Acustica Audio has once again teamed up with Studio DMI to create the HWMC Howie Weinberg Mastering Console plug-in. Based on Howie Weinberg’s mastering chain, HMWC combines several processors in a complete mastering suite with dynamics, EQ, filters, clipping and more. And if Howie Weinberg put his name on it, that means that this one’s definitely worth a look.
Acustica Audio HWMC
If you’ve read the fine print on some of your favorite albums, you’ll surely be familiar with the name Howie Weinberg. With 15 Grammy awards, 31 nominations and a list of credits that includes milestones like Nevermind, Licensed to Ill and Blood Sugar Sex Magik, describing him as one of the most prolific mastering engineers of all time would be an understatement. So it’s exciting news that Acustica’s newest plug-in brings a glimpse of Howie Weinberg’s mastering setup to your studio.
While it’s not revealed which exact hardware units the plug-in is based on, Acustica says that it “reproduces the hardware chain that countersigns Howie’s signature sound”. HWMC is an all-in-one mastering plug-in that offers a complete toolkit for each step of the mastering process.
The plug-in consists of six sections, which work together to create the final result. C is a ”Coral-style” tube compressor with four different modes. The E section adds a “Scarlet-style” parametric mastering EQ with two bands to the mix. This is complemented by a comprehensive set of filters (F) with sweepable high and low cut filters and high and low shelving bands at 10 kHz and 100 Hz. And as you might have guessed, section L offers a brickwall limiter with selectable oversampling (1x, 4x, 8x).
But that’s not all. HWMC also features an ADC clipping stage with three different models. This section also gives you a choice of three different oversampling rates. And finally, there’s a preamp stage (DAC), which lets you choose from three of Howie’s digital-to-analog converters.
While it’s easy to lose track of Acustica’s string of plug-in releases, this one looks like it’s a keeper. We cannot guarantee that it’ll make your masters sound like Howie’s. But it definitely won’t hurt to have access to some of his signature gear.
Price and compatibility
Acustica Audio HWMC is now available for an introductory price of €125. This offer is good through December 23, 2021, after which the price will increase to €249.
The plug-in runs on macOS 10.14 or higher and Windows 10 or higher in VST, VST3, AU and AAXformats. Installation and activation is handled by the Acustica Aquarius application.