Acoustica Premium 6 – DAW Musings

I write a lot of words and I have a lot of writing tools. Emacs, Scrivener, WriteMonkey, Leo, Sublime Text, Editorial – the list goes on.  They all do similar things, I could probably get by with only one, but please don’t make me chose – I like the variety. And the same is true in audio production software. I like to chose, I like variety.

Recently I gave Rogue Amoeba’s Fission editor for OSX a whirl and really enjoyed the focused experience. Which set me wondering are there Windows based tools I may have overlooked – and the answer is, of course there are! Acoustica 6 for a start. Unfortunately in audio world Acoustica can mean two things – there’s a US outfit Acoustica who make MixCraft – a well respected DAW which flies a little under the radar but has loads of synths etc. I tried it a while ago and never got round to writing it up, something I must remedy one day.

But today I’m more interested in Acoustica – an audio editing suite from Acondigital – programmed by Stian Aagedal. I have run into several references to Acoustica over the years but assumed what was under discussion was MixCraft and not the matter in hand Acoustica the editor. With that resolved I had a quick look and was instantly interested based on two things. First, I believe variety is a good thing, I appreciate MS Word, it is a wondrous thing I’m sure, it’s just not for me. We have ProTools in the house, it is a wondrous thing I’m sure, but the world is a better place because there are alternatives! Some competing directly and others like Acoustica, focused on a different segment of the market and doing things differently. And secondly its affordability – with the standard edition at just over forty dollars (given the parlous state of post Brexit sterling!) affordibility is certainly not a problem. And the third reason 😉 is the interesting plugins available – for instance De-Verberate and Restoration – again under a hundred quid a pop. Acoustica is certainly not a fully featured DAW, it is aimed more at editing and processing single files rather than mixing 24 tracks of a band. However now is not the time to dig into the features as Stian is working hard on the next version, rather for your entertainment I thought I would have a quick look at the comparative sizes of installed audio applications. No, I don’t want to make any deductions or indeed deep reflections, it’s just a bit of fun. Here you go.

Executable size on Disk

Cubase 8 67.8 meg,
Presonus Studio One 3 is 29.5 meg,
Sequoia 12 at 23.3 MB,
Acoustica Premium 20 MB Wavelab 8.5 weighs in at 16 meg,
Reaper v4 9.1 MB

Actually that’s not very interesting – how about how much memory do they take up with a single stereo audio file loaded? All figures for workingset usage – File = Bad Company – Good Loving Gone Bad 25MB FLAC

Working Set Memory Usage

Cubase Pro 8 (64) – 392 MB
Sequoia 12 (64) – 168MB
Wavelab 9 (64) – 148 MB
Reaper v4 (64) – 69MB
Acoustica Premium V6 – 56MB CPU

CPU Usage playing back test file

Acoustica Premium V6 – 4.4%
Wavelab 9 (64) – 3.6%
Sequoia 12 (64) -1.6%
Cubase Pro 8 (64) – 1.2%
Reaper v4 (64) – 0.97%

OF COURSE – we are not comparing apples with apples here – Acoustica Premium is a much more limited proposition than Cubase Pro 8 for instance. This is for fun. However it reminds me I did mean to test DAW performance under stress of heavy duty play back – maybe that is for next time.

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