I've just finished mixing an instrumental I made solely using a trial of Acustica-Audio's Sand FAB4 and my external hardware. I was very impressed with this plugin, it has more options in it than you can poke a stick at. As per their website, "SAND is a channel-strip featuring a combination of many devices. We have faithfully recreated the sound characteristics of classic British high-end mixing consoles and recording studio hardware."
This plugin allows you to use it as a channel strip or as individual components, which is great because you may want to use their EQ with a different compressor, for instance an 1176 compressor. But that's not all folks, you don't just get one (1) EQ and compressor in this channel strip, you get two (2) EQ's and two (2) compressor's.
Comp A mode is a faithful emulation of VCA stereo bus compressor. Comp C mode is a result of careful research and improvements to obtain a dynamic processor characterized by accuracy and versatility. Attack times of this Dynamic range compression are closer to some other familiar software compressors. Both EQ's have 21 stepped Frequency knobs but each EQ has different frequencies.
HF Frequency: 1.5KHz to 16KHz
HF Gain: -20dBu to +20dBu
HMF Bell Frequency: 0.6KHz to 15KHz
HMF Bell Gain: -20dBu to +20dBu
LMF Bell Frequency: 0.05KHz to 1.8KHz
LMF Bell Gain: -20dBu to +20dBu
LF Frequency: 30Hz to 500Hz
LF Gain: -20dBu to +20dBu
HF Filter Frequency: 2.85KHz to 20KHz
HF Filter Gain: -15dBu to +15dBu.
HMF Bell Filter Frequency: 0.97KHz to 5.82KHz
HMF Bell Filter Gain: -15dBu to +15dBu
LMF Bell Filter Frequency: 0.2KHz to 2.5KHz
LMF Bell Filter Gain: -15dBu to +15dBu
LF Filter Frequency: 40Hz to 485Hz
LF Filter Gain: -15dBu to +15dBu
The downside of this plugin is that it has a lot of functionality that will have you constantly going to the manual for reference. Acustica-Audio are aware of this as they have mentioned it on their website "We believe that Acustica just may have gone too far with this! We usually like to keep some of our plugins streamlined and simple, but this time we have added everything we could think of!" Now that's a downside that every company would like to achieve.
What I liked about this plugin is the ability to use the strip or the individual components that make up the strip. I also liked that in the one plugin I have 2 different sounding EQ's which comes in handy when working on different material. I plan on buying this plugin in the near future, will this plugin take over all of my other EQ Plugins, most likely not but it will definitely have its place in most of my mixes in the future.
Below is a sample of the mixed instrumental I used the SAND plug in on. To understand what you are listening to and where I used the plugin, I used it on everything except the drums. The drums were processed using external hardware. If you like what you hear and you want us to produce a custom beat or have your song mixed online with us, please go to our services page for more info or contact us directly.