This Brainworx EQ is inspired by esoteric mastering hardware.
Despite the Amek branding, Plugin Alliance's new Brainworx Amek EQ200 is actually inspired by owner Dirk Ulrich's love of certain mastering hardware, notably EQs made by Sontec and GML. Before you rush out to compare it with those frighteningly expensive mastering units (or plug‑in emulations of them), I should point out that this doesn't directly emulate either. Rather, the Brainworx team set out to create a hybrid that builds on what Ulrich considers the most desirable control elements and tonal characteristics of those processors. They've taken the opportunity to extend the functionality in software too, with new features and some that were introduced on previous Plugin Alliance software.
The Amek EQ200 is available in the common plug‑in formats for Mac and Windows. Installation on my MacBook Pro (Mac OS 10.14.1) was hassle free, and I tested the AU and VST2 and VST3 versions in Reaper and Cubase.
This is a dual-channel five-band parametric EQ, each band of which is individually bypassable, but it boasts many other features. There are additional 12dB/octave high- and low-pass filters plus a Mono-maker elliptical filter, a Mid‑Sides-based stereo width control, and a THD harmonic distortion control. There's generous overlap between the five parametric bands. The two channels can be linked/unlinked as you prefer, and can be configured to process the Left and Right or Mid and Sides channels. So there's plenty of flexibility here, though you can't select L‑R/M‑S per band, which would be nice.
There's no frequency analyser or visual representation of the changes you make to the frequency response, of the kind we've grown accustomed to seeing on so many digital EQs, but I actually like that. Much as I...