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SSL X-DynEQ - User Guide

Introduction & Key Features

SSL X-DynEQ is the definitive tool for parametric dynamic equalisation. Building on the legacy of X-EQ 2, X-DynEQ features 20 different EQ types and filter shapes with dynamic EQ options for each shelf or bell filter, offering up to 24 dynamic EQ bands for detailed sound sculpting. With the addition of Auto Attack, Release and Threshold in combination with its intuitive, node-based interface, X-DynEQ significantly streamlines your dynamic EQ’ing workflow with unparalleled precision and flexibility.

X-DynEQ introduces three new filter types - Notch, Bandpass, and Tilt EQ - each designed for targeted frequency shaping from precise fixes to broad tonal balancing. Per-Band Stereo Processing options offer detailed control over the stereo field on a per-band basis and 'Focus' mode allows you to easily focus on shaping specific components in the stereo field. The Piano Roll View simplifies the visualization and navigation of EQ adjustments in a musical context.

Presets from X-EQ 2 are compatible with and can be loaded in X-DynEQ directly through the Preset Manager interface, ensuring a seamless transition workflow for current X-EQ 2 users to X-DynEQ.

Integrated help functionality and advanced dynamic sidechaining options offer both quick assistance and creative routing possibilities. Coupled with SSL’s proprietary anti-cramping technology and an optional HQ mode, X-DynEQ delivers unmatched clarity and accuracy in EQ processing, setting a new standard for professional audio equalisation.


Key Features

  • 24 Bands of Dynamic EQ
    Apply dynamic processing up to 24 EQ bands across 20 different EQ types and filter shapes, with options for both upward and downward compression and expansion, providing detailed control over signal dynamics.
  • Auto Attack, Release and Threshold
    Streamline your workflow using automatic dynamic EQ options that intelligently adapt to the incoming signal, reducing the need for manual tweaking.
  • Notch, Bandpass and Tilt EQ
    3 new filter types beyond X-EQ2; use the notch to fix with precision, bandpass for focus and isolate ranges, and tilt EQ to effortlessly balance overall tonal character between the highs and lows.
  • Per-Band Stereo Processing
    Advanced controls for stereo, left, right, mid, or side signal processing on a per-band basis, enhancing the stereo imaging and spatial manipulation capabilities. Switch the 'Focus' mode to easily concentrate on certain components of the stereo field.
  • Piano Roll View
    Use the piano roll view to visualise and navigate your filter cutoffs and center frequencies aligned with musical tones.
  • Intuitive, Node-based Interface
    Simply double-click to create nodes, and using keyboard and mouse wheel shortcuts to easily
  • Backwards Compatibility
    Seamlessly translates presets from X-EQ 2, protecting your previous work and facilitating a smooth transition to X-DynEQ.
  • Integrated Help
    Built-in help functionality offers immediate assistance, reducing the learning curve and improving workflow efficiency.
  • Per-band Advanced Dynamic Sidechaining
    Enhanced sidechaining options allows you to route an internal or external sidechain signal from any other EQ band, for creative dynamic effects and precise control over signal interaction.
  • HQ Mode and Anti-Cramping Technology
    SSL’s anti-cramping EQ technology and optional HQ mode provides a high-accuracy EQ response.


Release Notes

V1.0.18 (April 2024)

  • Initial release.


Supported Platforms and Hosts

For compatibility information about plug-ins, visit the Plug-in Operating System and DAW Compatibility FAQ.

When we release an SSL plug-in, we test it on all Windows and macOS operating systems that aren't End-of-Life (EOL) at the time of release.

The versions listed below are the latest on which we have officially tested the the product.

It is possible for our products to work on platforms outside of this list. However, if your host, host version or operating system is not listed here, we recommend you demo the product before purchase to confirm that it works correctly.


Apple Silicon Support

This plug-in is provided as a universal binary for macOS and features native support for Apple Silicon.

Operating Systems

Please refer to the Plug-in OS Compatibility FAQ.


  • Pro Tools 2023
  • Logic Pro 10.7
  • Cubase 13 / Nuendo 12
  • Studio One 6
  • REAPER 6
  • FL Studio 21
  • Ableton Live 11
  • LUNA 1.5


Installation, Download and Licensing


To demo this plug-in, you can simply download it from the product page and run it up in your host - the software will guide you through the rest of the process.

  1. Download and install the plug-in.
  2. Open your DAW/host.
  3. Insert the plug-in to commence activation (sometimes this will happen when the plug-in is scanned on startup, depending on your DAW/host).
  4. When you see 'Activation is required', click 'Try'.
  5. Log into your iLok account and click 'Next'.
  6. Select a location to activate the license to, and click 'Next'.

Installation and Download

We recommend using the SSL Download Manager application to to easily manage all SSL plug-in installations all from one place, on both macOS and Windows. In addition to easily installing, uninstalling or reinstalling individual or every SSL plug-in at the click of a button, the SSL Download Manager also provides you with detailed release notes and lets you know when updates are available.

You can also download offline installers for a plug-in from here.

All SSL plug-ins are supplied in VST, VST3, AU (macOS only) and AAX (Pro Tools) formats.

The installers provided (macOS Intel .dmg and Windows .exe) copy the plug-in binaries to the common VST, VST3, AU and AAX directories. After this, the host DAW should recognise the plug-in automatically in most cases. Simply run the installer and you should be good to go. You can find more information about how to authorise your plug-ins below.


Visit iLok, Licensing and Activation for guidance in activating your SSL plug-in.


Bypass and I/O Controls

Press the ⏻ button to bypass the plug-in processing.

Input and output gain controls can be found underneath the input and output meters on the far left and the far right.

    Applies a gain to the input signal.
    Applies a gain to the output signal.
    The input and output meters show the instantaneous value of the input and output signal respectively. The red indicator at the top will display when clipping occurs. Click the indicator to clear it.


The Phase control allows you to invert the polarity of the signal, or just the left channel, or just the right channel. When set to 'Off', the phase of the signal is unaffected by this control.


The Scale control allows you to easily increase or reduce the gains of any shelf, bell, or tilt EQ bands all at one.

  • At 200%, the gains will be doubled,
    e.g. +6 dB will become +12 dB, and -6 dB will become -12 dB.
  • At -100%,  the gains will be inverted,
    e.g. +6 dB will become -6 dB. At -200%, the gains
  • At -200%, the gains will be inverted and doubled,
    e.g. +6 will become -12 dB.


Top Graph

The top graph displays a mini-FFT, and can be configured to show different signals from the main FFT (which displays the output of the plug-in, pre-output gain).

    Displays the input to the plug-in.
  • EXT S/C
    Displays the external sidechain signal.
    Displays the output from the plug-in (pre-output gain).
  • IN/OUT
    Displays the input (foreground) and the output (background).
    Displays the external sidechain signal (foreground) and the output (background).


Creating and Editing Nodes

Double-click anywhere inside the graph to create a new node.

  • Drag a node left or right to change the center/corner/cutoff frequency.
  • Drag a node up or down to change the gain or rolloff.
  • Use the mouse wheel when hovered over a node to change the Q-factor or width.
  • The while line indicates the final applied EQ response, which combines the responses of all nodes.

Click a node to select it. When selected, a float will be displayed by the node (unless in 'Dock' mode).

This contextual float displays information about the node, and allows you to edit its values.


Basic EQ Band Settings

  • BYPASS (⏻)
    Toggles processing for that band in or out.
  • DYNAMIC ON/OFF (up/down arrow symbol)

    Toggles dynamic processing for that band. Only available for shelf and bell types.
  • SOLO BAND (headphone symbol)

    Soloes the effect of that band.

    The band index and colour are indicated in the bottom left.

    Click the shape icon to select the band type. From left to right: low pass, low shelf, bell, high shelf, high pass, bandpass, notch, and tilt EQ. See 'Band Types' below for more information.

    When set to a shelf, bell or bandpass, you can select different filter shapes and responses. See 'Bell Shapes' and 'Low/High/Band Pass Filter Types' below.

    Sets the center frequency (for bell, band pass, notch and tilt EQ), corner frequency (for shelves) or cutoff frequency (for low pass and high pass) of the filter. The closest equivalent musical note value is displayed on the right of the frequency value.

    Sets the amount of gain applied to the band (for bell, shelf, and tilt EQ types) or the steepness of the rolloff (for low, high and band pass types).

    The Q-factor, or quality factor, determines the sharpness of the filter. When the filter type is set to bandpass, this is replaced by the Width, which determines the width (in octaves) of the bandpass.
  • CLOSE (X)

    Closes the mini float.
  • DELETE (trash can icon)

    Deletes the band. You can also press backspace to delete the currently selected band.

    Expands/collapses the advanced EQ settings, where you can find advanced controls for the dynamic settings, sidechaining, and stereo processing.


Per-Band Dynamic Processing (Bell and Shelf only)

Applying dynamic processing to an EQ involves automatically adjusting the gain of the frequency bands when the audio signal exceeds a set threshold, combining the precision of equalisation with the control of compression. This allows for targeted frequency shaping and correction in real-time, enhancing audio clarity and balance.

This functionality is particularly useful for tasks like reducing harsh sibilance in vocals, controlling boominess in bass instruments, or dynamically shaping the tonal balance of a mix to achieve professional sound quality.

To turn on dynamic processing for a band, press the up/down arrows icon.

When a band is dynamic, two new meters will appear. The left meter indicates the sidechain signal level, and the right meter indicates the gain reduction applied.

You will now see an additional coloured line, with a draggable handle. This sets a boundary on the applied gain as a result of triggering the dynamics. The applied EQ response - the white line - will move between the node and the secondary line.

By default, the dynamics processor will compress the signal - meaning that when the dynamics are triggered, the gain of the EQ curve will move downwards.

Click the EXPAND/COLLAPSE button to view the advanced dynamics settings.

  • THRESHOLD (T/Hold)

    Sets the level at which the dynamic EQ starts to apply changes to the selected frequency band. When not set to auto ('A'), a threshold handle will also appear on the meter.
    Defines how much the gain will be reduced when the signal exceeds the threshold. For example, a 2:1 ratio means that if the signal exceeds the threshold by 2 dB, it will be reduced to an excess of only 1 dB.
  • KNEE
    Adjusts the onset of dynamic processing, with a 'soft knee' (100%) for a gradual application starting just before the threshold and a 'hard knee' (0%) for an abrupt change exactly at the threshold.
    Sets the total possible gain change applied by the dynamic EQ. It is the maximum volume difference between the gain of the EQ node, and the processed signal within the affected band.
  • ATTACK (Attk)
    Controls how fast the dynamic EQ reacts to the signal that surpasses the threshold, with faster settings leading to more immediate application of dynamics.
  • HOLD
    Determines how long the dynamic EQ will sustain the gain change before it begins to revert, impacting the consistency of the dynamic effect.
  • RELEASE (Rel)
    Sets the speed at which the gain adjustment returns to the original level after dropping below the threshold, affecting the naturalness of the sound’s decay.
  • MODE
    Switches between compression (reducing dynamic range) and expansion (increasing dynamic range) when the signal crosses the threshold.

Per-Band Stereo Processing

Every band in X-DynEQ has a per-band 'stereo mode' parameter. This parameter dictates how the EQ processes stereo signals. This applies to any band filter type, and can also be used in combination with dynamic processing.


    EQ processing applies equally to the left and right channels.
  • LEFT

    EQ processing applies only to the left channel.

    EQ processing applies only to the right channel.
  • MID

    EQ processing applies only to the mid component of the signal.
  • SIDE

    EQ processing applies only to the side component of the signal.

You can use any combination of multiple stereo, left, right, mid and side bands inside a single instance of X-DynEQ.

The per-band stereo mode parameter can be found by expanding the EQ band settings, or you can utilise 'Focus Mode' to concentrate on EQ'ing certain areas of the signal only.

Focus Mode

Focus mode lets you control which part of the stereo field you are processing.

For example, when Focus mode = Stereo, any new bands that you create by double-clicking will be stereo by default. The white line will display the applied EQ of all stereo bands.

When in Focus mode = Mid, any new bands that you create by double-clicking will only effect the mids by default. The white line will display the applied EQ of all mid bands. All other nodes will appear greyed out.


Per-Band Sidechaining 

A dynamic band in the EQ can react to different frequencies of the signal. By default, it responds to its own frequency range - but you can configure more advanced sidechain routing on a per-band basis. For example, trigger a dynamic band from an entire mix, or just the kick drum, or the mids.

Solo'ing the sidechain signal

Use the S/C LISTEN button to audition that audio that is triggering the dynamic EQ for that band.

Setting up the sidechain source (internal/external)

This determines whether the dynamics is fed from the internal signal, or an external sidechain source.

    The dynamic EQ band will react to the internal signal - the audio that the plug-in is processing on the current track.
    The dynamic EQ will react to an external sidechain source, which could be a different part of your mix or another track entirely. To learn how to send an external sidechain signal to this plug-in, see the sidechain routing section in your DAW's manual.

Setting the sidechain filter

This decides which frequency range of the internal or external sidechain triggers the dynamics:

  • CURRENT BAND (default)
    The dynamic EQ band is triggered by its own frequency range.
    The dynamic EQ band is triggered by the entire mix.
  • Other Bands (BAND 1, BAND 2, BAND 3 etc.)
    The dynamic EQ band is triggered by another band's frequency.

In the screenshot above, the dynamic sidechain source of band 1 (red) is set to internal, and the filter mode is set to band 2 (green). This means that the dynamic EQ on band 1 will be triggered by the frequencies of band 2.


Piano Roll View

The Piano Roll view is toggled by clicking the 'piano' icon in the bottom right-hand corner.

  • When in Piano Roll mode, you will see each band represented as its closest musical note on a piano keyboard.
  • Click a key on the keyboard to set the currently selected band to the corresponding frequency for that musical note.
  • Once selected, click the corresponding key on the keyboard to snap the frequency to the nearest musical note value.
  • Click the coloured dots on the keyboard to cycle through band selection for that note.


Dock View

Click the 'dock' icon in the bottom-right hand corner to dock the EQ controls to the bottom of the screen.


Graph View Controls

  • VIEW
    Set the maximum/minimum dB value displayed on the graph. Use this to limit the amount of gain you are applying when dragging nodes around on the screen.
    Displays the phase response of the EQ.
  • STEP
    Displays the step response of the EQ.
  • FFT
    Toggle the frequency spectrum of the signal on or off.


Processing Mode (Series/Parallel)

Switching the processing mode to Parallel recreates the passive LC parallel equaliser. This only affects the bell type bands. This has all of the advantages (sound) and disadvantages (band interaction, asymmetry) as found in graphic EQs.


EQ Bell Filter Shapes to Emulate Analogue Hardware

The plug-in comes with a range of bell filter shapes whose behaviour emulates the shaping and Q-factor characteristics of various analogue mixing desks and outboard hardware.

  • Classic Symmetrical
    The most popular parametric EQ shape used in various mixing consoles and outboard gear. Almost constant Q characteristic. Classic Symmetrical EQs were typically found in hardware such as the SL 4000 E, UAD MDWEQ and other clinical EQs from the 80s.
  • Classic Asymmetrical
    Often features in older equalisers. Boost is the same as Classic Symmetrical but the cut characteristic is much narrower. Emulates some older, speciality legacy units and works well for resonance control of percussion.
  • Proportional (1-3)
    Proportional EQ types are found in older Neves, SSL G-series, and many popular EQs from API, Harrison and UREI, and EQs such as Millenia.


SSL Plug-in Engine

The 'SSL Plug-in Engine' has several features that are available across our entire plug-in range.

NOTE: the available features in a plug-in might be or look different depending on what plug-in you are using, or when the plug-in was most recently updated.



SSL plug-ins come with a built-in undo/redo stack, in case your DAW doesn't handle this.

  • Undo (left arrow) undoes the current action in the history stack.
  • Redo (right arrow) re-does the next action in the history stack.



All of our plug-ins ship with carefully designed presets to aid your workflow.

Factory presets are included in the plug-in installation, installed in the following locations:

macOS: /Library/Application Support/Solid State Logic/PlugIns/Presets/[Plug-in Name]

Windows: C:\ProgramData\Solid State Logic\PlugIns\Presets\[Plug-in Name]

Switching between presets can be achieved by clicking the left/right arrows in the preset management section of the plug-in GUI, and by clicking on the preset name which will open the preset management display.

The Preset Management menu reflects the folder structure of the preset folder.

Revert Changes and Delete

  • Revert Changes discards any changes to the current preset.
  • Delete removes the current preset from the filesystem. Factory and Producer presets cannot be deleted from the plug-in GUI, although they can be manually deleted using the filesystem (Windows Explorer or Finder).

A/B and Copy

  • A/B allows you to toggle quickly between two presets. This is useful for comparing between two parameter settings.
  • COPY X TO Y is used to copy presets between A/B.


Version Number

Click the version number to display more information about the plug-in.

When logging a bug to our support team, always include the full version number e.g. v1.0.13.


Advanced Settings (not all plug-ins)

Some plug-ins have advanced functionality. Click the 'Advanced Settings' button to access advanced plug-in functionality.

This will drop the plug-in into 'Advanced Mode', exposing more settings, and allowing you to tweak the 'under-the-hood' behaviour of the plug-in.



The scale/zoom menu allows you to resize your plug-in from 50% up to 200%. 

Note that if resizing would cause the plug-in to go offscreen, then this option will be disabled. This is designed to prevent DAW resizing bugs that exist in some DAWs.

You can also right-click anywhere on the background of the plug-in to change the scale.


HQ or ECO Mode

Some plug-ins come with a HQ or ECO mode button. When in HQ mode, we introduce extra processing such as oversampling for higher quality, at the expense of more CPU. When in ECO mode, a plug-in will drop into a lower, less CPU intensive and low-latency mode (if possible).


Built-in Help


This plug-in features built-in contextual help. To turn this feature on, click the '?' in the bottom right-hand corner. Mouse over elements of the GUI to see some information about the feature.

Click the tooltip to cycle through the pages.