We loved FabFilter's intelligent and versatile EQ plugin when it first hit the virtual shelves five years ago. With its ease-of-use, straightforward philosophy and as many bands as you cared to muster, Pro-Q could be called upon for any equalisation or filtering task. So what more could Pro-Q 2 possibly offer?
For a start, you get additional filter types in version 2: band-pass and Tilt, which see-saws the frequency spectrum around your chosen cutoff, pushing the highs up while the lows go down, or vice vera. All of Pro-Q 2's seven filter types have selectable slope amounts of between 6dB/octave and 96dB/octave.
Autogain compensates for the overall level changes your tweaks have made, bringing the entire output back up or down and retaining the track's relative level in your mix. A Gain Scale parameter provides one-knob control over multiple bands at once, meaning you'll only need one track of automation to program several bands' worth of movement. The plugin can also match the spectrum of another track fed in through the sidechain input.
Going down to the nuts and bolts, Pro-Q 2 contains a Natural Phase mode (in addition to the existing Linear Phase and Zero Latency modes) to make the filters act more like those in an analogue EQ. Gain and Q controls can be linked so that larger boosts or cuts narrow the Q, while shallower ones make it wider.
The display sees a few significant updates, too. The analyser can be frozen to remain at its peak level, allowing a node to be double-clicked into existence - in true Pro-Q style - over any trouble spots. Other tracks can be sidechained into the analyser to be displayed together with the active track and/or to make use of the EQ Match function mentioned above.
Other eyeball pleasers include a Fullscreen mode, a meters on/off control, zoom, and the increasingly popular piano keyboard overlay on the x axis, letting you snap filter cutoff frequencies to musical notes.