Not only does Acustica Audio’s Cola plugin suite emulate some classic studio gear, but it also takes an AI-based approach to mixing that’s based on ‘sampling’ a human audio engineer.
We’ll get to that bit in a moment, but we should start by saying that the centrepiece of Cola is the C-228 module, a vintage-style 3-band inductor EQ console with high- and low-pass filters. This is modelled on a vintage British unit that was used on albums by the likes of AC/DC, Queen, Clash, The Sex Pistols and more.
In addition, you get the Cola C-415 valve pre/3-band passive EQ, the C-1671 germanium graphic EQ and C-505 compressor/limiter. The Cola Channel-strip, meanwhile, combines some of these processors into a single plugin.
To that AI mixing, then: rather than selecting the kind of audio content you’re working with and letting the software have a go at mixing for you, Cola has been ‘taught’ the moves of a pro audio engineer and uses this knowledge to make adjustments as it ‘listens’ to your audio. It’s not about having fixed presets for different material, and Acustica admits that the results you get might not be to your preference, but you should get a new perspective on how other people mix.
The technology is still in its infancy and we’ll admit that we’re slightly confused about how it works, but Acustica says that early results are promising.
You can find out more on the Acustica Audio website. Cola is available for PC and Mac and currently costs €109 (regular price is €159) and there’s a trial mode so that you can try before you buy.