Stephen Bennett critiques a quintet of Universal Audio plugins…
Universal Audio (UA)’s software/plugin blend UAD has come an extended way because the early PCI-based upload-on playing cards that had been designed to feature a few Digital Signal Processing (DSP) grunt to the underpowered pc of the day. Now on version 9.3, the hardware desire to be had consists of devices with PCIe or Thunderbolt, Firewire and USB connectivity in addition to UA’s extremely good Apollo interfaces that let you use UAD plugins in real time.
The UAD suite under evaluation adds four of what UA call it’s direct developer’ plugins (which might be designed by means of their direct developer companions), and one from UA themselves. The first of the brand new quintet is the UAD version of Sonnox’s Oxford Dynamic EQ. This was reviewed in its ‘local’ format in AMI’s September 2017 version, so have a glance there for an extra detailed description of its capabilities. I can verify that it works in exactly the identical style as the ‘native’ version and sounds equal – as a section-reversal assessment confirmed.
One of UA’s claims regarding the accuracy of their emulation is the close running courting they have got with the unique producers and having access to their “golden devices” and algorithms have to pay dividends with the one’s plugins based on digital generation. But when the emulation is an aggregate of analog and virtual the scenario will become more complicated. Many humans just like the ‘sound’ of digital processors due to the ‘shade’ imparted with the aid of the analog input and output chain, so as to emulate such gadgets effectively, each aspect of the audio coin have to be addressed.
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The respected AMS RMX16 changed into an early digital reverb whose processing energy seems laughable in opposition to that of an ordinary phone. Yet they have been used on endless hit records via many reputable engineers and represented an amazing use of restrained processing electricity, clever algorithms and excessive give up analog circuitry. Developed by means of Mark Crabtree, the authentic designer, one would possibly assume the emulation to be quite close to the unique. I turned into never lucky enough to personal an AMS unit, but I do have a lot of recordings that had been processed via one and also have the original gadgets used. Listening again to these the similarities with the authentic unit are uncanny, the room, plate and nonlinear I used most (whats up! It was the ‘80s) capturing the ‘vibe’ of the AMS perfectly.
AMS-Neve throws in presets created by way of the likes of Steve Levine, however, to be sincere, the AMS is so easy to apply you don’t really want the guiding hands of audio giants to construct useful programmes. The 1982 KORG SDD-3000 thirteen-bit Digital Delay become a key aspect of U2’s guitar sound made well-known through The Edge and UA declare that the UAD model is a cease-to-quit emulation. If you’re after a versatile, but sonically interesting delay, then you could simply have found what you’re seeking out. The SDD-3000 capabilities the then- tremendous one 2d postpone time and modulation results, each syncable to the DAW’s pace.
The Dytronics Cyclosonic Panner is something I’ve in no way encounter earlier than. It’s an emulation of a 1984 vintage analog modulation and panning processor that features auto panning, ‘3D’ planning and a gate for cause panning. That’s a variety of panning. Usefully it could also synchronize to the DAW tempo. Comparing the sound to the bathroom-general auto pan in my DAW makes it obvious that the plugin simply adds a certain mojo to the sound and when you had been one of the few human beings within the global the usage of the unique hardware, it’s sonic idiosyncrasies had been likely well worth the charge of entry. But now everybody with a UAD DSP processor may have one, it’s probably now not so cool. However, kudos to Universal Audio for digging out those fantastically obscure processors – I might now not be without my UAD Cooper Time Cube now.
One of the demanding situations of reviewing UAD’s plugins is trying to track down the unique of the hardware being emulated. Luckily considered one of my colleagues has an ENGL Savage a hundred and twenty Amplifier so I turned into able to do some direct recorded comparisons of the plugin version versus the amplifier itself. We’ve come to a protracted manner in view that I strapped Rockman on to my belt for a simulation of that Delta Blues sound and, if you are turning the volume as much as 11, the ‘real thing’ still simply has the brink – but I’d assignment all, however, the maximum geeky listeners to try to distinguish a recording of the ENGL Savage 120 emulation from the amplifier mixed up in a first-rate sounding room. You’d preferably want a near-zero latency UAD Apollo interface to apply those in actual-time, but I controlled to document useable guitar parts the usage of my traditional interface. Until quantum computing offers an extensive increase in real-time audio processing (or doing it within the beyond – the quantum international is like that) upload-on DSP hardware is here to live and UAD are demonstrating that they are nonetheless at the top of that unique game.
N this optimization manual we can attend on optimizing for mixing and gaining knowledge of, so take a seat back, relax and study!
Optimizing for Mixing and Mastering: If you keep in mind in my preceding article, the H/W buffer settings and the whole lot beneath the “Settings” body in your Pro Tools “Playback Engine” options, you remember that you desired the bottom possible size for recording, now can you bet what you need for blending and getting to know? Did you wager excessive? If you did, provide your self a pat on the shoulder!
When you’re getting ready to blend a song or a whole album, pass ahead and set the H/W Buffer Size to 2048. Recording latency isn’t always our recognition with blending– plug-in latency is. So we need to ensure your Pro Tools machine may not buckle if you manifest to use loads of plugins when mixing. Otherwise, go away the opposite alternatives as they had been set from the primary part of this optimization manual.
The brunt of the settings you will be adjusting will be underneath the “DAE Playback Buffer” pane in your Playback Engine window.
You will want to change your size to level 1 or stage 2 this time, no more, no much less, either of these options will preserve the streaming and playback of audio and processing from doing something weird and crashing. For the Cache Size, leave this on “Normal” or “Large” (Large will normally assist you to use extra plug-ins on an LE gadget).