Acustica Audio strikes with a collaboration between the usual suspects at Studio DMI and the acclaimed mixing engineer Dave Pensado. This is the first time a plugin carries Dave Pensado’s name and emulates equipment from his studio and specific techniques and tricks he uses throughout his multi-year career.

The plugin is based around Acustica’s Core 14 and features all the latest technologies and innovations the company has to offer. Featuring 4 bands, 2 filters, 2 preamps, an autogain that compensates for the input setting so you can drive the preamps and an x2 extender that doubles the dB range of the bands. There are also on/off switches for each band, each filter and each preamp making it very easy to A/B every movement.

Let’s dive in a bit deeper.

The filters: HP is very smooth and effective and does its job perfectly. The only issue is that the Hz readings on the interface are not very accurate so do use your ears. LP follows the same principle plus it seems to change its shape/Q on the various settings thus leading to very musical results.

The bands: Every band has five selected positions that not only represent a change in frequency but different equipment on each setting. Low band’s 50 and 80 are custom settings that Pensado uses to carve the low end. Perfect for kicks and bass. The other three settings (100, 160, 360) are low shelfs when boosting but take more intriguing shapes when cutting. The same thing happens with the low mid band. All settings are bells but the exact curve shape changes when you boost or cut and also depends on how much you boost or cut. High mid has two custom settings (440-12k8, 1k24-12k8) that are reminiscent of Studio DMI’s Color EQ and are perfect for adding clarity or removing harshness. 2k5 and 8k settings are high shelfs and 7k has more of a custom response. Similarly, every different setting, boosting or cutting changes the curves. On the high band 8k2 and 9k8 settings are tight bells and the rest three settings are high shelfs with various slopes and curves. Again everything is customly fine tuned for musical boosting/cutting according to Dave’s techniques.

The preamps: PRE1 is very beefy and boosts the low end while PRE2 has a more HiFi, sweet sound with a top-end boost and a slight cut in the upper mids. Both preamps complement the EQ perfectly and give that extra analog mojo and depth.

Last but not least there are many useful presets included from Dave Pensado himself for every instrument you may come across in an electronic music production. We hope to also see Acustica’s AI implemented on the presets in a future update.

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