Qrange is an impressive 12-band EQ that is free of cost by Ikjb. It is a linear-phase equalizer, meaning it should be used for surgical precision (i.e slightly altering the amplitude of unwanted tones) rather than large, general frequency cuts, although this plugin functions as a traditional EQ should you need it. For a plugin that is free or otherwise, QRange offers an impressive amount of features.
Qrange is a free alternative to well-known plugins such as Fab Filter’s Pro-Q and Waves’ Linear phase EQ. The plugin is based around a central graphic interface that displays frequency levels of an input audio signal in real-time. QRange bands can each be adjusted individually by filter shape, steepness, and stereo pan position. Each band and frequency is set entirely by the user, and the corresponding frequencies are displayed below their respective band. The plugin itself has gone through multiple patches based on user requests, and it seems Ikjb is committed to making a product that is useful for all of its users.
Specs and Features
This plugin has 12 different bands on a spectrum separated into 9 different frequency groups based on common mixing shaping points. Bands can each be put into a peak, shelf, and cut filter depending on preference. There are filter slope/steepness options of 12, 24, and 48 DB octave levels. Notably, there’s no 6 DB filter, so you may need to use a different EQ plugin for more gentle shaping. The user interface can be resized to fit your windows, and you can adjust panning per band within the plugin.
There’s a global gain within the VST for altering final levels. Moreover, there’s a “gain match” feature added in the most recent patch that allows you to match levels according to master channel or other audio levels within your DAW. You can also adjust the plugin latency within QRange so it isn’t so heavy on the CPU. QRange Pre and Post analyzer allows the user to see the effect of your EQ before and after using the plugin without having to exit the interface. Minimums and Maximums for the analyzer can also be set simply by dragging the toggle left or right.
This plugin is complex enough for experienced producers, yet it is accessible to the mass majority. In this aspect alone, the plugin is impressive — especially by offering 12 different adjustable bands. I love how the window is resizable; although this feature may seem insignificant, it can cut significant time while mixing. The pre and post analyzer tool makes it a powerful learning aid and makes it easy for producers to see the effects of their adjustments. Although the UI is not the most aesthetically pleasing and may take some time getting used to, QRange certainly gets the job done which is what matters the most.
Users loved QRange’s level of flexibility and parallels to paid plugins. The ability to adjust latency, especially toggling on/off linear phasing, was found to be extremely useful. Moreover, users appreciated the simplicity of QRange and the ability to extract needed data from a quick glance at the plugin. Although there were a couple of concerns, it seems Ikjb is quick to respond to any known issues and integrate solutions in their regularly updated patches.
It’s surprising that QRange is free since it offers so much flexibility. 12 bands are hard to find in free plugins, and in most cases, QRange can hold its ground amongst paid competitors. The pre and post analyzer paired with a live graph of the audio signal makes this a great tool for visual learners. Although QRange may be used for more specific changes to audio since the user must input all frequencies directly, it is still simple enough to get cater to the desired frequency quickly. Being able to pan by band makes this EQ potentially advanced enough to use on a master channel or during the later stages of mixing.
Where to Get It
You can download QRange by Ikjb here. It is available in VST, VST3, and AU formats. QRange is compatible with Windows 7 or higher or macOS 10.7 or higher for Mac users.