The UAD Neve 1073 is an emulation of perhaps the most iconic of all preamps.
Rupert Neve designed the 1073 in 1970 to be used as a module in Neve mixing boards. It certainly has taken on a life of its own. One defining characteristic is that the input and output stages are at full power all the time, meaning it provides a very accurate response with little distortion. (Of course, you can make it distort if you want!)
The three band EQ provides enough, without overwhelming you with options. Perfect for a preamp. The EQ curves are musical (fancy way of saying sloped and not too steep). The stepped mic/line control makes for easy recall of settings to match mics or DIs. In other words, it is easy to use and sounds great.
Before you do anything else – compare the UAD plugin to the Waves plugin here and read a little about what Andrew Scheps has to say about the Waves version. (And compare it to the IK Multimedia TR5 EQ-73 as well.)
OK, did you do it? As you can see there are lots of differences!
All of these plugins sound good, I just lay awake at night wondering which actually sounds most like an original 1073. The UAD seems to put more of an emphasis on an older-style analog (and noisier) reproduction.
- This is a Unison plugin. If you experiment with the mic/line gain you can find some nice sweet spots for your mics. Remember, pushing the mic gain up not only can result in distortion, it also changes the EQ curves.
- The high shelf is a pretty good “air” band. For vocals you can slightly attenuate the mid-band at 7.5 (you will get rid of some ess this way) and then add a little of the high shelf back in.