Anyone know this UAD question?


I have a handful of plugins I like on my pci-e slotted UAD card, and though I’m not looking to expand my repertoire, I’d like to be able to use more instances of the ones i do have before i get the dreaded “one of your instances has been disabled because you didn’t give us more money”, or something that seems similar to me.

Does anyone know if i can do that (access more instances), and if so, the best way? I thought simply buying the plug in again might do it, but I’d hate to do that and then find it doesn’t work that way.

Thanks for any advice!

W10 latest

The UAD-2 plugins run on the dedicated SHARC DSP on your UAD-2 PCIe card. They don’t run on the host CPU. I don’t think you can re-buy a plugin, and even if you did it wouldn’t help. The bottleneck is the amount of physical DSP you have attached to your computer as PCIe cards or “satellites” or “interfaces”.

A UAD “solo” device has one SHARC DSP chip. “Duo” two, “Quad” four, “Octo” eight.

Here’s a chart that tells you how much of one chip each plugin will use:

UAD-2 DSP Chart – Universal Audio Support Home (

If you run out of processing power you need to get more DSP chips.

Note however that UA recently introduced UADX which are their plugins running natively. Caveats are that they don’t have all plugins ported, only a few, and we don’t know how many will make to native (I’m betting it’ll have to do with licensing too)… and secondly it is for now OSX only with Windows coming later this year. If the plugins you already own will be included in UADX native then you get that for “free” and can run them on your CPU.

Only downside with that as of now is that the plugin formats (UAD-2 / UADX) aren’t easily interchangeable, meaning that if you run one plugin as UAD-2 at home and then go to a studio that only runs UADX your DAW won’t automatically reallocate to native plugins with settings and automation intact.

But anyway, for now: If you need more processing power then buy more cards or satellites. If you’re in NYC you can buy my Quad.

Thanks @MattiasNYC for the wonderful info!

Looking at the chart i see why i ran out of processing so quickly … the plugins i like to use (LA 2, UAD 1176x), each use about a fifth to a quarter of the card!

I had a brief thought of buying more, but it looks like they don’t sell duos or solos anymore, and the quad is more than i really need.

I guess I’ll be ok with freezing or rendering tracks to free up some uad-2 instances, and wait till the native versions come to PC.

Out of interest, @MattiasNYC , what will you use to replace what your quad brings you?

Thanks again for the info!

It’s % per chip. So if you have a Quad card for example it’s 18% per chip meaning you could fit four per chip, but you have four chips, so a total of 16 instances (stereo). I guess if you have a solo maybe that’s what you meant…

Well, my situation is that the card doesn’t work on my motherboard because of incompatibility. So the card is basically just useless and sitting in a box. I’ve waited long enough for the issue to get resolved by ASUS that I’m now willing to sell but I think I’d just get a Thunderbolt satellite instead. So I would sell the PCIe card and get a Quad Thunderbolt 3 satellite instead. Keep my plugins.

I’m in post production and right now the only thing I own that I’d really like to use for post is C-Suite (denoising by Cedar), everything else is really not a type of plugin needed for post, just fun stuff for goofing around if I choose to do music for fun or whatever. Actually the Fairchild sounds great on some dialog, but… again… not necessary.

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Got it, thanks, @MattiasNYC !

I love the Fairchild too. Makes me think I’m in Studio 2 … :smile:

I don’t live in NYC (born there though!), is your quad “a box or a PCIe card”? I only saw “boxes” on the UAD site (I think), but saw some cards on eBay.

Also, don’t forget you can use the UAD Meter to monitor your use realtime.



Whatever power the PCIe card, or interface or satellite card has is what you got with UAD.

My Apollo Twin Solo is abysmal.

You may look into the new UAD Spark subscription plan which gives you NATIVE plugins but the list is limited as well.

My Twin SOLO uses 23% of the power with NOTHING instantiated

Does anyone know if i can do that (access more instances), and if so, the best way?
Hi I had a similar problem while waiting on a new rme still waiting by the way. I decided to upgrade my computers mother board to a Aorus Z690 Master i9 12Gen 32gb can go up to 128gb ram if needed and when ram reduces its prices on DDR5 .I use a UAD solo and before I could run 3 to 6 uad plugins depending on the plugin. Now after the update I can say with ease 20 with my last project more then enough since UAD is not the only plugs I run. Made all the difference for me.

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Thanks for that!

I’m surprised to hear that a new motherboard gave you more UAD-2 instances. I guess i didn’t know how those things worked as well as i thought i did … I thought the number of instances was limited by the card itself, not the computer.

Happy for you! :slight_smile:

same here

If you’re able to increase the amount of plugins on a UAD-2 card by over 500% then something was just wrong with the old computer.

I’ve never, ever heard of anything like that.

Are you sure you maxed out your card with one plugin and then did the exact same thing on a new computer using the exact same plugin and you could get that much more out of it?

Just doesn’t sound right to me.

It might not sound right but actually you are right my computer was actually 10 years old and slow. Sounding right or not but it is true. My buffer was also at 2048 witch I never knew since I always was using FW switching to usb was the right move and for years I was using FW witch the driver only went to 1024 with my FW card using RME UCX . All I know after bench marking with magic magician it also tripled in speed so go figure. Also it was just a benefit I did not know it would turn out like this but it did and I am so pleased with the results. By the way I said I could run 3-6 plugins depending on the instance!! Now 20 and I have not needed to go further but if I ever do I will update this post. Lastly I was contemplating on a duo or octo but after realizing this I saved money and that by just upgrading my computer is all I know.

Just so we’re clear:

  • You are using a UAD-2 PCIe Solo
  • You could instantiate 3-6 specific plugins
  • After upgrading the computer you could instantiate 20 of the same plugin

What plugin was that?

No I never said of the same instance I do not know any instance I would want to use 20x in a project honestly. To each his or her own to decide that. I was just saying in general 20plugins. Depending on my project. Here I just put 20 random plugins on a track of course some use more some less. I just did not feel like looking through all the plugins I use so I put 20 random some of the same and some different for example only. As stated I have 32ram of DDR 5 if I ever wanted more plugins or if it does run out for some reason I do have an option to up my ram to 128ram witch I believe would give me more. I am not sure nor have I tried. All I know is I upgraded my computer for my needs and I am able to use up to 20 UAD plugs at once. What plug in is a users option I was just stating in general. More then 20 is just my opinion not factual because I have not tried to upgrade that ram and besides the other plugs I use at this point it is just not necessary. As I stated before I just wanted to upgrade my computer this was really just a side effect that I happen to love since I thought about upgrading to a du or octo. Now no need!!! Go figure

Ok, but you implied that you got far more plugins by switching the underlying computer the card runs on. The limits we’re talking about are those of the DSP chips on the cards and those limits don’t change just because you change mobo etc.

I see what appears to be the Cambridge EQ instantiated (I could be wrong) and that one takes up very little DSP. So if you’re not comparing two systems with the same UAD card using the same plugins then you don’t know if the limit is the same. You can only run about two 1073 plugs per DSP, but a ton of Cambridge. So it wouldn’t make sense to try it on the old system using the Neve and then the Cambridge on the new system and then conclude that you got more plugins instantiated because of the new system - when in fact it was that you used different plugins.