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Music Radar - Acustica Audio Silk EQ2

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Hardware EQ gone soft-plugin. As with the Acustica Audio 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 Mac and Windows Silk EQ2 packages are rather different in how they're installed. While the Windows version comes in two installers - 32-bit and 64-bit, including around 300MB of impulse responses each - the Mac installer gives you no option but to install the full 653MB of data files that the software uses to recreate the sonic characteristics of the real thing. That's quite a footprint, particularly considering you'll probably only ever use half of it.

The interface is as simple as they get: a couple of switches to activate Shelving and Mid Band EQ, gain knobs for Low (fixed at 40Hz) and High Shelf (15kHz), plus a six-position switch for selecting the mid-range band (0.7kHz, 1.0kHz, 1.5kHz, 2.3kHz, 3.5kHz, and 5.6kHz) and a Mid Gain knob.

Smooth as silk

Minor grievance aside, Silk EQ2 is the best Acqua plugin yet. The interface is sleek and simple and the sound is simply gorgeous. This is the sound of a superb hardware EQ in software form - you can almost feel the heat rising off the chassis. Oh, and latency is less of an issue this time around - there's still a bit of a delay, and we still probably wouldn't want to play drums through it in real time, but the improvement over previous Acqua plugs is noticeable.

Ultimately, Silk EQ2 is a fabulous character EQ, perfectly recreated, that even the most cynical of classic hardware connoisseurs couldn't fail to be impressed by.

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