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Free / $29

SplineEQ has an average user rating of 4.50 from 12 reviews

Rate & Review SplineEQ

User Reviews by KVR Members for SplineEQ


Reviewed By Feng [all]
November 12th, 2012
Version reviewed: 7 on Windows

Brief description

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!

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Comments & Discussion for Photosounder SplineEQ

Discussion: Active
4 March 2012 at 9:09am

@myk: I haven't used SplineEQ, but as I understand it, EVERY linear phase EQ introduces latency because of the way linear phase adjustments are computed (the signal must be delayed a bit, kind of obvious if you think about it). That's why they're typically used for mastering and final mixing, as opposed to tracking. Seems kind of unfair (if not dead wrong?) to mark it down for something that's inherent to its way of working.

5 March 2012 at 9:23am

@myk Just locate the latency knob and adjust it for lower latency, you should be just fine.

The reason why you want to be able to change latency, is for rendering purposes. If you are really anal about getting the best possible sound, you should increase the lantency when you render, and that will give you an even sharper sound. As you might have noticed with the "dotted real processing" line that shows up on the lower frenquencies,

it will become more accurate with higher lantecy settings, this is something you can't escape when processing audio the way linearphase eq's does it.

It's not fixable, it's just something you have to learn, with ALL linearphase eq's :)

5 May 2012 at 5:19am

just a little thing to say I tried this out on a audio cleaning project i had and it kept the tone of the voice but got rid of the noise I mean whistling right next to the vocal frequency. no other eq i had was doing it right and this baby kicked ass.

7 May 2012 at 5:43am

i use this for sound design and it is awesome

7 May 2012 at 6:03am

yea its a great plugin i love it

7 May 2012 at 6:17pm

Really nice free EQ, very tweakable, efficient and colorless. Perfect for cleaning, mixing and mastering.

7 May 2012 at 9:05pm

I agree. the paid version is even better to. I use this for cleaning and mastering

3 July 2012 at 7:23am

Yep, i discovered what the free is by itself capable of on a sample design purpose and after that i'll certainly by the full version ASAP ...really excellent tool !

3 July 2012 at 8:24am

You know what is awesome is if you set it to minimal delay and stuff right to find something like if there is this annoying hum then you cut the hell out of it swap back to max mode and render you will be amazed on how high the quality of the eq its like you never did anything but the hum is gone. its very non destructive

3 July 2012 at 9:36am

well i currently experience narrow bandpass (rather than bandstop) to isolate locust's stridulation at almost a precise frequency then rendering, not much different technique as you know, that what made me amaze about spline eq

3 July 2012 at 6:56pm

I know some people complain because its super latency ridden but that's what i think makes it so good the quality of the eq is so high that it has to be

Brother Charles
Brother Charles
12 November 2012 at 6:58pm


Great review. I like how you brought out more information about the unique graphically-driven features.

12 October 2013 at 4:53pm

Brilliant mastering EQ. Top quality.

28 June 2014 at 1:52pm

TOP notch EQ plugin right here..

Best delivered in final mixing master bus and mastering.

8 February 2020 at 7:05pm

Why no hpf/lpf filters?

8 February 2020 at 7:49pm

You have to make them yourself. Place a control point high and another low.

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