As most of us find ourselves repeatedly working ‘inside-the-box’ with plugins alone to sculpt our mixes, where can you turn for some real analogue magic? There’s endless options for classic gear, each with a well-known sound, but what about a hardware unit that is more versatile? I like the look of this updated version of A-Designs Hammer EQ, combining an interesting electronic design with useful new features for the modern engineer.
The original HM2EQ has a reputation for sounding great, even when passing audio through it without any settings, due to its tube/solid state hybrid design. They’ve kept these tried and tested electronics but updated some of the features to suit modern applications.
Updates include more selectable frequencies and high- and low-pass filters. The filters and EQ curves can now be switched in and out, providing easier AB comparisons. The big one for me however is the new stepped controls. This is important if you want to remember the settings and create the same sound another day accurately. This is so important when we’re all switching between different projects everyday.
As this is only a 3-band EQ with subtle filters, I believe it is primarily aimed at mastering or mix bus processing. The bandwidth of each selected frequency depends on the other bands, which apparently provides “seamless transition throughout the entire spectrum”. This is a great concept for an analogue mastering EQ. Combine this with its tube-harmonic filtering circuit and I expect it sounds great.
If you’re looking to buy some tasty analogue outboard gear, but can only afford a single unit, then I think this looks like a very intelligent buy which will work alongside most modern workflows. I look forward to hearing one soon. Priced at 2,495 USD and available now, the Hammer 2 is sure to be a serious piece of kit.
More Information: http://www.adesignsaudio.com/new-hammer.htm