Published by Pale Pyramid on 31st March 2012
UAD 2 Reverbs , Delays and Modulation
This review is about the UAD reverb and effects plugins . I love UAD's reverbs and effects . I have had UAD plugins for a couple years now . I Own a Quad and Duo card and own quite a few UA plugins . I have demoed nearly all of them . There are some great plugins in this collection and some native one's I like more . It's subjective of course but i'll give you my candid 2 cents .
These plugins (with the exception of a few original software only designs ) are modeled based on the hardware gear they emulate . Warts and all . No added features unless the manufacturer signed off on it . The only such plugin I can think of with added features is the UAD Fatso . Dave Derr the ( Empirical Lab's ) Fatso's creator had wanted to add some features to the hardware in his original designs and he gave UAD permission to add them to a second version of his plugin . Some people are put off by this and wish that UAD would acquiesce and add dry/wet knobs, HP and LP filters on EQ's that don't have them in the hardware world , Side chain buttons etc . I happen to fall into the other camp . I like UA's commitment to respect the original hardware design . It's more then just a GUI when the behavior is as close as possible to the original hardware . In some cases they are an introduction and I would consider buying the hardware based on my experience with the plugin .
This collection of plugins is made up of classic and contemporary hardware emulations widely reported to function as close as possible to the hardware . They model specific units In some cases that have aged differently then other vintage units of the same make that you may have had the good fortune of using in a studio . This means they may sound slightly different then the unit your used to . Pretty cool .
there are those that sound awesome on everything . Those that sound great on specific sources and not on others . Again , this is purely subjective . My taste an ability may vary to yours . If I don't care for the UAD emulation there is the possibility I wouldn't care for the hardware either .
Let us procede -
EMT 140 - This is a classic plate reverb . I put this and altiverb at the top of my personal favorites list . I dare you to find something this won't sound great on . If you find something that doesn't work with the EMT 140 I bet it doesn't need reverb !
I'm fond of it on snare especially but love it on vox, drum overheads, guitars and many other sources . It took me a few months of constant use to dial in quickly and feel comfortable with it as I'm without knowledge of the original . You have lots of options for sculpting the shape and size of the reverb and choose what frequencies are left unaffected . The different plates sound sound thicker and darker then each other and you can also have some modulation options . This style of reverb sounds a bit grainy which is why I think it works on snare so well . It's just a really stellar reverb .
Lexicon 224 - This looks awesome .unfortunately for this review I haven't had the chance to use it yet . Something tells me I'd probably have some high praise for it . This guess is based on some altiverb impulses i love taken from the 224 .
EMT 250 - This plugin is really easy to use and quite fun to mess around with . it sounds unique . It has much different sound other reverb plugs I've used and I find it either works or not . I use it less but it's so unique I think your personal taste and maybe the style of music will dictate it's use . It's cool on drum rooms on down tempo stuff . Really creates a space .
Dreamverb - I played around with this for twenty minutes when I first got into UAD a few years ago . It wasn't bad at all . Seems like it has a bit of a learning curve and the GUI didn't thrill me .
DELAY and MODULATION
MXR Flanger/Doubler - I have not demoed this yet . I'm prepared to say I'd love it . One because I think UAD really shine with their DELAY and MODULATION models . Two I have played around with a hardware version of this and think it's the best flanger I've ever heard and the doubler is equally cool . It is audibly noisy though . The plugin won't have this issue . The hardware unit also has some chips that are known to fail and once they do you have a $400 doorstop .
EP-34 - I wan't a real EP-3 bad since playing with this ! Damn you UA ! LOL The real units cost around $1000 in fair condition . It perfectly pairs to guitar and the saturation sounds good on other sources as well .
RE-201 - I love this on drums . It's wicked to give a snare some more movement . It's a fantastic special effect for over the top self oscillating flying saucer or raygun noise . Reggae wobbles . Dark delay on vocals . Just a great plugin .
Roland Dimension D - I have to have a hardware version ! this gets used all the time . I love it as an aux bus for synths . an aux bus for guitars and anothe aux for vocals . Sometimes I slap it on tracks directly . Love , love , love this plugin !
Cooper time cube - I like this on vocals and guitars . I used it a lot when I first got it . I'm spoiled for delays though . I still like it and need to spark the romance again
Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble - I loved this so much on guitars I bought a hardware unit . The best guitar and vibrato I've ever heard on a guitar . Run this in stereo on guitar or synths and step back in awe !
There is a lot to love in these categories folks . These are mix time secret weapons !
There is a great library to choose from here . UAD are consistent . You will love the emulations in other categories if you love any of these . UAD also has a generous demo policy as well . It couldn't be more easy to demo plugins as you down load the entire library with each software update . You can have multiple opportunities to demo these plugins before buying . Enjoy !