For those of you not familiar with the UAD DSP cards for plug-ins, here is a link that will explain the basics of it.
Some things need to be stated right up front:
- I don't do product reviews, per se so please do not consider this to be one.
- I am a UA beta tester and unabashed fanboy.
- If you buy a UAD-2 card or Apollo interface, be warned, these plug-ins are sonic crack, you will get addicted. All plug-ins have fully-functional 14-day demos.
The UAD platform is quite understandably renowned for its compressor, EQ, channel strip, and tape recorder emulations. The new 1176 series, Neve, SSL, Ampex and Studer 800 emulations are terrific sounding and very faithful to the hardware, although no emulation is ever exactly the same as hardware, no matter whose marketing hype says that they are. However, there are a lot of native versions that are very good as well, and people can reasonably prefer, or not, one of them to the UA suite.
So let me focus on some vintage items that are unique and maybe not well understood, especially by less experienced users.
Cooper© Time Cube
During the late '70s to early '80s, I was a staff writer for several publishers and did lots of demos for my songs that I sang the lead on. When I wanted a doubling effect, I had to sing the lead another time to match the original. When you are recording four songs with lots of tracks, vocals, overdubs, and mixing in eight hours allotted time, there was simply not enough time to do this well. Nor were the studios set up for using two tape machines to do the ADT (Artificial Double Track) that the Beatles made famous. And there was not yet such a thing as a digital delay.
The answer was this weird gadget that utilized a garden hose (!) to produce a mechanical delay. It sounded great and gave a texture to vocals that really helped them sit well in a mix and I loved it. So when the UA emulation appeared, I could not wait to try it and sure enough, it was 'that sound'