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Thread: Plugins Reviews/breakdown

  1. #21
    Heavy UAD User caustix's Avatar
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    Thanks for the honest review. Appreciated greatly. A question, what do you think of the dangerous bax over the massive? (uad) of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by stereospace View Post
    Greetings..

    Im a long time UAD user, well actually pretty much only use UAD+real hardware now.. but I thought I'd share this with you..
    Its only a share, not factual, and its my personal choices, and what I share may not be good for you...

    I will list the ones I own and have used MANY times and how/what on/where etc.. :-

    EQ

    Harrison 32C

    This has been my GOTO plugin for Drums & vocals, the Mid crossover on this EQ is flawless, and great to "beef" up a snare or kick, and brilliant to remove some sizzle from Overheads, really no other EQ comes close to this when mixing drums... I just grab, and go, always works, never fails.

    For vocals, its great to add air, and remove any "nasal" mids, I find this EQ is best for Corrective EQ here, and not creative.. (I'll explain a different EQ i use for that later) - but 10/10 I always start with this, for any Vocal.

    Cambridge EQ

    Well its OK. for some thin Q sculpting, works great for those harsh mids sometimes caught with elec guitars on max overdrive sort of scenario's..but I don't like the high end on this, it thins it out too much, so I just use it for a subtractive "fixing" EQ.

    Massive Passive EQ

    Disappointing by this, I have a real Massive Passive and have done so many A/B tests, but the warmth or tube strength is not there. - I brought it due to the massive is such a lush EQ that having that available on more places would be fantastic.. but sadly not.. so Now I don't use it at all. (Don't get me wrong, its still great, but because I own the real H/W I know the difference, and I simply wont settle for 2nd best if I have real vs software) if you never used the H/WQ then don't stop, its still fantastic..

    Pultec's

    Terrible on Drums, but amazing on Bass and guitars.. wow, slam these across your guitar buses for a instant warmup and extra clarity, I use these strictly for, well actually the color and making the tracks im working on either more close or further away in the mix.. great at that!. always use AFTER Comp, never before.

    Also my Vocal EQ Spice.. I cant explain it, but it does something to the transients.. (odd for a EQ I know) but makes them smooth and the vocals thank you for that!. really great vocal sweeter.

    COMPS

    LA-2A's

    Well run of the Mill really, UA did a fab job on this to make it sound like the real deal.. I don't own the originals, but have used them many times, and these really do give the Punch on things like the H/W big brothers.

    Love these on all things Punch.. so I use them on Drums/ in Comp mode, and then again for Limit mode on Buss. - great on Vocals too, due to the variable speeds of these, be wary how you use them, try not to put too much through one at a time, else you start to loose the point of them and therefor loose the punch.

    1176's

    My Perfect Bass companions.. really drives the bass guitars hard.. and gives it some edge, (if that's what you like), and personally I do. so I use them here all the time.. I prefer the LA2A for Drums and Vocals, and this on things like Bass and Keys.. its good for Full range and bass range instruments, at least that's what I found..

    Fatso's

    These fattys are amazing really, I use these all the time, and recently prefer them on my Mixbuss rather than my hardware API2500, Love the richness of the sound, they caught the analogue vibe well on this for sure, I don't think you can make anything sound bad with this on anywhere!...I typically use it for Parallel drum/vocal mixes.

    Neve 33609

    Never is known for its color, but this is not it!.. I think they just modeled the accuracy of the unit but didn't include the anolouge circuitry? - But its very transparent to me, in fact incredibly so. Bit of a complex beast to get right.. but once you get used to it its great for a submix buss or the mixdown buss. (automate the gain levels for some extra juice going into choruses)

    Other

    Studer A800

    Well This is always first & last on my mixbuss, I experiment with different tapes...for varied flavors... but its random the results, sometimes its "wow" other times it can break a mix. depends on lots of equations within the rest of the mix obviously.. but this is always there regardless, and sometimes as I sad can take time to get right..
    (i will cheat here and say that I use Slates VCC on every track aswell)

    Cooper Time Cube

    I was after some FAT delay, mostly for slapback things and a bit of guitar delays to mix in that offers the subtle warmth of older gear. and this was it.. - most delys I use are great on there own, but too sterile most of the time.. but the cooper has that true vibe feeling.

    Ocean Way

    Well I had massive high Hopes for this.. as sometimes as a mix engineer (and as you all know) we get send some god awful tracks sometimes.. that you often think.. damm why didn't they just do..... well this was my answer to that. but sadly, never actually been impressed with anything so far... - had decent results once on a drum buss, using it to add extra "room" to them.. by adding it in parallel and blending to taste, but just gave massive comb filtering no matter what you did.. so ended up knocking it off, and I try to get into it, but never seem too.. everything always just seems too far away, despite setting the mics closest including the time align features..I wont knock is all the way down just yet, but I think its way overpriced for what it is.. that I think some good IR's can do better with a bit of EQ tweaking to help...

    SPL Transient Designer

    Great, and brilliant for Kick drums.. to bring out soem sustained boom, that you dont want to compress and can be interesting to use it in a arty way too. - i.e Let the attack be negative so there is barely any transients, then over compress with your fav comp, and hear some interesting results. - then clamp it down again with more transient imaging, and you can have some cool effects....just a good fund plugin, I use it for Kicks and acoustic guitars.

    SPL TwinTube

    Ok this is amazing also, but it can also be destructive, if used subtly, it can have quite an impact of bringing out the vocal (especially male) - gives it some grit, without the need of pushing it further away or closer in the mix. - so a lil harmonic values can really change the "figure" of the voice, but ONLY in a positive way. as the old saying goes.. a little goes a long way.. this is true here!



    Typical Scenario...

    Track: KICK - Plugins in order. :-

    Slate VCC
    Harrison EQ (control rumble, if this fails then Cambridge)
    LA2A give some Squeeze and peak control
    SPL Trans (if applicable)
    Harrison EQ (making it sound sweet)

    Track: VOCAL :-

    Slate VCC
    Cambridge/Harrison EQ (Corrective)
    LA2A (Peak and level control)
    Pultec EQ (Give some sheen/shine)
    SPL TwinTube (give a lil air and fidelity)

    Track: BASS

    Slate VCC
    Cambridge EQ (corrective)
    1176 (Bring it all together GLUE)
    Harrison/Pultec EQ (Making it work)
    SPL Trans (if applicable)
    Pultec (Automation EQ only) to Automate the amount of bass in diff parts)

    Track: SUBMIX/MASTER

    Struder A800
    Fatso's (Only subtle, controlling only)
    Neve 33609, (For automation of Gain/levels) and subtle Comp.
    Cambridge (Final EQ, corrective only, Small amounts)
    Struder A800 (Set to final sound before Print)

    ---> this then goes to 2buss, where
    Massive Passive
    Api2500 live for final Mixdown
    (using a Neve 8816 btw)


    So, as long winded as this post is.. but is UA worth it.. YES and NO!.. whilst they supply great characters of equipment, but There is just too much of this in today's market.. with software and the pinnacle of todays engineering, time to be creative I think and do something new and unique...

    I don't have the full range of UAD2 Plugs like some of you do, but I'd never want them either. there will be too much choice, and in my world if you have too much then you try to use it all, and rather than getting to REALLY know your equipment you end up going round in circles, and your mix will suffer.

    Hope this has helped anyone thinking to get any of these plugins.

    Thought I'd share
    now Be well.

    SS

    EDIT: Updated, added TwinTube

  2. #22
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    Great Post!

    I'd add the Manley Vari Mu in a tag-team with the 33609, either together or as stand-by's for a different take -- thus case-by-case. The Shadow Valley could fit the bill too. Some too would include VSC-2 & C1-1B, but I really am on a Manley kick!

  3. #23
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    I am late to the party on the 1176 MKIIs. Got damn. I see what everyone was talking about. It takes a bit of work to get the transients on a picked bass to smooth out, but once you find that combo, it is untouchable. Unique bass sounds coming out of it.

    No question about snares and the blue stripe.

    I love placing the LA3A before it. The Fatso trick (distresor faker) sounds very good.
    I'd say this is up there with one of the best compressors I have ever heard.
    Matt Hepworth likes this.

  4. #24
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    PS oh yeah, its endless. It's not discussed a lot, but how do you like shift clicking various ratio combinations, like 2 and 4 together really stamp a bass down. There are a variety of things you can do with the 1176 MKIIs, if you take the time to learn them.
    sadkin likes this.

  5. #25
    Heavy UAD User caustix's Avatar
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    Ok gonna give a review.... hmmm.... I wonder lol

    What I love, and owning most of the UAD plugins this is what I use now. I use Sonnox and Melda Production for everything else. Some freebies too.

    Fatso Sr

    On drum buss WOW, love it. Absolutely kills!

    Studer A800 - just before it hits the red GP9 +6 15ips
    Fatso Sr - brings the shine out on drums

    Manley Vari

    Nice clean compressor nice on buss and just taming peaks on guitars

    1176

    Lovely on bass guitar, LOVE it on bass

    Ampex

    Nice to add a little sheen on the master

    Pultec MKII

    Like this EQ just enabled

    Helios 69

    Again another EQ you don't even need to touch to add a little character or a bump.

    Everything Brainworx

    Ditched using anything 3rd party since Plugin Alliance has released them all natively. That's ALL brainworx plugins. MaagEQ, Millennia NSEQ-2 EQ etc...

    Massenburg EQ

    Very nice clean fine EQ, toss up between Sonnox EQ and that when comes to clean EQ

    Precision EQ & Maximiser

    Great stuff, nice and does what it's meant to do and does it well.

    Neve (& 1073) & Harrison EQ's

    Great EQ's & pre-amp

    ----

    SIMS - Ok this is where it gets interesting

    I don't dig any of them, I have tried and tried, it takes multiple EQ's and lots of messing around to get a tone I like - preference? Who knows, all I know is there are 2 options I use, well 3 if you want to include the real deal! The only one I like is the Ampeg SVT-3 Pro (as a bassist) without the cab and using Recabinet 5 and Ownhammer bass IR's.

    The two options I choose and have tested against live amp/cabs and have hit the nail right on the head are

    - Thermionik & Recabinet 5
    - Fractal (others prefer Kemper - suppose it's what tone your going for)


    The issue I have is simplicity and speed at getting the tone you want without having to sit for hours on end. Nah, for me, Thermionik or Fractal win hands down on that department so no more sim purchasing for me.

    All the sims available for UAD - in my opinion don't cut it. They are available for native and just as good - and that's kind of saying they are ok. The ones I mentioned, for me personally and A/B'ing with the real deal - the real amp/cabs I can get my hands on - REALLY do sound closer to the real thing.

    As for UAD, I think they truly now need to REALLY up their game. The software available without paying a fair sum of money for and having to rely on technology that could change at a whim, which may not be a problem for others, but for me, yes it is a thing I wonder about.

    The plugs are good, no denying it. But there really is not much of a difference now with native alternatives. That saying, there are some that I won't be ditching UAD as they are that good!

    As a software engineer I don't buy into the crap that they can't separate code which is modularised - at least should be - to interact with a UAD IR loader. Focus on amp heads that REALLY DO make the grade and don't sound like crap compared against very cheap alternatives.

    This may come as a bit of an insult but I am one who has paid a mini fortune on plugins after buying into the hype. So I feel entitled to share my opinion on where I feel UAD need, not must or should, but NEED to up their game. Software, technology and modelling is not just UAD's place in the audio tech world. There are far better options at a fraction of the cost - if you want authenticity on sims Thermionik & Recabinet 5 see youtube video attached. However, in saying that, some UAD plugins genuinely are bloody amazing.

    Just my two cents.

    Recabinet 5 - This IR Loader Simply is THE BEST one I have used *updated to 5 - very different with dynamics*


    For those NOT convinced by Thermionik authenticity
    Last edited by caustix; 31st August 2016 at 07:13 PM.

  6. #26
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    The Moog Filter just does not get enough discussion. This thing is a beast under automation. It is not a clean filter, the resonance alone is like a piano, it scrolls through notes. Put this thing on a rhodes, or a melotron. automate spacing and offset and the stereo effect is an absolute crazy outside the speaker effect. No one would know how you got the sounds from this filter.

    I admit this is not a traditional tool. It is not really a 'filter' it's a character bus. But its not too much DSP, you can slot this in even for a few seconds at the right time. It's ridiculous. I cannot believe the sounds I can get from this thing.

  7. #27
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    and Caustic, thats a very nice post up of some of the tools. The Fatso Sr is one of my fav plugins to use on drums.

    I also agree on your later points about the UAD platform in general.
    caustix likes this.

  8. #28
    Heavy UAD User caustix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpayne0 View Post
    The Moog Filter just does not get enough discussion. This thing is a beast under automation. It is not a clean filter, the resonance alone is like a piano, it scrolls through notes. Put this thing on a rhodes, or a melotron. automate spacing and offset and the stereo effect is an absolute crazy outside the speaker effect. No one would know how you got the sounds from this filter.

    I admit this is not a traditional tool. It is not really a 'filter' it's a character bus. But its not too much DSP, you can slot this in even for a few seconds at the right time. It's ridiculous. I cannot believe the sounds I can get from this thing.
    Yea forgot about the moog, also loving the channel strips, gone off ocean ways, the plugins which UAD develop are great. 90% of them are what keeps me on UAD but you can definitely find just as good with other devs.

    They seem to excel with the whole simplicity emulation thing.

    Amp sims really are that bad. I wish I could give them all back or just didn't let excitement get the best of me when I bought them. Amongst the worst I've played around with in a while. Total ripp off, and yep, it's ripped off when you play around with the competition and realise how shit the UAD sim thing is.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by stereospace View Post
    Slate VCC
    Hey ! thank you for this wonderful post !
    Just a question : what plugin is the slate VCC you seem to use in each channel ?
    thx

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