Universal Audio WebZine
Volume 1, Number 4, July 2003
[UA Universe] [Ask the Doctors] [UAD-1 Feature] [Compression Obsession]
[Support Report] [Dealer Focus] [Digi-Talk] [Interview] [Featured Promotion]
[Graphic-Rich WebZine]
[Back Issues] [UA Home]

Digi-Talk: Universal Audio & Pro Tools

This is the first of many articles aimed at our customers, and future customers, who are users of Digidesign's Pro Tools. Every month I'll talk about subjects specific to our line of plugins for Pro Tools.

UA's New 1176SE
Just last month, we released the first plugins in our new line of TDM Plug-Ins - the 1176LN/SE and LA2A compressors. Now TDM users can enjoy what our UAD-1 users have for two years now: no compromise, exact digital replicas of our famous hardware compressors. Other plugins available only on the UAD-1 will soon be available for TDM, specifically the Pultec EQP-1A Equalizer, the Cambridge EQ, and the DreamVerb reverb plugin.

The long-anticipated release of these compressors comes with a surprise: the 1176SE plugin. What is the 1176SE, you ask? First, the "SE" stands for "Second Edition". The 1176SE is a compressor that uses a different, and much more efficient, algorithm that the 1176LN, yet sounds very similar. The reason we decided to release the 1176SE was because the algorithm for the 1176LN required so much DSP horsepower that it could not run at any sample rate above 48k. This was because the 1176LN was designed with a floating point algorithm (for the DSP on the UAD-1 card), rather than a fixed point algorithm (like the Motorola DSPs that the Digidesign Mix and HD cards use). The extra number crunching required to run the 1176LN on the Mix and HD cards took up extra "cycles", and these effected the plugin instance count (please see the Ask The Doctors article in this edition of the UA Webzine for more information floating and fixed-point systems, and how effect our plugins)

The 1176SE allows users to get just about all the benefits of the 1176LN, but at sample rates above 48k. Of course the important question is how does it sound? Rather than try to describe the slight differences, we invite you to download a demo and describe the difference for yourself. The 1176SE still has the lighting-fast attack and program dependent attack and release times as the 1176LN, and will allow you to run two instances at 192k.

The LA 2A's algorithm does not have the DSP-munching attributes of the 1176LN, so we can get good instance count, and one instance at 192k, with the same no compromise algorithm we used on the UAD-1. For more detailed information on the plugins, please visit our TDM plugins page, or better yet, download a demo and hear for yourself how good a software compressor can be.

Get the UA TDM Demo's on FREE 14-day evaluation here:

--Dave Crane

Questions or comments on this article?