Review: Great River Harrison 32EQ

You can hear sound clips of this and other reviewed pieces of gear here: https://jordantishler.wordpress.com/gear-review-clips/

Great River Harrison 32EQ

Great River Harrison 32EQ

The Harrison 32 EQ is Great River’s 500 series equivalent of the EQ on the famed Harrison 32C series mixing desk. [Renowned for being owned by mixer Bruce Swedien and used to mix Michael Jackson’s Thriller – JT]  The 32EQ consists of four bands of proportional Q controls and high and low pass filter controls. Visually, the Harrison EQ appears very clear. There are gain controls for each band on the right hand side alongside the frequency control on the left. The pots are clearly labeled with different colors so as not to get confused between the bands. Furthermore, Great River have included a jumper switch in the back of the module which allows you to switch between a modern signal flow without feedback or the vintage feedback sound. The bands’ frequency ranges are as follows: Low: 40-800Hz, Low Mid: 200Hz-4kHz, High-Mid: 400Hz-8kHz, High: 800Hz-16kHz.

Mixer Bruce Swedien at his Harrison 32c Console

Mixer Bruce Swedien at his Harrison 32c Console

One of the most useful elements to this EQ is the proportional Q capability [which means that the width of the eq band (Q) stays relatively consistent in relation to how much you boost/cut.  This has the effect, perhaps counterintuitively, of applying the boost/cut to the same frequencies rather than including side frequencies as you add/subtract more gain.  In the end, you get the boost/cut where you’d expect.  – JT].  This feature of the EQ allows you to avoid the painful task of concentrating on the gear, and rather focus entirely on the music. Being able to control each band with two hands without even looking at the module is ideal to stay focused on the music. This proportional Q capability allows you to make significant adjustments accurately and quickly. Mixing with the Harrison is easy and quick. The frequencies of each band on the EQ overlap with the ones on either side of it which allows the EQ to make extremely creative adjustments.

As far as sound quality and timbre are concerned, the Harrison EQ sounds very smooth [I like the expression “musical” as applied to these – JT]. The Harrison seamlessly adds its own color to the overall blend of the sound.  Its extreme versatility allows it to be helpful in virtually any mix and on virtually every instrument. From personal experience, working at Digital Bear Entertainment where we have 5 Harrison 32EQs, we have used them on a huge variety of instruments from lead vocals all the way to drums and bass. The Harrison has become our default outboard EQ and we use them in every mix. I highly suggest that every studio have at least two of these.

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