These days there are so many plugins around dedicated to beefing up particular sounds or instruments that you'd almost forget what can be done with just a good old EQ. Don't bear me wrong: fixing stuff with just a turn of a knob or loading a perfect preset is great - but there'll always be situations you can't fix that way no matter how well equipped your toolbox might be.
Most people will have their favourite EQ right at their fingertips, and so do I - but recently I stumbled into an equalizer plugin that tempted me into a bit of experimentation: Burnley 73 by Sonimus.
Sonimus are best know for their Britson mixer emulation; which I value one of the best plugins in my toolbox. Don't get me wrong. Britson has nothing to do with fixing stuff or doing radical things. It's a very (very!) subtle plugin that you just insert on all of your channels (and busses) to perform its magic: infuse some analog juice in your digital signal path.
Enough on Britson. Sonimus make various other tools too, and Burnley 73 is one of them. Like all of their plugins, Burnley 73 emulates classic gear from yesteryear. In this case the highly regarded Neve 1073 preamp/EQ hardware.
The parametric EQ section is just as good as it can get, but Sonimus performed a nifty trick on the preamp by replacing the (red) preamp gain knob with a saturation knob which is gain compensated! And that's where my experimentation led to full satisfaction. It is now one of my favorite saturation plugins. I use it to spice up dull sounds and it can lead you from adding subtle warmth (right side of neutral position) to some more gritty corners (left side).
Highly recommended! Oh and don't forget to dial that equalizer too. Believe me - you'll be surprised what you can do with just that few pots.