The Best Free EQ Plugins Available in 2022

EQ or equalisation plugins are necessary tool for your music production sessions. They allow you to shape and sculpt the frequency spectrum of audio between 20Hz – 20kHz. This is particularly useful, because it allows you to remove nasty unwanted frequencies, like resonances, or even boost the parts you want to be more audible.

For instance, you could use EQ to help create pockets of space for your Kick or Sub Bass. By removing the low end from one of them, or reducing it slightly, this will allow the other a pocket of space to come through slightly more.

Or, you could sculpt your Hi Hat to have more sizzle, and sparkle to them.

Those are just two instances of where EQ could be useful, but there are countless times where you’ll load up an EQ to shape a sound. We personally use EQ on almost every single track. However, some EQ plugins can be expensive and the stock plugins sometimes just don’t cut it.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to show you the best free EQ plugins available in 2022.

What Is An Equalizer?

An equalizer (or EQ) is a tool that adjusts the gain of certain frequency ranges. This is extremely useful for mixing purposes. Engineers use EQ to clean up signals, remove resonances, prevent clashing, & add presence.

EQ’s are available as both hardware and software, with free plugins available too.

Essentially what EQ gives you, is a more in-depth control over the frequency response of your sound. Whether it’s to cut some low mid frequencies or any other function from the wide range of possibilities, a great EQ is necessary for music production.

The main controls of your EQ are:

  • Filter Type
  • Slope
  • Q
  • Gain

Filter Type determines the shape of your EQ band. Slope is what controls the aggressiveness of our band. Measured in dB/Octave, the steeper your slope, the more sharp your band will end up.

Q or quality factor is essentially the shape or width for bell filters, controlling how wide your boosts and cuts are.

And lastly, Gain is the amount of boost or cut you’re applying to your individual eq band. Positive gain will make your frequencies louder, while negative gain will reduce the levels of the selected frequencies.

There are quite a few types of EQ, graphic equalizer, parametric equalizer, dynamic eq etc. Some even mid/side features, that let you adjust the Middle and Side information in your signal individually.

Some plugins also offer an auto gain adjustment feature, which helps, when your EQ adjustments have changed the internal gain of your signal.

Most EQ devices are split into bands, usually a 3 band equalizer would be split between a low band, mid band and high bands. With other bands like low mid, air, etc. available in different EQ’s.

EQ’s are vital, when working with audio. Whether it’s to reduce resonance in your recording, or use the spectrum analyzer to carve space in your mixes, the EQ is going to be the tool for the job.

What’s the Best Free Equalizer Plugin For Beginners?

The best all round free EQ for beginners, would be TDR Nova. It’s clean precise, and has a dynamic option for more tricky frequencies. If you’re looking for analog colour on your EQ, you’ll find much more joy in using something like Analog Obsession FIVER.

To say that one EQ plugin is better than another though, would be kind of misleading. While you might be looking for a colorful EQ to add character to your audio, someone else needs the perfect, surgical parametric equalizer.

It really depends on what you need for your mix situation. There is no such thing as the best free EQ of all time. You may find more use out of different EQ’s than us, and we recommend you check out all of these EQs.

So that’s why we’ve included as much variety in our list as possible, covering everything from the precise, to the colorful, warm and unique.

Are Free EQ’s Any Good or Should I Get A Paid One?

Free EQ’s are fantastic, and most stock EQ plugins will do everything you need them to. However, many free EQ’s can’t beat the functionality of something like paid like Pro Q3, or smart:eq. For analog EQ, paid plugins are infinitely better.

There are some great picks for free EQ plugins out there. TDR Nova is a fantastic, precise, mixing EQ that’s fairly similar to Pro Q3, but doesn’t quite compete.

Most stock EQ’s in your DAW will suffice for what you need. But for analog EQ emulations, your options are much more limited. Analog Obsession’s range are incredible analog emulations that are free, however they don’t always capture the sound as perfectly as a paid plugin does.

EQ is the most important tool in mixing. We’d always suggest investing money in a great, reliable EQ if you have the spare dough.

If you don’t stock EQ, and free plugins will be fine for now.

Best Free EQ Plugins 2022

Here’s the complete list of the best free EQ plugins updated for 2022:

  1. TDR Nova
  2. Blue cat’s Triple EQ
  3. Analog Obsession FIVER
  4. Voxengo Marvel GEQ
  5. Ignite Amps PTEq-X
  6. DDMF Colour EQ
  7. SPL Free Ranger
  8. BasiQ
  9. TDR Slick EQ
  10. Analog Obsession BritBundle
  11. AudioThing Blindfold
  12. Red Rock EQ 560
  13. Kiive Audio Warmy EP1A
  14. Smack Labs SL84

1. TDR Nova

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

TDR Nova EQ

The Tokyo Dawn Labs Nova is a parallel dynamic EQ plugin that’s one of the most powerful and versatile EQ’s available today. Not only is it FREE, it’s also way more than just an EQ. It’s packed full of a wide range of features like a full dynamics section, including multi-band compression.

The little brother of the 60$ TDR Nova GE or Gentleman’s Edition, Nova covers a lot of utility work, that can be extremely helpful when mixing and mastering

You also get an awesome gain equalization feature, which automatically adjusts your gain, so that, no matter how much you cut or boost, the gain structure of your mix remains unchanged.

Whether you’re a power user, or looking to pick up your first ever EQ plugin, the TDR Nova is one of the best free EQ’s you can get.

TDR Nova is available for both Windows and Mac OS, in 64-bit VST, AU and AAX plugin formats.

If you’d like to learn more about the TDR Nova, we have a great review on it you can read here.

2. Blue Cat Triple EQ

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

blue cat triple eq

Another worthy contender to the title of the best free equalizer plugin, Blue Cat’s Triple EQ is easily one of the best you’ll find.

This is a FREE, three-band semi-parametric EQ, that includes both low shelf, high shelf as well as a boost/cut filter.

The three filters are linked together so that when you adjust the center frequency or the bandwidth, the parameters of these three filters will be modified accordingly. In other words, allowing for very fast control of your eq characteristics, with a single click.

Triple EQ also offers a dual channel mode, with independent mid/side eq. Channels can be linked together, to let you transform Triple EQ into a frequency-dependent panner, as well as much more.

Triple EQ can also be controlled with MIDI in real-time.

One of the more versatile semi-parametric EQ’s on the market, the Blue Cat Triple EQ is very much worth your time.

TDR Nova is available for both Windows and Mac OS, in VST, AU and AAX plugin formats.

3. Analog Obsession FIVER

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

analog obsession fiver

Fiver is a versatile five-band eq with a low pass filter and high pass filter as well as three bands, with continuously variable bandwidth. The first entry of an Analog Obsession plugin on this list, FIVER can be used both as a surgical and color EQ.

FIVER has it’s own sonic characteristic, but manages to offer an almost transparent, yet, musical sound. Based on the legendary Neve 5033 EQ, FIVER looks and sounds like the original, with added functionality and easy workflow.

Going deep into your signal source is quite easy, with a plugin this good. While five bands might seem like not a lot, when compared to the digital EQ packages with unlimited EQ bands, it’s absolutely enough.

Analog Obsession’s FIVER is available on the Analog Obsession Patreon page in the form of donationware. If you do end up loving the plugin, please consider donating to the creator.

TDR Nova is available for both Windows and Mac OS, in VST and AU plugin formats.

4. Voxengo Marvel GEQ

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

Voxengo marvel free EQ

The Voxengo Marvel GEQ is a linear-phase 16-band graphic equalizer VST plugin with multi-channel operation support for professional music production (supporting up to 8 input/output channels).

Marvel EQ is the perfect tool for applying quick EQ adjustments to both single audio channels, to whole mixes. The Linear-phase filtering offered by Marvel makes it the tool for the job, when audio quality and sonic character are of the utmost importance.

Featuring an interesting freehand drawing mode as well as mid/side processing and channel grouping, the Voxengo Marvel GEQ is one of the better free eq plugins for mixing and mastering.

Optimized for both Retina and HighDPI support, the Marvel GEQ looks almost as good as it sounds. The GUI is reminiscent of a standard studio console, with separate faders for each EQ band.

Voxengo Marvel GEQ is available in AAX, AU, VST and VST3 plugin formats for Windows and Mac OS

5. Ignite Amps PTEq-X

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

ignite amps PTEQ-X

Ignite Amps, known for their incredible guitar and bass sims as well as real amplifiers, called for zero fanfare, when releasing the PTEq-X. An incredibly versatile free EQ plugin, the PTEq-X recreates the sound of legendary Pultec valve hardware

A consolidation of three legendary Pultec EQ’s, the HLF-3C, MEQ-5 and PEQ1A, the Ignite Arms PTEq-X features everything great about the originals, with added features.

In addition to circuit improvements, Ignite Amps have digitally recreated every component of the signal path of the analog units. This makes certain that what you’re getting is the best possible analog, to the original hardware units. The integrated tube saturation and harmonics also add a pleasing textured quality to your sound..

Low CPU consumption as well as fully automatable controls and refined filters in addition to 4 different tube types and linear phase oversampling, makes PTEq-X one of the best free EQ plugins.

6. DDMF Colour EQ

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

DDMF Colour EQ

DDMF’s Colour EQ is one of the best free EQ plugins available. The warmth and soulful sound of this EQ makes it incredible for adding color and warmth to your audio.

Colour Eq comes with five bands of ”super parametric” filters, in addition to the traditional gain/width/frequency set, which influences the per band curve shape.

These shapes cannot be reproduced by ordinary Equalizers, making Colour EQ, one of the most unique and special sounding EQ’s you’ll ever hear.

In addition to an easy to use interface, the color of the GUI can be changed. A freely resizable window rounds out the package as one of the best free EQ plugins ever.

With Low CPU usage and 64-bit processing, Colour EQ is available In VST, RTAS and AU plugin formats for both Windows and Mac OS.

7. SPL Free Ranger

spl free ranger EQ plugin

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

With products available in most of the world’s most famous recording studios, SPL has created a very coveted sound for it’s hardware.

Designed and Tested with SPL’s in-house technicians and engineers, the SPL Free Ranger cracks the “Analog Code”. Being nearly indistinguishable from the hardware unit, you can now have a piece of the SPL sound in your DAW for FREE.

Free Ranger offers 4 EQ bands as well as easy automation. While this may not be the EQ we use more often than others, for us, it has it’s own purpose. This being, adding brilliance to your audio. The way that the Free ranger makes your high-end sound, feels sweet and premium, worthy of million dollar studios.

The high pass and low pass filters in Free Ranger are also really good, offering a clean and smooth sound, rarely found in a free plugin.

If you enjoy Free Ranger, you’ll probably love the SPL EQ Rangers bundle, with includes the Vox ranger, Bass Ranger and Full Ranger 8-band parametric EQ plugins.

8. BasiQ

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

basiq free eq plugin

BasiQ is a free 3-band EQ plugin made by Kuassa. This straight-forward equalizer is perfect for mixing and mastering, as well as sound-design.

Modeled after the design of the classic Baxandall Equalizer, BasiQ is known for it’s smooth shelves and neutral response, similar to hi-fi tone controls. Don’t take the simplicity of this EQ for granted however.

While it may not be the most exciting and versatile EQ plugin, it’s pretty-much our go-to EQ for adding air and shimmer to our audio. While it’s great for top-end stuff, the Low band also tends to sound great on the low-end to add more “oomph”

You won’t be doing surgical resonance correction with BasiQ, but it will be one of your best friends, to add a pleasant character to your sound.

9. TDR Slick EQ

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

tdr slick eq free plugin

Slick EQ is an amazing mixing and mastering equalizer, designed for ease of use and flexibility. Tokyo Dawn Records are one of our favourite plugin developers, and make incredible plugins. Both the Nova and Slick free plugins should be your two new music production buddies

In comparison to the Nova dynamic EQ, Slick EQ is made to be the one-stop-shop for your colour EQ needs. With an output stage with 4 different saturation models: Linear, Silky, Mellow, Deep and Toasted, Slick EQ which are great to inject some sonic inspiration in your music.

All of these saturation models don’t go the traditional distortion route, rather settling for a more subtle and textured approach. Made to add the characteristics of an analog EQ to your sound, Slick EQ accomplishes this goal in a highly effective and pleasing manner.

Available in VST, AU and AAX plugin formats for Windows, Mac OS operating systems.

10. Analog Obsession BritBundle

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

analog obsession britbundle eq

Last, but not least, the BritBundle by Analog Obsession. The second vst plugin (or plugins) from Analog Obsession on this list, BritBundle is a bundle of three effects, modeled after classic british studio hardware.

The Bundle comes with BritPressor, BritPre and BritChannel. The latter of these is one of the best free EQ VST plugins.

With Three EQ bands, and a High Pass filter, BritChannel would already be one of the best free equalizer plugins. Add to that an emulation of classic british mic preamps, and you end up with an incredible package, that rivals a lot of premium plugins.

The high pass and low pass filters in BritChannel are stellar and essentially our go-to free plugin for filtering, especially the low pass filter, which sounds warm and smooth.

For a free plugin bundle BritBundle is excellent, standing above a lot of massive developers’ offerings in both quality and musicality.

In addition to BritChannel, you also get a Neve-style compressor unit as well as a seperate pre-amp vst.

Analog Obsession BritBundle is available for both Windows and Mac OS, in VST and AU plugin formats.

11. AudioThing Blindfold EQ

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

audiothing blindfold eq free

The Blindfold EQ is an incredibly cool freeware EQ by AudioThing that has taken inspiration from a quote in the book: Recording Unhinged.

“If I were King of the Universe, consoles would have no indication of frequency near the EQ knobs, because when you show the frequency, then most people EQ by eye”

Blindfold EQ is a 4 band equalisation plugin that has no indication of any of the values on each knob. It forces you to use your ears to listen, and hear whether your EQ is actually making a difference to the sound or not.

It features 2 shelf EQ’s and 2 bell filters, with frequency, Q, and gain controls. There is also a beautiful analog button that, when pressed, will apply subtle tube saturation to give an analog feel.

On top of that, there’s also a soft clipper that can be used to drive sounds and add punchy distortion.

To get AudioThing’s Blindfold EQ, you’ll have to head over to their website and sign up for their mailing list. Then you’ll get an email with your new, free EQ plugin.

12. RedRock EQ560

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AUV3, VST, VST3, 64-bit

redrock EQ 560

The EQ 560 is a 10 band graphic equaliser that’s based on the 1967 classic, by Red Rock Sound that won KVR’s developer challenge back in 2018. With EQ560 you have 10 bands, that have +-12db ranges, with options to broaden the bandwidth with a familiar Q setting.

It’s an extremely simple EQ, that has a low CPU hit, and has a beautiful, analog, musical sound to it.

You’d be hard pressed to make something sound bad through this EQ, and it’s full of the flavour and character that you want from equalisation plugins from that era.

This is a versatile and highly useful device that can be used to add rockabilly flair to any guitar. It can also be used to make a guitar crunch and ooze rock n roll. Remove the boom from an acoustic track or smooth the top end of a vocal recording.

However, one drawback is that it doesn’t have a gain slider, which would be incredibly useful looking from a gain staging standpoint. But this is minor, because this sounds amazing.

13. Kiive Audio Warmy EP1A

Compatibility: Win, Mac, AU, AAX, VST, VST3, 64-bit

warmy EP1A free EQ

The Warmy EP1A is a beautifully modelled compressor, that’s based on the classic Warm Audio Pultec EQ.

It’s a tube EQ’s with 2 boost and cut knobs, that are assigned to 2 frequency knobs to control the range that you are boosting or cutting. This allows you to boost or cut the lows & highs of a piece of audio. There is also an extra tube emulation knob that can be used to add that analog tube sound you crave.

The Warmy EP1A is incredibly accurate, and gives a beautifully warm, analog sound to anything that’s run through it. And, if you don’t believe us, you can hear it for yourself in the video below!

To grab this free plugin from Kiive Audio, just head over to their website and you’ll have to give your email to get it.

14. Smack Labs SL84

smack labs SL84

Smack Labs SL84 is a free EQ plugin that models the popular Neve equaliser, which was an amazing British “80s series” console.

The SL84 captures the bold and distinct vibe of Rock n Roll of the 80s.

It does this by using an impulse response unit that gives this plugin the true frequency response of the original hardware unit. By just adding the plugin and nothing else, will give your sound a certain flavour that comes from this true frequency response.

You have 4 knobs that control the gain of 4 different frequency ranges, including low, low mid, mid & high. The SL84 also has a HiQ option for the mid frequency band. It’s an extremely CPU friendly plugin and is definitely worth adding to your collection.

To grab this EQ for free, just head to plugins4free and download it!

Finishing Up

Here’s the essential list of the best free EQ VST plugins updated for 2022:

  1. TDR Nova
  2. Blue cat’s Triple EQ
  3. Analog Obsession FIVER
  4. Voxengo Marvel GEQ
  5. Ignite Amps PTEq-X
  6. DDMF Colour EQ
  7. SPL Free Ranger
  8. BasiQ
  9. TDR Slick EQ
  10. Analog Obsession BritBundle
  11. AudioThing Blindfold
  12. Red Rock EQ 560
  13. Kiive Audio Warmy EP1A
  14. Smack Labs SL84

Arguably the most important plugin effect for any producer, the EQ is essential to any music producers workflow.

Whether you’re mixing, mastering, producing or recording, EQ’s are the key to getting the exact sound you are looking for. Both for adding color, and surgical corrections, an eq can be used in infinite ways.

Hopefully, you’ve been able to find a good new free eq plugin to add to your arsenal, whether its a parallel dynamic equalizer, or strictly a color EQ.

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