The Parametric EQ - Massenburg GML8200

Posted by The Audio Hunt

With the recent announcement of GML re-launching the 8300 series microphone preamps, we're taking a look back at their history, their impact on the industry and how they pioneered to provide some of the cleanest, silkiest, smooth sounding gear out there!

The Parametric EQ - Massenburg GML8200


How it Sounds

  • Clean
  • Pure
  • Precise
  • Versatile

Massenburg GML8200 Uses

Mix Buss or Mastering

  • With a tunable EQ, you can boost a tight band, and sweep it along the frequency spectrum to help find a harsh resonance or a sweet spot within a mix
  • The incredible shelf at the top end can help add “air” or “Sheen” to a mix
  • The versatile low band can help add the “punch” or “warmth” needed to a kick or bass, helping to glue a mix together.

If you are reading this, the chances are that you have probably heard of the GML EQs (i.e. those vividly coloured knobs on a black painted face plate). Generally used by mixing and mastering engineers, the range of GML units can be found in many top-tier facilities around the world. They have changed the face of the recording industry since the early 1970’s by giving us not only another colour to work with, but a new and improved tool to sculpt sound.

A Little Bit of History

The year was 1972, the 42nd Audio Engineering Society was under way and a young and enthusiastic 25-year-old George Massenburg was submitting a paper titled ‘Parametric Equalisation’. This would be the first time the world would hear hear the term ‘parametric’ used to describe a new type of equaliser.

georgeAlthough Massenburg himself (right) mentions he is not solely responsible for inventing the Parametric EQ, he did indeed coin the term in his paper. His first parametric models were based on the single-op-amp designs based on "T" filters and George had spent most of his time in 1969 developing clever circuitry, which would lend itself to an elegant user interface; one that would allow the user to sweep through the frequency of each band and to adjust the gain for each frequency specified with the continuous variable knob. In fact, the term ‘parametric’ was used in the paper to refer to ‘sweep-tunable EQ’ which later became the famous GML model 8200.


The 8300 Series Microphone Preamps Relaunch

Massenburg GML8200 Uses

Acoustic guitars

  • The precise mid-section bands are perfect for balancing an acoustic’s sometimes wild resonances and helping it fit into the mix.

Anything and everything else

  • There are no rules, and sometimes this EQ will get you out of a tough spot, or add the final touch to perfect something.

Recently, George announced that GML will be re-launching the 8300 series microphone preamps, complete with re-designed phantom power supply, phase reversal switch and all-discrete, bipolar transistor circuit topologies completely transformerless with no FETs, ICs, or electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. The units will offer 10dB to 65dB of gain selectable on the front panel in precise 5dB steps. The series will boast two versions, the GML 8304 (4 input channels) and GML 8302 (2 input channels), both of which will occupy 1U of rack space. The units will ship with the GML Model 8355 and a 5pin XLR power cable and will be available in May 2016!

In addition, for those who prefer the digital counterparts, he also mentions the introduction of Dynamics Controllers plugins, as himslef George mentions: “The MDWDRC2-AAX for Protools 12 should be available shortly from Massenburg Design Works, and the GML 2161 Hybrid Dynamic Range Controller is coming soon.”