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How to install and authorize Acustica plugins like Sand, Lime, Coral, Ultramarine, Acquamarine, White, Ivory, Purple, Pink, Amber, Scarlet, Navy, Honey, Diamond, Magenta, Emerald, Gold, Nebula, N4

Hi! I am Alex Toma, local dealer (RO) for Acustica Audio and this is my step-by-step, fail safe tutorial for installing and authorizing Acqua plugins (both fully licensed and free trial versions). If you have further questions regarding Acustica’s Acqua plugins or Nebula 4 (N4), don’t hesitate to contact me here using this link: Official Acustica Audio Plugins Online Dealer. I am always glad to help you with educational, group-buy and bundle discounts.

  1. I myself have tried the Waves and IK Multimedia ones. So, the question is: How well do Acustica’s plugins stack against the competition? Let the battle begin! Round 1: Interface PurpleM5 User Interface Purple P-1 User Interface. By and far, the Acqua Purple series has the shiniest and best-looking dials on the market.
  2. Requires VST compatible host for operation. AcquaVox is the first of many standalone plugins in the Powered by Nebula product line. Nebula is a highly sophisticated emulation engine, utilizing brand new technology to recreate the unique and desired idiosyncrasies of analog hardware inside your DAW.

Also, don’t miss this article where I explain why I prefer to use Acustica’s plugins like Lime, Sand, Coral, Purple, Pink, Diamond, Gold, Navy, Ultramarine, Acquamarine, Nebula4, Ivory, Magenta as hardware software emulations and why I prefer them over other plugins, like those developed my Steven Slate, Waves, Universal Audio, etc.

Without further adu, let’s jump in with the process of installing and authorizing both commercial and free trial version of Acqua plugins on windows.

  1. In order to download and install Acqua plugins or Nebula, you have to make an account on Acustica’s website first, by clicking on the “Login/Register” tab;
  2. Click on “Register”; if you already have an account, you can jump straight to step no.7;
  3. Fill in the empty spaces with all the required data;
  4. After all the data has been properly filled in, click on “Register”; You should get this message:
  5. Log in on your registered email account; you should have a mail from Acustica in the inbox. Click on the link;
  6. After all the steps have been sucessfully completed, you should get this message:
  7. Click again on the “Login/Register” button;
  8. Click on “Store” > “Acqua plugins” > “Trial series” if you want to download the free 30 days trial version or “Store” > “Acqua plugins” > “Commercial series” if you want to buy the licensed version.
  9. For the 30 days free trial versions, select the plugins you’d want to try out by following this path: “Store” > “Acqua plugins” > “Trial series”, then check the “Add to cart” option for each of them;
  10. After adding the desired plugins, click on “Checkout”;
  11. Click again on the “Checkout” option;
  12. Confirm your order (for the free trial version, the total will always be 0 eur);
  13. Click on the link to download the plugins;
  14. You could also click on the “Dashboard” tab if you want to have access to the download links of all of your plugins;
  15. Fill in the tab with the password (careful not to copy the empty space after the last character). Sometimes using Chrome browser is recommended, if you are having trouble with Firefox;
  16. If the password has been successfully inserted, you should have this window:
  17. Proceed with the installation of the desired version (VST or AAX for Mac or Win, AU only for Mac). Here I will install the vst version for windows (using cubase), with the sample rate of 44.1 Khz; Some of the plugins have separate versions for 48, 88.2, 96 Khz and you’ll have to install those separately; For OSX, the steps are very similar, but the installing path is fixed ( Boot Partition> Library > Plugins> Components (for Audio Unit version) or VST (for VST) and Aux version for Pro Tools ;
  18. After the download has been completed, double click on the executable file;
  19. Follow the steps; don’t forget to check the “I accept the License Agreements terms” tick;
  20. Choose the desired version (32 bit or 64 bit);
  21. For Windows, the 32 and the 64 bit have different installing paths;
  22. Click on the “Finish” button;
  23. After successfully installing the plugins, your vst folder (in this case) should look like this:
  24. In order to authorize the plugins (both the trial version and the commercial versions), the steps are identical. If you work with Cubase, this should be run as admin by right clicking on the executable and then choose “Run as Administrator”. Also, the account that you are using for the operating system (windows or Mac Os) should not be “Guest”; The files that have a “t” by the ending of their name are the trial versions; I suggest to remove those after purchasing the commercial versions of the same plugins, so that no confusion could occur; ZL stands for “Zero Latency”, which are a little bit CPU intensive, and should be used only when you need the zero latency mode, when you need them for instant signal monitoring; For Mac, I use Logic Pro X, which runs automatically as Administrator;
  25. AFTER opening for the first time a specific plugin, a “.ser” file is created in the installation folder. This is the file that you should upload by using the “dashboard” tab on the website, in order to get the “.aut” file, that is the license for the authorized version of the plugins;
  26. On the Acustica Audio website, acces the “User area” > “Dashboard” tab, then scroll until you see the “Authorize Products” window. Here you have to click on “Choose files”, then select the “.ser” file for every plugin that you want to authorize (the plugins must be authorized one by one);
  27. As you can see, the “.ser” file for the Acquamarine plugin have been selected and will be uploaded for authorizing purpose;
  28. After uploading the “.ser” file, in about 1–2 minutes you will get an email containing the “.aut” ziped file as attachement. This is the license file and it can also be downloaded by accesing the “ My Licenses” on the website;
  29. Copy the “.aut” file from the website or by unzipping the attachement that you just got on the email and paste it next to “.ser” file, in your vst folder ( on mac, on audio units — components folder, you will see two folders — Acustica64 is for 64 bit version of the plugins, and “Acustica” is for 32 bit version;
  30. That’s it, happy tweaking!


Unofficial Acustica Master List

Numbers in parenthesis indicate their Core engine version. For those aquas without version numbers, assume Core6 or below.

Amber (13) — Avalon AD2055 equalizer and Avalon AD2044 optical compressor.
Amethyst (10) — EQ A: Amek clone EQ, EQ B: Amek 9098r + Amek 9098 compressor + Amek 2500 & 9098 preamp options. Rupert Neve designed gear. 9098 has a smooth RND — 33609'ish flavor. (thanks @Will The Weirdo)
Aquamarine (13) — Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor (formerly the Murano) and Langevin 258-A program EQ.
Azure (13) — Knif Soma Mastering EQ. Preamp is mastering engineer Zino Mikorey’s signal path with the Soma hardware.

Blue — Chandler Germanium Tone Control
Camel (16) — Calrec PQ1785 (EQ A), Calrec DL1656 (Comp1 and Lim), Trident B Range (EQ B) and Trident CB 9146 (Comp2). Thanks noriokun for the Comp2 correction.
Preamps: 16 Trident B Range console line inputs, 16 Trident B Range microphone preamps plus :
Custom Preamps Trident B Range EQ (Custom 1), Stereo Preamp Mic 1 & 2 to Stereo Outputs L and R (Custom 2), Trident CB 9146 stereo (Custom 3) and Calrec DL1756 stereo (Custom 4).

Ceil/Big Ceil (13) — Heavily modified Focusrite ISA 430 channel strip.

Celestial (14) — Solid State Logic Fusion. The Mix Processor (intended for tracks and group busses) plugin has a sidechain filter on the dynamics section. The Bus Processor (intended for the mix buss and mastering duties) replaces the dynamics sidechain with a crossover and adds a Dimension control (fixed frequency low shelf filter inside of the mid/side matrix) to replace the pan knob.
Cobalt (10) -Acustica’s first dynamic equalizer. Dynamic function is switchable. Officially endorsed by the hardware maker, Luca Martegani. LM 9736 equalizer (improvement upon the Pultec EQP-1a) and the LM 9804 Compressor (Altec Lansing Feedback Compressor improvement).
Coffee (15) — The Chandler Collection
• EQs: (A) Chandler Limited TG12345 Curve Bender and (B) Chandler Limited Germanium Tone Control.
• Compressors: (1) , (2) and (ULTRA) are a Chandler Limited RS124. (MODE 3/LIM) is a Chandler Limited TG12413 Zener Limiter
• Preamps: 31 in total.

1–24: 24 channel paths (line input to output). The frequency response (of each preamp) is derived from 24 different channels of a transistor-based solid-state console. The harmonic content (of each preamp) is derived from a recreation of a celebrated vintage Mic Amplifier (valve line amplifier) used in one of the most famous recording Studios in UK in the ‘60s.
EMI TG12428?

A: EQ Model A’s line preamp.
C25: REDD.47? ‘a tube microphone pre-amplifier emulation, the recreation of the original valve line amplifiers used in one of the best Britishrecording studios in the ‘60s.’
E: line preamp of the TG12413.
F: line preamp of the RS124.
G: Little Devil Pre Amp (doesn’t include the Feedback control).


B: EQ — Model B’s line preamp emulation of
D: a preamp emulation of a Germanium based Mono Microphone Preamp/ DI 500 series unit.
(The B and D emulations that are part of the FEED bank give the user the possibility to use the FEEDBACK control/knob.)

Coffee The PUn (15) — A portion of the Chandler Limited Germanium Tone Control. Freebie.
Cola (15) — (C-228) Cadac G228 EQ, (C-1671) Astronic 1671 9 band graphic EQ, (C-415) Vortexion Mixer and (C-505) Cadac A505 VCA (an ultra rare limiter/compressor, thanks AA Facebook Group).
Coral (13.5) — A hybrid mastering strip featuring an elliptical filter, transparent equalizer and a soft clipping compressor. SPL Iron mastering compressor and SPL PQ mastering equalizer inspired. Baxter is the freebie and is sampled from a Dangerous Music BAX EQ (thanks Andy McGroarty).
Cream (13) — EMI TG12345 solid state EQ (gray plate), ‘homebrew’ tube EQ (green plate), EMI RS124 (tube), EMI TG12345 MKIV Compressor (solid state), EMI TG12345 MKII and MKIV consoles, EMI TR-50 and EMI TR-90. First acqua to feature a large assortment of line input and microphone preamp choices.
Crimson (11) — Vertigo Sound VSM-2 harmonics generator. Also Vertigo Sound VSC-2 compressor with added Asym (even harmonics) feature. This is Acustica’s first featured dynamic saturation/distortion plugin.
D361A — Dolby D361A, AlexB sampling. (discontinued)

Diamond Color EQ (14) — Endorsed by Luca Pretolesi. Based on a CharterOak PEQ-1 and some other hardware. (thanks @Viking4)
Diamond Lift (13) — Endorsed by Luca Pretolesi. Saturation, EQ, compression and clipper channel strip. Combines a number of rack hardware including the Bettermaker Mastering Limiter & EQ 232P Mastering EQ. Maybe the Pendulum PL-2. Saturation is a combination of two preamps.
Diamond Transient (16) — Endorsed Luca Pretolesi, once again! It’s his dynamic enhancement/transient designer chain. If you want loudness that still sounds punchy/dynamic, this is the one to get. Part of the chain is a dbx 3BX III.

Compressor Modes 1 Thick vaccuum tube, 2 Glue-like, 3. Snappy/aggressive
Clipper Modes 1, Mix of soft/hard clipping. 2, Softer knee than Mode 1. 3, Unfolding, hardware-like hard clipping.
Thanks @PhelixK and YouTube for the info.
Ebony (10) — Elektromesstecknik (EMT) 140 Plate Reverb.
• E111 equalizer: EMT 111 console EQ
• E411 equalizer: EMT 411 console EQ
• E82 equalizer: Eela broadcast 82 console EQ
• D112: EMT 111 console compressor (emulation of the compressor module included in a rare mixing console built in ’70 by German company. The original design of the desk was simple (in a good way), making it easier to maintain / modify.)
• D277: EMT compressor/limiter 277 (a rare compressor, fairly transparent sound of many ’70s and early ’80s records.It’s characterized by a good line preamp inside.)
• D473: Neumann U473 or U473a compressor.
• D82: Eela broadcast 82 console EQ (Compressor module emulation of a rare/vintage Dutch “heavy duty” mixing desk.The company founded in 1975 is recognized as one of the companies who has been dedicated to developing, manufacturing and supplying professional audio products to the Radio Broadcast Industry.)
• Filters E118 are recreated and modeled after EMT filters 118
• Preamps: E111, E411, D112, D277, D82/S (stereo), D473/S Thank you Will the Weirdo for filling in the Ebony gaps…this one was tough!

El Rey (13) — Producer Greg Wells’ RCA BA-6A limiting amplifier (compressor).

Emerald (14) — Custom built hardware, loosely inspired by the Klein & Hummel UE 1000 equalizer. The curves practically have the same unique slope as the UE-1000, but the center frequencies are different and the active part of the circuit is more modern/cleaner.
The new (for version 2) E200 is a homebrew clone sampling of the Klein & Hummel UE-200. (thanks swartzfeger)

Erin (15) — The EAR collection (thanks denork for the details)


Gold (16) — The Neve collection
• 8066 EQ: Neve 1066
• 8112 EQ: Neve 33122

• 8093 EQ: EMI-Neve 1093 (shelf filters only, Neve 1081 with Marinair transformers)
• 8193 EQ: EMI-Neve 1093 (Bell/peak mode, Neve 1081 with Marinair transformers)

• 8077 EQ: Rare Neve 1077. Mid frequency bands are duplicated.

• 3102 EQ: Neve 31102 (from a 8068 console equalizer module. Characteristics: a 1073 with added frequencies in the high band and an added mid range high Q .)

• 8115 EQ: Ultra rare Neve 3115.

• 8252 Compressor: Neve 2252
• 8254 Compressor: Neve 2254

• A variety of tube preamps, including a Neve 9001 (thanks Asher Bay)

• A variety of Neve EQ/console/microphone preamps. (Thanks AiD for the info)
8071–1271 line amp module modded to work as a mic preamp (Thick but not muddy)

8072 — Brent Averill 1272 preamp, based on the 1272 line amp module. (aggressive, try on drums)
24 line inputs and 12 mic inputs from an 8068 console. 10 bus channel paths of a random Neve gear (channel insert to bus output) A full list is available on GOLD3 user manual, page 66.

Green (16)- The George Massenburg Labs (GML) Collection. First Core 16 acqua plugin.
Green4EQMX: Mono Model 8200 equalizer aka GML 8200
Green4EQST: True Stereo GML 8200

Green4ZenCMP: GML 2030 Mastering Dynamic Gain Control (compressor/limiter)
Honey (13) — 1970s era Harrison 32C equalizer (homebrew and vintage sampling) and a feedforward VCA compressor.
Ivory (13) — Maselec MEA-2 equalizer (IAE2, year 2017 model), Maselec MLA-4 (Mac-3, multiband compressor/limiter), COMP 1B is a single band derivative of the MLA-4, DynEQ is a dynamic eq derived from MEA-2 & Comp 1B and DynEQ Stereo is a dynamic eq derived from IVORY3 STEREO and
Comp 1B.

Jade (15) — A versatile collection of hardware samplings. First plugin to introduce an Adaptive Latency channel strip.
• EQs: (A) Maag Audio EQ4, (B) Focusrite Red 2 and a hybrid of a (C1) Kush Audio Clariphonic MKII (note the 34k shelf setting) and a (C2) Lindell 6x500.
• Compressor: (D) compressor and (E) limiter are rumored to be a Crane Song STC-8.
Lemon (11) — The first Acqua delay. Features a huge collection of saturation flavors. It is the first Acqua to use Core 11 technology.

A0 — Crystal Acustica — Acustica Delay
A1 — Amityville = Eventide Orville
A2 — Belt of Venus = Lexicon PCM 70
A3 — Your Love = Teac Cassete tape
A4 — Memories of tomorrow = EH Memory Man
A5 — Too Cool = TC 2290
A6–89 Degrees = Klark-Teknik DN780
A7 — Galatic Quadrant = Alesis Quadraverb
A8 — Answer 42 = Lexicon PSP 42
A9 — Enchanted Princess = AMS-Neve RMX 16
B0 — Cala Nova Sunrise = TC Nova Delay
B1 — Broken Tears = Roland Space Echo 150
B2 — Autumn in my heart = Echoplex (1st solid state from the 70s)
B3 — In the fire of spring = TC Electronic FireworX
B4 — Digital Dream — DIGITECH Studio Quad
B5 — Aiguille Du Midi = Alesis Midi Verb
B6 — Blue Marine Summer = Korg A3
B7 — NGC 480 = Lexicon 480l
B8 — Winter Magic = Nagra 4.2
B9 — Deep Ocean = Roland Dep 5
C0 — Back to the future = Echoplex (2nd solid state from the 70s)
C1 — Space Loneliness = Roland Space Echo 201
C2 — Infrared emotions = REVOX B77
C3 — Yellow Stones = MXR Digital Delay (or Flanger/Doubler)
C4 — Green Rain = REVOX A77
C5 — Orange Daylily = REVOX A700
C6 — Alone in the mist = Korg SDD-3000
C7 — Fairy Tale Princess = AMS DMX 15–80
C8 — Cristo Velato = Montarbo
C9 — Tokyo = Yamaha E1010
D0 — Pearl Echo = Pak 402
D1 — Lisbon = Cult of the knobs Voltage Controlled Analog Delay
D2 — Pink Kiss = Binson Echorec
D3–1 second before I die = Montarbo 453
D4 — Visions of September = Lombardi Mixer
D5 — Arizona = Fender Echo Reverb
D6 — Tallin = Krundaal Davoli Echo 2390
D7 — Creation of Adam = Krundaal Davoli
D8 — Milano = Semprini Echo-Mixer 707
D9 — She wants it = KURZWEIL Mangler

Lime (15) — A combination of modern AMS Neve gear. A = VR B = 88RS. C/D = 8051 5.1 Surround Compressor/Limiter E = FJ V Series Channel Strip Preamp F is a Neve 1073. Version 2 brought the C desk (Neve V console?) and a large variety of microphone, line input and other console preamps.
Magenta (13) — A suite of Manley Labs hardware samplings.
• EQs: (A) MASSIVE PASSIVE with extra mastering version filters (A) and (B) VOXBOX with extra mids band.
• Compressors: VOXBOX compressor section (B), (C1) STEREO VARIABLE MU Compressor Mode, (C2) STEREO VARIABLE MU Limit Mode, (D1) SLAM! optical a.k.a. ELOP and (D2) SLAM! FET
• Preamps: (A1) Massive Passive XLR in/out, (A2) Massive Passive Mastering Version XLR in/out, (B) VOXBOX Microphone in/Preamp Out, © Variable Mu Line in/out, (D) SLAM! Mono Mic input, (D MIC) SLAM! Stereo Microphone in and (D FLT) SLAM! Stereo Mic, 100 Hz high pass filter ON.

Murano — Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor (now called Aquamarine)
Navy (14) — NAVY2 features a modern Neve 2081 equalizer sampling (A) from a Custom 75 Series console, vintage Neve 1081 (B) equalizer, a large selection of line inputs/microphone preamps/console busses, 2254 reissue compressor (COMP1) and 33609/JD (COMP2). The original NAVY featured a 2000s era Neve 1073 reissue preamp. Neve 1081 EQ reissue circuit. Unknown Neve console line outputs.

Ochre — Free Acustica Audio homebrew equalizer, inspired by the Scientific Audio Electronics (SAE) 2800 equalizer. Features a bridged-T topology (like a Sontec 432), modern opamps and a Sowter output transformer.
Orange — Orban 672A

Pensado EQ (14) — A variety of equalizers and saturation devices that Dave Pensado uses combined into one.

Pearl (9 with Ultramatch/sync)- Siemens ELA 75–15 Universal Equalizer and Auso-Siemens ELA 75–16 Compressor/Limiter. Just like the hardware, sales for this plugin are limited. The closest plugin to this that is for sale without limitation is the Emerald, as this was Siemens’ response to the UE100/UE1000 mastering equalizers.
Pink (15) — Mostly Automated Processes, Inc. hardware.
• EQs: (A) API 550a, (B) 550b, © 5500, (780/PEQ) 560, (D) CAPI LC53A and (E) Sound Workshop Series 30 (made by former API engineers in the late 1970s). Unlike the hardware the equalizers have continuous gain and constant Q (bandwidth) options. Sum and difference (mid-side) matrix now available (PINK 4).
• Compressors: API 2500 (strip) and modified 2500 with crossover filters from TubeTech SMC 2B, Masalec MLA-3/4 and a custom filter by Acustica (2412/7236).
• Preamps: 16 console line inputs (new for PINK4) plus custom (CUST) preamps from PINK3: (1) API 512, (2) 550b EQ, (3) 2500 compressor, (4) distorted API 512c clone, (5) API 312 (maybe), (6) API 312 homebrew (maybe), (7) CAPI VP28, (8) CAPI LC53A EQ. and (9) Sound Workshop Series 30 (new for PINK4).

Purple (15) — Pultec EQP-1A (two variants, a vintage unit and a modern Warm Audio clone), Pultec EQH-2 (vintage), Pultec MEQ-5 (two variants) and Pultec HLF-3C (new for version 3).
Red — Free plugin. Joemeek VC5 Meequalizer
Ruby (13) — Officially licensed D. W. Fearn VT-4 and VT-5 equalizers.
Sand (14) — The Solid State Logic collection
• EQs: (A) 4000 G black knob, (B) 5000 brown knob, © 9000 J, (+E) homebrew black knob 4000 E-series and (+G) homebrew based on the SL 8000 GB (thanks
• Compressors: (A) Console Quad Buss aka the glue, (B) Quad Buss comp with ‘modern’ modifications and © 4000 G channel strip.
• Preamps: Microphone ins, line inputs and busses from a 4000 G console. The custom (CUST) setting (under SANDPRE) are the original Sand preamps: MIXa, MIXb, BUSa, BUSb and BUSc.

Scarlet (14) — Homebrew Sontec 432 inspired (close to the original, cleaner sounding) and an original 432C/9 sample. The main difference is the homebrew has 6 dB of range and the new 432C/9 has a +/- 9 dB range. The original may also not sound as ‘clean’ as the vintage hardware clone. (old name was Scarlet MHE-400).

Silk EQ — Siemens W295b, Tim Petherick sampling. (discontinued)

Taupe (13) — The tape collection with some EQs/compressors thrown in the mix.
EQ A — MCI JH-500
EQ B — MCI JH-600
EQ C — Studer 900

The Tape Machines (thank you, Tsykhra) Usage suggestions thanks to Le Man.

Acqua Vst Plugins Download

Group B
0 — MCI JH-110, Dual Mono at 15 IPS
1 — MCI JH-110, Dual Mono at 30 IPS
2 — MCI JH-24, mono at 15 IPS (useful on rap, dance and club music)
3 — MCI JH-24, mono at 30 IPS (useful on rap, dance and club music)
4 — MCI JH-110 (8 track), mono at 15 IPS (NAB)
5 — MCI JH-110 (8 track), mono at 15 IPS (IEC)
6 — MCI JH-110 (8 track), mono at 30 IPS (IEC)
7 — Otari MTR-90, mono at 15 IPS (go to for pop and R&B genres)
8 — Otari MTR-90, mono at 30 IPS (go to for pop and R&B genres)
9 — Otari MTR-100, mono at 15 IPS

Group C
0 — Otari MTR-100, mono at 30 IPS
1 — Studer A820, stereo at 15 IPS (C1 to C4 are great all around mix down choices)
2 — Studer A820, stereo at 30 IPS
3 — Studer A820, dual mono at 15 IPS
4 — Studer A820, dual mono at 30 IPS
5 — Soundcraft Saturn 824, mono at 15 IPS
6 — Soundcraft Saturn 824, mono at 30 IPS
7 — ReVox A77, stereo at 7.5 IPS (IEC)
8 — ReVox A77, dual mono at 7.5 IPS (IEC)
9 — ReVox A77, dual mono at 7.5 IPS (NAB) (lots of home studio musicians used A77 machines over the years)

Group D
0 — ReVox A700, dual mono at 15 IPS (semi pro tape machine of choice)
1 — ReVox PR900, stereo at 15 IPS
2 — Nagra IV, stereo (no speed given)
3 — Aiwa AD-F850, stereo cassette
4 — Aiwa Excelia XK-009, stereo cassette (perhaps the best cassette machine ever made)
5 — TEAC A-860, stereo cassette
6 — Wollensak (3M), stereo cassette deck. (No tape)
7 — AKAI 1710 (reel to reel, no tape)
8 — Sony PCM-7040 (digital, no tape)
9 — Alesis ADAT-XT20 (20-bit digital, no tape)
Pro tip: Click the ECONO button to preserve transients. This is very useful on electronic mixes.

To see a PDF list of the tape machines with pictures go here.

Acqua Vst Plugins Free

Violet CM (12) — Thermionic Culture ‘The Phoenix’ valve compressor paired with a three-way crossover inspired by the Tube-Tech SMC 2B multi-band compressor.

Viridian (13) — Vintage (late 60s/early 70s) British and German hardware samples (thanks, Andy McGroarty)
• EQs: (1) Helios Type 69 console (solid state) peak/boost mode, (2) Helios 69 trough/cut mode and (3) Siemens console (tube)

• Compressors: (1) vintage PYE 4060, (2) modern reissue HELIOS F760 and.(3) vintage Helios F700 FET

• Preamps: (1) Siemens V72 microphone preamp, (2) Siemens V72 but with more harmonics/’color’, (3) mono Helios 69 console microphone input preamp, (4) mono Helios F700 FET compressor, (5) mono Helios F760 compressor reissue and (6) PYE Compressor input

Water (13) — WSW (division of Siemens) Compressor/Limiter model 601430S with mods (use PRE3). 1968 vintage. WSW 436511 solid state passive equalizer, also with modifications (use PRE1 for mono or PRE2 for stereo emulation). 1961 vintage. Non-specified hardware modeled clipper.
White (8) — White Sound Mastering WSM PEQ-2.0 (solid state equalizer inspired by the Pultec EQP-1A)


Prime Studio Plugins(powered by Acustica Audio acqua)

Found at Prime Studio(R) — Plug-ins (before sure to switch the language to English on the top right side)
(thanks @Avgatzeblouz for the following information)
Black Series
Black EQ — Apparently a mixture of several devices (guesses : Neve 2068 and/or Neve 1077)
Black Comp — Again, could be a mixture, but smells a lot like a Neve 32264a or Neve 83065, with the addon of different attack times if it is the 32264a, and the lack of 3 release times (100ms and Auto 1&2)
- Black limiter : The limiter section of the 32264a or 83065, or a mixture of both.
Caribou Series — Elements from the Neve 8016 console (previously owned by Caribou ranch):
- Caribou Mix : Neve 1064 input + output stage + Eq
- Caribou Filter : Hi pass + Low pass filters + Input stage (preamp) of the Caribou Mix
- Caribou comp : Neve 2254/A pair of compressors from the same console.
Charly — Tube-Tech SSA 2B Stereo summing amplifier (thanks @BearOnGuitar )
Hubbard Squash — Possibly a GML Nova Research Series 7000 Preamp / EQ Module. Very hard to figure out.
Sparkle Series — All elements from an EMI TG 12345 Mark IV/Q console :
- Prime Curve : Eq
- Prime Comp : Compressor
- Prime Mix : input + output stage of 6 different channels (includes Hipass filter and bass Eq)

(credit to RJHollins and Will the Weirdo)

Note: This method is NOT officially supported by Acustica Audio. Whenever they update frameworks, there could be issues. Also, If you haven’t enabled file name suffixes/extensions, you will need to. Follow this guide:
1. Copy the Acqua folder and associated files from your internet connected DAW’s VST location (or the zipped files from your staging area) to your offline DAW’s VST folder. You can find these locations in your DAW preferences or the Aquarius preferences Installation tab (gear button, upper right)

Typically these are a folder with [aqua name] so PINK3, for example. This folder contains .N2V files. Then the following files with [aquaname] before them:






2. Copy the NEBULAFRAMEWORKx64.aqu file from your internet connected C:WindowsSystem32 to your offline DAW’s Windows32 folder.

3. Copy the NEBULAFRAMEWORKx64.aqu file from your internet connected C:WindowsSystem32 to your offline DAW’s VST folder as well.

4. Copy all the files from the Acqua Staging area’s FRAMEWORK/NEBULAFRAMEWORK folder to your offline Windows32 folder. Again, you can find the staging area on the Aquarius’ Installation tab, which is inside preferences (gear icon at the upper right corner of the application).

5. Get your authorization from the AA site. Login and then click the stick figure person icon (third from right side) and then click licenses. Copy that .AUT file into the VST folder (same folder as the [aqua name].dll is located. So for the PINK3 plugin look for PINK3.dll . The authorization file should be PINK.aut and so on.

Core7: First released with Navy in October 2015. Major CPU and RAM usage enhancements. Zero latency plugins made possible.
Core8: First released with Amethyst and Pink in April 2016. Further computer performance enhancement and major compressor behavior progress. ShMod feature introduced with Pink2412.
Core9: First released with Sand in September 2016. Introduced Ultrasync technology for the equalizers (error minimization) along with internal routing controls. AAX performance enhancements. Since Titanium2’s December 2016 release, compressors have Ultramatch technology. Ultramatch minimizes digital compression curves errors
Core10 (aka Core X): Cobalt was the first to officially receive the Core X engine. It provides faster compression timings for more accurate hardware emulation. A multi-input system. CPU savings with a blending algorithm that reduces the number of instances. The plug-in signal no longer exceeds +3 dB.
There’s also a new hard clipping algorithm.
Core11: — Introduction of new Delay and Pre-delay modules.
- Implementation of High Efficiency Symmetric & Asymmetric Saturation Modeling (SASM), a high performance saturation algorithm/harmonic distortion modeling characterized by a significantly smaller number of digital artifacts.
Core12: — Released March 2018 with PINK2. Features:
• Upgraded SASM (Symmetric & Asymmetric Saturation Modeling) high performance saturation algorithm;
• Introduction of a new post-production sample de-noising tech for cleaner deconvolved impulses called STT (Super transient technology);
• Full compatibility with Client/Server architecture integrated by default in Acqua plugins;
• Engine optimization introducing a new highly efficient algorithm. This innovative technique is applied to all the deconvolved impulses for further de-noise processing and subsequent elimination of any incorrect low-level behavior (including the so-called ‘echo bug’).
Core13: — Released November 2018 with TAUPE. New feature:
• VLA™ technology (Vector Loading Acceleration), which makes the response of the plugin much faster.

Core14: — Released August 2019 with NAVY2. The big new feature is the IRIS deep learning artificial intelligence technology. Other updates from Core13 include:

- AI allows you to replicate the actions of a mixing and mastering engineer and predict the settings he/she would make on the audio input of the plugin, imitating his/her style.
- New Nebula Universal Wrapper v2 (NUW)
- Inference engine based on Tensorflow models, arranged in smart presets
- JUCE framework upgraded to version 4.3.1
- Backward compatibility with NUW v1
- VST3 SDK upgraded to version 3.6.7
- AAX SDK upgraded to version 2.3.2
- Native side-chain support for AAX, VST3 and AU
- Completely new, overhauled input/output, bus/channel management
- Support for VST3 64 bit processing
- Improved AU channel handling


- Fixed FL Studio VST3 issues
- Fixed Cubase and Nuendo macOS VST3 crash with plug-in A/B button
- Fixed double engine instantiation
- New metering engine (EVFb)
- VU with various filter types (IEC A, B, C, D, Z, BS.1770) and various standards (DIN, Nordic, North American, EBU, Standard)
- EBU R128 (short-term, momentary and integral) — RMS (EBU, K20, K14, K12)
- Core optimisations


- Better internal ruoting (blender engine that can work in various positions of the DSP chain of each internal instance)
- Direct access mode of the follower envelopes, better synchronization between the various elements)

- PPM (peak, true peak with oversampling)

Core15: — Released in February 2020 with JADE.

Enhanced Harmonic Response Technology
Dynamic Routing™ control technology: The behavior and the sound of dynamic processors may vary further due to different block configurations.

Core16: — Released in July 2020 with Green4

For more Core information visit Acustica Audio — Professional Audio Software — Acustica Audio .
Giancarlo’s post has more technical details about the Core engines:
• List of Acqua PDF Manuals

• Acqua Plugin Changelog/Release Notes

• What are acqua preamps and how do they function with EQ/compressors?
• How does SHmod work?
• SASM Explained

• Windows 10 1803 is Recommended, here is a Setup Guide
Make Windows 10 more like 7: Shutup10 by O&O

• Official Acqua Dealers (discounted rates)

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