Eli Krantzberg - EQ 73 from IK Multimedia
Logic’s Channel EQ is so versatile and flexible, I usually reach for it to handle most routine EQ’ing tasks. But when it’s not about corrective EQing, and I am looking for a unique vibe and feel from an EQ to really help make a track pop, my goto plug-in is IK Multimedia’s EQ-73. I’ve been using it for years, and to my ears, it is the easiest Neve EQ emulation plug-in to work with. It’s hard to dial in a bad sound with it. It is not a problem-solver type of EQ, but more of a “sweetening” EQ that adds some extra intangible polish to an already good sounding track.
I think part of what makes this EQ so special is the Q/Gain relationship built into its algorithms. The lo shelf and mid bands each have a simple frequency and gain knob. The width of the band is dependant on the amount of gain. That’s where the magic happens.
The high band is even simpler, it’s got a fixed frequency. It sounds to my ears like it is somewhere in the 10KHz range. There is only a single gain knob. But here again, the width is tied to the gain amount behind the scenes.
The Hi-Pass band also features a single control, but this one is frequency. The steepness of the roll-off sounds pretty gentle to me. Probably 6 DB or 12 DB per octave. I love the way this band interacts with the low shelf.
I usually end up cutting with the low shelf and the high pass, often in overlapping ranges for an interesting effect. Then cutting the mid band, usually at the 0.36 or 0.7 notches. And then boosting the high shelf gently.
The Input knob provides some Neve preamp drive emulation. I sometimes use a bit of this, and then compensate with the output knob when necessary.
I know Logic 10.4 introduced the Vintage Console EQ, which is a similar Neve emulation. It also sounds excellent and has the added advantage of variable frequency adjustments as opposed to the fixed frequency values on the EQ-73. I actually like the Drive modeling in Logic’s Vintage Console EQ better. But old habits die hard. I just “know” the EQ-73 so well that I can dial in a sound in seconds. I find the fixed frequency limitation an asset rather than a hindrance that helps me work quickly.
In this short audio example I have one of Logic’s Apple Loops playing back first unprocessed, and then the same loop with some EQ-73 sweetness added in. This is followed by a stock vocal apple loop unprocessed, and then with some EQ-73 applied.
Chris Vandeviver - Plug & Mix Retro EQ
Much like Eli and I'm sure many other Logic users, I rely on Channel EQ quite a bit. I love it specifically for cleaning tracks up. From high-passing to notching out ugly frequencies, it's fantastic for anything that requires precision.
But I've found when I'm at the front-end of a mix, I like to work in broad strokes. When I think of EQ, I imagine a sculptor. A sculptor doesn't start with the fine details of eyes and fingers when they first begin a statue. First they have to unearth the basic human form! And with each subsequent pass, they discover more and more details.
That's what I love about the Plug & Mix Retro EQ. The Retro EQ works strictly in broad strokes. The name of the game is to quickly and generally shape tracks into something palatable.
There are only 3 bands to the Retro EQ – low, mid and high. With its staggered controls and stepped values, you're forced to slow down and listen as you work. And the filter shapes are very limited – all of which are quite broad.
All in all, you're never left to wonder what exactly the Retro EQ is doing when you set it to work.
I also find as I work with the Retro EQ, there's a low-mid glue that occurs that I find very satisfying. It seems like the more you boost a frequency, the more it bucks up against its "analogy" ceiling, almost like a compressor. There's truly a tone this plugin adds to tracks that I can't get enough of, especially on drum tracks.
Candidly, the high end filter of the Retro EQ doesn't have much air or sparkle to it. But it can really lift a track out of obscurity. I'll often use the high shelf at 8k to add presence to guitars (a Chris Lord-Alge technique), or boost 3k to enhance a kick drum's click and aggression (a trick I picked up from Bay Area mix engineer Jack Shirley's TapeOp interview).
Anytime I find myself chasing my tail with EQ, it's usually because I threw myself into the weeds a bit too quickly. The Retro EQ keeps things simple and focused.
Deryck Roche - WAVES TG 12345 EQ
I have to say first off, that just like my peers above in this post, the Logic Pro X Channel EQ has been an amazing friend. And like all good friends it always has your back when in need. That being said there is nothing wrong with some new friends, and the Waves TG 12345 EQ has been just that!.
I've been mixing quite a lot of new music this year and everyone wants to know how I'm getting that old sound. I tell them with plug-ins and they give me that puzzled look and even come over to see that it's not always with outboard gear.
The TG 12345 EQ is simply amazing and gives me that nostalgic sound I'm looking for on Vocals, Bass, Guitar, and OVHD Drum recordings. It does a great .... No!. Amazing job at emulating those beautiful, 2nd and 3rd harmonics you get from a console.
All the original features are in the plugin with some great additional features. The EQ is split into three bands, each with a variable +10 dB boost/cut. If you want more Treble they give you a 5 kHz bell for boost or a 10 kHz shelf for cut. Sometimes you need more Presence eg. (guitars). The Presence will give you a semi-parametric bell with a center frequency that's variable from 500 Hz to 10 kHz. The Bass is a low shelf fixed at 50 Hz.
Lately I've been using it on Bass Guitar to get that Old MOTOWN sound for my clients and they couldn't be happier!. If you get a chance check out the Waves TG 12345. You won't be disappointed.
Andy Cherna - Boz Digital Labs T-Bone
The Tilt EQ’s roots go back to 1970’s hi-fidelity audio as a quick way to compensate for the variance in the sound of different LP’s of the day. Thankfully, today all music is mastered by man and machine to all sound the same, avoiding this terrible inconvenience…. NOT! Well, opening that Pandora’s box is a whole other topic already beaten to death and yet sure to be revisited here soon. It turns out, the Tilt EQ is also a great tool for the recording mixer and there are many options available for the Logic Pro X user looking for new arrows in the quiver.
The Tilt EQ is a simple equalizer whereby a defined centre point of frequency acts as a fulcrum and the overall EQ is then slanted up or down in a constant manner with a single control setting the angle of the tilt. While the options are far more limited that a conventional parametric or graphic equalizer, in practice, this EQ allows a very quick and effective way to manage different elements in a mix. The nature of the circuit also has some phase characteristics that are considered desirable in many instances (pardon the pun). I find this type of EQ especially useful when the application is already complex enough. As examples, when managing a mid side path or an effects feedback loop come to mind. Tilt EQ’s are available in many flavours ranging from freeware on up into the bigger ticket developers and sometimes included in a plug in suite or bundle. The one I reach for first is the Boz Digital Labs T-Bone.
In addition to the striking UI which features the “money” knob front and centre, with a shiny 70’s hi-fi vibe for those that like that kind of thing, the T-Bone packs a few notable bonus features not usually embedded in a Tilt EQ plug-in. T-Bone adds the ability to trim and shape the limits of the frequency spectrum with High and Low Pass filters, each selectable and with a resonance control. In addition to the cornerstone fulcrum frequency from where it all starts, the plug-in features an optional safety net called Boom and Harsh that tames the effect at the extreme low and high frequency limits. T-Bone also allows one to set up mid/ side processing right with the plug-in. There is a handy frequency graph showing the aggregate shape of all these process as selected with a convenient on screen guide as one mouses over the individual controls.
I do love this thing. Be sure to check out the way a simple tool like this can really improve your workflow and make it easier to stay creative while mixing. Try it for side processing on a drum bus to manage the cymbals and air, on a vocal reverb return to place the listener and to manage elements that need to live together in the mid frequencies like organ, synthesizer and heavy guitar.