Best Neve 1073 Plugin: 6 VSTs for Console Sound In Your DAW

Mixing & MasteringMusic Gear
multiple interface with knobs, sliders and gages

Neve is one of the most iconic names in the history of music technology.

It’s a company from the golden age of studio tech that’s made a huge mark on the sound of recording as we know it.

But there’s no Neve device with a stronger reputation than the 1073 channel strip.

Considered a must-have sound, the 1073 has spawned many software imitations.

So if you’re looking to get the character of the Neve 1073 into your mix, what plugin should you choose?

In this article I’ll break down six plugins inspired by the Neve 1073 and explain how to use them in your mix.

Let’s get started.

What is the Neve 1073?

The Neve 1073 is a channel strip, meaning it includes a mic preamp stage as well as an equalizer and output section.

The term channel strip originally referred to the individual channels in an analog console. With an input stage, an EQ and fader, they were almost like the physical equivalent of a channel in your DAW.

The Neve 1073 is a channel strip, meaning it includes a mic preamp stage as well as an equalizer and output section.

The 1073 made its debut in early versions of 80-Series Neve consoles. This range would become famous as one of the most sought-after pieces of gear of all time.

When large-format consoles fell out of favor, engineers began separating channels into standalone pieces. These were smaller and easier to integrate into a hybrid setup.

Anthony's intro to the classic Neve 1073.

Anthony's intro to the classic Neve 1073.

Today you’ll find plenty of channel strips designed from the ground up to be used this way. But the 1073 design is frequently recreated, even in hardware form.

Its preamp has a broad yet detailed sound with plenty of fatness, midrange punch and a pleasing top end that extends without sounding harsh. It can be driven into pleasing saturation that adds harmonics that enhance the best parts of a sound.

Its EQ is powerful and musical, with carefully chosen frequencies that make it easy to sculpt sounds that shine in a mix.

EQ basics explained.

EQ basics explained.

The 1073 has been used so widely across music history that its sound feels familiar once you get used to working with it.

Best Neve 1073 Plugins

With the background out of the way here, are the top software emulations of Neve channel strip hardware available today.

1. UAD Neve 1073

UAD is one of the biggest names in analog modeling software.

Their plugins are used in big name studios all over the world and plenty of respected engineers consider them on par with with the original hardware.

That expertise is on display in their take on the Neve 1073.

2. NoiseAsh Need73 Console EQ

NoiseAsh’s Need73 is an excellent British console emulation at an affordable price.

With a modeled output fader, switchable drive modes and a mid/side stereo option, it’s among the most versatile 1073-style plugins out there.

3. Arturia Pre73

Arturia’s line of mixing effects has been steadily growing with additions like the excellent Rev PLATE-140.

The Pre73 brings the classic color and character of Neve-style consoles to your DAW with style.

4. Waves Scheps 73

Waves Scheps 73 has been on the plugin scene for a while, but it’s still a solid option for Neve-style tones.

Make sure to get it on sale as Waves often offers steep discounts.

Vocal mixing tips and tricks.

Vocal mixing tips and tricks.

5. Black Rooster VPRE-73

Black Rooster’s VPRE-73 is a stripped down version of the Neve-style channel with just a preamp and high frequency EQ band.

If you’re just looking for the basic character of Neve preamp saturation with its most essential EQ setting, VPRE-73 is a good choice.

5. Logic Vintage Console EQ

Do you use Logic Pro? Then you have a Neve-style EQ in your built-in plugin suite!

While it doesn’t include the 1073 preamp stage, you’ll still get the classic EQ style with the added bonus of continuous frequency selection on each band.

It also includes an output saturation control that brings additional Neve character when pushed.

6. Analog Obsession Brit Channel

There aren’t too many completely free 1073-style plugins out there.

After all, analog modeling is complicated and expensive when developers are going for accuracy.

Even so, Analog Obsession offers a Neve-inspired channel strip that you can download without an upfront payment.

That said, the software is provided on a donation basis, so if you mix with Brit Channel you should consider supporting the developer via Patreon.

How to use a 1073-style plugin

If you’ve never worked with analog hardware, it may not seem intuitive why you should use a channel strip plugin in place of other methods.

The key lies in the workflow engineers developed over decades working with Neve consoles.

I’ll go through each element in the channel strip and explain how to use it effectively.


The 1073’s preamp is the heart of its legendary sound. Its unique tone seems to enhance everything that passes through it.

It adds body, detail and subtle saturation thanks to its unique circuit design and coveted vintage transformer.

Neve preamp plugins allow you to get the character of a 1073-style preamp without adding as much level as an additional analog gain stage.

Of course, as you add more gain with the preamp control, the tonal characteristics and saturation effects will get more intense.

This means you may have to reduce the overall output of the plugin if you’re going for a heavily colored sound.

Luckily, Neve Plugins such as NoiseAsh Need73 include a modeled output fader to help you reign in levels.

Increase the preamp level until you hear the coloration start to hear its effect on the tone and then compensate for the increase with the output fader.

🧠 Hot tip

The output fader of a channel strip may seem like an afterthought, but it has a sonic effect in some plugins. After all, the fader section of the original analog console was a hardware component. Try attenuating the overall level with the plugin fader instead of the DAW mixer.

The original Neve 1073 preamp contained three gain ranges that each had a distinctive character. The highest range could add up to 80 dB of gain, which was enough to overdrive the channel into aggressive clipping.

Some Neve plugins offer a drive switch or Mic/Line mode to simulate these extreme settings.


The 1073’s equalizer is just as famous as its preamp.

With two parametric bands, a high-pass filter and a fixed 12 kHz high shelf, it’s surprisingly flexible and musical.

Those used to modern digital EQs may find the fixed frequency selection limiting at first. But it may surprise you how well they work for gentle sculpting and tone shaping.

First off, the high-pass filter has four selectable positions ranging from 35-300 Hz. These filters are not textbook perfect and give a slight boost just above their corner frequency.

This has the effect of both controlling the sub-bass and emphasizing a sound’s fundamental frequency!

You may want to consider to use a higher setting than you might otherwise consider when setting the high-pass filter.

Next up is the parametric midrange bell filter.

With frequencies spanning from 360 Hz to 7.2 kHz, this band covers the essential areas in the presence range of human hearing.

Note that the frequency points are all expressed in kilohertz on the dial so 0.36 kHz = 360 Hz.

Note that the 1073's EQ mid band frequency points are all expressed in kilohertz on the dial. That means 0.36 kHz = 360 Hz.

This band performs extremely well for clearing out boxy frequencies, boosting punch and even reducing harshness at its upper range.

Finally, the 1073’s fixed high frequency shelf has long been a favorite among engineers.

Its gentle, transparent sound can open up the top end of many sources when boosted. Try the 12 kHz shelf on vocals, drum overheads, acoustic guitar or any other source that needs extended top end.

Neve sound forever

The Neve 1073 has become a staple in music production. Chances are it’s all over your favorite recordings!

With so many plugins that emulate its classic sound, it’s worth learning how to use one in your own work.

If you’ve made it through this article you’ll have a great start when it comes to Neve 1073 plugins in audio.

Michael Hahn

Michael Hahn is an engineer and producer at Autoland and member of the swirling indie rock trio Slight.

@Michael Hahn

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