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Author Topic: UAD Vs Native  (Read 14758 times)

SafeandSoundMastering

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UAD Vs Native
« on: July 20, 2011, 06:58:42 am »

I am am in the market for some more high quality DSP and have decide to go native as opposed to UAD. Anyone have any strong opinions on UAD's merits.
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

Cass Anawaty

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 10:38:19 am »

I am am in the market for some more high quality DSP and have decide to go native as opposed to UAD. Anyone have any strong opinions on UAD's merits.
Yes, but you've made up your mind.
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Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
www.sunbreakmusic.com

SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 11:03:09 am »

It is true but I may be blinkered and not considered all sides.
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Barry Gardner
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Roger Morris

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 11:54:17 am »

There are a couple of different things to possibly look at.

One is the quality of the plugs, and the other is the fact that, regardless of what type of computer platform you're using, you need to think about the integration of the UAD hardware to your platform.
It's not difficult, but may not be quite as easy as UAD portrays it to be.

For example, if you use a laptop as your primary platform, be aware that the new UAD hardware doesn't run reliably on the same firewire bus as any other piece of gear........like perhaps your firewire AD/DA convertor.
On a desktop PC or Mac, do you have the slots?.........if your slots are full and you default to an external UAD solution, you still need a seperate firewire bus if you're using the one you've got for anything.

There are a few hardware questions to be self-asked, and self-answered before investing in the UAD hardware.

As for the plugs themselves, I own many of them, and have long felt that they're at the top of the pile in terms of quality. Some of the newer ones like the Massive Passive and Studer tape emulation are simply excellent.
Some of the older ones, like the Neve package, Pultec, and UAD Mastering Bundle are also extremely high quality plugs.........I use them all the time.

The CPU load on your platform is drastically reduced when using something like the UAD hardware, which may not be as important in something like 2-ch mastering compared to multi-channel mixing........although there are a few UAD plugs that can consume massive amounts of CPU on a single instantiation.

Overall, I'd not be without the UAD option.
I use 17" MacBook Pro's, and have gone through the 3 different iterations of UAD interfaces for that platform.
Because I use a Prism Orpheus for AD/DA, I have to use a Sonnet Firewire card to get the second firewire bus.........which has been problem free.
There are some nice native plugs out there, and I do use some Waves SSL and API plugs just as often as I use some of my main UAD plugs...........but in complete honesty, and with no affiliation to UAD other than as an end user, I'd feel I'd be missing out on some extremely useable plugs (some not duplicated by any other manufacturer) if I didn't have the UAD as well.
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 12:17:23 pm »

Thanks for well balanced view. I think you are right in that realistically it is nice to have it all.
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Barry Gardner
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KAyo

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 05:07:40 pm »

Having used natives for donkey’s years and having moved to DSP incarnations of UAD/ SSL and Powercore, I can assure you my personal opinion is tilted towards DSP in a blink compared to native counterparts. Period…

I mean one could keep having long drawn out debates, regarding which is better blah blah blah .. But, to me the DSP plugs sound so much better. Saying that, so many of the new natives sound great and are commendable at their approach and overall quality etc.. But somehow, the sheen and class seem to always tilt me towards DSP power for critical or crucial work.

My favourite is offcourse the legendary TC MD3. Absolutely unbeatable! The latest UAD stuff is also jaw dropping and the SSL DSP version sound different than their native counterparts. I am aware many say they shouldn’t, but, to me they do …

My suggestion to you .. DSP, DSP and DSP.
Goodluck with your choice.

Ciao’
KAyo
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 09:55:24 am »

One very unfortunate position is that with UAD you cannot demo without the dongle. And let's face it, it is a dongle.

I cannot think of why UAD should sound better. It is all DSP.

Maybe they have simply written better sounding software.

What is swaying me is that I did not like the Massive Passive in real life so if I had of liked it that would have sealed the deal so to speak, but hanging in for the Studer and a few other things makes it a much less attractive proposition. There is awesomeness being created by other higher end developers right now and I have difficulty being swayed. You do not have the overhead of the outdated cards lingering in your mouth either. Though it has to be said that new generations of CPU are NEVER what you think they are going to be power increase wise simply because many software developers do not even make their code more efficient or even optimize it for any newly given CPU architecture.

I appreciate the views as it all helps with better balanced decision making.
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Barry Gardner
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Roger Morris

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 11:56:26 am »

I think UAD's resources at the R&D level are somewhat deeper than a lot of other small plug-in development shops. This alone may speak to a higher quality product............but as it's subjective, it may not resonate with all end users the same way.

I also think that the "dongle" is what keeps the forum buzz on UAD a lot lower than it otherwise would be.
The internet posters that go on endlessly (and therefore fill up online forums with specific product chat) about various native plugs tend not to dwell on the UAD stuff. Perhaps it's because they can't "sample" the product as they freely "sample" other native products.

As always though, it's really about what works for individual end users......and where your own priorities wind up in terms of targeting your dollars at companies that release products that you feel will benefit your mastering work.

Possibly the best thing is that you can't be "wrong" in whichever direction you choose to go  :)
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 01:17:31 pm »

Quote
R&D level are somewhat deeper than a lot of other small plug-in development shops.

Thats as maybe, but I make judgements with my ears so unfortunately it's something I cannot do with UAD without UAD dongles. : :(  There are smaller not so well known companies who have produced nothing less than magnificent products, though I do not know how deep their research was. Literally making products that I know improve my end results.

It is great fun listening and there are lots of goodies about that I can see being of great use.

There may be some kind of compromise to be had in fact, considering I know the MP is not for me that has saved me some money already. (in a weird sort of way).

Thanks for the input I think it might have actually have helped me think about the middle ground, maybe just a solo card will do the job.
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

ggidluck

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 12:01:30 pm »

Barry,
It depends upon what your needs are. From what I have read on forums... a single instance of Massive Passive takes about 60% of one SHARC processor.

I have been a bit hesitant to get on the UAD platform mainly because of the dependency on the hardware. But it seems evident that UAD is committed to keeping their customer base by giving them an upgrade path from UAD1 to UAD2 and also licensing is transferable if someone sells their card. I think it's a good bet that if UAD did go native with their plugins that they would give their customers a way to run them natively without incurring a fee.

Native seems to be the way things are going. With ProTools 9 now and also I think SSL is offering Duende native. I guess this wins them additional customers .
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 12:19:15 pm »

My needs are owning the best software capable of a range of tasks I perceive need to be performed. I cannot hear any UAD software.TBH the only thing that is of interest is the Studer A800 emulation and that is meant to be used on tracks ideally, 500.00 to find out it is not currently an attractive proposition. I am leaning away from UAD again, no rush I like to stew on these things a while. Heard some top notch demo's since I bothered getting an Ilok. I think my wallet will soon be lighter. :P
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Barry Gardner
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Cass Anawaty

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 01:54:38 pm »

It's been this way from the very beginning.  People hemming and hawing about dsp vs. native, the platform is going to be defunct in a year, etc. etc.  The rest of us have just enjoyed the benefits of having some (and I'd say mostly "all") of the best software emulations available to use however we like.

All I know is that the platform has served me well since buying a mackie card, and survived the journey from serious hobbyist to pro.  Hands down the best thing I ever bought for my studio.

And as far as auditioning, if you don't have a friend with a studio and a UAD card, you need to get out more.   ;)
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Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 04:02:57 pm »

Hi again, I have some engineering friends both with respectable production set ups but alas they do not own UAD cards. Maybe that tells me something..

1)They did not hear the UAD either for the same reason I cannot or they did not like what they heard. I will ask in fact.
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Barry Gardner
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Cass Anawaty

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 04:10:53 pm »

Hi again, I have some engineering friends both with respectable production set ups but alas they do not own UAD cards. Maybe that tells me something..

1)They did not hear the UAD either for the same reason I cannot or they did not like what they heard. I will ask in fact.
There are plenty of videos on their site you could download and take into a higher res listening environment to hear what they do.  Not perfect quality, but "good enough".
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Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: UAD Vs Native
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2011, 05:13:29 am »

Good call, will check them out, thanks. Though my DAW is not internet enabled. Headphones on an EMU 0202 will have to do the trick on my online PC.
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.
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