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What do you think of this article? Native vs DSP Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 2nd July 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

What do you think of this article? Native vs DSP

This article obviously has some bias based on the source but I have been wondering about this for my own situation given that I have a brand new MacBook Pro if I really will benefit from DSP in an Apolllo. The Need to Know of Native vs DSP - Apogee Electronics
Old 2nd July 2016
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benxiwf View Post
This article obviously has some bias based on the source but I have been wondering about this for my own situation given that I have a brand new MacBook Pro if I really will benefit from DSP in an Apolllo. The Need to Know of Native vs DSP - Apogee Electronics
90 percent of the value of DSP is it makes UAD the only uncrackable platform, which allows them to sell the best plugins and get the engineers paid.

The additional horsepower is nice too.
Old 2nd July 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
When UAD introduced it's first PCI cards years ago a boost in DSP power was a big help. Now it's not very important unless you have an underpowered system. And relative to native processors the UAD products are not very powerful anyway. But IMO the plugins are good, and since I already have the card I'll keep using it.

I don't use the card this way, but I believe the UAD is also very helpful for low latency FX during tracking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benxiwf View Post
This article obviously has some bias based on the source but I have been wondering about this for my own situation given that I have a brand new MacBook Pro if I really will benefit from DSP in an Apolllo. The Need to Know of Native vs DSP - Apogee Electronics
Old 2nd July 2016
  #4
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jsvalmont's Avatar
I would take this article with a grain of salt considering Apogee is a company that provides only native products. They have a vested interest to direct people to native solutions. Did they even mention anywhere what their test DSP system was? One nice thing about DSP is they are easy to add on to; I have an HDX|2 system and that runs more plugins than my brand new fully-specced out i7 iMac could, with better latency and far more stability.

Last edited by jsvalmont; 2nd July 2016 at 10:10 PM..
Old 2nd July 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Let me ask this: does anyone find it an inconvenience if you record on a laptop and then want to do some work on your laptop away from your studio but want to do some editing and you now can't access plugins?
Old 2nd July 2016
  #6
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jsvalmont's Avatar
Not with HDX/AAX DSP, that is not an issue. They change between Native and DSP seamlessly. For UAD stuff, however, that would definitely be an issue.
Old 2nd July 2016
  #7
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Robert Randolph's Avatar
 

Kinda interesting that they completely ignore the fact that the DSP is both an addition of processing power on top of your native selection AND a full extra selection of plugins you couldn't use otherwise.

Basically the article seems to be saying "Sure, you could have more... but we offer you just enough". Not very good marketing there is it?
Old 2nd July 2016
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
Kinda interesting that they completely ignore the fact that the DSP is both an addition of processing power on top of your native selection AND a full extra selection of plugins you couldn't use otherwise.

Basically the article seems to be saying "Sure, you could have more... but we offer you just enough". Not very good marketing there is it?
I agree. I like a lot about the ensemble but ordered an Apollo based on the pro recommendations I was getting. Just trying to be confident it is going to work ok for me. I like the reamp ability and it may be a little more flexible with I/o.
Old 2nd July 2016
  #9
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My advice is always to buy the fastest computer you can afford in the first place, rather than cutting into your CPU budget and buying external DSP.

10 years ago, yeah DSP was nice to have, in the form of PT HD, but I'd have a hard time justifying that kind of system today (unless you knew you were going to utilize it...requiring lots of zero latency I/O with huge sessions)...and as far as plugins go, unless you're well invested in plugins that utilize your DSP (as well as the DSP itself), it seems sort of silly. There is no quantifiable reason to say that a native plugin is going to be of lesser quality than one that requires DSP...its all code after all. When you buy into a UAD Apollo or similar, you're getting a nice interface with a limited amount of processing power attached...I think its fair to assume that we are talking a fraction of a modern smart phone at the fastest. I think you'd make better gains by investing in an i7 vs an i5 based computer with DSP attached, if that's what it came down to. The most resource intensive plugins for the most resource intensive tasks don't seem to ever be accelerated by DSP anyway...

The UAD system I would argue benefits UAD far more than its users. I'm not saying that UAD products are no good, or anything like that...I'm only saying that I don't find that DSP is all that necessary with modern computing power. Unless you have a very specific application that says it does, and they are built to take advantage of that DSP, which certainly most home users would not (not clear what your usage is).
Old 2nd July 2016
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by benxiwf View Post
Let me ask this: does anyone find it an inconvenience if you record on a laptop and then want to do some work on your laptop away from your studio but want to do some editing and you now can't access plugins?
you don't need plug-ins to do editing

If you want to mix on your laptop, you are not only going to be missing your hardware accelerated plugs but you probably also have less native power than your presumed desktop machine back at the "studio".

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight
My advice is always to buy the fastest computer you can afford in the first place, rather than cutting into your CPU budget and buying external DSP.
but if you already have the fastest computer they make, you can still ADD to your plug-in count with DSP hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph
Kinda interesting that they completely ignore the fact that the DSP is both an addition of processing power on top of your native selection AND a full extra selection of plugins you couldn't use otherwise.
exactly. There is a word for this and the word is: "gravy".

To me the UAD plug-ins are heaven. I would resent buying a "dongle" to use them if it were not for the fact that:
1. it is also my interface
2. it gives me more plugs than I would have had
3. the plug-ins themselves are not only top-notch, they are right up my alley. I literally feel as if they were thinking of me personally when they designed these plugs.

Maybe it's the old-school thing. I don't know. I could definitely understand how someone who did not appreciate the plug-ins themselves the same way could draw the completely opposite conclusion about the entire system.
Old 2nd July 2016
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Definitely some great discussion here. To be clear, I am just trying to build a decent home studio. I have a MacBook Pro i7 2.8GHz 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3. I know in the past, I have taken my lap top with me to various places and created a rough headphone mix when I had time, and go make adjustments when I could sit down in front of my speakers. The UAD Apollo 8p sort of eliminates this possibility for the most part. I also just really wish there was a way to demo the UA effects. I have heard tons of praise for them but I could save at least $700 buying the Ensemble instead of Apollo and I am really happy now using say Alloy 2 as my channel strip which is of course more of a modern look than the Apollo Channels. This doesn't mean I wouldn't love Apollo, I am just trying to make a final decision.
Old 2nd July 2016
  #12
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The only reason today to go with a DSP system is to be able to track without latency and not put a burden on your computer. Yes computers are more than powerful enough now and yes native plugins can sound as good as uad ones but the more computers get powerful, the more developers come out with CPU-hungry plugins. So, your computer always struggle if you put a buffer at 32 or 64 samples. It's a never ending race.

I wouldn't trade my Apollo now because my i/o buffer is now parked at 512 and I never ever get overload messages in either Logic or PT on my tiny MBP dual-core. Liberating!!

But you have to weight in the cost of plugins if you want to have a versatile system. And it's not as expensive as some would like you to think. I have 36 uad plugins and on average, they cost me 52$ with coupons and specials. But if you're not patient, UA will skin you to death!!

KA
Old 2nd July 2016
  #13
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KorgAddict View Post
The only reason today to go with a DSP system is to be able to track without latency and not put a burden on your computer. Yes computers are more than powerful enough now and yes native plugins can sound as good as uad ones but the more computers get powerful, the more developers come out with CPU-hungry plugins. So, your computer always struggle if you put a buffer at 32 or 64 samples. It's a never ending race.
which means computers are NOT "more than powerful enough now". And may never be. It also depends on what kind of work you are doing. If you use a ton of virtual instruments, for example you could max out your CPU before you ever get to reverbs and EQs.

I don't track with plug-ins because I have hardware for that, but it is handy to be able to use the UAD console app to put reverb in the performer's cans and stuff like that.


Quote:
I have 36 uad plugins and on average, they cost me 52$ with coupons and specials. But if you're not patient, UA will skin you to death!!
yes, you have to be coupon-savvy and sale-savvy.

Or independently wealthy.
Old 2nd July 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post

but if you already have the fastest computer they make, you can still ADD to your plug-in count with DSP hardware.
If you already have "the fastest computer they make" you're wasting your time looking at purchasing UAD products for the DSP. Its like adding a rain drop in the ocean.

If you can already run a billion* instances of your favorite native plugins I see no benefit in adding the capability of running a couple dozen* UAD plugin instances on top of that.


*approximately


Thinking in terms of realistic, practical application here. I have far from "the fastest computer they make," just a 6 year old Mac Pro, running all native and all sessions at 96khz or 48khz when going for film, and I don't have issues keeping up. I have to assume that the average user is doing less intense tasks than that. I'm just guessing that "the fastest computer they make" today has got to run circles around my system, in which case I'm sorta curious what the average purchaser of a UAD product would be doing with their system that makes investing in DSP necessary, unless they are buying seriously crippled single-core (do they even make those anymore?) and dual-core systems and putting a dozen plugins on every insert.
Old 3rd July 2016
  #15
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comfortablynick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KorgAddict View Post
the more computers get powerful, the more developers come out with CPU-hungry plugins.
That may be true to some extent, but some of my favorite developers are coming out with more and more efficient algorithms. For example, some of the best reverbs money can buy (Exponential Audio, Valhalla) only take a few tenths of one percent of CPU on an average-spec machine. I respect the high-quality coding that allows this. Some developers have also talked about how they have to make sacrifices and compromises to fit their algorithms into the DSP architecture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I don't track with plug-ins because I have hardware for that, but it is handy to be able to use the UAD console app to put reverb in the performer's cans and stuff like that.
True, although in my case, I feel that the best reverbs are native. Fortunately with reverb latency isn't really an issue for tracking; I just subtract the latency from the pre-delay I'd be using anyway. That's one effect where an extra few milliseconds doesn't matter, but there are plenty where it does!
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