J1000 has released DQ65, a freeware dynamic equalizer effect in 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows based digital audio workstations.
DQ65 is a 5-band dynamic equalizer with a simple yet quite effective workflow. The plugin features two gain controls per band, one for louder one one for quieter parts of the signal. By controlling the value of this two parameters, it is possible to process the signal in ways which wouldn’t be achievable with a standard parametric EQ.
The user interface is nicely designed in classic J1000 fashion. The labels are easy to read and the plugin is very easy to operate. It should turn out to be quite intuitive even for users who haven’t used a dynamic equalizer in the past. Apart from the aforementioned gain controls and the standard frequency and Q factor parameters, DQ65 also features band-pass monitoring for each band (engaged by pressing the MON button in the upper-left part of the GUI and clicking one of the five frequency knobs) and a handy display which shows the amplitude of the input signal in real time. These two features make it extremely easy to precisely pinpoint the parts of the signal that should be processed.
DQ65 works best when used on single tracks, although it is possible to achieve some interesting results on the master bus as well. During my super quick test using a laptop and a pair of in-ear headphones, I found that DQ65 does a good job at adding punch to drums, slightly enhancing the transients and making the entire kit sound more compact and focused. Of course, it can also be used on individual percussion tracks, basslines, or any other type of signal with higher dynamic range.
The plugin is distributed as a simple RAR archive containing the DLL file and a user manual in PDF format. The manual is very informative and it is highly recommended to check it out before firing up DQ65 for the first time, especially if you’re not used to working with dynamic EQs.
DQ65 is available for free download via J1000 (2.6 MB download size, RAR archive, 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows, made with SynthEdit).