First of all, let me introduce myself - I am a musicproducer and an studio engineer. I'm only 22 and have been making music for about 7 years now.
I studied musicproduction and music engineering for 3 years and consider myself more of a musicproducer than an engineer. But I am reading and learning about mixing music everyday because I want my productions to sound as good as they can!
Well enough of that - let's talk about the UAD Precision Maximizer!
First of all - I love it. Hands down, it's great! And here is why:
Great sound, works on mostly everything!
Easy to use.
No computer cpu consumption (like with all the UAD plug-ins)
We'll start talking about how it sounds, what's it's character - It has many! With the shape knob you can alter it's character, what it is giving to the sound. this is dependent for every sound, so give it a turn and see for yourself. Also, with the input, you can increase the "drive". The louder the signal, the harder the maximizer will work.
Also, if you like the character, but think it's a bit to much, try turning down the mix knob a bit. That way, you can get a polished sound but with some edge!
Another great feature (especially for house drums!) is the limit function. Enable it, then start palying with shape, input and mix. It's quite easy to get a club feel, and make the kick fat and boomy.
As you might have noticed, i'm not talking about this as a mastering plug-in, but more of a compressor-type-thingy. It's becuase, drive the Precision Maximizer a bit harder, and it's great for your single sounds. use it subtle, and it's great for mastering as well.
For example, say you want more clarity and a bit more punch in the vocal - load up the Precision Maximizer. thanks to there are so few controls, you will get what you are looking for quite fast!
That's the only downfall of this plug-in - it sounds so good, that i would like to have more options! It would for example be nice to choose between more bands instead of just 1 or 3. maybe add a 7, and an eleven as well?
And also, another mode for the shape. Cause on some bas-sounds, the shape doesn't work so well, and it would be great to try another shape in that case!
Well, overall - I'm so glad you can't crack UAD plug-ins, cause these guys deserve every penny. You won't be disapointed by this, it really sounds great!
I had Sonnox’s Oxford Inflator before buying this plugin for my UAD-2 Solo/Laptop card – it was a great tool for “inflating” my mixes, especially when I wanted to get my music out there quickly without getting tracks professionally mastered. This plugin provides a similar effect but of much better quality and bringing, of course, that special analog warmth that UAD manage to somehow capture so well in their digital products.
The Precision Maximizer takes audio and, without reducing its dynamic range, increases the overall apparent loudness – something that is (sometimes unfortunately) needed in today’s competitive online music environment. To be honest, I don’t really know what’s going on when I use the Precision plugin, but twisting the “Shape” dial seems to beef up and sweeten my tracks a great deal. From what I’ve read it’s something to do with tube saturation emulation and harmonic manipulation, combined with a limiter if needed. The Mix dial means you can combine the processed signal with the original dry signal.
All in all this plugin is very easy to use – and probably easy to overuse. I’m still not really sure whether I should put it on my master chain before bouncing mixes I intend to have professionally mastered, but it’s great to have the ability to have loud rough mixes to share with people before doing all of that.
When I bought my UAD-2 card, I was making electronic music only. Due to the loudness war and the struggle to match my songs to the industry songs I had to use a maximizer.
Back then when I did my A/B to other vst’s the maximizer had won no competition.
But, since then something has changed. Now with the age of tape/console emulations you can easily make your sounds bigger without using maximizer. I agree that maximizer give you different flavor to your sounds, more digitally, but I prefer using the studer, fatso etc.
I think that in the early days of digitally producing, when only few could go out of the box and use a real tape, the maximizer was needed.
Now, for the vst itself. A very easy to use plug-in, nice two flavors for maximizing. Useful Shape and Mix buttons.
One thing that’s missing is the ability to create unique sounds when the buttons are at 100%. Most of UAD plugins, can create cool sounds and FX when use it aggressively. This vst doesn’t. when using 100% mix and/or shape you just get this awfully digitally sound that you don’t want to use.
To sum it up, when it came out it was necessary, now with the new UAD vsts, you can mix without it.