The 13 Best Free EQ VST/AU for Mixing & Mastering!

Last Updated on January 2, 2021.

Every DAW comes with at least one EQ/Equalization plugin, however, just having one might not cut it, especially since every EQ plugin offers different features and sonic characteristics.

In this article, I will be listing the EQ plugins that I consider to be the best for both mixing and mastering, including parametric-, Dynamic-, Graphic EQs, and more.

Here are the 5 that I consider to be the best:

Best 5 EQ Plugins

Plugin NameFeaturesFormatOperating System
TDR Nova EQParallel Dynamic EQ.
Best all-rounder on this list.
VST, VST3, AU, AAXWindows, Mac OS
ReaEQInfinite impulse response EQ with unlimited Bands.
Steeper learning curve than most.  
VSTWindows Only
MEqualizerIncluded spectrum analyzer.
More features than most other free plugins.
VST, VST3, AU, AAXWindows, Mac OS
TDR SlickEQProcess Stereo Sum or Witdh separately.
4 saturation models to add texture.
VST2, VST3, AU, AAXWindows, Mac OS
STEQSimplest EQ to use.
Built-in optical compressor.
VST, VST3, AUWindows, Mac OS

Now let’s get into the entire list!

1. TDR Nova EQ by Tokyo Dawn Records (Windows, Mac)

Nova is a parallel dynamic EQ that offers four bands which also include a fully-featured dynamic section each, and this means that the EQ can cover a huge variety of applications.

It may look intimidating and hard to use at first, but in reality, its interface and layout are quite intuitive and easy to navigate, which is why it’s easy to recommend even for beginners.

The interface provides an easy drag and drop display paired with a classic “knob” interface which allows for quick and smooth access to the various parameters that Nova EQ offers.

Additionally, it also comes with an additional high-pass and low-pass filter sections.

All in all, Nova EQ is very easy to recommend since it could easily be a premium plugin.

You can download it here.

Related: Here’s a list of the best Free Compression Plugins available.

2. ReaEQ by Cockos (Windows Only)

ReaEQ is part of the ReaPlugs VST FX Suite by Cockos, which is the company that created Reaper, one of the best DAWs out there… and a pretty affordable one too.

This bundle not only includes the EQ but also a Compressor, Delay, Noise Reduction plugin, Gate and more.

All of these plugins are excellent, not just the EQ, so make sure to get all of the!

The ReaEQ plugin is an infinite Impulse response EQ that is capable of unlimited bands.

The filter options are vast; from shelf, low-pass and High-pass filter, to band-pass and all-pass.

What I like so much about this plugin is that, just like with NOVA EQ, it feels as if it should be a premium EQ, but it’s free.

You can download it here.

Related: Here’s a list of the best Free Orchestral VST Plugins available.

3. MEqualizer by Melda Production (Windows, Mac)

Melda Productions is a well-known company that creates high-quality plugins, some of which are free.

The MEqualizer is a great 6-band EQ that’s very easy to use and features 7 filter types for each band, integrated tube saturation, and harmonics control.

This plugin also includes a spectrum analyzer for advanced visualization.

Sadly, you can’t just download it on its own since it’s part of the MFreeFXBundle, but the good news is that you will have access to over 20 free high-quality plugins which are included in this bundle like;

The MCompressor, MFlanger, MAutoPitch, MAutoPan, and many more.

All the free plugins that Melda Productions have to offer tend to have more features than most other freeware plugins, and in general they will be enough for most situations.

The only con about their free plugins is that they come with a display ad on the bottom, but you truly are getting a fantastic set of plugins for free.

You can download it here.

If you’re looking for the best free VST plugins in the world, I have a list of 225 of them.

4. SonEQ by Sonimus (Windows, Mac)

SonEQ is free equalizer plugin that takes parts from some vintage gear and combines them in one free plugin.

SonEQ has 3 bands, bass, middle and treble and provides some good control over them.

Also, SonEQ has a pre-amp section with a bass boost which can be used to add warmth to your tracks.

High-pass and Low-pass filters can also be found on this EQ.

SonEQ basically takes all the best qualities of the classic hardware EQs and combines them into one plugin.

Now, even though it’s super easy to use, and when compared to other EQs on this list it might seem a little on the simpler side, it’s surprisingly capable at shaping the sound.

If you want to add some smooth saturation and warmth to your mixes, SonEQ should definitely be considered.

You can download it here.

Looking for free guitar VST plugins? Here are the 15 best ones.

5. Marvel GEQ by Voxengo (Windows, Mac)

Marvel GEQ is a linear-phase 16-band graphic EQ that supports up to 8 input/output channels for professional streaming-, sound- and music production applications.

The beauty of the Marvel GEQ plugin is that it allows for some extremely quick EQ adjustments, both to single audio tracks as well as entire mixes.

It’s very intuitive to use since you only have the 16-bands and that’s it.

Lastly, if you don’t like the way the interface of this plugin looks, you can change the color of it to a couple different ones that already come built-in.

You can download it here.

Interested in free Synth vst plugins? Here’s an entire post on that topic.

6. Triple EQ by Blue Cat (Windows, Mac)

Triple EQ is a 3-band semi parametric EQ and is a very versatile plugin since it features a wide range of gain (+/-40dB per band) and bandwidth (.01 to 5octave).

The three filters are linked together so that when you change the center frequency or the bandwidth, the parameters of the three filters are modified accordingly: you can control the entire equalizer characteristics with a single mouse click.

The graph shows the frequency response of the plug-in, so that you can exactly know how your signal is being processed.

Triple EQ also offers a dual channel version with independent left/right or mid/side equalization capabilities, and these channels can even be linked together allowing you to transform this plugin into a frequency-dependent panner.

Lastly, you can control the whole plugin through MIDI or automation.

You can download it here.

Interested in free reverb VST plugins? Here’s a post about the 15 best ones.

7. Nova-67P EQ by vladg/sound (Windows, Mac)

Nova-67P is a parallel parametric equalizer plugin combined with a compressor that can optionally operate in frequency dependent and split-band modes, operating in this case as a parallel dynamic equalizer.

The interface isn’t as visually appealing as some other plugins on this list, but it’s definitely a very powerful EQ.

You can download it here.

Looking for free Delay VSTs? Here’s a post I wrote about the best ones.

8. SlickEQ by Tokyo Dawn Labs and Variety of Sound (Windows, Mac)

SlickEQ is a collaborative project by Variety of Sound and Tokyo Dawn Labs.

It’s a plugin designed mainly for mixing and mastering that focuses on ease of use and musical flexibility.

Three (and a half) filter-bands arranged in a classic Low/Mid/High semi-parametric layout offer fast and intuitive access to four distinct EQ modes, each representing a set of distinct EQ curves and behaviors.

Included is an automatic gain compensation tool which will adjust the perceived loudness during EQ operations.

One cool feature is that SlickEQ allows you to exclusively process either the stereo sum or stereo difference (i.e. “stereo width”) without additional sum/difference encoding.

It also offers an output stage with 4 different saturation models that are meant to add warmth and subtle textures.

Now, you can also get the SlickEQ Gentlemen’s Edition, which is the premium version of this plugin, that comes with some extra EQ and saturation models, plus some extra features like a Low-Pass filter and a tilt EQ.

You can download it here.

9. Pushtec 5+1A EQ by Leftover Lasagne (Windows Only)

The Pushtec 5.1A is a free 6-band mid-range EQ plugin that is based on the circuit of two analog vintage EQs and it comes with a decent number of presets, and although I don’t like the interface at all, I have to admit that it does work quite well.

I found it a bit confusing at first, but I think that this is only because I’m not used to the layout.

Note: It also comes with a Winamp plugin version.

You can download it here.

10. ParisEQ by Matt Craig (Windows Only)

The ParisEQ is a very simple and straight forward 4-band stereo parametric VST equalizer plugin that features the same algorithm as the E-mu/Ensoniq Paris system.

It offers the same musicality and quirkiness as the original including soft-limiting, grungy distortion ability, and resonant behavior under certain conditions.

Previously only accessible to those who owned the Paris custom DSP hardware, this unique EQ is now available to all PC DAW users.

Sadly, it’s only available to Windows users.

You can download it here.

11. Mellowmuse EQ1A (Windows, Mac)

EQ1A is a super simple yet smooth analog style equalizer, with minimal sound coloration.

It features a high pass filter with variable Q, frequency sweepable low and high shelf filters, and sweepable low and high peak filters with variable Q.

A bypass switch is also available for each filter section for increased flexibility.

If you are a beginner who wants to learn the basics of EQ, then the EQ1A might be a good plugin to get you started.

You can download it here.

12. lkjb TinyQ (Windows, Mac)

Yes, the name is a mouthful, but if you’re looking for simplicity, then TinyQ is for you.

It features 4 EQ bands from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, two of them switchable between peak and shelf, as well as hi- and low-cut with orders between 6 and 48 dB/octave.

It even comes with an analyzer, but this one is disabled by default because the whole idea behind this plugin is to reduce CPU usage.

All in all, a pretty lightweight yet powerful Tiny EQ plugin.

You can download it here.

And last but not least, if simplicity is your thing, then you don’t want to miss this one…

13. STEQ by Analog Obsession (Windows, Mac)

STEQ is based on a small format console EQ from a well known tape machine brand.

This is a very simple and easy to use EQ that will add some coloration to your sound, and it features a variable frequency (150Hz – 7kHz) on the mid band and a fixed “broad” high (10kHz) & low (80Hz) shelf.

The latest version comes included with an Optical Compressor and a Master Meter.

Like I mentioned, if you want simplicity, then you can’t go wrong with STEQ.

You can Download it here.

Honorable Mentions

  • PTEq-X: Modelled after classic EQ Hardware.
  • BASIQ: Very simple 3-band EQ.
  • Rare: Rare is a vintage Pultec tube EQ emulation.

How to learn EQ?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with just going by ear, in fact that’s how lots of people learned.

However, if you want to fast-track your progress and learn EQ as efficiently as possible, here’s a link to an online course which is pretty damn awesome… It’s also affordable too.

Make sure to check it out!

Conclusion

All of the free EQ plugins on this list are great.

I absolutely love ReaEQ and all of the plugins that come included in that effects bundle…

But no matter which one you choose you should be getting great results.

I hope this information was useful!

Have a wonderful day!

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