Ignite Amps has released PTEq-X, a freeware VST/AU plugin for PC and Mac based digital audio workstations that emulates the sonic characteristics and functionality of three legendary vintage passive program equalizers.
PTEq-X is basically a 3-in-1 passive equalizer. Three different passive equalizer models (MQ5 Mid Range Equalizer , PEQ1A Program Equalizer and the HL3C Filter) are all available in a single user interface. I was a bit sceptical at first when I noticed this, as I expected that the CPU hit will go through the roof. But in reality, the CPU usage is incredibly low, never exceeding 1% with oversampling turned off and jumping to 2% with 2X oversampling (tested on an i5 CPU in MuLab Free). This is an amazing result for a modern analog style equalizer emulation with four different tube models.
Of course, the most important thing here is the sound and PTEq-X definitely delivers. The old bass push/pull trick works great in the PEQ1A module, the filters are nice and very transparent, the tube models add just the right amount of character and the mid-range equalizer is great for adjusting the mid frequencies of your audio before hitting the main program EQ. The great thing here is that, even though program equalizers were originally crafted for use in the final stages of mixing and mastering, PTEq-X works equally well for tracking, mixing and post-production. It expands on the features of the vintage passive equalizers, while staying true to the original concept of the hardware. Ignite Amps’ passive EQ plugin sounds very nice and with such a low CPU hit it can easily become the go-to tracking equalizer for many users out there. I’m definitely adding it to my main VST plugin folder.
In addition to the main features listed above, PTEq-X comes with a built-in preset manager and bank file import/export functionality (no factory presets included), mono/stereo processing, input/output gain controls and full automation support. If works on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Mac OS based systems and you can download it completely free of charge from the Ignite Amps website. By the way, these guys have released some absolutely amazing freeware guitar amp sims in the past, so make sure to check those out as well. Their custom tube preamp called The Anvil is still our favorite choice for clean guitar tones. They’re also offering an awesome freeware convolution plugin called NadIR.
PTEq-X is available for free download via Ignite Amps (6.16 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).