In other forums people are delighted with Har-Bal. The demo shows that it's very easy to work with immediat results. The tutorial is not very instructive but there is a forum on their site. I'm gonna get it.
I just bought the program last night and I can't believe how good (professional) it makes my old mixdowns sound! I clearly had deficiencies in several EQ bands and could never "hear" it very well since the mixes always sounded decent on my studio monitors - Event 20/20bas.
Everything sounds "tighter" now. The low end is more prominent, but doesn't make the mix sound muddy anymore. I also have greater control over the sibilance frequencies which, frankly, gave my mixes a "home recorded" sound.
Now, will this program replace an experienced mastering engineer with golden ears and $10K studio monitors? No, but this visual approach gets us home and semi-pro artists closer! Not to mention, the included music style curves templates make it easy for a user like me to just "match" up the curves with the style of music I'm going for!
Quick results, no fuss, a great online support community and cheap ($95) price tag makes this decision a "no-brainer". When I think about how much I've spent on sequencers and sound libraries, a $100 investment in making the final product sound significantly better is money well spent!
you might want to try FIRIUM too, which got a good review in Sound on Sounds this month. Its Finite Impulse Response based, unlike Har-Bal which is Infinite Impulse Response. FIR is supposed to be more accurance, but at the expense of latency ... still shouldn't be a problem if its used for mastering.
www.elementalaudio.com/products/firium/ - 26k
Firiumm can do EQ ripping too. I've had some good results capturing the warmth of Compsers Choice violin and applying it to VSL solo violin.
One feature reported to be unique to HAR-bal is it's automatic volume compensation for changes in EQ. That to me is what makes this product really useful....much more than ripping and matching EQ settings, which may or may not collectively relate to individual projects.