PINK2 by Acustica Audio Review

Acustica Audio’s legacy version Pink has been highly appreciated by mixing engineers. As there is always room for improvement Acustica Audio released PINK2 which itself is a bundle of plugins. Acustica Audio did send a review copy with no strings attached.

Installation

PINK2 will be installed through the download and install manager developed by Acustica Audio. The tool called Aquarius is managing the installation, authorization and when you launch it later also applies need updates to all Acustica Audio plugins. Plug-in runs in your DAW on Windows 7 – Windows 10 and OSX 10.8 – OSX 10.13 as a VST2, AU, or AAX. Depending on your DAW and OS used.

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If you own the original PINK you use Aquarius to update to PINK2, it is that easy.

Sound

You get in this bundle a four-band EQ, a ten-band graphic EQ, a single band compressor, a multiband compressor, and preamps. Good news they all sound lovely. Pink2 can be used on a track as a compressor and works great and adds that vibe to a guitar, percussion, and piano and the result is absolutely beautiful. Pink2 has that analog ubiquity and attitude without smearing transients and high end.  Pink2 included compressor is a compressor that sounds and acts almost like a Hardware box.

PINK2
  • PINK2 780 – 10 band graphic EQ
  • PINK2 1650 – 4 band EQ module with 4 selectable per band models
  • PINK2 2412 – Single band compressor
  • PINK2 7236 – Multiband compressor
  • PINK2 Channel Strip – Full channel strip with EQ, compressors and preamp options

Details if you need them from the developing company

Pink2 215: Preamp module with 8 different circuit color models
• 1: Classic discrete mic preamp.
• 2: The pass-though color of EQ model B.
• 3: Classic Compressor preamp simulation.
• 4: Modern clone of the classic mic pre modelled in preamp 1.
• 5: Legendary vintage console mic preamp.
• 6: Modern clone of the classic mic amp emulated in preamp 5.
• 7: Mic pre for Model D.
• 8: The pass-though color of EQ Model D.
• Input Trim: from -24dB to 24dB (this function allows for a “one knob” internal gain control by hidden linked input and output gain stages).
• Bypass: on or off.

Pink2 780: 10 band graphic EQ
• 10 Bands at set frequencies: 31Hz, 63Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz, 16kHz. Continuous gain from -12dB to +12dB. Proportional bandwidth.
• Input Trim: from -24dB to 24dB.
• Output Gain: from -24dB to 24dB.

Pink2 1650: 4 band EQ module with 4 selectable per band models and modded static Q option for all peak bands.
• Input Trim: from -24dB to 24dB.
• Output Gain: from -24dB to 24dB.
• High-pass and Low-pass Filters: on and off.
• Hardware EQ Preamp Simulation (P): on and off.
• Meters: input, output.

EQ Section A:
• 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.

EQ Section B:
• 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.

EQ Section C:
• 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.

EQ Section D:
• 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.

Pink2 2412: Single band compressor
• Hardware Compressor Preamp Simulation (P): on and off.
• Clipper: on and off.
• Threshold: from -30dB to +18dB.
• Ratio: from 1.5 to infinite.
• Attack: from 0.03ms to 30ms.
• Release: from 0.05sec. to 1.5sec., plus auto-release.
• Knee (KNEE): soft, medium, and hard.
• Input Trim: from -24dB to 24dB
• Makeup Gain: from 0dB to 24dB.
• Compression Types (TYPE): feed-back, feed-forward, and off.
• Adjustable Attack Shape (SHMOD): from 0 to 4 (2 as in hardware). SHMod, an adjustable attack behavior shape control that allows to fine-tune and ‘scew’ the attack shape.
• Side-chain Curve: from tilt to 300 Hz HPF, plus Pink channel-strip curve.
• Dry/Wet Mix for parallel compression (MIX): from 0 to 100%.
• Meters: Input (IN), output (OUT), gain reduction (GR) and side-chain meter (SC), clipper action and internal level overflow indicators.

Pink2 7236: Multiband compressor
• Hardware Compressor Preamp Simulation (P): on and off.
• Input Gain: from -24dB to 24dB.
• Output Gain: from -24dB to 24dB.
• Clipper: on and off.
• Compression Types (TYPE): feed-back, feed-forward.
• Filter Types (XOVER TYPE): Three cross-over filters derived from a vacuum tube multiband compressor, analog solid-state mutltiband compressor, and “Jolly” home-brew custom type filter, built and sampled especially for this multiband compressor.
• Control Link (C-LINK): enable and disable.
• Band Threshold: from -30dB to +18dB.
• Band Ratio: from 1.5 to infinite.
• Band Attack: from 0.03ms to 30ms.
• Band Release: from 0.05sec. to 1.5sec., plus auto-release.
• Band Knee: soft, medium, and hard.
• Band Makeup: from 0dB to 24dB.
• Band Adjustable Attack Shape (SHMOD): from 0 to 4 (2 as in hardware). SHMod, an adjustable attack behavior shape control that allows to fine-tune and ‘scew’ the attack shape.
• Band Side-chain Curve: from tilt to 300 Hz HPF, plus Pink channel-strip curve.
• Band Dry/Wet Mix for parallel compression (MIX): from 0 to 100%.
• Meters: Input (IN), output (OUT), gain reduction (GR) and side-chain meter (SC), clipper action and internal level overflow indicators.

Pink2 Channel Strip: full channel strip with EQ, compressors and preamp options
• Input Trim: from -24dB to 24dB
• Output Gain: from -24dB to 24dB
• Hardware Preamp Simulation: for models 1, 2, 3, 4 as listed above and off option.
• High-pass, Low-pass and Band-pass Filters: on and off.
• Insane Mode: on or off. (With it one the compressor delivers better quality minimising any artefacts for the expense of higher CPU consumption.
• Meters: Band input (I), band output (O), and gain reduction meter (GR)

EQ Section A:
• 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.

EQ Section B:
• 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.

EQ Section C:
• 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.

Compressor Section:
• Threshold: from -64dB to 0dB.
• Ratio: from 1.5 to infinite.
• Attack: from 0.03ms to 30ms.
• Release: from 0.05sec. to 1.5sec., plus auto-release.
• Knee (KNEE): soft, medium, and hard.
• Compression Types (TYPE): feed-back, feed-forward, and off.
• Compressor Model Switch: default Pink1 compressor to Pink2 2412 compressor.
• Makeup Gain: from 0dB to 24dB.
• Side-chain Pink channel-strip curve: on or off. This filter cuts the lows and boosts the highs of the S/C signal.
• Dry/Wet Mix for parallel compression (MIX): from 0 to 100%.
• Compressor bypass switch: on or off.

There are some issues to be addressed by the developer which should be all fixed by a future updated. Including an issue in the EQ A. You should not be worried, those issues have been reported and need to be addressed now.

User interface & Usability

The plugin UIs are super nice, it is a copy of the hardware look and feels. The manual is phenomenal and educational.

Pink2 by Acustica Audio

Rating:  Five out of five stars

Pink2 produces a stunning analog drive and superb tone. Pink2 sounds super gentle and have a great vibe attached to it. This updated version has a beautiful saturation and great compressor performance. Really important for Pink1 and mastering comp pack customers this new version is a free upgrade if you qualify – amazing and very fair. The free ugrade came as a big nice surprise to many paying customers of those older products.

 

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