Rare Solid-State Parametric EQ Emulated

US Maize is designed to replicate the behaviour and sound of the PP10 by Markbass      29/04/22

Acustica Audio says that Maize is an Acqua plug-in that faithfully replicates the behaviour and sound of the highly prized PP10 by Markbass, a Solid-State Parametric EQ inspired by the sound of the classic equalizers of the 70s and 80s and further enhanced by Acustica with the introduction of features that makes it even more powerful and versatile.

Acustica tells us that this project inaugurates a close collaboration with MarkbassAmps and that they are  now offering the market a product with extraordinary qualities hardly ever found in another EQ. Here's more details in their own words...

Perfect sculpting tool

Maize embodies the main features of the PP10, an equalizer extremely precise but at the same time very musical. 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. The latter is an unusually high Q value for an equalizer: in fact, the machine has been designed to allow the use of very narrow bells, allowing truly surgical corrections in the frequency spectrum.

This is an equalizer that we would define as esoteric, very linear to the extremes of the band with regard 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, with great shaping potential. In fact, using it you immediately notice how each intervention can be calibrated with precision in terms of decibels, especially in the subtractive phase.

Its sound signature is really distinctive, it adapts well to mastering contexts but we believe it gives its best in the mixing phase when correcting or sculpting the sound of your instruments. From its discovery Acustica was impressed  by the extraordinary qualities of this unit and sought to create a digital version, as well as introducing some additional features compared to the original unit. In Maize you will find controls that offer further versatility, including: Control-link, M-S, switchable preamps (solid-state / vacuum tube), IN-OUT meters, band activations buttons and oversampling options for the preamp section.

Maize plugin comes in a standard version and an alternative 'ZL' (zero latency) version which is suitable for use when tracking, at the cost of extra processing resources.

A Little Bit of History

The PP10 stereo equalizer was born as a prototype around 2006 thanks to the Markbass company's desire to build a precision equalizer (hence the acronym PP, which stands for 'Pure Precision') relying on a professional in the audio industry, Rodolfo 'Foffo' Bianchi. Rodolfo is one of the greatest Italian producers and sound engineers who for decades, since the glorious years of RCA, has helped to write some of the most important pages of Italian music history. Foffo's decades of experience allowed Markbass to create a state-of-the-art equalizer. This 'uncompromising' unit was meticulously designed, optimally engineered and built with the best components on the market.

However, the uncompromising pursuit of absolute quality had an unintended consequence in the development of this ambitious project. The very high, (almost prohibitive) production costs, made the unit difficult to market, and Markbass had to decide whether or not to enter a new field, Pro Audio, in which it had not operated. For this reason Markbass set aside the project in order to evaluate the possible risk at both an entrepreneurial and commercial level.

In the end only two units were created one is still in possession of the Bianchi's family, the other belongs to the sound engineer Sabino Cannone (www.morevox.it). The project had neither continuity nor development, although the product was excellent from all points of view. Thanks to Acustica today with Maize you can finally enjoy this wonderful product, both unique and extremely rare.

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