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Channel Strip Plugin by Belles Ondes
EQ1979 by Belles Ondes / FluidShell Design is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as an Audio Units Plugin and a VST 3 Plugin.
Windows 10+
Intel Mac computer running operating system version 10.8 "Mountain Lion" or better.
On macOS Catalina (V10.15.4) and later, plugin has to be authorised.
Copy Protection
Open Source
Free (Public Domain)
Important Note
MAC support is preliminary and limited to Intel MAC versions only. A VST3 version is under preparation, and will be released end 2023.
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EQ1979 is a stereo VST analog console strip emulation inspired by a famous British console module with red gain knob.

It features:

  • An input saturation stage, which emulates a transformer based analog input amplifier with saturation ranging from smooth drive to asymetric clipping.
  • A Filtering stage with low shelf, mid band, and high shelf inductor-based filter emulation which accurately emultes frequency response of original strip.
  • A Third order highpass filter emulation.

Input saturation uses a subtle combination of arctangent and polynomial math to first boost 3rd and 5th harmonics while increasingly switching to a full spectrum asymetrical saturation. Loudness partial compensation is linear.

Filtering uses a combination of more than 50 butterworth maximally flat one pole filters to frequency match the existing console strip behavior. A fine-tuned parametric model dynamically parameters those filters upon console strip inputs.

Modeling accurately the inner electronics implied adding several asymetrical bias, noise sources and non linearities which tend to reproduce the unique analog console sound.

More insight on project page.

UI design by Fluidshell. Support : vince@bellesondes.fr.

V1.02 Update (11/08/2023):

  1. Fixed a bug on High Shelf response stereo diffrerence.
  2. Added a control to passivate internal electronics noise simulation to avoid noise stacking on projects with multiple instances involved.
  3. Anti-aliasing filter frequency tied to 0.48x sampling frequency to allow projects with greater sample rate to take benefit from a broader high frequency range.
  4. Added control readouts for Drive and Gains controls.

Made with SynthEdit

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Reviewed By taviqmastering [all]
August 2nd, 2023
Version reviewed: 11 on Windows

I love the modeling BUT in a future update can you :

  1. Make the noise variable or add the ability to turn it off.
  2. Make the natural hi frequency cuve -3dB at 40KHz. It's currently set now for a maximum of 22kHz with a step slope no matter what sample rate your session is in. The step slope introduces quite a bit of hi frequency loss to every signal, even compared to the original vintage unit.

These updates would make the unit a perfect vintage emulation with optimum hybrid features that can fit into any work flow.

Reply Edit #1: I think that anti-aliasing approach is perfect for working in lower sample rates (44.1 & 48) but when working in 88.2 or higher, which most hybrid pros are, the signal, regarding Nyquist therom, can flow all the way to 40KHz+.

Therefore, I think coding EQ 1979 to allow the hi frequency bandwidth to go all the way to Nyquist of the sample rate or no bandwith cut off, unless oversampling is engaged, if working in sample rates 88.2kHz or higher would give the best situational result from a coding perspective. However, keeping the current hi frequency bandwith limiting in place for sample rates of 48kHz and below is perfect.

Lastly, thank you so much for making this and sharing it with the world for free.

If you make these adjustments I'll definitely change my rating to 5 stars. I gave an extra star for being a developer that actually listens and customer/consumer support.

Reply Edit #2: Also in the future, could you consider doing a fully dual mono version of EQ 1979? If you would like we can exchange contact info to work on the dual mono concept together. taviqmastering@gmail.com.

Response from D4p0up from Belles Ondes on August 2nd, 2023

Thanks for the very detailed and constructive feedback.

The ability to tweak/cancel noise is a great idea, I'll give it a go on next release,

I'll also have a look at the high frequency roll-off setup for next release. My initial intent was to reject as much aliasing as possible, leading to an agressive design which effectively drops at end of audible range.

Read Review

Reviewed By EgonTwo [all]
July 29th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1.01 on Windows

Very nice sounding EQ and saturation.

It seems to process only in mono, so don't use it on your master bus. For this reason I won't be giving this plugin 5 stars. The developer has indicated that this mono/panning is an issue in Cubase, as well. I am using Cakewalk by BandLab. Hopefully they can fix this problem in an updated version.

A day or so later... Belles Ondes have issued a bug fix update version 1.01 for the stereo problem. Great customer service. This plugin now gets the full 5 stars from me.

The input saturation stage sounds really great and can be used without the EQ turned on. A great way to fill out a mix and make it feel warm and glued together. Or push it right up to make your tracks sound hot without any grating breakup.

The EQ section sounds really good as well, very effective and musical even when pushed.

The GUI knob interaction is a bit counterintuitive for me. Where I would prefer to click and pull up on the HPF knob and frequency selector under the MID and LOW knobs, one is required to click and pull down. The disruption to my habitual workflow is minor in this instance and would not prevent me from using this plugin.

File/patch management is through the DAW wrapper and works fine.


Response from D4p0up from Belles Ondes on July 30th, 2023

Hi, thanks for your feedback. I just release V1.01 that should fix stereo pairing issue.

Read Review

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Comments & Discussion for Belles Ondes EQ1979

Discussion: Active
30 July 2023 at 11:30am

The mono signal complaint isn't just Cubase. It's doing the same in Studio-One.

30 July 2023 at 6:30pm

I just released V1.01 that should fix the issue (output pairing). Thanks for the feedback.

Rebirth Studio
Rebirth Studio
1 August 2023 at 5:41pm

Hey! This plugin is cool. However, I can hear what it does but the UI doesn't reflect the actions when turning the knobs. The knobs don't work but I hear it changing the tone of the sound. Using Studio One 5.


8 August 2023 at 5:38pm

Hi, I've investigated the issue and probably found the issue, will be fixing it in next release mid august.

14 August 2023 at 4:47am

This is a very cool sounding plugin. It can really make a track sound fat, smooth and upfront with little to no effort and the top end it gives is really crisp and airy but not to harsh at all. But i do have 3 issues with this plugin and if these issues can be resolved then this is definitely gonna be my go to.

Firstly my daw of choice is Studio One 6 and if i copy an instance of this plugin on to another track with the settings i chose, the copied version of the plugin doesn't keep the same settings when i reload any session, so everytime i open up that song i have to manually reset that copy of the plugin to the settings i previously had.

Secondly can you please in a future update implement double clicking on any individual knob or at least control, left click on a pc to reset that knob to its default state/value.

And lastly in a future update using the scroll wheel on the computers mouse to move knobs and parameters up or down would be a welcomed feature. Cause click, hold and drag is a kind of a hassle for some of us.

Thank you in advance...

14 August 2023 at 8:47pm

Thank you for the constructive feedback, and for the interface improvement suggestions. Knob position reset and scroll wheel interaction are added to future 1.1 release changelog.

Concerning the plugin duplication issue, I added it to the bug log and will investigate, please feel free to provide as much context detail you have in mind to help nail the issue down (namely OS version, EQ1979 plugin version, and mor einsight on duplication sequence in Studio One leading to the issue).


15 August 2023 at 11:06am

Windows 10 22h2 pro and Studio One Professional v6.2.1.

If i have 3 lead vocal tracks in a session for verse, chorus and bridge and i load the plugin on the verse lead track and tweak it until i find a setting that i like, so now i try to copy the plugin with those same settings from the verse lead track to the chorus and bridge lead tracks, the plugin copies to both tracks with the default loaded settings instead of my verse lead vocal settings. I have to literally save the settings as a preset and load that preset for it to work.

And another thing I've just realized is if there are multiple versions of the plugin with the same settings across all of them and i close Studio One and reopen Studio One later and reload that same song, some of the instances of the plugin also reverts back to it's default state. So that's a not being able to recall issue.

Anything else i come across in the future i will let you know cause i really like this plugin.

Rich Production
Rich Production
20 September 2023 at 1:55pm

After I download the file from the link, how do I get to open in my DAW?

20 September 2023 at 2:08pm

Please visit https://www.bellesondes.fr/wiki/doku.php?id=eq1979vst#installation for installation (short) instructions.
If more is needed, contact support email directly.

1 November 2023 at 4:46am

Have this plugin been abandoned by the developer?

I'm asking because it's been a while since it's last update which was in August 2023 and I'm just curious because this plugin has so much potential and it sounds really nice..

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