uselessoldman wrote:I think people must be COMPLETELY BONKERS to buy into their products. They remind me so much of the Apple marketing model, you buy our stuff cos we are who we are and we know u love us. To say you FORCED to pay a premium price for both their hardware and software is a massive UNDERSTATEMENT, its not exactly unique, but I use the word forced specifically cos as I said you have to be bonkers !!
Well, yes and no. For UAD , the UAD brand carries a bit of premium, no doubt... but it does because its products are still uniquely very good, not the other way around.
The reasons are simple: for one, UAD is very close, obviously to, UA. UA is damn good at what they do and has been good at it for a very long time. The changes in analogue audio happen at a far lower pace than in software (heck, we're still looking at kit from the 1950s as holy grails) so UA is still very much at the top of its game.
That has several consequences: one, when doing the software you have people available who has designed the analogue circuit; or, you have people that can understand it pretty well; when you have designed something, you have available people that can tell you very quickly how it compares to the "real thing"; you have available a number of "real things", or the financial muscle and connections to get or loan more (if I as a small company were to make a Fairchild plugin today, just getting hold of a real Fairchild for testing would require considerable funding and work).
Two, reproducing analogue behavior in software is not a trivial skill. Reproducing is so that it mimics the actual analogue hardware, it's much worse - because (unlike computing) the specific hardware platform makes a significant difference to the result of the "computation" - i.e. the processing of the signal.
It takes years for a group of people to get good at it, and the head start that the fellas at UAD have by now, give them an incredible advantage (same goes for Line6, for example and others). The combination of all that makes so that UAD plugin sound as they sound - for reproducing classic hardware, there's very other companies that have the same edge.
The analogy with Apple is not totally appropriate: computers, in the end of the day, do all exactly the same thing. Also then skills are fairly translatable. It's not _harder_ or different to code something on an Apple platform than it is anywhere else (it was way harder on, say, an Atari 2600.. but I digress). A Turing-equivalent computation is a computation and it really matters not which specific hardware is running it, so long the hardware is not faulty.
Thingsd like the looks, and how thin the machine is, suddenly get attention and are more important, because it's hard to differentiate on the computation (you can, a little, on speed, but again, it's largely a non-problem for most users these days). And of course the specific system software, and the various ios and macos have their fans, as it should be. And the amount of software running on the system.
Finally, branding and exclusivity (including artificially higher prices, that give an aura of wealth to people carrying them) play also a huge role.
With UAD, not so. The proprietary hardware, even if useful, these days is really just a protection dongle... but what you pay, you pay for as accurate a reproduction of an analogue item as it can be done nowadays by anybody.
Then of course, there's always the guy whos finds it very hard to buy large amounts of money for stuff that can't be touched.. and that's ok.