IK Multimedia are giving away a nice British channel strip model in January. It’s part of a larger download, but you get some free metering and extra EQ in the deal even if you pay nothing at all.

IK can’t say this is based on a Neve 1081, but … this is based on a Neve 1081. (The last two digits of IK’s version, “81,” give you a little hint.)

It’s the 1972 pre-amp and EQ hardware, and you’ll find it in turn in a lot of other Neve consoles. It’s useful even if you aren’t thinking of the early models, in that it gives you some musical controls and excellent transient response.

“Musical” gets used a lot. It means that you can dial in the ranges you need – midrange and at the outside – fairly quickly, in a way roughly akin to how you probably hear.

Oh, and Vintage King gushes, “Where the 1073 is all Class A, sexy, and simple, the 1081 is Class A/B smart and supple.” Huh. What’s the difference between sexy and supple? Not entirely sure. (I’m too supple for this shirt?)

The IK deal is familiar. First, go download a software company’s custom installer. Then, in IK’s case, you need a larger T-RackS plug-in, IK’s mastering and processing platform.

The free T-RackS CS download takes up about 250 MB of space. (So don’t be too scared; it’s not in the GB like the full T-RackS.) Authorization needs an online connection to work.

Through the 31st of January, EQ-81 this is free with just a newsletter signup:

Here it is in action, alongside the sibling 73. It’s not a new plug-in, but it holds up just fine in 2022:

If you are a T-RackS user, this is a no-brainer – any edition works. But if not, downloading what they call the Custom Shop might still be worth it, even if you don’t intend to go buying other mastering modules yet. You get a solid metering section, stripped down from the full Metering / T-RackS. Metering is always handy to have, and especially handy across hosts because you get a consistent view when you switch between DAWs and other tools. And there’s a very nice 6-band parametric mastering EQ.

Each of those three also runs as its own standalone plug-in, too, so you don’t have to load in T-RackS just to run them.

64-bit macOS (AU, VST2, VST3, AAX) and Windows (VST2, VST3, AAX). No word yet on M1; I just asked.

EQ-81 freebie

T-RackS CS