The Fall of UAD

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Just a little philosophy about how long it takes till UAD burns itself down.

To start this, lets list some major issues/flaws that UAD still hasn't fixed or do not bother to fix and that in my eyes greatly represent the state the company is in.
To make this clear: I love UAD Plugins, just the state the company is currently in is very off putting and the demise of the company itself is very obvious in my eyes and maybe irreversible in some time. To kind of get an overview of some major issues l wanted to make a list, and also to help UAD out in someway trying to participating in an effort to help rescue whats left of what was an once great company with an rather prestigious reputation.

Lets start!

1. UAD Connect High GPU Usage when reopening.
There is a whole thread on Gearspace about this issue. Me, myself came around this issue for the first time in march of this year. Everytime you close UA Connect and reopened it, the App added a process of "UA Connect Helper (GPU)". Repeated opening of UA Connect via the Menu Bar, could result in up to 6 added processes of "UA Connect Helper (GPU)" what caused UA Connect to almost use 40% of Power on my M1 Pro 10 core, with 55% Idle left. When completely quit the UA Connect via the Menu Bar, it went back to 95% Idle. Crazy for an App that is supposed to be a dock for updating and installing stuff only, and crazier given the fact it always opens automatically when using UAD Plugins and only is "fixed" by completely uninstalling UA Connect, so the license is checked by ilok itself.

First encounter: March 2023 - Still not fixed till this day.


2. Slow Pace in Native Ports.
Coming in Number two is the slow pace that UAD is porting their natives releases in. Some might say it's due to licensing bla bla, but stuff like the UA 610 Pre Amps or Cooper Time Cube is still not Native, so no excuse there.
The fact that they cant even hold up the pace to their promise of 1-2 Ports every 3-4 Weeks (which is already pretty slow) makes this even funnier.
Acustica Audio manages to release 2 brand new plugins, during the time that we have to wait for another port to be released, while all UA has to do is to Port their already existing stuff to their native equivalents. Some might say "iM a coDeR iTs NoT aS eaSy aS yOu mAKe iT seEm", and while I dont know nothing about coding, the fact that acoustica audio is releasing banger after banger, while UAD needs the same time to get 1-2 ports of existing plugins done is extremely telling.
Common UAD we are rooting for you, you can do this!


3. Apollo heritage edition / promo plugins not authenticated after purchase of new Apollo Interface.
For the lucky ones having no issues with registration of their apollos, let me explain.
Some customers, me included didn't received their promised heritage edition or promo plugins.
Solution to this, is texting the customer service till they fix it. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, especially given the ability to demo plugins for 14 days right?
The Problem doesn't necessarily show in the unregistered plugins itself, but in the fact that this is a common problem, with threads on reddit and other forums dating years back.

This shows me
A: They either dont care
B: They dont use their own products

If I wouldn't have texted the support about it, I would've never seen these plugins ever registered. Let that go trough your head.
I had to make sure, that I get what I already paid for, by asking the support. Otherwise I would've never gotten the full value of the product that is rightfully mine from the moment I plug this device in.


4. Slow Support Response.
Dont have to explain this, seems like it has gotten even worse lately given the countless threads about this.
Probably the slowest support I have ever witnessed.


5. Absence of Upgrade Options that actually make sense
Dont really have to explain this one either. This one and the fact that the discount for UAD Spark is only applicable as new customer, solidifies the feeling that they dont care about the most.


6. Always Online in 2023
One Word: Outdated


I personally give the company only a couple of years left in the state it's currently in and UAD knows this, otherwise they wouldn't discount their plugins the way they do it right now. The Company seems to lack a clear direction in which they go and instead they are experimenting and involving the customer in this, with the result of initial sale spikes due to low prices (I know Drew, y'all selling a lot right now) but in long run, pissed of customers, because the many other flaws that occur after the infatuation with acquiring their plugins for cheap slowly settles.
It seems like a desperation to increase sales, while dropping all other responsibilities - resulting in errors like customers not getting their Apollo Plugins or extremely buggy software that still hasn't been fixed as in UA Connect - in the process


Also dont tell me that it's my choice to use UAD Products. It is, but if I would've noticed the issues before buying the products I probably wouldn't have bought them then

Share additional Issues that linger around for a while in the comment section!
 

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
Well, it's December, more like the Winter of UAD...

Or do you mean the Fall of UAD prices? Some free. It's a free fall free for all.
 

LouisC

Venerated Member
7. The first of the many existential threats facing humanity to get here first ...

MORE BASS.
 

Bear-Faced Cow

Hall of Fame Member
Or more like the summer of UAD…

Summer gonna jump on this bandwagon and summer not 👿

Either that or fall is going to have a wind shill factor 😈

jord
 

Joe Porto

Hall of Fame Member
I think predicting UA's downfall is a bit premature. UA is growing steadily. They seem to have a good long term plan and a great track record with monetizing software by incorporating with hardware. In recent years, they've grown as they take on more of the musician/prosumer market. This will continue to feed their pro market.

Yep, we're seeing some growing pains from a company that basically reinvented itself during the 2020 pandemic. Nearly 4 years later, I think they're doing pretty good.

The customer experience needs work, but there seems to be some pretty intelligent people at the UA helm. I'm pretty sure they understand the issues. At least with the new chat style, we know they're trying. :)
 
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exoslime

Venerated Member
here are a couple of more ideas for the list ;)

8. fix the spark rebilling issue
9. fix the UADx blurry plugins issue
10. write a clear and easy to understand FAQ and put it upfront on the website, what are the differences between UADx and UAD-2, seems like most newbies dont get it
11. again, dump that UA connect app, that requests always running and always connecting to the internet.. oh, it was already in the list, nevermind, its now twice here because this one is so annyoing, until you uninstall it
12. fix your pricings and offers and create a fair loyality program.
13. allow more settings which kind of marketing emails you want to receive
14. UAD V11 plugins looses their settings issue
 
15: Apollo causing Mac to crash
I forgot to mention the Apollo causing the Mac to shut down issue, and instead of them working on a fix, telling the user to deactivate sleep mode.
Great Solution UAD!
 

Dazlermac

Active Member
1. No issues here with UAD connect. I open it the odd time to update, or download purchases. The rest of the time I just leave it alone and make music.
2. Getting ports for free is amazing! I bought DSP plugins, and now some are native, with more to come. For me this has made my previous purchases more valuable.
Any Software company has to find a balance of working on new verses updating old code. I think they have done a good job. The latest releases are amazing. Would I like all my DSP plugins as native now? Of course, but a business has to work within limits to keep the lights on.
4-5. They have changed strategies, this are beneficial for so many people. Growth pains are expected.
6. is this ilok related? If so you can purchase a USB key for very little.
I think Universal Audio are going to be good for the foreseeable future.
 

Alexxon

Active Member
I would suggest a machine authorization system which allow two or more computers have UAD software locally authorized so UA connect won't just pop up that frequently.

For the pricing, well if everything is $49 or $39 I think it would be fine since Plugin Allience and other giant plugin companies are doing the same thing, but don do that $150 for 44 plugins again on some distributer sites.

While UA could do this to expand their consumer market. They are not a 100% software company...they also have great hardware like Apollo and microphones. If customers could access software more easily, those UAD-2 devices could be more attractive as well. I'll just focus on music first, when I encounter more problems here, I'll come and complain in unrest department lol.
 

Bear-Faced Cow

Hall of Fame Member
15: Apollo causing Mac to crash
I forgot to mention the Apollo causing the Mac to shut down issue, and instead of them working on a fix, telling the user to deactivate sleep mode.
Great Solution UAD!
Considering that it is a CoreAudio issue that mirrors the exact same behaviour during Apple’s PowerPC to Intel transition, it is the proper solution at this time. Know your history.

jord
 

David MacNeill

Established Member
My take is that UA is growing as fast as they can in order to not fall, just like every other tech company does. I certainly have my gripes — UAD 11's lost presets and UA Connect being on all the damn time being a right pain in me arse — but I could not do what I do without UA products. It would take a hell of a lot more abuse for me to even consider jumping ship.
 
If Apple had a nickel every time someone predicted their death, they’d be a trillion dollar company.

Oh… wait! 👿

jord
That is cause Apple by faaaar isn't as easily replaceable as UAD is. UAD is essentially nothing special. Doesn't mean their bad, but they are far from innovative at this point and essentially what they are mainly doing is selling stuff that we already have, with the logo and the official brand name of the hardware unit they are emulating. The hardware doesn't nearly sell as much as the plugins do, so that's their bread and butter.
With the Apollo now basically becoming obsolete with unison being the only reason to buy one, their priority lies on their plugins, especially native ones.

The biggest potential customer for plugins are beat makers, especially hiphop/rap producers, because they by far make up the biggest amount of people in the Music Production World that use plugins on a daily bases. And with alot of them being very young dudes, with role models like metro booming, atljacob, nick Mira, they are mainly fascinated with the music itself and the whole culture. Most of them couldn't care less about plugins and even less about spending alot of money on them. If they need certain plugins they will search the most affordable and easiest solution there is.

They dont care about "analog" in such a way they justify spending their pocket money on expensive UAD stuff, if they care at all. If they do, the eyes go to waves at first and from there on they will probably stay there for a while. While offering alot of good analog emulations and digital stuff, the need to go specifically to UAD dies out.
With alot of the mainly Digital Plugins being much easier and far more versatile to use, then more material specific analog emulations, the interested and need for these emulations slowly fades out with the younger generations.
That makes UAD fairly niche, especially given the fact they dont offer anything by themselves that could compete against super versatile stuff like fabfilter etc. that most people gravitate more towards, because its an familiar setting compared to the stock DAW Plugins they use.

UAD as of right know, doesn't have a lot of stuff, besides analog emulations that make them stick out. And this is not good, especially with the amount of competition in the market. They essentially only have the Name of the Brand they are emulating as a reason to buy their plugins. Sort of like an apple tax, with the difference that their apple tax isn't as valuable anymore as it once was, cause analog and their emulations aren't nearly as regarded anymore and with more and more engineers who strictly used analog equipement getting older and older its getting worse.
 

Bear-Faced Cow

Hall of Fame Member
That is cause Apple by faaaar isn't as easily replaceable as UAD is. UAD is essentially nothing special. Doesn't mean their bad, but they are far from innovative at this point and essentially what they are mainly doing is selling stuff that we already have, with the logo and the official brand name of the hardware unit they are emulating. The hardware doesn't nearly sell as much as the plugins do, so that's their bread and butter.
With the Apollo now basically becoming obsolete with unison being the only reason to buy one, their priority lies on their plugins, especially native ones.

The biggest potential customer for plugins are beat makers, especially hiphop/rap producers, because they by far make up the biggest amount of people in the Music Production World that use plugins on a daily bases. And with alot of them being very young dudes, with role models like metro booming, atljacob, nick Mira, they are mainly fascinated with the music itself and the whole culture. Most of them couldn't care less about plugins and even less about spending alot of money on them. If they need certain plugins they will search the most affordable and easiest solution there is.

They dont care about "analog" in such a way they justify spending their pocket money on expensive UAD stuff, if they care at all. If they do, the eyes go to waves at first and from there on they will probably stay there for a while. While offering alot of good analog emulations and digital stuff, the need to go specifically to UAD dies out.
With alot of the mainly Digital Plugins being much easier and far more versatile to use, then more material specific analog emulations, the interested and need for these emulations slowly fades out with the younger generations.
That makes UAD fairly niche, especially given the fact they dont offer anything by themselves that could compete against super versatile stuff like fabfilter etc. that most people gravitate more towards, because its an familiar setting compared to the stock DAW Plugins they use.

UAD as of right know, doesn't have a lot of stuff, besides analog emulations that make them stick out. And this is not good, especially with the amount of competition in the market. They essentially only have the Name of the Brand they are emulating as a reason to buy their plugins. Sort of like an apple tax, with the difference that their apple tax isn't as valuable anymore as it once was, cause analog and their emulations aren't nearly as regarded anymore and with more and more engineers who strictly used analog equipement getting older and older its getting worse.
Hardly…

If you actually remembered your history, you would have known that people like yourself were singing Apple’s death chant between 1990-1998.

I wouldn’t go planning their UAD’s before you know the body’s cold.

jord
 
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klasaine

Hall of Fame Member
On a serious note. Some of yall guys should be thankful of some of the other guys pointing out UAD´s major flaws in this forum. We are actually doing yall a favor. Cause here is the thing you guys. If UAD doesn´t get on Track soon, it will be done. No more UAD Plugins for you guys. And then what? Then yall wished you would've pointed it out to the guys at UAD that there are major gaps in their company and instead of calling them out, yall defend everyone of their practices, treating them like they rescued your cat out of a burning house.

I know being a fan of a something, sometimes makes it hard to accept the flaws. Especially if a person likes to follow and submit to the current, rather then seeking out what could be. Nothing wrong with that.

But man the company is not doing good and that's a fact. UAD knows it and although they will deny it - cause what option do they have - it will happen sooner or later. The recent sales are obvious, desperate attempts of gaining new customers, with an urgency so big, to take into account pissing of long time customers. No company that is doing fine makes these kind of things without great strategic planing. And the recent events felt more than impulsive to say the least and not well planned or calculated in anyway shape or form. And I know some of yall guys will even say that they are great planners at great this and that, but even the blind can see what mess is currently going on. The strategy of gaining new customers through exclusive discounts to non Apollo owners, the free LA2A as well as the cheap bundles make it seem like UAD is being generous and the acquiring of new customers make it seem like its well planed, but the aftermath wasn't calculated at all.

Its not like they haven't taken into account, pissing of loyal customers, but the willingness to do so, highlights the level of desperation in such an exquisit and artful manner, that it is almost beautiful to witness, because the new customers they gained will actually be a even greater disadvantage in the end for them. They dont have the resources to handle that big of a crowd, which leads to chaos that already erupted (see the support dilemma).

Only thing that can fix this mess, is if the company cleans up. Kick out Bill Putnam Jr, because he's simply not very good at what he´s doing, get a new leader, fix the issues that a good company would've fixed a long time ago and build on top of it, making everybody happy with a consistent, polished and well oiled UAD.

You guys miss out on so much, just cause yall led astray by the infatuation to a cause that doesn't reciprocate your love
 
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