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Stay with firewire Apogee Ensemble/Avalon 737 or Go all UAD ?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Pierre, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Pierre

    Pierre Guest

    Would appreciate comments suggestions or alternatives. Im considering switching to UAD Apollo 8 Thunderbolt with all UAD plugins and a new thunderbolt iMac. Presently firewire iMac, Good mics and recording studio. Vocals, acoustics and electrics. Pop country blues jazz
     
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  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Quebec, Canada
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    UAD plugins are way overrated. What you can achieve with the 737 is far more organic and pure than any plugins. Althought the Apollo's preamps are very good they are far from a boutique tube preamps which are unpredictiable and more musical ;)
    To me plugins are tools to fix problems.. If there ain't any problem to fix, I use none... If recorded well, you could mix any song with just the stock plugins.. Or have a suite like Fabfilter's to get a step further.
    Considering plugins as sound and character makers is just a trend that will pass...

    If you want to invest, get another boutique preamp with a different sound to have options.. The real thing isn't a myth
    That's my humble opinion !
     
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  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    +1. Never said better.
     
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  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I think I would stay with the with firewire Apogee Ensemble/Avalon 737. But there are other choices of pre's that might suit your sound better.

    To add to my colleague's great advice, it all starts and stops with vocals and drums to me.
    Drums are all about the room they are recorded in so if you don't have that right, no conversion or plug-in will ever help there.
    Vocals on the other hand, I will die clutching onto my UA LA2A/ 1176LN combo. Those with a great mic-pre, good microphone(s) is where vocals and singing begins for me.

    County / jazz sound... sounds like clean and smooth. Please post some of your music when you have a moment.
    Register and see the Upload File below each post. You can upload MP3 audio there.

    Welcome to our forums.
     
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  5. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Lowell Massachusetts
    Can I ask what the benefit is of not registering? Is it that people just don't want to fill in the registration and click the confirmation link in the email? (I'm being sincere)
    I think there should be a thread....not just for good plug-ins...but for bad ones. I'm not a performing musician (I wouldn't even call myself a musician) so, I make all my music in house....meaning literally, in my house. So I have to use plug-ins for a lot of stuff, I don't have a rack with hw compressors etc. And I can't tell you how much money I have wasted on crappy plug-ins. I think the problem is that a lot of the people who are in my same position (home studio hacks) don't have the proper listening environment. I put a lot of work into my room. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good (needs a sub). So, I think a bunch of people with Pro Tools, a keyboard, and "eh" monitors are rating these plug-ins. But then I buy them, and I have pretty good ears, and a good room....and when you get the plug-ins into an actual listening room...they are terrible.

    Amen. The best studio guy I know sent me a project once to see the final PT session. It was to show me how he routes his sessions at home, but I was amazed at how few plug-ins were there. Some reverb, some eq, a delay, and that was basically it. And the song sounded very good. There is a very specific subset of humans who have a hard time with, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" ....I am one of them. Not because of the concept, but bc the grammar is terrible ;)

    Preach! But seriously, the people that I know who truly know what they are doing, you see very little plug-ins in the session. Or I've seen people just use one track with a reverb pi, and bus all reverb tracks to it. Until that point, I had never thought of doing it that way. But I digress...
    Can I ask what is implied with the word "boutique?"
     
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  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Well it isn't just registering that some people hate. It's the iLock keys, the publicity near spamming etc... but in general registering is a good thing.

    I'm talking of highend preamps, outboard, not included in an audio interfaces.
    The preamp(s) quality is one thing many will dismiss but it's one thing that makes a good deal of difference in the signal chain.
    I was recording with a mixer and a cheap outboard chanel strip for years and all that time I found my sound to be ok but never close to the pro albums.
    My first pro preamp was the Focusrite ISA two. Man, I rediscovered all my microphones because they sounded so much better. From that day I'm in love with ISAs and I now own 8 of them. (2x ISA2 and 1 ISA428)
    You see it's a bit like if we compare a point and shoot camera and a pro DSLR. Both will take pictures but the DSLR makes it look artistic.
    Sound is wider, cleaner, fuller, better frequency response etc...

    Later I bought a used UA LA-610 which is a tube channel strip (Preamp - EQ - Compressor). It has a very different sound and for some sources it works like a charm and when mixed together the different sound characters are easier to mix together when multi-tracking.

    To name a few other recommended preamps : Millennia, Neve, Grace design, Universal audio, Manley, Daking, Great river, etc...
    Getting just one of them is a great way to step up any home studio ;)
     
  7. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lowell Massachusetts
    Can you name me one or two specific boutique models? (or were those the ones at the bottom of your post?) I just want to look at some to educate myself....
    That is one thing I have thoroughly proven to myself. And would take a very elaborate test to change my mind. If you think the preamp doesn't matter, before you buy one, I would suggest you find a local studio, with someone who knows what they are talking about, rent it for an hour or two and have a chat with a pro. They may even have real world examples that are scientifically sound. The amps are usually in the monitors, so that factor won't change. Even in a large space, they won't mess with the amps. Just measure the preamp outputs to be the same and compare (bc then the volume knobs won't corrupt the results) But you have to compare tube to tube and ss to ss. It doesn't really matter, if your ears are good, you'll hear it right away. It will save you money and headache in the long run.

    I had a guy one time show me how different a particular preamp will sound with a particular mic. Keep the mic the same, swap out the preamp and it sounds like a different mic. And they were both SS preamps (non-tube, I don't know what you guys call them). My preamps are the first thing I need to upgrade.
     
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Of course we need not to forget that many people don't have the hearing skills to hear the difference. Those people are very hard to convince. ;)

    Boutique maybe a vague word to discribe them, but I would put any quality outboard preamps in that category. Some noticeable ones : The Millennia ST1, Manley Core, UA LA-610 etc...
     
  9. Brother Junk

    Brother Junk Active Member

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    Aug 6, 2016
    Location:
    Lowell Massachusetts
    I get it now....merci
     
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