UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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HanafiH
KVRian
1294 posts since 6 Mar, 2001 from London, UK

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:36 am

jochicago wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:26 pm
When it comes to the plugins nobody here can OBJECTIVELY make the case that the UAD 1176 or 1073 or their digital channel strip sound clearly superior to any of the other dozen plugin makers that have comparable products. You might personally prefer a sound, just like I might personally prefer another.
No, you can objectively make that case where the 1176 is concerned. Universal Records created Universal Records Electronic Instruments (UREI inventor of the 1176). UREI created Teletronix maker of the LA2A. And so to today where Universal Audio, maker of UAD is also the manufacturer of the descendant 1176 compressor. They make it. They own it, and nobody in the industry knows more about these units than Universal Audio.

"UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly"

You can't answer the question unless you define how much money you make from audio. If you ain't making any, it ain't worth it.

Ploki
KVRAF
1788 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:55 am

HanafiH wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:36 am
No, you can objectively make that case where the 1176 is concerned. Universal Records created Universal Records Electronic Instruments (UREI inventor of the 1176). UREI created Teletronix maker of the LA2A. And so to today where Universal Audio, maker of UAD is also the manufacturer of the descendant 1176 compressor. They make it. They own it, and nobody in the industry knows more about these units than Universal Audio.
that's a piss poor case. :)
Reverse engineering 1176 is not rocket science at all.
The only objectivity in this case is how it measures (measures, not by ear..) against a hardware unit.
Having owned an analog design doesn't make you an expert DSP programmer.

it's a great case when original is a digital hardware unit tho. (granting you have access to the original code)

jochicago
KVRian
812 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:58 am

HanafiH wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:36 am
No, you can objectively make that case where the 1176 is concerned.
You are saying that there's a lineage of the plugin makers being affiliated to the brand. I'm not sure how you can connect that with better sound. Just because they own/license the brand does not guarantee their DSP engineers were able to come up with a plugin that sounds better than anything else. I'm not sure why you think that's objective evidence. All that proves is that they have an expectation to do a good job, not that they actually nailed it.

And even if they did a good job modeling the plugin, you are saying you are OBJECTIVELY convinced this particular modeling is better than EVERY modeling out there, like everyone else is not working with 1176 units to test against, and the complete circuit specs. Dude that's bananas. UAD has no inside knowledge beyond what other devs have access to. It's a simple "my DSP engineer vs your DSP engineer" situation. You think UAD code/design is objectively better than all the other plugin makers? Come on. Plenty of plugin makers have phenomenal engineers.

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HanafiH
KVRian
1294 posts since 6 Mar, 2001 from London, UK

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:09 am

Ploki wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:55 am

that's a piss poor case. :)
Reverse engineering 1176 is not rocket science at all.
The only objectivity in this case is how it measures (measures, not by ear..) against a hardware unit.
Having owned an analog design doesn't make you an expert DSP programmer.

it's a great case when original is a digital hardware unit tho. (granting you have access to the original code)
That's a piss poor argument playing both ends against the middle, by saying you don't need to be expert in order to make it good. Why are talking about 1176s? Because absolutely everybody uses them. Could it be because they're good? If so, why?

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HanafiH
KVRian
1294 posts since 6 Mar, 2001 from London, UK

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:16 am

jochicago wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:58 am
HanafiH wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:36 am
No, you can objectively make that case where the 1176 is concerned.
You are saying that there's a lineage of the plugin makers being affiliated to the brand.

...

And even if they did a good job modeling the plugin, you are saying you are OBJECTIVELY convinced this particular modeling is better than EVERY modeling out there
First point, no it's not a lineage of connection, it's the sons of the guy who invented it. It's a lineage of commitment to hi fidelity audio that Universal Audio have an uncontested claim to make. They shaped audio today. They invented the layout of the modern console. They invented inline EQ. It goes on and on. It's a company that shaped the very DNA inherited by DAWs today. So you can't dismiss their expertise with an airy wave of the hand.

As to objkectivity... Nobody sinks money into Pro Tools because they think it’s got such a groovy feature set. Pro Tools rules the roost because if you’re sinking $25m into an Ed Sheeran record you want absolutely to know that you’re going to get a product. That’s what Pro Tools does. It has bazillions of money-making recordings out there; it has bazillions of trade respect experts available and it’s installed everywhere in the world. That’s why recording belongs to Pro Tools. As a DAW it’s rather banal.

It’s the same with UAD. The big bucks engineers know 1176. They know these ancient outboards. UA gives them those bloaty tools in the box for a fraction of the cost. For the home producer, you can do it for legally free very nearly, once you pony up for a copy of Reaper you can Freeware your way to great good music. UAD seems like the north face of the Eiger in cash terms.

It all depends where you stand. And they are very lovely plugs. So’s a lot of other stuff. Try Airwindows. Try Acustica if you just have the cash enough for their constant sales. There’s lots of choices. Don’t worry. Be happy.

Ploki
KVRAF
1788 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:00 am

HanafiH wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:09 am
Ploki wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:55 am

that's a piss poor case. :)
Reverse engineering 1176 is not rocket science at all.
The only objectivity in this case is how it measures (measures, not by ear..) against a hardware unit.
Having owned an analog design doesn't make you an expert DSP programmer.

it's a great case when original is a digital hardware unit tho. (granting you have access to the original code)
That's a piss poor argument playing both ends against the middle, by saying you don't need to be expert in order to make it good. Why are talking about 1176s? Because absolutely everybody uses them. Could it be because they're good? If so, why?
That doesn’t say anything about the capacity of UADs DSP engineers.
U-he made a prophet V emu that’s so accurate people who own repros can’t single them out in a blind test, and they didn’t invent it.
I’m not diminishing UA’s legacy nor arguing that their 1176’s aren’t good - I’m merely arguing that your reasoning why they are is fundamentally flawed.

As far as protools and million dollar records go: Billie Eilish was done in Logic ;)

jochicago
KVRian
812 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:37 am

Ploki wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:00 am
As far as protools and million dollar records go: Billie Eilish was done in Logic ;)
Her first single was recorded using a $100 AT2020 in an untreated bedroom. She would sit on the bed and sing into the mic as her brother fiddled on the laptop. They went around the house recording cool sounds using their phone's onboard mic.

5 Grammys.

---

I would happily contest the whole "UAD invented this or that" but there's no point, because none of that means anything. Tech moves fast. An analog emulation that was made 10 years ago can no longer compete with an analog emulation made last year. It's a clean slate, any argument about decades of pedigree in music tools is just borrowing talking points from the marketing brochure.

When you talk plugins it is simple: can this DSP code team deliver? Can they do better than any of the other dozens of DSP teams making amazing plugins? Why are you convinced UAD does it better, because uncle Tom was around in the 70s? How would that have anything do to with the quality of the code they are planning to release this year? Is uncle Tom going to help them optimize the code and bring down the CPU requirements?

Nothing about their history (illustrious or not) gives them any type of edge when it comes to making plugins. It only sounds nice on the brochure, which seems a lot of people on this forum consume in large servings. By that logic Waves got into the plugin game many years before UAD did, maybe that means UAD is garbage compared to Waves then. Perhaps UAD is the "cheap Casio keyboard" compared to the illustrious pedigree of Waves.

Again, these are not valid arguments. If you want to say you have an OBJECTIVE point to make, you'll need some sort of way to measure the quality of the plugins if you intend to say that UAD's stuff is better than anything. "Uncle Tom was around in the 70s" is not a valid argument for plugins made now, any more than "Waves has been writing code since 1992" is a valid argument to say that their plugins are necessarily better either.

thagreatbelow
KVRist
80 posts since 19 Oct, 2008

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:51 am

I may be a little bit late to this train, but thought it would be worth adding in my 2 cents. For a time I worked for somebody who had money for a very nice home studio, and he had a rack of several 500 series hardware units, and UAD. One day we decided to do a shootout and tested 3 versions against each other on specifically the API 560 EQ. We had 1) Waves emulation 2) UAD emulation and 3) The real thing.
The real thing sounded the best, and the UAD was a close 2nd, and the waves came in 3rd. This is probably a surprise to nobody, but you really do get what you pay for.

That being said, if you know what you're doing with the waves emulation I'm sure you can do just fine.

Id also like to add on that I personally find UAD plugins to be INCREDIBLY annoying, and I've taken to calling them "UAIDS" as once you have those plugins in your session, your session becomes infected in the sense that if you try to pull up a session without the hardware plugged in, you get a million "plugin not found" errors that will drive you insane.

jochicago
KVRian
812 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:50 pm

For consideration as well,
we see so often when people do a shootout, if they can see the brand of the plugin they automatically identify the UAD plugins as "richer, more 3d". But when it's an organized test and the same people have to listen to the tracks without knowing which tracks is UAD or Waves (or other), suddenly the word "3d" disappears from the conversation and people have a really hard time explaining what they are hearing and identifying a "better" tool.

People tend to be highly influenced by their expectations and brands, particularly in something that is about art and sensibility like audio/music. It's the reason people still buy Gibson guitars at the listed prices, there's no way to justify those prices without going into the magical land of "it just sounds more rich, more 3d". Hide the brand and suddenly people are hearing very different things.

Because of this, I enjoy reading any comparisons but I don't consider any results valid unless the test was blind. Even the video that was posted here most recent of UAD vs Waves 1073, it is overwhelmingly favoring UAD, and I honestly don't think the author was trying to shill for UAD, I think it just happened because of these influences.

And while on this topic, I positively hate how just about any shootout of hardware vs plugin is usually like this:
- We dial our favorite hardware in, just like we like it so it sounds perfect
- Then we grab a plugin, set it to the same settings and expect it to sound exactly the same

That's such a biased way to compare. Just once I'd like to see this:
- I put Kotelnikov GE on the master bus and dialed it expertly, meticulously until it sounded glorious
- Then throw in an SSL hardware comp and see if it has any hope of competing with what Kotelnikov just did

If every test was done that way, suddenly we would have scores of shootouts that "prove" that hardware comes last.

bill45
KVRAF
2457 posts since 15 Jun, 2006

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:21 pm


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4damind
KVRAF
5006 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:04 pm

A lot has been written about the UAD plugins and if it still makes sense to use DSP based systems. Since the UAD platform exists, there was always the problem that the DSP performance was far behind the performance of modern CPUs and there were always problems to load enough plugins... on the other hand the UAD plugins were almost the only ones with such good quality.
Yes, I also have a few UAD cards in my closet that I have owned since 2006. I also invested a lot of money in UAD plugins but I haven't used UAD for some years now.

I would invest the money in a very good audio interface. RME, Apogee etc. and use native plugins.

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fmr
KVRAF
9311 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:17 pm

4damind wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:04 pm
I would invest the money in a very good audio interface .../... and use native plugins.
^^^ THIS ^^^

I will not even enter on the discussion of/if the UAD plug-ins are better or worse than the finest native plug-ins you can now buy. The DSP power is so ridiculously low compared to what you have to pay for it that that reason alone should be enough...
Fernando (FMR)

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fmr
KVRAF
9311 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:22 pm

A video from 2007? Seriously? Where have you been living since then? :lol:
Fernando (FMR)

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4damind
KVRAF
5006 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:35 pm

The UAD Precision Maximizer may not necessarily be the best argument for the UAD. The "original" Sony Oxford Inflator (now "Sonnox") is still being developed and updated. I have used both and honestly find the Inflator better.
Finding plugins that only exist on the UAD or that are significantly better than native plugins is a not so easy task in 2020.

Jopol
KVRist
32 posts since 4 Apr, 2019

Re: UAD apollo and plugins owners......is it worth it ? HOnestly

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:55 am

I have a Apollo twin Quad mk2, bought it when it just came out.
Bought a few plugs aside from what you get with the card, but I hardly ever use any of the UAD plugins.
Harrison 32c for example show a pretty hefty latency in S1 ( > 20ms ?? ).
Sometimes I use Auto-Tune on the card for live vocals, but that’s it.

Worth it? Not for the plugs. They’re not all that much better imo.
For the unit? That’s debatable really considering I don’t use it’s DSP. Latency is not what it’s cracked up to be.

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