• Welcome to the General Discussion forum for UAD users!

    Please note that this forum is user-run, although we're thrilled to have so much contribution from Drew, Will, and other UA folks!

    Feel free to discuss both UAD and non-UAD related subjects!

    1) Please do not post technical issues here. Please use our UAD Support Forums instead.

    2) Please do not post complaints here. Use the Unrest Forum instead. They have no place in the the General Discussion forum.

    Threads posted in the wrong forum will be moved, so if you don't see your thread here anymore, please look in the correct forum.

    Lastly, please be respectful.

UAD Instruments: My Review & Icks

asterion

New Member
So I was one of the Windows non-believers of UAD, mainly because I still don't have an Apollo. But to my surprise, their plugins and more over their instruments sound great, really great. However, there are several areas for improvement that I want to get off my chest.

1. UAD Ravel is one of the more misunderstood instruments.

The Good: People keep saying it's not realistic, it's too roomy and it doesn't sit well in the mix, but I fully disagree. I can see why they feel that way: Almost all piano libraries (NI, Spectrasonics, UVI) are incredibly closed miced, and can give you this feel realism and flexibility. However, I could get closer to my favorite recordings (RAM, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, e.g.) with Ravel than with any other library, and for a simple reason: most recordings have a "roomy" piano.

Tweaking TONE, and MIC will get you very close to what you hear in any recording, and to further edit, add some API 560 EQ and boost 8k, following Greg Well's advice in MWTM. Now try the same with the other libraries, and you need to add some IR Reverb, some EQ, layer stuff and tweak to the end. I simply love Ravel's tone, specially the higher notes.

The Bad: There's a really ANNOYING noise in D6, that get's amplified when mixed and compressed. It sounds ugly, specially because it seems to be the only high note to have this rattle noise. To give you an example, I played some Japanese music (Joe Hisaishi and Shiru Sagisu piano solo's music), and in soft parts it really puts you off.
The Ugly: Their annoying CPU usage. But I'll talk to it later.

2. UAD Synths and Electra 88:
The Good: Electra 88
sounds amazing, and the ability to change mic, mix room, tweak audio FX is really beautiful. Sadly there's not enough tine noise or a way to boost it to recreate a "Just the two of us" sound, but not a dealbreaker. I'm not into PolyMAX or Opal, because I have Diva and Massive X/Hive, so all my sound palette is covered by them. UAD Moog though, is beatiful. It's simplicity and UI realism is inspiring. Their presets is well made for those into funk/pop/disco music, because they sound good as they are and sound like ones you hear in records, just add some reverb and chorus and you're 90% there. Other emulations are praised for their realism, but I personally don't like their presets; they're too protagonistic or too "watch me" type of sounds

The Bad: UAD needs to implement a right click to preset name to init preset. As much as I like tweaking UAD synths, it gets annoying to change to another preset, then come back to Default. Another get-around is to copy B preset (Default) into A preset (edited) to initialize, but it's an unnecesary hassle.
UAD could learn from U-he. Another lesson by U-he is the Undo/Redo button, at least for synths, because some of us like to endlessly tweak filter knob and most of the times Alt/Opt+Z doesn't work.

The Ugly: CPU usage is such a dealbreaker I don't know if I can have UAD instruments into my template. I really cannot understand why they're a CPU hog. Why does PolyMAX needs more CPU than Repro, arguably the most realistic Prophet emulation? In what way do I get a better vintage sound or endless flexibility than DIVA? I really don't know. In my personal opinion, it is unacceptable to handle CPU worse than U-he, because not even Opal has the breadth of options and tweakability Uhe's flagship synths have. It infuriates me, but maybe some UAD worker can help me understand.

Could like a Multi-Threading Option like in Diva or Repro help lower CPU usage? Is it a problem exclusive for Windows AMD Chips, or does it also happens in Mac? Are you planning some optimization updates?

Well... TLDR: I hate-love UAD Instruments because they sound great, but consumes a LOT of CPU, it's not even worth it in some instances like PolyMAX or Opal.
 

Matt Hepworth

Master of the UADiverse
Forum Admin
Moderator
It infuriates me, but maybe some UAD worker can help me understand.

Could like a Multi-Threading Option like in Diva or Repro help lower CPU usage? Is it a problem exclusive for Windows AMD Chips, or does it also happens in Mac? Are you planning some optimization updates?
Some of these comments are better aimed at UA directly. The developers are rarely here on this forum (it's a user run forum), other than when we're doing a special Q&A, which these questions would be great for. You may want to reach out to UA directly and see if they'll confirm whether multi-threading is supported in any way.
 

klasaine

Hall of Fame Member
As an aside, the bright tined Rhodes' tones on Just the Two of Us as well as Angela (theme from Taxi - Bob James) are heavily "modded" (Dyno-My-Piano) Rhodes'. Most of them were either ripped out of the Rhodes' by the mid 90s - due to deterioration and weird tuning stability issues. It also became "not cool", up until recently, to have that brighter Rhodes sound. I've found I can get pretty close using the "amp" and then adding some post EQ as well as the uad Dytronics Stereo Chorus.
 

UniversalAudio

Official UA Representative
So I was one of the Windows non-believers of UAD, mainly because I still don't have an Apollo. But to my surprise, their plugins and more over their instruments sound great, really great. However, there are several areas for improvement that I want to get off my chest.

1. UAD Ravel is one of the more misunderstood instruments.

The Good: People keep saying it's not realistic, it's too roomy and it doesn't sit well in the mix, but I fully disagree. I can see why they feel that way: Almost all piano libraries (NI, Spectrasonics, UVI) are incredibly closed miced, and can give you this feel realism and flexibility. However, I could get closer to my favorite recordings (RAM, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, e.g.) with Ravel than with any other library, and for a simple reason: most recordings have a "roomy" piano.

Tweaking TONE, and MIC will get you very close to what you hear in any recording, and to further edit, add some API 560 EQ and boost 8k, following Greg Well's advice in MWTM. Now try the same with the other libraries, and you need to add some IR Reverb, some EQ, layer stuff and tweak to the end. I simply love Ravel's tone, specially the higher notes.

The Bad: There's a really ANNOYING noise in D6, that get's amplified when mixed and compressed. It sounds ugly, specially because it seems to be the only high note to have this rattle noise. To give you an example, I played some Japanese music (Joe Hisaishi and Shiru Sagisu piano solo's music), and in soft parts it really puts you off.
The Ugly: Their annoying CPU usage. But I'll talk to it later.

2. UAD Synths and Electra 88:
The Good: Electra 88
sounds amazing, and the ability to change mic, mix room, tweak audio FX is really beautiful. Sadly there's not enough tine noise or a way to boost it to recreate a "Just the two of us" sound, but not a dealbreaker. I'm not into PolyMAX or Opal, because I have Diva and Massive X/Hive, so all my sound palette is covered by them. UAD Moog though, is beatiful. It's simplicity and UI realism is inspiring. Their presets is well made for those into funk/pop/disco music, because they sound good as they are and sound like ones you hear in records, just add some reverb and chorus and you're 90% there. Other emulations are praised for their realism, but I personally don't like their presets; they're too protagonistic or too "watch me" type of sounds

The Bad: UAD needs to implement a right click to preset name to init preset. As much as I like tweaking UAD synths, it gets annoying to change to another preset, then come back to Default. Another get-around is to copy B preset (Default) into A preset (edited) to initialize, but it's an unnecesary hassle.
UAD could learn from U-he. Another lesson by U-he is the Undo/Redo button, at least for synths, because some of us like to endlessly tweak filter knob and most of the times Alt/Opt+Z doesn't work.

The Ugly: CPU usage is such a dealbreaker I don't know if I can have UAD instruments into my template. I really cannot understand why they're a CPU hog. Why does PolyMAX needs more CPU than Repro, arguably the most realistic Prophet emulation? In what way do I get a better vintage sound or endless flexibility than DIVA? I really don't know. In my personal opinion, it is unacceptable to handle CPU worse than U-he, because not even Opal has the breadth of options and tweakability Uhe's flagship synths have. It infuriates me, but maybe some UAD worker can help me understand.

Could like a Multi-Threading Option like in Diva or Repro help lower CPU usage? Is it a problem exclusive for Windows AMD Chips, or does it also happens in Mac? Are you planning some optimization updates?

Well... TLDR: I hate-love UAD Instruments because they sound great, but consumes a LOT of CPU, it's not even worth it in some instances like PolyMAX or Opal.
I passed this along to the team.
 

asterion

New Member
As an aside, the bright tined Rhodes' tones on Just the Two of Us as well as Angela (theme from Taxi - Bob James) are heavily "modded" (Dyno-My-Piano) Rhodes'. Most of them were either ripped out of the Rhodes' by the mid 90s - due to deterioration and weird tuning stability issues. It also became "not cool", up until recently, to have that brighter Rhodes sound. I've found I can get pretty close using the "amp" and then adding some post EQ as well as the uad Dytronics Stereo Chorus.
Well, now I learned something new! I had some suspicions, as the Keyscape's Rhodes you can hear a lot of tines. Indeed, I also tried with amp, but forgot to mention it!
 
UAD Bundle Month
Top