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Acustica Audio
Aquarius Desktop application (ADA)
To install and authorize your products, you need to use the Aquarius Desktop application (ADA), our free, stand-alone application that works on both macOS and Windows operating systems.

Acustica Audio creates faithful software emulations of rare vintage or modern hardware gear, and new hybrids impossible in the analogue domain. Acustica's development approach is unique for the market and it is based on dynamic sampling and a proprietary non-linear Vectorial Volterra Kernels engine. The company also builds dedicated analogue circuits in order to sample and include these in their software. This model delivers very similar to analog gear sound with hardware like transient response and sonic quality that overcomes the limitations of other software emulations.

Products by Acustica Audio

Latest reviews of Acustica Audio products


Reviewed By RobertSchulz [all]
July 22nd, 2022
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

Nice analog compressor, looks and sounds good (very clean and transparent) and also offers simplified parallel compression with its "Dry/Wet" knob. Only has fixed Attack (0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30), Release (0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, 1.6) and Ratio (2/1, 4/1, 8/1) values, so it might not be something for everyone.

It has a small and barely visibile gain reduction meter to the left side, but at least it got one. The plugin is IMHO beside the fact of not being resizable not too big and not too small for modern desktops. I like the horizontal space it occupies on my screen and fits with that maybe in a good spot, where other plugins wouldn't be that good. Especially when you have several GUI of plugins loaded, this could be efficient.

There is also a pre-amp lever on the right side, which to be honest, I can only hear a very subtle difference with which seems to glue the signal more together. I like it but it is very subtle. Maybe it just works belong to knob, but I'll try to find it out in the future. The manual does not say much about.

Speaking about the manual, you can download one at the TAN page in the "Aquarius" installer but it's really made in rough style despite giving you some decent numbers. Probably the roughest manual I've ever seen for a plugin. It's intended to look like that obviously.

Downside is clearly the installation process, which probably is also the reason why this compressor isn't more popular.

You have to create an Acustica Audio account and install the "Aquarius" installer suite from Acustica Audio to get it to your computer. But that's not the only problem. You only can find plugins inside of the "Aquarius" app by a search bar, which works bad. Sometimes it encounters what you want, other times it presents you something else or it just works very laggy.

Acustica Audio itself states at their website regarding the app, "Having a reliable fast internet connection is mandatory." - Another thumbs down from me for that at this point.

Having found the plugin, you can choose whether to install in VST2, VST3 or AAX in 64-bit to a specified location. I wanted the VST2 version (since my Ableton Live 9.7 does not have VST3 support), but interestingly Live couldn't recognise it. So I decided to install the VST3 and bridge it with vst3shell, that did work and so I use the plugin in this way.

Another thing ist that you actually get 2 plugins, TAN and TANZL (which probably stands for TANZeroLatency). I tried TAN it is gives me (52.2 ms, 2459 samples) latency. That is way too much for my use of it. I guess this is also why they created TANZL, with whom I get (2.8 ms, 132 samples) latency, which is fine.

So, if you dare to pass over the stoney path of installing that plugin properly, I highly recommend you to only use the TANZL version.

CPU usage: TAN 5-6%, TANZL 6% (quite much for both in comparison to other competitive plugins)

I won't give it 3 stars, because I actually quite like using TANZL for its clean sound, space and feeling.

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Big Ceil

Reviewed By ubailey [all]
January 22nd, 2019
Version reviewed: 1 on Windows

This is a resource hog. I used 1 instance on a track, and my CPU went crazy. I had to remove it from the track. I'll have to use it as mastering plugin.

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Big Ceil

Reviewed By mvillemaire [all]
January 8th, 2019
Version reviewed: 1.0 on Windows

Awesome souding channel strip (general, not surgical). Smooth controls. Gentle sounding curves. Beautiful interface. Free, as in no money (until 14-02-2019). Get it now. You will not regret it.

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Reviewed By YISH313 [all]
April 22nd, 2017
Version reviewed: A on Windows

Check out my review of Gold By Acustica Audio on the link below...

My reView

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Reviewed By tommyzai [all]
January 25th, 2016
Version reviewed: 1.0.1 on Mac

Navy by Acustica-Audio is an excellent EQ, preamp, console channel strip plugin that is inspired by famous British hardware.

This virtual unit comes with several switchable in/out preamp emulation options. The inputs include: B73, B81, B73+B81. For those who are unfamiliar with these preamps, the B73 (Neve 1073) has a vintage vibe and works really well to gently ease tracks to the front of a mix without becoming harsh. The B73 favors vocals, guitars, and synths. The B81 (Neve 1081) has a more modern sound. It's pristine and transparent and provides remarkable sensitivity and response. The B81 favors drums, bass, and percussion. Yet, they both add a variety of ear-pleasing overtones to the signal and can be mixed with the output preamp options to further enrich the tonal harmonics and overall timbre. The output amps are also inspired by legendary British hardware.

This virtual unit also has four EQ bands, cutoff filters, meters, etc. There are two modes, one regular and one zero latency, which is more CPU intensive and offers better performance. I use the regular mode to sketch out basic settings and then switch to zero latency mode. I have been using Navy on an assortment of tracks; yet, it really shines on vocals, but I may be partial to the B73 preamp. I have no problem adding resonance, welcome harmonics, depth, presence, etc.

Overall, the EQ and preamps sound fabulous. It wasn't that long ago that I was using high-end hardware, and Navy seems close, if not better in some ways. There's a good chance a blind audio test comparison would baffle me. .. and maybe you, too. ;-). And, the knobs on the interface do a good job of "faking" physical controls. They are very responsive.

• Sleek, user-friendly interface.
• Innovative and quite possibly revolutionary.
• Navy standard version and NAVY ZL version (zero latency).
• Smooth filters.
• Stable performance.
• Fairly priced.
• Cutting edge developer.

• Some excellent presets, but with there were more.
• As with most pro gear (hardware and software), especially anything with EQ and/or filters, users need some general knowledge, experience, and overcome a product learning curve — Navy is no exception. It's powerful, and if used wisely can help create lovely tracks; however, if used haphazardly tracks could become an ugly mess.

Navy is an extraordinary professional virtual channel strip plugin that provides excellent control via EQ, preamp harmonics, and filters. This is indeed a "powerful mix tool." After a few days of intense demoing, I cannot say for sure whether this plugin "can replace a standard console EQ and filter," but from what I've heard so far — why not? I highly recommend this plugin to any eMusician, producer, or sound designer looking for a pro channel strip for shaping their tracks. Tommy Zai gives Navy two seaworthy thumbs up. Thank you, Acustica-Audio, for developing such an amazing plugin.

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