Acustica Audio Maize 2023-R2R

Acustica Audio Maize 2023-R2R

Maize is the authentic Markbass PP-10 Parametric Equalizer in plugin form: an official recreation of their PP10 EQ hardware.

Maize is the official recreation of the PP10 EQ by Markbass.
Maize is a VST/VST3/AAX/AU Acqua plugin that faithfully replicates the behavior and sound of the highly-prized PP10 by Markbass: a solid-state parametric equalizer inspired by the sounds of classic equalizers from the 1970s and 80s, and further enhanced by Acustica with the introduction of features that make it even more powerful and versatile.

This project inaugurates Acustica’s collaboration with Markbass, offering the pro audio sector a product with extraordinary qualities rarely found in the EQs on the market today.

The Perfect Sculpting Tool
Maize embodies the main features of the PP10, which an extremely musical, but simultaneously very precise equalizer. It features 10 bands, each of which includes 19 selectable frequencies, a gain pot that controls cuts and boosts (-16 to +16dB), and a rotary control that adjusts the bell width (Q) from 0.3 to 6.0. The latter is an unusually high Q value for an equalizer; the machine was specifically designed to allow the use of very narrow bells, allowing fine, surgical corrections in the frequency spectrum. Its sound signature is distinctive, and while it adapts extraordinarily well to mastering, it gives its best in the mixing phase, when you’re correcting or sculpting the sound of your instruments.

All of this and more is replicated by Maize.

This plugin is an equalizer that audio experts would define as esoteric, in that it’s linear to the extremes of the band with regards to frequency response and phase. In the low range, its linearity goes almost up to DC! This is an equalizer with its own distinct sonic personality, and with great shaping potential. While using it, you will immediately notice how each intervention can be calibrated with precision in terms of decibels, especially in the subtractive phase.

Acustica was so impressed by the extraordinary qualities of the PP10 unit that it couldn’t resist the idea of creating a digital version, as well as introducing some additional features that provide even more further versatility. These include control-link, M-S, switchable preamps (solid-state and vacuum tube), in-out meters, band activation buttons and oversampling options for the preamp section.

A Little Bit of History
The PP10 stereo equalizer was born as a prototype around 2006 due to the Markbass company’s desire to build a precision equalizer — hence the acronym PP, which stands for “Pure Precision.” To make sure they were creating something truly special, they relied on the expertise of none other than Rodolfo “Foffo” Bianchi.

Bianchi is one of the greatest producers and sound engineers in Italy, who, for decades, has helped to write some of the most important pages of his country’s music history. Foffo’s wealth of experience date back to the golden years of RCA, and helped Markbass to create a state-of-the-art equalizer. This uncompromising hardware unit was meticulously designed, optimally engineered and built with the best components available.

However, the uncompromising pursuit of absolute quality had an unintended consequence in the development of this ambitious project. The almost prohibitive production costs made the unit difficult to market, and Markbass had to decide whether or not to venture into a new field: pro audio. After weighing the options, they decided to set aside the project in order to evaluate the potential risk at both an entrepreneurial and commercial level.

In the end, only two units were created. One is still in possession of the Bianchi family, while the other belongs to renowned sound engineer Sabino Cannone. Thanks to Acustica’s development of the Maize plugin, sound engineers can finally reap the benefit of this excellent product, which is both unique and nearly impossible to find in the non-digital realm.


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