UAD Fairchild 670

So, it looks like the mojo in the 670 is that it adds a touch of harmonics. Until the gain reduction kicks in, then it takes off. Sometimes I like to use this across a bunch of channels, so I can feel like I have a dozen or more Fairchild’s sitting in my rack. I then go out and sell them and retire.

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UAD Elysia MPressor

The noise floor they chose to keep is rather interesting. It’s probably just going to get lost in dithering (or inaudibleness*), but they modeled it anyway!

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UAD Elysia Alpha (Mastering Version)

It doesn’t get any cleaner than this, or any flatter of a frequency response. The hardware version costs over $10k, of which 75¢ must have been devoted to the interface. Seriously, we can’t do any better than this? And it is really awkward using it on the computer screen. Still, it’s about as good sonically as you can get if you are looking for the clearest possible sound, so screw UX.

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UAD EL Fatso

This is one cool dude. If you are really looking to add an analog vibe, you can’t do much better than this. Everything about it is too much fun to work with!

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UAD EL Distressor

If you are like me, you believe that producing music should be fun. If you don’t believe that, then why are you looking at the web right now — get back to work! This is one of those kind of plugins. It’s sometimes a pain in the butt to dial in the right setting, but it’s always fun getting there. (Although I have a serious personal problem when the input, and not a variable threshold, is what activates the compression. I keep meds next to my 1176.)

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UAD DBX 160

This pushes your signal up on the default setting. I didn’t balance it because I thought it was amazing there was this much gin built-in. It gets louder just waiting for you to compress it! Notice the very slight bump at 10kHz and then the frequency response drifts down. Not sure it’s enough to be audible, but it wants to add a little air and then dips before it gets harsh. You know, because a plugin has it’s own volition.

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UAD Tube-Tech CL 1B

Tube-Tech says their optical compressor is smooth and musical. Well, it works on music, so I guess it’s musical. And it’s a compressor, so I guess it’s smooth. OK, I apologize. I am fascinated that a whole alt-vocabulary has developed around describing what sound sounds like, or even better, marketing what sound sounds like. Can anyone say “adds warmth”? (Yes, “warmth”—less high end.)

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