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Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby bluedot » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:48 pm

Arpangel wrote:I’m using an 828, been using it for years, rock solid, never crashed, just gets on with it.
Quality is fine, more than good enough for any application, I’ve never had a reason to think about buying anything else, more to the point, it’s also very reasonably priced.

Is it the es thunderbolt version? Mine goes out of sync occasionally and sometimes gets crackly. A quick reboot solves it. About once a week it occurs, but for $900 - what a deal. It sounds as good as the Apogee did to me. I appreciate having the MIDI. I had used a couple 828 MKII for a decade until FW800 got flakey with adapters from the new macs.
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby dbfs » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:21 pm

I have no problems with uad, I have tried with a quad, sold it. Then bought an octo, tried it and sold it. recently tried an octo again and returned it. Im fine with native. To me I could there somerhing I did not like with uad sound. It actuallt annoys me slightly that I can't see why some many love the uad plugins.

I must say though that the uad plugins never gave me any problems.
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby MOF » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:28 pm

I’ve been using a secondhand UAD Silver face Apollo Core2 duo (for a number of years), originally on Firewire, then Thunderbolt (when I upgraded my iMac) and I’ve been very pleased with it, no issues. I recently upgraded to the X4.
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby ets » Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:50 pm

I have a first generation firewire Apollo. I got it when it first came out several years ago and have never had any issues at all. That said, I have assiduously resisted the sales and come ons for buying their plugs, with a few exceptions. TBH, my plug ins are not the weak link in my music production chain, and I have a problem seeing past their wildly skeuomorphic interfaces to the actual sound of the plug. Its better for my listening not to have a faux aged set of dials or spinning tape machine and pseudo VU meters, and just to listen. So when the time comes to replace the UA, I will look more at the quality of the A/D and preamps, and probably save myself several hundred bucks by not buying a UAD.
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby Arpangel » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:30 am

bluedot wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I’m using an 828, been using it for years, rock solid, never crashed, just gets on with it.
Quality is fine, more than good enough for any application, I’ve never had a reason to think about buying anything else, more to the point, it’s also very reasonably priced.

Is it the es thunderbolt version? Mine goes out of sync occasionally and sometimes gets crackly. A quick reboot solves it. About once a week it occurs, but for $900 - what a deal. It sounds as good as the Apogee did to me. I appreciate having the MIDI. I had used a couple 828 MKII for a decade until FW800 got flakey with adapters from the new macs.

Mine is a bog satandard 828 MK11, I’m running it connected through a FireWire to Thunderbolt lead, it’s always worked fine, not one issue so far, touch wood!
I only got it because it was given to me free of charge, free things always sound better anyway!

:)
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:59 pm

bluedot wrote:After a couple reboots - I unplugged the UAD Apollo and octobrick - plugged my Apogee back in, and I was able to load the file.

Interesting the way these things work. Personally I'm very happy with my UAD gear but wouldn't touch Apogee with an unusually long barge pole. Reason being the way they dropped support for the Apogee Ensemble like a red hot steel ingot when Apple dropped support for Firewire thus cutting the resale value of my unit in half overnight.

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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby uselessoldman » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:00 pm

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 !!
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby desmond » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:21 pm

No one is FORCING anyone to buy anything. :roll:

If you don't like a product, or can't justify paying the price the manufacturer is asking, you don't buy it. UA are not going to send the boys round and break a few legs because you didn't buy their latest plugin.

If *no one* buys the product, then maybe it's not an appealing product, or the price is too high - and the manufacturer will adjust accordingly or go out of business. Because UA *haven't* needed to do that, and are investing heavily into their UAD product line (for years), it would suggest business is good, and plenty of people are finding enough value in their products to buy them.

The good news is that these days, there are plenty of alternatives for most of them at a variety of more palatable price points (especially with all the sales).
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby resistorman » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:48 am

Back when computers were weak and add on processing cards made sense I bought a couple of Mackie UAD cards. I also bought the Focusrite Liquid Mix devices. They sounded great! But when machines and native plugins evolved and it was faster to render natively I felt trapped and cut my losses. I couldn't take any of those great sounding plugins with me... I got good work from them so only mild regrets. But I'd never invest in a closed system now... it's a golden age of algorithmic alchemists utilizing increasingly powerful native systems at shockingly good prices.
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby forumuser934245 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:09 am

I have an Apollo Firewire QUAD has been working great for quite sometime. I use the plug-ins included with the interface and have purchased 1 or 2 afterwards. All my other plugins are from 3rd parties and are not tied to the Apollo.
Their plugins are nice, but there are a lot of developers that offer better plugins in my opinion. Besides, a lot of the plugins that have been integrated in the UAD market are also available on Plugin Alliance for cheaper and not tied to the Apollo. So if I want to dump the interface on eBay I can and sell it and my UAD Plug-ins and be done with UAD (if I choose to do so).
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Re: Universal Audio (think twice before investing)

Postby CS70 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:20 pm

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.
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