UAD Plug ins and Mixdowns

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    • #76376
      ,connorq
      Participant

      Curious to see what UAD plug-ins people use when mixing down their tracks (those who have an Apollo etc etc)

      Stuff that you’d put on most tracks

    • #76382
      ,shrike
      Participant

      I built out a template that included many UADs, including studer, oxide, pultec, etc. I own an Apollo Twin.

      However I am pulling them off of my template, and not going to use them in mixdown again, or anywhere for that matter, as they introduce a ridic amount of latency into Live. Like so much that even with delay compensation on, the playhead is well ahead of the audio being produced. Loading the plugs in Bitwig, come to find out that you will get a default of 26ms of latency introduced *per plug*. So you can see how dozens of UAD plugs would start to introduce an unacceptable amount of latency. I’m not talking about not being able to hear an instrument in real time, that is to be expected, I’m talking about the timing being completely fucked in the DAW.

      From the research I have now done, this latency is even more deadly than a CPU-based plug, as the DAW has to communicate to the DSP chips, then the DSP sends back to the DAW, then through the CPU, then out of the interface, and it’s actually worse than just having a straight non-DSP plug. Someone can debate that if they would like, maybe I don’t fully understand it like I think I do (obviously), but I do know that I wish I had bought an RME instead, and that the $$$$ I have invested into UAD hardware & software is just a waste.

      I know this isn’t what you were looking for, but you didn’t say whether you are a current owner, or looking to buy, or what…so my current stance is to dissuade peeps from adopting UAD, if they are asking for a rec on the platform.

      Sorry for the negative/bad news, this is just how I feel, and it sucks cuz the shit wasn’t cheap.

      Plugin Alliance & esp Brainworx plugs. That’s my jam. They make solid gear that just works.

      _-| get to work |-_

      • #76622
        ,connorq
        Participant

        My bad I forgot to mention I do own an Apollo Twin and was looking to see specifically what plugin ins other dnb producers found they use most. I could ask any other producer but they’re going to be chasing a different mix down than we probably are.

        I recently upgraded my computer so I don’t find too much latency problems while using any UAD plug ins. Maybe when I have one open and am currently using it, everything in the background seems to have some latency but the plug in itself is fine and when I close that window I don’t notice any changes. If its too big a problem for you, you could end of the day bounce all your tracks and mix it down in a different session. Lots of people do this (not me though haha too lazy and don’t necessarily feel that I need to, at least with some sessions).

        I found that I specifically have been throwing on the SPL Vitalizer and the Shadow Hills compressor. On most tracks or groups. As well as the Oxford limiter on occasion.

        Care to share which plug ins you had in your template? Mostly ones that you see the most benefit from / use on most Chanels. I want to invest in those specific ones first rather than buy one or two thats specific to one tiny problem that I can use other non UAD plug ins for.

        End of the day I just want to add a collective amount of worth and fullness to everything

    • #76644
      ,shrike
      Participant

      Sure thing.

      I think a good tape helps things out, and I use various ones on my busses. I generally run 5 busses: primary drums (kick & snare), bass, atmos, tops, & FX. On each of these I’m running either Studer A800, Oxide, softtube’s Tape (not UAD). I also like to do the resonance trick with the UAD Pultec EQP-1A. If you’re not familiar with this, it goes something like this: https://imgur.com/a/GkwI6Bc. It can really help fill out the low end. I will also sometimes use that in the master chain, just a touch, to fill out the entire mix. It’s the legacy version, but it does what I need. I don’t do any LA2A or 1176’s anymore, I’ve just kind of moved past them these days.

      And that is true, innit, Plugin Alliance/bx has a lot of stuff in UAD. I LOVE these plugs, but I use the CPU versions. And I use loads of them…you could pick them up for UAD. SPL Vitalizer is great, yup, can really help glue when used on master buss. I also use BX Masterdesk on my master sometimes. I use bx dynEQv2 for my sidechaining. I use bx_console SSL 4000 E on almost *everything* literally. I’ve owned/own many incarnations of the SSL console, and I honestly think Brainworx’s version is the best. Waves SSL is absolute dogshit, UAD has one that isn’t terrible, but bx has nailed it, and I don’t say that as someone who is an expert on what the physical console sounds like, but just that theirs was the first and only one that I actually thought made things sound better…and the TMT feature is super rad, and genuinely provides unique color depending on what seed is used. I’m the kind of fucking nerd that has run these things through PluginDoctor (https://ddmf.eu/plugindoctor/) and taken note of what the various actual curves are and what is being done to the sound. And the “random” feature makes it easy and nice to keep stacking consoles on diff tracks, and each getting a little bit different color & sound profile, like a physical analog desk does. I really like it, and I also have the Neve version, but I seem to just stick to the 4000 E.

      I use Dangerous BAX on my master, it’s a nice “sparkle and polish” EQ for which a little bit goes a long way.

      SPL Transient Designer + is, IMO, the absolute best transient shaper anywhere, and I have tried and own dozens and dozens, including Waves Smack Attack (not bad, actually), NI’s Transient Designer (decent but kind of limp), XLN’s DS-10, JST Transify, Shaack’s Transient plug, just to name a few. SPL just works best, and does things that the others just don’t seem capable of doing. If you haven’t tried it, load it up on a kick or snare, set the preset to “tight & punchy”, and then smile.

      I also use bx_townhouse compressor, esp on my main drums, which is basically an SSL G or Glue Compressor type deal…again, just sounds best to my ears, very nice, subtle, and hard to push into the super shitty zone (unlike almost anything Waves, which break down at about 50%+ extremes…I kind of fucking hate Waves, they make a lot of garbage, and I am still mad that I had to pay ~$800 for the shitty SSL console back in the day).

      I use MaagEQ2 for air on some things. Decent but kind of a one trick pony (I got mine free). BX Opto is a really nice sounding compressor, esp for drums. BX stereomaker is my new friend as it makes stereo content from mono, and does so in a way that is rock-solid when summing to mono (zero loss). BX limiter I actually wouldn’t recommend so much, kills my transients, but I will sometimes use it on non-xsient material, esp for the XL saturation knob. BX Subfilter, which is free, is the greatest free plugin anywhere, and can really bolster your bass. I bought the paid “subsynth” version, thinking it must be better, right? But no, I end up just using the free one all the time. H910 Harmonizer is great for vocals. I also really like the Lindell stuff, esp ChannelX, which is going to replace the pultec’s in my template. Blackbox HG-2 is my fave mixbuss saturator, moreso than cascade, bx saturation, iron, or anything else. Just sounds the most musical to my ears.

      And that kind of covers it for mixing plugs. I also LOVE the Moog filter & Culture Vulture for sound design stuff, but I wouldn’t call them a necessary purchase, just kind of nice to have.

      UAD’s I have bought but don’t ever use cuz they just don’t feel right to me: Distressor, dbx-160 (and actually this is the rare case where I think Waves’ dbx-160 sounds better), and then some things I got with the interface, like the fairchilds, the Precision stuff, the helios stuff, and the Neve preamps…that last one mostly because it hogs all the DSP, and the aforementioned leveling amps & compressors.

      But the above stuff, the FF stuff (Q3 on almost all things…L2 as my goto limiter), some soundtoys, some izotope, some valhalla, some Uhbik, native Live stuff, a little bit of Waves, and various other little bits and bobs, and that is kind of my bag of plugin tricks. I own a stupid amount of plugs, have tried most things, and kind of settled on this list through a few years of vetting & testing.

      Long post, I know. But you kind of pulled my string, I swear I would have a conversation with a random homeless person if they expressed interest in knowing what I use to make shit. I fucking love it, and could talk about it all day long.

      And lastly, the other annoying thing about UAD is the goddamned ~3gb package of ALL their plugs that they MAKE YOU install. I’ve gotten so fed up with it that I have literally gone in and deleted the ones I don’t have lic’s for…I don’t know of any other company that does this, and it’s just abusive to the customer. I’m planning on making my way to a NAMM soon, finding a UAD rep, and asking “what in the actual fuck are you guys thinking by doing that?!?” If the answer comes from a sales point, I will then light them up and let them know how manipulative & annoying it is. So. Dumb. And kind of contributes to the shade I throw on UAD. I know this is a bit petty and dumb, but so is forcing what is effectively BLOATWARE on me.

      Hope that helps, at least a little.

      _-| get to work |-_

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