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UAD Satellite Octo - how many plugins can it run?
Old 30th July 2020
  #1
UAD Satellite Octo - how many plugins can it run?

I would be very grateful for your expertise and knowledge.

From the UA website, I understand that the LA-2A (stereo) plugin uses 21% DSP of a single Sharc processor. Does that mean that a Satellite Octo can run about 32 LA-2A inserts - and nothing else - before it is maxed out?

Many thanks

Reub
Old 30th July 2020
  #3
Hi There.

Yep, that’s where I got the ~20% figure from. My question is; is it 21.1% (for an LA-2A) per insert? If that’s true, it means the Satellite Octo maxes out at about 32 LA-2A inserts and nothing else. That doesn’t seem much fire power to me.

Many thanks

Reub
Old 30th July 2020
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
I would be very grateful for your expertise and knowledge.

From the UA website, I understand that the LA-2A (stereo) plugin uses 21% DSP of a single Sharc processor. Does that mean that a Satellite Octo can run about 32 LA-2A inserts - and nothing else - before it is maxed out?

Many thanks

Reub
Yes you will get 32 stereo instances of a V2 LA-2A at 44 or 48Khz sample rate on an Octo.
Old 30th July 2020
  #5
Thank you very much.

That strikes me a rather limiting.

Maybe I’ll look at the Slate alternatives.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks

Reub
Old 30th July 2020
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Hi There.

Yep, that’s where I got the ~20% figure from. My question is; is it 21.1% (for an LA-2A) per insert? If that’s true, it means the Satellite Octo maxes out at about 32 LA-2A inserts and nothing else. That doesn’t seem much fire power to me.

Many thanks

Reub
Sorry, I *assumed* that you had just run across a random comment in a forum there, and didn't have the perspective of the entire suite being documented.

I have a UAD-2 Duo, and supplement/substitute other with native plugins compressors all the time.
Old 30th July 2020
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Thank you very much.

That strikes me a rather limiting.

Maybe I’ll look at the Slate alternatives.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks

Reub
I guess 10-15 years ago running 32 quality plugins was a big deal - not any more!
Old 30th July 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
Sorry, I *assumed* that you had just run across a random comment in a forum there, and didn't have the perspective of the entire suite being documented.

I have a UAD-2 Duo, and supplement/substitute other with native plugins compressors all the time.
Thank you for your response. I need to think this through. Is it worth the cost of a Satellite Octo for limited scope with UA plugins or go for Slate (or other) for unlimited use? Difficult. I agree, you can mix and match the UA plugins with others.

Thanks very much for your help.

Cheers

Reub
Old 30th July 2020
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
I guess 10-15 years ago running 32 quality plugins was a big deal - not any more!
Yep. 32 plugins would be gobbled up pretty quickly on my mixes. Also, £1000+ for a Satellite Octo is quite a lot of money which could be otherwise deployed.

Need to think....

Many thanks
Old 31st July 2020
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Do you really need to run 32 LA2As on one song?
Old 31st July 2020
  #11
Hi There.

Many thanks for your response.

To be honest, the answer is 'No'. However, I could imagine running, say 8 LA-2As and 8 1176s and that's nearly half the fire power gone. An SSL channel strip will take up 70% of another Sharc.

Maybe I'm overthinking it but it looks like it wouldn't be difficult to run out of DSP on a moderatly dense mix.

What do you think?

Thanks again.

Cheers
Old 31st July 2020
  #12
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Maybe I'm overthinking it but it looks like it wouldn't be difficult to run out of DSP on a moderatly dense mix.
one solution is to get a powerful computer which runs the DAW and the native plugs, then add the Octo for extra power.

i have a 12 core Mac Pro and run Cubase 10 as my preferred DAW.

the Cubase Included plugs cover the basics. actually pretty good.

to that i added most everything in waves, (at $29 why not) and all that runs on the Mac CPU.

then i added an Octo UAD and various expensive UAD plugs that seemed needed, like ATR-102, Studer A800, Lexicon 480L, Neve this and that, SSL channel strips, Oxford Limiter etc etc.

the UAD software is expensive, and the Sharks eventually run out, so i try and do native for most things and UAD for the sparkly stuff.

Buddha
Old 1st August 2020
  #13
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Hi There.

Maybe I'm overthinking it but it looks like it wouldn't be difficult to run out of DSP on a moderatly dense mix.

What do you think?
What is your typical mix scenario? Genre? "Moderately dense mix?" How many tracks with how many total VSTs? And naturally, I'll assume you take full advantage of group tracks and EFX sends so you aren't redundant or wasting DSP. If you only use inserts, you will go down fast. Most importantly, what are your other 3rd party plugs you use other than UAD? And are you using your stock DAW plugs?

I have an Octo. Most of my pop projects are 80-150 tracks. That doesn't say much if I just use one 1-shot on a track and nothing else. I use a combination of UAD, Waves, SoundToys, and a host of other 3rd party VSTs...and a lot of the specialized tool such as the unique LeapWing Stage One.

I use Ocean Way and Capital Chambers, but usually as a group channel. Sometimes I think if I should create an additional EFX send for a certain track or send it to something that already exists that manifests my audio objectives. So some conservation in my mind always exists. But with the above tools, I don't feel very constrained. Cubase offers freeze function so maybe other DAWs offer the same? I have never used freeze because there has never been a need for it.
Old 1st August 2020
  #14
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Hi There.

Many thanks for your response.

To be honest, the answer is 'No'. However, I could imagine running, say 8 LA-2As and 8 1176s and that's nearly half the fire power gone. An SSL channel strip will take up 70% of another Sharc.

Maybe I'm overthinking it but it looks like it wouldn't be difficult to run out of DSP on a moderatly dense mix.

What do you think?

Thanks again.

Cheers
You’re overthinking it

The thing about the UAD is that it still does stuff native doesn’t do... So, even if you get it just to take advantage of the UAD stuff that hasn’t been ported to native, it’d be worth it to me

I have an octo and a quad card. I never come close to maxing either of them out... but I can’t recall ever using 8 la2a’s on anything ever lol

There’s no reason you can’t use UAD AND slate or PA, et al together... I prefer the ssl in PA... the slate distressor and 1176’s I can pretty much dial in to sound like the uad models (at least the d and rev a)
Old 1st August 2020
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
What is your typical mix scenario? Genre? "Moderately dense mix?" How many tracks with how many total VSTs? And naturally, I'll assume you take full advantage of group tracks and EFX sends so you aren't redundant or wasting DSP. If you only use inserts, you will go down fast. Most importantly, what are your other 3rd party plugs you use other than UAD? And are you using your stock DAW plugs?

I have an Octo. Most of my pop projects are 80-150 tracks. That doesn't say much if I just use one 1-shot on a track and nothing else. I use a combination of UAD, Waves, SoundToys, and a host of other 3rd party VSTs...and a lot of the specialized tool such as the unique LeapWing Stage One.

I use Ocean Way and Capital Chambers, but usually as a group channel. Sometimes I think if I should create an additional EFX send for a certain track or send it to something that already exists that manifests my audio objectives. So some conservation in my mind always exists. But with the above tools, I don't feel very constrained. Cubase offers freeze function so maybe other DAWs offer the same? I have never used freeze because there has never been a need for it.
Hi There,

Thank you for your reply. This is a nice opportunity to see what people think about the way I set up my mixes. I am a relative novice to this so any comments would be appreciated.

The genre is pop or sometime rock-pop. Mixing in Cubase Pro 10. To give an example, the mix I'm currently working on has:

Bass: 2 tracks plus 5 FX tracks

Guitars: Arpeg Gts 2 tracks -> 1 sub
Strum Gts 4 tracks -> 1 sub
Fills Gts 4 tracks -> 1 sub
Lead Gts 4 tracks -> 1 sub
Oct down Gt 2 tracks -> 1 sub
FX 5 tracks (delays, reverbs etc)

Lead Vocals: 2 tracks
FX 5 tracks

Backing Vocals: 8 tracks -> 1 sub
FX 5 tracks

Drums: 8 Tracks plus4 trigger tracks -> 1 sub
FX 2 tracks

Percusssion: 4 tracks -> 1 sub

Keyboards: 3 tracks -> 1 sub

Samples: 2 tracks

Parallel Comp: 2 tracks

ALL OF THE ABOVE -> 7 Mix tracks -> Stereo Mix

Most of these tracks will have 1-3 inserts (Slate Virtual Console plus SSL channel strip).
Some of the tracks (vocal subs, gt subs etc) will have a chain of serial light compression, EQ, DS etc.
Many of the FX tracks are running intermittently (different delays, reverbs etc).
Some tracks will have more fancy stuff e.g. soothe2 on the vocals.
Occasional tracks (v few) will have a multiband.

The above adds up to 102 tracks.

The inserts are a combination of stock Cubase, Waves, Fabfilter, Soundtoys, Ozone and a few Slate plus autotune (chews up CPU so I tend to render) and Soothe (heavy on CPU).

I'm running a fairly powerful computer (home built by my son) wit the CPU running at 75% on the above mix.

Many thanks for any comments.

All the best
Old 1st August 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
You’re overthinking it

The thing about the UAD is that it still does stuff native doesn’t do... So, even if you get it just to take advantage of the UAD stuff that hasn’t been ported to native, it’d be worth it to me

I have an octo and a quad card. I never come close to maxing either of them out... but I can’t recall ever using 8 la2a’s on anything ever lol

There’s no reason you can’t use UAD AND slate or PA, et al together... I prefer the ssl in PA... the slate distressor and 1176’s I can pretty much dial in to sound like the uad models (at least the d and rev a)

Many thanks. That's very helpful.

All the best
Old 1st August 2020
  #17
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You can also just freeze and bounce tracks. It gets me to commit more while mixing.
Old 1st August 2020
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McCabe View Post
You can also just freeze and bounce tracks. It gets me to commit more while mixing.

Hi. I think that's a very good point. It might well speed my workflow as well by making me commit to a sound earlier on. I sometimes take many weeks to get a mix together which seems a bit ridiculous.

Cheers

Reub
Old 1st August 2020
  #19
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Hi There,

Thank you for your reply. This is a nice opportunity to see what people think about the way I set up my mixes. I am a relative novice to this so any comments would be appreciated.

The genre is pop or sometime rock-pop. Mixing in Cubase Pro 10. To give an example, the mix I'm currently working on has:

Bass: 2 tracks plus 5 FX tracks

Guitars: Arpeg Gts 2 tracks -> 1 sub
Strum Gts 4 tracks -> 1 sub
Fills Gts 4 tracks -> 1 sub
Lead Gts 4 tracks -> 1 sub
Oct down Gt 2 tracks -> 1 sub
FX 5 tracks (delays, reverbs etc)

Lead Vocals: 2 tracks
FX 5 tracks

Backing Vocals: 8 tracks -> 1 sub
FX 5 tracks

Drums: 8 Tracks plus4 trigger tracks -> 1 sub
FX 2 tracks

Percusssion: 4 tracks -> 1 sub

Keyboards: 3 tracks -> 1 sub

Samples: 2 tracks

Parallel Comp: 2 tracks

ALL OF THE ABOVE -> 7 Mix tracks -> Stereo Mix

Most of these tracks will have 1-3 inserts (Slate Virtual Console plus SSL channel strip).
Some of the tracks (vocal subs, gt subs etc) will have a chain of serial light compression, EQ, DS etc.
Many of the FX tracks are running intermittently (different delays, reverbs etc).
Some tracks will have more fancy stuff e.g. soothe2 on the vocals.
Occasional tracks (v few) will have a multiband.

The above adds up to 102 tracks.

The inserts are a combination of stock Cubase, Waves, Fabfilter, Soundtoys, Ozone and a few Slate plus autotune (chews up CPU so I tend to render) and Soothe (heavy on CPU).

I'm running a fairly powerful computer (home built by my son) wit the CPU running at 75% on the above mix.

Many thanks for any comments.

All the best
This looks typical, at least for myself mixing pop.

So where do you believe you would or could use 7 instances of LA2A? I'm assuming not in the above example? For myself, LA2A often works nice with piano or acoustical guitar. I don't think you are slapping it on by default considering the huge assortment of other compression plugs.

I'm not sure I can answer your question. I have an Octo and a Duo, and have never run out. I use a lot of 1176's. Very few Capital Chambers/Ocean Way. the Studer has a feature to insert once and then process on all/many channels. I guess as long as you are properly using groups/sends and you still use up all the UAD DSP, I guess you would need more than what I have. Maybe 2 Octos?
Old 1st August 2020
  #20
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by reubenayres View Post
Yep. 32 plugins would be gobbled up pretty quickly on my mixes. Also, £1000+ for a Satellite Octo is quite a lot of money which could be otherwise deployed.

Need to think....

Many thanks
I use an Octo daily.
When I first started mixing [seriously] years ago, I would strap so many plugs across my mixes that I was always falling over on dsp. The worst part was the mixes still sounded terrible, primarily because I was over treating and not effectively bussing to manage my groups.
My outcome was I now have heaps of dsp headroom and my mixes sound pretty good. I can't say they all sound amazing cause I'm too self deprecating to stuff my own head up my arse. But most of em have been very well received and thats what matters more than my own thoughts about my work.
Some mixes I just want back to do again even if the client loved it

£1k is a ton of cash but I would drop that in a New York minute on an Octo knowing what I now know.
The sceptics and cynics and those with no UAD experience moaning from the cheap seats don't phase me, let them whinge about dongles and sharcs and silly stuff they make up to convince themselves they aren't missing anything by bagging on UAD.
Some people will always place their appreciation for cash over their music and their work.
It's a big boys and girls purchase that does what it says on the tin and does it brilliantly. If, on the odd occasion I need more power across the mix, you can set the dsp up to only process the part of the plug that's in use. I don't do this often because somewhere I convinced myself I need the headroom of every plugin to be available and ready to use, even if that isn't true.
I use probably less than 5 different plugins on a mix these days, most will be UAD and now that I know how to balance the dsp as well as I can balance music, its cruisy as working with UAD. For individual tracks needing heavy processing, I'll bounce it down once it's treated and free up that dsp and keep moving towards the finish line.

I think if your'e in it to win it and you are convinced that the UAD sound is the sound for you, whatever limits might be cause for concern are most likely something you'd sort out as the Octo slipstreams into your work. I believe strongly that you will find managing an Octo isn't as hard or limiting as it might seem now.
Just my opinion. I don't use Slate or Waves, I have in the past, great plugins but they are both companies I prefer to avoid for reasons having nothing to do with sound.

Old 2nd August 2020
  #21
Gear Addict
There's a lot on UAD that can't be done elsewhere. Ocean Way, Capitol Chambers, Avalon 737, ATR-102, 480(effects algorithm in particular), 1176, Distressor, Precision Delay, Helios, etc. You can run their best stuff on aux tracks and still have enough DSP left to run many things as track inserts. Even with a cheap Ryzen processor like the 1700, you'll have enough power to run a lot of native for tracks. Stuff like PA, Overloud, Cranesong, LSR, Waves, you just have to manage your resources. And I'm doing this at 96k.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #22
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by viciousbliss View Post
There's a lot on UAD that can't be done elsewhere. Ocean Way, Capitol Chambers, Avalon 737, ATR-102, 480(effects algorithm in particular), 1176, Distressor, Precision Delay, Helios, etc. You can run their best stuff on aux tracks and still have enough DSP left to run many things as track inserts. Even with a cheap Ryzen processor like the 1700, you'll have enough power to run a lot of native for tracks. Stuff like PA, Overloud, Cranesong, LSR, Waves, you just have to manage your resources. And I'm doing this at 96k.
I should have mentioned this as well, I work at 88, occasionally 96.

No issue managing UAD resources at that rate.
Overloud definitely plays a role in my world, fantastic sounding plugs with no descernible cpu hit to fret.
Too many Waves plugs running alongside other natives is mess waiting to happen, imo. Some of their most awesome plugs are crippled by their buggy inefficiency, which is exasperated in big sessions. Suppose that depends on the computer but I'm running purpose built custom audio computer with 128gb ram, and still some Waves plugs will cause nothing but grief when used in combination with other natives. By contrast, whether on my laptop or my desktop, the UAD stuff reliably does it's thing without so much as hiccup. But UAD is not immune to bugs and fixes, its more rare with them and they can seem very slow to fix bugs but most UAD bugs have to do with the gui, not the sound of the plug but still annoying.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
This looks typical, at least for myself mixing pop.

So where do you believe you would or could use 7 instances of LA2A? I'm assuming not in the above example? For myself, LA2A often works nice with piano or acoustical guitar. I don't think you are slapping it on by default considering the huge assortment of other compression plugs.

I'm not sure I can answer your question. I have an Octo and a Duo, and have never run out. I use a lot of 1176's. Very few Capital Chambers/Ocean Way. the Studer has a feature to insert once and then process on all/many channels. I guess as long as you are properly using groups/sends and you still use up all the UAD DSP, I guess you would need more than what I have. Maybe 2 Octos?

Well, looking at this particular mix, many tracks have multiple (gentle) compression plugins on them - typlically an 1176 near the top to take off the peaks - then perhaps some EQ, DSing and an LA-2A towards the end for levelling.

More specifically, the rhythm guitars (some strummed, some apreggiated, some licks etc) all have an LA-2A on them. The Lead Vocal tracks and lead guitar each have an LA-2A and the keyboards likewise. Also, the guitar and vocal subs.

Maybe that's a bit extravagant and I guess they wouldn't all have to be UA LA-2As anyway.

Two OCTOs - now that also seems a bit extravagent.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
I should have mentioned this as well, I work at 88, occasionally 96.

No issue managing UAD resources at that rate.
Overloud definitely plays a role in my world, fantastic sounding plugs with no descernible cpu hit to fret.
Too many Waves plugs running alongside other natives is mess waiting to happen, imo. Some of their most awesome plugs are crippled by their buggy inefficiency, which is exasperated in big sessions. Suppose that depends on the computer but I'm running purpose built custom audio computer with 128gb ram, and still some Waves plugs will cause nothing but grief when used in combination with other natives. By contrast, whether on my laptop or my desktop, the UAD stuff reliably does it's thing without so much as hiccup. But UAD is not immune to bugs and fixes, its more rare with them and they can seem very slow to fix bugs but most UAD bugs have to do with the gui, not the sound of the plug but still annoying.

Thank you very much indeed for your detailed and considered reply. I fully take on board your thoughtful comments. I need to think this through.

Much appreciated.

Best wishes
Old 2nd August 2020
  #25
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
I used to have a duo, quad and octo satellites for 14 total cores. I sold the duo and quad years ago and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve run out of DSP on my octo. I almost exclusively work at 96khz these days and run mixes with high track counts. 99% of the few times I run out it’s because I’m running 1x Ocean Way Studios, 1x Capital Chambers plus a bunch of other plugins. I also use lots of non UAD plugins - Soundtoys, Kush Audio, Waves, Plugin Alliance, Avid, PSP, Relab, etc...
Old 2nd August 2020
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I used to have a duo, quad and octo satellites for 14 total cores. I sold the duo and quad years ago and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve run out of DSP on my octo. I almost exclusively work at 96khz these days and run mixes with high track counts. 99% of the few times I run out it’s because I’m running 1x Ocean Way Studios, 1x Capital Chambers plus a bunch of other plugins. I also use lots of non UAD plugins - Soundtoys, Kush Audio, Waves, Plugin Alliance, Avid, PSP, Relab, etc...
That very helpful.

Many thanks for your help.

Cheers
Old 2nd August 2020
  #27
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T_R_S's Avatar
You cn run an infinite number of plugins just freeze the plugins as needed. There I zero difference in a frozen vs an unfrozen plugin as they will null.
Old 9th August 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
You cn run an infinite number of plugins just freeze the plugins as needed. There I zero difference in a frozen vs an unfrozen plugin as they will null.
Yes, I take your point.

Thank you very much for your reply.
Old 15th August 2020
  #29
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
You cn run an infinite number of plugins just freeze the plugins as needed. There I zero difference in a frozen vs an unfrozen plugin as they will null.
thanks TRS.

i have frozen tracks from the DAW tracks many times, but i did not realise you can freeze UAD processing.

i will look into that.

Buddha
Old 15th August 2020
  #30
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uad makes outstanding emulations. so its not just how many you can run, it is how good are they. you also get a type of guaranteed performance. you know plugging the box in that you get 32 effects without taxing your cpu.

try to flip the script. rather than thinking "i'm going to run out of uad effects". think of it this way: "my computer is running out of dsp... thankfully i have another 32 high quality effects courtesy of the uad device. otherwise my mix would have crashed my computer." so the uad box can save a dense mix from overloading the cpu. think of it as extending the dsp range of your computer... a type of insurance policy against your computer maxing out its system resources.
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