New Music Gear Monday: Massenburg Design Works MDWEQ6 Parametric EQ Plugin

Massenburg Design Works MDWEQ6 plugin image

Most EQ plugins available today tend to be based on one vintage hardware EQ or another, and as a result, introduce some color into the sound. What if you want the opposite though? If you want the cleanest most precise EQ plugin available, then look no further than the MDWEQ6, the latest from the man who created the original parametric EQ – George Massenburg and his Massenburg Design Works.

George set the audio world upside down with his 1972 AES paper coining the phrase “parametric equalizer,” and his company GML has been known for its pristine audio hardware ever since. In fact, his Model 8200 has been the standard outboard EQ in studios around the world for decades. Massenburg Design Works has been carrying on that excellence in audio quality in the digital domain, and the latest version of the MDWEQ6 now takes it to the next level.

The MDWEQ6 is a 5 band parametric EQ that uses George’s unique filter design instead of a convolution process now commonly used in new plugins. This is an upgraded version of the company’s previous EQ5 with a new cleaner interface, a new band of 18 or 24dB/ octave high and low pass filters, new high Q high and low shelves, and a new spectrum analyzer display. And yes, the new generation plug-in emulates the constant shape (i.e. reciprocal) filter curves of the legendary GML 8200 equalizer.

You might be saying to yourself about now, “Wait a minute, lots of other EQ plugins have the same features.” True, but can they boast frequencies from 10Hz to 41kHz? How about a Q (bandwidth) range that goes from 0.1 (that’s more than 6 octaves wide) to 25.6 (a super narrow 1/18th of an octave)? Some other EQs might get close, but they crack under the strain of these extremes while the EQ6 just sails on cleanly thanks to its 64 bit floating point resolution.

The EQ6 does take some processor horsepower, but it’s also possible to run it in a 3 band mode to make more instances of the plugin available. It’s also available in AAX, VST and AU formats so it works with just about any popular DAW.

Color is nice and all, but you need at least one EQ in your arsenal that’s both highly transparent and surgical, and it’s hard to top the MDWEQ6 in both categories. It’s available in two versions – the AAX+ version that works with Pro Tools AAX DSP and Native, VST and AU plugin forms – which costs $329, and Native+ version for $199 which includes AAX Native, VST and AU formats. If you were a previous EQ5 owner, upgrades are available to both versions from $15 for customers with MDWEQ5 and MDWEQ6-AAX.

You can find out more here, or watch the short video below.

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