Acon Digital Mastering Suite: An affordable pack of essential mastering tools
Perhaps best known for its Acoustica audio editing and mastering software, Acon Digital has just announced a collection of five plug-ins under the name Mastering Suite. Designed for signal transparency, these plug-ins obviously aren’t for fans of thick, warm vintage sounds. Rather, they fully embrace the clinical sound of digital to let you shape sounds without altering their core character.
The suite consists of five plug-ins:
Dynamics – combined compressor, expander, and gate. Up to 30 milliseconds of lookahead, up to four times oversampling to reduce distortion, internal/external sidechain input, and a sidechain equalizer form the plug-in’s arsenal of extras.
Multiband Dynamics – a multiband extension of Dynamics for a greater degree of dynamic processing of up to four separate bands. Crossover frequencies and filter slopes can be freely set and operate in linear phase mode, eliminating possible phasing problems between the different bands.
Limit – transparent intelligent look-ahead limiter where limiting is a two-step process; a pre-compressor is followed by the peak limiting algorithm. Up to 4 times oversampling is available to reduce distortion.
Equalize 2 – freely adjustable parametric EQ that lets you tweak centre frequency, gain, bandwidth and filter slopes for each band. Filter slopes can be set anywhere between 3 dB to 120 dB per octave and a minimum phase mode is available to operate Equalize at zero latency. There is a linear phase mode as well as the novel mixed phase mode which lets you set the latency yourself between 5 to 120 milliseconds. Phase relationships are preserved as far as possible so potential pre-ringing artefacts, common with linear phase filtering, are controlled.
Dither – dithering plug-in with perceptual noise shaping, adjustable gain & filter frequency response, and a visualizer for the noise shaping filter.
Overall, this is a more than capable set of user-friendly plug-ins that let you get straight to work without spending time reading the manual (nobody but me, a former technical writer, reads them anyway). As someone keen to learn more about mastering, I’d love to dive in here to become more accustomed to essential mastering techniques before delving deeper into industry-standard products by brands like iZotope and Waves. Good stuff, team Acon!
Price & availability
The regular price for Acon Digital Mastering Suite is USD 129.90. However, early birds can purchase the suite for USD 99.90 until December 1st, 2018 in the Acon Digital Store.