Studio Hardware Emulation? Acustica's Acqua?

Discussion in 'beginners corner' started by Dustbin, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Dustbin

    Dustbin Newbie

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    Hello there,

    Newbie here, been busy some time like a lot of people out there trying to get this awesome home studio setup on a $ 0,00 Dollar budget. Now this here thingy came to my attention:
    https://www.acustica-audio.com/pages/acqua-manuals

    (studio boner)

    Been watching and scraping the net for heroes/gurus/mixing & production tutorials for as long as it seems, scavenging for those 'legendary hardware' holy-grail plugin emulations/VSTs to take my silly uninspiring mixing 'skills' to the next level of digital vintage. (Half decent bedroom amateur producer > mixing rocketscientist > grand wizard > retired billionaire producer chasing UFO's)

    Pensado's Place always sparks my imagination when it's time to step up to the plate and Dave takes it's guests (producers/engineers)into 'the batters box' Quickly writing down/making notes of those 'secret ingredients', and expensive studiogear 'the big boys club' used on this and that part of their platinum selling albums (StudioHardware and platinum still being lightyears out of my reach > means going the cheapskate vst emu way)

    Now this Acqua stuff seems really nice. (as former Nebula didn't quite catch on) Now they seem back in gear with part II Acqua ! Some years passed and development outgrew it's infancy?

    Has anyone heard of it yet, anyone out there gotten some hands on experience or can tell us anything about it in general? Is it the real deal? Does it kill off CPU in one blow? Can we finally go bonkers on vintage HW emu? Or is it old hyped up news and has it died off again already?

    ---

    Greets & cheers!
     
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  3. beatletown

    beatletown Guest

    I would say AA equalizers are mostly better than algo plugins technology. Channel strips and compressors are mostly in the same league as algo plugins.
    Hardware is still the way to go if you can afford it.
    Some of their plugins are very heavy on the cpu.
     
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  4. Talmi

    Talmi Audiosexual

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    Very convincing tool, the most right now in this type (emulation).
    Completely different to any algo plug. But it's so obvious the best is to test (all their products can be fully demoed) and make your opinion.
    Run them against any algo, and unless you're deaf, any of their products (strip, eqs, comps, delays, reverb or now saturation) will clearly stand out by far.

    The real issue isn't the quality, but the cpu hit, your setup, etc....
     
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  5. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Rock Star

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    Whott?? Nebula never catch up? Acqua part2? Why is N4 so slept on in your vocabulary?

    BTW I never understood why people draw such comparisons between hardware units and anything software emu. I would think its insulting to the HW units in the 10's of thousands. Yes AA is excellent and more accessible but to rule out any top notch D/A pre converter combined with analog circuitry is amateur, not to mention a lot of these emu's are adaptations of the emulated counterparts. Youtube can show people combining the two to get something different altogether. Not to be misunderstood I'm totally on board with AA but I'm not liking some of the products that seem to get high praises for my purposes.
     
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  6. ThorntonQ

    ThorntonQ Member

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    AA is a different pathway to the same ending. None are 'identical analogue" or like their 'real' counterparts. When I switched from years of analogue engineering to digital it took me a while to realise this, you read the manufacturers hype, try out plugin, realise that's not how an 1176, 1073, SSL console etc responded or indeed sounded, close at times but no cigar. The key to digital recording is ignore chasing after emulations, instead listen to audio, ask what you need it to do, find tool to do said job.
    All digital eq's sound the same... digital. There is no compressor yet that is exactly like an 1176, tried a few. Rather these emulations mimic the real gear, some better than others, but I think of plugins like this "Is a rubber doll the same as a real women?" that's what plugins are to hardware.
    Can you create professional mixes with only plugins? Absolutely ask Andrew Scheps, Tchad Blake and others at the top of the game. Where hardware can't be replaced is tracking/recording. Nothing beats a real expensive mic going into a real expensive preamp in a real expensive room. That's why Andrew & Chad can mix entirely In The Box now transpose to most peoples world recording on a cheap interface, with a cheap mic, with on-board preamps in a non treated bedroom/kitchen/basement.
    You can get there in the end your just going to have to work harder. Happy mixing and don't get caught up in what you see but rather what you hear. Good luck.
     
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  7. Foobar

    Foobar Kapellmeister

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    If you like to perfectly recreate the sound of hardware, you need to use hardware.

    If you like to make great music. Use whatever you can get your hands on and sounds right to you - and make music.

    HW vs. Software is like discussing if you can make a great dinner on an electric stove vs. a gas stove. You'll starve before the discussion is over.
     
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  8. Jeffriezal

    Jeffriezal Kapellmeister

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    I disagree, if you want to recreate the sound of hardware with software, then develop it with software. Or else no need to recreate anything just move on and use hardware. And just let the evolution of software die without the need to talk or discuss it. As the hardware world, they keep coming up with the clone of the old one.

    Because I believe AS is more than just a musician place, there is an engineer and programmer as well in here. Every bit of constructive discussion leads to better tech.

    Every time the name Acustica or Nebula get a mention, someone always trying to end the discussion. So not innovative.

    Anyway AA is doing great, a very awesome company. They are pushing their Core13 update currently right now to all of their existing product. Core13 run much smoother and more forgiving on the CPU. They also working on with their upcoming system called Modula, I don't know much about it but it is something to make our workflow more interesting. I like AA, they are different from the majority. And to have them as an option is great.

    As many said, use your ear to make music, well God give you a set of an eye as well, use em to motivate you. Why compromise with only one sense when you can have many. Just stop reading whatever demotivates you, don't limiting your self and your imagination.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  9. Dustbin

    Dustbin Newbie

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    Thanks guys for all the replies so far!
    A lot of it makes perfect sense from different perspectives.

    It's just like, becoming an obsession of sorts i guess, collecting emu's to mimic established studio workspace. Signal paths and such.
    Like for instance try and build a DAW template setup like Ryan Hewitt's studio layout (from the tutorial with the nice hommage to Jerry Finn) For educational purposes and then check out similar plugs by mixing them around. (goal: make a CPU friendly mixing environment with the best VSTs to get the job done in the box) (really need to sort and make a selection of which plugs to keep and which to flush, tidy it up and maintain focus and keep track)

    I agree there are many roads leading to Rome. And yes as far as to making music, anything goes.
    Getting it properly mixed down to a cohesive tight master is personally still the main challenge.
     
  10. tooloud

    tooloud Guest

  11. fraifikmushi

    fraifikmushi Audiosexual

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    No, I think of it as just another convolution company.
     
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  12. buzzonit

    buzzonit Ultrasonic

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    i don't know what you guys get for endorsing this company, im tired of these posts about this company, THEIR PLUGINS ARE NOT HONESTLY THAT GOOD, but actually i am so pissed to have spent 300 BUCKS on their shit, and i can't even install a simple .COMPONENT on my computer without so much crap files, that i can't even count, they installed so much files on my computer that they're probably producing for me, and the owner honestly is so cocky that he doesn't really care about the consumers opnion. all people i work with don't buy their plugins because of his STUPID INSTALLER.
     
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  13. beatletown

    beatletown Guest

    They had a big advantage compared to algo plugins a few years ago but algo developers have been making very, very good plugins lately that sound wise rival Nebula and AA with the advantage of being light on the cpu.
     
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  14. 6ixcore

    6ixcore Ultrasonic

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    Some prefer Mcdonalds some prefer Burger King, people always have to complain, if its ilok oh its a damn dongle, if its an app like aquariius people flipping out, i don't get it really. But each to their own they say, if you don't like it just don't use it and just sell it/delete it, problem solved! Personally don't have a problem with AA and its auth process, yes its heavy on the cpu, yes it installs loads of files called vectors that are wav files and Zero latency versions that you can also delete, they have their own method and can understand its not for everybody. Btw also use .component files and don't have any problem.
     
  15. tooloud

    tooloud Guest

    Apart from convolution based reverbs name all of the other companies currently using the same method.
     
  16. tooloud

    tooloud Guest

    If you can't operate Aquarius then no wonder you can't get a decent sound from their products.
     
  17. buzzonit

    buzzonit Ultrasonic

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    Truth hurts. but once again LOL you guys makes me laugh because you're not getting anything with this or unless he's paying i WOULDNT DOUBT, THERES SO MANY BETTER PLUGINS THAN THEIR SHITTY PIECE OF SHIT INSTALER, END OF CONVO.
     
  18. beatletown

    beatletown Guest

    The key to digital recording is ignore chasing after emulations, instead listen to audio, ask what you need it to do, find tool to do said job.
    All digital eq's sound the same... digital. There is no compressor yet that is exactly like an 1176, tried a few. Rather these emulations mimic the real gear, some better than others, but I think of plugins like this "Is a rubber doll the same as a real women?" that's what plugins are to hardware.




    Amen @ThorntonQ
     
  19. Qrchack

    Qrchack Platinum Record

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    Let me tune in. Acustica are kind of doing it wrong. Let me explain to you Acustica fans out there why we're suspicious of their plugins:

    - Made-up words to suggest they have developed some sort of exclusive technology which sound like pure marketing (eg. STT Super Transient Technology - really?)

    - Lots of bragging. Like, lots.
    Look, we're the best yet again! We're awesome!
    Yes! I've been waiting ages for such a gorgeous GUI!

    - Non-descriptive product pages. Look, I've taken the effort. Went to their website. Okay, show me some screenshots of your stuff, I want to see what controls there are and maybe if you added something that wasn't possible on original hardware. Oh, wait, they only show you this wankery. What's the reason of showing me your 3D renders? Is this supposed to make me think it's even more analog than analog and I should be excited? Throughout the whole website, there's not a single screenshot, it's all hyped 3D renders. On some plugins they don't even show picture from the front so you can read all the labels! I'd really prefer if they spent the time on making audio demos and video walkthroughs instead of focusing on "look how analog it is" graphics.

    upload_2019-1-16_23-41-49.png

    - The users of Acustica plugins tend to be focused on convincing everyone that it's the only plugins they should be using and seem incapable of mixing and matching the good stuff from various companies

    - Everyone keeps talking at how huge the libraries are and how much CPU it eats - we don't want a shiny plugin that will only work in one instance before the CPU melts, at the highest buffer size, that loads in minutes and feels sluggish. Really. People would rather work with something that maybe sounds worse, but keeps the pace and is a handy, reliable tool.

    - Acustica plugins became this mythical software that nobody really uses. It's like there are 2 or 3 people on this forum that formed an Acustica club, and other than them, nobody really knows what it's all about. Most people around don't really care, they carry on using the stuff they've always been using.

    These are the first things that came to mind. Hopefully we can have someone with experience using the software come in and show us what the situation is like.
     
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  20. buzzonit

    buzzonit Ultrasonic

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    Finally someone says the truth.
     
  21. buzzonit

    buzzonit Ultrasonic

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    Finally someone says the truth.
     
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