Powercore or UAD ?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by MC3DPCS, May 21, 2009.

  1. MC3DPCS

    MC3DPCS Active Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    I've got a little bit of experience with Universal Audio plug-ins on a friend's system that has a UAD-2 solo but I've never had hands on with any of the Powercore hardware or plug-ins. I'm thinking about getting either a UAD-2 Duo Flexi or the Powercore Express. The Powercore comes with 14 plug-ins and a $500 voucher and I can get that new for $850. The Duo Flexi comes with the Mix Essentials plug-in pack (5 plugs) and $700 in vouchers. I can get that for a bit over 1 grand. Sales people tell me the UA Duo has more DSP power than the TC Express but I'm hoping someone here has experience with both and can provide some real world advice.

    My system:
    PC: Asus Maximus Formula / Q6700 @ 3 GHz
    Interface: Yamaha n-12 plus a few outboard preamps
    Cubase 4

    Typical usage: tracking rock, jazz, blues, live shows, etc., rarely more than 12 channels but planning to expand by adding an n8.

  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Hey MC3DPCS (that's tough to type!!)

    I've owned and used both extensively. I still currently own the UAD (if that says anything).

    First - these will not work well for live shows. There is a pretty hefty latency in these plugs and they're pretty intensive.

    My thoughts on the two were:
    For compressors and EQs, the UAD is the reigning king.

    For effects such as reverb, chorus and some multi-band type effects, the Powercore is strong. Also, the noise reduction tools on the Powercore are great too.

    The reason that I personally decided to keep the UAD and not the powercore is that I can't get the level of EQ and compressor anywhere else, whereas effects, reverb, chorus...I can get those from numerous other places. I used to run a Crane Song Ibis and a Manley Massive Passive for a little while in the studio as well as a Manley VariMu. While I did love the flavor (or lack thereof) of these devices, they kept my studio hot and were ultimately expensive to upkeep.

    The UA Precision EQ was only a notch off of the quality of the Crane Song. The other EQs (Pultec Pro, Helios, etc.) made up for the massive passive (although NOTHING sounds like the MP, but considering the fact that I'm not getting tons of high end mastering clients, it's tough to justify keeping that big, expensive, hot box in the studio just to collect dust). The Fairchild was pretty similar overall to the VariMu....etc. Considering I could get all of this stuff for around $1K and was able to get over $10K for all of the other gear, it was a no-brainer to me.

    For reverb, I found SIR (a free plugin) to be a great tool pretty comparable to even the best of the TC stuff (although, their higher end reverbs do have a little more clarity and smoothness - it's a close call).

    Well...that's my take on it at least.

  3. MC3DPCS

    MC3DPCS Active Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Thanks for the input, Cucco. Next paycheck, I think the Duo Flexi - she will be mine!

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