Review: Find Out Why the Pros Rave About the Fabfilter Pro Q

Choosing the right EQ for your DAW can be difficult with all the choices available. Mo Volans puts the Fab Filter Pro Q to the test. Is it a high cut above rest or one to be left on the shelf?  

There is no denying that there is more than enough choice in EQ plug-ins on the market today, so sometimes choosing the right one can be pretty difficult. Do you stick with the bundled EQ in your DAW, spend a fortune on the industry standard or opt for something from a smaller company?

In this short review we’ll take a look at Fabfilter’s Pro Q, a plug-in I would recommend to anyone in the market for a native EQ. You can check out a demo of Fabfilter Pro Q and learn about prices here.


On Display

One of the first things that will strike you about the Pro Q is its oversized display area. In fact the majority of the interface is display and it’s certainly a good deal bigger than most other EQs I use.

The oversized Pro Q display

The oversized Pro Q display. 


Before we get into the actual Equalization features of the Pro Q, it’s worth mentioning that the large display can be used for more than just viewing the curves created, it can also double up as a very impressive spectrum analyzer. In fact, I often use the Pro Q for just this purpose if I don’t need its EQ features.

The display area being used as an analyzer

The display area being used as an analyzer.


The resolution, speed and other options such as whether the analyses is pre- or post-EQ can be changed in the lower right of the interface.


Fab-Flexibility 

Although the display is awesome if we’re honest most of us buy an EQ for its flexibility and sound quality and the Pro Q certainly doesn’t disappoint in either of these areas.

It is capable of having 24 filters active any one time, which really is pretty staggering when you consider that any one of these filters can be a high or shelf, a notch / notch or even a high or low pass filter. 

Highly complex EQ set ups can be created using the Pro Q

Highly complex EQ set ups can be created using the Pro Q.


Combine this with the fact that every band is displayed as a different color and can act on either the entire stereo signal or either side and you have really got one of the most flexible EQ tools you are going to find.


Quality Control

Although the Pro Q doesn’t jump on the analog modeling band wagon like a lot of EQ releases of late, it does allow control of its output quality. The truth is the Pro Q sounds great in every mode I’ve ever tested but you can switch from a standard low latency mode to various ‘Linear Phase’ options.

The higher latency settings can be great for critical mixing and mastering sessions

The higher latency settings can be great for critical mixing and mastering sessions.


I would suggest using these higher quality models when treating very critical material, with the most obvious applications being mastering or final mix-down. For standard mixing duties the default mode has always done wonders for my sounds.


My Verdict

This really is a class leading plug-in and when you consider it costs only the same as some budget offerings you really do get value for money as well. Also remember that you will get a few presets and a really in-depth digital manual and interactive help system.

If you are looking for an upgrade to your DAWs bundled equalizer, your search is over. Go and grab the Pro Q; you really wont be disappointed. At the very least try the 30-day unlimited demo of this and their other plug-ins to check out the quality for yourself.

The help system is extremely useful for both the beginner and pro user

The help system is extremely useful for both the beginner and pro user.


Find out more on the Fab Filter site here.

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Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More

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