Acustica Audio has announced that the new Ceil ($99 value) channel strip VST/AU/AAX plugin is offered is a free download until February 14th, 2019.
Ceil is a virtual channel strip which is based on Acustica Audio’s unique Nebula technology. In this case, the company has “sampled” a heavily modded Focusrite Audio ISA 430 hardware channel strip and turned it into an audio plugin. Ceil can be used in all VST, AU, and AAX plugin compatible digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.
The plugin features a compressor, a preamp section, a stereo processing module with mid/side and stereo pan controls, a filter section with a pair of HP/LP filters, and a 2-band parametric equalizer. Each section can be bypassed to reduce CPU usage. When all modules are active, Ceil consumed around 20% of available resources on our i7 4770 powered test machine running Studio One 3. With all modules bypassed, the CPU hit drops to around 10% per plugin instance.
Both the equalizer module and the filters sound very pleasant. The filters are highly transparent, especially the high-pass filter which can be used to clean up the low end without sounding unnatural. The EQ comes with two parametric bands which sound very musical even at higher boost settings. The compressor features an optional sidechain input along with a high-pass filter to help with taming bass-heavy signals. Another notable section of the unit is the gain staging module which can be used to boost volume and to mix some of the unprocessed audio with the compressed signal. This parallel-processed signal then passes through the stereo section and the filter/EQ modules.
I was quite happy with Ceil’s sound quality but my overall impression with the plugin isn’t very good. This is thanks to the constant audio crackling which occurs while Ceil is in use. This could, of course, be limited to my test machine so your mileage may vary. Apart from the audio clicks and pops while using Ceil, I haven’t noticed any other instability issues. Is the plugin running smoothly on your computer? Do let me know in the comment section below.
To get your free copy of Ceil, register for a free Acustica Audio user account, download and open the Aquarius plugin manager, and click the install button next to Ceil. Once installed, the plugin will be ready to use in your digital audio workstation of choice. Do note that an internet collection is required to download and install the plugin on your computer. The free download offer will expire on February 14th, 2019. Users who have installed Ceil prior to this date will receive a permanent plugin license (which will be valid for use even after the free download offer expires).
Ceil is available for free download via Acustica Audio (311 MB download size, EXE installer, 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin format for Windows & MacOS).