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Universal Audio Neve 88RS or API Vision? Dynamics Plugins
Old 26th May 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Universal Audio Neve 88RS or API Vision?

Hi everyone,

I have recently purchased the two plug-ins for $299 package and am now trying to decide on the second choice (the first one being Vertigo VSM-3). I've already got the Neve legacy channel strip and could thus upgrade it for $149 (minus a possible discount coupon), but API Vision would be $299. Thus purchasing the API vision would be sort of better value for money (if you see it that way), but I won't need both the API and the Neve so the main thing is just to make the best move soundwise.

I know I need to compare these myself (and I will), but I'd love to hear your opinions if you've compared the two. I won't really need the preamps too much as I've got some great outboard gear and also the Neve 1073 unison amp/channel strip. I have an Apollo Quad and two UAD-2 Quad cards so I've got quite much processing power, but I'm still a bit afraid about the DSP power that Neve 88RS uses. So this would be a plus to API. But do you think soundwise the Neve would be a better choice for most purposes?

How about the preamps, I suppose I could use these once in a while at least for re-amping, so which one do you think is better? And is the 88RS a lot better than the Neve 1073? I heard that in API Vision you can save DSP power by disabling the elements you don't need, is this also possible with Neve? I will probably be using other compressors (1176, LA-2A, Fairchild etc.) so I don't think I'll be using the compressors in the channel strips too much. Thank you!
Old 26th May 2015
  #2
88rs is go to on almost every track. music or movie works. its clean (uncolored), fast (easy to quickly get the sound you want), it do whats expected and as bonus its light on resources. i dont have api, but i suppose it ll colour your sound more and its heavy on hw..

Last edited by svmn; 26th May 2015 at 08:31 PM..
Old 27th May 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
^ i think @ svmn is talking about the old 88RS. I'd favor the Neve, tho i haven't tried it. I have both the API and old 88RS, and the old 88 used to be my favorite plugin, so the new one has me curious. demo it! you can always go slutty and buy another full-priced plug (ocean way or millennia are my picks) and then buy the 88RS upgrade.
Old 27th May 2015
  #4
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
maximize your value, for sure. Get a $300 plugin. Ocean Way looks really good, API does too. It's a good problem to have I guess.

sorry I haven't messed with these yet, only heard the demos.
Old 27th May 2015
  #5
88rs upgrade is only unison preamp option, isnt? correct me if im wrong
Old 27th May 2015
  #6
i've used the api and old neve 88rs quite a bit on rap music

the api is excellent on drums. the sound was so huge & punchy i had to actually dial it down a bit to fit in the mix lol

api does unison mic emulations but i haven't used it for that. like most channel strips the beauty is the controls are a little simplified and you can get most of what your after quickly & easily.

the old neve 88rs doesn't have the 'gain stage' or whatevs emulation. they call it a 'linear' emulation meaning it doesn't saturate and distort like the new one does.

i used the old one on string & brass sounds, vocals and a few other tracks. like the api its pretty quick & easy to dial in most of what i go for, just a different flavour


i've had the new neve 88rs mk II for about a week. so far i find the 'saturation' and 'distortion' quite nice. i haven't tracked vocals with it yet or tested the unison feature of the new one.

i also have the 1073 plug-in and when i track with my peluso 2247 le mic its too vintage sounding lol (i usually use the 610b unless i want heavy coloration)

one example where it didn't work for me was i used the 88rs mkII to warm up plug-in synth bass and i'm not totally convinced it sounds 'better' with it just different. the eventide ultra channel went on instead.

i was hoping this channel strip would be some silver bullet but its just another plug-in. in the end i'll do what i've always done and try different channel strip and plug-in combinations until something sits right with me.

demo it, try it. like the old one so far i love it on strings, brass and other kontakt stuff. for rock music it seems like a no-brainer

Last edited by gregwar; 27th May 2015 at 12:33 PM..
Old 27th May 2015
  #7
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staudio's Avatar
 

The API has great punch and simplicity in dialing in the EQ because its all switched fixed frequency and gain. The Neve 88RS (new version) has a great surgical capability with the narrowest Q and sweepable frequency design. I find the API is really great for making things more punchy and solid and the Neve is good for giving things body and richness in the mids and openness and clarity in the upper mids. I like them both a lot.
Old 27th May 2015
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Thank you so much for all the replies! I'm so glad I'm getting replies this soon, but I'd definitely love to have more opinions and ideas coming!

The problem is that I need to make up my mind soon and I'm just too busy at the moment. I mean, after recording and mixing until late afternoon or evening and then spending a bit of time with kids I'm too tired to get into this seriously enough. And this is one of the things that really need some time, I mean I have to check the preamp separately and play with some mixes to really find out how the EQs work.

Have I understood correctly that API Vision is much more DSP friendly? If you don't use the gate or the compressor can you disable them individually and thus save DPS in 88RS? Anybody else used the new 88RS and the API Vision?
Old 27th May 2015
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregwar View Post
demo it, try it. like the old one so far i love it on strings, brass and other kontakt stuff. for rock music it seems like a no-brainer
With the last sentence do you mean Neve would be great for rock music? On the other hand you said that API gives more punchiness and API is often connected to rock sound so I though I'd ask to make sure I got your opinion correctly...

Last edited by studiotee; 27th May 2015 at 09:24 PM..
Old 27th May 2015
  #10
you can enable or disable load lock in the uad meter & control panel settings. that way when a module is inactive (like the comp, eq, etc) it doesn't use dsp resources. this is true of the new 88rs and api strips.

the neve 88rs mk II has a lot more colouration than the mk 1 version of the plug-in. this is due to the non-linearities and gain staging that cause saturation and distortion in the mk II version.

that kind of neve colouration isn't always desirable (and it uses a lot of dsp) for rap music because sometimes its important to have clean signals. i assume for rock music saturation and colouration would be great for distorted guitars, vintage-sounding vocals, etc.

for sampled drums (boom bap, etc) i love the api its really punchy and warm. i assume for rock drums it would be stellar. on bass guitar the api or neve would just be different flavours.


for layering rap drums with really subby bass like 808s and deep sine/tri waves it gets a lot more complicated and i usually have to f*ck around for hours with different combinations of things lol

it could be as simple as the pultec bass trick + dbx comp on a bus, to tuning multiple vog channels, multi band comps, param eqs, etc to get the frequencies to stop fighting to straight up changing the 808 samples and sound sources a bunch of times until something fits.

Last edited by gregwar; 27th May 2015 at 08:54 PM..
Old 27th May 2015
  #11
Registered User
 

Get the API Vision and buy the 88RS mkII upgrade with a future voucher/coupon. The Vision is incredible. All the balls, punch, and rock and roll you need. So easy to use. The GUI connects to your ears/brain unlike anything else I've encountered. The magic really happens when you lay 24 or more instances across a mix template. Tall, wide, and clear. The harmonic distortion modeling sounds really really good for a plugin. Crank those gain knobs! Leave DSP loadlock on to maximize resources since you may not need the gate or compressor on every track.

-dd
Old 27th May 2015
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
maximize your value, for sure. Get a $300 plugin. Ocean Way looks really good, API does too. It's a good problem to have I guess.
Thank you for this input as well! I've already got the Ocean Way and actually a vast enough collection so I wouldn't REALLY need the 2nd plug-in at this point. But after selling my Finalizer 96K I'd like something nice for my mastering chain at it seems that the VSM-3 is the best addition and thus worth buying. Believe it or not but for many purposes Finalizer 96K was pretty damn good and the first time I managed to match that sound (if that's what your after) was with the addition of Manley VU. But I didn't purchase the Manley as I found out that VSM-3 is at least as good in the mastering chain, but also gives me a new tool for saturating signals. I was actually surprised how similar the master sounded with either Manley VU, VSM-3 or Finalizer in the mastering chain.

I also tried the VSM-3 at the master bus (instead of being in the middle of my mastering chain) and this alone made the sound a lot better. After I'd added the Ampex the difference to the plain master bus was very remarkable. I was even wondering how come I'd just finished DEMOs (!) without those in the master bus.

For the second plug-in I might also consider Auto-Tune Live, but it isn't available yet and I've already got Auto-Tune7 (32-bit) waiting to be upgraded to AT8 at the next offer. Until that I'm trying to survive with Melodyne, but I've already been close to purchasing AT a couple of times.

Somebody also mentioned Millennia, do you mean the EQ? I don't think I need any more EQs (except for a possible channel strip), I've already put enough money for EQs I haven't used enough. As I said the same goes for compressors, even though I don't have Manley VU or Shadow Hills I think I'll be doing just fine without them. I've demoed the both and so far I feel that I can do what I need to with the new 1176s, LA-2As, Fairchilds, SSL bus compressor etc.
Old 27th May 2015
  #13
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Demulling View Post
Get the API Vision and buy the 88RS mkII upgrade with a future voucher/coupon. The Vision is incredible. All the balls, punch, and rock and roll you need. So easy to use. The GUI connects to your ears/brain unlike anything else I've encountered. The magic really happens when you lay 24 or more instances across a mix template. Tall, wide, and clear. The harmonic distortion modeling sounds really really good for a plugin. Crank those gain knobs! Leave DSP loadlock on to maximize resources since you may not need the gate or compressor on every track.

-dd
man how many octos do you need for that? or is it much lighter in mix mode instead of unison preamp?

this is the kind of review I want to hear, might be my next UAD move
Old 27th May 2015
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Demulling View Post
Get the API Vision and buy the 88RS mkII upgrade with a future voucher/coupon. The Vision is incredible. All the balls, punch, and rock and roll you need. So easy to use. The GUI connects to your ears/brain unlike anything else I've encountered. The magic really happens when you lay 24 or more instances across a mix template. Tall, wide, and clear. The harmonic distortion modeling sounds really really good for a plugin. Crank those gain knobs! Leave DSP loadlock on to maximize resources since you may not need the gate or compressor on every track.
-dd
Wonderful, thank you so much! Out of curiousity, have you tried the 88NS as well? And did you mean to say to to turn the DSP loadlock off, isn't that the way to save resources if the gate or compressor isn't needed?

And finally, what do you think is the best way to control API visions EQs with a mouse or a keyboard? I've only tried this quickly, but somehow I've felt moving the pots with mouse clumsy (or the pot moves too easily). I ended up clicking on the pots and then using the arrow keys to increase or decrease values, but this wasn't too comfortable either.
Old 27th May 2015
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregwar View Post
you can enable or disable load lock in the uad meter & control panel settings. that way when a module is inactive (like the comp, eq, etc) it doesn't use dsp resources. this is true of the new 88rs and api strips.
This and all of your message was wonderful info as well so thank you very much! I didn't know about the load lock before so it's good to know that.
It's also great to hear this kind of experiences from someone who uses the both!

But does anyone know if API vision is generally speaking gentler to DSP?
Old 27th May 2015
  #16
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiotee View Post
But does anyone know if API vision is generally speaking gentler to DSP?
UAD Instance Chart

It looks like API Vision is slightly lighter on the DSP.

I am assuming you can turn off Load Lock, and disable certain parts of the channel strip and get a higher plugin count that way.
Old 27th May 2015
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
UAD Instance Chart

It looks like API Vision is slightly lighter on the DSP.

I am assuming you can turn off Load Lock, and disable certain parts of the channel strip and get a higher plugin count that way.
Thank you!

By the way, does anyone know if the latest reviews on UA site are on the first page or the last page? There is no way to check this as there are no dates mentioned in the review section. The reason I'd be interested in this is because I'd like to know if people are comparing API Vision with the old RS88 or the new one. There are some posts like this in the first page, I guess I could try to figure this out by myself (by some reasoning and going step by step to the last page to see if it gives any clues), but I really need to go to bed now and would be so happy if the answer happens to wait here when I wake up
Old 28th May 2015
  #18
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
man how many octos do you need for that? or is it much lighter in mix mode instead of unison preamp?
I sold my Apollo a while ago so not sure about Unison vs. mix mode.

IIRC, I once spread out 40 mono instances of Vision with load lock turned off, and perhaps 25-30 of those 40 were using all or nearly all of the modules within. Used about 50% of my total DSP lot (2xOcto + 1xSolo PCIe). So the load lock feature is a real savior with the Vision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studiotee View Post
Wonderful, thank you so much! Out of curiousity, have you tried the 88NS as well? And did you mean to say to to turn the DSP loadlock off, isn't that the way to save resources if the gate or compressor isn't needed?

And finally, what do you think is the best way to control API visions EQs with a mouse or a keyboard? I've only tried this quickly, but somehow I've felt moving the pots with mouse clumsy (or the pot moves too easily). I ended up clicking on the pots and then using the arrow keys to increase or decrease values, but this wasn't too comfortable either.
doh! Yup I meant "off"

I have demoed the legacy 88RS several times and liked it but never felt the ease of use and vibe as I do with the Vision. Just a personal thing. I already have the new 1073, which is really cool placing before the API, using the Neve line amp + EQ, and following with the API for dynamics (and using the built-in EQ side chaining )...I am afraid to demo the new 88RS. I may have to have it My wallet hurts badly since picking up a pair of Purple ODDs and Maag EQ2s.

Been using the mouse but thanks for the tip with the arrow keys!

-dd
Old 29th May 2015
  #19
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AudioGaff's Avatar
Quote:
And finally, what do you think is the best way to control API visions EQs with a mouse or a keyboard?
Griffin PowerMate. Couldn't be any easier or simpler. Hover mouse over a paramater and turn the PowerMate knob. USB version seems to be a little better than the Bluetooth version.
Old 4th September 2016
  #20
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MusiKLover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Demulling View Post
Get the API Vision and buy the 88RS mkII upgrade with a future voucher/coupon. The Vision is incredible. All the balls, punch, and rock and roll you need. So easy to use. The GUI connects to your ears/brain unlike anything else I've encountered. The magic really happens when you lay 24 or more instances across a mix template. Tall, wide, and clear. The harmonic distortion modeling sounds really really good for a plugin. Crank those gain knobs! Leave DSP loadlock on to maximize resources since you may not need the gate or compressor on every track.

-dd
This is an older one, but worth reposting as I'm choosing between the two. I would add you can use the API on the 2-Bus or as an AUX Send and maintain the overall vibe to save DSP, same for the 88RS, but I'm going to get the Neve 33609 so the API makes sense. You would forgo tweaking the individual parameters, though you can adjust the amount via the send knob, and of course this also works on the 2-bus as mentioned. Helios works particularly well with the API too, I've found, for cases you need to spot check the eq if used in this fashion.

When I do get the Satellite, I'll try this on all the buses, but for now, this methodology + UNISON in Console is a slam dunk. Classictunz is also a big fan, as mentioned earlier, representing a quorum & consensus of sorts.

Looking up journaled items can really help on this site.
Old 5th September 2016
  #21
Demo both, feel free to share which one you liked the best. I chose the 88rs, sweet and musical for a plug. To bad UA doesn't make a DSP unit powerful enough where you could do a big boy mix with it on every channel.
Old 8th September 2016
  #22
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MusiKLover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwave View Post
Demo both, feel free to share which one you liked the best. I chose the 88rs, sweet and musical for a plug. To bad UA doesn't make a DSP unit powerful enough where you could do a big boy mix with it on every channel.
I'd really like to thank you for chiming in. I've been doing extensive testing, and I've been through a number of combinations but have had a bit of a switch midway through the process.

Obviously, the 88RS comes with the Legacy version too for one off uses, just as the 33609 has the SE version. However, squaring off the Neve 88RS with the API Vision is getting fruitless, or plentiful depending on the perspective, as I really like both -- a lot.

So I decided to totally change it up. Rather than square of the two CS choices, I matched the 88RS Legacy and Full version against the Neve 33609, Legacy and Full, and I only engaged the compressor on the 88RS. In the end, I actually like it enough as it adds a similar flavor (they're both Neves,) and I too have the 1176 MK2 which beats them all IMO, at least for my testing routines, and in particular the AE. The 88RS actually might give a bit more flavor than the 33609, too.

Given I very much would like the EMT250 for use both in Mixing and Tracking in Console, I believe I've made my mind up to go with the Neve 88RS, the API Vision, and The EMT250.

You can always use the Neve & API together, for instance, on different sections with one taking Drums, the other Bass and Synth. If you go nuts, you can really set the sound stage with them both on the 2-Bus or with vocals, though each really is excellent on its own.

Thank you for your perspective and giving me the permission to chill, to regroup, and to rethink the decision. I'm pretty happy with all of the above. The Neve 33609, while very good, is a very old model, too, though I'm not sure how much better they can make it -- other than one key element: add some of that Neve analog flavor. It is way too digital / clean for a Neve!

Once again, thanks, clearwave.
Old 8th September 2016
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregwar View Post
you can enable or disable load lock in the uad meter & control panel settings. that way when a module is inactive (like the comp, eq, etc) it doesn't use dsp resources. this is true of the new 88rs and api strips.

the neve 88rs mk II has a lot more colouration than the mk 1 version of the plug-in. this is due to the non-linearities and gain staging that cause saturation and distortion in the mk II version.

that kind of neve colouration isn't always desirable (and it uses a lot of dsp) for rap music because sometimes its important to have clean signals. i assume for rock music saturation and colouration would be great for distorted guitars, vintage-sounding vocals, etc.

for sampled drums (boom bap, etc) i love the api its really punchy and warm. i assume for rock drums it would be stellar. on bass guitar the api or neve would just be different flavours.


for layering rap drums with really subby bass like 808s and deep sine/tri waves it gets a lot more complicated and i usually have to f*ck around for hours with different combinations of things lol

it could be as simple as the pultec bass trick + dbx comp on a bus, to tuning multiple vog channels, multi band comps, param eqs, etc to get the frequencies to stop fighting to straight up changing the 808 samples and sound sources a bunch of times until something fits.
Enlighten me—what's the Pultec bass trick?
Old 9th September 2016
  #24
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DaveNJ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewbaker View Post
Enlighten me—what's the Pultec bass trick?
It's when you boost and attenuate at 100 (generally at 100)...
Old 9th September 2016
  #25
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewbaker View Post
Enlighten me—what's the Pultec bass trick?
The LF boost and cut knobs can work at the same time. They are at slightly different center points, so interesting curves can be achieved.
Old 9th September 2016
  #26
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Switchcraft's Avatar
 

I own both and end up using the Neve 99% of the time. IDK why, but it has a lot more vibe than the API to me. I love clicking the mic input to get the extra harmonics. The EQs sound huge, the compressor is nice for taming transients, and the HPF sounds great. There is just so much you can do with it and the plugin interacts with itself in a very natural way. I put it on every track in mixes and it just sounds unreal. The API does not jump out of the speakers in the same way to me.
I was always liked Neves better than APIs anyhow. It may just be a taste thing, but the neve does what I want when I try.

Last edited by Switchcraft; 11th September 2016 at 04:23 AM..
Old 11th September 2016
  #27
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MusiKLover's Avatar
I'm really thankful that UAD gives you the 45 day grace period to make your plugin selections. I've added one new twist, and thanks for the commentary, both regarding the Neve and API (in other threads.)

The fact is I like the Neve sound a ton. And not just one sort of Neve sound, but the overall tonality. The 33609, as mentioned, might not 100% emulate all the analog flavor as the original, though I don't have a very clear indication as I've never used the HW. However, I do like the UA 1176 MK2s, Teletronix LA-2A, and some others more. Some native models are really quite good, too, such as Klanghelm's DC8C & MJUC, not to mention SDRR. The noise floor is just low enough as to allow for excellent aliasing profiles above certain thresholds, those that are key in such measurements. MJUC has as good, if not better, curves than several Fairchild & Manley models with reasonable range settings set.

Incidentally, I initially toyed with PluginAlliance's Vertigo VSM-3, though have since found that two instances of SDRR with different modes engaged + one instance of Metric Halo's Character essentially simulate / produce all the nice, non-aliased harmonic content the elevated VSM-3 is so capable of generating. What made me try two SDRRs is the fact that the Vertigo model has two circuits running in series. The methodology works like a charm, particularly with Tube & Desk -- and Fuzz can add the classic transistor flavor. MH Character excels at all the above more "gently" and thus complements SDRR rather well, and it has an excellent profile as respects harmonics w/o aliasing unlike their other dynamics processors. But I digress.

The point here is that I've accepted that the API Vision & Neve 88RS are definites. However, the EMT250 is not as I will not likely use Reverb too, too much in Console (tracking) and I have really good native 'verbs, both algorithmic and convolution, for mixing. In the rare case I might, there are the free versions that are included in the Analog Classics bundle. I don't "need" the EMT250, so it's going on the "nice to have" list, being replaced by the Neve 1073 Powerhouse. I initially overlooked this model as it is not a channel strip, per se, in that there is no dynamics section. But Saturation and tremendous eq options abound, such that this will be my third and final choice. And what a good choice, I'm glad I "discovered" it so late in the process as I now have really good reference points from which to gauge.

I can thank UAD, again, for affording me (and every new user) the opportunity to Demo the entire line for 45 days. I'm rather psyched to be capturing much of that Neve flavor, all the while having the API punch for Drums and its own take on flavor.

I respect those who cite digital being beautiful, I suppose, but man this stuff is beautiful!
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