We all love “listicles” (list-articles if you don’t recognise the portmanteau) and I started to compose a top 5 based around the typical “if you could only have 5, which 5?” scenario.
My first thoughts were based on what do to think of when I think of UAD plug-ins? They are DSP based, they are high quality, they are premium. All true but to me the thing I associate with UAD plug-ins is the very best quality modelling of classic analogue hardware. There are so many modern, innovative plug-ins available which do every bit as good a job of processing audio (think Fabfilter, McDSP, Exponential Audio) but if I want to process my recordings using the tools I might have had available in the golden era of big studios then I’m naturally going to think of UAD. With this in mind my first draft of a top 5 was uncompromisingly old school, basically it was answering the question “what hardware would I want to use if I could use anything on this project”? You’ll notice there is no mention of the Fairchild on this list. I wondered about that but although I really admired the Fairchild Collection I can’t honestly say I use it. I don’t know why that is but all of these five I use regularly.
Old School List
- Teletronix LA2a Leveler Collection
- 1176 Classic Limiter Collection
- EMT 140 Classic Plate Reverberator
- Neve 1073 Preamp &EQ Collection
- API 500 Series EQ Collection
I wasn’t happy with this though. If I’m not including the Fairchild because in spite of thinking it’s amazing I never use it, then surely my list should be based on what I use most rather than what appeals to me the most. In that case I’d have to revise my list and (depending on when you ask me, this stuff changes constantly) it might look something like the Most Used List:
My Most Used List
- Neve 88RS Channel Strip Collection
- Ampeg B15N Bass Amplifier
- Thermionic Culture Vulture
- Manley Vari Mu
- Galaxy Tape Echo
Value For Money
The fact that I’ve produced two different lists in as many minutes means that maybe I should suggest a list based on something more concrete than appeal. This led me to look at value and in terms of value the annual UAD Holiday Sale makes a big difference. There are some serious bargains to be had. If I was looking to treat myself I’d be looking at these, and If you really thought I’d pass over the Fairchild, don’t worry, it’s in there!
My Top 5 Bargains List
- Maag EQ4 EQ - £50 was £175
- Dangerous Bax EQ Collection - £59 was £189
- Elysia Mpressor - £39 was £149
- 1176 Classic Limiter Collection - £115 was £229
- Fairchild Tube Limiter Collection - £115 was £229
The UAD Holiday Sale runs until 31st December 2016
Some people might find their prices differ from the prices quoted in this article. The pricing takes into account products you already own and adjusts accordingly. UAD explain in the sale FAQs:
"Our web store will automatically reduce the price of some plug-in collections based on what you currently own. For example, the Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ Collection will be discounted to a lower price if you already own the Neve 1073/1073 SE Legacy plug-ins. If you do not own the Legacy plug-ins at the time of purchase, the web store will show you the standard price. Our web store automatically detects what plug-ins you already own and will show you any upgrade pricing that you are entitled to".