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UAD octo TB chassis questions DAW Software
Old 30th April 2015
Lives for gear
trock's Avatar

UAD octo TB chassis questions

Hi All

Thinking of getting the external Octo UAD Thunderbolt chassis device. my sessions in Cubase 8 pro on an newer Imac are approaching the CPU limits on some projects and the thought of offloading some processing finally appeals to me.

my IMAC specs 2014
3.4 quad i7
32 gigs ram
1TB internal SSD

I also have 2 Thunderbolt connected Hard drives and the apple 27 inch monitor thunderbolt connected, as well as the apogee symphony with thunderbridge. i also have a USB 3 drive, ilok 2 and cubase dongle and the Kemper USB connected and a Nektar USB controller

this is rock solid with cubase and i never have any issues so far

so my questions are

1) well, how well does the external device really work? latency? stability?

2) does UA have some spec on what part in the Thunderbolt daisy chain they recommend the device to be? in that, can i just add it on after the hard drives and it be 4 from the Imac? or does it need to be first, and what does that do to the other Hard drives that i do use for libraries and things and need speed?

3) how well does UAD work with cubase 8pro?

anyway, thanks for any help and real world setups and scenarios like mine if possible

Old 1st May 2015
Lives for gear

Do you already own the UAD cards?

UAD plugs are running on the cards, and use them like any other plug on your system.

Old 1st May 2015
How many cards are you looking to put in the chassis please?
If 3 is enough, then for a very reasonable cost I can highly recommend NetStor TurboBox.
I have the PCIe version of this but they now do a TB2 version - and if this is anything like the one I use than it is seriously good VFM as you can of course make it a movable feast - I have "host" cards in 2 systems here so I can move the box with (most of) my UAD-2 cards to whatever rig it is needed on very quickly & easily. My box has 2 Octo & 1 Quad in it (my second Quad is in the main box) and it is very reliable indeed at a fraction of the cost of a Magma chassis, and best of all you can "piggy-back" the chassis as well - if I wanted to add more slots all I would need to do is get a second box & a second host card and then put the new host card in chassis one, moving it's UAD cards into chassis 2 and getting me an additional 2 slots of PCI-e

To answer your other questions:
UAD works extremely well with Cubase 8, no problems I have discovered so far. The whole system just works and in daily use you are not really aware of using DSP except for having to keep an eye on available resources of course, but that applies equally when using native plugs.
I cannot give any real help with Thunderbolt usage but would suggest dropping UAD a pre-sales query on the recommended setup configurations if their main website does not give you the info that you are looking for. When needed their support is stellar (I had a card go bad on me & they replaced it with no qualms, quibbles or questions) and they are very quick to reply as well in my experience.

Hope this helps. I am admittedly a total UAD fan though.
Old 1st May 2015
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Justin P.'s Avatar

I have nearly the same iMac as you.

One Thunderbolt port connects my Blackmagic Multidock which hosts my solid state drives for audio work.

The other Thunderbolt port connects the Sonnet Echo Express III chassis and the thru port connect to my second monitor. I never looked if there is a suggested chain when using UAD.

It works so great that I forget that it's there most days. I had a UAD-2 Quad in there and recently replaced it with a UAD-2 Octo PCIe card. Both worked flawlessly.

The chassis also houses my Lynx AES16e sound card and a Sonnet card I bought that has a few USB 3 and FW 800 ports for connecting older stuff if needed.

I did some research before buying and found that I could disconnect the fans in the Sonnet chassis since I'm just using audio cards that don't generate much heat and this has proven to be true.

The chassis, and the iMac are dead silent and stay very cool which is great.

I mainly use Wavelab 8.5 but Pro Tools and Logic are all very stable when it comes to the UAD plugins.

I found on both the Sonnet website and UAD website info on which TB chassis have been tested and supported and some other helpful info.

Last edited by Justin P.; 1st May 2015 at 12:42 PM..
Old 1st May 2015
Lives for gear
trock's Avatar

sorry guys i think i confused you

i am talking about the external box, not a card, the newer thunderbolt octo box. hope that helps more

Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - OCTO Core |

which hopefully makes my questions make more sense

thanks for the help
Old 4th May 2015
Ah - sorry. I was talking about an external TB2 box that allows multiple PCIe cards.
Which is probably a better solution because it is expandable, and believe you me once you get into UAD, even an Octo will not be enough - it's like this drug I cannot get enough of......24 chips & counting, once I swap out the Quads for Octos later this year I will get up to 32 chips.
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