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Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

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Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby worshiptuned » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:16 pm

I would like to buy a new audio interface.
I've already invested in a decent acoustic treatment: bass traps in all vertical corners, panels in the early reflection points next to the monitors and in the ceiling and some other panels in the walls and I made also a vocal booth.
I have a Steinberg ur 22 c and would like to change it for an expandable interface.
I need at most 3 or 4 preamps, in case I decide to do a guitar and vocal take, using 2 or 3 mics for a guitar.
I would also like the interface, as well as an extra input, to be an improvement over the one I have now, better conversion, sound quality and preamps. I have already understood that improvements in this field are today something subtle and all interfaces today are good and the weak point of the chain will be my musical and mixing skills, my monitors, my mics....

I don't intend to buy any external hardware, only a preamp to add an input if it's needed, I am attracted by the Apollo Twin X, for the plugins and the unison preamps, there is now a promotion with a lot of plugin given for free, even Autotune advanced. Are these plugins and preamps really capable to add the claimed analog feel? Do they still have something better that other plugins manufacturers didn't achieve?
The duo, I have read is not powerful enough to mix, unless one bounces the tracks.
Then I would go for the quad, that costs 1595 euros. It is the very top of my budget, but there is a vendor who offers to pay it in 10 months with no interests, this way looks less traumatic!!! :!:
I have a windows laptop with the new Thunderbolt 4- which claims to be compatible with all thunderbolt 3 devices, but there are doubts if it will be compatible since I have not found anything in UAD website or the forums about Thunderbolt 4 compatibility....

Alternatively the Merging Anubis is cheaper and costs now 1530 euros at my local retailer, the sound quality would be maybe better and the preamps very good, but I would not have the analog feel of the UAD plugins and I am a bit intimidated by the higher latency (I have read your good article https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/me ... ic-mission ) and the complexity of the device. I can buy an external preamp to feed one of the line inputs at the front and I would have 3 mic preamps. The only occasion I would suffer the longer latency, since there is a DSP reverb and compressor...would be if I record a DI guitar with an amp plugin.
I might also wait for the new RME fireface UCX II, or go with the Babyface pro fs much cheaper but still more than enough for me.
I would like also Antelope but I excluded it for their plugins cannot be used in the DAW on Windows.
Any suggestion or advice :idea: to help me choose or to renounce to a waste of money if this is the case? I would expect this new interface to serve me for at least 10 or more years...
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:44 pm

I'd go with the RME - cheaper than the alternatives but still expandable if you need more channels. Buying RME gets you top quality drivers and long term support.
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:53 pm

The Anubis is a wonderful product in many ways, and the sound quality is close to as good as it gets... but it is expensive, and an 'unfinished' product by design, so you'd really need to make sure it suits your requirements without over-complicating things.

The UAD interfaces are good, and I'm a big fan of their plugins... but, they aren't cheap either and tend to be an ongoing expense. There are plenty of native analogue-style plugins these days, and modern computers can run them easily, so the benefit of external load-sharing DSP in an interface is largely redundant. The unison preamps might seem attractive, but really, it's just as easy to get some flavoured preamps in a 500 rack...

For me, RME is the sweet spot as their interfaces are very well designed, the preamps are more than good enough, and their driver support is legendary.
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby sound bites » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:19 pm

+1 for RME. Plugins for analogue touch are overrated, in my opinion. Best advice found here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/analogue-warmth
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby worshiptuned » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:40 pm

James Perrett wrote:Buying RME gets you top quality drivers and long term support.

Yes this is really important :!: :idea: I noticed that RME has always wonderful customers ratings...there should be a reason!

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The UAD interfaces are good, and I'm a big fan of their plugins... but, they aren't cheap either and tend to be an ongoing expense

I am really concerned to be swallowed by the UAD whirlpool :lol:
I am still intrigued by UA and the Anubis but I see RME is the most reasonable choice

sound bites wrote:+1 for RME. Plugins for analogue touch are overrated, in my opinion. Best advice found here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/analogue-warmth" target="phpbbpopup


very interesting, I have a much less vague idea of what is "analog warmth" now!!!

thanks for your wise comments, I don't need to rush, I'll take my time and I have more elements now to weigh my decision :thumbup: Will I be able to follow the reasonable path??? I am not totally sure :think:
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:56 pm

It might be worth thinking about what you might like to be doing in a few years time. Will you want to record a whole band? Do you want to collect lots of hardware synths?

It may be worth going for something that can be easily expanded now which you can add to in the future.
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby worshiptuned » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:59 am

James Perrett wrote:It might be worth thinking about what you might like to be doing in a few years time. Will you want to record a whole band? Do you want to collect lots of hardware synths?

It may be worth going for something that can be easily expanded now which you can add to in the future.

Good question. I think my setup will be really minimum. It's a home studio where I record only my own music.
I won't have to record bands, but record myself or rarely another musician- not drums for sure.
I won't buy any synth, I have a midi piano-controller, that I connect with USB and I'll play virtual instruments. I record audio only the bass, guitars and my voice, that's all! I can add a tube mic preamp or a 500 rack as suggested
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby ore_terra » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:34 am

also bear in mind this: money spent in hardware can be recovered at a higher extent than money spent in plugins. you may even not lose money if you sell the stuff for the same money than you bought it for.

a few months ago I sold all my UAD stuff and my - let say - 2000 € in plugins went for no more than 300-400 €.

you can get a 500 chasis really cheap these days and the other day I got a pair of mounted soundskulptor MP573 for 400€ :crazy:

I'm most sure that if I one day sold them I wont lose any money :lol:

to sum up: if you're after a small set up (and hence the investment in preamps is not going to be huge), I'd definitively do as Hugh says.

Re. the quality and "analogue-ness" of UAD plugins, they're good indeed but replaceable: my mix template used to be 80% UAD and now I'm happy with the non-UAD replacements. they only one I do miss is Ocean Way Studios, and not because its analogueness, but because it does something that no other plugin does. Other than that I'm as served as I was with UAD, and small projects I can even run them in my 2014 MBP and do some work at home, so my new set up is not THAT CPU hungry.
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby worshiptuned » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:49 pm

ore_terra wrote:you can get a 500 chasis really cheap these days and the other day I got a pair of mounted soundskulptor MP573 for 400€

Thanks, this is really a good idea. I wasn't aware of these 500 racks and preamps at accessible prices

As for the interface, whatever I buy if I realize I was wrong I can sell it for almost the same price within 1 year. I buy now in Italy, my country, and if it doesn't fit my needs I 'd resell it in Israel where I currently live and prices of these things are some 30% more than in Europe.
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby resistorman » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:14 pm

+1 for RME especially for Windows. Plug-ins are cheap and plentiful, and UAD, Antelope et al are not any better than native.
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby worshiptuned » Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:23 pm

resistorman wrote:+1 for RME especially for Windows. Plug-ins are cheap and plentiful, and UAD, Antelope et al are not any better than native.

Thank you, now I am even more convinced that the UAD plugins are very good but not essential.
Meanwhile I contacted Universal Audio to ask abut Thunderbolt 4 and Apollo Twin X compatibility. They were very kind and answered within 24 hours without even opening an account! :clap: I report a quote of their answer may be interesting for other people as the new Windows PCs with thunderbolt 4 are coming out and there is not much information about it

"Thanks for contacting Universal Audio customer support.
In theory, an Apollo Twin X should work with a Thunderbolt 4 supported system, because Thunderbolt 4 is backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3. However, it is not something we have tested internally, so we unfortunately cannot guarantee compatibility."
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Re: Universal Audio+ UAD plugins vs. Merging Anubis vs. RME

Postby 6120 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:59 pm

Another vote for RME!
I’m a solo musician and record all the parts myself and I find my UCX (half rack but I’ve got the ‘ears’ for a full rack) does everything I want or most likely will ever need. Not to say the other units are not good but I invested in a RME Fireface about 12 years ago and then sold it (they hold their value really well) for a good price to get the UCX.
I’ve tried loads of different plugins over the years and now use a core that work me (Sonnox, Softube, Arturia, Valhalla,) but haven’t tried UAD mainly because of the expense.
I also have a Focusrite ISA one that I connect using ADAT and use it for bass DI, reamping, and a valve mic. You can obviously do all of this with the UCX but theres a load of gain on the ISA One which is great.
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