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UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

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UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby JordanBeats » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:02 pm

Hi, I’m thinking of getting an Apollo twin, and I have a potentially silly question.

If I wanted to record “clean” audio, and add the included UAD plugins later during the mixing stage “as insert plugins basically”, can I do that?

I’m aware you can monitor or record by passing the signal chain through UAD first in real time. But what if I want to record dry first and add these plugins, as well as plugins from other providers like waves ...etc later?
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:22 pm

One word answer: yes. They function as normal plugins in your DAW. That's how I use them almost always.

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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:25 pm

JordanBeats wrote:If I wanted to record “clean” audio, and add the included UAD plugins later during the mixing stage “as insert plugins basically”, can I do that?

Yes, UAD plugins behave exactly the same as other third-party plugins. It's just that internally, the data is being shuffled to the DSP, processed by it, and then back to your DAW, rather than calculated on the computer.

JordanBeats wrote:I’m aware you can monitor or record by passing the signal chain through UAD first in real time. But what if I want to record dry first and add these plugins, as well as plugins from other providers like waves ...etc later?

Basically, the way it works is that the hardware has it's own mixer-like control panel, and with this, you can *optionally* insert UAD plugins which will be "baked in" to the audio that gets recorded in your DAW, for latency reasons (eg, if you're recording a guitar with a UAD amp-sim - you couldn't really do that by placing the amp sim as an insert in your DAW, because the latency would be too bad.)

But you don't have to, and most "normal" usage is not to place any plugins on the inputs (ie with the UAD mixer), and just use them in your DAW as regular third-party plugins.
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby JordanBeats » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:31 pm

Thank you all. I just wanted to be sure that indeed I have the option to either:
1. record audio and pass it through the UAD plugins before it goes to my DAW
2. record an un-affected audio, and add plugins later, either directly on track channels or aux channels.

And from your answers, yes it’s optional.

What about preamps? How do they work on an Apollo? Are they basically “clean” preamps that are unaffected by default, and you get to layer them later with models like tape machines etc?
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:51 pm

The preamps on Apollo kit are very decent in their "vanilla" configuration, however if you so wish you can use "unison" mode in the console app to change a preamp to have the characteristics of some other preamp using a plugin. It comes with the UA 610-B Tube Preamp plugin that does this and you can buy others. Personally I don't bother but there are others who swear by them.

All this is in the manuals, by the way, which are well written and easy to find.

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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:52 pm

JordanBeats wrote:What about preamps? How do they work on an Apollo? Are they basically “clean” preamps that are unaffected by default, and you get to layer them later with models like tape machines etc?

Yes, the preamps are clean, but you can insert various UAD preamp plugins, with their Unison technology, on the signal before it's recorded. These both process the audio just like a regular plugin, and also control the preamp hardware and change various things about the input stage.

But essentially, the preamps are clean, unless you put a modelled preamp plugin on them in the UAD Console, in which case you can have different, subtle, flavours modelled on classic hardware, which are baked into the signal you record in your DAW.

Edit: CC beats me by seconds, once again! :)
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:57 pm

Yes, basically clean preamps. You can load a preamp emulation into the UAD unit and pass the UAD preamp signal through the software preamp emulation before it gets sent to the computer. It's in the emulation that you can create a more coloured driven sound if you want, which then gets sent to the computer and recorded to the track. But once recorded, that's it and you can't make it clean again.

Or you can record without any software emulation, then load the preamp emulation into an insert slot and play about with the sound until you're happy.

Of course the latter method takes up UAD processing power that could be used on other plugins when mixing, so you need to decide how you want to use the unit.

You can of course print a track later once you've got any preamp effects sorted to your satisfaction, leaving you to free up the processing power to add more effects elsewhere.
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:59 pm

desmond wrote:CC beats me by seconds, once again! :)

Must be on form tonight ... :)

Truth is it's so nice to find a question I actually know the answer to!

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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:51 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Truth is it's so nice to find a question I actually know the answer to!

:lol: :thumbup:
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby JordanBeats » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:49 am

Well Desmond and CC I won’t disappoint you as I think I’m not done!

So if I was to ask for your kind advice...

Reason I’m considering the twin is that I’m currently on Steinberg’s UR22, Rode NTA mic, the room is kind of acoustically treated but not professionally. I’ve basically built my own vocal booth that I use for vocals and acoustic guitar, and the rest I do inside the box using Addictive drums for midi kits, native instruments for bass and other instruments and Bias fx for electric guitar. My computer is a Dell XPS with thunderbolt and I’m running Cubase pro.

I want to upgrade my sound, I’m happy to pay say $1,000 to $2,000 on audio hardware, and I’m not sure if I’m best to buy the Twin for a dual preamp interface functionality, or keep the UR22 and invest that money in a preamp. Plus there’s the conversion which I never really thought of before, and I’m guessing the UR22 will degrade the sound given it’s not up there in terms of conversion??

I’m not after many inputs since it’s only me recording one instrument at a time, I’m after the best audio quality I can get for my budget. I will also potentially upgrade the microphone.
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:34 am

It has to be said the, how do you monitor when mixing? If it's on speakers and your only room treatment is the vocal booth your monitoring environment would undoubtedly benefit from some treatment before spending large sums of money on new hardware. If you mix exclusively on headphones then 'as you were chaps' :D
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby Wonks » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:44 am

If your vocal booth is small, then it's probably not helping the recorded sound at all and is likely to make both vocals and guitar sound boxy. A studio vocal booth is really quite a large affair, and if you've got a good sounding room and don't need the isolation, you really don't need one.

Your UR22 is probably one of the last things you need to improve. It is a good quality unit and you'd only really notice any improvement by switching to UAD once you'd upgraded other parts of the recording chain.

Acoustic treatment or more/better acoustic treatment always gives the most benefit to the recorded sound and subsequent mixes. Are you able to post some pictures of your booth and room and existing treatment? (You have to host pictures elsewhere and link to them here).
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:30 pm

While I don't know the UR22 I also think it likely that you won't notice much difference in the preamps. There's been some very interesting stuff on SOS about comparative preamp performance and how extra cost brings diminishing increases in quality.

If I were you I would only buy a Twin if I wanted to buy into the whole UAD approach (which I did, of course, and never regretted it), but not just to improve the preamps - you can use the money better elsewhere.

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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby desmond » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:33 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:If I were you I would only buy a Twin if I wanted to buy into the whole UAD approach (which I did, of course, and never regretted it), but not just to improve the preamps - you can use the money better elsewhere.

+1
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:37 pm

And don't even start to think about worrying about conversion until you've got everything else in your chain sorted (especially the room). :)
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby CS70 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:15 pm

I used UM28 for a while and the preamps were very good, on par with the UA interfaces. The plus of the UA is of course Unison. As others said, before thinking about hardware, think room and microsoft.

You can have a look at https://www.theaudioblog.org/post/what-makes-a-good-recording to see what I would write here :)
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby JordanBeats » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:46 pm

Thank you all, I think without realising it I was suffering a GAS episode (gear acquisition syndrome).

You’re absolutely right, get the fundamentals right first before you worry about the toys.
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby blinddrew » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:47 pm

It happens to us all. Frequently. Fortunately there's a support network to help you out... ;)
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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:22 am

One of the superb things about this place is there's a good number of level headed people here to tell you you don't need the latest whizzy thing with more blinkenlights than Piccadilly Circus to make or record good music. They've been the salvation of many of us.

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Re: UAD plugins and Apollo Twin DSP

Postby Wonks » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:08 am

I'm really not sure why you don't see adverts for Rockwool RW3 and hobnobs in the magazine, instead of ones for bits of kit with flashy lights that we keep dissuading people from buying. :D
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