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UAD Vs Waves Reverb & Delay Plugins
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

UAD Vs Waves

I know this will probably come down to preference, and those with only one will most likely swear by whichever one they have.

But has anyone had the chance to really put these against eachother ?

Everything has its pro's & Con's, does one really stand out, If you had to go one way or the other, which would you choose ?

Or even better if someone with both would be willing to do a couple tests and post the results so we can put opinion against results...
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
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do a search. this has been discussed to death on gs for years. The UA fans will say UA, the Waves fans will say Waves. It's a matter of taste and each will provide the proper tools to get the job done. I have both and use both for different things. Look inside any thread on a UA product or a waves product and it starts up like a Mac/PC debate all the time. heh
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work2do View Post
do a search. this has been discussed to death on gs for years. The UA fans will say UA, the Waves fans will say Waves. It's a matter of taste and each will provide the proper tools to get the job done. I have both and use both for different things. Look inside any thread on a UA product or a waves product and it starts up like a Mac/PC debate all the time. heh
yea I thought as much.. It would be interesting to get some audio and battle it out that way tho lol
I would but don't have both to do the comparisons.
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
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quadrafunk's Avatar
 

I have and like them both. I've had Waves a lot longer but UAD fits in nice.

On the UAD front I have 2 solos. I purchased my 2nd one in July and to my surprise it was included in the recent voucher/coupon deal. I got the Massive Passive absolutely free!! heh

On the Waves side I have the Platinum bundle, V-Series, Kramer HLS + Pie, Masters bundle, SSL 4000 collection, JJP Pultecs, H-Comp/Delay, CLA comps, Kramer Tape, and GTR3.

My two AUD solos are always on tape duty with Studer plug. That maxes out the cards so Waves pulls the rest of the weight for comps, eq's, verb, and delay.

The only plugs I've been able to really compare head to head are the UAD 1176LN/SE to the CLA Black/Blue and the UAD Pultec to the JJP Pultec. They don't sound the same nor should they.

One set doesn't sound better than other to me. I'm glad they don't sound the same. You hear the hardware guys talk all the time about having so many great OTB choices. We can have something similar ITB.

If the Kramer Tape plug doesn't work for me on the 2 Buss (still trying to get it to work) I may pull the trigger on the UAD Ampex. I'm demoing it and have realized I can use it on the 2 Buss and pull the Studers off the individual tracks. That will free up the cards to run more of the other AU plugs.

It's a great time for ITB.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
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Marando's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by serious View Post
I know this will probably come down to preference, and those with only one will most likely swear by whichever one they have.

But has anyone had the chance to really put these against eachother ?
[..]
Yes, I have done a lot of testing between a lot of the Waves plugins and UAD plugins. My short conclusion: A lot of the plugins from both developers are fantastic!

Long conclusion, if anyone is interested:
If I had to mix and master a song with only Waves plugins, I would have no problem doing that. It's only in the reverb department that I might be not that happy, but for anything else, I'm happy.

If I had to mix and master a song with only UAD plugins, I would have no problem doing that, but I think I would want to use more power than a single UAD-2 Quad could deliver. So... give me two UAD-2 Quad cards and you are my best friend!

I went with the Waves route, because I saved a lot of money for not having to buy the UAD-2 hardware, and the plugins from Uaudio are also pretty expensive, while everything from Waves lately is extremely cheap!
Old 7th February 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I think the main reason UAD plugins are more expensive (an average plug in price) is because they have to pay a percentage of sales to manufacturers of original gear that they emulated, whereas Waves went a different route of mostly renaming their emulations and not having to pay licensing fees. So it is straight away a psychological matter, a person looking at a UAD plug in and seeing a word Fairchild will be biased towards UAD opposed to Wave's Puigchild. Does it make UAD emulation better? Secondly, this matter of sophisticated algos used in UAD emulations vs not so sophisticated emulations by Waves. Is that actually factual or again do people simply assume that is the case because UAD plug ins have to run on external 'dongles'. No doubt UAD plug ins sound amazing, but that's not to say that Wave's plug ins are no match IMHO. If anything I would say Waves has some really good and some mediocre plug ins, whereas UAD seems to have mostly really good ones. Again IMHO.
Old 7th February 2012
  #7
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The reason that they both sell is because they both sound good. Pick one.
Old 7th February 2012
  #8
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bugscoe's Avatar
 

I have both but just added the UAD Quad this past Dec. I'm not sure which is better but I know I generally prefer the UAD. However it's nice to have both products available.
Old 7th February 2012
  #9
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T_R_S's Avatar
I have 4 UAD Satellites and Mercury - So I am speaking from that perspective
UAD has plug-ins that are not found anywhere ( we are talking plugins here)
The best are Fatso, Massive Passive, ATR, EMT 140, Studer.
These 5 plugs are the main reason why I bought into UAD
UAD Satellite has lots of latency so you can't use them if you want to mix and track at the same time - severe disadvantage.
UAD Satellite uses FIrewire audio so with lots of plugins it uses CPU cycles from your Native processing another drag.
UAD Satellite purchases buy one plug-in it authorizes all 4 on my UAD Satellite's - nice!
Waves Mercury lots of plugins and nice ones' Multiband limiters and comps C6 L3 MB low latency Plug-ins lets hope they go AAX DSP.
Waves I seem to get a new plug-in every 3 months or so - I like that.
Lots of cools unique plugins as well native ones are CPU friendly.
Old 7th February 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Rowlands View Post
I think the main reason UAD plugins are more expensive (an average plug in price) is because they have to pay a percentage of sales to manufacturers of original gear that they emulated, whereas Waves went a different route of mostly renaming their emulations and not having to pay licensing fees. So it is straight away a psychological matter, a person looking at a UAD plug in and seeing a word Fairchild will be biased towards UAD opposed to Wave's Puigchild. Does it make UAD emulation better? Secondly, this matter of sophisticated algos used in UAD emulations vs not so sophisticated emulations by Waves. Is that actually factual or again do people simply assume that is the case because UAD plug ins have to run on external 'dongles'. No doubt UAD plug ins sound amazing, but that's not to say that Wave's plug ins are no match IMHO. If anything I would say Waves has some really good and some mediocre plug ins, whereas UAD seems to have mostly really good ones. Again IMHO.

/\ This is a great post

What you are describing is the Plugcebo effect.

The effect of having name realistic and photo realistic GUIs of all the emulations, so instead of the kids saying "I'm using a CLA76" they can say "I'm using a Universal audio 1176", "I'm tracking to a studer A-800" etc. This has been the key to the success of the UAD cards and they know it.. its the reason they have gone out of their way to rebrand several plugins such as the 4K and the 160VU after release.

I have been a UAD user since they were sold by Mackie.... do I think they still have a sonic advantage ..... NO!
Old 7th February 2012
  #11
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bugscoe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
So I am speaking from that perspective
UAD has plug-ins that are not found anywhere ( we are talking plugins here)
The best are Fatso, Massive Passive, ATR, EMT 140, Studer.
These 5 plugs are the main reason why I bought into UAD
This was pretty much the reason I bought in as well. I wasn't looking to duplicate my Waves plugs. I have the hardware Fatso and have always loved that thing and really wanted the plug version.

The plugs I used the most from Waves were the SSL channels strips. I then bought the Duende channel strips which blew away the Waves in my opinion.

However, I still strap the Waves on at times.
Old 7th February 2012
  #12
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The newer offerings from Waves may be able to compete with some of the older UAD plugins but these are in an exclusive class

UAD ATR-102
UAD Manley Massive Passive
UAD EL Labs Fatso
UAD Lexicon 224
UAD EMT 250 Electronic Reverb
UAD EMT 140 Plate
UAD Echoplex
UAD Roland FX
UAD SSL 4000 Channelstrip
UAD 33609
UAD dbx160
UAD Helios Type 69
Old 7th February 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 

with the UAD remember you have to buy a very expensive dongle DSP before using any UAD plugin,

when UAD-2 lack of power with the next new marvellous and better sounding plugins, they certainly ask you to pay another 1500 usd bill to buy the new underpowered dsp UAD-3 dongle,

with waves v9 you will no more need to support dongle and price drop are constant,

and it cost you only 200 or 250 usd in WUP to download the new update with all the new plugins,

I never own mercury bundle and i'm a long time UAD user, loved it , still love the UAD plugins, but the bill is too hot and the only thing UA did since 2008 is to raise the prices of their plugins and keep the price of their dongle high.

and there are many other companies like softtube or brainworx who do great plugins too.

UA just believe they can sell plugins like they sell hardware racks, it's true at the moment until people realise the absurdity of this situation and wake up.
Old 7th February 2012
  #14
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Tube World's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
The newer offerings from Waves may be able to compete with some of the older UAD plugins but these are in an exclusive class

UAD ATR-102
UAD Manley Massive Passive
UAD EL Labs Fatso
UAD Lexicon 224
UAD EMT 250 Electronic Reverb
UAD EMT 140 Plate
UAD Echoplex
UAD Roland FX
UAD SSL 4000 Channelstrip
UAD 33609
UAD dbx160
UAD Helios Type 69
True on these except for the SSL. Waves has a pretty good SSL channel strip; actually two. I think it's the E that has harder sound, while the G channel strip is closer to UA, and has a smoother sound. Waves also has

1. Krammer Master Tape
2. Pie Compressor
3. API bundle
4. Tony Mas bundle.
5. Chris Lord bundle
6. Eddie Kramer bundle
7. Ren bundle
8. Better sounding 1176, and LA2-A over UAD.

To me it's not do you use Waves or UAD, it's which UAD and Waves do you want to use together on a song, and there is no right or wrong answer. They are just tools to help you get your mix to sound the way you and your client want it. Personally after watching George Massenburg's videos, I think it can get to a point that we have too many options on plug ins. Work with some clean and colored Eq's and comps, and leave it at that. If I was forced to only use Neve-ish, SSL, and one other group of plug ins, it should really be all you need. Having so many options and then keep buying more and more......our favorite records from the 60's - 90's, were never done this way and everyone is trying to emulate the great sound of those records. I agree we have to move forward in music, but getting lost in 20+ EQ's, and 20+ comp plug ins gets a little overdone
Old 7th February 2012
  #15
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LeMauce's Avatar
I prefer UAD over Waves for all the FX duties:
- UAD lexicon 224
- UAD EMT 140
- UAD Roland Dimension D
- UAD Echoplex
- UAD RE-20

These "emulations" can't not be found @ waves. The knobs/layout and sound are the same. So if you know how to work with them, UAD is great.
For all the other duties I prefer Waves (EQ, Gates, Comps).
Old 10th February 2012
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Ok guys, check this plate plugin by Sknote Verbtone. Sounds real nice IMHO. http://www.sknote.it/Verbtone.htm
Old 10th February 2012
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMauce View Post
I prefer UAD over Waves for all the FX duties:
- UAD lexicon 224
- UAD EMT 140
- UAD Roland Dimension D
- UAD Echoplex
- UAD RE-20

These "emulations" can't not be found @ waves. The knobs/layout and sound are the same. So if you know how to work with them, UAD is great.
For all the other duties I prefer Waves (EQ, Gates, Comps).
Agreed. Alot of people only look as the UAD as and EQ and Compressor platform, but the other plugins are what really matters most.

The claim that the waves 1176 is better than than the 10 year old UAD 1176 still remains to be seen.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
1. Krammer Master Tape
Sounds like poo...seems good at first, then you use your ears and realise it's just a toy. Useless IMO.
Quote:
2. Pie Compressor
Good. Though strongly coloured, so limited usefulness...
Quote:
3. API bundle
Good, definitely, 2500 probably one of the best of all the Waves emulations...still not quite the real thing, but neither is UAD.
Quote:
4. Tony Mas bundle.
Meh. Toys.
Quote:
5. Chris Lord bundle
Too coloured, all sound the same...strange graininess to them all.
Quote:
6. Eddie Kramer bundle
Meh. Toys.
Quote:
7. Ren bundle
Every professional studio has these...I'm so sure if they're really all that much better than most DAW-bundled plugs though.
Quote:
8. Better sounding 1176, and LA2-A over UAD.
No way. The waves 1176/LA2A sound very grainy, they damage the sound. UAD ones are more transparent...
Old 3rd March 2012
  #19
39940
Guest
+1 on getting free plugins every few months from waves on mercury.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #20
Gear Addict
 

UAD

I think UADs sound thicker. The Neves are gigantic sounding. I think a bit better than waves. But there is apparently more going on in the algorithms too requiring their own dedicated DSP cards. Waves is good too but you can basically think of them as more stripped down versions of trying to do the same thing.

To make this judgment, I monitored on ported Roland DS-7s - which from 250hz and up - i find to sound as accurate and as smooth as Dynaudio BM6As i compared them to .... (on DS7s, because of the port design - bass content below 200hz is not as tight as the Dynaudios, but the cloth based dome tweeter and mid driver on the DS7-s are still nevertheless very amazing of a reference).
Old 3rd March 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
 

As for beliefs that do not find emulations to sound like the originals. Those differences are not quality related. The only difference from the UAD models compared to the originals people are comparing to is that the age of the components and conditions those reference machines weathered - would cause them to sound different than the exact machines UADs replicate the sound of. But whatever the values were of the machines UAD has replicated - those values were replicated exact.
Old 8th January 2016
  #22
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lawrence_o's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Rowlands View Post
I think the main reason UAD plugins are more expensive (an average plug in price) is because they have to pay a percentage of sales to manufacturers of original gear that they emulated, whereas Waves went a different route of mostly renaming their emulations and not having to pay licensing fees. So it is straight away a psychological matter, a person looking at a UAD plug in and seeing a word Fairchild will be biased towards UAD opposed to Wave's Puigchild. Does it make UAD emulation better? Secondly, this matter of sophisticated algos used in UAD emulations vs not so sophisticated emulations by Waves. Is that actually factual or again do people simply assume that is the case because UAD plug ins have to run on external 'dongles'. No doubt UAD plug ins sound amazing, but that's not to say that Wave's plug ins are no match IMHO. If anything I would say Waves has some really good and some mediocre plug ins, whereas UAD seems to have mostly really good ones. Again IMHO.
Old thread but I had to respond.
The main difference is that Waves use a global sound emulation. They try to analyse the original and then try to make their plug sound the same.

UAD however model each component of the original gear individually which is why they usually have better results closer to the original and naturally this takes much longer to develop, hence the price, hence the DSP usage.

Waves has recently started doing the same now that computers become more and more powerful.

My XP is that when bottom end needs to be tight, UAD is way better. Waves always seem to mud up things however they do work on many sounds so....
Old 24th August 2016
  #23
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I have used both Waves and UAD plugins, along with hardware equivalents ( specifically an LA-2A and an ssl compressor)... not surprisingly, the hardware sounds warmer than the plugins. If I were to choose a plugin version, I'd go to the waves, if I run a spectrum analyser on some processed audio, the spectrum is closer to the analogue version with the waves plugins in both the 2A and SSL cases. Ultimately, you have to choose for yourself, but I hope this has helped.

I know it's brief but I just wanted to get to the point.
Old 29th August 2016
  #24
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dougb415's Avatar
If I'm throwing together something quick, I'm inclined to use Waves. When I do more in-depth / serious work, it's UAD.
Old 29th August 2016
  #25
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lawrence_o's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminB View Post
I have used both Waves and UAD plugins, along with hardware equivalents ( specifically an LA-2A and an ssl compressor)... not surprisingly, the hardware sounds warmer than the plugins. If I were to choose a plugin version, I'd go to the waves, if I run a spectrum analyser on some processed audio, the spectrum is closer to the analogue version with the waves plugins in both the 2A and SSL cases. Ultimately, you have to choose for yourself, but I hope this has helped.

I know it's brief but I just wanted to get to the point.
I have owned a true SSL 4000 and 6000 for years. I remember having compared the Waves SSL with the desk. The waves plugs seemed to be able to boost/cut more dB than the real SSL but soundwise, the waves did somehow emulate the SSL but it wasn't the same. When I now do an A/B of the Waves SSL vs the UAD SSL, I must say the UAD comes a lot closer to the real SSL.

Not only that, but when I compare the waves plug ins, I have the impression they always flatten the sound somehow. I do not have this with UAD. But I think if you'd ask a million people you'd get a million different opinions. These things are so relative and it seems every man's brain interprets sound so differently. In the end there is no more good or bad. It's just all different I guess :-)
Old 29th August 2016
  #26
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MusiKLover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrence_o View Post
I have owned a true SSL 4000 and 6000 for years. I remember having compared the Waves SSL with the desk. The waves plugs seemed to be able to boost/cut more dB than the real SSL but soundwise, the waves did somehow emulate the SSL but it wasn't the same. When I now do an A/B of the Waves SSL vs the UAD SSL, I must say the UAD comes a lot closer to the real SSL.

Not only that, but when I compare the waves plug ins, I have the impression they always flatten the sound somehow. I do not have this with UAD. But I think if you'd ask a million people you'd get a million different opinions. These things are so relative and it seems every man's brain interprets sound so differently. In the end there is no more good or bad. It's just all different I guess :-)
I'm so not the big SSL fan, but sounds good!

Give me The Neve 88RS, or better the new VOXBOX, Manley Producers / Engineers have used the latter on the 2-Bus with good results (pre-UAD, the HW.) You gain the Opto in lieu of VCA + Dynamic EQ (De Esser.)

However, this is good feedback, though I don't do Waves (even with the R-Verb giveaway last year I never activated due to PITA factor.)
Old 29th August 2016
  #27
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lawrence_o's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiKLover View Post
I'm so not the big SSL fan, but sounds good!

Give me The Neve 88RS, or better the new VOXBOX, Manley Producers / Engineers have used the latter on the 2-Bus with good results (pre-UAD, the HW.) You gain the Opto in lieu of VCA + Dynamic EQ (De Esser.)

However, this is good feedback, though I don't do Waves (even with the R-Verb giveaway last year I never activated due to PITA factor.)
Hi,

Well of course nothing beats the true analogue Neve. A friend of mine has a real RS. I love the console. It does get hot though but sounds so sweet.

I used to hate in the box sound. But after a 7 years break, I restarted my musical activities. I obtained Pro Tools HDX (which I will most likely sell again). I also got UAD Octo. My opinion is that Pro Tools does not have anything that rivals UAD soundwise. Also, since 99% of the plug ins I use do no longer support Avid DSP platform I see no reason to keep the Pro Tools System: I also have Logic Pro which can do the same thing and more.

Must say I am happy now with in the box mixes. I think they can now rival out of the box mixes despite the fact that outboard still sounds better especially tube stuff which is hard to emulate. But in the end mix, these minor details are often buried in the mix anyway and with the use of tape plug-ins, you can get really close, allbeit after hard work.

But you do save a lot of money and space and also on your electricity bill :-)

Last edited by lawrence_o; 30th August 2016 at 09:18 AM..
Old 29th August 2016
  #28
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Let's not forget, that if you were really zealous about your Waves you could always grab a DigiGrid to load all your plugins into, in much the way the UAD products work.

Plugin Alliance have now got a few plugins on to the Grid platform as well as Flux. Would love to see more 3rd party support. I'm sure it's on it's way though.

In terms of UAD vs Waves, I agree it's been done to death. But I also agree both are just as capable.
Old 29th August 2016
  #29
Here for the gear
 

I would not be without some Waves plug ins (Stereo Imager, Center, Rcomp), but UAD provides me with the bread and butter plugs. I compared Waves 1176, LA2a and Fairchild to UAD back in the day and the results back then were obvious. Now with the MK2 plug in's, it's not even a debate.
Old 30th August 2016
  #30
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lawrence_o's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.billington View Post
Let's not forget, that if you were really zealous about your Waves you could always grab a DigiGrid to load all your plugins into, in much the way the UAD products work.

Plugin Alliance have now got a few plugins on to the Grid platform as well as Flux. Would love to see more 3rd party support. I'm sure it's on it's way though.

In terms of UAD vs Waves, I agree it's been done to death. But I also agree both are just as capable.
I know about the Grid and even considered it for a while. But then again, I see no reason for my kind of applications as it costs more than a decent PC which offers the same power or more. Plus, a PC can be upgraded during the years. The total cost will be less I think. Honestly, I think Avid will find it more and more difficult to keep selling DSP boards. Computers are getting extremely powerful, operating systems get faster and more stable, and plug-in vendors are dropping support for the avid DSP platform all the time. As said, my Pro Tools HDX board is being used as sound card, nothing more. Tried some plug-ins but when comparing this with UAD or even the standard Logic Pro plug-ins, Pro Tools does not sound better for such an expensive system. My number one choice, soundwise is UAD. Also, Logic Pro had a 32 bit floating point mixer for years when Avid was still suffering with a fixed point mixer. I always felt mixing with Logic yielded better results but I must say, this was nothing more than a feeling. I never did any real AB testing.

I like waves for certain things and I do use them. But if it concerns a plug-in that also exists on UAD platform, like the API, SSL or Neve stuff, I notice that UAD always sounds fatter, warmer, more true. Waves tend to give me that typical in-the-box digital sound which I always used to hate. I do not have that with UAD. And I always used to think UAD was just a second rated brand. I was truly biased and prejudiced about them without even knowing them. I already purchased everything from Waves. Then I went listening to Youtube Demo's and I was like: crap! So I got an Octo board and never looked back. If I had to start all over again, I'd go for UAD.
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