Thoughts on Plugins that emulate hardware

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Thoughts on Plugins that emulate hardware

Post by carlos2020 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:07 am

For my BSc music tech research project, I am researching opinions and experiences from users of DAWs in their use and preferences of software emulation plugins Vs Hardware equivalents.
This survey is anonymous, and no personal date will be collected. TIA and have a great day :)

Maybe if you don't want to do the survey, I'd appreciate any thoughts or experiences here?

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Re: Thoughts on Plugins that emulate hardware

Post by Tarekith » Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:26 pm

One thing I thought was important but there wasn’t any way to add it to your survey. Recently I needed a new audio interface with more IO than I currently have, so decided to take a leap get the UA Apollo x8. I used UAD plug ins way back when they first came out, but it’s been many years since then and I was curious how they would stack up against my current preferred plug ins.

While I had no issues with the sound quality of them, it immediately struck me how painful some of the UIs were to use. The hardware units they were modeled on were often themselves quite compromised on this front in order to fit everything onto a smaller panel. Or to limit the number of controls available to keep the cost down. Replicating that in software just highlighted these compromises ten fold. We have the ability to create vastly easier to use UIs in software, so it seemed silly to me to replicate those 1:1 and then try to use a mouse cursor to control them.

Ultimately even though the UA plug ins sounded pretty nice, I ended up returning the x8 and going with the RME UFX+ instead. I’m much happier with interacting with my modern plug ins, and honestly I think they sound just as good as the older gear (models or hardware) if not better in some cases.

Good luck!
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Re: Thoughts on Plugins that emulate hardware

Post by Shift Gorden » Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:52 pm

Hey mate,

I'll fill out the survey shortly - you might wanna add an "other" please specify this question (and fix apposed to opposed):

Why would you use an emulation DAW plugin as apposed to actual hardware?
Tick any/all that apply

I used a UAD Manly Massive plugin the other day, while being lucky enough to A/B it to a real Manly Massive. Dialling in the settings on the hardware was so much faster - it didn't disrupt from the workflow at all. The plugin - just takes longer to get the results. Plus, I feel the hardware you use your ears more rather than plugins.

Oh, and the quality was night and day. I think UAD makes some of the best-sounding plugins out there...but until you've heard the hardware there is no competition.

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Re: Thoughts on Plugins that emulate hardware

Post by [jur] » Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:01 pm

That's mainly marketing imo...
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