Whether you're a gear nerd or a casual music producer who gets regular news feeds on the up-and-coming production tools in the market, you've probably heard of this revolutionary EQ called the SplitEQ. Taking the audio community by storm, the SplitEQ has had everyone talking about it. In this SplitEQ review, we spent weeks putting it to the test, so that you can make an informed decision on whether to go out and get one for yourself or not.
SplitEQ (Quick Review)
The SplitEQ is a revolutionary EQ that splits the tonal and transient elements of a signal and allows you to tweak them separately. The plugin is as surgical as it is creative, and its applications are only limited by your imagination. The SplitEQ is among one of the best plugins we've ever used. If you're looking to take your EQing to the next level, you're in the right place. As an ideal tool for balancing, repairing, and panning different bands within your EQ, we highly recommend going for the Eventide SplitEQ!
Is The SplitEQ Worth It? (Quick Answer)
Compatibility: Windows8+, VST2, VST3 , AAX, 64bit, MacOS 10.9+, VST2, VST3 , AAX, AU, 64-bit.
SplitEQ is worth it. The tonal and transient splits have the ability to dissect the full frequency range and give you opportunities to boost or cut them separately. While being able to listen to the splits in solo, you can make informed choices in a way that wasn't possible before. Having such a versatile and creative EQ for $99 is a no-brainer.
✅ Revolutionary structural split between transient and tonal frequencies.
✅ Solo to hear tonal and transients separately across all frequency bands.
✅ Globally shape transients separately from the rest of the track.
✅ Stellar L/R or Mid/Side Pan EQ which allows panning of tonal and transient elements to different sides.
✅ 6 to 96 dB/Octave filter slope.
✅ 150+ preset EQs which fall under Enhancing, Repairing, Rebalancing, or Widening a mix.
❌ Can't think of any!
What Is The SplitEQ & What Does It Do?
The SplitEQ is a re-imagination of the standard parametric EQ. While listening to the tonal and transient qualities of a frequency is something pro audio engineers do intuitively, there wasn't a way to separate them surgically before. SplitEQ allows this, splitting the tonal and transient parts of your signal, for unparalleled control.
Eventide claims that the SplitEQ is a “fundamentally new way of hearing EQs.” While that might be a lofty claim, the plugin has surely made surgical problem-solving much easier while mixing.
How Does It Sound?
The SplitEQ is clear and transparent. The plugin's primary USP is the clarity of sound and surgical navigation through the frequencies. It's understandable that Eventide has shied away from giving it a distinctive color, because it's a surgical mixing tool. You won't miss the lack of color due to the vast sonic potential it offers.
The advantage of being so clear is that the SplitEQ can be used for a variety of applications across various genres. We've tested the EQ extensively and recorded sound examples along with explanations so you can get an idea of the potential of this revolutionary EQ.
Melody + Chords
Dividing the sonic spectrum into two, we started by boosting the tonal elements (blue) at around 300Hz. To hear the fundamental notes of the melody, which lie at around 300Hz, we created a huge dip in the transients (green).
The second tonal peak was created between 5 and 12 kHz, which hosts the overtones of the melody.
Melody + Chords (Before)
Melody + Chords (After)
Since the dry signal has a characteristic hiss that adds width to the sound, we wanted to preserve that. So we've cut the transients throughout the frequency bands while only boosting it at 10kHz, where the texture of the hiss lies.
By adding a filter slope at 16kHz, we round off the signal so that the hiss doesn't spill over and the synth sounds well-defined and sits well with the other instruments to come.
In this piano example, we've highlighted the plugin's ability to change the colour and mood of a track by subtracting transient resonant frequencies and by using the revolutionary pan-EQ function.
We wanted to make the piano sound more intimate and decided to surgically dip the resonant frequencies. We dipped three frequency peaks at 180Hz, 800Hz, and 1.2kHz by using the transient (green) control. By soloing band 5, we spotted the guitar's hiss at around 4kHz, which we boosted to maintain the pick attack.
We followed this by panning frequency bands 2, 3, and 4 to the left and moving band 5 to the right. We then reduced the transient fader and increased the tonal fader to bring the guitar closer in the mix.
We also increased the “transient separation” in the bottom to 69%, along with boosting the “decay” to 50% and the “smoothness” to 37ms. Such smoothing moves allow the surgical separation to sound more cohesive within the mix.
We liked the Piano (Before) in its original form, and the only reason for EQing was to add a second option with a more intimate setting.
Drums + Bass
One of the highlights of this plugin is its uncanny ability to surgically separate bass from the kick. As you can hear in the Drums + Bass (Before), the tonal contour of the bassline was hidden inside the transients of the kick.
To go about isolating the bass from the kick, we first identified the baseline's resonant peaks between 500Hz and 1kHz and made a dip in the transients(green). As we began hearing the bassline, we boosted two pronounced resonant peaks at 250Hz and 500Hz.
Drums + Bass (Before)
Drums + Bass (After)
To compensate for the lost transients, we added a peak at 60Hz, where the fundamental tone of the kick lies.
Following this, we performed a mix in the master output between the tonal and the transient faders to achieve the desired result.
What Features Do You Get With The SplitEQ?
The Game-Changing Structural Split Feature
Eventide's patented Structural Split™ technology is a modern-day marvel in the world of equalizers. While most experienced engineers can intuitively tell the difference between the tonality and transient generating frequencies, it takes a series of steps using multiple plugins to replicate the sound you're hearing in your head.
It is downright groundbreaking to dissect each frequency band and hear their tonal and transient parts separately. Whether you want to separate the tonal elements of your bassline from the body of your kick or add tonal sheen and sparkle to your vocals, without the interference of sibilances, the SplitEQ can do it all!
Panning Transient And Tonal Material For Sonic Re-Arrangement
Each frequency band can be affected separately with Mid/Side modes and Left/Right panning options for the tonal and transient splits.
For example, to create more separation and definition for your guitar, you could pan the transient-heavy pick attacks of your guitar to the right while moving the round tonal notes to the left. By demarcating separate pockets of tonal and transient frequencies, the clarity and intent behind your mixes can come across much more easily.
Enhance, Repair, Rebalance, Or Widen Your Tracks In A Few Steps
With more than 150 presets divided into four categories:
Claiming to be able to repair badly recorded music, the SplitEQ has taken on some of the biggest challenges in the audio world.
While enhancing transients and widening a track can be done elsewhere too, the SplitEQ's rebalancing and repairing functions take it to a new level.
While the repair function works wonders in isolating troublesome transients without losing their tonal information, the Rebalancing function is priceless when it comes to finding the sweet spot in your mix.
Whether you wish to bring out the musicality of a descending drum roll or move background vocals in and out of a mix seamlessly, the SplitEQ can do it all!
Solo Transients And Tonal Components Individually For Better Decision-making
While the Tonal and Transient functions have individual faders in the output section, there are hidden “Solo” buttons within each frequency band.
As highlighted in the GIF below, clicking on the headphone icon under each band would let you isolate the transients (green) or tonal (blue) character of a particular frequency.
We found this feature to be priceless while EQing as you get a clear idea of where your problematic frequencies lie. Soloing the transients on a resonant tonal peak also lets you know what's stopping the note from ringing out clearly.
Performing subtractive EQing has never been so easy and effective before.
A Highly Creative Sound Design Tool
By clicking on the Transient (Green) Solo icon at the bottom, we can separate the transients from the rest of the mix. By setting the “Separation” to 100%, the EQ just catches the transients, allowing to isolate transient elements.
It's also a great way to control the amount of transient information you want going into your track. For example, you can begin by isolating the pick scratch on your strings. All you're left with now would be the tonal information of your guitar notes. Adding 20-30% of the isolated pick scratches back to the mix can offer a new layer of control you didn't have before.
The exact opposite can be achieved by bringing separation down to 0% and increasing the decay and smooth values. Since this is a Global function, you can use it to smoothen the transients on all signals going into the mix.
The potential of these global controls is astounding. Understanding this feature in detail can let you sculpt recorded audio as if you were tweaking the ADSR values on a synth.
For example, you've got a rock mix in place and would like the acoustic guitars and the snare to cut through the mix on the accented beats. This can be achieved by bringing up the separation to 80%+ on the acoustic guitars and snare tracks, which would isolate their transients.
You can use these two tracks in parallel with their respective dry channels. Being able to dial in the necessary crunch, you have complete control over the important transients in your mix.
What About The Technical Stuff?
How Hard is the SplitEQ on The CPU?
We stress-tested the SplitEQ on a Mac Mini M1 2020, running Big Sur 11.2.1 with 8GB RAM, an 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores, and 4 efficiency cores. With 11 instances of complicated EQing running on 11 consecutive synths, the SplitEQ performed smoothly, without showing any signs of overloading.
What Does My System Need To Run It?
The Eventide SplitEQ is not a heavy plugin by any means. Any decent computer which can handle 5-7 third-party plugins in a standard DAW should be able to handle the Apogee with ease.
- Anything above MacOS 10.9+ should work.
- DAWs that support VST2, VST3 , AAX, AU should work.
- 64-bit only.
- 4 GB RAM is a must. 8GB+ should work comfortably.
- Intel Core 2 Duo or higher.
- An iLok account is needed. No need for a physical dongle.
- Anything above Windows 8 should work.
- DAWs that support VST2, VST3 , and AAX should do.
- 64-bit only.
- 4 GB RAM is a must. 8GB+ should work comfortably.
- AMD Athlon 64 or higher.
- An iLok account is needed. No need for a physical dongle.
What About UI & Utility? How Easy is It To Use?
When you open the SplitEQ, you first notice an array of blue and green sliders showing the tonal and transient split. While it might seem daunting at first, the graphics and colors are consistent. So, once you get the hang of the split, you can use it like a regular parametric EQ.
The resizeable user interface offers three color options – Original, Dark, and Colourblind. The A/B comparison is useful in working with complex EQs side by side as the differences can be quite subtle.
With peak and RMS metering options on a stellar high-resolution spectral analyser, there's very little to complain about with the SplitEQ.
What Are Others Saying About The SplitEQ?
The audio world has been taken back by the revolutionary nature of the SplitEQ. A lot of users feel they would need at least three plugins to do the sort of work that SplitEQ does. But, with that being said, some Melda Productions users cite that tonal-transient splitting was always available in Melda's MB or multiband plugins, which offer cross-over functions.
Even if the concept already exists in the Melda Productions MB plugins, the way that Eventide has made the split functions easy and digestible for a large variety of audiences is genuinely fascinating.
With a much more attractive GUI that is as interactive as is immersive, Eventide has truly come up with something worth noting.
We've listed some of them below:
How Does The SplitEQ Stand Up To The Competition?
Sonible's Entropy works on separating the harmonic frequencies from the inharmonic ones, and Melda Productions' MB series provides a crossover option between the tonal and transient frequencies in a mix. The concept of splitting the frequencies for EQing has been tried before. But what separates the SplitEQ from the rest is its ability to present the concept in an uncomplicated manner.
With its attractive GUI and intuitive user experience, Eventide has made the SplitEQ accessible for a large variety of users.
At a lucrative price of $99, it's hard to criticize the SplitEQ for what it offers.
The Split EQ is the perfect mixing and mastering tool to complete 3 jobs in 1 instance of a plugin. We would recommend the Split EQ for any engineer looking to completely overhaul their workflow and increase their output.
Here's the quick lowdown:
- Get the SplitEQ if you're looking for a transparent mixing tool that will save you time.
- Do not get the SplitEQ if you want a colorful analog EQ that will add character to tracks.
SplitEQ (Quick Review)
The SplitEQ is a revolutionary EQ that splits the tonal and transient elements of a signal and allows you to tweak them separately. The plugin is as surgical as it is creative, and its applications are only limited by your imagination. The SplitEQ is among one of the best plugins we've ever used. If you're looking to take your EQing to the next level, you're in the right place. As an ideal tool for balancing, repairing, and panning different bands within your EQ, we highly recommend going for the Eventide Split EQ!
What does an EQ do?
An EQ or an equalizer divides your incoming signal into various frequency bands. This allows you to tweak a certain band while leaving the rest of the bands unaffected. For example, you can increase the volume on the high frequencies separately while reducing the lows.
Do I have to EQ all channels/tracks on my project?
EQing is all about getting the right tonal balance. So some of your channels/tracks might not need tweaking. It's best to listen to each track separately and together before zeroing in on the tracks that need to be EQed.
Ideally, start by subtracting problematic frequencies before boosting the ones you would like to enhance.
Can I use the SplitEQ for vocals?
Yes. You can use SplitEQ for vocals. It works great as a corrective tool to eradicate some glitches encountered while recording vocals.
You can listen to our sound samples above, where we've corrected the vocals. It can also be used to enhance the clarity of your vocals. If you're a new user, we recommend using SplitEQ's vocal presets.
Sai is a full-time music producer located in India, and is head of Faculty at D7 Media Institute. He is the most passionate music production guru I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Fantastic at sound design, mixing, and recording, Sai heads most of the review content, as well as dabbling in some mixing and mastering content too here at WCS. Give Sai any topic and he could write forever about it. He has over 10 years of experience working in the industry and has earned both Music Production and Music Composition & Piano degrees.