Digitalk: New developments in Universal Audio's TDM and RTAS plug-ins

UA TDM Version 1.2 is released!
The long-awaited release of version 1.2 of UA's TDM plug-ins is now upon us! Version 1.2 features a few valuable improvements, most important of which is support for Digidesign's powerful Accel card. With an Accel card, you can finally run UA's 1176LN plug-in at 96k! The 1176LN from UA is widely considered to be the best emulation of an 1176 compressor, and has won many shootouts over other 1176 plug-ins. In fact, in one blind test conducted by a national audio magazine, UA's 1176LN plug-in was chosen over a reissue 1176LN, a UREI 1176LN, and the 1176LN section of a UA 6176!

One great advantage of working at 96k is the increase in sound quality in the UA plug-ins (or any plug-ins for that matter). If you don't believe me, try it yourself. If you already have tracks in 96k, use Digidesign's Sample Rate Convert function to convert the files to 44.1k, using the "tweak head" settings. Then use the Pultec, 1176LN, and LA2A at some extreme settings on these 44.1k files. Listen to the results, and then do the same with the 96k files. I guarantee you will hear a difference! After running UA's plug-ins at 96k, you might find yourself saying, "44.1k and 48k are so...last millennium!"

Since the Accel greratly increases the instance count over the Mix and HD cards, picking up an Accel card will allow you to do your next session in 96k, and you shouldn't notice much constraint to your workflow even with the increase in DSP usage from going to 96k.

"After running UA's plug-ins at 96k, you might find yourself saying, "44.1k and 48k are so...last millennium!"

Here is a chart showing the instance count of UA's TDM plug-ins, and you can see how an Accel card can help with the transition to 96k bliss.

Other improvements in version 1.2 of UA's TDM plug-ins are full compatibility with Pro Tools 6.4, compatibility with Digidesign's D-Control console, a fix for a bypass-related bug in Logic Audio, and some improvements to automation display parameters for the attack and release controls on the 1176 plug-ins.

Improvements for RTAS plug-ins
Version 3.5.2 of the UAD-1 plug-ins and drivers will offer a dramatic improvement in the way the DelayComp plug-in works in Pro Tools LE. In v3.5.1, UAD RTAS users needed to use one DelayComp plug-in on non-UAD-1 tracks for every UAD-1 plug-in on the tracks that use UAD-1 plug-ins. This was due to the behavior of the VST-RTAS adapter, but with v3.5.2, we have accounted for this behavior, and you will now be able to use just one DelayComp to match the latency on the tracks with UAD-1 plug-ins (via the plug-in delay slider). Since Pro Tools has a fixed amount of effects inserts, this should come as good news to many UAD RTAS users.

This behavior basically mirrors the way the DelayComp is used in Digital Performer. To more fully understand how to use the DelayComp in Pro Tools LE, please see the Support Report article in the February 2004 edition of the UA Webzine. While this article shows using DelayComp in Digital Performer, it works exactly the same way in Pro Tools LE with v3.5.2 UAD-1 software.

-Dave Crane

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