<![CDATA[Blog - Universal Audio]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/ Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:16:35 +0000 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[5-Minute UAD Tips: Ocean Way Studios]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/5-minute-uad-tips-ocean-way-studios/ The Ocean Way Studios plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces is unique among ambience and reverb plug-ins. Using Dynamic Room Modeling, it gives you the ability to immerse your sounds in the Bill Putnam-designed rooms at Ocean Way Studios — using a legendary collection of vintage microphones, expertly placed on your sources.  


In this 5-Minute UAD Tips video, you’ll learn how to harness the unique power of the Ocean Way Studios plug-in.


Learn how to:


    ● Experiment with mic type and distance to get a range of jaw-dropping sounds
    ● Use Re-Mic mode to bring virtual instruments into the rooms of Ocean Way
    ● Re-mic electric guitars to make them fuller and more “real”
    ● Use Reverb Mode to blend drums and a rhythm section 

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Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:48:21 +0000
<![CDATA[UAD elysia• alpha compressor and mpressor by Brainworx Trailer]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/elysia-alpha-mpressor-trailer/ Designed by Brainworx, the elysia• alpha compressor and mpressor plug-ins for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces are faithful emulations of the world-class hardware.


 A powerful tool for mixing and mastering, the elysia• alpha compressor raised the bar upon its release in 2006 with innovative functions and uncompromisingly 100% discrete, ultra transparent, Class-A circuit.  


The elysia• mpressor plug-in, on the other hand, is an essential tool for modern dynamics processing.  The mpressor can produce fat and freaky sounds with punch, beautiful coloration, and extreme processing options.

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Tue, 05 Aug 2014 17:26:14 +0000
<![CDATA[UAD elysia• alpha compressor by Brainworx Tutorial ]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/elysia-alpha-tutorial/ A powerful, ultra-high-end tool for mixing and mastering, the elysia• alpha compressor raised the bar upon its release in 2006 with innovative functions and uncompromisingly 100% discrete, ultra transparent, Class-A circuit.

Fetching over $10,000 new, the alpha compressor is nearly unmatched amongst dynamics processors for its openness and clarity.

Designed by Brainworx, the elysia• alpha compressor plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces is a faithful emulation of the world-class hardware.

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Mon, 04 Aug 2014 23:57:58 +0000
<![CDATA[UAD elysia• mpressor by Brainworx Tutorial]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/elysia-mpressor-tutorial/ The elysia• mpressor plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces is an essential tool for modern dynamics processing. Developed by Brainworx, the mpressor plug-in is an exacting emulation of this piece of high-end, Class-A hardware, and can produce fat and freaky sounds with punch, beautiful coloration, and extreme, yet musical, processing options.

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Mon, 04 Aug 2014 23:55:25 +0000
<![CDATA[Buddy Miller on Making Records with Apollo and UAD-2 Plug-Ins]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/artist-interview-buddy-miller/
"After all these years, my ears are fine tuned, so I know a great song when I hear it," says Buddy Miller.

Robert Plant has a pretty good track record with the guitarists who accompany him, so when he tapped longtime Nashville player, songwriter, and producer Buddy Miller to be the musical director, guitarist, and co-producer for his Band of Joy project, he no doubt knew the vast expertise Miller brought to the table.

Whether through the records he’s written and produced with his wife, Julie Miller, or with fellow producer/writer Jim Lauderdale, or via his sideman/production gigs with legends like Emmylou Harris, Miller has remained one of Nashville’s true believers, ably side-stepping the trendier aspects of pop-country while focusing on the artists who’ve earned his respect and affection.

Miller, currently the Executive Music Producer of the hit show that bears his adopted town’s name—the top-rated Nashville—is no stranger to wearing different musical hats. Here, he discusses his extraordinary juggling act, and how UAD Powered Plug-Ins, like the Ocean Way Studios Plug-In, help his creative process. 

How did you come by the Nashville music producer gig, and what are the challenges to that job?
Callie Khouri called me to produce a few songs for the ABC Nashville pilot, and when the show got picked up T Bone Burnett became the season one executive music producer. There is no one better than T Bone. I got to know him while playing guitar on the Raising Sand tour with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Subsequently, he called me to play guitar on several projects he was producing. While working with T Bone on the show, I ended up producing or co-producing 20 to 30 songs for that first season. I learned so much being around him and found out the many and varied needs of a music driven TV show. Season two T Bone stepped away, and they offered me the Executive Music Producer position. It involves a lot more than producing and playing — it also involves helping pick the songs, matching songs to script and individual characters, working with the cast on their vocals, and recruiting outside producers to create a varied-but-unified sound. We usually record  three versions of each song. It is a lot of work, but it helps that the cast and everyone working on the show are really talented people.

What’s the through-line with balancing all these different hats — just a big set of ears?
Yeah, I think that’s part of it, and it helps that I’m old! Music is the only thing I’ve ever done since I was a teenager. For me, it’s never been about just one genre or one hat. I love almost every kind of music, and I’ve played every instrument I could get my hands on. I’ve always been intrigued by recording and producing. I had a reel to reel-to-reel recorder when I was 10 years old!

I grew up in the ’60s when radio was wide open and played mixed formats, it was a wild time for music, and rock was inventing itself. I went to Woodstock one weekend, and a bluegrass festival the next. Musicians were creative beyond words. But I think it’s a fertile time for new music right now too — there are so many inspiring songwriters and new bands. Working on ABC’s Nashville show has put many of them in front of me. Also, after all these years, my ears are fine tuned so I know a great song when I hear it.

“I used to agonize over mic preamps, but I don’t have to do that anymore because the Apollo mic preamps sound really good.”

You’ve done a pretty immense amount of writing yourself.
Yeah, My wife is more of the writer in the family, and yes, we’ve had success with writing. But our output is small by the standards of this town. Nashville is unique in the world. It’s like the Brill Building spread out over an entire city — there’s an energy here. You’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of full-time songwriters. I can’t even imagine how many songs are being turned in every single day, some are crap, but a lot of them are really good.

You do most of your records at your house, is that right?
Yeah — most records I’ve made, and continue to make, I’ve done here at my home studio. At first it was because I couldn’t afford to work in a studio, and I wanted to work all through the night, then I began to love the sound of my house and learn some of its secrets. I produced Shawn Colvin’s last record here, and Richard Thompson’s last one, Solomon Burke made one, and we made a Robert Plant record here that might see the light someday. But the truth is, wherever I record, I use Universal Audio plug-ins. I use my favorite UAD plug-ins on every project.

It’s funny, I have a lot of the original hardware that the UAD plug-ins are based on, and the plugs really do sound great — even compared to the hardware.

I moved to Nashville over 20 years ago with a Studer A80 2” recorder, now I’ve got a Fatso, old Urei 1176s, and the new reissues, a Fairchild 670, DBX 160’s, BAE1073’s, an LA-2A, the Manley Massive Passive, and I’ve even got a nice plate reverb in my basement. My console is an old ’70s Trident B-Range 28x24-channel console.

And even with all this analog gear, the plug-ins are still amazing to me. They just sound great, they really do. So even though I have a 2” machine and a 1/2" machine, I find myself using the Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder plug-in and the Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder plug-in a lot.

“If you get a great vocal take, you’re set.” Buddy Miller

You’re a fan of ambient recording. Are there any particular plug-ins that lend themselves to that?
Well, the Ocean Way Studios Plug-In kills me. Yes, I’m a big fan of ambient recording, and I love the sound of rooms. To me, when I make recordings in my house, I like that it sounds like a house and I always use room mics. Bleed is my friend. I might have guitar amps in the room with the drums, and drums in the room with the singer. You just need to have great players, and singers that can really sing.

I’ll sometimes have my singer in the same room with the drummer if it’ll get a better performance. I’ve had Jay Bellerose or Marco Giovino in the room, with the singer about 12-feet from the drummer — and that’s without gobos or baffles around them — just singing in the room. And they sound like real recordings of a great performance, and isn’t that the goal?

That can make mixing a bit tricky, of course.
Y’know, if you get a great vocal take, you’re most of the way there. Sure, bleed can complicate the mixing, but it also adds something real to it. Upright bass is the trickiest for me to mix if it’s in the room. That’s the instrument I might isolate if possible. I like having a ton of low-end in the upright sound, and that can be hard to preserve.

Still, I’ll use the Ocean Way Studios Plug-In on tracks, including vocals. My room doesn’t always provide the sound I’m going for, so I look for ways to embellish: I might put up a pair of ribbon mics and smash them through a couple compressors, having the compression bring out things in the room sound that you normally wouldn’t hear. Mic placement and certain pieces of gear can help you do that, but the Ocean Way Studios plug-in is amazing for that.

Are there any other applications you might use the Ocean Way Studios Plug-In for?
Jim Lauderdale and I have a weekly radio show on Sirius XM — The Buddy & Jim Show. This town is home to so many deep songwriters and artists, many of whom are my heroes, I thought let’s do a show and have a guest every week, to sing a little bit, play old records, and then we’ll talk about music. So when they play, I add a little of that Ocean Way Studios Plug-In, to imply that it’s a nicer room than the one we’re actually in.

I feel like I hear the EMT® 140 Classic Plate Reverberator plug-in on some of your recordings, too.
I do use the EMT-140 Plate Reverb Plug-In a lot, which is funny, considering that I have a very nice real huge plate reverb in the basement, just below my console — except that sometimes I think I think I hear mice walking on my plate. You definitely do not have mice walking on the plug-in version, and the plug-in gets me most of the way there!

I understand you’ve also been using the Apollo 16 interface quite a bit.
There’s this cruise from Miami to St. Barts and St. Croix — but it’s not your typical party boat. It’s called Cayamo, and it involves probably 30 to 40 artists, all roots music; people like Lyle Lovett, John Prine and Bruce Hornsby, Ricky Skaggs and Lucinda Williams. We had Kris Kristofferson last year, and Brandi Carlile. Well, loving collaborative moments as much as I do, I realized that I was missing an opportunity to record some incredible moments. I decided to bring an engineer, a bunch of mics, and a recording rig onto the boat to make a record. And that’s what I did.

The Cayamo staff let me bring Gordon Hammond to engineer, and we brought in an Apollo 16. They gave us the ship’s bowling alley to use as our studio — it's the vibiest room on the boat. And I recorded collaborations with Kris Kristofferson, The Lone Bellow and Brandy Carlisle, Lee Ann Womack, and many others. I used the Apollo 16 throughout, and of course mixed it using UAD plug-ins and it sounds really great. In fact, I use the Apollo 16 for all of my location recording.

“Even though I have a Studer two-inch tape machine, I find myself using the Studer A800 and the Ampex ATR-102 plug-ins a lot.”

Can you go into more detail about your workflow with the Apollo 16 on the Cayamo cruise?
Pardon the pun, but it was a lifesaver! Being able to use the UAD plug-ins while you’re tracking, and be able to get good rough mixes real fast — I mean everything moves more quickly because of that.

Buddy Miller's Apollo 16 recording rig aboard the Cayamo Cruise.

We had a rack with16 outboard mic pres, and with the Apollo 16 that’s all we needed — it’s portable, has as many inputs as you can need to make a record, and instantly sounds right. We used all 16 inputs, and not only were we able to set up a kind of mini studio in the bowling alley on the boat, but with DB25 cabling, we could break down the system really quickly and set up in the theater for live recording the same night. Then bring it back to the bowling alley, and with our cue system working through Apollo’s Console application, we would listen to playback right off the Apollo 16. It was really easy to get rough mixes up right there on the boat in our makeshift studio.

When I’m engineering, it’s so fast and furious, I’m not finessing anything. What I’m concerned about is if there are headphones — and half the time there aren’t, because I also love to record without headphones — but if we are using headphones, I want them to sound as beautiful as possible for the musicians and singers, because that’s how you get their best.

Other than that, it’s about helping players get comfortable and not think about “making a record” just play music and capture the performance to tape — or whatever it is now!

You also own an Apollo QUAD interface. In what capacity do you use it?
I use the Apollo QUAD quite a bit when I’m doing my radio show, almost in a field recording capacity, and that small format with the four inputs is perfect for me. And I will say that the mic preamps on it are great. I don’t think twice about using them to for anything at any time.

I used to agonize over mic preamps, but I don’t anymore because the Apollo mic preamps sound really good.

You’re someone whose higher profile work happened a bit later in life. How did you stay strong in the business even during the leaner times?
Well, maybe because I was able to do a lot of things — none of them all that great — but a lot of things. I was able to juggle and somehow pay the bills. Doing everything from playing sessions to singing jingles, writing songs, engineering, producing, and touring as an artist or sideman. I’ve always felt that if I can make music and pay the bills, that’s the goal — everything else is gravy overflow. I grew up living in broke hippie band houses, with ten guys and ten dogs, playing six nights a week, living pretty lean. Eventually, you just figure out how to make things work. And these days I love everything I do, that’s a prerequisite: if it’s not fun, I don’t do it. Life is too short. It’s been an amazing run.

Buddy Miller Photos: CJ Hicks
Cayamo Cruise Apollo Rig Photo: Chas Smith

 

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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:22:27 +0000
<![CDATA[Mixing Bronze Radio Return’s “Melting in My Icebox” with UAD Plug-Ins]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/producers-corner-bronze-radio-return/
F. Reid Shippen

F. Reid Shippen is a Nashville­-based music producer, engineer, and mixer who’s been fortunate to have mixed 10 Grammy-­award winning projects, as well as hits in multiple genres such as pop, country, R&B, and CCM. He’s worked with such luminary artists as Ingrid Michaelson, Dierks Bentley, India.Arie, Death Cab for Cutie, Matthew Perryman Jones, Shania Twain, the Temptations, and, of course, Bronze Radio Return.

Here, Shippen details how he used UAD-2 plug-ins on the Bronze Radio Return track, “Melting in My Icebox” from the album Up, On & Over.

Bronze Radio Return makes such fun, celebratory music, and their producer, Chad Copelin, is a badass engineer in his own right, so it’s always such a pleasure to work with fun and talented people, and this record was a career highlight.

BRR is a very quirky band, which is part of their charm, and then they turn on you with these massive, glorious hooks. The challenge in mixing this record was maintaining the band’s unique identity while making sure the hooks paid off.

“Melting in My Icebox” is one such earworm and we were all very happy with how it turned out.

Bronze Radio Return - Melting in My Icebox

I mix a lot of music in a lot of different genres, and I turn to UAD-2 plug-ins constantly for the character they impart. One of the things I like about them the most is that they have strange tricks and “weirdnesses” just like all of my favorite outboard gear. The first thing I’m going to show you is a bit of a secret trick — especially for electric guitars.


The Middle Finger on Guitars

Ok, so the old Helios EQ modules are awesome, as one knows, and the UAD Helios™ Type 69 EQ plug-in is a really great emulation of that hardware, right down to the unique tricks that make this my "go­ to" EQ for electric guitar.

Trick 1: Knock the bass EQ up one notch to 60 Hz. I don’t add any gain­ but the bottom end will instantly get thicker. (Rumor has it that Richard Dodd made the UA cats get this right. Sure, it makes no sense, but it’s how the real Helios works and it sounds great!

Trick 2: Turn the 10 kHz all the way down, and then crank up the midrange EQ between 10 and 15 dB. When the frequency is set to one of the top three choices, the midrange will stand up and give you the middle finger as you inch the gain up.

Here’s the guitar dry.

BRR Icebox EG  no UA

And here it is with the Helios EQ tweaks.

BRR Icebox EG  with UA

It’s like magic and it’s my favorite way to get some attitude into guitars. I added the venerable Teletronix® LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler plug-in behind it to catch the peaks and level things out. Granted, this example is a looped phrase, but the UAD plug-ins really helped it step out.

 

Something in the Air

Bronze Radio Return does amazingly textured vocals, and they have to sound interesting. There are a few things going on in this stack that I wanted to have happening.

First, the live vocals needed air, presence, and some space. But there’s also a synth choir blended in behind them, and I wanted to separate it out from the vocals in a way that would enhance the “stack” sound without being an obvious “synth” part.

I love the Cooper® Time Cube Mk II Delay plug-in for messing with soundfield cues. I use it constantly. I ran the synth choir through that to spread it out behind the vocals using the “Guitar Bloomer” preset. Then I ran the whole vocal stack through the Neve® 88RS Channel Strip plug-in, the Neve® 33609 / 33609SE Compressor plug-in, and the EMT® 140 Classic Plate Reverberator plug-in.

Here are the background vocals dry.

BRR Icebox BGVs - Dry

And here they are with the UAD plug-ins.

BRR Icebox BGVs with UA

The “trick” with the Neve 88RS is to crank up the high band of the EQ — as you can see I’ve dimed it — and then back the HF Filter down until you get some nice air in the top-end that has a lot of detail without being too crazy bright. This move also works very well on acoustic guitars.

The Neve 33609 behind the EQ gives me some level control and a touch of thickness, while the EMT 140 plate gives me a just a bit of space.

 

Space Jam Hand Claps

The thing I love most about the UAD-2 plug-ins is that they allow you to be subtle. For far too long a lot of digital processing sounded very “all-or-nothing” to me, but with UAD-2, I can do a lot of the little things that I believe add up to a lot.

In this case, I used the Teletronix® LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler plug-in and the Cooper® Time Cube Mk II Delay plug-in with the preset, “Haas Effect Left” to give the track’s hand claps a cool 3-D feel.

Here are the hand claps without UAD.

BRR Icebox Claps - Dry

And here they are with the Copper Time Cube and LA-3A plug-ins.

BRR Icebox Claps with UA

The Cooper kicks the hand claps out to the sides, away from vocals and kick and snare, and the LA-­3A has a natural brightness that always sounds great on percussion. I may have let the LA­-3A clip the output a bit to get a little more snap though — don’t tell the clients!

Visit F. Reid Shippen at robotlemon.com.

 

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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:35:41 +0000
<![CDATA[5-Minute UAD Tips: Thermionic Culture Vulture]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/5-minute-uad-tips-culture-vulture/ Thermionic Culture Vulture for UAD­-2 and Apollo interfaces is an exacting emulation of the legendary, one­-of-­a-­kind, valve distortion tool. By faithfully capturing its three distinct all­-valve circuit topologies, the Culture Vulture plug-­in offers everything from subtle thickening textures to over­-the-­top buzzsaw distortions.

In this 5­-Minute UAD Tips video, learn how to harness the power of the Culture Vulture’s wide­-ranging distortion palette to your workflow.  

Learn how to:

● Beef up and saturate drums with vibey, old­-school distortion
● Add articulation and warmth to bass tracks
● Transform clean electric guitars into grinding rhythm parts
● Make clean vocals “pop” with attitude and grit

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Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:26:57 +0000
<![CDATA[UAD Thermionic Culture Vulture Plug-In Trailer]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/uad-culture-vulture-trailer/ Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces faithfully emulates all of the original hardware’s sonic proclivities and diabolical details, including its three distinct all-valve circuit topologies. Now — thanks to an intense multi-year engineering effort from Universal Audio — you can track and mix with the only authentic circuit emulation of this one-of-a-kind valve distortion tool with the Thermionic Culture Vulture plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:09:39 +0000 <![CDATA[Softube Valley People Dyna-mite Plug-In Trailer]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/valley-people-dyna-mite-trailer/ Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:57:34 +0000 <![CDATA[Softube Tonelux Tilt EQ Plug-In Trailer]]> http://www.uaudio.com/blog/tonelux-tilt-trailer/ Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:29:40 +0000