The latest version of Sonible’s AI-powered EQ plug-in has arrived, promising a quick and easy way of achieving the optimum frequency balance in a mix. smart:EQ 4 is built around the company’s smart:filter processing, and is capable of applying processing across multiple tracks from a single window in order to tackle frequency masking issues.
The headline feature of the plug-in is its use of Sonible’s smart:filter, which is capable of automatically balancing the response of an input signal based on a user-selected Profile. There’s an extensive collection of Profiles aimed at both individual sources and buses, with options provided for different musical genres and instrument types. Input signals can be analysed using a Learn function, and it is also possible to load in reference tracks in order to create custom Profiles that emulate the desired sound.
Once smart:EQ 4 instances have been loaded onto multiple tracks, it is possible to create groups of up to 10 individual tracks or buses and have their smart:filter data and settings shared between instances. These groups can then be processed from a single instance of the plug-in, offering a fast and intuitive way to address any frequency masking issues between the included tracks.
There are three processing modes that determine how the smart:filter processing works across groups of channels: Track, Group and Track & Group (tr+gr). In Track mode, the filter will only address spectral imbalances in the current track, ignoring any issues or potential masking with other tracks — this is the only made available when no groups have been configured. Group mode then ignores the main track and applies processing to others within the group, a good option for helping a track sit well in a mix without affecting its own overall sound. Track & Group, unsurprisingly, combines the two modes, applying processing across all of the tracks within a group.
Along with its smart:filter feature, the plug-in is also equipped with standard EQ bands that offer a more typical set of EQ features. As well as full control over each band’s gain, Q and frequency settings, there’s also some dynamic EQ capabilities on offer, automatic gain compensation to help maintain consistent output levels, mid-side processing options and an analyser that offers a visual representation of the processing being applied to individual tracks or across created groups.
smart:EQ 4 is supported on PCs running Windows 10, and Macs running macOS 10.14 and higher. VST, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in versions are available. Authorisation can be carried out via the company’s own machine-based system, or via an iLok USB key.
Pricing & Availability
smart:EQ 4 is available now, and is currently (4 January 2024) priced at $89£79 including VAT, reduced from its full cost of $129£109 including VAT. Upgrade discounts are available for users of smart:EQ 3, and Sonible also offer a 40% educational discount for students and lecturers.