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Products by Sonalksis

Latest reviews of Sonalksis products


Reviewed By Starship Krupa [all]
August 6th, 2017
Version reviewed: 3.0 on Windows

I use it on every project as the fader on my Master bus. Essential for the smooth fader, metering and RMS peak detection.

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SV-517 Equaliser

Reviewed By Aiynzahev [all]
June 6th, 2013
Version reviewed: Latest on Windows

In my opinion, this is one of the best EQ's around. Not only does it sound great and have a great GUI, it's also very versatile and provides a number of EQ styles.

One should really have a look at the manual, it's very easy reading with nice clear graphs and straightforward plain-English writing.

On the left side of the GUI, there are 2 style knobs, one for the bells, the other for the shelves, with 3 settings each.

Bells (boosting)

With setting no.1 this EQ does the very broad bells of classic EQs,.

Setting no.2 gives you a gain-Q coupled design, like that of the API 560 and SPL ranger series.

Style setting 3 gives you the uncoupled design which is more modern.

In other words the the gain-q coupled bell decreases the Q as you boost while the other gives you a true-Q response. One is more "musical" and the other surgical.

You cannot however choose these responses per-band, only per-instance. Does it break workflow? I think not, for me I do different stages of EQ, surgical to remove unwanted frequencies, musical to get a sound I'm interested in and broad to give presence. So this would require 3 instances of this EQ, not good for Cubase users perhaps, but thankfully It's light on CPU.

Bells (cutting)

Cutting is also flexible, there are switches below the aforementioned knobs that deal with symmetry. You can have either a symmetrical response or an asymmetrical response. With a symmetrical response your boosting and attenuating (cutting) will be equal.

The normal response of most EQ's is asymmetrical, that is that cuts are narrower than boosts by default, and the Q's narrows the more you attenuate. Often engineers advise that for a more natural or transparent sound boost broad and cut narrow.

You can have the opposite if you wish, with a symmetrical response your boosts and cuts can have equal bandwidths.

What is interesting to me, the manual here states that the symmetry of each bell type differs, based on their extensive research on what sounds the most pleasing.


The Shelves are very interesting to me. One of the great features of this EQ is the adjustable slope on the shelves, allowing you to change their response dramatically.

Again we have 3 types:

Type one being the most common employed in the classic Eqs which creates an increasing dip at the shelf transition frequency.

Type two reminds me of my Portico Eq, it creates a dip like type one, but it also has a resonant peak around the corner frequency. This allows you to make a general boost to a shelve while at the same time emphasizing a specific frequency. So lets say we are boosting a bass group with kick and bassline, we can boost the entire bass range as we pleased while placing a special emphasis on the kick put putting the resonant peak at the right spot.

Type three has no dip and has a resonant peak.

The symmetry control is great here. Remember that little dip introduced by type one and two? Well at this point when cutting a shelf those dips will become peaks, this is what steinberg's console EQ does, here though we are able to flip a switch and have those dips become further cuts in the shelf instead of becoming peaks.

It's easier if you just look at the graphs in the manual to explain this.

Other things

Aside from all this, there are hi-pass and low-pass filters with a steepness up to 24dB. I sometimes prefer more drastic slopes, but 24dB is fine for most purposes.

You cannot have any band used for any frequency as each band is limited to a certain area. Can be annoying sometimes, but on the other hand it helps guide you.

The GUI is beautiful in my opinion, Sonalksis have the nicest GUI's around. Very professional and a lovely colour. However time has gone on since the release of this EQ and I believe it's time it was made larger (if possible) to take advantage of larger screens with high pixel count, as I do find it a little small, that said some larger GUI's are not nice to work with as they take up so much screen space.

The menu is very helpful and allows for a lot of customization. You can deactivate the graph but you cannot switch the GUI to a knobs only view like you could with Equilibrium for example. Shame, as it's nice to have nothing but the knobs to look at sometimes so you're forced to use your ears more. Sometimes a graph is just too distracting. Fortunately you can turn off the response curves on the graph (which I believe also has 3 settings) in which can you will just be left with a blank graph under the controls.

The Analyser is great and can be switch off if needed. The scale can be toggled between two settings for mix or mastering uses, and there are many more little changes that can be made in the menu. Often it's all these little things that make a difference.


The product page on KVR still shows the old price of this EQ, $259 or so, it's actually $110 now which means it's a great price. Is it really a relevant option now that we have Mr Gamble making new EQ's which much larger GUI's and many options? To me yes. I have Equality, and I still prefer Sonalksis, even with the smaller GUI. Partly because I am used to it, I know everything I am doing on it and know a lot of what I can do (although amazingly even after having it for well over a year now I am still discovering all the subtleties of the bell and shelf types) but partly because I just find it nicer to use than Equality.

Of course I cannot offer anything like the amazing options of Equilibrium, but that's costs almost $200 more.


It might sound strange, but in my mind this is the best EQ plug-in I've ever used, even when put up against Equality, Pro-Q, Digital V_2, Portico & others. It's not that it beats all these in every area, but it beats them all for me because it's so well rounded, it has the perfect balance of features and ease of use, wrapped in a very pleasant GUI with easy CPU usage and no stability problems.

My next general go to EQ is in-fact Brainworx V2 as it offers the M/S modes that Sonalksis-517Mk2 does not.

Then again I don't know if I'd like to be without Equality for the mastering stage, where it's perfect for the little changes in the M/S domain.

I think Equilibrium is perhaps the ultimate all rounder, but what takes second place for me is Sonalksis. If they made an option for the GUI to be larger then I think I'd give this a 10.

However If you find more complex EQ's with large GUI's to be a bit overwhelming and at the same time don't find the simpler EQ's such as PSP console EQ's, DDMF 6614 and Kaussa's new offerings to be versatile enough I think could be the one for you.

Be aware however of Sonalksis second hand NFR policy. If you buy this from someone you cannot sell it on, which on the other hand means if you do find this for sale (I don't often see it come up) it's likely going to be silly cheap.

Objectively I give it a 9. But it is my go to EQ and it's also my favourite overall.

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Reviewed By bduffy [all]
November 18th, 2010
Version reviewed: 1.10 on Mac

FreeG has been around for awhile now, and is still one of the very best freebies you can get (especially considering it's available in the largely freeware-challenged Mac format!) and is something I use every day in my mixes, including vocal riding!

I've always been a little reluctant to use fader automation on Cubase tracks because it can be such a pain to go back and re-edit, and sometimes you just want to be able to quickly lower the global track level, or completely bypass or delete your automation. Enter FreeG.

With FreeG I can do all the normal host fader/pan automation I want, and if I make a mistake, I can bypass or start over - or even insert another instance of FreeG - the possibilities are endless! FreeG offers a safe, new level of automation creativity that has really helped my mixes immeasurably.

FreeG also features detailed control over fader settings; chances are it's much smoother than your host's faders, with a real "studio" feel that can help you get your fades right.

Also you get a full RMS/Peak level meters. I don't use these features much as my host's are fine, but can be very useful for those who don't have them, or for a second opinion.

The GUI is detailed and fetching too, the graphics help lend "weight" to the controls, with no confusion over what's what. You can flip to the back for more control over ballistics too, for the tweakers.

I've never had a single problem with FreeG's automation. I'd be hard-pressed to find a more stable, CPU-light VST effect out there. You can literally have one on every track without worry, and automate the hell out of them. As for as FreeG + Cubase is concerned, it's a perfect match, and I urge all to check it out. It's a quality product at a bargain price (or lack of!).
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Reviewed By metamorphosis [all]
November 15th, 2010
Version reviewed: 1.1 on Windows

This is a great plug. The only problem with it is the broken automation. As acknowledged by Sonalksis themselves:
"... the resolution of the FreeG's automation is not perfect. This is a side effect of the wrapping code we use to produce AU, VST and RTAS versions of the plugin from the same codebase. We've attempted to improve this, but it's not possible without breaking compatibility with old sessions that use the FreeG."
The volume slider, the incremental detail, the extra "gain" knob, the metering are all superb - with the exception that you can't use it to 'ride' volumes and record volume automation into your audio program.
That's the only thing making this great 'indispensible' freebie into a waste of time for anything but large volume drops/jumps and accurate metering - and at those two things it excels. Just don't try to use it like a vocal rider.
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SV-315 Compressor

Reviewed By trmupstage [all]
March 4th, 2006
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

Hard to believe there are no reviews of this. How is that possible? IMO, this is THE vst compressor to have. I know it's very expensive, but I found that it was worth it. This is a very musical compressor. it's clean yet adds a smoothness to the source. It's not the compressor for getting a huge pumping effect from. But, I have never found a better VST compressor for vocals and acoustic instruments. If you have, name it, because I'll buy it.

Some of the controls on this are a little subtle. Like, the mode switch. I don't hear it do much. But, the over-all sound is fantastic. They has some feature in it that prevents the initial "pop" that you get from a digital compressor when you're coming out of silence with heavy compression. This is a great thing to have when working with vocals.

This was the most expensive plugin I ever bought. It's on every project that has left my studio in the last three years. It's money well spent.

A note about my ratings. Presets: I don't use them and there are only a handful, so I rate them as average. Support: I would give them higher, but they have not released any upgrades on this. Maybe it doesn't need any? I just get the feeling that "it is what it is" and I'll never see any new features. Which brings up the last point; Value: It's got a lot of value, but maybe not a 10 out of 10 value. I wouldn't want to work without it, but I would also have liked to pay much less for it. It's definately one of the most expensive compressors you can by as a VST. But still worth the cost.
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SV-517 Equaliser

Reviewed By Deadbeat [all]
February 25th, 2004
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows

I recently picked up Sonalksis' new EQ plug-in after trying every demo and freeware EQ I could get my hands on. While the options for surgical EQs are plentiful in all plug-in formats, the number of parametric and analog emulations which imbue a DESIRABLE coloration is, in my opinion, decidedly slim. With the release of their SV-517 EQ, Sonalksis have changed all that.

Installation of the SV-517 went off with out a hitch on my P IV 2.6 WindowsXP machine, and both the DirectX and VST versions function as expected in all of the hosts I use.

The SV-517's is a perfect marriage of vintage familiarity and cutting edge interface design, offering up both knob-based controls and a click-and-drag 2D graph which also serves to display the frequency and amplitude curves based on the current settings. When I first launched the plug-in I was immediately annoyed to find that the knobs responded to a circular motion, as this is one of my biggest pet peeves with plug-ins. I was overjoyed however upon entering the options screen to find the designers at Sonalksis had the good sense to allow the user to define whether knobs responded in a circular motion or to linear up-down mouse movements! Very few developers show this kind of forsight in designing their interfaces.

More often than not, EQ plug-ns provide a selection of presets with various instrument names to show off what they're capable of. EQing is probably one of the most important stages in sound design and mixing at which you should be using your ears, and not someone else's preconceived idea about what YOUR snare should sound like. While this type of decision is ultimately up to each individual, the fact that Sonalksis have chosen to offer a small collection of presets with band range and curve suggestions for various tasks (mastering, precision tweaking, etc) with a flat amplitude curve commands my respect. It's your mix, you do the tweaking...

Regarding the sound quality, this thing has quite literally made absolutely everything I've thrown at it sound better, and encouraged me to get a lot more creative with my EQ tweaking. I've used it for extreme sound design work with great results, and it's CPU efficiency also makes it a prime canidate to throw on every track during mix down. We've all heard the tales of the classic Neve EQs adding a certain magic sparkle to everything you throw at them. After taking a good hard listen to a great many of the EQ plug-ins available today, the Sonalksis SV-517 is the first one I've come across with the quality and character to justify this sort of mythical description. Ironcially, a trip over to the Sonalksis website reveals that some of the company founders are former AMS-Neve R&D engineers, a fact which should instill enough confidence in even the most devote hardware proponents to at least take a look at this one.


Quite simply the finest sounding, best designed plug-in EQ I have ever had the pleasure to work with!
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