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UAD-1 @ 96k
Old 19th August 2005
  #1
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UAD-1 @ 96k

I Just bought a UAD-1 card. Im still learning the plugins, they all sound good to me but so far im not totally blown away like i thought id be. Anyway i record at 24bit 96k and i can only get like 4 maybe 5 plugins running at a time if im using the LA2A, 1176LN, or Realverb. I understand i can get more cards but still even 4 cards wouldn't equal crazy amounts of plugins. I run a 3.4ghz processor and usually about 24 tracks and i can easily due tons of waves plugins with a few drumagog plugs and have no problems. First off if i record at 48k will i see a big increase in plugin usage from the UAD-1? And do you guys feel the quality loss at 48k is worth it to use more of the plugs? It just seems a little unfair to me to spend 2-3 grand on 4 cards to get the processing power i need to run 16-20 plugins which still isn't that many. Also i don't want to freeze tracks and what not, i built a killer computer so i wouldnt have to worry about CPU power, and UAD seems like it's forcing you to conserve by not letting my CPU take some of the burden off the UAD-1.
Old 19th August 2005
  #2
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warhead's Avatar
 

I track and mix at 44.1/24 and get way more instances of plugs than that, so yes you will realize probably a double amount of power at 48k.

Keep in mind if you do add more cards, keep buying the entry level $399 ones because they will run all of the plugs on the Ultra Pak or whatever the highest level of card is that you own.

War
Old 19th August 2005
  #3
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cdog's Avatar
Running the UAD plug ins above 48k you are definitely going to make some concessions in terms of how many instances you can use at once.

I think the compressors (1176, Fairchild, LA2A) are the best part of the deal, so maybe just use those on tracks you want at the front of the mix, and use waves for EQ and reverb (Q clone and IR-1 are nice).

I'm a 44.1 guy.... I don't feel the higher sample rates equate to quality.... 192khz doesn't sound 4x better than 48, it just sounds slightly different. Quality in a recording comes from a number of things, sample rate is pretty far down the list in my experience (although I do believe in upsampling for certain types of DSP - which the UAD1 does nicely - check out the Precision EQ).

Old 20th August 2005
  #4
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Yeah, I'm with you. I would much rather have native versions of the UAD plugins. My computer smokes those stupid cards.
Old 20th August 2005
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
Yeah, I'm with you. I would much rather have native versions of the UAD plugins. My computer smokes those stupid cards.
And have them pirated by every wannabe who thinks software is a right?
Old 20th August 2005
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fraz
And have them pirated by every wannabe who thinks software is a right?
...

Can't bootleg UAD cards...

P&R
Old 20th August 2005
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
...

Can't bootleg UAD cards...

P&R
Hmmm....I suppose you meant...non-card powered...eh?

Agreed.

Besides UAD plugins wouldn't sound the same without the card...

P&R,
Old 20th August 2005
  #8
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
Besides UAD plugins wouldn't sound the same without the card...


that's hilarious! i can see it now, debates about how "hot" to run the signal into the uad insert, because you DO NOT want to overload the analog circuitry on the card. tutt


gregoire
del ubik
Old 20th August 2005
  #9
Gear Addict
 

They don't need to make native versions. Make it where you still need the card to activate but if you exceed 100% then the computers CPU takes over. Besides pirating is not that bad for a company. For example years back I had a cracked Cubase VST for a month or so, since then i've bought legally every version of SX because it's what i know. People who pirate software most likely wouldnt buy it anyway, and anyone truly serious doesn't want to deal with unstable pirated versions.
Old 20th August 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
...

Can't bootleg UAD cards...

P&R
I was referring to making them native, that is, allowing them to run without the card. Isn't that what was meant?
Old 20th August 2005
  #11
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
They don't need to make native versions. Make it where you still need the card to activate but if you exceed 100% then the computers CPU takes over. Besides pirating is not that bad for a company. For example years back I had a cracked Cubase VST for a month or so, since then i've bought legally every version of SX because it's what i know. People who pirate software most likely wouldnt buy it anyway, and anyone truly serious doesn't want to deal with unstable pirated versions.
Wow. Are you serious?

First off, if a UAD-1 card could hand a plug off to the native CPU when it runs out of processing power, it would become a native plug, hence a second set of code would be required for each plug in, hence it would be cracked and pirated.

And if you really believe software piracy is "not that bad" for a company, you didn't spend much time on the cubase.net forms before they started requiring USB keys for account registration. The support problems for Steinberg from cracked install users were overwhelming. Pirate users drain company resources at the expense of paying customers. Yamaha's involvement and the requirement of properly registered users will only help the product long term.

Piracy is outright theft. A car dealer won't hand over the keys to a new car if you can't afford to buy it, so you shouldn't be using software if you can't buy it. If the UAD-1 didn't have a hardware component, the platform would be dead by now on account of piracy. Anyhow, the UAD-1 is a great value at $399.

FYI, this chart will show you how many plugs you can expect to run at 44.1KHz:
http://uaudio.com/support/software/UAD-1/charts.html

-Synth80s
Old 20th August 2005
  #12
Gear Addict
 

A very dramatic post. This topic wasnt meant to get into piracy but now that it is i think you're missing my point. To say that UAD would be dead if it allowed a users CPU to handle some of the load is crazy!!! Waves is pirated, Cubase is pirated and trust me those companies are doing fine. Actually there 2 of the biggest audio software companies in the world. Cubase SX 3 is fully cracked right now, even after there claim that it couldnt be and i bet you it still sells like crazy. All i know is im losing performance because a company is scared of piracy. If UAD was as popular of a company as Steinberg and Waves there plugins would be cracked no problem, these guys who crack this software can crack anything theres a demand for. Cubase needs a dongle but all the versions are cracked, just because theres a card is not stopping these plugs from being cracked. If i spend $1200 on an Ultra Pak i expect to run more the 5 plugins, and not have to say "well let me knock down my sample rate to 44.1 so i can get a little more juice."
Old 20th August 2005
  #13
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
A very dramatic post. This topic wasnt meant to get into piracy but now that it is i think you're missing my point. To say that UAD would be dead if it allowed a users CPU to handle some of the load is crazy!!! Waves is pirated, Cubase is pirated and trust me those companies are doing fine. Actually there 2 of the biggest audio software companies in the world. Cubase SX 3 is fully cracked right now, even after there claim that it couldnt be and i bet you it still sells like crazy. All i know is im losing performance because a company is scared of piracy. If UAD was as popular of a company as Steinberg and Waves there plugins would be cracked no problem, these guys who crack this software can crack anything theres a demand for. Cubase needs a dongle but all the versions are cracked, just because theres a card is not stopping these plugs from being cracked. If i spend $1200 on an Ultra Pak i expect to run more the 5 plugins, and not have to say "well let me knock down my sample rate to 44.1 so i can get a little more juice."
Sorry, but you're missing some important facts. Steinberg was in financial trouble a few years back. They were *not* a big company at all. They were dwarfed by Digidesign, Sonic Foundry and others. Steinberg was purchased by Pinnacle because they needed an infusion of cash to continue to develop products in a highly competitive marketplace. There was a big shake-up afoot in the audio world that continues today. EMagic was purchased by Apple, Sonic Foundry was purchased by Sony, M-Audio was purchased by Avid/Digi. Pinnacle did a poor job managing the Steinberg line and, after ~3 years of ownership, Cubase was sold to Yamaha late last year. If Yamaha and their stable, deep pockets hadn't come along, Steinberg probably would not have made it. Yamaha is a huge company -- Steinberg, on their own, was not at all.

With regards to Waves, have you priced out their plug-ins lately? Companies who have HUGE margins like Waves can more readily afford to thwart piracy because professionals purchase their product at enormous prices. At $399 including a DSP card and several plug-ins, it's clear that UA doesn't have the margins to withstand an assault of piracy.

Also, please don't forget that the UA doesn't use HW on account of piracy alone. The UAD-1 was originally devised several years ago to add dedicated DSP-based computing power to native CPUs that couldn't run the complex models of UA's plug ins. Of course native CPUs have gotten faster and SMP is more prevalent today, but UA has an investment (already paid for) in their combined HW/SW platform. It makes no economic sense for them to convert it to native at this point, especially since there are so many native competitors already (URS, etc.).

Lastly, there is a big difference between a cracked copy protection scheme and "cracking" code not compiled for a platform. If the UAD-1 card only acted as a dongle, sure it could probably be cracked. The point is, the UAD-1 plugs are compiled to only run on the UAD-1 hardware. Tehy don;t run on an Intel or AMD CPU. It's not like UA can just flip a switch and "voila" they're native. To crack the UAD-1 would require the actual plug-in code to be reverse engineered and recompiled. Why would anyone bother when you can crack native plugs instead?

UA is not screwing you at all. If you bought the UAD-1 platform hoping to run UAD-1 plugs on your native CPU, I don't know what to tell you. Did you do any research to see how plugs you could run before buying the product? UA's support is great -- a quick phone call could have answered all your questions. For another $399, you could double the power of your UAD-1 system and another $399 triples it -- that's a good deal when you look at Waves' pricing. And you still have all of your native CPU to run other plugs. What's not to like?

-Synth80s
Old 20th August 2005
  #14
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I remember some guy from UA claimed that you could only run something like 4 or 6 of their plugins on a mac G5, cause their so dsp intensive. Don't know if this is bs or not.

Anyway, it would be nice if the user could choose to run plugins natively or on the card, much like the waves apa box.
Old 20th August 2005
  #15
Gear Addict
 

UAD does offer a good product, but lets face it it's a different world then it was even 2 years ago. Yes UAD-1 cards arent that expensive, but my point is even if i bought 3 more, making it 4 cards the most i can run on one system... its still not that much power. It's not about money its about power and efficiency. I want to run an 1176 on most of my tracks. I want some reverbs, i want a pultec on every channel that needs some EQ, and i want to record at 24/96. And where technology is at i should be able to that. I tell you if you UAD said theyre coming out with a card for $3000 dollars that holds an INTEL P4 3.8ghz processor and just runs UAD plugs, im there. I just hate being in a creative enviroment and seeing that performance meter hitting 100% when everything sounds so good and i still have the vocals to compress.
Old 20th August 2005
  #16
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Gerax's Avatar
 

I don't know what software and system you are using the UADs on, but I recentely worked on a friend's P4 3.5 GHz with 3 UAD cards and Pro Tools LE, and the amount of power I had at my disposal was huge; by using native plugs (Focusrite, Waves, BF...) and UAD plugs I had a 32 tracks session @24/48 loaded with plug ins, and they were mostly UAD, lots of Channel strips (about one on each track), gate and comps from Nigel, 2x1176, one Fairchild across the drums bus, LA2A on vocals, two instances of Realverb and Pultec on the Mix buss...and I was about 70% of the DSP usage meter, while that on the the native CPU was at 15%...how much power do you really need to have a good sounding mix done? I'm adding that since I don't like reverb plug ins I use outboard reverbs when working in my studio, so the 2 instances of realverb could be well used by many other less DSP hungry plugs...I don't know the way you guys work, but to me it really felt like I had ah HD1 under the hood...and it felt good heh

L.G.
Old 20th August 2005
  #17
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

As ha been mentioned, the UAD plugins are so CPU intensive, they could not easily run natively and still have the same quality. To say that your CPU "smokes" the UAD-1 card is not relavent.

I have 3 UAD-1 cards (and a Powercore) on a P4 3 GHz machine, and I run the UAD-1 cards into the 80-90% all the time at 88.2K, and my system CPU is quite often in the same range. Heck, at 88.2, my Waves IR-1 takes 30% of my CPU on LOW CPU mode!!! Now way I would ever part with the DSP cards...ever!
Old 20th August 2005
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
I just hate being in a creative enviroment and seeing that performance meter hitting 100% when everything sounds so good and i still have the vocals to compress.
lmao....that happens to me to at 96K also, I have AMD 64 3400+. So what I do is make the beat happening first do my usual adjustment for where I'd think the vocal would sit. bounce to disk. Disable all the plug-ins on the beat. Play bounce back version with untreated vox and treat the vox. When your done enable all the plugins on the beat as well and bounce to disk. Its a PITA but it is a work around I found.
Old 20th August 2005
  #19
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Synth80s's Avatar
The real issue isn't that UAD-1 plugs don't run natively on Intel and AMD -- the issue is that UA needs to update their product by adding more DSP to their cards or by upgrading the DSP chip. There was a rumour floating around a year ago that UA had a firewire based system with more DSP, but it never materialized.

From what I understand, the DSP chip UA uses is extremely efficient at audio/video DSP tasks (I believe it is really a video DSP chip) but the chip architecture has not really progressed since the late '90s. For years, other companies just stuffed more and faster Motorola 56xxx chips into their DSP designs, but eventually the chip architecture will limit progress.

I still don't believe that UAD-1 plugs would run in higher numbers on an Intel/AMD chip unless they were rewritten from the ground up and heavily optimized, and even then, it's not clear. This would also be quite expensive (and risky) for UA. People get caught up in clock rate and other specs and assume that raw CPU power equates to specific advantages, but it doesn't work that way. The x86 platform is a generalist platform -- a well designed ASIC that specializes in one set of tasks will vastly outperform any generalist processor at that task. Imagine trying to run Doom 3 without a recent nVidia or ATI video card -- even if you had dual Opterons, it would not be playable. A single P4 2.0 with a recent video card would cream it.

It's the same thing for audio DSP. With the new Waves HW and v2 TC Electroncis DSP platform now out, a "UAD-2" or something else has to be in the works, but I would bet it won't be native.

-Synth80s
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