With a full channel-strip, 2 equalisers, the Holy Grail of compressors and an astounding reverb, you can now have a truly esoteric collection of studio gear right inside your DAW. Covering everything from tonal shaping to dynamic control and ambience, Ultramarine4 is the most comprehensive suite of its kind.
A70 Mid-Side / Stereo Compressor
Ultramarine4’s compressor is based on what is arguably the most iconic of all dynamics processors. Rightfully described as the “World Accepted Standard For Level Control” in the ’50s, it is today one of the most revered studio processors ever. The original machine can cost up to $20,000 or more on the second-hand market – for one in good condition – and the extra costs of maintenance should also be taken into account. The sound of this impressive machine is defined by its short attack response and long release times, letting you keep transients under control and yet giving the body of the track a sweet massage.
Equally at home in audio mastering studios as well as radio broadcast facilities, only about 1000 of them were sold and they are getting harder find in a good operating condition.
Over the years, many clones and emulations – both hardware and software – have been created striving to perfectly capture the unmistakable character of this behemoth comp/limiter. And many of them certainly sound good. But we think that no approach can beat the actual sampling of the unit in order to match the sonic elegance of such a marvelous piece of engineering.
A-27 – Variable Tube Equalizer
Originally built in the 60s – this active EQ had some pretty unusual circuitry, a completely different electronic implementation compared to other classic EQ’s from those days. The search for an original unit seemed like an impossible mission, but we didn’t lose heart, despite these difficulties and after we got hold of all the needed components – we decided to assemble one ourselves. This beast turned out to be wonderfully smooth, and we can say without a doubt that the Ultramarine4 A-27 EQ is completely different from any of the EQ’s you will find in the Acustica domain so far.
A-64 – American vintage 2-band Passive Program EQ
Don’t let its size fool you. This small passive EQ comes straight from the early 1960s – with just two correction bands, a shelving low filter, and a high peak type filter. Whilst the low-frequency filter has a fixed cut-off frequency of 80Hz, the high-frequency filter has 5 peak settings ranging from 4 to 15 kHz. Being a passive equalizer, the original model had an input signal attenuation of 17 dB, so, for this reason, the unit was almost always coupled to a preamplifier or a compressor to recover part of the lost level. It is still considered by many to be one of the most musical equalizers ever. We were lucky enough to find a unit in perfect condition, so we couldn’t miss the opportunity to sample it. The result is simply stunning!
A-58 Reverb Unit
The A-58 reverb is the virtual counterpart of a high-quality, electro-mechanical reverberation device – certainly, one of the best vintage reverbs ever built by a legendary American manufacturer and designed to enhance broadcast and studio sound. This gem is a real collector’s item. It uses 6 electro-mechanical delay lines, each tuned differently, to produce a natural reverberant effect that is extremely smooth and warm sounding, even on percussive sounds. And on vocals, pure magic happens. We think this unit is as good as it can possibly get in the reverb domain. We were able to harness the behavior of this ultra-rare unit to provide you with the same, exact sound of the original reverb, which inherently possesses the quality of a great reverb chamber.
- Ultramarine4 Channel-strip (Channel strip that includes some of the previous cited standalone plugins)
- Ultramarine4 A-70 (standalone Mid-Side Stereo Compressor)
- Ultramarine4 A-58 Reverb (standalone Reverb module)
- Ultramarine4 A-64 EQ (standalone 3-Band Passive Equalizer)
- Ultramarine4 A-27 EQ (standalone Variable Tube Equalizer)
Each plug-in included in the Ultramarine 4 suite comes in a “Standard” version and an alternative “ZL*” version which operates at *zero latency and is thus suitable for use when tracking, at the cost of extra processing resources. For further details consult the Ultramarinee 4 user’s manual in the Overview section.