Volko Audio has announced the release of Q3D, a freeware emulation of the NTI Nightpro EQ3D rack mount equalizer available in VST, VST3, AU and AAX plugin formats.
NTI Nightpro EQ3D is a 6-band equalizer that is best known for its boost-only “air” band which was designed for adding sheen and sparkle to vocals. The EQ also features extremely wide Q on all bands, resulting in pleasing, musical sounding boosts. Volko Audio’s free Q3D plugin emulates these features while aiming for optimized performance with a very low CPU hit. It is also completely free to download and use (activation required), unlike its hardware counterpart which costs anywhere between $1,500 and $1,800 in used condition.
Q3D copies the values and curves of each band found on the original NTI Nightpro EQ3D equalizer. The first five bands are set to 10 Hz, 40 Hz, 160 Hz, 650 Hz, and 2.5 kHz, whereas the “air” band comes with five preset cutoff frequencies (2.5 kHz, 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 20 kHz, and 40 kHz).
Same as with the Synsonic BD-808 and BD-909 bass drum synthesizers which were featured in our news section earlier today, I’m not able to test Q3D in my studio at the moment, so I can’t share my opinion on its quality. The comments I’ve seen so far are positive, although some users have initially reported stability issues in certain hosts. The plugin was updated to v1.01 since then, fixing the reported compatibility issues. In terms of functionality and sound quality, users have compared Q3D to Maag Audio EQ, a commercial product (priced at $299) by Plugin Alliance. Q3D was also compared to the freeware (and excellent, from my own experience) Luftikus equalizer by lkjb.
The installer is available for direct free download from the product page linked below, but you’ll need to complete the free checkout procedure in order to receive your personal serial number. The serial number is required for activating the plugin after installation. Before activation, Q3D will work as a 30-day trial version of the plugin.
Q3D is available for free download via Volko Audio (6.04 MB download size, EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plug-in formats for Windows & Mac OS).