Pro-Q 3 worth the hype?

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by sllared, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. sllared

    sllared New Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hey folks - FabFilter sale, can't say I've seen many of those recently - would it be daft to pass on what seems to be (generally speaking) the go to ITB EQ in most composer setups these days, or am I just adding to the EQ noise in my already overly cluttered selection (Looking at you Waves).

    I see it used on so much work online, and it also seems universally praised in those channels, wondering is there anything in your experiences that you could say really set it apart from the rest and make it a no brainer? If you revert back to other plugs do you really miss any of its features?

    whiskers likes this.
  2. KallumS

    KallumS Active Member

    Jul 26, 2018
    Camden, London
    I'd recommend watching this and deciding if there are any features that you're missing from your current setup:
    whiskers likes this.
  3. Jimmy Hellfire

    Jimmy Hellfire Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2015
    I was kind of eyeing it for a long time, even demoed it and actually liked it a lot, but ended up never getting it. It really does have a bunch of cool advanced and specialized capabilities, but the question is if they're really needed. I'm sure that professional mixers do make use of a lot of that stuff, but my own personal needs are already covered just fine by the Cubase Frequency plugin. It has enough bands, is clean and sounds good, can switch to M/S on per band basis, can do linear phase, has a good frequency graph, has a keyboard display ... for dynamic EQ and "vibe" (the latter not being within the scope of Pro-Q3 design), I use other, cheaper options.
    Alexandre and whiskers like this.
  4. Rasmus Hartvig

    Rasmus Hartvig Active Member

    Apart from being really transparent I think the main draw is that it has awesome ergonomics. You can get (close to) the same results with many other EQs, but for sheer usability and fast workflow I haven't seen anything else come close. Also, as someone who opens and closes FX windows all day I really appreciate that Fabfilter has a tight and efficient GUI library. Plugins that take 5 seconds to open their interface tend to end on the rarely-used pile here (looking at YOU Izotope!).
  5. R. Soul

    R. Soul Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2006
    London, UK
    The video says it all really.

    Personally, if it wasn't for the dynamic sidechain EQ, spectrum grab and masking feature, I could probably manage with II-EQ Pro.
    whiskers likes this.
  6. StevenOBrien

    StevenOBrien Member

    Sep 22, 2012
    The FabFilter plugins have a 30-day trial, iirc, and that sale is supposed to last until the 1st of May. Plenty of time to try it.

    I'm not super-knowledgeable about how EQs work, but every other EQ I've used does weird things that I don't expect it to do. They add artefacts, distortion, and other weird quirks to the sound.

    With FabFilter-Q, it just does what you expect it to do and doesn't mess up the sound. The interface is nice and snappy too. I've never used another EQ since. What more can I say?
  7. labornvain

    labornvain Member

    Feb 9, 2014
    Every other EQ is archaic compared to the fabfilter. Even with version 2, I can't imagine having to work without its ease-of-use, Simplicity and the beauty of its interface.

    But now in Q3, it's clearly in a world of its own. The ability to just click and drag a frequency band has now evolved into the ability to click and compress a frequency band.

    Got a weird frequency peak that only occurs when the bass player plays a B flat.? Click and compress that frequency so that it only cuts when that note plays leaving the rest of your bass tone fully intact.

    Of course I've been using Dynamic EQ for years. But the ease and speed of the Q3, the transparency of the filters and compression algorithm, and the seemingly unlimited flexibility makes the Q3 transformative.

    I find myself using the dynamic function far more than I thought I would, opting now to compress instead of cut on just about everything. The ability to cut frequencies only when they become problematic and leave the tone otherwise intact is the future of EQ.

    At first, I was disappointed by the lack of attack & release parameters for the compression. But in using it I realize that the compression is so transparent that I'm now almost glad it doesn't have it.

    Humans have a perceptual problem in that the longer we look at something the less we see it or hear it. For that reason, I find it critically important to be able to EQ fast.

    Now you can not only EQ fast, which was always Pro Q's strong point, but you can Dynamic EQ fast as well.

  8. OP

    sllared New Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    Thanks all - the video definitely fulfilled it's purpose.. the speed of use, and ergonomics appeals to me the most - reckon I'll bite this time round..
  9. jmauz

    jmauz Member

    I've been using the Pro-Q since the first version. Easiest EQ plugin I've ever used, and completely transparent as far as I can hear. Highly recommended.
    Ian Dorsch likes this.
  10. ceemusic

    ceemusic Active Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    New York area
    Pro-Q3 is excellent, the other I'd recommend would be DMG's Equilibrium.

    Would depend on your abilities & needs, for the average user Pro-Q3 might be better, it's quick & easy to set up plus loaded with nice features. For e.q. enthusiasts Equilibrium might be a better choice, you can turn it into anything you want (& IMO the quality is a bit better.)

    Can't go wrong with either & with Pro-Q3 currently on sale I'd go for it (budget permitting.)
  11. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

    Oct 28, 2016
    I guess that is where the Pro-MB would be the tool to use, if you need to play with attack and release in MB's. If you're using Pro-Q3 more like a MB compressor..then might as well use Pro-MB and have more control... But I agree its super cool that Pro-Q3 has the dynamic EQ capability, which kind of delves lightly into Multi-band compression territory, for a lot of simple tasks, its enough, even without attack and release control over the compression, and you can do it all within the EQ...and EQ a little too while you're at it. more or less.
  12. Meetyhtan

    Meetyhtan Noise Maker

    I really like that and agree. Little off topic, but this is also why I was wondering why everybody starts mixing / EQing after the arrangement is completed in all details and your ears got used to the mud, maybe you even prefer it over a clear mix!
    I myself don't own Pro Q3 but the dynamic EQ is a really interesting feature in my eyes. So far I used to cut very resonant specific frequencies by applying another EQ plugin and used manual automation of a single frequency band. It works, but isn't time efficient at all.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    labornvain and averystemmler like this.
  13. Henu

    Henu Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2017
  14. ProfoundSilence

    ProfoundSilence Active Member

    Dec 10, 2018
    honestly I use pro Q3 because I work with multiple mics. You can apply a band across ALL "speakers" or just certain outs.
  15. VinRice

    VinRice ... i am a robot ...

    May 20, 2017
    The UK of Englandshire
    For orchestral cues I now completely separate the composing and mixing phases for a number of reasons. The number one being that if you can get your orchestration right you are already 80% of the way there anyway. I love mixing and there is a natural tendency to want to 'produce' tracks as you go along. The better it sounds the better you are motivated etc. however, that ends up being a distraction to just getting the notes right in the first place. Get it sounding good with just your samples, arrangement and harmony, its only going to get better in the mixing phase (if you know what you are doing.)

    It's a little different in effects heavy/sound design cues but again I like to decide on a sound and then render it, just treating it as another instrument until the final mix. This has helped tremendously in stepping up the quality of the actual music I'm producing.

    The FabFilter stuff is brilliant. Everybody should have Q3, L2 and R.
    Meetyhtan likes this.
  16. Shad0wLandsUK

    Shad0wLandsUK Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2016
    London, UK
    I am curious as to why L2?
    Especially if you have a number of other Limiters...
  17. KMA

    KMA member

    Sep 25, 2017
    Firstly, and most importantly, they have a 30-day trial, so go and install it right now!

    As for functionality, the Pro-Q3 is hard to beat. The best GUI there is, 24 dynamic bands, brickwall slope, per-band M/S, tilt, spectrum grab, etc.

    And then there’s the sound of it. I need two kinds of EQ - surgical (transparent) and colour (saturation, harmonics, etc). The Pro-Q3 is my favourite surgical EQ because it sounds beautifully transparent, especially when boosting. Subtractive EQ is a task that any EQ can handle, but I find that boosting really reveals the differences between plugins. When I compared the Pro-Q3 to other EQs, I felt that the Pro-Q3 produced a much more flattering result.

    For comparable sound quality (imho), you might want to have a look at Tokyo Dawn’s Slick EQ GE and Nova GE. Don’t be fooled by the low price - TDR have done something special here.
  18. VinRice

    VinRice ... i am a robot ...

    May 20, 2017
    The UK of Englandshire
    Ease of use, metering, side-chaining, clarity. There are tons of limiters, I must have a dozen at least, and they all make stuff louder-er but L2 just works, is easy to understand and screws with the sound least.
    Henu likes this.
  19. Henu

    Henu Senior Member

    Nov 17, 2017
    I finally bought L2 a week ago. It must the be best, most transparent limiter I've ever used, and my only regret is that I didn't buy it years ago already. And what @VinRice said, it definitely doesn't screw the sound either.
    ProfoundSilence likes this.
  20. Apostate

    Apostate Member

    Feb 7, 2018
    It's terrific, and quite the aid in sound design. But I've noticed over the years I use H-EQ nearly as often.

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