Review: UAD Cambridge EQ
A very versatile EQ with lots of options
A GREAT filter section with 17 different types!
Multiple different modes which give you a ton of sonic options
No frequency analysis
Pricy at full price (luckily its on sale quite often)
In my opinion using the Cambridge as an actual EQ, at first I thought it was nothing special. In fact, I’ll sooner reach for my DAW’s EQ before Cambridge. This is mainly because though the Cambridge has a very nice GUI with a great looking Response Curve display which can be zoomed into and out of via the dedicated zoom buttons on the GUI (very nice), but it does not have any sort of frequency analysis, which I find very helpful with these type of EQs. When I do use it, I will run an frequency analyzer after it, but this does slow me down as I now have to open to plugins instead of one.
But what I do find great about the Cambridge are its filters. It gives you a TON of different filter types to choose from, as well as three different “type modes.” I almost thing of the Cambridge as a filter plugin with additional EQ bands. 🙂 To my ears, the Cambridge has a pristine, yet somewhat warm character. I’ve heard it described as a “surgical” EQ, but I would think this is due to its ability to get really precise EQ curves more so then it sounding “cold” or “sterile.” You can get some amazingly narrow notch filters out of it. I personally never boost with this EQ (use different more “colorful” EQ’s for that), but it can do the job if needed.
I also find the different parametric types to be very interesting when applying EQ. For example, in Type I mode it acts like most digital EQs where the Q remains constant regardless of the gain. However in Type II the Q increases as the gain is boosted, but remains constant as the gain is attenuated. In type III the Q increased as gain is both boosted and attenuated. I personally find myself working in Type II, which is great for doing surgical cuts while having nice round boosts. This helps the EQ act more “analog” which often employed these techniques, and is a very nice addition to an EQ that gives you so much control. In a similar fashion the shelfs also have a Type button, which seeks to emulate different response curves from classic high-end analog mixing consoles. Its yet another tool to help you find the exact sound you’re looking for.
Another interesting and unique feature of the Cambridge is its A/B controls directly in the plugin, which can be helpful in comparing different EQ’s quickly in finding the best one. Tip: if you shift click on the A/B button it will copy the active EQ curves to the other one, great if you like your starting point and want to continue off it quickly.
Overall I find this a very capable EQ, though I must admit with digital EQ’s getting better and better, its becoming harder and harder to justify it at full cost ($149). However, that being said, this is one of the plugins that will often see a HUGE price cuts during Universal Audio sales, and I’ve seen it as low as $69 bucks. Of course try before you buy, but at that price point, for what you get, its really a great deal!