You know the Acustica Audio drill: the developer finds ultra-rare gear, samples its very soul, and pours the results into plug-ins that showcase dynamic convolution’s potential to the fullest.
Gainstation is Acustica’s titular distortion plug-in, based on choice hardware modded by Mike Dean (bigshot rap/hip-hop producer). For its sequel, Acustica cooked up no less than five major improvements and dished out a pair of plug-ins (Boost & VSM) which bring various Gainstation 2 features to the one-knob plug-in format.
Acustica Audio Gainstation 2
The sequel adds the following features to those of its predecessor:
- Enhanced Pultec-style EQ with added mid-range and AIR frequency choices.
- New Texture circuits to introduce additional harmonic content to material in need of livening up.
- New Texture circuit emulations: O (Orange) for added bass and low-mid saturation, B (Black) for high-mid and high frequency boosts, and OB (Orange + Black) which makes both run in serial.
- Upgrade to the Core 17 audio engine
- Additional optimizations and graphic user interface improvements
These aside, Gainstation is still a distortion processor comprised of five different sections. The preamp section includes preamp harmonic distortion which you dial in by increasing or decreasing input gain. The Pultec-style EQ section comprises two bands – BASS++ and AIR++ – as well as 4 preamp emulations (again dialed in via input trim). The Spread control lets you widen or shorten the stereo image without affecting the ‘mid’ part of the spectrum – only the sides. There are also four Clipper modes with several routing configurations to explore.
Gainstation 2 Boost
This one-knob plug-in applies a fixed Gainstation 2 Pultec EQ setting (60Hz BASS++, 10kHz AIR++, and preamp distortion) to your audio tracks. The amount of EQ can be adjusted from the Boost knob.
Gainstation 2 VSM
The VSM one-knob plug-in implements the Texture circuit from Gainstation 2, complete with the three circuit emulations (O, B, O+B). The amount is adjusted from the Texture knob.
Price and availability
All Gainstation 2 plug-ins are available from the Acustica Audio website at introductory prices (good for the 4 weeks ahead):
- Gainstation 2 is sold for EUR 112, down from EUR 149.
- Gainstation 2 Boost and VSM are sold for EUR 49 each, down from EUR 65 each.
The plug-ins are available in 64-bit VST, AU, and AAX formats for Windows 10 and macOS 10.9 (or later). Acustica’s free Aquarius plug-in manager application handles installation and licensing.