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Your go-to mastering EQ plugin Equalizer Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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nuemes's Avatar
 

Your go-to mastering EQ plugin

I have numerous outboard and ITB EQ's for mixing and would like to purchase a single EQ plugin for mastering purposes. I plan to demo the following this weekend. Anything else that would ideally be on the radar or comments (positives/negatives) on those listed below?

PSP MasterQ2
PSP Neon HR
Equilibrium
Fab Filter Pro-Q3
Old 1 week ago
  #2
I'm not certain that a single plugin would serve all purposes in all tracks for all time, but it's worth a shot.


My go-to:TDR Slick M. It's broad, so like I mentioned previously, I use another tool for precision cuts. I try to use TDR Nova first.

Good luck on the search!
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Trakworx's Avatar
If choosing just one main EQ plug-in for mastering then Equilibrium because it's so configurable and versatile that you can get it to do just about any task well.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Equilibrium and Nova GE are outstanding tools.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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whippoorwill's Avatar
I’ve tried a lot and Balance Magpha sounds the best. TDR Nova Ge is used too for what it does and I typically get what I need from a combo of the two, demo both.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Magpha works well here too - can be slightly soft sounding though (sometimes great sometimes not).

Equilibrium in free phase mode or Crave EQ in transparent mode allow you to have varying phase response depending on the frequency - for example minimum phase in the deep lows or for tight bandwidths, with broad linear phase bells or shelving in the high. This is one of the best configurations for digital EQ I've used in mastering - I highly recommend experimenting with this for yourself.

Of those you mentioned only Pro Q has a dynamic option. If you choose something else I suggest adding a dedicated dynamic EQ such as Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ or TDR Nova GE. Dynamic eq can be an excellent tool in mastering and I wouldn't want to work without it.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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nova is fantastic !
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

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1) TDR Slick EQ M
2) EQuilibrium

TDR is fast to use, sounds great and is on nearly every project. EQuilibrium if I need to get super tweaky.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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eternalsound's Avatar
If I have to I pull up Focusrite Red 2, or Pro-Q for more detailed purposes.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B Elgin View Post
Magpha works well here too - can be slightly soft sounding though (sometimes great sometimes not).
Definitely. Still impressing how much sound is in those "clean, transparent digital Eqs which all have a textbook like perfect processing under the hood" still.

Quote:
Crave EQ in transparent mode allow you to have varying phase response depending on the frequency - for example minimum phase in the deep lows or for tight bandwidths, with broad linear phase bells or shelving in the high. This is one of the best configurations for digital EQ I've used in mastering - I highly recommend experimenting with this for yourself.
Did not know this yet, how comes...?
Did a short test, and maybe need more time with it, but to me it sounds a bit too blurry in the lows and shows a bit too much "lp-behaviour" in the upper freq which lacks transients and perception of 3D compared to my go-to´s.
BTW the Toneboster FIX works similar technical wise as I remember correct (and is a good low budget solution for dynamic EQ as well and as most of the TB stuff).

Quote:
If you choose something else I suggest adding a dedicated dynamic EQ such as Sonnox Oxford Dynamic EQ or TDR Nova GE. Dynamic eq can be an excellent tool in mastering and I wouldn't want to work without it.
The Sonnox is the one Dyn EQ I ended up with after a longer odyssey. But still I often prefer the Weiss DS-1 resultwise (even its not a EQ of course) when compared head to head. But the Sonnox can be a low end weapon sometimes with a very musical dynamic motion behaviour without the subtle graininess of many other digital tools.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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teebaum's Avatar
voxengo gliss (for cleaning, often dynamic)
fabfilter q3 (tilt)
equilibrium (balance)
vertigosound vse-2 (as mojo as itb possible)

most eq-ing i make with outboard
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Strobian's Avatar
I still like Izotope Ozone. It is more than an EQ, but I find it always useful.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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biksonije's Avatar
 

Of yours mentioned I'd go for:
FabFilter Pro Q3 and/or Equilibrium.

From the ones not mentioned, and from what I am hearing both here and elsewhere, Magpha (both their EQs) sounds amazing according to user's reviews and their hands-on experiences. Haven't tried Magpha thou. Sadly, somehow it always passes me. I have to try it for sure. I am hearing wonderful things about it's sound. And I dig the GUI soooo much.

Made for listening, rather than eyeballing!

Krešo
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Fab Filter for sure. Can do everything really and the UI is stellar. Set it in linear phase and bob's your uncle. Mostly used pre analog chain for surgical fixes.

One not on your list is the UAD Massive Passive. I find the HPF and the top and bottom shelves really quite nice. I use one pre-analog for the HPF and then one post-analog for the shelves if necessary.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermetech Mastering View Post
1) TDR Slick EQ M
2) EQuilibrium

TDR is fast to use, sounds great and is on nearly every project. EQuilibrium if I need to get super tweaky.
The same here.

I often compare what Slick EQ M can do against analogue EQ in the same range, it wins regularly - that's 50 euros against 4000, so something of a bargain.

Also, I've found that SEQM can get surprisingly scalpel-like using the Steep 2 Q setting to clean up resonant low frequencies.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Did not know this yet, how comes...?
Did a short test, and maybe need more time with it, but to me it sounds a bit too blurry in the lows and shows a bit too much "lp-behaviour" in the upper freq which lacks transients and perception of 3D compared to my go-to´s.
BTW the Toneboster FIX works similar technical wise as I remember correct (and is a good low budget solution for dynamic EQ as well and as most of the TB stuff).
To be clear I meant I really like this configuration (of analog style phase in lows, LP in high) in general. I've used it to good effect in Equilibrium with free phase and big latency before, but just only last week discovered Crave EQ and haven't tested carefully yet. The Crave developer seems like a nice guy and has been rapidly adding new features on request. I'll be watching this one for sure. The crossover and windowing or latency parameters could possibly be tweaked to give you something you like more.

Never tried FIX, looks interesting...
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

i feel like voxengo gliss is somewhat underrated around here. it's my go-to clean up plug in for before hitting the analog chain. i often use it without dynamic mode on, it's a great straight forward EQ. i find it sounds very transparent at 8x OS (in a 44.1k environment). i can do 1-2 dB cuts very transparently with this plug (which for my tastes is a pretty big cut in the context of mastering).

tdr slick m i use almost exclusively for its HPF which i think is the best one i've heard in software. the tilt eq can be useful, i usually pit it against Hofa dynamic tilt and they both have a sound (hofa soft, tdr hard). in general the EQ bands on slick sound "hard" to me, almost like an api 5500, but different. i usually turn to my hardware for that kind of sound.

i don't really like the workflow of equilibrium. at high settings it eats so much CPU that it affects DAW performance and makes real time a/b's kind of jumpy. i need to mess around and find a setting i like that's less CPU intensive.
Old 2 days ago
  #18
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Definitely. Still impressing how much sound is in those "clean, transparent digital Eqs which all have a textbook like perfect processing under the hood" still.
In the case of that one (the Magpha) it was modelled on the phase response of a custom analogue unit, but yes made for listening rather than visual bias/bling. So while sounding clean, it's also "musical".

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollmottle View Post
One not on your list is the UAD Massive Passive. I find the HPF and the top and bottom shelves really quite nice. I use one pre-analog for the HPF and then one post-analog for the shelves if necessary.
To me, the filters (at least in the standard unit) are far too resonant to be useful in mastering. Too obvious. Also it wasn't modelled on the real unit running in unbalanced mode (bypassing its output transformers), which is how many of us use it: cleaner, more "open" sounding. (There are several threads on that). Something that might be worthy for a MkII version.
Old 2 days ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
In the case of that one (the Magpha) it was modelled on the phase response of a custom analogue unit, but yes made for listening rather than visual bias/bling. So while sounding clean, it's also "musical".


To me, the filters (at least in the standard unit) are far too resonant to be useful in mastering. Too obvious. Also it wasn't modelled on the real unit running in unbalanced mode (bypassing its output transformers), which is how many of us use it: cleaner, more "open" sounding. (There are several threads on that). Something that might be worthy for a MkII version.
There’s a mastering version of the plugin FWIW. For what I’ve been doing the filters at 18 and 23hz just work to clean up stuff prior to hitting my analog chain. YMMV.
Old 1 day ago
  #20
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Equilibrium for sure. It has the most variation in tone, and all of the variations are good! IIR sounds good, FIR analog/minimum sounds good. Linear sounds good if thats your thing. I like the tone much more than Magpha, Fab Filter, crave, etc.
Old 1 day ago
  #21
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Recently using Charter Oak.Ao,Analog in.the Box Massive Passive and Tdr Nova if that cant fix it nothing will
Old 1 day ago
  #22
Equilibrium for clean surgical. I've got hardware for broadstrokes and color.
Old 1 day ago
  #23
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I’m sort of getting to the point where the only digital move is a bit of hi pass, and maybe a critical cut, using FF ProQ before hitting DAC feeding analog chain. During the time when I was doing more digital eq, I liked Equilibrium for boosts. Slick EQ also sounds great for boosts. Now boosts come in the analog domain.
Old 9 hours ago
  #24
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Verified Member
what's a 'plugin'?! - if a 'plugin' is something you can plug a cable in, i could mention a few...



p.s. oh, i remember! so it's the algorithmix orange eq - and another one was called alma mater. or was it oxford?
Old 8 hours ago
  #25
adl
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Wonder why nobody mentioned bx_digital_v3. It's such a great tool which does a lot while sounding super natural and doesn't alter the sound. Was just rediscovering it some weeks ago, after using other tools for some month but came back to it and really am impressed how good (clean) it sounds.

I also use bax EQ for some sweeting of lows and highs.
Old 6 hours ago
  #26
Gear Addict
That would be Acustica's Azure.
Old 5 hours ago
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
voxengo gliss (for cleaning, often dynamic)
fabfilter q3 (tilt)
equilibrium (balance)
vertigosound vse-2 (as mojo as itb possible)

most eq-ing i make with outboard
Interesting. Can I ask some on this?
The Voxengo Gliss I'm looking at now and wonder, how do you use this? It seems unusual.

Why tilt with Fabfilter Q3 and not Equilibrium for example? They offer different tilt?

Or is it personal workflow? Always trying to learn more.
Old 3 hours ago
  #28
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teebaum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by melopie View Post
Interesting. Can I ask some on this?
The Voxengo Gliss I'm looking at now and wonder, how do you use this? It seems unusual.

Why tilt with Fabfilter Q3 and not Equilibrium for example? They offer different tilt?

Or is it personal workflow? Always trying to learn more.
the gliss is extremely well configurable, has many possible bands with many filtertypes, which can also work dynamically, the gui is free scalable, has a good analyzer - it belongs to the department "all digital eq's sound the same, if the programmer was not an idiot".
the flat tilt of the q 3 is - flat. the one of the equilibrium and the q 2 not, the slick and the goodhertz tilt also have a pretty flat tilt, but i think the q 3-tilt sounds better.
i'm not particularly interested in "mojo"-digital eq's, i have analog possibilities, but the vse-2 can do 2, 3 things pretty well...
Old 2 hours ago
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post
the gliss is extremely well configurable, has many possible bands with many filtertypes, which can also work dynamically, the gui is free scalable, has a good analyzer - it belongs to the department "all digital eq's sound the same, if the programmer was not an idiot".
the flat tilt of the q 3 is - flat. the one of the equilibrium and the q 2 not, the slick and the goodhertz tilt also have a pretty flat tilt, but i think the q 3-tilt sounds better.
i'm not particularly interested in "mojo"-digital eq's, i have analog possibilities, but the vse-2 can do 2, 3 things pretty well...
Thank friend
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