10 Innovative EQs to shape your mixes
By The Article Master on
The humble EQ is perhaps the most important tool in any mix engineer's arsenal of plugins. This list will forgo the many analogue modeled options out there to highlight some of the most innovative and forward-thinking EQ plugins available, designed to accomplish complex tasks, provide cutting edge, user friendly interfaces and inspire you when shaping and balancing your sound.
Claro is a comprehensive EQ Plug-in featuring three distinct views, serving to separate the process of creative tone shaping, surgical EQ and balancing of a mix. Progressive through each mode adds deeper insight and precision to prevent mud, clutter, or harshness, helping you blend your tracks into a clear and balanced mix.
- Claro's EQ is highly flexible, with each of its 26 bands offering:
- A clean, musical-sounding EQ that resembles the well-loved Neve types, their modern derivatives and the SSL G Series, as well as many high-end outboard equalisers.
- Left, Right, Mid, Side, Mono, or Stereo channel processing giving you the capability to correct, widen, narrow, or make space within each track.
- A wide 20hz - 40kHz range. The extended high-frequency range offers a smooth, airy quality - excellent for vocals and mix busses.
- Variable Q, including resonance and overshoot on the cut and shelving filters, respectively, giving you the ability to mimic classic synth filters and hardware EQ curves.
- Variable slopes on all band shapes, up to super-steep (120dB per octave) for surgical work and treating precise audio bands.
- Claro's automation is smooth and artefact-free, unlike most premium EQs.
- Auto Gain uniquely keeps your track at the same loudness, no matter the signal content or how you choose to EQ it.
Gullfoss is an intelligent automatic equalizer that uses Soundtheory's unique computational auditory perception technology to identify and resolve problems in the frequency balance of your signal. Adjusting its settings in realtime according to the audible features of the input signal, Gullfoss allows quick and precise fixes for issues that would otherwise be unsolvable or would require a lot of time and experience to resolve.
Gullfoss is an easy-to-use tool for everyone from the amateur musician to the professional mastering engineer. Its clean user interface offers a set of basic parameters that can be adjusted to improve the clarity, detail, spatiality and balance of a mix or recording in a matter of seconds. Gullfoss is even capable of fixing balancing issues between different sound elements without access to the individual tracks. The internal auditory model allows Gullfoss to make objective decisions about the perceived sound. As a result mixes processed with Gullfoss will generally translate more consistently between different listening situations.
Gullfoss, enabled by new patent-pending equalizer technology, processes audio with unrivalled sound quality. The equalizer is capable of changing its frequency response, at the highest precision, more than 100 times per second and without introducing audible artefacts or degrading signal quality. Together with the highly advanced computational auditory perception model that has been developed by Soundtheory, Gullfoss is the first and only product of its kind.
soothe2 is a dynamic resonance suppressor. It identifies problematic resonances on the fly and applies matching reduction automatically. This results in a smoother, more balanced sound and saves you from having to notch out the frequencies by hand. The reduction kicks in only when and where needed without affecting the nearby frequency areas. This preserves the timbre of the original sound source and results in transparent treatment with minimal artefacts.
soothe2 can be used to reduce harshness, sibilance and mud from the sound source, and excels in fixing a range of problems. With soothe2 you can:
- Remove harshness from close mic'd sound sources.
- Transparently manage sibilance in vocals and dialog.
- Treat uneven tonal balance from suboptimal recordings.
- Clear muddiness, boominess, and proximity effect.
- Soften overly bright guitar and piano recordings.
- Mid/side mode, overall and per band.
- Optimised performance and lower latency.
external sidechain input.
SplitEQ is a groundbreaking EQ that offers a fundamentally new approach to corrective and creative audio equalization. It excels at Repairing, Rebalancing, Enhancing, and Widening any musical source or audio signal. SplitEQ is both a surgical tool for fixing particularly nasty problems and it opens up exciting new musical possibilities. More than just an EQ — It's a new and better tool.
At first glance, it's a parametric EQ with 8-bands of precise musical filters. What's new and different is Eventide's powerful Structural Split engine which divides the incoming audio into separate Transient and Tonal streams that feed the 8 bands. This approach makes common EQ problems easy to solve—even in a complex mix—and it opens up new and exciting musical possibilities.
By applying EQ and panning to Transient and Tonal separately, you can fix many of the problems normally attacked using complex combinations of EQ, compression, transient designers, de-essers, multi-band compression, spatial processors, or dynamic EQ. Simplify and declutter your workflow, get better results, and create new sounds.
- 8-band parametric EQ with pristine musical filters.
- EQ Transient and Tonal parts of a sound separately using Eventide's patented Structural Split technology.
- Control Transient and Tonal Output levels.
- Enhance the stereo-field with continuous Transient and Tonal panning controls (L/R and Mid/Side modes).
- Control the underlying Split technology for fine tuning and experimentation.
- Globally scale the EQ curves together or independently.
- Peak, Notch, Bandpass, High Shelf, Low Shelf, Tilt Shelf, High Pass, and Low Pass filter types with slopes from 6 to 96 dB/octave.
- Innovative real-time spectrum analyzer displays the Transient and Tonal streams independently.
- Comprehensive Presets Library includes 150+ presets.
- A/B buttons allow quick auditioning of two presets or settings plus Undo/ Redo functionality.
- Resizable GUI with zoom options.
smart:EQ 3 creates spectral balance in single audio tracks and assists users in establishing transparent arrangements of multiple channels with intelligent cross-channel processing.
- Smart:filter for creating spectral balance in single tracks within seconds.
- Cross-channel processing to establish a sonic hierarchy in a group of up to six tracks.
- Option to switch the smart:filter to dynamic adaption for a more consistent sound.
- Minimum phase and linear phase filtering for both live EQing and audio postproduction.
- Up to 24 standard filters to fine-tune audio tracks.
- Comprehensive M/S processing, multiple filter types and smart states.
- Cross channel processing (by analyzing the spectral information of up to 6 channels, the plug-in make sure that each track gets its assigned space within a mix).
- Dynamic smart:filter (the smart:filter dynamically adapts to a signal in real-time).
- Minimum phase mode (zero latency processing).
- Interactive filter widgets.
Smooth Operator combines equalization, spectral compression and resonance suppression into a singular creative experience that's instant and intuitive. Use it to perfect your tonal balance and add a touch of 'HiFi'.
Baby Audio's spectral detection algorithm adapts to your audio 44,100 times per second and automatically eliminates fatigued frequencies giving full control to shape your signal and bring out more definition.
The algorithm uses an FFT to break the incoming audio into tiny particles, which are analyzed and processed separately, before being put back together again. This all happens in realtime and allows for a much more surgical approach to resonance detection and rebalancing than what would be possible with traditional audio effects.
Smooth Operator was designed to be all about creative expression. The plugin is meant for shaping your tone. Use it to compress, EQ and 'purify' in one simple process.
- Brings out clarity and smoothness across instruments, vocals and mix busses.
- Allows for creative tone shaping without artifacts or harsh resonances.
- Intelligent algorithm that automatically detects and resolves fatigued frequencies.
- An alternative to EQ, compression and resonance suppression in one unified workflow.
Shade is a next-gen Swiss Army knife filtering tool, designed to shatter the boundaries of conventional EQ, filtering, and modulation effects. More than a filter, Shade is a creative environment, combining an unparalleled selection of 35 filter shapes with 9 types of modulators.
Drag-and-drop modulation onto any parameter in a fully-configurable semi-modular system, complete with one-to-many and many-to-one routing, cross-modulation, envelope followers with sidechain and filter inputs, featured MSEGs, triggerable envelopes that can sync to host, audio, or MIDI, comprehensive multichannel support, and more. Shade delivers the EQ and filtering features you already know and love, while opening a whole new world of creative effects to explore.
Shade's modulation system is a gateway to a world of new sound design possibilities. 9 modulators can be instanced, including: XY, Macro, Spread, Random, LFO, Envelope, Figure (an XY LFO), MSEG, and Follower. All filter and modulator parameters can be targeted, with one-to-many and many-to-one routing, cross-modulation, muting, and all are easy to keep track of thanks to double-click show/hide and click-drag rearrangement. It's difficult to overstate how powerful the modulation system is and how easy it is to use.
- Advanced EQ, mix tool, and powerful creative effect with 35 filter shapes.
- 9 modulators with MSEG, follower, side-chain, and cross modulation.
- Fully multichannel filters and modulation, capable and easy to use.
SurferEQ is a pitch tracking equalizer plug-in. It is capable of locking onto a vocal or an instrument pitch and adjust the EQ frequency to its fundamental pitch, or any of its harmonics thus "surfing" on the sound waves.
The EQ filters were designed with new and original algorithms, with every effort made to preserve the energy and size of the original recording.
In addition to the HP, LP, shelf and bell shaped filters, there is an unique harmonic filter, which makes it possible to control the complete harmonic series with only a single band of EQ.
As it is always relevant to the sound source, SurferEQ is a tool like no other. It enables tone shaping in ways that were impossible to achieve previously by other tools.
X-EQ 2 is a highly configurable 24-band EQ plug-in, featuring unique anti-cramping algorithms for an unparalleled open and transparent sound. It's a very capable EQ toolkit, with 17 different EQ types and filter shapes. Each band is switchable between bell, shelf, low pass or high pass filter types, with both classic and customisable shapes available for each band. It features brand new spatial processing options, band soloing, and the classic X-EQ 'Parallel' mode for recreating the characteristic sound of old parallel passive EQ circuits.
- 24-band fully parametric high quality digital EQ, featuring unique SSL anti-cramping algorithms.
- DSP Optimisation makes X-EQ 2 super efficient and CPU light.
- A total of 17 different filter types: 5 different cut filters, 9 bell shapes, shelving filters, a parallel mode, and custom filters.
- Extensive control options including draggable EQ graph nodes, mouse wheel adjustment and numerical data entry.
- Extremely low noise and low non-linear distortion filter algorithms resulting in the residual THD+N significantly lower than 24-bit quantisation noise.
- Mid/Side and Left/Right spatial processing options.
- Individual band solo and bypass.
- Real-time FFT analysis display.
- Inclusion of Phase & Step response graphs to show the effect of EQ processing.
The FabFilter Pro-Q is a top-quality equalizer plug-in with perfect analog modeling, dynamic EQ, linear phase processing, and a gorgeous interface with unrivalled ease of use.
FabFilter Pro-Q is designed to help you achieve your sound in the quickest way possible. Via the large interactive EQ display, you can create bands where you need them, enable dynamic EQ for any band, and select and edit multiple bands at once. Unique features like Spectrum Grab, Full Screen mode and EQ Match will speed up your workflow even more.
Pro-Q offers everything that a demanding engineer could wish for: top-quality linear phase operation in addition to the zero latency and unique Natural Phase modes, smooth dynamic EQ, per-band mid/side processing, full surround support (up to Dolby Atmos 7.1.2), an intelligent solo feature, optional Auto Gain and a built-in, fully customizable spectrum analyzer.
Professional mastering-grade EQ plugin with exceptional sound quality.
Up to 24 bands with a huge range of filter types.
Optional Dynamic EQ mode for all bands (Bell and Shelf shapes), using any slope setting and with perfect analog matching, with optional external side chain triggering.
6-96dB/octave slopes for all filter types.
Additional Brickwall slope for the High Cut and Low Cut filters.
Per-band Stereo, Left, Right, Mid or Side mode.
Zero Latency, Natural Phase and Linear Phase processing modes.
Adapts automatically to stereo, mono and surround channel layouts.
Intelligent multiband selection and editing.
Intelligent band solo mode.
External spectrum visualization from any other Pro-Q 3 instance in the session, including collision detection.
Spectrum Grab: grab and adjust a peak directly in the spectrum analyzer.
EQ Match for imposing the tonal characteristics of one signal on another.
Piano Display switches the frequency scale to musical note values.
Separate mastering (3/6dB) and mixing (12/30dB) display ranges.
Undo/redo and A/B comparison.
Beautiful, responsive, resizable GPU-accelerated graphical interface with full-screen mode.