Waves GEQ Graphic Equalizer The GEQ ($89 till the end of September, $200 list) is a 31-band mono and stereo graphic EQ that comes in two flavors— Modern and Classic. Modern offers what Waves calls Flat-Top filters; Classic features traditionally-styled bell curve filters, narrowing the filter width as gain increases. The Flat-Top filters reduce bell curve artifacts. In use, I can actually see (and hear) them flatten out as I push the consecutive bands.
The GEQ features 30 bands of EQ, but there is a floating parametric EQ filter as well, making 31 bands in total. It has high and low pass filters, individual Gain controls for each channel and a few other well-thought out goodies.
I like the Flat button, which lets me quickly flatten the faders with a single click. There’s a useful Draw/ Drag button, where you can either drag each fader up or down one at a time, or drop them as a line with the swipe of your mouse (or your finger using a touch screen). There’s a Q button to widen or narrow the master Q and a Gain Scale button to control the maximum range of the faders with choices of 6, 12 and 18 dB. You can also use the Link button to link the L and R channels when using a stereo component. The Analyzer section features I/O metering, separate real-time RTA curves for the L and R channels, and a blue line for the active EQ curve. Also, in live usage, you can calibrate the GEQ using the RTA 1, RTA 2, Calibration and Difference buttons on the toolbar.
Since I’m a big “frequency cutter” when mixing, I found the GEQ useful because I view the real-time RTA curves to get feedback on the current channel’s frequencies. I can then quickly pull down the chosen faders to clean up the problem areas. It also helps me understand where the frequencies on a certain instrument are primarily focused, just by observing the analyzer. However, I don’t use it just for cutting; I sometimes call up a very narrow Q (4.00) to boost things like hi-hats in fixed drum loops.
Another useful tool is the Gain Scale button, allowing me to cut a little or a lot. By leaving it on 6 dB, I just pull down a bit. But when switching over to 18 dB, I can get quite drastic. Combine that with the Drag mode, and I can swipe irrelevant low end out of something like a vocal part quite quickly.
With the GEQ, it’s all about ease of use, flexibility and effectiveness.