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Microphone Month 5

Hands On Review: Joemeek Q2 Series

I’ve always tried to live my audio life by Joe Meek’s ca 1964 motto: “If it sounds right, it is right.” Words to live by, indeed, in this time when we have so many options and different ways of creating music and doing things. The Joemeek company lives up to the lofty aspirations of their namesake with their gear, too. Case in point, the new, completely re-engineered Q2 Series channel strips. There are three units in the series, the SixQ2, the TwinQ2, and the OneQ2. I received all three units for review.

The SixQ2 is a single-channel unit, with a mic preamp, optical compressor, three-band EQ, and analog and digital outputs. The TwinQ2 doubles this to two channels. The OneQ2 takes it over the top with a four-band EQ and the addition of an enhancer and a de-esser. All three units can accept mic, line, or instrument inputs, and include 48-volt phantom power, polarity reverse, and highpass filtering. All three also allow a Cinemag transformer to be switched into the circuit for additional tonal flavor. Digital connectivity includes AES/EBU out on XLR, S/PDIF on RCA and optical, word clock I/O on BNC, and sample rate selection. On the single-channel models, a second, external analog input may be routed through the onboard analog-to-digital converters — a handy feature. There is also a post-preamp/pre-compressor analog insert point, and two single-channel units can be linked for stereo compressor operation. We’re talking a full array of features here!

Joemeek gear has always been known for having “character,” and these units are no exception. They have a big, full, rich, aggressive tonality that works well. If you want the full-on Joemeek experience, the OneQ2 is the unit to get. I loved it for vocals because with the EQ and enhancer, you can get exactly the high-end brilliance and articulation you want while still controlling sibilants with the de-esser. But all three Q2s handle their job admirably well. In fact, I didn’t find a situation or an application where I couldn’t get the sound I wanted from any of the three Q2s — they’re that powerful. Having the digital outputs is handy, and the comprehensive feature list allows all three to cover a ton of ground in the studio.

If you’re looking for maximum channel-strip power in affordable packages with a nice dollop of flavor and character added on top, check out the all-new Joemeek Q2 series.

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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