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Ruby by Acustica Audio –  VT-5 Vacuum tube equalizer  plugin made under DW Fearn license

Acustica Audio marks a new milestone in the world of ITB mixing plugins with Ruby –  an outstanding emulation of the famous VT-5  vacuum tube equalizer made in direct collaboration with Mr. Fearn, the inventor of the hardware version (priced +9000 usd). At this time, Ruby is priced 199 eur, since it’s still in presale period, but the price raise to 235 eur after the pre-sale period ends, so make sure to grab your copy here: http://www.acustica-audio.com/store/products/ruby

VT-5 is the stereo version of VT-4, a famous equalizer with passive LC circuitry and class-A triode vacuum tube stages for the input and output, input and output transformers made by Jensen, with also the tube circuitry  being mainly derived from the VT-1/VT-2 mic preamps, world renowed for their state-of-the-art sonic quality.

Ruby is based on Acustica’s latest Core 11 technology, with the added advantage of using High Efficiency Symmetric & Asymmetric Saturation Modeling (SASM), a new high performance saturation/harmonic distortion modeling algorithm characterized by a much lower number of digital artifacts. Since we demoed and (ab)used each and every plugin made by Acustica Audio, after the release of Crimson ( and Diamond Lift we expected anything else but another eq plugin. That was until we actually inserted it in a project and mess around it for a couple of minutes – we were completely blown away by how  the boost & cut in the same frequency range pultec-inspired technique sounded on this beauty – instant gratification in the low end zone!

The Mid-Cut control starts with a low Q on discrete cuts, but the Q becomes sharper in direct relation with the amount of db that are cut,  and affects the selected frequency more narrowly. The higher settings would be recommended for a much clinical approach, for example, whan you want to null out undesired resonanting frequencies. The High Cut control does a wonderful job on diminuating digital harshness or noise, with its highest setting at 28 kHz  being a God’s send for digital recordings, since attenuation around this area may help avoid effects associated with anti-aliasing filters in A-D converters.

We were already amazed on how unbelievable good Acustica plugins could sound, but this particular plugin made us curious on the hardware itself – until we could add that to our tools, we are more than happy and almost feel like cheating when using the Ruby “Digital version” of the famous VT-5. Try out the 30 days demo trial available on Acustica’s website and prepare your wallet – more than probably, you won’t wait for the trial to expire until you would have add Ruby to your favorite mixing or mastering plugins.

As all of Acustica’s manuals, Ruby’s was a delight to read, especially since it was fallowed by watching this presentation of the hardware version by Mr. Fearm himself :

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Metropolis Ark 3

I remember buying Metropolis Ark 1 right after hearing it at their NAMM booth. We loved its user friendly-ness and also the huge sound. Ark 2 was more intimate, and it would have been a nice add-on , but Ark 3 is definitely something that we’ll dig in and out for its deeply cinematic pulses and accentuations, available as both loops and single articulations.

The submenus called “Districts” are present in this library, too, and there are four of them: District 1 – The Beating Orchestra ( String Quintet being a nice addition to String, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Orchestras, also Taiko and Percussion ensembles), District II – Percussion Ensembles (Taiko, Percussion, Timpani), District III – Solo Percussion (Taikos, Percussion, Grand Piano), District IV: Orchestral Sections (Highs Strings, Low Strings, High Woodwinds, Low Woodwinds, Trumpet and Horn Ensemble, Low Brass). The articulations cover both single and triplet upbeats, with various lenghts of crescendo and diminuendo. The library was recorded at the superb sounding Teldex scoring stage in Berlin.

District 1 – The Beating Orchestra has plenty of rolls ( they are not auto-repeated) and it sounds nothing less than HUGE. Taiko drums are available as both ensembles and solo, the Grand Piano has a wide array of very interesting effects, while the Timpani section is definitely the best we’ve ever heard on a sample library!

Ark3 is an add-on to Ark1 and Ark2, rather than an upgrade

What we love the most at Ark 3 is the fact that it’s intended to cover arias complementary to those from Ark1 or Ark2,  like an “add-on” rather than an “upgrade” and it’s not intended for those looking for an “all around” orchestral library. One of our favourite articulation is the repetition ( of course, time-synched with the tempo of your project), available in various note denomniations, including triplets and single articulations, with keyswitches from one note duration to another in Multiple mode.

As for technical details, it would worth mention the fact that library has a whooping 111 Gb of samples, at 24 bit / 48 Khz with up to 47 articulations per section are covered, and the supperb percussion section includes Taiko drums. It is based on Capsule and requires full Kontakt or Kontakt Player 5.7.1 . Its introductory price is 399 Eur ( + applicable tax), or 299 eur for owners of Ark 1 or Ark2. These promotional prices are available until January 2018, 31.

Ark 3 is intended for those looking for cinematic pulsating rhythms and it’s one of the best for this purpose. Those that already own Sonokineticc’s Maximo or Cinesamples’ Deep Percussion Beds 1 and 2 will definitely love this one, too!


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Andy Van Pop is one of the most talented young songwriter that we had the pleasure to work with, judging not only by the freshness of his style and lyrics, but also by his skills as a DJ and music producer.

Producing the music video for Andy Van Pop - Lost Ways
Andy Van Pop Lost Ways Music Video

His latest single – “Lost Ways”, is the first release from his upcoming studio album, and it was written entirely by himself, recorded, mixed and mastered in our studio. We crafted the vocal harmonies so that they naturally evolve from verses to a powerful chorus, perfectly blending with the orchestration.

We recorded the lead vocals with our AKG C24 (the stereo version of the superb AKG C12), one of the most sought-after microphone for recording vocals, for its ability to capture those rich harmonics in Andy’s voice, then we put his little brother, the AKG C414 B-ULS TLII, also one of the world’s greatest recording engineer favourite vocal microphone, slammed into the Universal Audio’s SOLO/610 Classic Tube Preamplifier  to deal with the backing vocals, for a slightly different character.

For mixing we went for that Neve sound, perfectly emulated by Acustica Audio’s Lime plug in (probably the best Neve 88RS plugin emulation in the ITB mixing world), with a touch of Luca Pretolesi (Studio DMI) ‘s Diamond’s  type of shine on the vocals, while for the mastering stage we went for that SPL IRON mastering compressor flavour, offered by Acustica’s Coral plugin.

Andy Van Pop choose Paphos, Cyprus as being the best location that we could shoot the music video for Lost Ways, especially the Coral Bay area and Akamas, with beautiful landscapes, true eye candies, as you could see for yourself in the introductory establishing shots (drone aerial shots made with DJI Mavic Pro). Then we choose Cap St. George Beach Resort  as being the most classy location that we could found in Cyprus (also close to George Michael’s house, in the Peya region). For the indoor and low light shots we choose the king of low light cameras of them all, the mighty Sony A7S2, with the 50mm Zeiss Loxia lens, shooting with the widest aperture.

While we were editing and color grading the music video, Andy Van Pop went viral (more than 200k views) with a song that he wrote, inspired by the Love Island’s theme, named “Eggs in a basket” that was later taken over by the Mirror UK, Huffington Post Uk and also broadcasted in the the Love Island UK show itself.

Enjoy the “Lost Ways” music video here:

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Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry Club Remix

Demi Lovato’s latest single gets a future house remix made by Alex Toma (Songwriting Experts Dj and Producer)

Howdy, people! We’re back with a fresh episode of our remix series.

Sorry Not Sorry Club Remix - Demi Lovato by Alex Toma
Demi Lovato Sorry Not Sorry Future House Remix

This time it’s about Demi Lovato ‘s Sorry Not Sorry single – it was love at first hearing, so we grabbed the vocals and slammed some dope bass lines, crazy synths and punchy drums over it, and, after a quick mixing and mastering session, we launched the club banging remix on the orbit!

Sorry Not Sorry is a single from the upcoming sixth studio album of Demi and it was co-written with Sean Douglas, Trevor Brown, William Zaire Simmons and, of course, Oak Felder. It was released by Island Records, Republic Records, Hollywood Records and SafeHouse Records.

What we loved so much about this single was that it was written in such a manner that it clearly make Demi’s vocals really shine, with interesting buildups into a powerful chorus.  The producer kept the orchestration sparse so that her vocals could stand out, with no useless instruments clutter over the wall of voices (the backing vocals are perfectly sustaining and interacting with the lead vocals).


Why a future house remix for “Sorry Not Sorry” ?

We chose the remix to be in the future house style since a tipical bassline couldn’t keep up after such a powerful chorus and also because future house is still one of our favourite’s genre, with a growing popularity in 2017.

Those being said, enjoy this fresh remix and don’t forget to share the love. If you are a dj and want to include it in your playlist, please send us an email!


You can listen to it on youtube here:


Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry [Future House Remix]

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Since releasing a single implies quite an investment for a big artist, you can imagine how picky they tend to get about picking the one that would tick all of their check boxes, also since they are bombarded with hundreds of demo songs weekly. Here is a top of the one that were passed by some A-listers, just to be taken by some others and eventually, turned into hits!
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