Acustica Audio News

Acustica Audio News

Press Releases

Find out about the latest Acustica Audio professional audio plugins, audio processors and hardware.
Acustica Audio’s new Acqua series of plug-ins are painstakingly ‘sampled’ from high-end hardware. Does the end justify the means? When software developers aim to capture the sound of studio hardware in plug-in format, they’ll usually employ some sort of algorithmic modelling technique to do so. In theory, this has quite a few advantages. Modelling plug-ins typically require relatively little memory or drive space; it’s often possible to optimise the code so that they run very efficiently; and it’s possible to add additional features that aren’t available on the original. But do they fully capture what’s special about the sound of the hardware? Quite a few engineers still feel that the answer to this question is ‘No’, which is why Acustica Audio’s Nebula has such a devoted following. Nebula uses an alternative technique called dynamic convolution.

The Italian 'effects sampling' experts serve up another classic emulation - and it's quite possibly their best yet. The latest entry in Acustica's steady stream of impulse-based EQ emulations, Blue EQ harks back to the legendary British equalisers of the 60s, although it actually takes its lead from an American model: the Chandler Limited Germanium Tone Control. This is a highly-regarded modern EQ built using the same technology that powered some very famous British gear of the past, including EMI's early TG series, old Neves and even some Fairchild boxes.

I was most intrigued to hear that Learn Digital Audio had created an online course explaining how to get the best out of Acustica Audio’s Nebula software. Nebula is a stunningly good software plug-in suite that can capture and replay detailed snapshots of loads of desirable audio hardware — but getting to grips with its idiosyncrasies can be a bit mind-boggling, for the novice and expert alike.

Another quirky classic hardware equaliser gets the full treatment from the masters of 'effects sampling'. As with their Trinity plugin before it, there's no official word on exactly which hardware EQ was sampled in the creation of Acustica Audio's Silk EQ2 VST plugin (you probably never heard of v1, since it was only around for a matter of weeks before the sequel dropped), only that it stems from Germany and the 60s. The tiny 'W695b' legending strongly suggests that it's sampled from the Telefunken / Siemens EQ of the same model number, but the important thing is that it's built to impart a bit of characterful vintage quality to your tracks.

The sampled effects specialists turn their attention to the EQ section of a mysterious, unspecified British console. The press releases are cagey. "A coveted and highly sought out British console equaliser" is all they say. Because Acustica's Acqua engine works its emulating magic by effectively sampling the effects of actual hardware, we know it must be based on some historically significant desk, even if it isn't obvious which one. Trident, maybe? The controls don't quite match up. Neve? Likewise. A number of legendary mixers have been designed in the UK over the years, and this one has the distinctive flavour of a solid-state unit. Not that any of that really matters - what counts is how it sounds and what you can do with it.

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