The equaliser is possibly the most important tool in the audio professional’s arsenal.
By boosting or attenuating specific frequencies in a signal, you can solve a broad range of problems at every step of the music-making process, from initial sound correction issues at the recording stage, right through to broad sweetening when mastering at the very end.
And at the creative end of the spectrum, EQ can also assist with tone-shaping for sound design, either alone or with other processes.
A good parametric EQ plugin is a must, then; here are six of the very best options.
1. Your DAW's stock EQ
Every DAW comes with a high-quality parametric equaliser, and this may be all you need for basic frequency-shaping tasks. In many cases, third-party options just add more features.
Probably the most popular parametric EQ plugin (now with dynamic EQ features), FabFilter’s go-to mixing tool serves the perfect combination of features, ease of use and GUI design.
Dave Gamble’s insanely powerful plugin is an EQ for audio nerds. Almost every section can be customised to fit your needs, making it a true workhorse option.
Arguably the best free tone-shaper, this offers four bands of EQ, auto-gain compensation, four saturation models and even mid-side operation.
5. Eiosis AirEQ
With nine bands, a smooth phase response and a unique elemental approach to equalisation, Fabrice Gabriel’s slinky EQ brings something different to the signal-shaping table.
A key part of iZotope’s Neutron channel strip package, this power-packed EQ does everything from surgical shaping to analogue-style enhancement.