Anybody using UAD-2 plugs on an Input channel?

Hi all,

I’ve been thinking of picking up a UAD-2 Satellite Duo or Quad used and was wondering if anybody is using those plugs on an Input channel in Cubase - i.e. the type of usage where you’re printing the effected signal to tape?

I’m not too worried about hearing the effected signal in my monitors, just that it gets printed. I’d like to set up a vocal chain with a bunch of heavy plugs that I know well, so I don’t have to waste resources using those on mixdown.

thanks in advance!

Yes, I do it quite regularly. Some of the heavyweight plug ins limit you in practice to two plugins before it complains of a CPU overload - even though there’s plenty of spare DSP power according to the UAD resource manager. Don’t bother with a duo, no point spending all that money and ending up with so little processing power.

Thanks for the reply, PeppaPig.

I’m curious: when it complains of a CPU overload, what exactly happens? Will it interrupt recording?

Probably yes. Also there is really no benefits of using effects on the input channel other than to save a bit of CPU power in the mix. This is obviously unless you are using outboard gear on the way in, but that’s a whole different story.
In the end, if you need more dsp power, you will probably get a better bang for your buck with a faster CPU than from an UAD card.

Except for the fact that many of the UAD plugins I regularly use have very few equals in the native world. It is true that you could get a faster CPU, but what is the point? I have nearly all the best UAD plugins and use them all the time together along with many native ones. I have been very happy with this approach. I do agree that using efx on the input channels is pointless given that you cannot change them later if you decide you don’t like what has happened to the sound. Unless, of course, you also record a raw file. I occasionally use a Neve 1073 to warm the sound a little or use the Waves Dorrough to check the input level.

I did look into the possibility of buying an Apollo Duo. However,chipset compatibility issues and the fact that I have a Kemper Profiling Amp meant that any benefit an Apollo might bring was severely reduced, given that the only real benefit for me was for tracking with guitars and bass using Unison technology. I believe that there is only one unison slot on the Apollo. Plus if you want to use a Guitar Amp Sim a version in a Standalone host has far less latency than inside the DAW, where you can record the raw file and process later with the same preset(s).

It just sounded from your first post that you was considering UAD plugins for the first time and that’s why I suggested other plugins instead as UAD plugins are not any special compared to others. But if you already own them and like them, then of course you should keep using them.

For the second part about guitar amp sims. Using it as standalone app will not give you better latency, unless using direct monitoring. It’s not the DAW that creates latency but the ASIO driver and that’s needed in either case to have your audio interface working.

I have never used the Kemper so not sure how the preamps and converters sound in that one. But I remember back in the days i owned a POD X3 if I remember correctly (Not sure of the exact model though) Anyway, it also did function as a audio interface with USB connection. It was nice because i could use direct monitoring with all the effects while it was sending both DI and processed sound to the DAW. However, the DI signal sounded a little dull compared to if I was using the Presonus Audio Interface I had a the time because the Presonus had way better preamps and converters.

It simply disables the plugin(s) it deems to be the culprit(s). Not very scientific or convincing in my humble option.

Why can’t it just set the (poor) latency and let you get on with it. Or just record and let you deal with the latency later? Nope it hits some arbitrary limit and craps out - not great - nor predictable.

Wow, that sucks. You’d think there’d be some kind of buffering where stuff going through an input channel could record more slowly than real time in order to avoid that kind of problem, but maybe I ask too much…

I noticed you have a few UA pieces - do you find the same problem happens equally with all of them?

It just happens when tracking with some of the heavyweight plug-ins (see DSP instance chart) I don’t really use the satellite any more, as I don’t find myself running out of UAD DSP with the octo card + Apollo 8 quad before hitting the fire-wire arbitrary (56?) plug-in limit.

Attached an example of the last plug-in becoming disabled with a heavyweight (admittedly not very realistic) input chain of the Fender 55 + Fatso + Neve 1073 + Ocean Way (disabled)

Have you tried recording clean, apply your UAD plugs, then freeze/bounce the track before mixing? That way you aren’t using extra CPU/DSP during recording or mixing. IIRC, that’s what UA recommend on their website, especially for some of the heavy load plugs.

With the unison plugins the interface emulates the impedance of the actual emulated gear and reacts to gain settings accordingly. you really can find wonderful sweet spots by tweaking gain on UAD unison plug-ins this way, it also adds versatility to your mic collection as each pre-amp reacts differently to each mic. Plus some plug-ins seem to sound so damn good just passing a signal through them it’s hard to go wrong tracking through them. ie UAD 610B, Neve 1073, Pultec EQ1P. Neve 88RS (mic mode).

The Kemper and the Pod X3 are as an Atari compared to a modern computer. There is no amp sim plugin that can replicate the sound or feel of the Kemper.

The problem with the Apollo Duo is that there are many issue to do with Windows chipsets and Thunderbolt. A standalone application has perfectly acceptable latency provided you are not running your soundcard above 128. Again I have in the past taken an audio mixdown from the original project and created a new project using only an amp sim and the audio track to create new guitar parts at 64. Perfectly acceptable for me. I actually have a project created for just this job should I need it leftover from before I had the Kemper.

In that hypothetical, would you be monitoring through that chain? I’m curious whether turning off monitoring and setting latency for the highest setting would make a difference. i.e. Allow a higher potential load

In my case I’ve got RME hardware monitoring so latency can be pretty much anything, provided I don’t need to hear the effected signal in the monitors. Which is mostly the case.

While I will not completely disagree with that, it’s not like the Kemper is the god of amp sims. Many amp sims these days does a very good job and in the end on a final track you probably cannot hear the difference. What I mean to say is that Kemper is just a choice of sound as well as any other amp sims is, neither is better than the other if you know what you are doing.

I monitor through the UAD console so in theory the latency should not be evident or make a difference, obviously trying to monitor in Cubase with UAD stuff would be disastrous for latency.

Indeed, this is so subjective - there’s no winner. Blackstar stuff is incredible, Guitar Rig is capable of surprisingly good sound, I love the UAD Fender 55 for cleaner sounds.

The reason that no plugin can rival the feel or indeed the sound of the Kemper is the lack of any perceptible latency. Any native plugin you use will exhibit latency depending upon the buffer size. The Apollo may come close but for the disappointing Amp Sims in UAD - I feel that way because I have tried them all in comparison to the Kemper. I am taking it that you have tried a Kemper to have formed your point of view?

I’m not talking about latency issues regarding a hardware unit vs. a software amp sim, in that regard I all day prefer the sound from a real tube amp as nothing, including the Kemper, will ever beat that. And also with a strong enough computer the latency for software monitoring is small enough to be negligeabel.
However, I’m talking about and comparing the kemper and software amp sims in the sound they produce, and for that it’s not like the Kemper is any better. Does it sound different? Sure it does but so does various different amp sims and hardware units like Axe FX and POD for that matter. It’s really a subjective matter and like i said, on a record you won’t know what is what if you know how to deal with amp sims in general, it’s just another tone to chose from. You wanna sound most natural? Mic up a good tube amp.
I mean some of all the good amp sims like JST stuff, Revalver, X50, BIAS and even Guitar Rig can sound as good as the Kemper, just different tones. Try some different out and see what will fit your specific project best.

You might have not used a Kemper? I have Bias Amp, beta tested for Revalver, and have Guitar Rig - I use Amplitude,TH2 and S Gear. None of them sound as good as the Kemper. None of them have the feel the Kemper does. You might be right that micing up a Dumble might be better, Can you afford a Dumble? I can’t, but I can get close with the Kemper. I can attest that I have never enjoyed playing a guitar through a computer as much as I have with Kemper and to be frank if you haven’t tried it you wouldn’t know.

I have tried it yes. I have also tried the Axe FX, various Pods and many software Amp sims as well as real amps like a 6505, a Powerball, a Marshall something and a few others. I kinda skipped the trouble putting a mic in the front of a real amp many years ago, because i find certain amp sims sounds better for the modern metal style i usually do. But if I was to do another style I would likely prefer one of the real amps.
In the end i don’t find the Kemper to sound any better than many software amps on the final product, different yes but not better. If Kemper was that good and that much better then why don’t we see more of the pros using it? Simply because it’s just a different sound/tone but not specifically better or worse for that matter, just different.