Review: Sonnox EQ
Positives:* Very Flexible * Different "Types" of EQs available * Very transparent * great for mastering * Doesn't add color * very sharp slopes for the filters. * Great GML emulation
The transparent EQ of your dreams
I’m a big fan of Analog saturation in the box. I like to add saturation here and there to get a more pleasant sound and to give things more character. Although, sometimes you need a processor that does the job without imparting any color. For example, when you add an eq for mastering, you don’t want to change the overall feel and frequency response with added harmonics. This EQ addresses just that. The sonnox EQ is a very transparent, very flexible EQ plugin. One of the most flexible I’ve come across. Sonnox consists of the team of engineers that created the digital on-board dynamics on the original Oxford OXF-R3 console. When Sony shut down production of the console, they branched out and used the same algorithm to create plugins for engineers. What resulted is the same flexibility and sound that you would find on the Oxford console itself, with their Oxford EQ and Dynamics plugins. Over the years, they’ve created other amazing processors (Inflator and Supressor, people!!!!) in their lines, but it all began with what every engineer who used the console (myself included) always asked about, “How do I get that EQ?” The Eq is very simple to use and very straight forward and can be used in a multitude of different ways. Once you open the plugin, you default to the 1st type of EQ (there are 4 total) curve, which is similar to an SSL 4000 EQ. It sounds very good and is an overall general purpose EQ that you can use for anything. Starting from the top left, you are given a low cut filter with a variable slope, that ranges from 6 db/octave to a whopping 36 db/octave. this is a great feature.
The other 5 bands are fully parametric, which can be put “in” or taken out of the EQ. The first and last bands give you the option of changing from “bell” to “shelf.” Going to “Type 2” , I would use this EQ curve for removing undesirable frequencies. It remains the same with type 1 when you boost, but when you cut, the filter is symmetrical, meaning it sharpens the Q the more you cut. This is meant for subtractive EQ and works extremely well. Type 3 has a more even curve, and can be quite pleasing to the ear, the curves being very similar to an early Neve EQ. Type 4 has the widest Q and is intended for Broader strokes. The Q also changes with boosting/cutting but is certainly useful for mastering purposes. Either Type you choose, you can not go wrong with this plugin. There is a 5th type of EQ, which was previously only available for HD/TDM users, that is my favorite. That being the “GML” EQ. This eq was an only TDM feature, but with AAX versions, will now ship natively. This adds their GML emulation, created with the help of George Massenburg himself, and it sounds the smoothest. This was my go to EQ for when I had the pleasure of working on the OXF-R3 console. It also brings the last band up to 26k, which works wonders as a shelf eq, adding sparkle and “air” to vocals that other Eqs don’t do as well. Flexible and transparent, could you ask for any more?