UAD Presets 3 Manual

These presets for UAD plugins come with helpful explanations and instructions. They can be used as starting points for your own mix, or as a way of learning more about each plugin. As always, feel free to experiment, the instructions are based on my own workflow and “ear”. I hope you enjoy and they help you make even better music!

This set focusses on the most popular UAD reverb plugins. The wet/dry mix is set to use as normal channel inserts and demonstrates a good starting point. If the reverb is on an aux channel, the preset should be set to 100% wet and mixed with the send. This is easily accomplished by hitting the “Wet Solo” button. (But remember to turn the wet solo off if you are on a normal channel insert!)

The main goal here is subtlety and usability. There are no “center of a galactic star” or other wild settings. More experimental settings are just that, experimental. And usually for one specific task where you would be chasing creativity and probably never use it again. These presets are to enhance the audio and place it in a real (sounding) space, and should be usable again and again.

Really important note (sort of): The presets that are numbered (for instance, room_1, room_2, room_3) are meant to be complimentary or used together. In other words, they recreate the same space but with changes in apparent mic or performance position. Using “room_1” on a vocal and “room_2” on an instrument should put them in the same space, but in different locations or using a different mic setup. (Rather than simply varying the amount of reverb, other variables are tuned.) I am not going to claim this is 100% accurate, because we are dealing with sometimes inconsistent algorithms here, but they should be pretty close and give the sense of “same space.”

Another really important note (sort of): In addition to the info on each plugin, there are also some tips and techniques at the end of the page!


Note: Penny presets are calibrated for an input signal level of -18dbfs RMS (more or less).

Requires UAD v. 11

UAD AMS RMX16 Expanded

The original hardware unit was the first micro-processor controlled digital delay/reverb. At the time it competed against the Lexicon 224, although it lacks some of the complexity Lexicon has built into producing the reverb tails. Not that that matters now, but UAD has captured the character of the original and it still remains very hard to beat. And that “reverb tail” thing actually keeps the AMS RMX16 sounding a bit cleaner in a busy mix.

The decay filter on the RMX16 is a great way to tune your sound, so play with that first. Both the high and low (or one or the other) are unavailable on some of the Program settings. Don’t let that fool you, it’s part of the charm!


  • acoustic_room_1, acoustic_room_2, acoustic_room_3, acoustic_room_4

A nice simple space, not big but very controlled. Imagine a mic being moved around the room to 4 different places.


  • chamber_1, chamber_2

A chamber with a very  clean sound and a fairly short echo. (Don’t think Capitol or Abbey Road.) A nice way to add some chamber-style reverb without drowning out the sound.


  • clean_plate_1, clean_plate_2, clean_plate_3

Imagine a perfect plate with a perfect material, perfectly tuned with even the screws on it sounding nice. Well, that’s a nice fantasy but get real. Part of plate reverb is not sounding perfect. But these are very clean (hence, the name) settings what try to take the metallic taste out of the vibrations.


  • drum_room_1, drum_room_2

Adding some boom, and a little snap with the pre-delay. The transients should stick out a little more with these. Use 1 on the directs and 2 on the overheads to fill the space. Or vice versa to add more floor.


  • small_room_1, small_room_2

These will probably work best with a vocal or acoustic instrument. Just a touch of reverb you will have to A/B to notice.


  • smooth_doubler_1, smooth_doubler_2, smooth_echo

Just some doubling, without phasing and kept quiet. Use smooth_echo to throw a little more space on the sound.


  • space_1, space_2

Not outer space, just a bigger room. It takes a lot of the high end off of the reverb – you can adjust the decay filter depending on your source.


  • tape_echo_1, tape_echo_2, tape_delay

Reproducing a tape slap echo, 1 is 15 ips, and 2 is 7.5 ips. The delay setting  fills the space more.


  • thick_1, thick_2, thick_3, widener

These will fatten up the sound and give it more “heft” (< insert whatever marketing word you like to mean fuller). Widener doesn’t actually do anything to the stereo field, but it seems like it does.


  • 18_18_18_18

Just a little fun, but it does sound pretty good and shows the power of unintentional patterns.


UAD Capitol Chambers

Capitol Chambers and Ocean Way are based on impulse responses that are algorithmically processed depending on the settings. That’s why they flash for a couple seconds and are not ready to use instantly after a change. Just thought you’d like to know that.


  • mono_1, mono_2, mono_3, mono_4

Below (at the end of the page) you can find more about using reverb in mono. Here are four settings you can use like that. I like chambers 4 and 6, and I like the traditional setups and placement. I mean, why use a chamber if you are going to fill it with fancy new speakers and mics?



The only thing that would make the UAD EMT 140 more real is if it weighed 600 lbs (270 kgs). Remember that next time someone wants to argue with you about digital vs. analog.


  • mono_plate_A_1, mono_plate_A_2
  • mono_plate_B_1, mono_plate_B_2
  • mono_plate_C_1, mono_plate_C_2
  • + NPD setting

Settings for the three different plates. The “NPD” means “No Pre-Delay”. Why do I bother with that when I can just shut it off? Because having it as a preset reminds me to use different settings with or without pre-delay to vary the sound. For instance, maybe a vocal on the verse with pre-delay, but none on the chorus. A slight but interesting variation, and this reminds me to think about things like that.


UAD Lexicon 224

Lexicon is gold. That’s all I need to say. Well, it’s complex. I’ll say that too. And the sliders are fun.


  • chamber_1, chamber_2, chamber_3

The chamber Program, and giving it some Penny-subtlety.


  • mono_plate_1, mono_plate_2, mono_plate_3

Use these for mixing mono reverb. (See end of the page.)


  • plate_1, plate_2, plate_3

You can combine these with the mono settings above, on separate aux busses. Send a clean mono reverb down the middle, and then widen it out with stereo on the sides. (See end of the page.)


  • small_room_1, small_room_2, small_room_3

Nice intimate space, but not a lot of echo. Very cozy on vocals or acoustic guitar. Perfect for acoustic bass to add a little space with no rumbling or diffusion.


  • studio_1, studio_2, studio_3

Ok, you’re in a really nice studio. And you have your choice of 3 mic positions.


  • slap_chorus, lookingdown, lookingup

Fun stuff. The reason for the names will be obvious. Amazingly, some good sounds!


UAD Lexicon 480L

See what I wrote above on the Lexicon 224. Same here. Only even better.


  • ero_1, ero_2, ero_3, ero_4, ero_5, ero_6

“ero” means “Early Reflections Only”. Now, that’s not technically true, but it is true in practicality. Basically what you are getting here is only early reflections, with no tails. This works super well on vocals to just add a bit of depth. Completely unnoticeable, until you notice it. Pretty sweet on acoustic guitar as well. You get the sense of reverb, with no cluttering buildup.

  • mono_room_A_1, mono_room_A_2, mono_room_B_1, mono_room_B_2, mono_room_C_1, mono_room_C_2

Sets to use with mono reverb sends. Clean and simple room/studio feel.

  • amb_1, amb_2

What the 480L is famous for, the Ambience program. Adds some life without drawing any attention to itself.


UAD Ocean Way Studios

  • close_remic_1, close_remic_2, magic_remic_1, magic_remic_2, magic_remic_3, magic_remic_4, magic_remic_B_1, ReMic_A, ReMic_B

A lot of people seem to have problems with the “Re-Mic” function on the Ocean Way. Use it in mono, that is my advice. Here are presets to do just that.

close_remic will feel right up next to the mic, but with no proximity effect. You may have to adjust the low shelf if you need a little more low end.

There is nothing magic about the magic_remics, just a fancy name. Each one uses a different mic and slightly different location. I have managed to eliminate the phasing (which I think most people struggle with when using the re-mic function). These may trim out too much high end, particularly on vocals, so just try and see. It works quite nicely faking new cabinets on guitars.


  • room_reverb_1 … 10, room_reverb_B_1… 10

Various mics and distances all setup to work together within each group. You just have to try them! Best in mono.


  • room_reverb_Full_1, room_reverb_Full_2, room_reverb_Full_3

Bigger multi-mic setups that really capture the sound of the space without being “too much.”


Tips & Techniques

  • Mono Reverb

Want to unclutter your tracks? Record most things in mono! Yes, you may have this lush, vibrating, space-filling synth pad. Try it in mono, along with most everything else. Once you do this, you have lots of control over your sound stage. Things can actually be panned!

Along with this, a mono reverb can really clean things up. You have an instrument panned right, send the reverb right out there with it. Each sound will maintain its own identity and space this way. Or pan the mono instrument to one side, and the mono reverb to the other. You get a big sound, and still have left a lot of space.

A simple way to do it—set up three auxes. Mono reverb right, mono reverb left, mono reverb center. Use the sends on your tracks to go to the appropriate “location”.

An even simpler way to do it—put the mono version of your plugin as an insert. The reverb will follow where ever you pan your track.


  • Dual reverb sends

This works especially well with vocals, but try it on anything! Set up a mono aux with a mono reverb. Use a very clean setting (see some of the presets above). Send this right down the center.

Set up another aux with a stereo reverb. Settings with less early reflections work best, and you can try a bit of a longer pre-delay.

You want both of the reverbs to be in the same “space” but with subtle differences. For instance, have mainly early reflections in the mono reverb (down the center) and very quiet ones on the stereo (down the sides). The reverb will bloom out from the center to the sides. There are all kinds of ways to do this, but start out with identical settings in an identical space.

On your track make a separate send for each aux, one for the mono and one for the stereo. Adjust the mono (center), adjust the stereo (sides). You can do so much with this. Let’s say you want a really strong initial reverb, but a quiet tail. Using the example I gave above adjusting early reflections, simply tweak the sends!

Just an fyi—you can’t just feed the mono reverb into the stereo one. The second reverb will be responding to the reflections in the first reverb. (I mean you can do this if you like, and you will get some interesting sounds, but it’s not how the technique works.)


  • Reverb Chain

When you setup an aux for reverb, you have any number of inserts you can use to augment the reverb. This is my favorite…

First insert: UAD Pultec HLF-3C. I have a preset which mimics the eq curve used by Abbey Road engineers back in the day before they sent a signal to their chambers. Basically, you cut everything below 600hz and everything above 10kHz . This eliminates both muddiness and harsh brightness. You can adjust these hpf/lpf settings to whatever suits your material. Of course, you can use practically any EQ to do this.

Second insert: A compressor. An LA-2A style is good, because it’s easy to just turn that one knob. Really push it, like 10db or more on loud parts. What you are doing is fooling the reverb to even itself out.

Third insert: The reverb. The only thing to remember is that you have already EQ-ed the audio coming in. Also, the compressor can go after the reverb, but it is a totally different effect. It will make the reverb tails louder, for one thing. But you can try both ways and hear how it sounds.

Fourth insert: Something like the VSM-3 to add some distortion. I have a preset I use with just a touch of character. You can also use the EL Fatso, a tape plugin, or any kind of distortion.

You should get a nice reverb sound that stays out of the way. Keep in mind as you increase the send level you will be driving the compressor harder. It takes a little tweaking. The real fun begins when you send several tracks to this same aux. It will be acting like a bus compressor before it hits the reverb. For instance, if you have sends from a guitar and vocal going to the aux, a loud guitar strum will effect the amount of vocal that gets passed to the reverb. Try it and hear!


  • One more technique

Putting any kind of movement into your reverb chain can be really interesting. I like to put the Waves Brauer Motion plugin either before or after the reverb. You can get some very nice movement into the reverb send this way. Any kind of “motion-inducing” plugin can do this, but the Waves Brauer is ideal!


Back to the preset page.


Developed by chief engineer Robert Conlon.