PSP Audioware Neon 2
PSP have updated their Neon linear-phase EQ to version 2, and it's a free upgrade for existing Neon owners.
Though highly regarded for its versatility (eight flexible bands) and stunning sound, version 1 could be pretty CPU-heavy, with varying latency depending on the chosen mode.
V2 addresses this somewhat as it now includes three separate plug-ins: HR, Std and Mix. The first two are linear-phase processors (HR being compatible with the original Neon HR), while Mix delivers minimum phase EQ with 31 samples of latency. All three still include oversampling, M/S processing and an EQ graph with zoom.
On to the new features proper, then, and these include a third-of-an-octave real-time spectrum analyser, frequency and overtone hunting, response plot auto-zooming and EQ band soloing.
In use, Neon remains very user-friendly, and new additions such as frequency hunting (Ctrlclick in the frequency display) feel like a natural extension. This option is one of the best such features we've used, as it not only isolates the selected frequency but also enables you to boost or cut the preview level to taste. Combine this with the overtone option and Neon quickly snaps to further related frequencies (ie, harmonics).
In a similar vein, you can also solo single or even multiple bands by clicking their number selectors. In use, Neon HR can still be very CPU hungry, but using fewer bands reduces the CPU hit, and in the full HR version, options (FAT, LIN, and MAX resolution) can be de-selected until the plug-in basically matches the Mix version.
Sonically, this is an excellent EQ, and we particularly like the FAT oversampling mode. Much like DMG Audio's EQuality, the operational emphasis is on flexibility and useability, and we feel Neon has an abundance of both.
Flexible and great sounding EQ. Three plug-in version addresses CPU hit issues. Frequency hunting feature is excellent.
Can still be CPU intensive at times. Could use more view options for the spectrum analyser. Relatively expensive for new customers.
We would have liked to have seen more view options for the spectrum analyser, and the price to new customers is a consideration. But overall, the ref¬it of this EQ makes it much improved and more suited to both mastering and mixing duties.
Linear-phase EQ plug-in
PC, Mac (VST/AU/RTAS)