Welcome back to part 2 in this Comprehensive look at using EQ (Equalizer) plugins for your Electronic Music Production. In this guide I will take you through the most of the knowledge you would need to have to get the most out of this plugin and this time its about the different kind of EQ Plugins.
Types of EQ Plugins
When it comes to EQ plugins, there are several different types available, each with its own unique features and applications. Understanding these types will help you choose the right EQ plugin for your specific needs.
A. Parametric EQ Plugins
Parametric EQ plugins are the most common and versatile type of EQ found in modern digital audio workstations (DAWs). They offer precise control over multiple parameters, including frequency, bandwidth (Q), and gain. With parametric EQ plugins, you can target specific frequencies and adjust them with precision.
One of the key advantages of parametric EQ plugins is their flexibility in sculpting the sound. You can boost or cut frequencies within a narrow or broad range, depending on the desired effect. This makes parametric EQ plugins a go-to choice for tasks like surgical frequency cuts, gentle enhancements, or creative sound shaping.
Popular parametric EQ plugins include FabFilter Pro-Q, Waves SSL G-EQ, Ableton Live’s EQ Eight and HorNet Total EQ, which is a very affordable but also of great quality with nice features.
B. Graphic EQ Plugins
While less common than parametric EQ plugins, graphic EQ plugins have their own unique applications. Unlike parametric EQs that offer precise control over individual parameters, graphic EQs provide a set of fixed frequency bands with adjustable gain sliders. These sliders allow you to boost or cut specific frequency ranges simultaneously.
Graphic EQ plugins are often used for broad tonal shaping or corrective adjustments across multiple frequency bands. They are particularly useful when dealing with mix-wide frequency imbalances or adding general coloration to the overall sound.
Notable graphic EQ plugins include Waves GEQ Graphic Equalizer and FabFilter Pro-Q 3’s Spectrum Grab feature. Also Newfangled Audio EQuivocate is a great option by Eventide Audio.
C. Linear Phase EQ Plugins
Linear phase EQ plugins are designed to maintain accurate phase relationships between different frequencies. Unlike traditional EQs that introduce phase shifts, linear phase EQs preserve the timing and phase coherence of the original signal. This can be especially useful when working on complex mixes or mastering projects.
Linear phase EQ plugins are commonly employed for surgical equalization tasks, such as fixing resonances, balancing specific frequency ranges, or applying subtle corrections without introducing phase-related artifacts.
Examples of linear phase EQ plugins include iZotope Ozone EQ and PSP Audioware Neon HR.
D. Vintage or Analog-Style EQ Plugins
Vintage or analog-style EQ plugins aim to replicate the sound characteristics of classic analog hardware EQs. These plugins often add coloration, warmth, and harmonic richness to your tracks, emulating the sonic signature of vintage gear.
Analog-style EQ plugins are favored by many electronic music producers for adding character and depth to digital productions. They can impart a unique analog vibe, making your tracks sound more organic and vintage-inspired.
Notable analog-style EQ plugins include Waves SSL E-Channel, Universal Audio Neve 1073, and UAD Pultec EQ Collection.
E. Dynamic EQ Plugins
Dynamic EQ plugins combine the features of equalization with dynamic processing. They allow you to apply EQ adjustments based on the level or dynamics of the audio signal. Dynamic EQs are especially useful for controlling problematic frequencies that only occur during specific moments in a track.
With dynamic EQ plugins, you can set thresholds and define frequency-specific compression or expansion to shape the sound dynamically. This makes them effective tools for taming resonances, managing harsh transients, or controlling frequency build-ups without sacrificing the natural dynamics of the mix.
Now that we’ve explored the different types of EQ plugins available, we will take a look into using subtractive EQ and Additive techniques effectively in electronic music production in part 3 of the series.
Next chapter in this EQ guide can be found here, Using Subtractive and Additive EQ Techniques For your electronic music production