In case you felt like adding just one more equalizer to your sprawling arsenal of glorified per-frequency volume boosters/attenuators – consider the Q3D. This is a newly released and fully free equalizer plug-in by Volko Audio, modelled after a peculiar vintage unit – the NTI Nightpro EQ3D rackmount EQ. There’s no shortage of obscure gear like this to keep strapping developers busy, huh?
So, what makes this one special? Like most vintage equalizers, it sounds sweet and musical, rather than clinical and precise. The emulation has been made with a great deal of attention paid to processing efficiency, its makers say, who boast “proprietary topology” for low latency, low noise, and high dynamic range. The plug-in supports sampling frequencies of up to 384kHz, so it’s ready to handle the most demanding audio.
The EQ itself has six preset bands – covering 40Hz up to 2.5kHz – and offers up to -15/+15db cuts or boosts. There’s also an “air” band to give higher frequencies that all-important sizzle. That one goes from 0dB to 20dB. All bands have very wide Qs – meaning they cover a large bandwidth – so you’re better off using the NTI for “broad strokes” or mastering duties, and leaving surgical EQ to a modern plug-in.
If you fancy this free EQ, head to Volko Audio’s webpage and grab it by the horns. It’s available in VST, VST3, AU and AAX plugin formats for Windows (32 & 64-bit) and Mac.