transpose" that, when moved, shifts all the curve to the left or to the right. Given the fact that almost any parameter can be automated I found myself drawing a "transpose" automation for a synth applying a very complex curve (that I would have never been able to create with the synth's internal filters).
3. You can easily cut away fixed frequency noise
I tried with some hum noise that I could easily cut without altering too much the other frequencies. the same applies for hiss.
4. You can create mind blowing, never heard effects
As I said almost any parameter in Spline EQ can be automated, so I tried to make some "extreme", experimental automation on vocal lines. The result was quite good. I could easily create wobbe effects, telephone like FX, and morph between them.
Obviously, due to latency, these tasks have to be programmed. Real time automation works fine only at lower resolutions.
CPU usage is very very low, expecially when thinking that this EQ is linear phase.
So the keyword in Spline EQ, in my opinion is POWER. While it can do a good job at subtle enhancements or at muddiness removal and at all standard uses, it really shines when used at full power, in more creative and unorthodox ways.
I think this is a very good plugin and, at 19 $, it's a REAL STEAL!Read more
Reviewed By Brother Charles
August 2, 2012
** UPDATE! **
It seems that every time I need to perform any kind of surgical EQ tweak, SplineEQ has become my absolute GO TO plugin. Need to cleanly edit an acoustic upright bass track to retain rich sound while lessening "string buzz" or "click"? SplineEQ to the rescue. Need to bring out the 'shimmer' of a Hammond C3/Leslie combination? SplineEQ to the rescue. Need to tweak that nasty 'reverb ringing' in an otherwise nice vocal track? You guessed it! SplineEQ is a must have. Once you get accustomed to working within it's color-coded graphics assisted environment, your ears will become better trained (visual & auditory mental associations) and you can easily *find* offending frequencies.
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Mr. M. Rouzic (aka "A_SN") contacted me back in the middle of June, 2012 and invited me to test and review his wonderful new Linear Phase EQ plugin, SplineEQ. I was honored that he thought well of my writing skills and audio engineering skill. Of course, I didn't apprise him otherwise. *wink*
I'd been very busy with work, ministry engagements and an overdue (3) week vacation and finally, at the end of July, 2012, I was at liberty to bench test SplineEQ. My findings are most nearly all positive. I will attest to my fellow KVR reviewers' testimonials that there can be quite a bit of latency induced if you operate this plugin at its higher quality settings. That aside, it does sound very, very clear and free of ringing, fuzziness, or other fatiguing audio artifacts. As such, this plugin shines brilliantly in a final mix/mastering scenario.
By default the full version gives the user (5) key frequency centers - 80hz, 253hz, 800hz, 2.5khz, 8.0khz. You can add as many frequency bands as you want from there, by simply double-clicking at an insertion point of your choosing. I've gotten into the habit of adding 42hz, 32hz, and finally 20hz bands to create smooth, downward-sloped low frequency cuts. SplineEQ is a great tool for cleaning out unwanted low end muddiness. The low end spectrum isn't "hauled away" with conservative use; it just gets cleaned up and balanced out. Once you add a good mastering limiter to the end of the mastering chain, you'll get the "oompphh" back on the bottom end, but it will sound clean and articulate. This process has kicked the quality of my final mixes up a couple of notches. I used to rely of Bootsy's BaxterEQ for this - SplineEQ does yield even cleaner results.
What particularly impressed me about this EQ plugin was its wonderfully CLEAN sound quality. The EQ curves are very smooth; even when adjusted in steep, narrow bands. SplineEQ's tonal shaping qualities are easily adjustable in very granular steps or in large swaths. Yet, the audio quality remains high and transparent. I like to describe this plugin as a 1st class tool to realize accurate and extensive tonal shaping without "coloration" or audio graininess.
This plugin is attractive and offers a nicely sized interface. I won't discuss these features as they were well-reviewed by Monk_Volcano previously. I agree with Monk_Volcano's comments on the gui design and that the vertical color-coded analysis bars greatly aid in locating "troubled" frequencies.
On a recent CD track for my upcoming Gospel album, I used Spline's lower resolution settings to make Acoustica's Pianissimo (Steinway Model D sample VSTi) really come to life, without noticeable latency, and without losing the warmth and character of the classic "Steinway" tone. When played at higher velocities, Pianissimo does somewhat over-accentuate sympathetic resonance and upper register "ping". When played at lower velocities, Pianissimo tends to become a little too "dark/mellow" sounding. Nevertheless, it really is a remarkably good sounding piano VSTi and it competes very well against sample libraries costing 2 or 3 times as much. By lowering the velocities of louder notes and enlisting SplineEQ as an insert effect on my piano track, I was able to balance the tone of Pianissimo to sit in the mix perfectly. It retained the warmth without sounding "boxy" or dull. The piano's upper register rung though cleanly and pleasantly without any shrillness. The mids were tamed nicely without losing definition.
** EDIT **
Using subtle high frequency increase @ 2k, 4k, & 8k (+1 dB, +2.4dB, +2.1dB respectively) made my favorite B3 VSTi absolutely come to life and "shimmer" with gorgeous, breathtaking clarity. We are talking about taking the sweetness of Gospel-style Hammond Organ "through the roof, people!" - SplineEQ used as an insert plugin in this instance. The VSTi in question? Genuine Soundware VB3
Any time I attempted to "fine-tune" Pianissimo (and some other VSTIs) using conventional (minimum phase) Parametric EQ or classic multi-band EQ plugins, I would sometimes hear slight grainiess or fuzziness on some note tails and decays. This issue has been entirely resolved for me since I started using SplineEQ.
I don't own FabFilter Pro-Q, EQuality, or any other expensive Linear Phase EQ plugin, but I can tell you this - SplineEQ is an amazing plugin that allows tremendous control over tone-shaping. It's very simple to use, largely due to its intuitive, attractive interface. If you don't presently own a high quality linear phase mastering EQ, I can guarantee that your mixes will benefit greatly by purchasing and using this professional, studio-grade plugin.
I rank SplineEQ way up there with other exceptional products such as ToneBooster's TB Barricade (Brickwall limiter), Klanghelm's DC8C (Compressor/Limiter), MeldaProductions VSTs, HollowSun samples, etc.. .
Yes, it's very, very good. It's also very, very reasonably priced.
Clean, transparent audio quality.
Ease of use.
Capable of extensive, equalization fine tuning.
Granular control (when needed).
Latency - it is linear phase after all. This type of plugin is best suited for mastering purposes.
When attempting to change resolution settings, during playback, it has caused my DAW to stop responding. I'm using Acoustica Mixcraft 6.0 b194. Otherwise, the plugin is very stable.Read more
Reviewed By monk_volcano
July 18, 2012
I told myself I would really try not to give this plugin a 10/10. But I have to. I'm sorry. I guess if I could, I might give it a 9.5 because there are just a couple of minor features I would like to see added, though they would just be some icing on this cake. When I first read about this plugin, I was thinking "ok cool, a linear phase eq with a nice interface, every one needs one of those lying around." I came to find out that there are a handful of features that take this plugin to a higher realm of function. This is freaking great plugin that has as many creative uses as it does practical.
I'll start with the sound. The sound is what you would expect from a linear phase eq, I reckon. The clarity that the signal retains when making enormous boosts is pretty stunning. Even while making extreme boosts to very high frequencies, it sounds as if the filter is simply making those frequencies louder; any distortion or artifacts created are virtually indistinguishable to my ears. This allows you to radically alter sounds, and still retain a lively sound. It's really crazy what you can get awaywith on this thing. Considering that I'm into "idm" (it's ok if you roll your eyes), this is very exciting to me.
One of the key elements that gives this eq a unique set of qualities is the usage of Bezier curves for the band filters. I mathematically have no idea what that means, all I know is that it makes working with this eq notably different from working with a standard parametric. It will take a little bit of getting used to, and I'm guessing there are some situations that it may not be preferable. You can have from 1-60 control points, and this is more important than you might think. (This next part is going to be tricky to explain, but I'll do my best.) First of all, when you boost a node, the bandwidth of the boost is altered depending on its proximity to other nodes. In other words, if there are other nodes close by, they will make the bandwidth of the boost smaller. In addition to that, changing the slope of a filter band doesn't have the same effect as changing the q in a typical eq. When you raise the slope amount, higher frequencies will be boosted and lower frequencies cut, when you lower the slope, the opposite occurs. This can yield very "musical" results. I know it sounds complicated, but I'm sure you'll catch on quickly if you give it a spin. I find working with these curves to be very easy and effective. Also, I just find it very enjoyable to explore a novel approach to eq'ing.
Then there are some even more out there functions which really end up making this plugin for me. The transpose function allows you to shift all of the control points up or down the freq spectrum. So basically you can make a crazy filter and this is the cutoff control. I should add that adjusting this parameter occurs perfectly smoothly; you can automate the hell out of it. A very powerful feature. It also has other uses. For instance, let's say you've transposed a synth line up a few semitones, but you want it to have the same "spectral signature", transpose the eq up as well! Then theres the 'gain scale' parameter. This controls the overall amount (or scale, derp!) of gain boost/cut. Often I'll go a little overboard with this eq, so this parameters is great to reel it in a bit while maintaining the tonality I've achieved. But we're not through yet.. by using negative values, you can invert the amount. HECK YEA! This is a quick and dirty way to separate two clashing elements. In studio one, I can apply a little boost to one signal, and then just copy the instance of splineEQ over to the sound its competing with, invert the gain scale, and BAM! no more masking. Maybe a bit of a ham handed way of doing it, but it works really well in certain situations!
Last but not least: the GUI is gorgeous and functional. For some reason when I think of linear phase eq, I think of some big gnarly laggy beast of a plugin that requires me to put on a lab coat to operate… err, maybe thats just me being a bit over dramatic I dunno. Whatever the case, this plugin is elegant and responsive. The rainbow frequency analyzer in the background will keep your girlfriend mesmerized for hours while you tweak your "keyboards" in a state of euphoria. Besides that, it simultaneously displays the spectral content before (bottom the eq curve) and after (above the curve). I also just find it easier to see what frequencies are present with this style of analyzer.
OK and a couple of relatively minor critiques. The range of this thing is huge. By that I mean, you can make up to 60 db boosts. It might be handy to limit the amplitude range for when you're doing more conventional equalization duties. Another idea that struck me, is the ability to lasso groups of nodes and move them about together. Given the shear number of nodes available, this could be very hand.
So basically this thing is fantastic. If you are doing any sound design heavy music, I'm on the verge of telling you this eq is a must have, even though I generally try to avoid saying that about anything.Read more