BRA VEQ-5 Mid-Range EQ Review BRA VEQ-5 Mid-Range EQ Review
4.5
Black Rooster Audio’s VEQ-5 is faithfully modeled after the legendary Pultec MEQ-5 Program Equalizer. Unlike its full range sibling the Pultec EQP-1A,. It's ... BRA VEQ-5 Mid-Range EQ Review 4.5
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Get with the Program

Black Rooster Audio’s VEQ-5 is faithfully modeled after the legendary Pultec MEQ-5 Program Equalizer. Unlike its full range sibling the Pultec EQP-1A, the MEQ-5 was designed to excel in the midrange between 200Hz and 7kHz. This made it an excellent choice for guitars, (acoustic and electric) vocals, upright bass and snare, as well as any other instrument occupying that sonic space.

The original, hardware Pultec Eq’s are famous for their filters, which are always musically rich and define the often overused word “warm”. These Program Eq’s are also known for their ability to boost or cut frequencies quite generously without fear of them becoming overly harsh or ‘hollow’ sounding. This is synonymous with the classic sound of analog that people often refer to.

Practical Application

The VEQ-5 plugin we had on test (to put it mildly) delivers in spades. Having the opportunity to A/B this plug-in with a real hardware MEQ-5 revealed an uncanny tonal resemblance between the two. This was even more apparent when leaving the gain stage set flat. I particularly liked applying this eq to the top mic of a snare drum for extra body and presence. Boosting 2dB at 2 kHz brought out the stick presence in the snare in exactly the same fashion – making it almost impossible to tell the difference the plug-in and the hardware. Boosting 3dB at 200Hz brought out the body of the sound and was equally difficult to figure out which was which. The main tell between the two is that the plug-in seemed to focus more on the low-mid character whilst the hardware adds an almost sub-frequency temperament. To say the least, even with that subtle difference in tone, they were close to one another that the difference could’ve easily been due to the type of tubes used in this unit vs which exact hardware unit the plug-in was modeled from.

“Boosting 2dB at 2 kHz brought out the stick presence in the snare in exactly the same fashion – making it almost impossible to tell the difference the plug-in and the hardware.”

CONCLUSION

The VEQ-5 is the very definition of a steal. I have a few other (well known) plug-in emulations of this exact circuit and the VEQ-5 is by far the most sonically accurate. After using this plug-in, my hope is that Black Rooster Audio comes out with an EQP-1A in the very near future.

Price and Availability

To check out the VEQ-5, make your way to Black Rooster Audio here and download a 14-day trial. Price is USD $39/€46

Compatibility

Compatible on Mac:

Mac OSX 10.7 (Lion) or newer

VST, AU or AAX compatible host

(Display resolution of 1280×1024 pixels or more)

Compatible on Windows:

Windows 7 or newer

VST or AAX compatible host

(Display resolution of 1280×1024 pixels or more)

If you don’t have an extra 2-3K lying around to buy a top shelf ME5-EQ processor, but want the sonic characteristics this Program EQ offers, then the VEQ-5 is simply a stellar option for you.

  • Spot on emulation of the legendary program equalizer circuit.
  • 500 and 600 ohm emulation, is a nice, tonal option
  • Very affordable plug-in
  • GUI is a little cheap looking
  • Please give us an EQP-1A as well

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Win Black Rooster Audio's VEQ-5!

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Joel Gragg

Joel is a songwriter, guitarist and producer in Nashville, TN. His music interests range from Folk/Americana to Electronic and Electroacoustic Composition. Formerly an Audio Consultant for Sweetwater Sound and Technical Support agent for Yamaha/Steinberg he currently teaches Music Technology at Trevecca Nazarene University and is a freelance engineer and producer.  Joel has engineered sessions with members of John Mellencamp’s band and The Fray. You can follow his music on Soundcloud or Facebook.