The Blackbird Mo-Q is the second plugin released by a new company to the plugin market. Kit Plugins is headquartered in Nashville and founded by audio engineer and producer Matthew Kleiman.
We could get our hands on a review copy of The Blackbird Mo-Q to break down what we love about it and how you can use it in your productions. So let’s dive in.
What Is The Blackbird Mo-Q?
The Blackbird Mo-Q is the end product of what happens when two incredibly talented parties get together to make an analog emulation plugin. Kit PLugins partnered with arguably one of the best production studios in Nashville, Blackbird Studios, to create an analog emulation EQ modeled after the iconic Motown EQs that are a staple of Blackbird’s sounds.
The original Motown EQ can be heard on some of the most popular and well-recognized records from the Motown era, including ‘Let’s Get It On’ (Marvin Gaye), ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ (The Temptations), and ‘Dancing In The Street’ (Martha and The Vandellas).
This plugin comes with seven different pre-defined frequency bands (50Hz, 130Hz, 320Hz, 800Hz, 2000Hz, 5000Hz, and 12500Hz), an easy-to-use streamlined interface, three selectable oversampling modes, and over 100 presets curated by accredited industry engineers.
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How We Used The Blackbird Mo-Q
What I like about analog emulated EQs is the broad stroke moves you can with them, compared to the surgically precise movements of a digital alternative like Pro-Q 3. These broad strokes are defined by the frequency bands available on the EQ itself, which often is the most significant factor differentiating the various analog EQs on the market.
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So the first thing I wanted to uncover was what types of instruments and channels this EQ would work best on.
After running a few tests and making different alterations, I found this EQ hit its stride when handling a channel’s low end. The roundness and warmth it added to the bass frequencies on my synth basses and tom drums was second to none, and the light coloration made these low-sitting instruments and sounds feel right at home in the mix itself. Furthermore, nudging back a few dB of low end on my kick drum helped tighten up the kick’s boom and helped to bring added clarity and punch (especially when being fed into a compressor afterward).
How We Did Not Use The Blackbird Mo-Q
As stated above, I have my go-to EQs for different instruments and channels. When I want to add a bit of shine and air to vocals, so to say, I usually reach for SoundToy’s EQ. So I was curious to see how this plugin measures up against the other plugins I use out of habit.
So I A/B tested the upper frequencies of this plugin against some of my proven EQs, and I will admit I like what I’ve been working with more than what The Blackbird Mo-Q had to offer. But that’s not a bad thing! For the specific purposes mentioned above, I think the Sie-Q adds a soft shine to The Blackbird Mo-Q.
So if the main con of this plugin is that it’s not a one-stop-shop for all your analog emulation EQ needs, that’s not too bad! I would rather have a specific tool do one job well (like handling the low end of a channel) than do many jobs poorly.
Overall, this plugin is pretty damn sweet and a great addition to your toolbox.
The Blackbird Mo-Q Specs
This software is available in AU, VST3, and AAX formats and can be used with the latest Windows and macOS operating systems. It also has native support for Apple M1 chips. You can get it now for a price of $99.