MDWEQ5 Parametric Equalizer Plug-In.
For those who don’t know, George Massenburg is the one who invented the parametric EQ in 1971. There were other EQ’s at the time but they did not have variable frequency & Q control. Once this new EQ came out, George actually had a hard time convincing many that having no clicked freq’s to choose from was a great idea. However once he made records with this EQ, it got people’s attention.
This MDWEQ5 is based off his GML 8200 EQ which is a standard in many studios and mastering studios. This plug in was originally only available for Pro Tools, and now Universal Audio has added it to their UAD plug in family. This is a very clean EQ that does not leave a footprint on tracks. It basically lifts or reduces the freq’s. George has a video on the UA site where he explains that this EQ is like a chief’s knife and provides examples on how to use it. For those who understand how to use EQ, it can help create wonderful mixes. For those who don’t have a good concept of EQ, you can harm a mix more than help it. Many times a track may just need a reduction to certain frequency’s for an instrument to sit better in a mix. Many don’t realize over ½ the time, reducing frequency’s is really the better choice than boosting to correct a track.
The MDWEQ5 has 5 fully parametric bands with multiple filter types that were tuned by ear by George Massenburg . IsoPeak automatically locates inharmonic artifacts for correction. You have the capability of soling each band so you can really hear what’s going on. Using up sampling and maximum bit depth processing helps this EQ to have the clarity it does. UAD also has a 3 band version of the plug in.
In a mix there are many instruments and voices that compete for the same frequency’s. If an acoustic guitar has a frequency that has a rumble, the MDWEQ5 can effectively correct this without changing the overall sound of the instrument. One method of finding the exact frequency to correct is to turn on one of the EQ bands and boost the signal by 4-5 db. Then start moving the variable freq’s knob until you hear the frequency that is a problem become over emphasized. Once its found, reducing the Q so it is more narrow, and start reducing the gain from -2db and lower until you no longer hear the boomy sound. Without having pretty graphical screens to look at, this EQ helps you to listen instead of looking to correct a problem. I like that.
I used this EQ on a mix and compared it to the UAD BAX EQ which I’m a fan of. The BAX EQ has broad Q that can gently boost or reduce frequency’s in a very pleasant way. The BDWEQ5 besides offering more flexibility with filter types, and Q control does not offer a pleasant or colored character that many other EQ plug ins offer. As previously stated, it lifts or reduces certain frequency’s without changing the overall sound. For correcting tracks or mixes, I found the results better than the Waves linear EQ. This EQ is extremely beneficial in many ways. In order to use UAD plug ins you need their UAD 2 cards. Thankfully this EQ does not use a lot of resource on the UAD 2 card. I encourage you to try the 14 day trial on this EQ which you may find to be a very valuable tool in your studio.