SOURCE / Pro Tools Blog - Pro Tools Expert by Julian Rodgers
I've been quite vocal about the benefits of using stock plug-ins in Pro Tools. There are one or two I avoid but most of them are perfectly serviceable and the advantage they have is that they present no issues when sharing sessions (something I do a lot).
EQIII, apart from being an extremely flexible, clean EQ, has a feature which makes it indispensable when teaching students to use their ears when learning frequencies - Band pass mode. Available in both the 1 and 7 band versions, by holding Ctrl+Shift (Start+Shift on a PC) the plug-in enters band pass mode and passes only the frequencies for the currently selected band based on its current frequency and Q settings. Just hold the modifiers and grab frequency or Q. Gain becomes inactive in band pass and shelving filters audition as bell filters. HPF and LPF bands are unavailable too.
Using a narrow boost to find frequencies is a well known technique but I prefer this as it introduces no additional gain and it is momentary - just hold the modifiers, sweep the frequency, release and adjust the gain as appropriate. Really quick.
Where this technique comes into its own is when paired with a control surface. Holding the modifiers and sweeping using physical controls is intuitive and feels luxurious. A similar mode exists in Avid's Channel Strip but it only works when grabbing the control points on the EQ graph, not the UI knobs, frustratingly preventing use with a control surface.
Band pass mode is the tool I've used more than any other when introducing novices to EQ. That being said it's not just for novices. I still use it all the time. Try it, its far more help than any analyser!