UAD plugins and Unison preamps you like for mic'd guitars?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by BlasphemyMadeFlesh, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. BlasphemyMadeFlesh

    BlasphemyMadeFlesh Deathgrind Demon

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    Feb 9, 2014
    Las Vegas, NV
    Hi guys,
    I have been happy with my Apollo Twin DUO (USB 3 for Windows version) as an audio interface. It is extremely easy to use and sounds great. However I feel stumped by the UAD/UAD-2 plugins and Unison preamps available on the unit.
    The issue is not how to put the plugins on inserts, but which channel strips, compressors, EQs etc should I place on my inserts?

    My chain for recording and tracking guitar is: take an amp's speaker out into the Two Notes Torpedo Live. That Two Notes' output is going into the Apollo Twin line insert #2. From then on, as you may know, you can add things such as Neve channel strips, Pultec EQs, 1176LN compressors etc on the insert.

    I'll be honest, I'm the kind of guy who never heard of a vintage UA610 mic preamp before I got the unit... I love reading the manual and the history about each plugin/preamp, but I'm perplexed by all the choices and in the end just want to be creative and sound great. The additional dimension of sound and sonic quality I hear on others' audio when these are added to a mic'd (or virtually mic'd guitar) is stellar, and I would like to replicate the same results.

    How do you guys set up your Apollo inserts for recording guitar amps/guitars using the built in DSP plugins/preamps? What plugins/Unison preamps are your "go to" pieces? I would like to create a preset in the Console as a good starting point to experiment and learn how to use them, but I need help when coming up with a starting point. If you like any of the add-on plugins/Unison preamps from UAD, please mention those as well, I'm interested in what you think works well. Thanks for reading.
  2. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Aug 17, 2004
    Somerville, MA
    Ok, I've dipped a couple toes into the boutique preamp world, and I can give you a couple thoughts.

    Neve and API are to preamps what Fender and Gibson are to guitars. Yeah, there are other flavors out there, but those are the big two, and a lot of other stuff (not all, but a lot) is based on these voicings. In general, Neve is kind of forward, aggressive, and punchy, while API is faster-responding, maybe a bit more open. Both have been used to great success on guitars. I personally think I prefer my BAE1073MP (an excellent Neve clone) on most electric guitars, but as the gain comes up on the CAPI VP28 pres I also have in a 500-series rack (CAPI makes extremely well regarded API clones/variations they sell in kit form) I've found they do have a very big, modern sound for metal guitars. I do, however, love the CAPIs on acoustic guitars - right out of the box they sound amazing, to me.

    So, I'd find a good Neve-style model, and a good API-style model, and try them out. Also, if you have preamp gain/trim controls at your diisposal, don't be afraid to use them. A lot of the character of the preamp really comes out when you start to push the preamp front end, and to do that you're going to need to back it off before it hits your DAW so you don't clip like crazy. Eventually you'll figure out you have favorites for different applications.

    Beyond that... Again, it's pretty subjective. I've only gotten as far into other rack gear as grabbing a pair of Neve EQs to run behind the BAEs, and Neves definitely have their own color and their one vibe to them. I'd say worry about the preamp more than the EQ and compressor models, for now, because you're basically committing to an EQ or compression setting while tracking, and that can tie your hands down the road when you're mixing. I'm at a point where at a high level I know roughly where I'm going to want to EQ guitars, the Neve is more of a broad EQ than a surgical one anyway, and it's extremely musical sounding, so I don't mind doing some broad shaping while tracking... But you have to be sure you know what you're after if you EQ on input.
    BlasphemyMadeFlesh likes this.

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