Acustica Audio Releases Free BASSTARD Equalizer VST/AU Plugin


Acustica Audio has released BASSTARD, a freeware Pultec-style equalizer effect in VST, AU, and AAX plugin formats for digital audio workstations on PC and Mac.

BASSTARD is one of the six audio effects included in Acustica Audio’s new Titanium3 product suite. Although the Titianium3 bundle is a paid product (currently on sale for €89), BASSTARD can be installed completely free of charge via the Aquarius license manager. Anyone who signs up for a free Acustica Audio user account can now download and install BASSTARD for free.

See also: VHL-3C Is A FREE Pultec Filter VST/AU Plugin By Black Rooster Audio

Based on the low-end processing module of the legendary Pultec line of tube equalizers, BASSTARD is tailor-made for enhancing bass frequencies of a mix or a single audio track. The interface features the Boost and Attenuate control parameters seen in Pultec EQs and a 4-way switch for choosing the affected frequency band (30 Hz, 40 Hz, 60 Hz, or 100 Hz). The processing engine relies on Acustica Audio’s unique Acqua hardware sampling technology which records the behavior of analog gear by capturing “dynamic impulse responses”. The result is an emulation which highly resembles the sound qualities of the actual hardware unit, at the cost of somewhat higher CPU usage when compared to algorithm-based software.

Although the sound processing quality delivered by BASSTARD is quite good, it does indeed come at the cost of a performance hit, especially if multiple instances are used in a single project. Still, it’s worth a try if you don’t want to spend money on a paid software alternative or an expensive hardware clone of a Pultec equalizer.

To download your free copy of BASSTARD, register for a free Acustica Audio user account and then install the Aquarius license manager from the page linked below. Once installed, run the Aquarius application and log in with your user credentials. You should be able to access and install the BASSTARD plugin using Aquarius.

BASSTARD is available for free download via Acustica Audio (8.61 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin format for Windows & MacOS).

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


  1. Does this one kill your processor too? Their plugins are worthless because I can’t add them to a mix and actually listen. They have to make the code more efficient for them to be worthwhile.

    • For an AA product this is rather light on CPU. In general when using heavy hitting plugins you need to adjust your workflow, either freezing tracks or bouncing them in place to get the benefits and remove the plugs. Learning to work this way is actually beneficial, causing you to be more sure and decisive.

      • I don’t agree with that. IMO Software in general should be programmed in an efficient way so I don’t have to change my workflow. A good example for efficiency IMO is Cockos Reaper. Small ,fast, stable, light on CPU.

        • Some techniques take more CPU cycles than others no matter how efficient the coding.

          Also, AA products work best with Reaper due to its threading capabilities.

  2. corrosiveabuser


    It’s plugins like these that make me wanna upgrade from a MacBook Air 1.7ghz, i5, 8 gb, – it runs smoothly enough, but the CPU is topping out continuously, even with the buffer set to 1024 in Logic.

    It has a gorgeous sound though, and when I do upgrade, I will definitely be investing some time and money on AA products. The freebees are working AA, keep ’em coming.

    Many thanks to all involved, – superb work.

  3. Hi there ,
    I am looking for a great free
    plug-in that matches volume of a bunch of tracks
    for example I have a live guitar on one audio track ready to record
    and one audio track with a backing track I got from the web
    I am using Logic Pro X on Mac
    Thank You in advance

  4. Aquarius doesn’t work for me. it keeps saying I have a ‘bad password’ and acoustica is of no help either, they have the audacity to try and tell me that they can’t help me with another software company’s products (referring to their own Aquarius program.) Can someone please email me this plugin?

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