Shattered Glass Audio has released Code Red Free, a freeware console EQ emulation plugin based on a classic British tube console (Abbey Road REDD Console) from the 1960s.
This freeware effect comes from the same developers who have released the fantastic SGA1566 plugin, quite possibly the best freeware tube preamp emulation out there (also included in our Top VST plugins of 2014 article). The new Code Red Free console EQ will work really well in tandem with SGA1566, especially considering the fact that Code Red Free uses far less CPU juice than Shattered Glass Audio’s tube preamp emulation (around 2-3% CPU hit on our test machine).
Feature-wise, Code Red Free is almost as minimal as an EQ can be. It features three fixed EQ bands for each stereo channel, a per-channel bass boost switch, tone mode selector (classic and pop), as well as input/output gain controls. It also comes with a built-in preset manager and a handy dry/wet knob which turns the plugin into a really useful parallel processing tool. I’m guessing that a commercial version of the same plugin will be released soon (similar to what Shattered Glass Audio did with SGA1566 and SGA1566 MkII), introducing more features.
Despite its limited feature set, Code Red Free is one brilliant coloring device. It won’t turn a bad mix into something good (nor is it intended as a substitute for a surgical 8-band parametric equalizer), but it can definitely turn a fine mix into a brilliant one. I’ve found that a combination of bass boost and subtle treble enhancement works really good on the 2-bus, however the plugin can also be used as a tone shaping device on individual channels. Of course, Code Red Free is more than just a 3-band equalizer. It emulates a vintage tube console and brings all the goodness you’d expect to get from an analog console channel strip. The plugin can be used as a subtle tube saturation effect, as well as a soft clipper.
If you master your demo tracks at home and need a nice analog style EQ, Code Red Free is definitely worth a look. The plugin is offered as a free download on the developer’s website, no strings attached (and by that I mean no need to sign up for a user account or an email newsletter). If you’d like to support Shattered Glass Audio, you can submit a donation on the product page linked below.
Check out the Code Red Free demo video:
Code Red Free is available for free download via Shattered Glass Audio (4.44 MB download size, EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST2/VST3/AU plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).