QRange is a 12-band linear-phase equalizer developed by lkjb, the same programmer who created the excellent Luftikus analog-style equalizer. That plugin was featured in our Top 20 Freeware VST Plugins Of 2013 article. Unlike its analog-inspired predecessor, QRange is a completely transparent linear-phase EQ which will work great for mastering purposes and processing multi-mic recordings of the same audio source.
The plugin features a well-designed user interface which can be freely resized. The upper half of the UI features the EQ curve display along with a real-time spectrum analyzer. The twelve frequency band controls are positioned right below the spectrum display. Each band can be used as peak, shelf, or a cut filter, with different routing options available per-band (stereo, left, right, mid, or side). The spectrum analyzer can be set to show pre or post EQ analysis of the signal’s frequency spectrum. The plugin also features a bypass switch for easy A/B comparison.
For those unfamiliar with linear-phase equalizers, here’s a quick explanation of what makes them different from standard (or minimum phase) EQs. In short, standard equalizers cause phase shifting in the processed signal whereas linear-phase equalizers don’t. They do introduce a different type of negative artifact, though. Linear-phase equalizers cause pre-ringing, an audible (and often unpleasant sounding) volume boost before the initial transient. More often than not, a minimum-phase equalizer will sound more musical than a linear-phase equalizer. However, linear-phase EQs come in handy when processing multiple recordings of the same source (such as an acoustic drum performance recorded with several microphones) by preventing phasing issues between parallel audio tracks.
QRange is compatible with all VST and VST3 plugin hosts on PC and Mac. The plugin can be downloaded completely free of charge from the KVR Audio product page linked below. Keep in mind that only 64-bit digital audio workstations are supported. You will need to use a plugin wrapper like 32 Lives to use QRange in a 32-bit VST plugin host.
QRange is available for free download via KVR Audio (5.7 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST/VST3 plugin format for Windows & MacOS).