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Project Pack: Tease or viable Toolkit?

Magpel

Member
I just bought in to UAD, and boy the plugs are just the best. Having worked extensively with waves (mostly 1st gen and renn series) I talked myself into modest expectations: \"don't expect miracles,\" \"it will take time getting to know the UAD plugins to appreciate them,\" etc. All virtuous ideas, but the UAD plugins blew me away out of the box, which was a pleasant surprise...

Now...I really wish I had bought the Flexi Pack instead of the Project Pack. Working through the 14 days demos, I begin to see how stingy, how parsimonious, the Project Pack really is. Only the Pultec stands up to the best UAD stuff, and there REALLY should be a top shelf compressor (either the LA-2A or the full 1176LN) included in the basic package. That alone would make theP roject Pack less of a tease and more of a set you could really make a go with without having to make almost immediate add-ons and upgrades.

CS-1, subject of another current thread, is decent and usable. A-B tests here revealed it to be every bit the equal, though not necessarily the superior of the dated but good Sonitus plugs that were my staples before I bought UAD-1. But the minute you pull out the Putec, you hear the difference. And the jonesing begins...

It is CRACK, as another recent thread suggests, and the Project Pack is in a way a street strategy. I would encourage UA to add one nice compressor to the Project Pack to make it a truly viable starter's toolkit...
 

necho

Member
I bought the UAD-1e Express Pack... I know what you mean... I just KNOW I'm gonna bankrupt myself... there's nothing I can do about it...

I bought the 1176LN and I'm demo-ing the LA2A (which I'm inevitably going to buy in.... [checks authorizations]... 11 days), along with the Space Echo. At the moment, I'm using these plugs plus the mighty Pultec -and thats enough for now... its already had an unbelievable effect on my sound...

While it would have been nice to get either the 1176LN or the LA2A included, I reckon the Project/Express pack is fine, especially if you spend your voucher on the 1176LN/LA2A.
 

flynn

Active Member
Dont worry,

It wont take long until you want/need another card, and then you can go for the bigger packs. 8)

All plugs will work on up to four cards in one system.

EF
 

BTLG

Established Member
Besides - UA gives so much money per year in promotions that it shouldn't break the bank to get some good plugs going.
 

Richard Hunter

Active Member
I really like the 1176LE for basic peak limiting. It's so dsp efficient...

the channel strip delay/reflection engine is cool i like it a lot. The EQ compressor im not huge on.

nigel is pretty useless to me, except ill use the cab simulator every now and then. It's just a little unintuitive as far as amp sims go...and hogs up way too much dsp. too hard to get useable sounds out of it compared to say Guitar Rig 2. Or a real amp!

pultec is obviously pretty nice sounding, and easy to use.

yea to me, im sure i could get good sounds out of the project pak, but the CS-1, Nigel, and Realverb are have far too many parameters and knobs. I'm not a tweaker. That's what is so great about the hardware emulations...especially the EQs. just mouse the knobs till it sounds good. it's a great way to work. You like the high shelf on the Helios, then use the helios. you like the low shelf on the 1073, then use the 1073. Need to compress a vocal? just turn the GR knob on the LA2A till it sounds right.

welcome to UAD UA is great company, and like BTLG said, if you can hold off splurging on plugs...promos come out pretty much every other month. great deals to be had.

oh yea

and flexi pak is the way to go. enjoy.
 

marQs

Shareholder
Yeah Magpel, interesting to hear that people have the same revelation feeling that I had, once I swapped over to the UAD in 2007! Once you're in the boat you made a great deal anyway. The standard plugs give you a taste and ua-promotions, as btlg already mentioned, make it kind of easy to pick great tools at reasonable prices over time.

A friend of mine bought a first UAD-1 and got a $50 due to a promotion during march I think (which he hadn't spend yet) and now, just for having a single card he got another $50 + a $100 Neve-voucher = $200 in total - with a projekt pac. That's really added value for free, very different from the way other software companies try to draw the money from your pocket.

I myself started with a mackie card (1176LN + LA2A included) and it didn't take long to add a second card. Meanwhile there are 4 cards and all current plugins (the missing two ordered during current promotion for really cheap). In total around $3500 I spent during three years for really high end and absolutely amazing usable plugins including a friendly and helpful support. F**k, seems I'm kind of a real fanboy, but this is for a reason 8)
 

kleinholgi

Shareholder
It should be very easy to add more nice Plug Ins over the time.

Buy only what you are really interested in, use the test period to check what you like, watch out for bundles, promotions & vouchers or add another card.
Don´t do everything at the same time, cause this will indeed get expensive.

But if you take your time, there will be many nice occasions to get Plug Ins for a relative small amount of money.
 

Magpel

Member
Well, in light of the current 50 dollar \"we've moved\" voucher, it's hard to argue wth you who say that the opporunities for cost-efficient expansion is there, but I will still stick by my claim that one of the vintage compressors should com ein th ebasic package...

BTW, I spent my 50 today on the Pultec Pro, which I love, and the Fairchild, which I have to figure out...
 

mBlaze

Member
UAD Bundles-good value?

The original Mackie UAD-1 bundle came with the LA-2A and 1176LN BUT it was $999! At the time, it still wasn't a bad deal...Mackie later price-dropped to $799 before UA took back distribution of the UAD card.

So fast-forward-today you can get an Express PAK with a $100 voucher for $499 (or less), so for another $200 on top of your voucher you can get the 1176LN and LA-2A (total investment $699).

So in real terms, todays Express PAK (or Project PAK) are still a better deal than the old Mackie card AND you get to demo and choose exactly what plugs you want.

It's true-the Project & Express are entry level - with the mix essentials: a basic set of plugs to get you going but it lets you get into UAD at the lowest price and build gradually.

Of course, the more you can spend up-front, the better bundle you are gonna get and the more you save- the Flexi PAK is a great value, small step up with its $500 voucher.

The bottom line is, if you are serious about mixing/mastering -you want the biggest bundle you can afford because you are going to want to use most of these plugs.
 

Magpel

Member
Re: UAD Bundles-good value?

mBlaze said:
The bottom line is, if you are serious about mixing/mastering -you want the biggest bundle you can afford because you are going to want to use most of these plugs.
By that reasoning, there are an awful lot of must-have audio products required to prove your seriousness. You gotta make some choices--a second UAD card or a Great River pre? I love the UAD and have already begun expanding my collection of plugs, but my opinion still stands that a little more of a "taste" in the Project Pack--specifically, a better compressor than the 1176SE--would make it seem less like a ponzi scheme and more like a legit entry level tool kit. I mean, the more I try to work with the CS-1, the more it is emminently clear that this is simply NOT a UAD-grade plugin.
 

lhama

Active Member
you can get far just with Ex-1 and gate/comp. and then a little bit of 1176 SE and pultec on the busses. None (except the pultec off course) has a big caracter, but they are actually great tools.

The trem/mod/delay + phasor + modfilter + DM(L)-1 and RS-1 are fun little gadgets which can be insprirationel....Realverb can sometimes be ok.

Not a bad collection, IMO.

I started out with a studio pack(la2a, 1176 LN, dreamverb, cambridge and fairchild), and didn't realize how good these were, until much later....
 

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
Re: UAD Bundles-good value?

Magpel said:
You gotta make some choices--a second UAD card or a Great River pre?
UAD card, definitely.

I love the UAD and have already begun expanding my collection of plugs, but my opinion still stands that a little more of a "taste" in the Project Pack--specifically, a better compressor than the 1176SE--would make it seem less like a ponzi scheme and more like a legit entry level tool kit.
The Project Pak was not originally intended to be an entry level toolkit, it was only supposed to be an expansion card for people who already owned the original Mackie cards. UA rightly figured that no one would buy the CS-1 or Nigel on their own so they generously decided to include them, almost as an after thought (Pultec is a different story, it's free because they're hoping users will upgrade to the Pultec Pro).

Anyway, Pultec, DM-1/DM-1L, and some of the individual Nigel plug-ins are excellent, way better than native plug-ins. I still use DM-1L more often than the Space Echo.
 

Magpel

Member
Re: UAD Bundles-good value?

Eric Dahlberg said:
Magpel said:
You gotta make some choices--a second UAD card or a Great River pre?
UAD card, definitely.
Really? Even for a guy who tracks with VLZs exclusively?

Anyway, no disrespect intended, either to UAD or to the experienced responders to my post, but despite Eric's historical perspective, it does seem that the Prject Pack is marketed as starter kit, with everything you need, really, except for mastering tools. Certainly the debate has gone on longer than it ever needed to. I'm down with UAD. But I do very much want a nice dual channel preamp...
 

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
While the Great River would be an improvement for you, those VLZ pre's are already very good, better than 90% of the preamps under $1K. I'll probably be torn apart for saying this but it seems to me a Solo 610 or Brick would give you more than the GR would as far as palette goes.
 
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