Acustica Audio are building a reputation as a leading plug-in manufacturer in terms of pushing the boundaries of digital audio processing. However, usability and required processing power have always been a secondary priority. Hopefully, this new CORE9 technology will partly address this. I’m always very keen to see and hear what’s new from Acustica, and I appreciate their efforts towards achieving better results. With this being the third version of Ultramarine, I’m expecting good things.
Acustica Audio Ultramarine3
Ultramarine3 is a vintage-style stereo compressor plug-in that sports the ability to do mid-side processing. Emulating the sound of a famous 1950’s compressor (I wonder which one!), with mid-side processing is certainly an attractive concept for many. I’m not a huge user of mid-side processing, using it only where strictly appropriate. However, I love the concept, the GUI design and expect the sonic output to be very good from this latest revision. The layout of the GUI has changed slightly to accommodate some new features, but overall it looks fantastic. The new features include their ‘ShMod’ control, which allows you to fine-tune the shape of the attack behaviour. The other new feature is their ‘Sc Filter’, which is a sweepable high-pass filter acting across the compressor’s side-chain.
The big news with this release however, is their new CORE9 technology. This is claimed to be a further level of optimisation for their next generation of Acqua plug-ins. Whilst this is could be viewed as jargon, whatever Acustica are doing to behind the scenes is delivering results. I’m often impressed at the sonic capabilities of their plug-ins, but the lack of efficiency and CPU load they place on your system can be disappointing.
Wishful thinking fills me with the hope that CORE9 breaks down some this barrier to a certain extent. Unfortunately, the release notes aren’t filled with indications that this release addresses their issue of resource hunger, but there are a few so I will remain hopeful until I’ve tested it. Particular attention has been placed on the AAX format, which is sure to benefit myself and other Pro Tools users. Unsurprisingly, there are points about further improvements to the sound quality, which I have to admit are exciting.
Acustica provide a demo of this new plug-in and are offering it at an introductory offer of 254.15 EUR. The regular price will become 299 EUR, so it’s not a huge saving but a saving none the less. For more information and system requirements visit the Ultramarine3 webpage.