Instant Audio’s QuickAG is a set of easy‑to‑use tools designed to polish the sound of acoustic guitars and similar stringed instruments, with the minimum of complexity. The controls are clearly laid out on a resizeable GUI that resembles a section of a guitar body and is divided into sections for EQ, compression, reverb and ‘XTRA’. The common plug‑in types and sample rates up to (or even beyond) 192kHz are supported, and authorisation is via a personal key code, so the plug‑in can be used on multiple computers.
Selecting an instrument type (Acoustic, Baritone, Mandolin, Spanish or Ukulele) sets up hidden compressor and EQ parameters. You can then make adjustments using the basic controls. For example, the Low Pass and De‑Harsh EQ knobs cut problem frequencies, and the frequency and Q of the filters is already set for you. Similarly some basic adjustments can be made to the compressor, though the detailed settings are again linked to your instrument‑type selection.
The Reverb section offers three algorithms, Plate, Hall and Room, all tailored for acoustic instruments. So the user only needs to adjust the desired length and wet/dry mix. Three compressor types are available (FET, Vari‑mu and Clean), their user controls simplified to Amount and Release. The EQ section offers just four controls: Low‑cut, Body, De‑Harsh and Spark. In their fully anti‑clockwise positions these do nothing but even when fully up the effect is sensibly subtle; it’s difficult to make anything sound really bad. The XTRA section has one‑knob controls for stereo width, a doubler effect (for fake double‑tracking), and emphasising transients. Each section has a bypass switch with status LED and there are separate controls for input and output level. There’s also a global, click‑free bypass, which can be automated.
Selecting an instrument type sets up some hidden compressor and EQ parameters, and you can then make further adjustments.
Though the changes made tend to be fairly subtle, the presets work pretty well and the reverbs sound appropriate and authentic. Do remember, though, that you must adjust the compressor amount or input gain in any preset to compensate for different recording levels. The plug‑in also goes some way to refining the sound from piezo bridge pickups, which often sound scratchy or honky without treatment. No doubt more experienced users could come up with similar results using EQ, compression and reverb, with perhaps a little transient enhancement, but for those who need to get results quickly, QuickAG has plenty to offer.
£89 including VAT.