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Why are UAD Plugins sounding that much better? A serious question Dynamics Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Why are UAD Plugins sounding that much better? A serious question

Hey together,

first of all. I do not want to start a plugin company vs plugin company debate. Though I think it will be impossible with my question.

Is there something like a technical explanation why UA Plugins sound that much better than other plugins?

There are a lot of well reputated other plugin developers. And I tried the plugins from them the last few days. mcdsp, softube, slate, brainworx. I loaded all the demos.

They sound good but somehow at the same time a lot different to what i hear when i do similar things with UA plugins.

For example boosting high frequencies. The UA stuff seems to handle this a lot smoother in most cases.

The compressors seem to provide a much tighter and firm low end. The sound stays somehow musical even at extremer settings.

The thing that most surprised me is the stuff from softube. The Chandler stuff they did for UA does sound really fantastic. But their own plugins seem to be somehow different. And I mean not a same plugin native vs the dsp comparison.

I also tried the reverbs. In this case the differences are the most obvious... The UA Verbs do sound really natural and musical. The other stuff always has some kind of annoying sheen to all.

Most plugins from the other developers have some kind of HIFI thing going on - sorry for the lack of better explanation.


Is there a technical reason for this? Something happening in the sharc processors? some form of upsampling that the other plugins are not able to do?

Thanks
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 
leckel1996's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebowski666 View Post
Hey together,

first of all. I do not want to start a plugin company vs plugin company debate. Though I think it will be impossible with my question.

Is there something like a technical explanation why UA Plugins sound that much better than other plugins?

There are a lot of well reputated other plugin developers. And I tried the plugins from them the last few days. mcdsp, softube, slate, brainworx. I loaded all the demos.

They sound good but somehow at the same time a lot different to what i hear when i do similar things with UA plugins.

For example boosting high frequencies. The UA stuff seems to handle this a lot smoother in most cases.

The compressors seem to provide a much tighter and firm low end. The sound stays somehow musical even at extremer settings.

The thing that most surprised me is the stuff from softube. The Chandler stuff they did for UA does sound really fantastic. But their own plugins seem to be somehow different.

I also tried the reverbs. In this case the differences are the most obvious... The UA Verbs do sound really natural and musical. The other stuff always has some kind of annoying sheen to all.

Most plugins from the other developers have some kind of HIFI thing going on - sorry for the lack of better explanation.


Is there a technical reason for this? Something happening in the sharc processors? some form of upsampling that the other plugins are not able to do?

Thanks
I believe all of their plugins upsample to 192kHz. Beyond that I think it’s their quality of modeling. I also tend to prefer their plugins. The only other tech that competes and sometimes beats UAD is Acustica. They’re my two favorite developers.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
lynngraber's Avatar
There are tiny toobs in the chain, on the input and output of each chip.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
You state your personal opinion as if it were fact. Music, sound, etc, we're talking about art. Art is subjective.
There is no right or wrong, better or worse. There are just different opinions.

J
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 

I had some Uad plugins for a while and used the api2500 on drums all the time. I ended up selling all my uad stuff cause I need some cash. I got the waves api2500 to get me by and couldn't believe how awful it was in comparison. The uad api2500 is miles and miles better in every way. I'm currently looking at getting a quad satellite just for the 2500.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Your ears are lying to you with the softube stuff... the stuff that they and brainwork do for UAD is the exact same as their native versions...

The uad la2a is about the only thing that I use that is really special... special in that it sounds amazing and seems in a totally different universe than the other la2a emulations that I have.

Again, I’m just focusing on the stuff that I use...
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecandy View Post
You state your personal opinion as if it were fact.
indeed there is a built-in assumption to the question. Why are Fords the best cars in the world? How can anyone take such a question seriously?

That being said, I really like the UAD stuff. I am a satisfied customer. I think their plug-ins are great and my guess is that they simply work very hard to make them good, and when they sign up another designer, they have high standards.

But I have never assumed that the hardware acceleration aspect of it is anything more than their "dongle". I know with at least some of their modeling, they do go the extra mile. That is to say, instead of modeling a vintage hardware unit as a "black box" - put this in, out comes that - they model each and every component of the circuit. Resistors, tubes, capacitors, etc. 100 smaller 'black boxes'

I could see how such meticulous modeling could deliver better results.

Nevertheless, I have non-UAD native stuff that sounds just as good. Not just a specific piece here and there but - for example- the entire Soundtoys line. My guess is that if a plug-in sounds good, it's probably because the designers know their stuff. If a plug-in sounds mediocre - it could mean less skill on the part of the coders , or it could even be that attempts were made to lower CPU usage.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecandy View Post
You state your personal opinion as if it were fact. Music, sound, etc, we're talking about art. Art is subjective.
There is no right or wrong, better or worse. There are just different opinions.

J
Thanks for your comment.

Yes sure. It is what I hear. So if you want to call it fact, yes it is - fact for me then.

I know not where i say that it is anything other than my subjective opinion.

I posted my opinion in a thread a GS - it is not the headline of the New York Times...
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Your ears are lying to you with the softube stuff... the stuff that they and brainwork do for UAD is the exact same as their native versions...

The uad la2a is about the only thing that I use that is really special... special in that it sounds amazing and seems in a totally different universe than the other la2a emulations that I have.

Again, I’m just focusing on the stuff that I use...
Thanks,

the other mentioned companies do not offer a LA2A. They all have some kind of opto.

But i found it hard to get a nearly as pleasing sound out of the opto compressors they offer. Though the CL1B Mk 2 from Softube seemed to be good.

And I edited my first post. I do not mean native vs dsp version of the same plugins.

I rather have the impression, that the whole softube bundle is a little more HIFI sounding than the UA stuff. As is the Slate. Like UA always rolls off a little high end..
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
indeed there is a built-in assumption to the question. Why are Fords the best cars in the world? How can anyone take such a question seriously?

That being said, I really like the UAD stuff. I am a satisfied customer. I think their plug-ins are great and my guess is that they simply work very hard to make them good, and when they sign up another designer, they have high standards.

But I have never assumed that the hardware acceleration aspect of it is anything more than their "dongle". I know with at least some of their modeling, they do go the extra mile. That is to say, instead of modeling a vintage hardware unit as a "black box" - put this in, out comes that - they model each and every component of the circuit. Resistors, tubes, capacitors, etc. 100 smaller 'black boxes'

I could see how such meticulous modeling could deliver better results.

Nevertheless, I have non-UAD native stuff that sounds just as good. Not just a specific piece here and there but - for example- the entire Soundtoys line. My guess is that if a plug-in sounds good, it's probably because the designers know their stuff. If a plug-in sounds mediocre - it could mean less skill on the part of the coders , or it could even be that attempts were made to lower CPU usage.
I am glad you found a way to answer to the question. I knew before posting that a lot of people will just pic the few sentences they need to say anything that will not provide anything useful. But I am able to pic the comments out that i like. Very arrogant - i know.

Thanks for your comment. All that you say makes a lot of sense. UA is a big company - I think they have the time and money to dig very deep.

I also agree with soundtoys. Their stuff sounds amazing and is a good thing to take a mix in a creative way to the next level. fantastic tools.



cheers
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynngraber View Post
There are tiny toobs in the chain, on the input and output of each chip.
This one is great.

UA should advertise their satellites exactly like this
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Magnus_N's Avatar
 

I have UAD stuff. It does not sound better than other stuff. UAD is very hyped, perhaps due to the high cost of ownership.

/Magnus
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

I'm in the camp that UAD sounds better too. I have a ton of plugins, and I've yet to find anything with the subtle nuance of UAD. But the price seems to be (other than the premium cost) the hit on the processors. I only have a quad and I have to manage the instances closely.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
manowar84's Avatar
 

I'm a computer engineer and I have a UA Apollo, with of course a lot of UAD Plugins.

They sound good because UA write good algorithms. It is not related to upsampling, it is not related to sharc (super old btw) dsp, they have simply good developers, like many others company. That's it
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
When I first got into UAD-2 I had the same impression. But now I own just as many plugins from Kush, Plugin Alliance, Soundtoys, PSP etc.. that sound just as good. Since I got Kush Novatron and UBK-1 I haven’t really used the UAD LA2A much, and bx_opto also beats it out once in a while. Soundtoys Little Plate, Kush Goldplate and Avid Space have replaced UAD EMT140. But I’d be really sad without the Fairchild 670 legacy, the pultec collection, TLA-100A, Massive Passive, Studio D, Zener Limiter, B15N and the LA3A. Although I can’t fathom why they don’t make an updated LA3A!
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Mho
Lives for gear
 

I agree, why they dont bring the La3a back to 2018?
Old 1 week ago
  #17
It is subjective. While UA definitely do fantastic plugins, there are also a lot of other developers with fantastic plugs.
Since I use an AMD system I cannot use my UAD-2 cards anymore. But I don't miss them, aside from the Harisson EQ.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebowski666 View Post
Hey together,

first of all. I do not want to start a plugin company vs plugin company debate. Though I think it will be impossible with my question.

Is there something like a technical explanation why UA Plugins sound that much better than other plugins?

There are a lot of well reputated other plugin developers. And I tried the plugins from them the last few days. mcdsp, softube, slate, brainworx. I loaded all the demos.

They sound good but somehow at the same time a lot different to what i hear when i do similar things with UA plugins.

For example boosting high frequencies. The UA stuff seems to handle this a lot smoother in most cases.

The compressors seem to provide a much tighter and firm low end. The sound stays somehow musical even at extremer settings.

The thing that most surprised me is the stuff from softube. The Chandler stuff they did for UA does sound really fantastic. But their own plugins seem to be somehow different. And I mean not a same plugin native vs the dsp comparison.

I also tried the reverbs. In this case the differences are the most obvious... The UA Verbs do sound really natural and musical. The other stuff always has some kind of annoying sheen to all.

Most plugins from the other developers have some kind of HIFI thing going on - sorry for the lack of better explanation.


Is there a technical reason for this? Something happening in the sharc processors? some form of upsampling that the other plugins are not able to do?

Thanks
They don't sound better at all, in any way, this is just a nonsense claim, If you like them then great use them, but for you to claim this as fact is actually really ignorant, I see you joined the forum in September, maybe your just very new to all this, if so then its understandable, if not then I don't understand your game.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
cprompt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
I see you joined the forum in September, maybe your just very new to all this, if so then its understandable, if not then I don't understand your game.
And maybe English isn't his first language and some subtle nuances in his statement have been misinterpreted as conceit?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cprompt View Post
And maybe English isn't his first language and some subtle nuances in his statement have been misinterpreted as conceit?
Never used the word conceit or implied it, is this the make stuff up thread?
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manowar84 View Post
It is not related to upsampling,
I think you're wrong here and that upsampling in some form is part of many good DSP algorithms.
Basically anything that does some nonlinear manipulation on the signal will require you to deal with out of band signal components.
And even a simple gain change, when applied fast engough, will generate frequencies up to the samplerate, requiring double the bandwidth to prevent aliasing.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
cprompt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anon View Post
Never used the word conceit or implied it, is this the make stuff up thread?
Yeah.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Some UAD owner: "They sound better because you have to buy the expensive hardware too".
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Tbh...
It's probably because you haven't really compared them in a deep enough scenario where you're putting this bias to the test. Example: UAD Manley Massive Passive/Vari-Mu vs Acustica Audio Magenta collection (their Manley). The difference is instantly noticeable and not small so at that point you have to throw all your bias opinions out the window. Now that doesn't mean that certainuad pluguns don't sound amazing, it just means you have to widen your net to catch bigger fish.
Ultimately if you enjoy them though then may your work be done and sound how you like with them! Be happy
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebowski666 View Post

Is there something like a technical explanation why UA Plugins sound that much better than other plugins?
Sorry, but the question is a non starter. I know you came up with some excuse that it is 'a fact' for you, but in order for someone to answer your question they first have to accept your 'fact'.
You can't prove they sound better than other plug-ins (sweeping statement) and neither can anyone else. It will ALWAYS be an OPINION.

As it is, I'm a fan of UAD and use their plug-ins all the time in my work.
I also use a lot of Fabfilter plug-ins and Ableton Live included, and Native Instruments.......
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebowski666 View Post

Is there a technical reason for this? Something happening in the sharc processors? some form of upsampling that the other plugins are not able to do?

Thanks
According to this video, some native versions null down to -60 dBFs against DSP counterparts.

YouTube

The author asked for an explanation at the end of the video too. Think you are not alone with your findings.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyym View Post
I had some Uad plugins for a while and used the api2500 on drums all the time. I ended up selling all my uad stuff cause I need some cash. I got the waves api2500 to get me by and couldn't believe how awful it was in comparison. The uad api2500 is miles and miles better in every way. I'm currently looking at getting a quad satellite just for the 2500.
Funny thing, I tested them both at the same time, and with small GR, the way I always use, they sounded pretty much the same.

In fact, there is a video on YouTube that compares the two, if you want to check.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
manowar84's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post
I think you're wrong here and that upsampling in some form is part of many good DSP algorithms.
Basically anything that does some nonlinear manipulation on the signal will require you to deal with out of band signal components.
And even a simple gain change, when applied fast engough, will generate frequencies up to the samplerate, requiring double the bandwidth to prevent aliasing.
Of course I'm not saying that the upsampling is useless, I'm just saying that is not the reason why uad plugins sounds good. A lot of very good plugin are considered amazing and they produce a lot of aliasing
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
When I first got into UAD-2 I had the same impression. But now I own just as many plugins from Kush, Plugin Alliance, Soundtoys, PSP etc.. that sound just as good. Since I got Kush Novatron and UBK-1 I haven’t really used the UAD LA2A much, and bx_opto also beats it out once in a while. Soundtoys Little Plate, Kush Goldplate and Avid Space have replaced UAD EMT140. But I’d be really sad without the Fairchild 670 legacy, the pultec collection, TLA-100A, Massive Passive, Studio D, Zener Limiter, B15N and the LA3A. Although I can’t fathom why they don’t make an updated LA3A!

Wow thanks, i forgot completely about kush. the last time I tried it there were some problems with reloading sessions if i used his plugins. But this was a long time ago. it made me somehow never look back.

I will not comment on posts regarding if i claim something as fact or not.

I do not know anybody personally here. But some comments make it look like some guys here are as old as i am in the business. (boys and girls you have to be at least around 12 years old…)

But thanks a lot for the good comments.

The topic is somehow provocative - i know.
Nevertheless some people seem to manage it to give good advice.


Thanks for that. I give the Kush stuff a shot. I would be very happy to find plugins that can compete with UA and give me similar results.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Your ears are lying to you with the softube stuff... the stuff that they and brainwork do for UAD is the exact same as their native versions...

The uad la2a is about the only thing that I use that is really special... special in that it sounds amazing and seems in a totally different universe than the other la2a emulations that I have.

Again, I’m just focusing on the stuff that I use...
I agree. It’s a really great plug!
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