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Plugin Alliance's Lindell Audio TE-100 EQ Plug-In

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Plugin Alliance's Lindell Audio TE-100 EQ Plug-In
 Plugin Alliance's Lindell Audio TE-100 EQ Plug-In 
Lindell Audio has done an excellent emulation of the 1961-era Klein & Hummel UE-100 Universal Equalizer®, a super-rare all tube minimum phase equalizer. Lindell Audio's plug-in is called the TE-100 and it sounds as close as possible to the original German-made UE-100 that uses 14 tubes for its six filter sections. Extremely difficult to find in an American studio (I've only ever seen just one pair), a pair of these vintage units sell for $20,000. They are "large and in charge" in the control room, weigh about 60 pounds, and look like a music synthesizer with clunky pushbuttons and large control knobs.

The Lindell Audio TE-100 plug-in recreates the sound and quirky set up of the single-channel UE-100 with eight musical bands of equalization and filtering from the classic Rundfunk broadcasting EQ.

I first tried the TE-100 for the usual equalization duties and noticed right away that it is capable of very subtle mastering EQs, classic mainstays like boosting and cutting at the same frequencies, and very radical tonal shaping. I especially liked the high and low-pass filter sections for "carving" out a specific frequency range for guitar track(s) to slot into large productions.

The separate low and high band filters overlap and each have 12 frequency selector pushbuttons to set a range from 60Hz to 2.4kHz for the Low Band filter and 600Hz to 13kHz for the High Band filter.

I had to get use to setting the Q or bandwidth of the Low Band Filter and High Band Filter mid-range sections. I've never seen this method before but it makes total sense once I understood it. Essentially you define the upper and lower frequency limits of the equalizer with two horizontal rows of frequency selector buttons. Select any single button in the red row and one in the lower black row. Like the original hardware unit, you cannot select adjacent buttons in the same row.

So if you were interested only in a range of 180Hz to 300Hz in the Low Filter, just push the 180Hz red frequency button and then push the 300Hz frequency black button. Then you would select either boost or cut using the buttons just below this section. In this way you can start with a narrow, high Q EQ and then widen it out in calibrated steps of Q.

You may also click on the frequencies in the black lettering in between the two rows of red and black frequency selection buttons. If you click, for example, on the '300', it will set up a band pass filter whose center is 300Hz and ranges from 180 to 850Hz. Clever!

I liked doing subtle EQs for mastering or for stereo buses and the recallable settings are just the ticket for tweaking in small increments. Electric guitar tracks can take huge boosts with the sound of saturated transformers compressing--lovely really. I found dialing an EQ for snare drums interesting--I used the A/B comparison to toggle between two versions of basically the same EQ only using different filter sections.

There is a preset called "Bass Electric Dist" that cranks out level--I could almost feel the transformers "flexing" inside. The "Lin" button is like a bypass button for a section but keeps the output transformer overdrive along with the resultant noise floor. You can just run tracks through the TE-100 for transformer and tube emulation with all EQ sections in Lin mode.

The TE-100 features digital domain level calibration--it becomes important to adjust this when doing huge boosts. The default is -14dBFS and I did try -18dBFS for very quiet sources--but soon returned to -14dBFS--a good default. There are adjustable oversampling rates, Analog Mode on/off, and a resizable GUI. I liked being able to designate default settings right on the plug-in GUI at any time.

The Lindell Audio TE-100 equalizer plug-in sells for $149 and is available through Plugin Alliance in AAX Native, AU, VST2, and VST3 formats for Mac OS 10.6 through 10.11 and Windows 7 through 10.

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