We all take parametric equalizers for granted these days but the fact of the matter was that it was a rather radical departure in EQ design when George Massenburg first proposed it in his AES paper in 1972. Since then the parametric has become a standard tool in most recording studios (certainly in plugins). Besides being a highly respected recording engineer, George’s GML and Massenburg Design Works have also been at the forefront of creating professional tools for engineers. George’s latest digital version of his venerable parametric EQ is the MDWEQ6 plugin.
The Massenburg DesignWorks MDWEQ6 has five independent filter bands that emulate the constant shape reciprocal filter curves of George’s industry standard GML 8200 hardware equalizer connected in series. EQ Bands 2 through 4 can be individually set to one of nine filter types (or bypassed). Filter Bands 1 and 5 can be individually set to one of thirteen filter types (or bypassed).
The MDWEQ6 also has a unique IsoPeak® function that provides a sharp temporary peak when a band is soloed in Peak/Dip mode. This easily lets you sweep through the frequencies to find trouble spots that you can then attenuate.
While those features were available in the previous version, the plugin has been updated in a number of significant ways. First there’s a more modern and clean user interface, with a new active spectrum display that provides instant feedback when adjusting EQ parameters. The display also now has EQ control points where you can adjust the parameters by grabbing the nodes and moving them.
Some new high-Q high and low shelves have also been added, and Band 1 also now adds 18dB/octave and 24dB/octave high and low pass filters. And you can select frequencies from 10Hz all the way to 41kHz with variable Q.
The MDWEQ6 is able to process audio in 64-bit floating point resolution and is streamlined enough that you can add quite a few before sucking up all the processor power available. That said, you can also run the plugin in a 3 band mode to further improve its efficiency.
The Massenburg Design Works MDWEQ6 comes in the 3 versions. The Pro Tools AAX version is available as a perpetual license and includes both DSP and Native versions for only $299. Upgrades from the previous version are available for $99. This is also a version available for Universal Audio users (same price), and a GML option also available for Sonnox Oxford EQ users.
Find out more detail on the MDW site or in the video below.