Q-Clone copies the frequency and phase response of an EQ. I’m almost positive that it doesn’t capture any distortion characteristics though. That’s why if Q-Clone sounds the same, then the distortion in the hardware isn’t adding much. If Q-Clone sounds different, then the HW is doing more than just EQ, and it’s adding other distortion in an audible way.
Yes, this is correct. You dial in the settings on the hardware to where you want it, then you capture it with Q-Clone. If you want to make any changes, then you have to start over.
But Q-Clone should capture whatever the EQ is doing in any given state. If Q-Clone sounds the same as the hardware it’s copying
No? I don’t think it’s evading any question. I was the one who asked if it sounded different. If it sounds different, then the HW is doing something other than EQ. If it sounds the same, then what the HW is doing can be achieved with any fully featured parametric EQ. I don’t have Q-Clone nor the hardware, so I can’t answer the question. But like I said before, it’s not about what the EQ can and can’t do. It’s about what it does do without telling you that it’s doing it.
As an extreme example, imagine you have an EQ that has a high shelf. Without telling you, the high shelf not only boosts the high end, but it also slightly takes out some 350Hz. You notice that this high shelf sounds different from your other high shelf filters, but you can’t put your finger on why. Sometimes this high shelf sounds is exactly what your track needs. You decide there must be something special that the EQ is doing in the high end. But it’s not. You could use any EQ to get the same results if you knew the real reason why it sounded different. But you don’t. All you know is that it sounds different, and that it speeds up your workflow. If the filter sounds better and makes you mix faster, does it really matter how it does it?