At a glance, the newly released HoRNet SW34EQ MK2 is just another analogue EQ living on a computer screen. Boring! But just you wait, this unassuming EQ actually has quite the story behind it. It’s modelled after the channel EQ of a vintage American console used in the main studio of Siena, Italy’s Virus Studio.
It’s an original 80s console with lots of op-amps in the signal path, supposedly resulting in gobs of hiss and saturation… both tame-able and de-activateable, of course. Also, the saturation of each band is modelled individually, in addition to the EQ curves.
HoRNeT describes this EQ as “smooth and gentle”, citing its ability to provide low-end weight without excessive pumping. The developer encourages its use for general tone shaping, which means broad frequency strokes or simply running your music through it.
In terms of options, the SW34EQ delivers four bands of EQ, high and low shelf filters, 2 parametric filters with 3 Q settings, high and low-pass filters (with 18dB/12dB slopes, respectively), and adjustable hiss and saturation. So it’s a rather compelling package we’re talking about here.
Since this is an MK2 release, it comes with certain improvements over the original. You can now tweak the frequency of the high pass filter, the input and output saturation can be linked for automatic compensation, and the saturation level itself can be increased up to four times. Also, the user interface has been revamped – still resembling the original hardware, but now smoother and easier on the eyes.
Price and availability
Like all HoRNeT plug-ins, SW34EQ MK2 is priced very modestly – just EUR 20. For the price you get a plug-in compatible with 32- and 64-bit Mac and Windows machines in VST2.4, VST3, AU, and AAX formats. What can we say, HoRNeT is on top of their game!