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Do you still get excited about new plug ins?

Revelation

Active Member
Well of course you do, but compared to 3 years ago? We have so many good sounding plug ins from Waves, UAD and others. AFter a while it's like, well yeah it's nice, but it is 75% the same or 85% the same as this other plug in. I have been getting more into hardware gear and I clearly hear a significant improvement over the plug ins. The 1176 or LA2 A when compared to the plug in sounds like part of the original signal. The plug in sounds like it's layered on top. The 3 dim sound and color is just not there. I am not picking on UAD, but I found all plug ins sound like they are layered on top of the signal. I found the best thing is to have a couple of good hardware pieces and use when tracking. Then use the plug ins to fine tune things at the mix level. I am looking at UAD's hardware 1176 right now and want it. I just read the review in Sound on Sound magazine on UAD's hardware 1176. You don't get such a rave review on plug ins.
 

Macc

Established Member
It depends on a lot of things really. We all want the 'original and best', but my missus would either kick me out, kill me or just leave if I came home with a 33609, ten 1081's, a few pultecs and four 1176's, as well as the desk to mix it all through, cables etc etc. :D Plus I'd be bankrupt.

I have enjoyed working in nice studios in the past, but now I can have something pretty close in a pc-sized box in my living room. I can be mixing on cans and making music that sounds pretty damn good, while my lady sits watching Desperate Housewives (or whichever rubbish program she's watching that night) a couple of feet away. If I brought all that hardware home to our small one-bedroom flat there wouldn't be room for me to get in to use it!! :lol:

I'll take the relatively small sonic compromise for the sake of keeping the lady happy and staying financially solvent.

Of course, one day we'll own our own place rather than rent, and I can have a good proper room etc etc - but the UAD-1 gets as close as I have heard to having all that in the box.


Anyway, so yes - new plugins that put more 'big studio' sonic functionality - even if not 100% exact - into my PC do get me excited :)
 

baronluigi

Active Member
for me the novelty effect has worn off.............


I probably won't get the LA-3A or new Neve because the dsp won't run the uad plugs I've already bought (all included in v4.6)

MORE dsp then I'll buy more plugs.........
 

Ninja

Active Member
I think a fact often overlooked by all you purists :D is the fact that for sheer convinience hardware just can't compare to software.

If you take a guitar and throw a UAD-1 plugin at it and then afterwards compare it to the hardware version, then sure the hardware version will win hands down. But I'm not sure it makes all that much difference in a big mix.

I like analogue hardware just like all the other gearsluts, but I'm perfectly happy using plugins. Especially when they sound as good as UA does. And plugins allow me to concentrate on the music instead of patch cabling.
 

A Gruesome Discovery

Active Member
Revelation said:
Well of course you do, but compared to 3 years ago?
Three years ago saw UA branching off into the Precision series, which I enjoy, but aren't necessarily "essentials" like the 1176 and Pultec. I love the Neves, but they're a bit of a luxury item, so for me the LA-3A marks the first must-have UA classic effect since the Pultec (or maybe the Fairchild, though that's not everyone's cup-o-noodles). So yeah, with the LA-3A being somewhat of a return to form (awesome classic UA hardware model with a low DSP hit), I was pretty excited about 4.7.
Having said that, although the Neve and Roland series were great, I wasn't too excited about releases during that whole era, possibly because I didn't realize how much I'd love the 1073/1081 or the Space Echo until after I spent a lot of time with them. I knew I'd love the LA-3A, and I was right. So put me in the "still excited" column.
 

bedhoe

Active Member
I didn't think i would be excited about any more plugins... but the neve strip has blown me away... Don't think i've ever been as impressed before.
 

Arys Chien

Active Member
Hmm, since when are people that use more than one outboard regarded as a \"purist\"?

Nobody is saying \"no plug-in please!!!\" in this thread. And the descritipn about hardware v.s. plug-in is very precise IMHO, no more, no less.

By the way, it still sounds different in a big mix.

I don't want a \"convinient tool\" that can't get me there.

And 9 1176 plug-ins + 1 1176 hardware is still better than 10 1176 plug-ins, when it's really hard to get 10 1176 hardware.

This topic is never black or white.

------

Back to the topic, I'm too not as excited as before. I guess UA's improvement just can't catch up with how fast our ears improve. For example, the LA3A really sounds better than the LA2A, one of the latest against one of the earliest. Yet I LOVED the LA2A when it first came out. I thought it was heaven sent.

I'm not too disappointed with UA though. No other software company has come up with anything great lately anyway. The LA3A and the 88RS are still good enough to give me certain degree of surprise.

Yet for me they are just \"nice little tools\". I will still use them when I run out of outboards, but I'll never put a LA3A plug-in or 88RS plug-in on the lead vocal track.
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
The Helios gets me excited. :D 33609 on Vocals kicks my ass.
Haven't tried the new stuff, but the 88rs sounds like a must have for me and that makes me excited. Stoked about the low DSP!
As far as hardware goes... it does make a huge HUGE HUGE diff. I just tracked some vocals last night. I didn't have my trusty vocal chain on me (LA-610).
So I went straight into the Apogee MiniMe using it's pre, no compression.
Needless to say, the vocal sound was less than admirable/vanilla and took some serious plugin tweaking to get what I could have gotten with the LA610, but still fell short. The worst part is the Vocalist, I was tracking, wasn't feeling inspired because he was used to hearing how he sounded through the LA-610. :? Session cut short. (sound of brakes being applied and me not knowing what to say)grrrrrrrrrrr uhhhhh? I wanted to yell at him \"Shut up and do it you f**k'n PUSSY!!! or I'll do it for you! :? but o'well Schedule another day and plus 1 for me for dealing with my anger issues properly.
Bummer, but a sweet reality check.
:wink:

-S-
 

ambrose

Member
i guess i'm not that excited by the new stuff either. i have no idea why, but this new release doesn't grip me in the same way that some previous ones did.

personally,

i wish uad could take another look at the old 1176 to get it a bit closer. I use that every day.

i too yearn for a card where i can run more than a few instances of the plugins i already have.
 

Revelation

Active Member
Arys Chien said:
Hmm, since when are people that use more than one outboard regarded as a "purist"?

Nobody is saying "no plug-in please!!!" in this thread. And the descritipn about hardware v.s. plug-in is very precise IMHO, no more, no less.

By the way, it still sounds different in a big mix.

I don't want a "convinient tool" that can't get me there.

And 9 1176 plug-ins + 1 1176 hardware is still better than 10 1176 plug-ins, when it's really hard to get 10 1176 hardware.

This topic is never black or white.

------

Back to the topic, I'm too not as excited as before. I guess UA's improvement just can't catch up with how fast our ears improve. For example, the LA3A really sounds better than the LA2A, one of the latest against one of the earliest. Yet I LOVED the LA2A when it first came out. I thought it was heaven sent.

I'm not too disappointed with UA though. No other software company has come up with anything great lately anyway. The LA3A and the 88RS are still good enough to give me certain degree of surprise.

Yet for me they are just "nice little tools". I will still use them when I run out of outboards, but I'll never put a LA3A plug-in or 88RS plug-in on the lead vocal track.
True about the hardware gear. However if you have one hardware 1176 compressor, and you record only one or two tracks at a time like most home studio people, then you get the hardware sound on all your tracks.
I personally am falling in love with good hardware gear like a real 1176, LA2 A, Pendulum ES-8 compressor and SSL E Channel strip. No I can't afford them all, but getting the ES-8 and 1176 in time would be great! Like you said, we are not saying plug ins are not good, and they are very helpful in making your tracks sound better, but the hardware still reigns. If it didn't UA would not be making the hardware gear anymore.

Let's face it, after you most UAD plug ins, Waves and others, how many EQ and compressor do you need in your studio? I would say at least 4 or 5 that sound different, but after that, they start to sound similar to other plugs you already have. That does not mean you should not buy any more plug ins, but you have to spend your money more wisely.
 

baronluigi

Active Member
I love the UAD plugs and the sounds they make. I just can't really use them.



In a typical situation I always track with great mics/pre's/ + comp/limiter


Inside \"the box\" I would like to be able to put 24 tracks each inserting EQ,comp, spacial. I might also need some stereo sends maybe 4-5 stereo tracks for spacial, comp .

On the master buss I would like to put a spacial , eq, comp and maybe limiter or post eq.

I would like to run this all the time.

There just isn't the horse power.

-----------------------
 

sniper

Established Member
baronluigi said:
I love the UAD plugs and the sounds they make. I just can't really use them.



In a typical situation I always track with great mics/pre's/ + comp/limiter


Inside "the box" I would like to be able to put 24 tracks each inserting EQ,comp, spacial. I might also need some stereo sends maybe 4-5 stereo tracks for spacial, comp .

On the master buss I would like to put a spacial , eq, comp and maybe limiter or post eq.

I would like to run this all the time.

There just isn't the horse power.

-----------------------
I'm sorry but i didn't quite get your point?
 

Paul Woodlock

Established Member
I still get excited over new plugins. It's all part of the fun! :D :D

And at least with UAD-1 plugins they rarely disappoint. Oddly enough the last time I was disapointed was wth the Realverb, Dreamverb and LA2A. But the plate 140 and now the excellent LA3A has mroe than made up for that.

The neve and roland plugs and helios EQ have all been truly excellent.
 
I was definitely excited about these two newies. i picked up the helios and space echo at the same time and that certainly added to the excitement!

the only thing i'm more excited about in plug in land lately is the hopefully-soon-coming availability of soundtoys plugs for PC..
 

NuSkoolTone

Established Member
It depends. The new LA3A I was pretty happy about and will be picking it up, it fills a void and not to bad on DSP. The 88RS I'm not even looking at because of the price. I'll wait til there's incentives for that one. I won't even bother with the Demo because most times I'll find a use for it.

But I almost regret getting the space echo save it was in a bundle. I almost NEVER have the DSP to use it!

I'm in track freeze hell with the Neves, so everytime I want to make a change I need to re-freeze, plus if I try to audition new settings once the mix is really going my computer drops to it's knees cause other plugs have taken up that resource due to the freeze which I must temporarily disable. SERIOUS PITA!

My computer stutters on my most complex mixes and latency is horrible. I deal with it because I know the final render will be good. If I was mixing with outboard I'd be screwed! (Yet I'd probably use less plugs if I had sufficent outboard and better converters worth the round trip of conversion)

So I'm thankful for the tools and my mixes sound better, but am I excited anymore? Not nearly as much, because the hardware limitations are starting to impact my workflow and mess with the \"vibe\" when I'm in my groove and have to keep hitting the brakes!
 

Arys Chien

Active Member
NuSkoolTone said:
But I almost regret getting the space echo save it was in a bundle. I almost NEVER have the DSP to use it!
+1.

I've always wanted to run much more Space Echo and Dimension D than I could. Yet the DSPs are always occupied by 1073, 1081, Helios, and 33609.

Now I've got some nice outboards to replace those DSP-hogs, so finally I'm allowed to use the Echo and the DimD as I want to. 8)

------

As for not as excited, I think the most important reason here (and guess it's the same with Revelation) is because I got some really nice outboards recently. For example, I just got my D.W.Fearn VT-7 compressor this week, and was just comparing it against the Atomic Squeeze Box for vocal compression. Therefore when I got the LA3A and tried it on vocal, you bet that I was very not-excited....
 

taylor

Active Member
besides being a musician, i'm also a photographer... and this tangent of hardware vs. software reminds me of a similar, yet finished, debate in photography.

digital photography vs. film photography

it's pretty much an accepted fact that a good digital SLR camera has now surpassed 35mm film in quality. throw photoshop on top of that and forget it...

however, start considering larger format film.. 4X5, etc... and digital can't come close to the resolution and sheen of this format.

to me it echoes our recording world in that it's probably safe to say the best quality plug ins have surpassed pro-sumer level gear.. for examplo: the focusrite platinum stuff,.. etc.

but high-end analog hardware is like the large format film of the audio world....

but, given the fact that a high percentage of musicians simply can't afford, or practically house/set up a studio full of high end outboard gear, the plug in world offers plenty of convenience and power to not only have unlimited options, but to release professional products.

i think we all know by now that the high end outboard gear is superior to any plug in... but the plug ins absolutely are not at the bottom of the barrel, either..!

(taylor)
 

azulay

Member
Tell you what,

Here in my studio I have an UREI LA-4 compressor
and a UREI EQ-1 545. Which are by no means
the \"best compressor/eq\" ever. And unfortunately
the LA-4 isn't good enough to run vocals through
it, and the EQ is kind of exaggarated (etc, etc),
but still, comparing those two with any plug-in
and the hardware ALWAYS yields better results.
Sometimes, even when the sound doesn't \"fit\",
you can still hear that the HW is more focused,
richer, fuller, crispier, punchier, and most of all
has that analog thing to it.

The way I see it, plug-ins can shape sound,
but for some reason it seems as though they can't
make anything truly \"bigger\". To me the analogy
would be with a microwave and an oven. In both
cases the food will be hot, its just that the latter
will be richer, fuller, crispier etc, etc... :)

Anyway I'm having a hard time deciding whats
my next buy, I don't know if it'll be a 2-LA-2,
LA-3A, or the Great River EQ-2NV.
Anyone got any reviews of the 2-LA-2?
couldn't find any...
 

Plec

Venerated Member
taylor said:
but, given the fact that a high percentage of musicians simply can't afford, or practically house/set up a studio full of high end outboard gear, the plug in world offers plenty of convenience and power to not only have unlimited options, but to release professional products.

i think we all know by now that the high end outboard gear is superior to any plug in... but the plug ins absolutely are not at the bottom of the barrel, either..!
Don't forget the FACT that if you're not musical and experienced enough to get a great mix on a computer, you will not be able to do that on a big console with all the outboard gear there is either.

azulay said:
The way I see it, plug-ins can shape sound,
but for some reason it seems as though they can't
make anything truly "bigger". To me the analogy
would be with a microwave and an oven. In both
cases the food will be hot, its just that the latter
will be richer, fuller, crispier etc, etc...
It's the quality of the mix that people react to first... not the quality of the gear.

I recall Mike Shipley stating in a ITB vs OTB mixing discussion over at gearslutz that in a head-to-head "mixcontest" against three other big rock mixers who all worked on SSL consoles, the label and the major act choose Mike to mix the album. He's on ProTools with an ICON using some outboard compressors and an analogue summing-box. He also mixed the singles on the recent Nickelback album with that setup... he also states that the use of his outboard compressors are mainly for drums.
 

azulay

Member
if you can't mix right, it doesn't matter
what tools you use.
If you can't get a good sound out of what you have
you'll probably won't get a good sound out of what
you don't. That's correct.

BUT no matter how good your singer is and how
perfect you put up the mic, your RODE NT-1
won't sound like a U47. No matter how percise
you time these attack & release settings on Dynamics III, IT WONT sound like a 1176.

So.. of course you need to know what you're doin'
even I daresay have a gift. But........ Well....:)
 
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