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SSL Duende X-EQ Plug-In

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SSL Duende X-EQ Plug-In

The X-EQ plug-in runs only within SSL's one rackspace Duende outboard processor. Connected to your computer's Firewire 400 bus, Duende will run up to 32 of it's software-based EQs, compressors or channel strip processors at sample rates up to 96kHz. It uses the same DSP algorithms as SSL's high-end C-Series digital console and operates in any AU, VST or RTAS host DAW system such as Pro Tools, Logic, Digital Performer, Sonar, Cubase or Nuendo.

All ten EQ bands of X-EQ have individual in/out buttons and, by clicking/dragging any band's frequency center point in the graphical display or typing in a frequency, you can set any of them between 20Hz to 20kHz with up to +/- 20dB of boost/cut. Bands one and ten are low/high filters with a choice of five topologies for five different tonal characters. Bands two and nine are shelving EQ's with a purposeful degree of under/overshoot at higher Q settings for the familiar sounds produced by certain coveted vintage equalizers. The other six bands are bell-shaped parametric EQ's with a choice of nine different EQ types such as constant Q and proportionate Q--where the Q increases with more boost or cut. The ten bands are switchable between parallel or serial operation to emulate the circuitry of a graphic or program equalizer.

I installed and ran X-EQ in my Pro Tools HD3 Accel rig with great success using the included VST-to-RTAS Wrapper. Because of its endless malleability into any type of equalizer, X-EQ always sounds perfectly suited to any application. The Analyze feature shows, in real-time, a FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) frequency spectral analysis so you can zero in on problem frequencies and correct them fast. I liked the A/B comparison feature for comparing two completely EQ set-ups--such as two different vocal EQs for verses, when my singer sang soft and mellow and choruses where she sang loud and more stridently.

X-EQ has found a place in my mixing process as my "go to" equalizer. I like that, just like selecting different hardware EQs most appropriate for the task, I could alter the response characteristics to match any of my favorite EQs like an API or an old tube Pultec model. I've since developed my own presets for finished mixes, vocals, guitars and drums. X-EQ sells for $599 and is only available at the SSL Web shop. More:

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