Acustica Audio has released MAIZE. The plug-in recreates a unique piece of audio hardware, of which only two units were ever made: the Markbass PP10 stereo parametric equalizer. MAIZE also offers some additional features that you won’t find on the hardware, for even greater flexibility.
Acustica Audio MAIZE
Clearly, this is an impressive-looking EQ! According to Acustica, MAIZE is based on the extremely rare Markbass PP10 EQ, which was designed around 2006 with the help of Rodolfo Bianchi. Apparently, Markbass ultimately decided that it was too risky to venture outside of its core business field and enter the Pro Audio market. Consequently, they cancelled production after only two prototypes. Thanks to a collaboration between Acustica and Markbass, you can now enjoy this ultra-rare equalizer in your DAW projects.
Like the original, MAIZE is a stereo equalizer with five parametric bands per channel. Besides two low-frequency bands, which range from 15 to 800 Hz, you get a mid band (110 Hz to 7.4 kHz) and two high-frequency bands (410 Hz to 25 kHz). The lowest and highest bands can be switched to shelving mode. Furthermore, each band offers adjustable Q (0.3–6) and up to 16 dB of cut or boost. There are also separate on/off switches for each band and in/out switches for each of the two channels.
Acustica describes the PP10/MAIZE as an “esoteric” equalizer with a highly linear frequency response and phase to the extremes of each band. The developer claims that this makes MAIZE a great tool for sound shaping with its own distinct sonic personality. While it also lends itself to mastering applications, Acustica says that it’s especially useful as a mixing equalizer.
Working in software, Acustica was able to add some extra features that the rare hardware units don’t offer. Besides an M/S mode, they’ve added a preamp section with switchable solid-state and tube characteristics, as well as selectable oversampling options. Acustica has also added input and output meters and the option to link the controls of the two channels.
All in all, MAIZE looks like an EQ that puts impressive sound shaping capabilities at your fingertips. With precise control over each band and added features such as M/S, control link, and a choice of preamps, it offers pretty much everything you could wish for. Plus, you get to enjoy the sound of an extremely rare piece of audio equipment.
Price and compatibility
Acustica Audio MAIZE is now available for an introductory price of €69. This offer is good through May 26, 2022, after which the price will increase to €109.
MAIZE runs on macOS 10.14 or higher (including Apple Silicon) and Windows 10 or higher in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats. You’ll also need Acustica’s free Aquarius application for installation and activation.