Recently we reported on ‘Amethyst’, another channel strip-style plugin by Acustica Audio. This new ‘Pink’ plugin marks the release of their new CORE8 engine which is said to be a “revolutionary upgraded multithreading technology”. Clearly based upon some well-known hardware, the user response on the gearslutz forum is already building with much interest. This sparked my curious side to take it for a spin.
As we all know, plugins have become incredibly powerful tools these days, with some engineers/producers purposefully choosing to remain mixing ‘in-the-box’. Classic hardware is so closely modelled these days that you have to ask yourself the question: is it really necessary to spend 10 times as much on the real thing? It doesn’t stop there, either; as computing power increases, the plugin manufacturers are increasing the ability and quality of their products. Acustica Audio are a prime example of this, continuing to push the boundaries of what they can achieve when it comes to hardware emulation. This is what their new CORE8 engine promises and I commend them solely on setting out to achieve this lofty goal.
With this in mind, and some users already reporting Pink is one of the best plugins they’ve heard, I had to try it for myself. Unfortunately my anticipation was somewhat drawn out, as the installation and license process Acustica employ is fiddly, time consuming and far from obvious. I respect the lengths plugin manufacturers need to go to protect their revenue, but it does feel like a mad Italian designing this stuff in his bedroom, rather than a reputable manufacturer. I want to get on and mix, not worry about where the licenses to my products are.
After I managed to get the AAX version up and running, it does sound very impressive. It certainly sounds like a real piece of hardware, as opposed to a plugin. There has clearly been a lot of work and research gone into this product, and the audio quality is very special. Unfortunately for me, these aren’t emulations of hardware I’m particularly drawn to in the first place. However, if this new CORE8 technology can be applied in their other products and future emulations, then this could mark a new standard of digital audio processing. This in itself is very exciting.
Besides the lengthy install process, the problems didn’t stop there. I found the GUI very glitchy and audio would pause when switching the modules in or out. This isn’t good for AB comparisons and the original hardware certainly doesn’t do that! This really puts me off using this plugin, but I’m going to keep a close eye on how this technology develops. There is also a great deal of latency induced by this plugin, which they’ve answered via offering a ‘zero-latency’ version, which isn’t quite ‘zero’, but at least we can recognise the amount of processing involved here. This actually fills me with hope and the desire to upgrade my Mac to support future releases.
More Information: www.acustica-audio.com
Gearstutz thread: www.gearslutz.com