The FabFilter Essentials Bundle brings together a bundle of plug-ins that are indispensable for mixing duties – reverb, EQ, and dynamics.
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Pro-R from FabFilter is a plug-in that takes a musical approach to reverb, offering user-friendly, non-technical controls like Brightness, Character and Distance to achieve the desired reverb sound. The stepless Space control allows for fading between dozens of different, carefully tuned room models, automatically choosing a matching decay time for a natural-sounding result.
The decay time of a real room often varies wildly over the frequency spectrum, which is one of the key ingredients of a room’s reverb character. To simulate this, the Decay Rate EQ concept offers complete adjustment of the decay time over the frequency spectrum. Since it uses parametric EQ bands instead of a traditional crossover system, it provides much more flexibility to shape the decay time characteristics.
Additional features include perfectly tuned knobs, interactive MIDI Learn, and an undo/redo and A/B switch. Smart Parameter Interpolation delivers smooth parameter transitions, while an extensive help file with interactive help hints, sample-accurate automation, advanced optimization and much more, extend the functionality of the plug-in.
Available for download, FabFilter Pro-Q 3 represents the third iteration of the company’s well-regarded equalizer. Many features remain true to the version 2. The familiar and intuitive GUI with 24 clickable bands hasn’t been changed, for example.
However, Pro-Q 3 offers new features, such as streamlined EQ-matching with other instances of Pro-Q 3, per-band M/S or L/R stereo processing, support for surround sound up to 7.1.2, and a new Dynamic EQ mode.
Dynamic EQ can be implemented on any bell or shelf filter. You can use this mode to compress or expand a frequency band based on the strength of the incoming signal, much like a multiband compressor. Attack and release are handled under the hood. You’re given an intuitive range control to handle the degree of dynamics-processing, though the threshold can be set manually if need be. With dynamic mode, you can use the Pro-Q 3, a de-esser, while EQ’ing the rest of the signal in a more traditional fashion.
Pro-Q 2 provided EQ matching via the sidechain input. Pro-Q 3, however, takes EQ-matching a step further: now you can choose any other instance of Pro-Q 3 in your mix and compare it to the source audio instantaneously. You’ll also note that the plug-in shades any possible conflicts in a reddish hue. This helps you identify where, for example, a kick and a bass might be competing for the same slice of the frequency spectrum.
Stereo functionality has also been updated. In previous iterations, you could tweak the left and right channels independently, or switch the whole plug-in into mid/side mode for M/S processing. In Pro-Q 3, this option has been implemented on a per-band basis.
This is particularly useful for mastering engineers, as they no longer need to load multiple instances of the plug-in for left/right or mid/side processing. If you need to filter the lows out of the sides, notch out some resonance from the middle, and attenuate a harsh crash cymbal on the left of a mix, you can do that all in one instance of the plug-in.
This per-band processing extends beyond stereo implementations into surround sound applications up to 7.1.2 (Dolby Atmos). You can select individual channels or grab selectable groups, all on a per-band basis.
Some aspects of previous versions have been improved, such as the Spectrum Analyzer, the Spectrum Grab function, MIDI learn, and the filter shapes themselves. Other features, such as selectable display ranges, intelligent solo mode, adjustable linear phase latency modes, zero latency and natural phase modes, and the polarity inversion selector have been left alone. The plug-in is compatible with Mac and Windows. It can operate in AU, VST, AudioSuite, and AAX formats.
The Pro-C 2 from FabFilter is a software compressor with eight different compressor styles and program-dependent attack and release curves. It is used in mixing and mastering audio applications such as studio recording, post production, and more. It features flexible signal routing, as for example, in Expert mode, where external side chain inputs are available, providing a choice of mono, stereo, or mid/side processing with customizable channel linking and routing.
Apart from the classic compressor controls, the plug-in provides smooth lookahead, up to 4x oversampling, intelligent auto-gain and auto-release. A variable knee, hold, range, external side-chain triggering, variable stereo linking and mid/side processing, are all packed in a beautiful Retina user interface. The redesigned interface offers insightful metering and real-time displays for improved workflow, with the large animated level knee display visualizing exactly when, why, and how compression is applied to incoming audio.
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