17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins In 2020 For Mixing And Mastering

17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins For Mixing And Mastering | Integraudio.com

EQ plugins are one of the most used plugins in music production. The reason for that is because EQing is the most invasive action that you can apply to your audio signal, whether you need to boost or cut the frequencies or just add some warmth to your audio.

For this reason, we picked 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins, so you can choose your most favorite one and use it for mixing as well as for mastering.

You may face several scenarios while mixing and mastering which may include the use of an equalizer, having a transparent display to analyze what you are adding or subtracting with the EQ, multiple EQ bands, and proper CPU usage is what to look for in an EQ.

But with that said every piece of software and hardware alike creates and outputs a slightly different sound meaning they all have unique timbres and uses. Alongside that, there are some rather expensive plugins we may see online, which aren’t out of our reaches but we don’t know what we need until we need it right? Well, this is why its best to try some free EQ’s first to see what it is you like within an EQ and what it maybe you are looking for.

We become ever so comfortable with our stock plugins, they do the simple tasks for us (sometimes), they don’t run our computer into the ground, and they for sure are pretty basic. Well, this is the issue most people come to, they want a better EQ, or they want a change of visuals.

EQ History – ‘The first EQ was first used by John Volkman working at RCA in the 1920s” 

Related Topics:

17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins In 2020 For Mixing And Mastering

  1. DDMF Colour EQ | info & download
  2. SPL Free Ranger | info & download
  3. Analog Obsession STEQ v2 | info & download
  4. TDR Nova Parallel Dynamic Equalizer | info & download
  5. Cockos ReaEQ | info & download
  6. Blue Cat’s Triple EQ | info & download
  7. Analog Obsession Merica | info & download
  8. TinyQ lkjb | info & download
  9. Sonimus SonEQ | info & download 
  10. Ignite Amps PTEq-X | info & download
  11. Leftover Lasagne Pushtec 5+1A EQ | info & download
  12. lkjb QRange | info & download
  13. TDR Slick EQ | info & download
  14. Manda Audio 7Q | info & download
  15. Mellowmuse EQ1A | info & download 
  16. Voxengo Marvel GEQ | info & download
  17. Kuassa BASIQ | info & download

1. DDMF Colour EQ Review

More Info & Download

DDMF Colour EQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • 64-bit processing
  • Low-CPU Usage
  • Customizable GUI
  • Great warm sound
  • 5 Bands
  • Resizable Window

Features & When To Use: 

Colour EQ is a 64-bit EQ plugin that offers 5 ”super parametric” bands to manipulate the frequency range. This is exceedingly handy when wanting to use more than one band in one instance; the intuitive gain knobs on the five bands allow for perfect mixing of these bands when mixing and mastering.

Using the two different types of curves, Colour EQ offers a warm sound that you just wouldn’t get from your stock EQ.

Having a bright visual display helps you to craft and mould your bands to preference.

A great way to use this plugin is when you are not getting enough warmth in your low, mid/mids, Colour EQ will add a great sense of warmth throughout the selected bands. Another cool way to use this plugin is to use two different setups with two different curve types; you can use modified versions of the EQ for selected times in your mixdowns to add the feeling of a change in energy in a breakdown or drop.

Colour EQ is a great tool to have in your arsenal for mixing and mastering, plus you may find many uses in your day-to-day production.

Compatibility: 

Windows VST (32/64 bit), Windows/Mac RTAS, and Mac VST/AU format (Intel, OSX 10.5 and higher)

2. SPL Free Ranger Review

More Info & Download

SPL Free Ranger Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Four useful bands
  • Volume knob
  • Great sound
  • Four buttons to switch between EQ settings

Features & When To Use: 

With a sleek, minimalistic design Free Ranger is a powerful EQ.

With a mid-band (150Hz – 7kHz), fixed high (10kHz), low shelf (80Hz) SPL have kept things very simple so anyone can EQ with ease.

Free Ranger gives the feel of the world-renowned API 560 EQ but offers this all for free!

Free Ranger is a bodybuilder for your sounds while mixing and a gentle touch when mastering, this plugin makes EQing fun, quick and easy.

You may find yourself using the four different EQ settings and incorporate them into your mixdowns. Using them to create different feels and vibes can give your masters that final touch you’ve been looking for.

This is a must-have!

Compatibility:

macOS 10.9 through 10.15, Windows 7-10

3. Analog Obsession STEQ v2 Review

More Info  & Download

Analog Obsession STEQ v2 Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • mid-band (150Hz – 7kHz)
  • fixed high (10kHz)
  • low shelf (80Hz)
  • Optical compressor knob
  • Added preamp

Features & When To Use: 

Simplicity is key with EQ work in the mix or master, and this plugin keeps that in mind through and through.

With a very easy to use GUI STEQ 2 has a powerful but simple way of delivering a small form factor EQ to your DAW.

This EQ gives off old school retro vibe, precise, clean, and adds a lot of detail to the mid-range.

STEQ 2 is excellent for tonal rebalancing due to the broadness of the three bands creating a pure blend between the frequency ranges.

Using this to add punch to claps and snares is also a good use. But be careful when adding to full bus groups.

This EQ from Analog Obsession is an excellent tool to keep at your disposal when thinking about doing some tasks during your mix, or why not change up those stock plugins for free.

Compatibility 

WiN, OSX AU VST, VST3

4. TDR Nova Parallel Dynamic Equalizer Review

More Info & Download

TDR Nova Parallel Dynamic Equalizer Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

Great for:

  • Parametric equalization
  • Dynamic equalization
  • Frequency selective compression
  • Multi-band compression
  • Wideband compression

Features & When To Use: 

Nova is a parallel dynamic EQ; each band has a dedicated, dynamic section giving the user full flexibility.

Giving the option to drag and move bands in the visual GUI individually or group, this provides a natural form factor way to get results.

Using the multiband compression built into Nova your be able to manipulate your EQ even further, this will be displayed in the visual GUI with real-time feedback of the compression process. (subtly decrease the threshold to hear the difference)

In mix and mastering, you can use Nova to visually see where you may have audio issues to fix and makes it very easy to apply these changes with the drag and change feature.

The dynamic EQ is a handy tool to have in practice when mixing down full compositions – use it to bring down or up frequencies only when they reach a specific volume.

Nova is a heavyweight EQ with a lot under the hood all for free!

Compatibility:

Win XP SP2 or above, Mac OS X 10.7 or above.

5. Cockos ReaEQ Review

More Info & Download

Cockos ReaEQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Low CPU & RAM
  • Fast and highly configurable
  • Portable – copy & run
  • Resizeable GUI

Features & When To Use: 

ReaEQ may look basic, but under the hood, there is a lot to offer.

Being able to have as many bands as you wish is a massive bonus, you also have the ability to change all of these bands to one of the following (shelves, bands, LPF, HPF, notch, bandpass, allpass).

With a stripped-back GUI, it keeps you focused on the task at hand, not over complicating things but giving you the power of an audio god at your fingertips.

With a tremendous real-time visual display, this gives you the eyes and ear focus that you need when EQ in the mix.

Phasing is a big issue when mixing, ReaEQ gives you a ‘Show Phase’ button which will show you in your display what frequencies are being affected by the band.

When mastering you may wish to keep all bands in one EQ patch, with ReaEQ you can do this.

Stripped back and powerful ReaEQ is a favorite among many producers across a wide range of genres.

 

Compatibility:

WIN 32, WIN 64

6. Blue Cat’s Triple EQ Review

More Info & Download

Blue Cat’s Triple EQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Semi-parametric EQ
  • +/- 40dB Range per band
  • MIDI control and automation support
  • Real-time display
  • All sample rates supported

Features & When To Use: 

The Triple EQ is a three-band semi-parametric equaliser.

With a simple and easy to read visual display of the frequencies in real-time, you will have a clear display of the EQ in front of your eyes.

Alongside the huge +/- 40 dB range, Triple EQ has a bandwidth of  .01 to 5 Octaves!

An exciting feature with Triple EQ is that you can link two bands together using the ‘Link Channels’ feature. This will allow you to use them in unison; combine this with the automaton support to create quick and easy modulation. This is a great way to change an EQ while in the mix with complex automation.

Using the linking feature to create movement and progression within your mixdowns makes Triple EQ a threat.

Fully customisable shapes make this a different tool when deep in the mix or master, you will find many uses for the dynamic bands you can create—having dynamic bands that you are able to manipulate helps when visually your EQ and how it may affect the whole frequency range.

Check this one out for a small form factor powerful EQ!

Compatibility:

Windows 7 to 10, Mac OS 10.7 or newer.

7. Analog Obsession Merica Review

More Info & Download

Analog Obsession Merica Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Low & High Band – Shelf
  • Mid Band – Proportional Q Peak
  • HP & LP Filter – Constant
  • Low CPU usage

Features & When To Use: 

We have another FREE plugin from Analog Obsession!

This time is bringing you Merica an emulation of the API 550A console equaliser.

A simple three-band EQ delivers a lot of power to your mixes and masters. Selectively choose which frequency your band boosts or cuts with the option to the right of the knobs.

All bands kept simple and easy to get to grips with.

Meica also has a nifty and very much needed output knob, there will be no issues with clipping in the digital domain when mastering with this plugin.

A larger than appearing sound Merica is an excellent EQ plugin to use when in the mixdowns and masters.

Given that the EQ it emulates is an industry-standard plugin this small form, powerful, easy to use, and was coded by one man! Merica is a must grab for all audio creatives looking to upgrade their stock EQ plugins.

 

Compatibility:

VST Win, VST3 Win, VST Mac, VST3 Mac, AU Mac

8. TinyQ lkjb Review

More Info & Download

TinyQ lkjb Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Four bands (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Small form factor (ability to make larger if wanted)
  • High & Low cuts range is 6 and 48 dB/octave
  • Included frequency analyser

Features & When To Use:

TinyQ is a small form factor EQ.

Giving the user a stripped-back interface TinyQ offers a solution to a simple job.

Having too many settings can become overwhelming; TinyQ does what it says on the tin and doesn’t make your job any harder.

Keeping things simple when mixing down whole groups is essential – finding yourself using CPU heavy EQ, or a stock plugin just might not cut it for you. TinyEQ is excellent for doing those necessary but straightforward EQ tasks!

With the recent addition of built-in frequency analyzer, it makes EQ even easier when getting stuck into your mixes or masters.

Create awesome sounding band curves.

Great emphasis on keeping things simple goes a long way with TinyQ; the team has made a great EQ that does everything it needs to in one small package. With four bands plus high pass/low pass filters, you won’t be looking any further for your day to day EQ needs.

Compatibility:

Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.7 or later (both 64 bit)

9. Sonimus SonEQ Review

More Info & Download

Sonimus SonEQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.comSpecifications:

  • Three-band Equalizer, Low, Mid, High.
  • 2 Musical Filters, High-Pass Low-Pass.
  • Preamp stage with a bass booster.
  • 64-bit floating-point precision.
  • Up to 192kHz sample rates supported.

Features & When To Use: 

SonEQ has 3 bands, low (20 Hz – 100 Hz), mid (150 Hz – 4 kHz), high (6 kHz – 15 kHz). Combined with a high pass and low pass filter, plus a ‘Mid-high Q’ this means when it’s on your band its narrow and when deactivated will cause it to be wider. This indicated by the red light.

Giving the user a lot of ways to EQ but keeping things user-friendly is what SonEQ does best.

Having the volume meter is very hand when mixing with any EQ, it gives the visual display of when things are getting a bit heated for your output.

SonEQ also gives you the full control of your input and output levels. This comes in handy when you are mixing your tracks with heavy effects, causing the overall levels to become louder than 0.0dB; this is where adjusting both the input and output parameters will solve the issue.

With this plugin being free for all to use we don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t be ready to deploy at the click of a finger, whether it’s beefing up the mix with the built-in bass boost preamp staging or adding a touch of colour to the highs this plugin has you covered.

Compatibility:

Mac OSX 10.6 or newer – Windows XP or newer

10. Ignite Amps PTEq-X Review

More Info & Download

Ignite Amps PTEq-X Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Three equalisation modules
  • Stereo/Mono switching
  • Four different tube types
  • Global input/output level control

Features & When To Use: 

PTEq-X is a digital emulation of three famous vintage EQ.

Equipped with three EQ modules comprised of mid-range (2kHZ – 7 kHz), low-frequency (20Hz – 150Hz), high-frequency (3kHz – 16kHz).

Using the mid-range module, you can use the low, mid parameter (top left) to effect the lower mid frequencies. Alternatively use the high mid setting (top right) to cause-effect to these frequencies.

Moving down the EQ, we have our second module, which is PEQ1A EQ (Low & High). This comes with a bunch of parameters to mould your EQ patches perfectly to your source.

Finally, this is all topped off with the HL3C module; this is a low-cut accompanied by a high-cut.

You can also use the ‘Oversampling’ feature to reduce aliasing.

Use the “Tube” switch to apply or deactivate the tube amp.

Using the input and output levels will give you the ability to control any nasty peaks brought in or out of the EQ.

PTEq-X is a combination of some of the best analogue EQ’s to exist, plus its FREE!! We recommend this one for a great addition to your EQ arsenal.

Compatibility:

Windows 7 – 10 32 and 64 bit. OS X 10.7 64 bit

11. Leftover Lasagne Pushtec 5+1A EQ Review

More Info & Download

Leftover Lasagne Pushtec 5+1A EQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.comSpecifications:

  • 6 Band mid-range EQ
  • Presets built-in
  • Algorithms based on famous analogue gear
  • Designed for mixing and mastering

Features & When To Use: 

Pushtec 5+1A is a versatile mid-range program EQ that has mixing and mastering at its heart.

This plugin offers six bands, all offering a fantastic sounding boost through all parameters.

A vast selection of plugins makes it easy for users to start with something super effective and tweak to their liking.

“B/W” stands for bandwidth, this allows you to tweak the selected band and adjust to your preference.

A friendly and straightforward GUI keeps this EQ a smaller form factor but with a lot of power. Being designed for mixing and mastering be assured that this plugin delivers best when applied to a whole group or a master channel.

Giving instant sparkle to a mix or a very much needed bass boost this FREE plugin has you covered!

 

Compatibility:

Win 7 or higher only

12. lkjb QRange Review

More Info & Download

lkjb QRange Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • 12 bands
  • peak, shelf and cut filter
  • Cut filters (12, 24 and 48 dB/oct steepness)
  • Stereo/Left/Right/Mid/Side routing for each band
  • A global gain for loudness adjustments
  • Resizable GUI

Features & When To Use: 

QRange is a very straight forward, user friendly, and effective EQ for mixing and mastering.

Giving the user an intuitive click and drag feature makes EQ work easy and more controllable.

With a choice of twelve bands, there is excellent room for doing additive plus subtractive EQ all in one plugin patch. Each band has. Selection of up to five different types (peak, low-shelf, high-shelf, low cut, and high cut).

Built into the frequency spectrum, you have the power to change it to pre or post. ‘Pre’ will let you see what the frequency range looks likes before the EQ is applied, whereas ‘Post’ will allow you to see it after the EQ has taken effect.

Offering the ability to users to save and load their own presets makes it easy to bring back some of your favourite patches while working on a mix or master.

It has to be said lkjb QRange is a must-have FREE EQ plugin.

Compatibility:

Win 7 or higher, macOS 10.7 or higher

13. TDR Slick EQ Review

More Info & Download

TDR Slick EQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Semiparametric EQ layout
  • Three bands combined with 18dB/Oct high-pass filter
  • Four EQ models: “American”, “British”, “German” and “Soviet” with optional non-linearity
  • Five output stages: “Linear”, “Silky”, “Mellow”, “Deep” and “Toasted”
  • Saturation algorithms by VoS (“Stateful saturation”)

Features & When To Use: 

TDR’s Slick EQ provides a recognizable analogue sound.

Using three bands that bring together four different EQ models.

Both low and high bands are coupled with a cut and bell feature allowing for comfortable band changing.

Auto gain estimates the gain change caused by the current EQ settings; this makes it great to compare your EQ setting during the mix. There is also an ‘EQ Sat’ button; this will activate the saturator which is very intelligently paired to your EQ bands. This will add harmonics when boosting and remain passive when cutting.

Being able to save your favourite EQ settings for a later mix or master can be done within the plugin. Coupled with a undo/redo button you never miss that sweet spot for your bands, alternatively set up two different EQs with the A/B switch.

Slick EQ gives a very stripped back interface meaning you don’t get caught up with the visuals when doing equalising, providing a focus on what your hearing. This EQ shouldn’t be overlooked, with great coding, algorithms, settings, and excellent sounding types SlickEQ delivers more than you would expect from a FREE plugin.

Compatibility:

Win 32 bit VST2, VST3, Win 64bit VST2, VST3, AAX
Mac VST2, VST3, AU, AAX 64 bit

14. Manda Audio 7Q Review

More Info & Download

Manda Audio 7Q Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Seven band EQ
  • Highpass/lowpass
  • Stereo/mono options
  • Left/right options
  • Output level

Features & When To Use: 

Manda Audio brings us 7Q.

7Q is an emulation of the beloved ‘Classic EQ’ which became discontinued, the team came together and brought the community back a redesigned version.

7Q takes off all the fancy parts and gives you the bare basics; this is what gives this a place on our list. With 7Q giving you the ability to apply your EQ to the left or right or both channels, you can independently EQ both sides of the stereo field.

Each band can be additive or subtractive. Keeping easy to use format is what this plugin does best; it doesn’t over-complicate the task at hand but assists your needs along the way wether mix or master.

Low memory and CPU usage make it easy to have multiple instances in your projects without having your computer meltdown.

7Q is a nifty EQ that is awesome for giving your sounds a little crisp boost before running into your other plugins within the chain.

Compatibility:

Win VST 32/64 bit,  AAX 32/64 bit
Mac VST, AU, AAX

15. Mellowmuse EQ1A Review

More Info & Download

Mellowmuse EQ1A Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • HP: 10hz – 1khz / sweepable Q
  • Low Shelf: 30hz – 500hz
  • Low Mid: 70hz – 2khz / sweepable Q
  • High Mid: 500hz – 6k / sweepable Q
  • High Shelf: 1.5k – 18k
  • Phase switch
  • Output level
  • 64-bit internal processing
  • Formats: 64bit VST, VST3, AU and AAX
  • Version: 3.2
  • Legacy 32bit installers

Features & When To Use: 

EQ1A is a FREE analog-style EQ with a clever algorithm giving you minimal phase coloration.

This plugin has initially been paid to use the plugin, but the developers have decided to give it to us all for FREE!

EQ1A allows you to use broad bands to shape your sounds or outputs in a clean, crisp and phase-corrected way.

Being able to save you presets within the plugin makes it very easy to pull back that EQ you made on the last mix. 4-band parametric equalizer with an additional HP filter with variable resonance gives a wide range of settings to play with while keeping everything simple and user friendly.

EQ1A does what it says on the tin for FREE!

Using this within mixing or mastering may help you when wanting to add a hefty highpass or when looking to give some warmth to your mid ranges.

It has to be said with a great look, and low CPU usage EQ1A is an excellent addition to your plugins.

 

Compatibility:

Win, Mac

16. Voxengo Marvel GEQ Review

More Info & Download

Voxengo Marvel GEQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • 16-band graphic equalizing
  • +/- 12 dB gain range per band
  • Channel grouping
  • Preset manager
  • Contextual hint messages
  • Freehand drawing mode
  • Stereo and multi-channel processing
  • Mid/side processing
  • Undo/redo history
  • All sample rates support
  • Linear-phase equalizing
  • Internal channel routing
  • 64-bit floating-point processing

Features & When To Use: 

Voxengo is notorious for doing some excellent free plugins.

This addition is the Marvel GEQ, which is a fifteen band linear phase EQ.

There is a routing tab that allows you to affect the signals mid/sides independently. (orange slides)

Also giving full independence to the mid/side output level, becoming very useful when mixing and mastering.

Bypass feature makes it simple to hear what your EQ is doing to your sound source. Alternatively, decide between two EQ setups with the A/B mode.

For quick EQ drawing, you can hold ‘Ctrl or Cmd’ and click across the EQ drawing in your fader settings with the click of a mouse.

Having a stripped back form factor with enough controls to complement your mixing tasks this plugin has to be our list today.

Compatibility:

VST Win,  VST3 Win, VST Mac, VST3 Mac, AU Mac

17. Kuassa BASIQ Review

More Info & Download

Kuassa BASIQ Review - 17 Best Free EQ VST Plugins | Integraudio.com

Specifications:

  • Three-band EQ
  • High, mid, low
  • Presets tab
  • Output level
  • Very simple to use

Features & When To Use: 

BASIQ is a three-band EQ.

It keeps in mind that EQ work for mixing and mastering doesn’t have to be a headache or over complicated.

BASIQ is a design similar to the classic ‘Baxandall Equalizer’ which is knowns for its natural-sounding shelves and HiFi quality responses.

Adding a smooth, gradual shimmer or warmth instead of a surgical sharpness is what BASIQ does best. Use on groups or a master chain to subtly but significantly add character with the turn of a knob.

With some added presets you be able to get a quick change in tone with the click of a button.

The small form factor makes this BASIQ a powerful tool to be used within the mix or master.

Compatibility:

Win, Mac, VST, AU, 64 bit

Our Picks For Top 3 Free EQ VST Plugins

With all of that said, grabbing all 17 plugins wouldn’t do you any harm, but we want to break down our top 3 picks!

1. DDMF Colour EQ Review

In our top spot, we have Colour EQ by DDMF.

This plugin brings so many features that you would expect from pay to use plugins but all for FREE! Another fresh point is that the curves you can create with this cannot be done on other EQ plugins, giving Colour EQ a versatile approach.

Low-CPU – Usage Customisable GUI – Great warm sound –  5 Bands

2. TDR Nova Parallel Dynamic Equalizer

Coming in second is Nova by TDR.

Parametric, dynamic EQ, and multiband compression are all built into an excellent looking FREE plugin.

Nova has a built-in dynamic EQ parameter when mixing, and mastering using a dynamic EQ is crucial sometimes. Having this all in one plugin for free is hugely commendable to the team who developed this plugin!

Parametric equalization – Dynamic equalization – Frequency selective compression – Multi-band compression –  Wideband compression

3. Blue Cat’s Triple

And finally, our last top pick is ‘Triple’ by Blue Cat.

This awesome plugin has so many features you just wouldn’t expect a FREE plugin to have.

With a fresh interface and drag and click feature to make EQing even more natural Triple is a powerful EQ.

Semi-parametric EQ – +/- 40dB Range per band – MIDI control and automation support – Real-time display

Conclusion 

Today we have covered a lot of great FREE EQs for mixing and mastering.  Amazingly, we have developers putting out all of these plugins for producers/sound engineers to level out the playing field. As we have all seen these ‘not to name’ brands releasing rather expensive EQs that we just can’t fork out for, but with the way, music has progressed today in the digital domain it has become much more accessible for creatives to share their ideas and effects for free.

With that said, they all have their benefits and downsides, but with them all being free, there is no reason you can’t pick them up and use these in your mixes or masters today!

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