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UAD or not?
Old 17th February 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

UAD or not?

Hey there!
I wanted to get your opinion on my situation and what to do / buy.
I am mixing with Ableton on a Macbook Pro from 2015. Mainly acoustic funk/jazz/pop music with the standard instruments like drums, keys, bass, occasional synthesizers. Rarely more than 16 tracks. So far I thought I was quite happy with my Focusrite Clarett, Ableton's stock plugins and I never really paid attention to what's going on with third party plugins. Like, for the last 10 years or so
But I am increasingly unhappy with my mixes. Obviously not because my mixing skills got worse, more like other mixes sound so much better (maybe) because anyone else was not living on the moon by ignoring third-party plugins. So I re-discovered opening up Pandora's Box of trying plugins again and, wow, obviously things have changed. I tried channel strips from Waves, Brainworx, EQ's, compressors etc and I immediately felt that my recordings benefit from them a lot! I don't even have time to catch up with all the things to try in the 7 or 14 days you mostly have. So here's the thing. Obviously my path ultimately led me to the UAD Universe and their plugins (which I obviously can't try) that almost everyone praises. So I considered buying a Thunderbolt Satellite which I could get for 550€ to be able to get the Analog Classics. Now my question is: does it make sense? I mean I read tons of reviews, watched hours of youtube videos and mostly it sounded great but of course especially here a lot of people say, it's basically a big dongle that gets increasingly useless since CPU's of laptops get increasingly powerful and in fact I was also considering upgrading to a newer Macbook model, also for other reasons (video editing etc.) So again, I have 550,- to spend, would I be better off buying selected plugins from Waves, Brainworx and everything or with the UAD? Mainly I could use a good channel strip with some nice saturation, a good EQ, Compressor and a good Limiter. Like the basics! So please, tell me your opinion and thanks for reading that whole stuff!
Old 17th February 2020
  #2
Gear Nut
 

That satellite deal only comes with 2 compressors and a reverb. Seems like the money would be better spent on buying other plugins direct. They all basically have sales every so often so you can save a bunch that way if you’re patient. Follow the r/AudioProductionDeals subreddit. There’s also quite a few very good ones that aren’t trying to directly emulate an analog device, Wavesfactory Spectre, Tokyo Dawn stuff, and Oeksound to name a few. Lastly, if you’re willing to switch DAWs the included Logic stock plugins are quite good and worth the price alone.

PS, just remembered I saw this in on sale as an example. https://www.noiseash.com/rule-tec-heritage-pro/

Last edited by MrKahuna; 17th February 2020 at 03:03 AM.. Reason: PS
Old 17th February 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKahuna View Post
That satellite deal only comes with 2 compressors and a reverb. Seems like the money would be better spent on buying other plugins direct. They all basically have sales every so often so you can save a bunch that way if you’re patient. Follow the r/AudioProductionDeals subreddit. There’s also quite a few very good ones that aren’t trying to directly emulate an analog device, Wavesfactory Spectre, Tokyo Dawn stuff, and Oeksound to name a few. Lastly, if you’re willing to switch DAWs the included Logic stock plugins are quite good and worth the price alone.

PS, just remembered I saw this in on sale as an example. https://www.noiseash.com/rule-tec-heritage-pro/
Thanks for your reply and especially for the subreddit tip. However I was not referring to the official deal, I just could get a (new and unopened) Satellite from a private deal from someone that got it from last year's promotion. So I would get the Analog Classics plugins, no?
Old 17th February 2020
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Not sure to be honest. This years deal requires that you register by March 31 so it depends on what the original owner did I suppose. Plus, how many were included in last years promo, just 3 like this year?
Old 17th February 2020
  #5
Gear Addict
 
SV7107's Avatar
UAD Analog classics are outdated and the legacy versions of those plugins. Far better ones available on UAD or natively.

I think to get the most out of UAD, you need to sink a fair amount of money into their ecosystem. Newer plugins extremely powerful, and resource hungry meaning if you want to run more at once you'll need more and more chips. Also their plugins make your renders / bounces much slower.
You can of course freeze tracks or render and re-import but sometimes that can be a mood killer.

For surgical and precise, check out Fabfilter's proQ3, and perhaps their limiter too.

For mojo, and lots of it try Kush Audio. They have 30% off today, and subscription model too.

For delay, Valhalla Delay. Its extremely good. Many people also love their reverb's, but I had to sell their Vintage Verb, I just couldn't gel with it.
They make high quality stuff at reasonable prices though so worth checking out.
Old 17th February 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Soothe as mentioned before and the PA subscription makes more sense in your shoes I think. Especially with the 250€ voucher which comes now with the yearly plan.
Old 17th February 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
For better surgical, demo UADs Massenburgs MDWEQ with isopeak. I use Fabfilter for general EQ, but always look to MDWEQ for high Qs and it's very transparent.

If you want Capiral Chambers or Ocean Way, you need UAD. There are no substitutes unless you consider a preset as a substitute.

You dont buy UAD for its processing. At least I dont. You buy UAD for excellent support, and generally the best emulations of classic gear.

Its relatively expensive, but not as much as people proclaim if you do your buying in bundles at black friday. These days I use Waves only to supplement UAD and all of SoundToys.
Old 17th February 2020
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all your responses so far. I checked with UA and the Analog Classics would definitely be included since they’re tied to the Satellite and it has not been registered.
I think in the end it comes down to the question what sound I‘m looking for. I’m definitely looking for the best sounding warm analog sound I get get from plugins, but not necessarily an authentic reproduction of this compressor or that EQ.
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