Best Analog EQ Plugins

Best Analog EQ Plugins

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The best analog EQ plugins on the market are based on top classic vintage analog hardware that were responsible for sculpting the sounds of the best music for generations. In this article, we’ll show you the best options available on the market.

Quick answer: Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer is a very thorough emulation of one of the most famous consoles in the world. IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81 is a pretty cheap but really good emulation of legendary NEVE EQs.


Table of Contents


About Our Top Choices

Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer

Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer
See price @ Waves Audio

More details… 

Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer is a very thorough emulation of one of the most famous consoles in the world. SSL G-Equalizer provides good value for money and top-shelf audio engineering experience.

Pros
  • Precise
  • Affordable
  • High-quality
Cons
  • None

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81
See price @ Sweetwater

More details… 

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81 is a pretty cheap but really good emulation of legendary NEVE EQs. It has all of its functions and sounds very close to the original unit. Which is no wonder considering the reputation of this particular audio software manufacturer.

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Affordable
  • Thorough emulation
Cons
  • Hard on CPU

Top 7 Best Analog EQ Plugins

  1. Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer
  2. IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81
  3. Universal Audio Pultec Passive EQ Collection
  4. Waves Audio API 550
  5. Slate Digital VMR 2.0 Virtual Mix Rack
  6. Softube Trident A-Range
  7. Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection EQ

Best Analog EQ Plugins Reviews


Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer

Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer

Pros
  • Precise
  • Affordable
  • High-quality
Cons
  • None
See price @ Waves Audio

The Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer is a very thorough emulation of one of the most famous consoles in the world. SSL G-Equalizer provides good value for money and top-shelf audio engineering experience.

Best features and specs

SSL G-Equalizer is a carefully recreated plugin that is based on the classic SSL G Series EQ292. Also, among its features, you get a broader Q, which is perfect for cases that need more in terms of equalization, pre-cut rise, and pre-boost dip.

User impressions

Users like that the SSL G-Equalizer is versatile, and affordable. Some consider it the top choice whenever there is a need for industry-level production. Overall, users sum up that it’s a joy to work with this plugin because it allows finding sweet spots faster and feels more natural compared to other EQs that users have.

What we think

We believe that having Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer is totally a must, considering the high quality and smooth experience you can get from it. It’s also reasonably priced if you take into account that Waves Audio, more often than not, runs very lucrative discounts.

Bottomline

The Waves Audio SSL G-Equalizer is a great choice for someone who is looking for extremely affordable, top-quality, and precise EQ that is versatile enough to be used on both instruments and vocals.


IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Affordable
  • Thorough emulation
Cons
  • Hard on CPU in oversampling mode
See price @ Sweetwater

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81 is a pretty cheap but really good emulation of legendary NEVE EQs. It has all of its functions and sounds very close to the original unit. Which is no wonder considering the reputation of this particular audio software manufacturer.

Best features and specs

T-RackS EQ 81 is extremely versatile and constantly sounds good when used on vocals and instruments. Among features that EQ 81 has, we can point out the top quality oversampling, extremely transparent and precise digital processors, and full-latency compensation support.

User impressions

Users like the IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81 because it’s a very good recreation of a Neve EQ and has only essential controls. As expected, users praise the sound and that it’s intuitive to use. Though users warn that when you get this EQ run in oversampling mode, it will negatively impact your CPU.

What we think

We actually own the IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81 and have been using it for quite some time now. All we can say is that it ends up almost on every mixdown, regardless of the style or instruments used.

Bottomline

IK Multimedia T-RackS EQ 81 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a very detailed and top-quality recreation of the classic Neve EQ that features a very simple interface and incredible versatility.


Universal Audio Pultec Passive EQ Collection

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Intuitive
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Requires dedicated hardware
See price @ uaudio

The Universal Audio Pultec Passive EQ Collection is a great suite of audio plugins designed to run on special UAD software, which results in excellent sound quality and an extremely pleasant GUI.

Best features and specs

The Collection is a set of high-quality EQs that are based on the legendary Pultec hardware. There are 3 EQs, such as MEQ-5 that is known for giving lush midrange textures, EQP-1A that allows you to shape punchy and pronounced low-end, and HLF-3C is capable of precisely cutting or decreasing unwanted frequencies and letting you forge vintage filter effects.

User impressions

Users say that the Universal Audio Pultec Passive EQ Collection is good in pretty much all aspects, all EQs do their job amazingly well and sound incredibly smooth and musical.

What we think

What we like the most about the Collection is that you get to choose between two options of acquiring this plugin, such as with the help of UAD Spark and an affordable year subscription, or if you’re a lucky owner of Apollo or UAD hardware, then you can proceed with purchasing a bit costly version to run.

Bottomline

The Universal Audio Pultec Passive EQ Collection is a great choice for someone who is looking for an amazing collection of classic vintage EQs that gives you lots of ways to control and shape the sound any way you need.


Waves Audio API 550

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Intuitive
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Not as good as the original
See price @ Waves Audio

Waves Audio API 550 is an analog EQ made in collaboration with the manufacturer of the original 1960 unit, which resulted in a very precise and efficient emulation and an overall great audio plugin.

Best features and specs

API 550 is a set of two classic EQs, API 550A and 550 B, that lets you fully control what is happening in the whole frequency range. 550B has 4 EQ bands that overlay on each other and, by doing so, gives you a chance to solve any issues immediately. 550A also has a very valuable Proportional Q feature that can, on its own, widen the filter bandwidth when minimal settings are applied and narrow it when higher settings are implemented.

User impressions

Users like Waves Audio API 550 because it’s a very versatile and excellent plugin that is intuitive to use.

What we think

Although some say that Waves Audio API 550 doesn’t sound as good as the original unit, we all should ask ourselves a very important question. Does it even matter if it sounds really good on its own?

Bottomline

Waves Audio API 550 is a great choice for someone who is looking for an incredibly affordable, powerful, versatile, and intuitive set of classical EQs that allows you to solve any issues that may be present through the frequency range.


Slate Digital VMR 2.0 Virtual Mix Rack

Slate Digital VMR 2.0 Virtual Mix Rack

Pros
  • Thorough emulation
  • Versatile
  • Highly-customizable
Cons
  • iLok Required
See price @ Sweetwater

The Slate Digital VMR 2.0 Virtual Mix Rack is a truly revolutionary idea in audio software development and distribution. And the idea clearly worked since more and more people started to use this set of plugins exclusively.

Best features and specs

Virtual Mix Rack offers you a wide variety of EQs alongside classic compressors of different types and a trimmer. This virtual rack is designed with ease in mind so that you don’t need to make a lot of extra moves in order to use EQs and compressors and undo or redo the last changes.

User impressions

Users agree that Virtual Mix Rack is really simple to use, and it’s effortless to make changes to vocals or instruments. Also, users always remain pleased with the result and say that the mix rack is an absolute top-quality beast.

What we think

The only real downside to the Slate Digital VMR 2.0 Virtual Mix Rack is that it offers so much that you can simply forget that you have other plugins as well in your arsenal.

Bottomline

The Slate Digital VMR 2.0 Virtual Mix Rack is a great choice for someone who is looking for versatile and easily customizable EQs with a nice addition of several compressors that are all based on legendary analog hardware.


Softube Trident A-Range

Softube Trident A-Range

Pros
  • Powerful
  • CPU-efficient
  • Versatile
Cons
  • iLok account is required
See price @ Plugin Boutique

Softube Trident A-Range is a very thorough and meticulous recreation of a very rare and vintage unit with a very unique and distinctive character.

Best features and specs

Trident A-Range is a very thorough recreation of the Trident A-Range console that was born in collaboration with original designer Professor Malcolm Toft and was made in a very limited quantity. This plugin is very CPU-friendly and lets you effortlessly control the saturation of the track.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Trident A-Range because of its low and high pass filters, saying that those filters do exactly what they want without cutting essential frequencies in vocals or instruments.

What we think

Softube Trident A-Range is a rather niche product, but it doesn’t mean that you can not enjoy it in mainstream situations on occasion.

Bottomline

Softube Trident A-Range is a great choice for someone who is looking for a unique, mighty, and incredibly CPU-friendly EQ that can be used in a number of musical genres.


Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection

Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Intuitive
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Limited versatility
See price @ Plugin Boutique

The Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection is a renowned and respected suite of analog plugins made by one of the best audio software manufacturers in the world.

Best features and specs

Thanks to Softube’s newest signal processing technology, the Collection features quite enhanced sound. Knowing how important it’s to see all the details of the plugin while working with it, Softube equipped this plugin with high-res graphics and extra features to make the experience even better than it was.

User impressions

Users like the Equalizer Collection for being top-quality vintage EQ that is versatile and easy to use. Users praise the fact that as it’s a collection, so they have a chance to use all legacy plugins in various genres.

What we think

The Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection has its own very specific and unique sound, which could not be to everyone’s liking. That being said, it’s hard to imagine that one would not like it.

Bottomline

The Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer Collection is a great choice for someone who is looking for an affordable, top-quality EQ that has one of a kind sound that many find to their liking.


Analog EQ Plugins Buying Guide

What is an analog EQ plugin?

An analog EQ plugin is a software that imitates the musical character and circuitry of an analog EQ.

Why would you need an analog EQ plugin?

If you like everything analog but can’t afford to get a real unit, you can acquire a plugin instead. This plugin is capable of adding punch, presence, shine, and warmth to your music.

Important features

When choosing an analog EQ plugin, you should consider the sound that you want to achieve, versatility, and quality of emulation.

Sound

The sound depends on the original unit from which the emulation is made, as EQs from Pultec are known to add transparent warmth, while API made his name on giving EQs that are highly musical and add clarity and punch. SSL EQs are especially good for pop music because they let you easily control the brightness and precision. Neve is well-known due to its rich tone, while Trident is highly unique and musical. And Tube-Tech is known for giving natural and very smooth equalization.

Versatility

Of course, having an EQ that can be applied on instruments and vocals is a nice touch, but sometimes you may be in need of one particular thing, and spending extra isn’t your desired outcome.

Emulation

As you are seeking an analog EQ plugin, it’s only natural that you want to get the close version to the original if possible. Luckily, all manufacturers of the plugins on this list are known for their meticulous approach to the recreation of legendary units.

How to choose the right one for you?

When you are choosing the best analog EQ plugins, you should know which sound you want to achieve and have a slight vision of whether you need an EQ specifically for vocals or the instruments as well. Of course, it’s better to choose the plugin that is 100% emulation of the original unit.