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Software » Windows
Acustica Audio Salt 2023-R2R screenshot
Team R2R | 21 Nov 2023 | 386.1MB
Salt is Acustica's latest 5-band Hyper3 mixing EQ, distinguished for its exceptional performance and minimal CPU usage. It is available in VST, VST3, AAX, and AU formats. Salt has been meticulously sampled from three iconic vintage EQ devices that have, since their introduction, set new standards in sound quality and have been used to record and mix some of the greatest records of all time.

Make you mixes sound tastier

Unlike the originals, all of these EQ types/modes feature smoothly adjustable frequencies, and their magic lies in the finely defined curves, closely emulating the original hardware and perfectly preserving transients. This expanded functionality builds upon the original concept envisioned by the manufacturer, and made possible by the inherent advantages of our Hyper technology.
The power of ultra-lightweight mixing

Salt Equalizer is one of the lightest equalizers ever created by Acustica to date. While our Cherry Equalizer undoubtedly represents the state of the art in a mastering EQ, Salt is the larger sibling dedicated to mixing. Based on three sampled devices and built on the ‘Hyper’ engine, it offers an unprecedented experience that is both ultra-light weight and supremely powerful. Designed with speed, precision, and performance in mind, Salt is poised to redefine the essence of your audio mixing.
Moving from the historical hardware heritage to the futuristic software excellence

Experience the perfect blend of vintage and modern with Salt! We've meticulously sampled three distinct vintage EQs and incorporated them into Salt. Thanks to our advanced Hyper 3 technology, each EQ type faithfully reproduces the characteristics of the original hardware, and then takes it a step further. Unlike the limitations of the original hardware, which only offer fixed frequency positions, we've enhanced the model to provide adjustable frequency points for all these types. This means that you can freely combine any of these models with regular EQ types or other modeled types, granting you greater flexibility and ease of use.

We have enhanced the precision of parameter control (frequency, bandwidth, gain) by adjusting the component values in the original circuits. This allows us to combine the flexibility required by a modern mixing EQ with the distinctive and unparalleled sound of each of the original models. Salt provides you with the ability to compare three very different EQs with the assurance of always having exactly the same settings, no matter what they may be.

Key Features
Unique EQ Models: The Salt equalizer offers three distinct Classic EQ models, all powered by Hyper3 technology, providing you with an exceptional tool for your daily mixing and sound shaping needs.
Control and Flexibility: Salt offers a wide range of control options to suit various mixing scenarios.
High-Quality Sound: A focus on sound quality and fidelity of the original models improved thanks to Hyper3 tech, ensuring that equalization does not introduce unwanted artifacts.
Intuitive User Interface: A well-designed and intuitive user interface that simplifies the equalization process.
Versatility: The ability to use the plugin on a wide range of audio sources, such as musical instruments, vocals, or entire tracks.
Transient Preservation and Management: The intrinsic ability to preserve, attenuate, or emphasize transient-associated frequencies, improving clarity and separation between instruments in the mix, and the option to handle them with three different EQ models, also usable in a hybrid manner, gives you a complete sonic palette that allows you to make the right technical moves for your artistic goal.
Resource Efficiency: Low computer resource usage ensures smooth operation in complex mixing sessions.

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  Resident 27.05.2022 39 497
Here we go. For anyone that thinks Acustica is junk, give this one a try

It was released only 1-2 months ago or so, it's their newest tech.

Very natural sounding. Extremely low artifacts. You can boost it pretty far and it will still sound good (unlike most digital EQ's). Transient response stays in tact (no "veil" over the sound like old Acustica plugins). And it's uncanny how well the 3 different EQ models in this (Gold/Sand/Pink) sound like their hardware counterparts. Even the envelope/transient has the right character like the hardware (even though there's no compression going on, just EQ). It's pretty great.
Less demanding on CPU too compared to their older stuff

Gold = Neve
Sand = SSL
Pink = API

Don't ask me why they name it like that

I'm not saying it's a perfect emulation, but emulation aside it's hard not to appreciate this plugin just for its sound quality & workflow alone
  Resident 22.08.2013 54 266
Ok, I will try this on a pre-master. :)
  Resident 22.08.2013 54 266
Ok, I'm doing master EQ on a song now with this... first impression is: this ACTUALLY sounds different than any other "digital/analog-emu" EQ I've tried.. and to my first impression it is easy to make it sound good!

I need to check the manual, do you know where to find it?

I have to test it further to not fool myself into anything (this has happaned before). Will compare with ProQ and Plugindoctor.

Thanks for the tip to test this!

I'll stick to my opinion that the GUI is buggy, because it is. Just now, If you click certain areas it behaves strange... the GUI updates is acting weird.

- Changing "Size" doesnt do anything.
- Clicking oversampling hangs the plugin for a while if you click it a couple of times to change the ovs.
- It has now hanged Cubase, in this moment, which does not happen with other plugins.
- The plugin is very sensitive to too fast workflow, plugin hangs and stucks in a loop if you click too much in the GUI.

In my honest opinion I think that the GUI coders and programmers are not good.. I have a long history of working with top notch coders using asm/c++ (yes, I'm really old). I know there's a big difference in knowledge between coders... this would not have passed quality control in the projects I've been involved for sure.
  Resident 27.05.2022 39 497
The user manuals are always on the Acustica website of the given product page: https://www.acustica-audio.com/shop/products/SALT
Top right of the page, the little 'page' icon on the left of the 'Add to cart' button.

Yeah, switching oversampling mode hangs the plugin for a couple of seconds. It has to load all the vectors etc. Once it loads then turning the knobs is snappy though (compared to their older plugins anyway).

For the 'size', after you choose the new size you gotta remove the plugin instance then reload the plugin and the size you chose will be in affect. It will load with the size you chose as the default size from then on.
It's the same method for their other plugins too (and their older plugins don't even have a size option)

It's a tale as old as time with Acustica plugins: They have specific quirks that make it clunky to use, but when they sound this good, you deal with it. Or don't use it. It is what it is.
In my mind, it's less clunky than using hardware. And less expensive too obviously

- The plugin is very sensitive to too fast workflow, plugin hangs and stucks in a loop if you click too much in the GUI.

I haven't experienced that particular issue in the legit version
  Resident 22.08.2013 54 266
Thanks for explanations, some things aren't clear without manual. Like having to reload plugin for resize. When I changed the model back and forth, the GUI stopped changing the graphics after a while... I think I just clicked the oversampling option too much.
What does the "Hyper" button do btw?
  Resident 22.08.2013 54 266
So I did comparisons in both Plugin Doctor and by ear.

I played with the preamp's and they have EQ curves by themselfs + different harmonic distortion. You like the sound or you don't. Aliasing is quite huge though, even with 8x oversampling. Doesn't really matter to me though, if you like the sound, you like it. Aliasing isn't a problem as long as you don't dislike the sound of it.

When "Sand"-preamp is enabled, Trim (input gain) does something nasty, it is HARD-stepped with mega-difference in output between like +18.4 to +18.5. Maybe it is the behavior of the hardware?

Value of 0 shown under a knob in the plugin does not mean zero. It can be different even though it does not tell you in the GUI. For instance, if I move around the Panner, between left and right, and then set it back to 0 in the GUI it might NOT be 0.
The plugin does not indicate this. You can hear it. And you see it by your DAW's meters. Or plugin doctor. Small/Tiny (like 0.5 db) adjustments to, for example Left-Right, can't be visible in the plugin itself, you have to double-click the knob and enter "0" to be really sure it IS 0 and not 0.5 for instance. This is annoying as hell to me...

Next test:
- Begins with all EQ bands disabled.
- Turned off the preamp.
- The plugin uses a Phase Linear Brickwall HP filter at ~22 kHz as long as it is in "default" Hyper EQ mode (one digital mode has no brickwall HP filter and another one has one, but more clean with no "ripples").
- The normal EQ bands (ie high-shelf) are NOT phase-linear, as expected.
- Oversampling option does not affect this (tested only at 44 KHz track samplerate).
- The 3 "hardwares" modes (Gold, Sand, Pink) have different EQ-curves. As expected. I could not find any harmonic distortion differences between the modes, only the EQ curves are different and how they move if you tweak the knobs.
- I matched a EQ setting with Pro-Q and I could not hear a difference. I did not use a phase-linear Brickwall HP filter on the Pro-Q but it sounded the same anyways. It seems like they are just normal EQ curves that can be matched with any good digital EQ. I could hear zero difference between Pro-Q and Salt when switching back and forth. I didn't do a proper nulltest though. So don't take my word for it, my ears are old af...

I'm NOT saying it is a bad sounding plugin, it isn't. It's just acting weird and has some bugs. The manual does not explain everything that is happening behind the scenes. Seems like bad programming between GUI and backend, and bad quality checking by Acustica. IF you use only your ears, I personally find it is easier to get good results with these broader and "unique" type of EQ curves (esp in a mastering situation). But you CAN do that with any EQ plugin really. Softubes Console 1 makes it even easier to do this out-of-the-box. To me anyway.
However, sound wise I think you could just use another digital EQ that emulates the curves, if you are not in need for - or like - the preamp part.

I have more things to say about the "Ultra" button and what it seems to do, but maybe next time... ;)
  Member 29.11.2020 29 2351

you're right about everything you said above. this one is good. it has that transient smoothing character also you can crank the high end to max and it still warm sounding and vintage-y (for lack of better word, fuck it cringes me). lol.



- Changing "Size" doesnt do anything.

GUI size change will only take effect when you reload the plugin. Change the Size, remove plugin add it back. Weird, I know

- Clicking oversampling hangs the plugin for a while if you click it a couple of times to change the ovs.
- It has now hanged Cubase, in this moment, which does not happen with other plugins.
- The plugin is very sensitive to too fast workflow, plugin hangs and stucks in a loop if you click too much in the GUI.

normal AA workflow where you have to wait a bit before making changes, the thing is deconvolving impulses on the background, kinda need 1-2 secs for it.
It makes no sense to say you’re not good at it. It’s like saying, “I’m not good at being a monk.” You are either living as a monk or you’re not.
  Resident 27.05.2022 39 497
Yeah it's almost as if there's some wave shaping going on in there or something. You can change the EQ model and you'll get a different envelope. It's as if there's a waveshaper or subtle compressor as well as an EQ, except it's not.

Really love the workflow of being able to flick through the 3 models for each individual band. E.g. Maybe the short&hard response of the API is what you need for the mid-range frequencies, but the bold&slow Neve response is what the doctor ordered for the highs, and maybe the spongey SSL is what suits the lows.
Pretty cool

And i like that it's only THREE models. No option paralysis! Things like Ash have like 20+ models, it makes me wanna close the plugin.
I just wish there was just a 4th option -- some sort of tubey EQ. It would be the perfect mix tool after that
  Member 28.11.2016 893
the Comment has been Removed
  Member 29.11.2020 29 2351
the Comment has been Removed
It makes no sense to say you’re not good at it. It’s like saying, “I’m not good at being a monk.” You are either living as a monk or you’re not.
  Resident 27.02.2022 320
Gold - AMS Neve Series 75 preamp and 2081 equalizer (combination of a 1073 and 1081).
Sand - SSL ( do we have a name ? )
Pink - API 554 equalizer module.
  Member 9.09.2021 114
Just so people know what hardware is captured.
Unofficial Acustica Audio Acqua Master Plugins List

This one is "hyper" i will personally stick only to those ones.
  Member 14.09.2019 224
I'm still a bit confused, but this list sure helps. lol
  Member 28.10.2021 25
Why I can not install it or other acustica plugins
  Member 8.10.2023 5 13
Have you followed the instructions?
  Member 27.08.2023 10 123
meh plugin. CPU hog. Fabfilter Pro-Q3 makes this plugin look like a joke
  Member 6.05.2019 79
the Comment has been Removed
  Member 10.12.2016 65
the Comment has been Removed
  Member 4.02.2015 7 281
the Comment has been Removed
  Member 1.01.2021 1 240
upgrade your PC or Laptop. I have no issues with this plugin. Ran 100 instances to test it. No issues runs smooth. Sound wise this is different and unique to AA cant compare with other plugins...you might need to go back and learn some basics and types of EQ's.

My Specs :
64GB RAM, i7 13Gen.
  Member 1.01.2021 1 240
the Comment has been Removed
  Moderator 21.01.2012 2349 15822
There is no room for personal attacks here.
All of you should give technical arguments instead,
  Member 21.09.2023 1 56
fab filter options, dynamics, etc are great, but this plugin sound beats FF any day
  Member 10.12.2016 65
Thank you R2R for your hard work! Amazing releases ! Never expected Acustica .
I feel like christmas is these days :D
Some salty people here on these acustica comments
I really like the sound of some acustica plugins !
  Resident 19.10.2016 240
Sounds not so better then UAD2 emus, im a mac user and a legit acustica user, the windows plugins cracked are not a problem if you rellay know how mac world works (audiogriddering or vienna or soundgriddering) back to topic: to me the guy that dont appreciate AA plugins for sure has notthing to do with pro audio. Before to make music all new gen must understand how to listen it!
  Resident 30.10.2012 48 843
Awesome share, thank you.
Do we need any special emulators for these plug-ins to work?
  Member 17.04.2015 1 331
correct plugin, correct character . . .
Sounds more correct and modern that amber, but honestly i preffer amber for my classic workflow (more speed for me).
(my analogue mind can not compute mix eq bands in a unit, if i chose api i know what api is and do not want ssl -of course i hate the punchy sound of apis, i am a ssl guy- )
Its a eq for modern people . . . :)
cpu very nice with this plugin . . .

thanks to r2r for this wonderfull adventure . . . :)
  Member 1.01.2021 1 240
One TIp When you use AA plugins Always save your project every 5 mins. It can crash your system anytime. No matter what the specs is. This happens with legit version too.
  Resident 19.10.2016 240
This is what i hate from AA, any real improvement craked vs legit??
quote by SonogramOne TIp When you use AA plugins Always save your project every 5 mins. It can crash your system anytime. No matter what the specs is. This happens with legit version too.
  Member 1.01.2021 1 240
takes up Less space, Loads faster.

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