Necco wafers? Trail mix? No, we want only the best candy – and free saturation plug-ins. Acustica Audio has not one but two free gems that range from light heat to complete, horrifying destruction. Here’s how to grab them.

Acustica has a great free Halloween gift for this year – plus another from last year – as VST, AU, and AAX plug-ins for macOS and Windows.

2023’s outing is Pumpkin. It’s a single-stage saturation with various saturation types, a couple of bands of EQ (low and high), and some especially nice tools for tweaking and shaping, plus real-time controls. There are a ton of detailed options here, with four analog sampled models, a useful visualization display, high-quality oversampling, and different listening modes (Δ, LR, M, S).


Acustica Audio Pumpkin

It’s really great having all that precise control, but I also appreciate last year’s freebie, which will show up in the same download manager automatically. Fire the Pump doesn’t have any of the visualizations or precise shaping controls, but … the heck with it. It’s really fun to just crank up this knob and destroy everything, and for fast demolition, it’s handy to have around. Plus – pumpkin knob! (Time to 3D print some stupid knob caps…)

Fire The Pump

Here’s how to skip ahead to the install instructions for Pumpkin:

How to download, install and authorize Pumpkin

You’ll need the Aquarius desktop app, another of those download-and-update-everything tools. The good news is, when you grab it, you get a bunch of other freebies by default – just pick out what you want and click install.

The bad news is, this app is sloooooooow. I’m hoping it’s just the rush of the Halloween freebie and it’s not like this all the time, but fair warning. Also oddly, you have to install each plug-in format you want one at a time. That said, I survived it and had a good time with Pumpkin in the end.

Acustica Aquarius

I haven’t had time to try any other tools, but it looks like they’ve got some interesting stuff. And I never have too many saturation models. Bring them on. It’s like having too much candy.

Ooh. I don’t feel totally well, though. But yeah. Worth it.

Happy Halloween.