Ocean Way Studios (OWS) is the first ambience/reverb plug-in that focuses on a limited set of studios and exhaustively models multiple room positions, unique sound source dispersion patterns, and the studio’s vintage microphones simultaneously — giving you the comprehensive sound of that studio with incredible accuracy. OWS is the only tool that allows the user to dynamically position up to three mic pairs in the room, in this case with Allen Sides providing preset mic choices and their positions, based on his years of experience at Ocean Way Recording. Finally, OWS is sonically superior to convolution reverbs / IR players in terms of overall model accuracy and dynamic customization of the rooms.
Ocean Way Studios can be used in Reverb or Re-Mic mode. Either mode can be used on average-sounding source material, to make a big improvement on the sound of those recordings. For new recordings, the more “dry” a recording is, the better suited it will be for OWS, as the user will have maximum use of Ocean Way’s sound. However this is only a guideline; OWS is far more forgiving than you might think.
As when moving physical microphones, the room gets “bigger” and less direct-sounding the farther the mics are from the source. Conversely, the room gets tighter and more direct-sounding the closer the mics are to the source. This proximity gain behavior is captured in the plug-in. So be aware the signal can get notably louder particularly with Near mics, which can be positioned as close as 0.5 feet.
Distance Delay allows time alignment of mic selections. By clicking the Distance encoders, OWS will instantly align any or all of its three mic pairs — similar to how you can bring a far room mic “closer” by slipping its DAW track ahead in the time domain. This provides the tonality of the mic being placed in its current location, but aligned with any other tracks in the song. This feature is also handy when using OWS with Apollo to minimize recording latency.
By nature, physical rooms are frequency-dependent, which can affect loudness and balance, which is furthered by the placement of the recording source and microphones in the room. The studios in Ocean Way are beautifully designed and tuned, but are naturally subject to the same principles. Gain and Balance controls are available for this very reason, and should provide more than enough practical (and creative) flexibility to give you the sound you’re after.
In Re-Mic mode, the dry signal path is eliminated and the audio is processed as if it was recorded inside Ocean Way Recording. Re-Mic is then by nature “fully wet,” and includes the modeled direct path. It is therefore recommended mainly as a mixing tool — to entirely replace your previous room and microphones, or create new complimentary room sounds for your original sources. Predelay, Dry/Wet blend and Wet Solo are unavailable as parameters under Re-Mic Mode.
Reverb Mode is recommended for either live recording with Apollo interfaces, or as a mix processor when used as a send/return auxiliary effect. Under Reverb Mode,the plug-in behaves like most reverb plug-ins; the modeled direct signal component is not included, thus avoiding “stacking” or phasing with your unprocessed dry signal. In this case, the user sends signal from any channel in their session and may make adjustments to any parameter. Due to inherent nature of the Ocean Way Studios design, changes to the microphone Distance and Gain settings are less audible in Reverb mode than Re-Mic mode.
Whenever a sound source is recorded in a naturally reverberant space, there are three primary sound components that are captured by the microphone:
If using OWS as a “Reverb” or as a Reverb insert, the user inherently wants to hear the original dry signal along with the Early Reflections and Reverb effects. The difficulty with the Direct component is that it would “stack” with the dry signal and likely cause phase problems. Fortunately, OWS has the ability to break the components of sound into discrete packages, allowing the user to independently disable “Direct,” which makes it practical to use OWS as a reverb or as a reverb insert. Using Reverb mode automatically defeats the “Direct” reverb component.
Use Re-Mic Mode when you want to fully replace your existing audio, utilizing all the sound components of Ocean Way. In this case, the original dry signal is not present and therefore has no chance of causing phase issues. If the user of Re-Mic mode is creating new audio to go alongside the original unprocessed sources, extra caution should be taken in checking for phase issues.
See the UAD Plug-In Manual for more information.
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*Microphone names are all trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Universal Audio or Ocean Way Recording. These microphone names, descriptions and images are provided for the sole purpose of identifying the specific microphones studied during Universal Audio’s sound model development and to describe certain microphone sound qualities and performance characteristics. Ocean Way Studios is a trademark used under license by Ocean Way Recording Inc.