August 17, 2020

New Music Gear Monday: Empirical Labs Big FrEQ Equalizer Plugin

Empirical Labs Big FrEQ Equalizer Plugin image

Equalizer plugins are a dime a dozen. Every DAW comes with at least one, and every plugin developer offers one. Why then does the world need another EQ plugin, you might ask? When the developer is Empirical Labs, you know that it’s going to be different, and Big FrEQ certainly is.

Big FrEQ is an EQ on steroids with a number of unique twists. It has 12 sections of processing, with 6 parametric EQ sections providing 4 tone-shaping parameters that allow for a wide variety of EQ shapes. As with most EQs, it has the usual Gain, Frequency, and Width (Q) parameters, but adds Slope where the top flattens out allowing you to grab more frequencies equally. The Gain can also be expanded to ±30 dB with the Range button.

There’s also a Focus Frequency toggle for fine tuning frequency adjustment on each parametric band, and a Solo button on each parametric EQ band for listening to the exact frequencies being shaped. Another unique function is the ability to Copy and Paste the settings of each band to quickly move and duplicate bands. 

But it doesn’t stop there. There are High Pass and Low Pass filters with adjustable Q and selectable filter orders from 6 all the way to 96dB/Octave, as well as High and Low Shelves so that you can keep the parametric bands for just precision EQ work.

Probably the most unique thing about the Big FrEQ though, is the Finisher output section that adds analog tape-like saturation with up to 8x oversampling that gives the plugin the ability to operate at up to 768kHz.

The user interface is beautifully crafted and easy on the eyes. It’s user selectable in both a large and small size as well. There’s also a modern spectral display that shows cumulative EQ shape as well as colored individual bands to make EQing that much easier.

What’s more, the stereo version is unlinkable for Dual Mono operation, and you can bypass any section to and free up processing power.

Although Big FrEQ isn’t officially released yet, you can access a free trial version and even a pre-release version for must $99 (it will be $149 upon official release). It’s available for all plugin platforms on both Mac and PC. Find out more details here.

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