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Cheap EQ vs Waves eq

Discussion in 'Recording' started by edaub1, May 17, 2010.

  1. edaub1

    edaub1 Active Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    I own some waves eq plugins, but i was recently given a cheap alesis 1/3 octave precision equalizer...
    Should i stick with the waves? or is going through hardware better...
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Since you actually have both pieces of equipment in your studio, shouldn't you be telling us which sounds better?
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Not a huge fan of Alesis other than the now defunct HD24XR. Waves tend to be a fairly decent plugin so unless you get a better external unit I'd stick with the Waves.
  4. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Moderator Resource Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    I would like to add to Jack's list. I have one of their Fusion keyboards - crazy looking, but sounds really nice. And in the credit-where-credit-is-due-department, love it or hate it - the ADAT allowed a lot of us to get into the game 15 years ago. No matter how imperfect, any equipment that pays for itself many times over is OK in my book.

    I've seen dozens of those Alesis EQs at installations and have never liked the way they work (or don't work as the case may be). I didn't like the sound and I especially didn't care for the flush-mount sliders of the MEQ-230.

    I'd stick with the Waves. I love the Renaissance EQs.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Here's the bottom line, WAVES EQ is based upon some serious R&D along with some serious algorithms. Designed to complement audio rather than murder it. I have mixed on some inexpensive consoles for friends with EQ so horrible, I DIDN'T USE ANY! And so, their mixes sounded pretty good. Meanwhile if the hardware EQ was designed to have a desirable sonic signature like API & Neve, Massenburg, Pultec, Harrison, then you use it. You use lots. You use it fully. The right choices yields the best results. Cheap sounds like cheap most of the time. Mostly the midrange suffers the most sonic degradation. Your treble and bass might be less objectionable sounding when dealing with cheap EQ.

    Know when not to use it
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    Check out this image of the frequency response of the Alesis MEQ-302. The frequency affected doesn't quite line up with the markings on the face of the unit, and there's a significant drop off in the response toward the lower frequencies. Actually there's loss of gain over the whole audible range, just more down low. I can't measure harmonic distortion but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not spectacular. I used to like them for live sound because they're small, light and cheap, but even a Behringer digital eq (a.k.a. Feedback Destroyer) sounds and works better. I'm betting the Waves eq is superior to the Alesis in every way.

    Attached Files:

  7. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    You should try the new UAD Manley Massive Passive EQ plugin...
    Used it today on a Big Band mixing job... I am not easily surprised....
    but this plugin comes extremely close to the 6.000$ hardware...
  8. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Chicago area
    Home Page:
    any gear is useful in one way or another. how you put it to that use is up to you. make sure that the use you put it to is working for you.
    the alesis eq is primarily for live situations. it tends to be a bit more noisy than a more expensive unit. the waves are there and work good.
    the question you have to ask your self is this, "Do i really need eq on this track?"

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