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In-depth Feature:  Universal Audio UAD-1
Rob G writes: .

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Plugins Continued

RealVerb Pro - highly editable reverb
The RealVerb Pro is an implementation of a highly regarded reverb from Kind of Loud Technologies which has been available to ProTools TDM users for some time. An intuitive interface allows creating two acoustic areas comprised of different shape (various room shapes and plate and spring reverbs are provided), size, material (brick, marble, air, water, ...) and thickness.

Further control is provided over the reverbs resonance (equalization) and relative timing and levels of early reflections and late-field reverberations. Furthermore, the positioning of these components may be adjusted in the positioning panel controlling the distance of the sound source, and the directions from which direct, early and late components arrive.

CS-1 channel processor
The last plug-in, the CS-1 Channel Strip is a powerful channel strip plug-in offering a 5 band parametric EQ, gate/compressor, delay modulation section, and basic reverb unit. The implementations here are simpler than corresponding components of other plug-ins, but useful nonetheless due to lower processing requirements. Again, each of the components is available as a separate plug-in to further optimise DSP use.

In Use
The main attraction of the UAD-1 for many users is its vintage analogue simulations available through the 1176LN, LA-2A, Pultec and Nigel plug-ins. These really do shine - retaining the warmth of tonal characteristics of the originals. For many, these plug-ins alone will justify the expense of the card.

The RealVerb Pro is a highly regarded reverberation unit, and the implementation on the UAD-1 allows the welcome benefit of liberating the host CPU from relatively expensive reverb processing. Up to 8 RealVerb Pros can be supported (assuming other plug-ins are not involved). Overall, the reverb rates highly against other plug-ins and is comparable to all but high-end out board units.

The ability to use Nigel and the CS-1 as multi-effects or separate, smaller, plug-ins is welcome, reducing overall DSP load and generally allowing the user to manage their available DSP resources better. Often, the multi-effect can be used for experimentation and a more optimal set-up used as things settle down.

The major problem with the UAD-1 and other card-based accelerators such as PowerCore is latency. As a PCI card, the UAD-1 suffers from the limitations of the bus architecture and this tends to introduce a noticeable latency. This can generally be managed through the host sequencer's plug-in delay compensation options, but just in case UA have provided a delay compensation plug-in that may be added to a bus to handle the compensation.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • UAD-1 ($599)
  • Compatible Applications
  • Latest Drivers (Mac + PC)
  • UAD-1 User reviews@ Sonic Studio

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