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EX-1 vs. new generation UAD-1 Compression


Tonite I listened real close in the headphones while previwing various compression plug-ins (UAD-1 & others) on my best vocal track; & I have to say...EX-1 is just as smooth & clear as I think I've ever heard. I even grabbed some settings from (what I previously thought was) my favorite compression plug (sonitus:fx)...settings from it's dbx165 preset; & dialed those in on the EX-1 & the sound was hands down cleaner, brighter & more effective.

So...my question is...

...the other toy ??? (the Precision Limiter???)

Can that be set up to perform compression as nice as the EX-1? Is it as defined & smooth (I know it's a look ahead limiter...but I'm just asking.)

or how about the new toy ??? (the Precision Multiband???)

Is that designed to sound like anything in particular? Is it going to give Waves (Linear Phase Multiband) a run for their money?

Why does the EX-1 sound so good?



Dan Duskin

Established Member
The EX-1 compressor is awesome! I've been asking UA to separate it from the EQ and make it a dedicated plugin for years...

Ihe EX-1 compressor is my favorite compressor on drums... Kick, Snare, Toms, anything with a drum-head that's hit with a stick, basically.

To me... what makes the EX-1 compressor so awesome is that it sounds one hell of a lot like the LA2A... plus, it lets me adjust the ratio, attack, and release... again, perfect for modern drums (where you need serious attack, punch, and snap)!


Dan Duskin said:
The EX-1 compressor is awesome! I've been asking UA to separate it from the EQ and make it a dedicated plugin for years...
that' s a great idea. I like that comp too.

having EX-1 Comp in a dedicated plug will also allow to decide it use EX-1 EQ before or after EX-1 Comp :)

Tony Ostinato

Active Member
As long as you can turn the eq off they arent really there, so its as if its a dedicated plug.

Big Harpe

Active Member
I've been saying that the EX-1, CS-1. DM-1, RS-1 etc. are still among my favorites although they are often overlooked due to the pretty GUI's of the newer plugins. These older gems are VERY useable, sound excellent and can do a lot (and in some cases more) of what the other plugins can. Remember, for those of us who have had the UAD-1 for a while, that these were the originally released Powered Plugins, coming before everything else. The compressor and EQ in the EX-1 was and still is a kick ass compressor.


EX-1 is also my 'go to' compressor on anything related to drums, hell I use it on everything, and not just cause it's light CPU-wise. Even the EQ sectin sounds smooth to me, it's no Pultec, but damn fine otherwise.


Even the EQ section sounds smooth to me, it's no Pultec, but damn fine otherwise.
I was intending to log back in & say that it also sounds great chained directly after Cambridge EQ...but then I thought I should take my current Cambridge settings (from my favorite vox brightness curve); & dial those in on EX-1 to see how it sounds in comparison. So...if I engage the EQ section, that becomes first in line, correct? (EQ > Compression.)

about the prec limiter, i love it on vocals
Tried that...like the EX-1 better...seems to have slightly more clarity in the mids/lows.


BTW- Also gonna' try that on Pultec Pro (settings swaps w/ Cambridge) for EQ comparison.


Active Member
I think it´s great too, BUT I hate the fact that it´s stuck after the eq. Most of the times, I eq after the comp....

How I wished that they could have a switch to change the order (or a different plug)


Active Member
Sometimes I choose the EX-1 over the LA-2 or both 1176's. It's character seems to be a little less identifiable than the other UAD compressors and that makes it a nice contrast to the others. And sometimes the eq works well when I can't get the desired results with the Cambridge or Pultec.
In fact, the whole CS-1 strip is great!


comps exemples

Can some of u post differents setting they start with...
for : -drums ( kick snare toms & more)
- acoustic guitar & more
- voice


Here's a dead easy trick for drum compression with the EX-1 (old schoolers are going to flame me, but anyway...). Set the Attack to max, and the release to Min. Set the ratio to about 3-4, and then adjust the threshold and ratio until you're happy with the sound. You'll probably need to lower the output some as well, so check your meters to make sure you're not clipping.

Arys Chien

Active Member
When compressing the whole drumset:

Get a good ballance first.

[Attack Time]

Determines how close/far you want to place your drums. The slowest attack brings your drums in your face, while faster attack kicks your drumset further away from you. With a good pair of monitors, you should be able to \"see\" where your drums are.

[Release Time]

You need to find the right release time to make your compressed drumset sound \"natural\", ie \"breathing at the right tempo\". The release time determines how fast/slow the compressed audio \"comes back\". Therefore, decide how you want your \"punch - comeback\" groove and adjust the release time til you \"feel\" it.


How full/crowded you want the picture to be. High ratio brings out more or the sustain part of the drum sound.


I don't what to talk about next. This could go on forever....



you've described it very nicely, actually it's the first time that I read something meaningfull about compression. Using spatial/visual metaphors to relate what one hears is very helpful.



This post has made me realise how nice the channel strip is...especially the ex1 part of it. :)

The Beatsmith

Active Member
heh, i've been using 1176 to grunge up my drums, almost exclusively

sometimes i want a cleaner sound, been meaning to demo the precision limiter on drums, but never got around to it.

i'll definately play with this compressor tonight, it sounds like just what i want.

how do you guys think it compares to PSP mixpressor?

thanks ;)

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