Tone Projects’ latest plug-in offers a software emulation of the Michelangelo, an all-valve stereo equaliser and harmonics generator designed and hand-built by Chris Henderson of Hendyamps. Officially endorsed by Hendyamps themselves, the recreation promises to deliver the same signature sound as the hardware, but also brings some useful additional features to the table.
The top half of Hendyamps Michelangelo EQ’s GUI closely replicates the front panel of the hardware version, with Low, Mid, High and Air EQ bands joined by an Aggression control which pushes the valve circuitry harder for effect — along with a Calibration dial that defines how much harmonic content is produced without affecting the EQ tone — and a Trim pot allowing the output to be attenuated. Tone Projects say that lower Trim values may slightly roll off higher frequencies, so they have also included an Output slider which offers neutral adjustment of the final output.
As with the hardware unit, there are Low, Mid and High Shift switches that alter both the shape and frequency of the associated bands, and the company have also added the same functionality to the Air band with an additional Air Shift switch. Great care has been taken to make sure the plug-in sounds as close to the hardware as possible, Tone Projects say that they spent over a year was spent perfecting the EQ curves, band interactions and tolerances alone!
As if often the case with software versions of hardware devices, Hendyamps Michelangelo EQ introduces some new features and functions that are not present in the physical unit. Each band is equipped with adjustable frequency controls, it’s own independent variable drive parameter, a mid-side balance control and a slider that allows users to focus the EQ between transients and sustained parts of the signal. There are also dedicated high- and low-pass filters, two additional parametric bands that offer a wider selection of filter shapes, and the ability to configure each band as a dynamic EQ.
Some customisation options are provided, too, with controls provided to govern the amount of compression occurring in the modelled valve circuitry, as well as blending between pentode and triode topology. Channel Spread and Crosstalk parameters are also present, allowing users to adjust the amount of difference in the processing applied to the left and right channels and set the amount of signal bleed between them.
Hendyamps Michelangelo EQ is supported on Windows and macOS (no minimum OS versions specified) and is available in VST3, AU and AAX plug-in formats.
Pricing & Availability
Hendyamps Michelangelo EQ is available now, and is being offered for an introductory price of $169 until 30 November 2023, after which it will cost $249.