The best hardware equalizer ever!

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Record-Producer.com.

Monday September 2, 2019
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So you don't want to use a plug-in EQ. You want good old-fashioned hardware muscle to handle the frequency balancing labor. So where to go?

The image above shows the Klark Teknik DN360 hardware graphic equalizer. It's a classic and one of the best. I know because I've used this model on several occasions. It's a pleasure to set up, to operate, and to hear the results it can achieve.

So is it the best hardware equalizer? Or maybe any of the other similar products from other manufacturers? Or as an alternative to a graphic equalizer, would a parametric EQ possibly be better, such as the Neve 8803 - $2000 dollars' worth of the hardest of hardware?

Neve 8803 equalizer

But there's another way to own and use a hardware equalizer...

Mac Mini

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Fabfilter Pro Q3

What?

What you're seeing here is not your regular computer or your regular DAW. This is an extra computer, an extra audio interface, and an EQ plug-in. Oh, you'll need host software for the plug-in, but you'll probably find something free.

The extra computer pictured here is a Mac Mini, which could be quite old and cheap - a ten year old secondhand model will work perfectly well. The audio interface shown is a modern Focusrite Scarlett, which is good both in audio performance and low cost. The plug-in shown is the FabFilter Pro-Q 3, which I'm going to say has massively more capability than any real hardware equalizer out there.

So you can use this setup in addition to the equipment and software you have already and it is, in effect, a separate hardware EQ.

Need I say more? An old computer, an inexpensive interface, a free DAW and powerful software... Surely this must be the best hardware equalizer ever!

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