ACUSTICA AUDIO - PINK 2 - AMERICA DISCOVERED AGAIN

The Italians from Acustica Audio have accustomed us to quickly and regular releases of new and more daring plugins. They have accustomed us to the pace, they accustomed us to modern and bold exploration of technology. They have also accustomed us to a great, uncompromising sound and outlined, determined forward direction...

 

This time, Acustica Audio decided to do something different.

They stopped and looked back... and this is not about the lack of concepts, ideas or directions for the future.

This calm and thoughtful backwards step was planned for a long time. It was supposed to not reverse but strengthens their today's position...

​Do you remember our journey into the middle of the pink seventies?

We did it on the occasion of my article about the compression from Acustica Audio.

Today, thanks to the powerful update of their flagship channel strip PINK, we will return to that period again.

​It will not be a kind of nostalgic trip. There is no time for nostalgia.

Time for accelerated pulse, for shivers on the body. Time for a completely new, even more powerful and even fuller palette of pink icing...

​The first PINK quickly became synonymous with the quality of Acustica Audio.

A moment after "his" debut, "he" not only became popular, but also set a new standard for plugin reproductions of hardware analog audio equipment.

​Over the years, it has consolidated its position as the flagship product in the AA catalog.

Today, it still enjoys huge, unflagging interest. PINK achieved a significant commercial success and with its release the position of the whole Acustica Audio increased significantly.
  

It was "he" who set a new standard in the field of sound quality of software plugins.

It was "he" who started to revolutionize the created and patented AQUA series engine.

In true, the technological heights of Acustica Audio have begun from PINK...

Invariably good, invariably popular... and today is the day when PINK bundle is experiencing its repeated, re-birth...

As you probably know, PINK2 is a tribute to the legend and history of the true American sound.
Legend, where you do not have to recall the brand name. To instantly know what equipment we are dealing with,   all you need to do is look at its interface...

So, here it is...

 

One of the most popular and respected brands in the history of audio engineering.
From musical city of Nashwille to the heart of London... 

​Crispy, punchy, agressive, but very musically. Full of presence, stright forward and in your face. 
Great for rock and alternative. Great for pop and great for country.
Great for everything that need true American vibe.

Acustica Audio has announced this update for a long time. Although originally it was to appear a few months ago. Unfortunately, despite plans and initial announcements, nothing came out.

This does not mean that there was silence in the AA camp. In the meantime, a lot has happened...

Acustica Audio earned their first standalone AQUA DELAY,  huge and goergious REVERB and even a DISTORTION (I would like to say - finally), about which I will tell more on another occasion.

Returning to the latest version of PINK...

PINK has undergone a thorough facelift. "He" sprawled and grew up.

"His" new (free for existing owners of the original first PINK Bundle) version is something much more than just a refreshing of the interface of individual parts of the set (which now looks more seriously and immediately arouse associations with their hardware protoplast). 

So, many things have changed. Previously divided into two PINK packages (PINK CHANNEL STRIP and PINK COMPRESSORS BUNDLE) is now one powerful library, in which we find everything we need for comprehensive audio processing. I must admit, that this is probably the most extensive collection of plugins available in today's market. Eight preamps, two compressors, four parametric equalizers, and finally a large absent of the previous version of PINK. A ten-band graphical equalizer.

The whole thing takes up over 4GB of compressed data and it's impressive already when downloading the files. 

 

THE PACKAGE INCLUDES:

 

- MODULE 215, containing a large set of meticulously multisamplated preamps coming directly from American classic hardware units.

- MODULE 1650, under which four versions of the classic US parametric equalizer from the 70s are hidden.

- MODULE 2412, that is a modernized and improved version of the compressor known from the previous version of PINK.

- MODULE 780, gives us a very much anticipated novelty. Graphic ten-band equalizer with a lot of headroom and instantly recognizable American sound.

- MODULE 7236, for many icing on the cake of this set. A powerful multiband dynamics processor, the first version of which we had the pleasure to meet on the occasion of the earlier package of PINK COMPRESSORS BUNDLE

​Finally the heart of the package...

​- MODULE 2715, a complete, very analog channel strip combining all the benefits of legendary, modern American sound.

This main channel strip consists of three equalizers invoked to operate by the buttons depicting the letters of the alphabet. It should be noted, that the 1650 standalone version of the PINK2 equalizer section contains one additional equalizer, which I will talk about in a moment​...

The devices that served as the basis for PINK2 are widely used in recording studios around the world.

Everywhere they appear, they arouse admiration. Why? Because they are irreplaceable in the treatment of every guitar, drums, bass and vocals. All thanks to its custom made op amp and the sensational circuits responsible for the highly musical "proportional Q" curves that overlap each other. Thanks to that, even in spite of quite a big correction they cooperate with each other in a very musical way.

The "Proportional Q" is a relationship between the energy that is added or removed by boost and cut and the range of frequencies (bandwidth) effected by differing degrees of equalization.

With small amounts of boost or cut the equalization curve is low and very wide and, as the amount of boost or cut is increased, the Q increases and the equalized response curve becomes narrow or sharper.

The bandwidth and the boost/cut amounts are proportionally related - wider at 2dB and narrower at 12dB.
 

Thanks to the careful choice of frequencies based on mathematical properties (the difference between the available bands is always an octave), the processed signal does not generate phase issues which have a disastrous effect on the sound source...

The genesis of this phenomenal "proportional Q" is related to a funny story that can be perceived by different prisms. Quirk of fate? Maybe just the happy ending of a simple oversight? Going to the point... 

There are many indications that the enginers responsible for the shape of this now famous curves, for a quite long time did not know about its unusual properties. When testing the newly manufactured units, technicians usually checked only their extremely low and high values, so they were not aware of how those curves behave during gradual correction. So they don't know as well how unusual Q they managed to create.

Unlike Hardware, where the "proportional Q" circuit always works, Acustica Audio enabled us to turn it off.

What does this give in practice? With the help of a special button, we disable automatic narrowing of the equalizer curve so that it remains the same for all values of the gain parameter.

This solution allows for more surgical, precise treatments at lower gain values without losing an specific analog flavor. Please note that this function is deactivated at the factory settings.

Time to go deeply into specific elements of the PINK2 bundle. Let me start with...

 

 

THE PREAMPS

 

The 215 MODULE section begins with a classic...

Desirable and widely respected discrete microphone preamp, which because of its sound qualities is also often used in combination with another outboard equalizers. This preamp magnificently accentuates all vocals, acoustic guitars and drums.

 

​The second preamp comes straight from the section of the 5Ab equalizer.

Preamp, which unlike its predecessor is cleaner and more focused.  It gently adds presence and "something" of which this American equalizer is famous, while maintaining the purity and original character of the source signal.

 

​The third in the queue is the preamp orginally assigned to the 2412 compressor section. This preamp is relatively linear in its response.

​The button with the number four activates an emulation of a modern clone of the same circuit delivered with PREAMP 1, which is characterized by higher saturation and distortion levels.

 

The fifth preamp (following by the PINK2 manual) is a masterpiece vintage mic console preamp emulation.

The sound it delivers can be described as ‘in your face’, punchy, and it has a great bass and a clear, extended top end. This pre could be your best friend and a formidable weapon to color any sound".

Six preamp is the homebrew recreation of the previous preamp emulation. It’s hand-made by Soundrops (Stefano Dall’Ora) and it has been meticulously sampled by him.

​Seven - This button enables a two-stage microphone preamp of a clone device with well established reputation.

The components used to built the hardware vesion of this original sampled preamp are MADE IN USA and were put togheter in Italy by an authorized assembler. "The emulated module is heavily based on a full channel path of an old ‘70s console and its mic input, and it faithfully emulates this circuit in all its magnificence".

​Number eight enables a preamp, which is a perfect companion for EQ model D. Similarly to PREAMP 7 it has been assembled in Italy with part coming directly from the USA. It emulates a “swinging input” equalizer preamp simulation, which was very popular in the early ‘70s.

 

 

For this package, preamps are a very important section. They are a key component in the context of the timbre and nature of the final obtained sound. The quality of their emulation is therefore crucial to the fidelity of the result achieved.

 

Here comes the latest engine named CORE 12, which according to the announcement finally allows what many enthusiasts of technology based on "Vectorial Volterra Kernels" waited, that is... more saturation and distortion.

Thanks to the new "SASM TECHNOLOGY" (Symmetric and Asymmetric Saturation Modeling) and the added new algorithm called "High Performance Saturation", PINK2 preamps give us a stronger, fuller and even more faithful character, but... CORE 12 allows to even more...

 

Along with CORE 12, another developed and patented by Acustica Audio technology called "STT" (Super Transient Technology) was born, thanks to which the unnatural artificial highs is now a thing of the past and plugin fans will experience the analog sound of well-known and valued hardware units even more vividly.

This system has been developed in the best possible moment, because in the case of devices included in the PINK2 bundle, the details of transients are very important ​(a characteristic feature of this type hardware equalizers is a large number of transients details). ​So, the PINK2 bundle gives us stronger, analog saturation of the preamps section, true hardware nonlinearities, original character and dynamics of the equalizer curves, precise - even more convincing compression, better hardware optimization and (what we are particularly sensitive to) more analog flavor... and in fact, the PINK2 preamp section very well reproduces the characteristics of the original sound of its physical counterparts. Their possibilities are bigger this time. The palette of possible saturation, colors and distortions is also greater. The whole is very reliable, very American and convincing.

All preamps included in PINK2 are an important element of the whole signal chain. They give energy, add a sort of human factor, emotions and a feeling to all the processed tracks.

When used skilfully, they can add analogue color and vibe typical of their hardware equivalents.

 

Due to the multitude of sampled devices, this time we get a really large selection of different, both more prominent and more subtle sonic variants.

And so, the first preamp (alternately with the fourth one), as I predicted, works very well in contact with all kinds of vocals, line bass, synthesizers, snares and toms.

 

Preamp two will add an analog cover to all sort of kicks, overheads, acoustic guitars, piano and keys.

 

The third preamp is rather subtle. It adds a delicate sticky mojo.

 

The fourth preamp, despite what may seem after getting to know its description (although it has a larger distortion possibilities), is more round, warm and more even than the first microphone preamp described above.

Good for all tracks recorded with D.I.

Number five are surprising. This preamp is extremely pleasant, very vintage and very analogue.

Despite his punch, he warms up all too rough and too thin sound sources.

This is the best choice when working with weaker, naturally thin voices, as well as bass guitars and acoustic instruments. It perfectly highlights any solo parts.

The sixth preamp is like an extension of the fifth, but it has less climate and character.

It is cleaner and more open. It is also closer and more focused.

 

Seven is rather delicate and silky. On every path leaves a very light analog, vintage charm.

 

The final, eighth preamp is a big surprise for me. Very old, very true, full of smoke and climate kind of preamp, which combined with an additional, bonus equalizer titled D, turns into a real rock n roll workhorse.

This preamp convinced me immediately. I use it a lot, maybe it's just my aesthetics. My private sense of taste, however  in my opinion it is a quiet favorite of the whole bundle, but as always, everything depends on the context, idea and personal preferences of the user.

Unfortunately, despite the huge realism and really convincing "original" color, there is still a lack of strong (typical when cranking an analogue preamp) saturation, which is so useful when processing the D.I recorded bass, guitar or vocals. In order to get a higher level of distortion, you should either increase the number of active instances of the preamp section, or take care of the higher input level of the design tracks.

 

In a situation where you need a very cranky saturating preamp, I suggest simply to use a dedicated kind of "saturation" plugin, or use it in correlation with one of the PINK2 preamps. In this way, you will get a more dynamic, faithful analog character of the preamplifier section and greater distortion of the output of the transformer section.

 

THE EQUALIZERS

 

 

MODEL A is an extremely meticulous plugin reincarnation of the valued, classic hardware equalizer (whose official name is also characterized by the letter a), from which began the popularisation of this widely today known American sound...

 

​The original unit was designed and constructed in the late 1960s.

The goal in the assumption was quite simple, namely... collect the best possible components and create equipment which meet the expectations of the most demanding audio freaks. 

Equipment that will have the chance to become immortal. Ambitious, but is it definitely impossible?

 

As the thing is happening in America, where, as you know, the mythical "American Dream" sometimes comes true... the mission, though for many breakneck was completed with a great success.

 

The result was an outstanding high-class custom Class A/B output transformers equalizer with a wonderful and characteristic sound proporties, unusual features and an very musical curves.

First used as a modular OEM equalizer. It quickly found its way into many custom mixing consoles which to this day are the first choice of many metal and rock bands and musicains...

Some of the best copies of this classic equalizer were in the now-non-existent INDIGO RANCH STUDIOS in California, where (also with their help) was created the sound of many iconic albums...

 

Although MODEL A is strictly based on a classic hardware unit, it has a slightly changed range of upper frequencies. Instead of a typical for this design 12.5 and 15 kHz, in the AA version we get 7, 8 and quite unusual 13 kHz.

Despite this change, the A MODEL is an old fashion, genuine and classic A5a type equalizer, which thanks to the additional middle band and the button enabling the change of the behavior of Q curves (through which the device become more surgical)  has been strengthened and pushed into a new era.

The differences in the upper frequencies of this equalizer may come as a surprise.

Perhaps it were changed for legal reasons, maybe it was just the intention of Acustica Audio.

For me, these minor differences did not disturb already at the first PINK. Certainly, there will be those who, on the occasion of such a significant update, will be disappointed that also this time they did not receive the model 100% compatible with the original 5A design.

What we do not get in the A MODEL is what we get in the MODEL D, but hold on, i will describe more later...

Anyway this is a very good carnation of the classic, just with a little twist.

EQ A details:
 

• Low Band: from 50Hz to 400Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• Low Mid Band: from 400Hz to 5000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Mid Band: from 400Hz to 5000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Band: from 5000Hz to 13000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.

 

MODEL B has been carefully modeled with the help of the original American A5b unit, the origin of which is also dated at the end of the sixties of the last century. A unit whose frequency range has been enlarged to allow even more detailed control over the spectrum of the mix. 

 

Here everything fits with the hardware. This equalizer is clean, full of punch and very musical.

All sound nuances, behavior, original frequencies and the number of bands has been preserved.

Although in the audio environment it has become known that the A version has the most proverbial mojo and "this" appropriate typical sound and vibe, also its slightly later version named "b" not only perfectly complements the original face of the first classic but has its own die-hard fans to which I also strongly belong.

Honestly, I really love this equalizer. I often work with him and I know his nature, characteristics and possibilities well. Its additional band, and an extended range of lower and upper frequencies, make it far more versatile and effective when processing tracks of acoustic guitars, vocals and drums and its clean, focused character is perfect for more modern, contemporary projects.

 

For me, this equalizer perfectly combines the benefits of a warm, enhancing, refining analogue equalizer as well as a surgical, digital specialist for removing unwanted frequencies. 

 

In the realm of Acustica Audio, all this is flooded with a real non-linear dynamic response what additionally enhances its authenticity and analog sound. However, In comparison with the physical units on which I was allowed to work, the AA version has slightly less bass. This is noticeable especially around 100 Hz.

The character itself, the overall sound of the equalizer and all the curves typical for it were transferred very well to the ground of software.

 

EQ B details:

• Low Band: from 30Hz to 400Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• Low Mid Band: from 75Hz to 1000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Mid Band: from 800Hz to 12500Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Band: from 2500Hz to 20000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.

 

MODEL C is a inductor based version of the original MODULE B hardware equalizer.

This initial model was designed as a console equalizer with an unbalanced input, due to the internal architecture of the original recording console. As within board design space and ergonomics play a substantial role, often designers prefer to limit such modules and accept some compromises. The hardware parent of model C was specifically designed to address these limitations. It has instead a balanced input, an integrated power supply, premium components and a control range that expands its versatility as much as to include mastering applications. These features give the unit a different sonic texture and sound character when compared to the other models described above. The original device is a dual channel unit. However, to comply this emulation and with the other EQ modes in PINK2 Acustica Audio decided to sample only one of the channel of the original.

C is characterized by a slightly softer response to transients. which here is little slower and not so decisive.

This equalizer is generally less radical, gentler, which means you can push it harder without fear that something will sound bad, too harsh or inadequate.

EQ C details:

• Low Band: from 30Hz to 400Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• Low Mid Band: from 75Hz to 1000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Mid Band: from 800Hz to 12500Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Band: from 2500Hz to 20000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.

 

MODEL D is sampled from a very elaborate, ‘hot-rodded’ outboard processor characterized by a true inductor/capacitor circuit. The original idea of the manufacturer was to emulate the curves and the feel of the hardware that under the hood of MODEL A, while using the “swinging input” topology of that behind the model D EQ. The original device is equipped with three fixed bands that lend a sweet sound to the musical program thanks to the discrete circuitry and the dual inductor design (just like the other models), this EQ is characterized by a proportional bandwidth behavior. The only substantial departure from it is the duplication of the mid band, ensuring symmetry and adapting PINK2’s MODEL D to the more modern standards.

 

As the Pink2 manual says, Acustica Audio firmly believes that "model D represents a great added value to the PINK2 bundle. Due to its different origin, and as we did not want to overload the already packed PINK2 channel strip, we decided to include this bonus EQ only in standalone PINK2 1650 EQ plug-in".

 

This model sounds very old and very right! Carefully based on the scheme of the legend... this first, one of a kind rare equalizer with its flowing creamy sound has conquered the hearts of mixing engineers around the world. 

To this day an amazing final touch to all guitars overheads, snares and cymbals...

Very primary, very upfront tasty and classic... In the version from Acustica Audio, this sought after device is sprinkled with frequencies captured directly from the original A5a hardware unit. 

So all absent MODEL A frequencies are present in this beauty.

 

D is probably the biggest surprise of the whole PINK2. How good that AA decided to put it in this set...

 

The original unit was built around four discrete transistor buffers (each using two transistors), two field filter and two custom handmade op amps and i must say that here you can really feel this parts.

 

Only with this model you will fully understand what it means to sound like rock n roll. What was so unusual in the sound of the 70s. This is without a doubt one of the most dirty and full of character version of A5 equalizer that I could ever hear in the plugin world. A real rock n roll steamer, thanks to which each project will gain something unique and magical... so, the last will be the first? Something about it is undeniable...

EQ D details:

• Low Band: from 50Hz to 400Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• Low Mid Band: from 400Hz to 5000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Mid Band: from 400Hz to 5000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.
• High Band: from 5000Hz to 15000Hz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Switchable between peak and shelving. Peak switchable from proportional to constant bandwidth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of the original parametric equalizers on which PINK2 was based have never ceased to be fashionable.

They never ceased to be valid. To this day (which I think is important and worth highlighting) they are manufactured according to the original unchanged scheme and based on the same technology and components.

 

The culmination of their great path is the unchangeable, lasting reputation of new generations of musicians, producers and sound engineers from around the world, their unwavering position, legend and considerable influence on music and the entire music industry.

 

AMERICAN DREAM VERSION 2.0

 

In addition to the four parametric equalizers, PINK2 has one more highly awaited model...

 

The great absent of the previous edition of PINK... 

Iconic, versatile and working where the previous parametric American equalizers are not precise enough.

 

The graphical ten band 780 equalizer. A truly surgical, and very effective tool, irreplaceable when scullping the kick, snare, high hat, overheads, room mics, bass and vocal tracks.

The P780 Equalizer is ideal for placing tracks in the frequency spectrum (panorama) of a mix.

Do you want your mix to be more three-dimensional? Do you want to move back your kick track?

With this equalizer it's easy. It's enough to cut 500Hz, raise the bottom and reduce a bit the 125Hz band. Now listen to how the kick moves backwards in the spectrum of the mix.

Clearing bass from unnecessary frequencies has never been so intuitive and simple.

 

Acoustic guitar, vocals, snare drum, high hat... It's hard to have a faster and more effective equalizer when it comes to high hat and cymbals. Clean, efficient and always effective. The perfect complement to A5a and A5b.

 

Sonically, the 780 and MODEL B are close. they both have modeled the custom op amp section.

Thanks to that, it accurately replicates the original character of the custom output transformer and the behavior of Q, which, as in the case of all parametric PINK2 equalizers  operates on the basis of famous "proportional Q" circuits.

780 just like its hardware progenitor uses special S-taper controls. The resistance curve has an "S" shape.

It is symmetric but is steeper in the middle, and relatively slow at the ends.

If it used linear pots, the control would be all scrunched toward the ends. The use of the S taper also allowed a higher resistance, resulting in lower noise and the "proportional-Q".

This graphic EQ uses a completely different gyrator based design. The "filter" simulates a series R-L-C circuit. When the pot is near the middle, its resistance is in series with the gyrator's R-L-C, lowering the Q. It was actually designed as an LC equalizer, then an active circuit was substituted for the L.

 

Differences lies in octaves...

 

This 10-band colossus is based on a slightly newer, more accessible version of the classic from 1967 which uses different pots and different  taper ( which is a little different, but the same at the calibration points).

Despite many of his merits and qualities, it guarantee  a quick precision filtration without phase damage to the source material. A huge headroom guarantees a clean signal even during the most extreme instep or undercut frequency. Low Gain values always gives an extremely delicate, musical, transparent results, but as soon as we turn up the boost, the character changes and we get a full, sharp, resonant and uncompromising American sound...

 

The Acustica Audio version, in contrast to the hardware original, is equipped with an input trim parameter by means of which we overclock the level of the input signal and the knob responsible for the level of the output signal. Both operate in the range from -24 to + 24dB.

With these equalizer, it's really hard to corrupt anything. They sound very good. Their algo (including their official) versions are less dynamic and a bit thinner and flatter, with a slightly more sharp top end.

Here, everything has the right proportions. Its addition definitely strengthens the whole bundle.

 

An additional interesting alternative, which until now was possible only in a typical  algo based VST environment.

P780 EQ details:

• 10 Bands at set frequencies: 31Hz, 63Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz, 16kHz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Proportional bandwidth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going to the collective assessment of all PINK2 equalizers...

One of the creators of original units once said, that these equalizers can never be properly modeled.

That, their real character, their behavior will never be successfully transferred to the world of software.

 

I've thought in that way for a long time. I've probably tested every available software reincarnation, and each time I felt less or greater dissonance. Every time I went back to the hardware device. Today, I'm still going back to hardware, but thanks to PINK2 I have the chance to do it less often.

 Do not get me wrong. It is not that any of the commercially available, oficial endorsed plugin versions of this legends lacks sound fidelity. In this field, all fall faithfully. It's more about what is in a sense under the hood, under the sound... all these non-linearities, transient dynamics, saturation...

The analog width, punch and life of this equalizer, how it sets in motion, how it pushes forward everything that we pass through it. PINK2 equalizers sounds exactly like this.

 

They sound so good that we quickly forget that we are dealing with a plugin.

They sound great even with extreme settings, which corresponds to how original hardware units behave.

They have all the nuances, dynamics, curves behave and just sounds like analog. What can I say more?

 

THE COMPRESSORS

 

The PINK2 package (just as the previous PINK COMPRESSORS BUNDLE) consists of two dynamics processors named 2412 and the 7236.

Although the 2412 is rather a channel compressor, it works very well on the sub groups and the mix  master bus. Its  second, upadted version perfectly captures any unwanted  transients. Perfectly pumps and sets the right motion of each track even more accurate. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The uniqueness of this compressor lies in its wide possibilities of settings.

First of all, 2412 gives us two different types of sound and behavior.

 

FEEDBACK style which give us a classic, slightly more vintage, even milder overall compression and a modern

FEED FORWARD style with more powerful and precise current day approach. 

 

​2412 has also a number of unique capabilities for control the signal. For example, a tri-range knee, which in colloquial translation refers to the way in which the compressor reacts to the signal.

Setting the knee indirectly affects not only behavior but also the width of the compressor operation.

SOFT knee value gives us a lighter, warmer and more natural sound. Compressor here affects gently to the whole introduced signal.

​MED knee value is more focused, sharper and slightly more pushed to the front of the sound.

​HARD knee presents an aggressive, similar to the character of classic limiter.

​As you can see knee also affects the nature of the sound of the compressor.

PINK (according to what is found in the hardware unit) has a very useful and highly developed section responsible for filtering the signal (which in the original constructions is hidden under the name "detect thrust") by which compressor indicate the scope of its activities. 

This is a fairly advanced type of internal sidechain so that opens up completely new opportunities.

Which? Assume for a moment that 2412 is used as a classic bus compressor.

In this case we can easily make that our compressor will focus only on the upper frequencies of our mix to allow for extremely efficient treatment of any transient, sibilants or sharp edges of the mixed tracks.

 

​Do you know some other bus compressor that is capable of?

​By using the tone we can set the curve of the built in sidechain equalizer.  

​HARD, pumping our signal more from the upper band.

​NORM setting is flat and therefore affects the whole signal.

​MED depending on the signal level responds most strongly exhibited frequency of the track.

 

No matter whether our intention is to control the dynamics of just the kick and bass, subjugation instruments clustered in the middle of the band, or will the delicate recovery and alignment of the whole mix.

Pink gives us so extraordinary opportunity to decide on how to react frequency range compressor.

In the case of bus destination or mastering it opens a brand new possibilities.

 

​Time to take a closer look at the second compressor of the PINK2 Bundle. 

 

Which is... big and mysterious 7236.

 

 

As I said before (in the article about the compression in the realm of Acustica Audio) 7236 is designed to significantly extend the generic spectrum of a typical compressor, so that it is effective wherever the classic compressor turns out to be unreliable.

For 7236 we are dealing with an extremely advanced design allows us to independent adjustment of not one, but several different frequencies. So that the compressor is also ideal when some advanced mastering work are in progress...

​Each of the three available frequency bands can be treated as an independent compressor, the number of special features can be combined so that a complementary and extremely precise influenced both for each frequency and at all of our project. "He" interacted strongly, effectively and most importantly in at the same time! 

With this solution, the 7236 PINK2 compressor will prove particularly well in all this kind of situations where it is necessary to dig in on specified, problematic frequency or within a particular area of the instrument in which is located the problem...

​Through the control link button you can link together all three frequency ranges, so you get a powerful, classic acting compressor ideal for the sum of our mix...

Since 7236 has been created on the basis of 2412, its interface allows us to have all the settings available in 2412.

​A new feature differentiating this compressor from the usual 2412 is that all parameters are available for the different frequency ranges! 

 

Two different modes of compression, selectable frequency response, the knee. All this we get here three times!

This very powerful multiband compressor gives us a broad spectrum of possible settings, so that we subjugate the dynamics of any previously recorded track. Shaping it exactly the way we want...

​Each among the available bands can be individually bypassed.

 

When we add to all of this a very unique and powerful sidechain allowing us for example, precisely specified frequency at which the compressor will react, we will receive highly specialized plugin which firmly stands out from the competition.

​7236 is equipped with up to three types of specially designed filters called cross-over and the X4 feature,

which multiplies the frequencies of the Low Band filter by a factor of four. (This mode can be only used in A xover mode). ​All this available filters support a fairly sizable range of frequencies (from 100 Hz to 600 Hz and from 1.5 kHz up to 12 kHz). 

​The first one is very clean and very precise digital style filter, which no colors the signal and does not cause changes in the phase spectrum of the track. 

 

The second type represents already a much more analog flavor. 

This filter is less precise, but very juicy and tasty. 

The third and last type of filter is named JOLLY and we know about it so that it is taken directly from the physical analog unit, which was built especially for this plugin.

 

Of course, also in this case we get the opportunity to benefit from a globally acting, very pleasant-sounding preamp, with whom compression becomes complete and full of extra mojo...

​Pink 7236 is the first multiband compressor based on CORE12. It has been designed to be comfortable, intuitive and simple to use. It is a superior tool  ideal for treating any instrument or problem frequency in the enirnoment of the mix. 

The whole PINK2 bundle works very smoothly. The sound achieved is even more faithful to the original units,

which this time served as a sort of starting point, and in any case was not the only determinant of the shape and sound of this bundle... 

 

Maybe this time, other (I mean better) converters were used? Perhaps Acustica Audio gained access to better-sounding original hardware units? Although I do not know, but I know for sure that the final effect is great.

It's not an artificial, fake sound that only pretends to be well known, signature sound.

It's a real, pure, full of punch, classic sound that helped define the music history.

 

Its sound, all techniques and tricks possible to obtain using hardware, with PINK2 are now also available in the domain of In the Box. Just try to crank up the equalizer preamp and set the maximum dB value on the 800hz frequency of your bass, add some low end and listen to how it rules in the mix. How beautifully and musically it saturates. Another example of the popular use of this equalizer are drums, where it is often used to thicken the bottom frequencies of the snare drum, enhance clarity and achieve the so-called crack.

Try to enable the filter section. Then, depending on the size and type of the snare drum, raise the area around 100 or 200 Hz, make a considerable increase of 1.5 kHz, and finish the whole with a little bit of the top end (around 7 - 10 kHz) in this way you will get the classic American snare drum sound.

 

The uniqueness of this units is best heard on guitars. Here PINK2 really shows the power hidden in the "Vectorial Voletrra Kernels Technology" patented and used by Acustica Audio.

A bit of bottom in the area of 150 - 240 Hz, cutting out unnecessary mud around 300 Hz, boosting the upper midrange (depending on the type and role of the guitar) in the area of 1.5 - 5 kHz, At the end, a bit of air and voila... listen to the guitars again. This is the sound of the final, album ready guitar track...

The middle (and in particular the upper mid) of the band is the golden range of this equalizers. It is these frequencies that have contributed to the massive global success of the hardware units.

 

With the help of PINK2, you can very effectively get everything that the original constructions are famous for.

the legendary growl of a bass guitar, the massive punchy crank of the snare, shinning round guitars, shimmering, tight vocals... All of this even more beautifully and even more convincing than the first time...

Despite the high quality of sound, the difference with previous release is still noticeable.

Although it is a certain cliché, advertising slogan used today by the majority of companies that each time during the presentation of the new plugin complain about its superiority to its predecessor and competition.

In the case of AA, it really is the truth.

 

 

BUCKET OF TAR

 

Now a few words about the cons, which I managed to find...

 

For me personally, quite a big con is the lack of the possibility of obtaining a high level, pronounced, specific saturation, the typical distortion of a heavily crancked preamp, to which I can still get closer only by using other plugins.

 

Despite the upgrade of the engine, the compressors still require strong CPU. To enjoy the fullness of its capabilities, we must stock up on a powerful computer. Although the engine update of course helps, the powerful, multi-range, active Acustica Audio compression is still not for everyone. Of course, compared with the earlier version, both compressors work more efficiently, they also deal better with quick attack and transients, but with a really healthy dose of (especially multiband) compression on weaker machines they can be late and sound a bit artifact.

 

Of course, during the mix or mastering, the latency issues does not count on the final effect, but tracking with these compressors (and the entire set of PINK2) if possible - still remains the domain of those equipped with really powerful computers.

Oh, and there is one more thing...

During vocal processing, when I reduced the 3kHz band by 2dB, the vocals suddenly disappeared and more precisely, it has significantly decreased. The same can be seen in the case of 1650 standalone equalizers.

So it is a bug that should be eliminated as soon as possible.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

It takes some time to discover all the colors and possibilities of the PINK2 bundle. However, I assure you that even if hidden... All elements. which make up the widely respected American legacy are here.

The whole family of premium devices, all their pros and cons ... Ready at your fingertips...

 

PINK2 has retained the character and kept the tradition of the first version. It preserved and strengthened its American roots.

 

The upper and lower bands of MODEL A, sounds phenomenal and definitely deserve attention.

 

MODEL B sounds almost exactly like the hardware versions that I know, in combination with A is cleaner and has a slightly more harsh top however, thanks to its 20kHz it is often not only useful but also irreplaceable...

 

The C MODEL will certainly find its application on every drum bus and mix bus.

 

One of the brightest points and one of the biggest surprises of this bundle is definitely the fourth D equalizer, 

Which sounds absolutely killer... Fat, organic, full of American smoke and analogue magic. 

All tracks passed through its virtual circuits in a while belong to the seventies. So there is a lot of analogue mojo. It's thicker as hell and it's better...

 

Most of the preamps present in the PINK2 (especially the first, second, fourth, five, and eight preamp) very well reflect what hardware is famous for. The tracks processed with them sit better in the mix. They sound sharper, more interesting and more dynamic. With a larger, overloaded project, each of them will certainly find its place.

I was very surprised by the previous first version of PINK. Now this bundle is even more faithful and powerful.

PINK2 is an extraordinary package that gives more than I expected. We have here a complete, very wide tools for precise and musical sound production that combines the unique direct and uncompromising nature of American sound. For those who value the sound of the original units. For those who can not imagine their workflow without the legendary two-step American equalizer PINK 2 without a doubt is  currently the best plugin option...

 

If you have strong multicore computer, you are not afraid of dependence on plugins and you have no qualms about sacrificing more than 6 GB of disk space for one plugin package. Go for it...

PINK2 is not the cheapest VST. However, considering the value for money, it is still a very good deal.

For less than 200 euros we get a wisely designed, powerful environment with American sound and pedigree.

Taking into account the possibilities offered by the PINK2, the number of plugins we get and their capabilities here is a truly golden deal.

 

So the progress is significant. It's better, it's more, and it's even more real!

A legend redefined with one hundred percent success...

 

POST SCRIPTUM

 

 

Acustica Audio from product to product is doing better on the plugin market.

They do not slow down the pace and release more plugs with amazing regularity,

not allowing us to hide the wallet. AA makes plugins according to the best possible recipe, so that they can be their most faithful fans themselves.  

Thanks to PINK2, we can clearly see the path they have traveled. The picture of where the team of AA is today is even clearer. We can also see that although they have achieved truly amazing sound, they are still not afraid to look for more and more sophisticated analog flavors...

 

 

 

more on:www.acustica-audio.com

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