Pulled the trigger, got Amethyst III

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by ed-enam, May 16, 2017 at 2:13 PM.

  1. thedudeman

    thedudeman Member

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    @Talmi @digitaldragon @ed-enam @mercurysoto

    Hey guys - still a bit overwhelmed by the amount of new info, despite being fairly familiar with Nebula. I'd really appreciate your thoughts on any or all of the below:

    1) Are certain Acquas better than others? For example, the company site says Magenta is "the best" EQ. I know that some are more updated than others (e.g. Core 9 vs 8, etc) but are some inherently better? Or just audio preference?

    2) Say I wanted a faithful API or SSL emulation. Would I get just Pink and Sand? What does Gold emulate? (I know they're unofficial emulations).

    3) What is your ideal Acqua chain? Do you mix certain Acquas (e.g. the Preamp from Pink with the EQ from Gold)? Do/How do you use it in conjunction with Nebula too (i.e. reverb, console line in/out)?

    4) Are these Acqua compressors better than say the latest from Tim P? Is Ultramarine the best comp? Better than other acqua comps?

    5) What would you suggest purchasing if mixing & mastering a modern rock or hip-hop record? (With money not a consideration)... Aiming for full, 3-Dness and warmth (duh). Something in the vein of a Tame Impala I would say.

    I know thats asking a lot... Thank you in advance for any insights!
     
  2. n0xin

    n0xin Platinum Record

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    downloaded triall and now I'm ready as fuck to pull that trigger! :crazy:
     
  3. Von_Steyr

    Von_Steyr Audiosexual

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    Those of you who doubt in AA, @ed-enam showed me some material he is working on and it probably elevated his production overnight by 20-30%.
    It injects life to your mix.
     
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  4. ed-enam

    ed-enam Rock Star

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    Indeed, it has made my life easier. I wish all those who wanting it, get it as soon as they get the opportunity. It is, I think, the cheapest channel strip on AA. There is definitely a marked difference in the results with less efforts.
     
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  5. mercurysoto

    mercurysoto Rock Star

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    I can't comment on this. I'm still new to the concept. However, I can say this: When Sand was released under Core 9 and they threw in a free compressor, I wasn't initially pleased with it. I expected the easy satisfaction of the preset mindset. I've grown to change my mind about it, curiously, after buying a hardware preamp and committing to it patiently until learning to make it work (When you blow $2K under the promise that "it sounds awesome. It's you who sucks," then you know you have to learn it). In view of this, there's no better or worse. There's a given sound to each plugin and learning its strengths and weaknesses is the key. I guess now I'll start reading about how an actual piece of hardware works before deciding if I want it in Acqua form.

    I don't know what Gold does, but if I wanted API or SSL, no question I'd get Sand and Pink. Now I'm actually inclined to wait and see what they come up with in later Core iterations than to go back just for the sake of going up, not down. However, these plugins are the real shit. I'll give Sand some thought and savings. I used to save up for UAD sales. Now I'll save to have more Acquas. Which one should I get next?

    I wonder the same thing. I suppose you treat them like hardware. As long as you maintain proper gain staging and logical sequencing, they should work. Algorhythmic plugins are very forgiving with flawed chains and mismatched combinations. Bad choices when combining hardware goes from bad sounding to damaging for the equipment, so the same should apply to Nebula/Acqua. I know this from ruining many of my dad's stereos.

    I don't use Nebula, but I can be a witness that Amethyst3's comp is as good as it gets. Acustica claims compressors have been upgraded since Core 9. Pres and EQs have been the selling point of Nebula since forever.

    I guess any of the Acqua offerings would be good enough to do anything. A quality mix is a quality mix no matter which genre it is. Of course, there are stylistic choices, but a balanced mix is just that: a balanced mix. If you owned just one mixing desk and its hardware processors, you'd have to make do with it, just like making the best use out of one mic if budget won't allow for more, like we did with portastudios of the late 80s and early 90s.
     
  6. mercurysoto

    mercurysoto Rock Star

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    It is indeed the cheapest profesional channel strip in the market. Well, if you consider you'll have to upgrade your computer sooner than later, maybe not so much inexpensive.

    PS: I'll stop talking. I'm beginning to sound like a converted religious freak.
     
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  7. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Rock Star

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    Just my take on these questions:

    Depends on what end result you are looking for. "Better" is a very subjective term in audio work in my experience. I think the newer Core 9 is supposed to be a more faithful reproduction of compressor function. I believe as far as EQ's and Strips go, the older cores were as good as the new ones (someone jump in here if I'm wrong, this I've gathered reading many AA posts from several different forums).

    Pretty much yes. It's as close as you can get ITB. Gold was sampled from Neve equipment. Saw it in this thread: https://audiosex.pro/threads/acustica-audio-gold.29973/page-2#post-262588

    I would say that the ideal chain will be influenced mainly by the type of track you are working on. For example in my vocal chains I use several different compressor modelings because each imparts a certain color or harmonics that I feel is needed to make that track reach the sound I am looking for. So learn the Aqua's that you have, how they effect the sound of the material you are working with, and choose the one that heads in the direction you are looking for. I had to demo several Acqua's before I decided on the one that I felt would best suit my material and tastes. For your ears and material, your choice may differ. I still use Nebula in conjunction with algorithmic plugins (usually compressors) to reproduce offerings that aren't available in the Acqua Core9 platform yet. Olonga's All You Can Eat has MOJO presets that have the compressor set to not compress, just pass through. Then you can add the color to an algo plugin and you get pretty great results that way. This is just one example. There are other ways to use Nebula along with Acqua. Two different wrenches for two different purposes.

    Don't know if TimP has released any N4 libraries yet, but what he did with N3 was amazing. Still, the tech behind Core9 is supposed to track a compressor more faithfully then N3 could. I haven't demo'd Ultramarine yet.

    I think your best bet is to demo each product that you think you may like, and make your decision by how it sounds on your material. Word is that modern Rock works really well with Sand, but to my ears, and I'm mixing modern rock, I went with Gold because... that color! Sorry I can't give a definitive answer here, but I was asking the same questions prior to my purchase, and @Jaymz recommended trying both, and I am glad he did because I was leaning towards Sand thinking "I'm mixing modern rock, I need SSL sound" (and Sand IS good!), but after I heard what Gold did to my recordings, I chose it instead. Who knows, maybe it's color adds something that's missing from my recording technique.
     
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  8. thedudeman

    thedudeman Member

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    I've been doing more reading... It seems that N4 has "better" sounding results when using the higher quality libs (HO, AlexB, TimP, etc). The acqua compressors, however, seem to behave more predictably in Acqua. Anyone share these findings?

    With that said, perhaps my best bet is to continue with N4 and use Gold's or Ultramarine3's compressor (or just do surgical tasks with algo and add HO mojo). I'm OK dealing with additional workflow steps as I'm doing select projects.
     
  9. digitaldragon

    digitaldragon Rock Star

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    Essentially what I had been doing up until I purchased Gold. Now I'm using the strip on the 2 bus, drum bus, I made a guitar bus and run it there. Things just seem to sit better in the mix, and it really takes out a lot of the digital harshness. My mix decisions seem to be better regarding track volume, reverb levels, eq'ing, etc. I am still running the 2 bus through my console, a compressor, and tube preamp for some analog summing Mojo. Gold just seems to add to that in a really nice subtle way. I'm sure Amethyst would be a similar result as well, just a slightly different "color".
     
  10. thedudeman

    thedudeman Member

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    @digitaldragon @mercurysoto

    You guys have been great & very helpful. If you dont mind expanding on this, I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the following. Note I realize this is all subjective.

    1) How exactly do you use N4 (in addition to what you said above here)? For 1) tracking (assume using a great computer) and 2) mixing. Can you explain your chain(s)?

    2) How do you get the most "real/analog" sound possible? i.e. recreating a full chain. Something like the below (with gain staging between each program)? Please add/subtract how you see fit and assume you are willing to torture yourself on the way to sonic bliss. :)

    Tracking: Do you record with Nebula applied? Or do it post?
    1. Preamp (Or Console Input-Mic)
    1.1 - Console Line input (choose less colored strip)
    OR
    1.2 - Light comp (to control level)
    2. Tape Preamp (or Tube)
    3. Tape.
    Render. Now you've tracked your tracks on Tape.
    After printing to tape ... you then have the return from 'tape' BACK into a console

    Mixing:
    Each channel:
    1. Console Input
    2. FX (EQ, Comp, bla bla)
    2.1 If u want more saturation and color - TAPE.
    Not each channel i'll be printin. Drums, Bass and guitars - 100%. Voco and other - it depends on you and sound u want.
    Group Bus:
    1. Console Group Bus
    2. Whatever you want
    Master Bus:
    1. Console MixBuss
    2. TapeMachine preamp (or Tube)
    3. Tape

    3) What is your process for EQ in Nebula? Say you have AlexB's MMeQ (with the individual bands). Do you load each band succesively? Does it matter the order? I imagine it wouldnt as you are affecting only certain frequencies... esp with proper gain staging in between... Can quickly see how/why Acqua EQ is better for workflow, but "best" quality sound is what I am after.

    The thread below touches on these topics. Curious to hear your thoughts on any/all of this! Thanks!
    http://www.acustica-audio.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24658&start=10
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 2:30 AM
  11. n0xin

    n0xin Platinum Record

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    yesterday I made mix with just >>tan (free comp) and pink eq (CM edition)<< and was blown away with sound of the mix and time I spent on it.
    Used tan without compression, just for preamp stage on every track (compresed what needed to be) and on master track, pink and tan again... all done (classical guitar arrangment, 9 tracks) :cool:
     
  12. WillTheWeirdo

    WillTheWeirdo Rock Star

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    For those that missed it.

     
  13. WillTheWeirdo

    WillTheWeirdo Rock Star

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    Nebula has a ton more libraries from different 3rd party developers, each with a focus on different hardware. I use both, Nebula for tracking and Acqua's for mixing.
     
  14. WillTheWeirdo

    WillTheWeirdo Rock Star

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    With Sand being a better mix tool than tone Acqua, I would suggest you demo Gold first as it excels as a tone adding plug while Amethyst is similar to Sand with a smoother tone.

    FWIW, vintage Neve tracking with SSL mixing is FANTASTIC sounding.
     
  15. WillTheWeirdo

    WillTheWeirdo Rock Star

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    IMHO It's a fantastic sounding plugin bringing the SSL 5000 EQ & filters, SSL 4000G plus EQ & filters with IMHO the most accurate 4K buss comp (except the auto release) available in the box today.

    So there is clarity, I have thousands of hardware SSL hours logged in many top studio's and have used every SSL plugin except the new UAD's. Also know I got into Nebula back in 09-10 while using a 4000 every night and I now beta test for AA, so I believe in their tools more than most because of the results.

    As always, TEST FOR YOURSELF in your own studio on your own music..... don't trust me or anyone online.

    To each their own.
     
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  16. kidstretch

    kidstretch Noisemaker

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    Hey people, wanting to try this product, i've downloaded the trial, installed, but when i try to open the plugin, it says that i need to authorize it first. Can anyone help? Thanks!
     
  17. Talmi

    Talmi Audiosexual

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    Once you've opened it and it ask to authorize it creates a ".SER" files in the folder where amethyst3.dll (the vst) is located. You have to upload this file in your dashboard on Acustica Audio website , they will then automaticely send you by email the authorization file that matches that amethyst3.ser file that you will then copy in the same folder where you found the .SER file. Then your plug is authorized.
    If your computer is online you can do all that process more easily with acquarius, their new authorization software. You can also find it and dl it in your dashboard on AA website.
     
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  18. kidstretch

    kidstretch Noisemaker

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    thank you so much!
     
  19. ed-enam

    ed-enam Rock Star

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  20. WillTheWeirdo

    WillTheWeirdo Rock Star

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    Download and read the manual please, it has step by step instructions on how to authorize.
     
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