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.