Best Mastering Equalizers
Mastering is the final stage any piece of music passes through before being launched through streaming or physical media – the final chance to add competent polish to a recording and make it interesting to the listening public. In practice, effective mastering is all about ability, expertise, and having the proper instruments at hand.
Equalization is, without doubt, one of the primary weapons in the mastering arsenal, where it’s used to add warmth, “air,” and tonal equilibrium. EQ will also be used to correct issues like overly loud frequencies that come out and overwhelm the rest of the mix.
Professional mastering engineers do not often cut or boost any frequency space by more than 1.5 dB. They understand that even a slight change can have a huge impact on the resulting audio. You need to follow the identical principle. Work in increments of half a dB or much less (0.25 dB is ideal) and pay attention rigorously to how your tweaks – which in some cases could be felt more than heard – affect the general sound.
When applying equalization to your master, it helps to know precisely what you’re doing, how what you making use of is affecting the signal, and the way particular equalizers will provide unique and helpful performance.
We just want to let you know that we’ll list these Best Mastering Equalizers reviews in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.
Listed below are our Top 9 Mastering Equalizers for 2023:
1. SPL PQ Black
The SPL PQ Master Equalizer is a completely parametric, dual-channel five-band equalizer. It features stereo and dual-mono operation in addition to five separate bands per channel. These bands could be individually instantiated and individually switched.
An Auto-Bypass mode allows you to sit back inside the sweet spot of your monitoring setup and easily listen to your changes because the system automatically toggles between affected and unaffected signals. It does this at the rate of your alternative. This EQ additionally features 120V Rail Technology, which helps elicits a mastering-quality technical efficiency from the unit when it comes to headroom, dynamic range, and fine-detail reproduction.
The PQ Mastering Equalizer has been designed as an independent dual-channel equalizer and thus can be utilized to process two completely different mono signals at the same time. However, it’s also possible to process a stereo signal with the link button, which lets you manipulate both channels in tandem from the right channel.
In each band, the frequency bandwidth can either be set to a static state, or one which grows/shrinks with the amplitude of the cut/boost. In constant-Q mode, the selected bandwidth stays unaffected by the amplitude setting, making it an appropriate alternative for corrective applications.
2. Chandler Limited EMI TG 12345 Curve Bender
EMI TG12345 Curve Bender is the ultimate TG equalizer issued in celebration of the Abbey Road Studios. The Curve Bender was conceived by Chandler Limited designer Wade Goeke and relies on the classic EMI TG12345 desk used to document The Beatles and Pink Floyd. This latest EMI equalizer continues the custom of EMI EQs that began in 1954 with the RS57, the 1969 TG12345, and the 1974 TG12412.
Wade turned the nine alternatives of the classic model into 51 EQ points plus a multiply swap that will increase the cut/boost up to ±13.5dB (as well as sharpening the Q), filters, and bell/shelf alternatives on the excessive and low bands.
The Chandler Curve Bender is a serious piece of high-end kit for crucial purposes and equally critical professionals. Take a tip from the best and let the Chandler Curve Bender take you to the dark side of the moon.
Tonally, the Chandler Curve Bender can fully re-invigorating your mixes – bringing definition, warmth, and detail out the place you’d never even seen it was missing earlier. That is a testimony to the standard, construction, and sheer attention to elements that Chandler Limited has brought to bear. Ultimately, though, it is concerning the musicality and the Curve Bender has all of that.
3. API Audio 5500 Dual Equalizer
The 550 was designed as a console equalizer, which makes use of an unbalanced input because of the structure of the recording console. Because the ergonomics of a console dictate that the controls take up little space, generally, the number of included functions might be restricted.
An especially helpful function within the 5500 is the varied control. The vary of the amplitude controls might be decreased to 1/2 or 1/4 of their stated scale, providing a way to regulate the tonal stability with the finer resolution in a good gentler manner. That is especially helpful for complicated program materials as contained in stems or submixes and is ideally suited to mastering purposes.
API’s 5500 additionally contains a true hard-wire bypass which wires the output connector directly to the input. Shortly after this is first utilized, or immediately after it’s lost, a special circuit permits “bypass mode” in order that power thumps are never heard.
The 5500 is particularly designed to deal with these limitations; it has a balanced input, a true straight-wire bypass, built-in energy provided with noiseless muting, and a variable control that expands its versatility to mastering functions. The 5500 features API’s industry-exclusive five-year elements guarantee and exhibit the reliability and long life characteristic of all API products.
4. Heritage Audio SYMPH EQ Master Bus Stereo EQ
Baxandall equalizer’s topology, launched to the general public by Peter Baxandall in 1952, was an ingenious way of acquiring excessive and low shelves with increasing and minimizing options without utilizing expensive rotary switches. This affordable circuit was quickly adopted by hi-fi and console producers for its simplicity, where parametric options aren’t needed.
Heritage Audio has successfully changed the Baxandall topology with a practical equal — a way more musical one, carried out as a one rack space, master bus/mastering type unit. Its sound can only be described as tight, sweet, and pure, and its use of parallel equalizing to acquire the specified response curves makes it have exceptional low section deviation and artifacts.
To maintain the sub-low and ultra-high frequency content properly under control, additional high-pass and low-pass filters have been added on dual concentric rotary switches, at 12dB/octave. Five frequency choices plus OFF can be found on each.
Nothing comes near M/S equalizing a mixture. It permits the person to process the middle and the sides independently. The advantages of such processing are onerous to imagine. You’ll be able to brighten your mix without making your vocals sound harsh, and even tighten the stereo picture’s bass content material without making your bass or kick sound weak!
5. Maag Audio EQ4M Mastering 6-band Parametric Equalizer
EQ4M is Mäag Audio’s flagship mastering equalizer. It’s primarily based on the corporate’s original 6-band NTI EQ3 and like that authentic 2U equalizer, the 1U EQ4M additionally includes Cliff Mäag’s unique and noteworthy Air Band shelving equalizer first launched in 1993 with the NTI EQ3.
The EQ4M has garnered significant reward as “the most musical-sounding equalizer ever made” due to its basic design, part high quality, and excessive voltage power supply. Powered by an internal excessive current +/- 18-volt regulated power supply, the EQ4M has a maximum output level of +28.5 dBu whereas driving 600-ohm load impedances.
Every channel of the EQ4M has six EQ band sections. They’re divided into 4 fixed frequency bell-shaped equalizer sections, a 2.5kHz shelving equalizer part, and the Air Band equalizer with an alternative of two. The 5 frequency bands in the primary part are Sub or 10 Hz, 40 Hz, 160 Hz, 650 Hz, and the 2.5 kHz shelving EQ.
All EQ sections have a boost/cut vary of +15dB and -4.5 dB with middle position detent at 0 dB. The Air Band part has its bypass button and there are separate hardwire bypass switches for every channel.
6. Bettermaker Mastering Equalizer
The Bettermaker Mastering EQ is a powerful analog mastering equalizer combining a stereo Pultec model equalizer with three-band parametric EQ, a high-pass filter, and superior options such as USB connectivity, and complete recall, and a 5-inch multi-touch performance touchscreen.
The Bettermaker Mastering EQ takes its inspiration from the ground-breaking EQ232p including its Pultec model and parametric mixture however adds a parametric band and the addition of shelf choices for the two outer bands. Both shelves present up to 6dB of boost/cut, variable middle frequency width, and Q.
Every one of the parametric bands provides generous overall to cover most purposes with the EQ1 covering the 23Hz to 520Hz area, EQ2 covering the 170Hz to 3.8kHz whereas EQ3 covers the 1kHz to 23kHz band. A brand new solo mode helps you to focus your attention on the mono or side signals when utilized in M/S as well as Left or Right in stereo mode.
The new 5-inch multi-touch backlit display opens up the plugin providing an onscreen live representation of the EQ curve in addition to Peak /RMS ranges and an RTA analyzer. Four encoders with push-button motion are additionally provided for simple access and settings of the parameters.
7. Dangerous Music BAX EQ Mastering and Mix Bus EQ
The Dangerous BAX EQ from Brainworx is likely one of the smoothest sounding EQs available on the market. An exacting model of the mastering-grade Dangerous Music BAX EQ hardware unit, that includes Peter Baxandall’s world-class 1950s tone control that has graced hundreds of millions of hi-fi techniques. Use it so as to add brightness to your mixes without harshness, and craft a fat mud-free low finish.
This EQ is an incredible instrument for monitoring, mixing, and mastering music. Use it to chop unnecessary low end whereas mastering, improve headroom, and improve loudness potential. Tighten up the bottom end of drum kits by gently decreasing the level of the Low-Frequency shelving filter. Cut top-end harshness whereas boosting the High-Frequency shelving filter to infuse tracks with crisp airiness.
Not like a traditional shelving filter, a Baxandall shelving curve has a wide bandwidth that results in a delicate slope, pure sound, and minimal part distortion. In consequence, you’ll be able to apply drastic boosts and cuts to a mixture without introducing unwanted artifacts.
The Dangerous BAX EQ offers you access to a low-cut, low-shelf, high-shelf, and high-cut filter. Every shelving filter reaches deep into the alternative finish of the frequency spectrum, resulting in silky easy processing.
8. Millennia NSEQ-2 Stereo Parametric EQ
The Millennia NSEQ-2 sets itself apart from the different parametric EQs you will have had your hands on. Go forward and get radical with the four bands, you will not have issues with distortion as you go about your sculpting.
Every voice lends a contact of the sound characteristics you’d anticipate and need from that sort of sign path however achieves it by way of Millennia’s smart, minimalist designs to yield maximum sonic integrity and heightened musical actuality. The NSEQ-2 is a pure alternative for mastering functions however best for anybody searching for an authoritative-yet-gentle hand of stereo EQ.
All the pieces in regards to the Millennia NSEQ-2 are designed to facilitate clean, musical EQing, whether or not it is subtle refining or surgical sculpting you want. To realize its clear, clean, seemingly transparent sound, the NSEQ-2 intentionally contains a minimalist design, a departure from most traditional and trendy EQs. Millennia included just one active stage within the audio sign path.
Whether or not in a classic wine or your multi-track mix, taken collectively, these details could make a serious difference in the outcome. Millennia equipment celebrates these nice, subtle factors, bringing you gear that is constructed with uncompromising high quality to ship purity in music.
9. elysia xfilter 4-band Parametric EQ – Mastering Edition
The Elysia xfilter Mastering Edition is a handcrafted, 4-band Class A analog mastering EQ, with each channel linked for stereo operation. The xfilter Mastering Edition delivers a fantastically open sound, with solid punch and direct transient replica, and it’s extremely simple to use.
Optimized for mastering, the four bands present an exact boost/cut vary of ±5dB, with stepped potentiometers for reliable settings recall. Unique options include excessive and low shelving bands that may be switched to high- and lowpass filters with resonance control, and Elysia’s proprietary Passive circuit.
The xfilter Mastering Edition makes use of solely the best computer-selected elements with extremely low tolerances for excellent stereo channel monitoring, providing you with the superior sonics of a Class A mastering equalizer at an unbelievable worth. Utilizing an analog equalizer on a stereo bus could be a tricky proposition, as only a few models offer the potential for linking their two mono channels for true stereo processing.
So that you endlessly fiddle with knobs as you endure the tedious process of matching the settings for both channels as successfully as potential. The issue is exacerbated when the EQ doesn’t have stepped controls for reference. The Elysia xfilter Mastering Edition solves all these issues.
The purpose of mastering is to balance the sonic components of a stereo mix and optimize playback throughout all systems and media codecs. Historically, mastering is completed utilizing tools like equalization, compression, limiting, and stereo enhancement.
Mastering is the final polish that turns a completed mix right into a launch that’s prepared for listeners to expertise on all devices, from tiny iPhone audio systems to massive dance club sound systems. Also, mastering helps keep an album sounding constant and cohesive between tracks. In the end, mastering creates the perfect presentation of your audio for launch.
The mastering process all the time takes place as soon as the mix is complete. This means it only acts on the stereo mixdown and can’t have an effect on a particular person’s instruments. This part focuses on delicate adjustments to optimize the audio, rather than sweeping modifications or creative instructions.
In case you are having any questions in regards to this topic and the models we listed in the article, please let us know in the comment section below!