Nomad Factory Pulse-tec EQs Review

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Nomad Factory Pulse-Tec EQs

The Nomad Factory Pulse-Tec EQs is an emulation of two famous equalisers from the 1950’s. (The EQP1 was released in 1951). In addition to the two eq modules, this big rack also includes a stereo preamp with a switchable “Clipper” circuit for obviously adding some signal clipping if desired. This preamp can be useful and features a pair of VU meters to show the total input and output levels of the plugin.

The first eq module, in the middle of the rack, is based on the famous Pultec EQP-1A, which can be found in many studios and plugin versions by many manufacturers and is a true studio legend. This eq handles the lows and highs of the audio spectrum. On the left, there is a switch to select the centre frequency of the low shelf and it goes down to a very low 20Hz, then 30, 60 and 100. This band has some serious clout for kick drums especially and set slightly higher, basses and toms, At first glance it looks weird – there is both a Boost knob and an Attenuation knob and only one frequency switch. So that means (as the original Pultec manual says), you either boost or cut at the selected frequency, right? Nope. Wrong. Fiendishly, the attenuation control affects a frequency that is a little higher than that set on the switch. Technically, this is due to the resonance effect of the attenuation circuit and you can dig deeper on Google if you need to.

So how do we use this little sucker then? Well, if you boost, for example, 30Hz by 4dB (as above) you’ll get a big bottom end thump, produced by a nice wide shelf at 30Hz, but if you dial in the attenuation knob by a few dB (as above again) you’ll trim off some of the “mud” frequencies above that wide 30Hz curve, keeping the low end punch but also adding definition by clearing up those annoying muddy frequencies lurking in the low mid range. Very neat and used all the time by the pros.

The high frequency section has the same Boost and Attenuation controls, but has a wider range of boost frequencies, a variable bandwidth control in the boost circuit and just three frequencies to select for the attenuation control. There is also a “Vintage” switch for both eq’s which does something subtle and “vintagey” and each unit has it’s own on/off switch.

I can’t really tell you what the vintage switch does technically, because the manual included with this plugin is actually a copy of the original Pultec manual from the 50’s! That’s authenticity.

The top module is based on the Pultec MEQ-5 unit, which has similar controls to the other unit and covers the mid range frequencies from 200Hz to 5KHz and is a welcome addition to the EQP-1A, allowing control over the whole audio spectrum when using both eq’s together. This is a bonus in a Pultec style plugin, as many only feature the EQP-1A.

I find the Pulse-Tec EQs very useful in certain situations and the sound compares very favorably to the competition. It adds weight and air when needed and the preamp and clipper circuits have come in handy when I need a sound to punch through the mix. Looks great too, which adds to the fun – and it’s another eq that makes you use your ears rather than your eyes.

If you search through online amateur forums you’ll find plenty of chatter about Pultec plugin emulations. This plugin gets nothing but good reviews.

This is a very good Pultec style eq, One of the best.

At the time of writing this review, the Pulse-Tec EQs are $129 US and more information can be found here.