The MOTU 1248 looks impressive!
The MOTU 1248 looks impressive!
I can't justify the 6176, but bought one, none-the-less. More as a backup preamp on the one side, b/c what I needed was the 1176 and this was essentially almost the same price. But I would go with a BAE 1073 married to a WA-2A and stick an NOS tube in there (I think 12AX7WA is the biggie in terms of bang-for-buck sound upgrade)
If/when replacing the Apollo, I'd keep the Satellite just to keep the plugins. No way to really recoup much on the plugins. Maybe $600-1000 for what would easily be 4x that, cheapening everyday they make news ones and offer the olds ones dirt cheap in comparison.
There's only a few that are truly good. The Neve is good but I got that covered. The Lexicons are top notch in plugin-land. Truly all you need is the 480L IMO.
Oh, OK, I'll give MOTU a serious gander! And checkout plugin alliance. Not familiar.
As for the Demo's and activation, no. When you buy one, they all reset. So with the Apollo attached, they all say "expired". With the Satellite, some are, some aren't, depending on which I demo'd this past year. When I bought 2 plugins, the Satellite showed them ALL to be able to be demo'd. The Apollo still showed them all to be expired. Same result on the iMac and the MacBook Pro.
First, they wanted me to destroy the studio on my computer. I had a few curses for that idea. Said it's across multiple computers.
THEN they said it's hardware since the Apollo is doing it on both computers. I just told them that it RUNS the paid-for plugins, and shows them authorized. Just won'd authorize the demo's. That's CLEARLY not a "hardware" issue. It's the software inside the hardware. Something maybe flashable.
They won't tell me if they've seen this on other units. They say it's $75 plus an auto ability to do up to $200 more in work, then they'll contact you if it's more, plus parts. I said "I'd rather buy another interface if it's going to cost that" and they said it could just be $75. But then I'd be without the unit for 1-2 weeks. It works on the plugins and as an interface. Just won't demo new ones. So I just can't check out their demo's on a nice sounding audio interface. (have to use computer's audio chip to demo them) So not worth the money, or the hassle. It's forcing me NOT to buy more plugins, then I go and buy more. I'm an idiot. Well, I thought it wasn't a hardware things, just an easy software reinstall or something.
Thanks for the advice!
Luna looks online like a console, but there is a hint of tape. I can't imagine it being a DAW. Maybe, like Slate, just a console with tape flavor (or as some say, like the Harrison daw, which I liked the sound of, but when I used it, very unstable. Wonder if it's better these day. I'll have to revisit it when I'm bored)
But as for UAD, I can't get my Apollo to allow a Demo of a plugin. My satellite will, but not the apollo. They tell me to either destroy and redo my studio computer (not gonna happen) or send it in for $300+ (not gonna happen)
I'll keep the Satellite, and perhaps the Apollo for now since it works, but I'll be looking for an alternative Audio Interface. There is no way Hardware is supposed to fail to recognize software, the main reason for that hardware to exist (DSP plugins) Major fail. I've had other UAD hardware fail (three UAD1's, two LA-610s) so they just don't make good hardware IMO beyond the major ones, ie LA2A, 1176, 6176. But for that price, they ought to. They're starting to remind me of Warm Audio in that regard. Great sounding, but lacking in physical reliability long-term. For me, not even that. I barely make 5 songs a year. Prob haven't put 20 hours on this particular Apollo. And it worked on demos until the previous UAD update software.
I'm keeping my eyes out. MonkeyMan will spam me with MOTU wonders, no doubt, haha. I need something with at least 2 XLR IN, 6-8 Line IN, at least 6 OUT so I can do 2 monitors and a subwoofer. Plus one each at least of SPDIF and ADAT. Doesn't have to have MIDI. A company with a good history, and decent mix software that isn't a bear on the learning curve.
I also made another purchase of UAD plugins in the last few days of 2019. Picked up the Precision Mastering Bundle during the sale.
In my case, while I think the UAD stuff is really overpriced, I do think it performs as advertised and often is far better than the alternatives available from competitors. Their preamp plugins are really good, and so are compressors like the 1176 and Fairchild tube compressors. I also have a Townsend mic, and it's pretty nifty to be able to track with it with zero latency.
Of course, like everybody else, I'm dreading the day they ditch the UAD-2 series of plugins and come out with UAD-3 or whatever, at which point I'm most likely to abandon ship. Already spent thousands on their plugins and the hardware is expensive too.
I'd like to migrate to hardware as well, but it's even more costly and doesn't afford you the possibility to really mess with it after tracking like the UAD stuff does (which is a godsend).
I think the approach long-term is to see which plugins you like best (and for what chain) and work on those that make the biggest difference. For me, the Neve 1073 was huge. So I got a BAE 1073. Worth every penny (got the DMP, cheaper, used, and snoop dog uses it, haha) Then, I upped to the Slate Microphone. On it, the Neumanns did well. The 251 did best, but that's an expensive mic. So I grabbed the U87ai. Amazing. (used, good deal) And then the LA2A, so a warm audio WA-2A. Cheap, but the guy sold it with NOS tubes which make a HUGE difference. That chain was the best thing I've ever done with my studio. Kudo's to UAD2 to push me in that direction.
I think the KPA has the same abilities. If you find yourself gravitating towards Marshalls vs Fender profiles, then if you ever decide to get another amp, that helps narrow the choices down. Maybe that amazing amp you thought you always wanted in comparison just isn't so amazing after all.
The Digital can help narrow the search for Hardware and shorten a 20 year journey into a 2 year journey, is my point. The cost of that chain was $3500. But I've spent way more than that on UA interfaces (5th one now, 2x uad 1s, 2x uad2s, Twin, then 8 Quad, plus 2 satellites) So IF you just grabbed a used satellite ($400) which you could flip, and used the 14 day demo window, you could use their plugins to decide an narrow down a chain.
if you HAD to get some plugins, Waves makes pretty good plugins. What others can't replicate as well are the UAD2 Reverbs IMO. And their Neves are better.
But you are right, any HINT of a UAD3 before a NAMM and "I'm OUTTA here!" Hardware will always keep equity.
Very true, deadman42,
gear either serves your needs or doesn't. And needs change.
I also don't discount the visual aspect. I get that some people just need an amp and glowing tubes. Been there.
But at the end of the day, I commit to tape and if hardware does better than a plugin, I'll get that. If software can do better, or serve in place of too high a cost for the hardware at my current ability, I'm there as well.
That said, I was a fervent advertisement for the Kemper for a number of years. I'm amazed that it's 7 years on and we're talking about continued development of this product like its a Mark II. Didn't expect that.
A buddy of mine bought the Axe FXII and we play together and on either one I have a lot of fun, and we can dial in so many sounds on either. But I did warn him that it would be unsupported in probably 2-3 years, and he lamented that this ended up being true. But it does the kind of sounds he likes and he's happy with it. I had the ULTRA, seriously toyed with the FX and decided with the KPA over the FX 80% b/c of the amp tube tone and 20% b/c of the support. So I appreciate the huge support we all give it. It has a life of its own.
IDK if ANY piece of gear has as many user made presets in electronic history. Did Line6 start that? IDK. But the KPA should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for community presets!
You can whisper which two. we won't be telling anyone.
(uad 2-choice, chose capital chambers, then ua175b and 175 tube compressor collection)
SO LIKE I SAID, NO MORE UAD2 PLUGINS FOR ME
I recently did an upgrade to the Waves Abbey Road Collection (missing 1 plugins, sales made it low price, like $30, had gotten the Mastering Chain last January)
Got Modern Pop Grooves from Toontracks on an xmas sale.
Metal Fusion MIDI from Toontracks ($10 sale, metal Midi is surprisingly useful outside of the metal genre)
Currently deciding to sell the Lexicons 80, 81, the cards (ie duel fx 1.0 and an sram), X-Touch, and the FX8, all on the chopping block.
I typically decide based on use. If I don't use something for a year, I consider selling it and box it up. If I don't use it after another year, I sell it. If I am SURE I won't use it, like the FX8, I'll sell it right away and pay off other gear (still have debt from the lefty R4, Integra7 & DSI Rev2, but the last 2 are interest free. I try to pay off any interest purchases fast. My thing is to "Buy First, Ask Questions Later" to see if it fits my needs. Return or Flip if it doesn’t. For left-handed guitars, I often have to buy sight-unseen. And stores carry less high end gear now, so it's hard to trial them out first-hand, either.
I try NOT to buy plugins. I've got a ton. But if I'm on a mix and demo a plugin and it's working for what I'm doing, I'll buy it.
But I instantly feel dirty and too embarrassed to mention it.
My goal is to buy MORE hardware than plugins over all. Eventually to have proper chains.
Currently I have a robust recording chain. At some point, I'll work on the mixing & mastering chain.
IF I get a better AD/DA. This way I'll be way less dependent upon software and keep the hardware for years.
(assuming I've got years and useful ones at that! fingers crossed & counting blessings)
So that said, I got 2 more plugins, but I'm not telling!
I've been sort of an effects fan of Fractals since the ULTRA. I loved the Kemper amps out of the box and still do think they're tops, but some of the effects were lacking (delays, reverb) that I felt I needed a different algorithm.
Well, I've been away a while, & came back this January, loaded up the latest software, 7 something, and toyed with the new interface effects (I like it compared to the old one) and dialed in a Delay and Reverb exactly like I had it setup in the FX8.
Well, dang if it doesn't sound better! My guitar just sounds so melodious (Thorn SoCal) I was going back and forth and noticeably liking the KPA's effects better now.
I had/have no problem with multiple gear, routing an FX8 through the KPA's, but if I can recreate what I like in one gear what another has, I can sell the redundant one, duh.
So I'm glad I can have it all in one box. I'm finally satisfied with the Kempers Effects feeling they equal the amps in quality. To be sure, there are always some pedals out there that with dedicated ability are gonna be an ear catcher (like my current MonkeyMan pedal). But for the meat & potatoes (Compressor, Delay, Reverb) I'm pretty happy (don't use too much comp, mostly when mixing)
That said, I would like to see some variety of Compressor algorithms. But as for now, I guess I'm gonna sell this FX8. Who knew?
(Part of me doesn't like selling gear. I think b/c I'm materialistic and like being surrounded with lots of blinking lights, but it never hurts to be frugal, considering how much I bought in 2019)
Bye Bye, FX8, you did a good job. Hello, Kemper 7, you never cease to surprise me!
Kudo's to the Kemper programming team, all the beta testers, and all the bitchy users whining for better and now being rewarded!
It shows the squeaky door does get the grease, let's just hope we aren't the first door replaced!
A modern Line6 amp then!
I think the problem is that all-in-one means a compromise somewhere. To do it right would cost $4-5k.
Oh no ? I was talking to Monkey_Man just recently. And now he became a stomp pedal? ? Nicky, are you ok? ?
It does it's namesake proud! I rarely ever buy a pedal (between the KPA & FX8, I'm pretty good, and it becomes a tangle to put on more) but... this one is def Keef sound that adds the right amount of roughness to your tone. The pedal should be called "Instant Ballz"
Studio Recording Gear:
2x Furman M-8x^2
Loads of cords & support (1/8, MIDI, XLR, ID tags, etc)
Lexicon FX card
David Smith Prophet Rev2 & carry bag
2007 "1964" Epiphone Texan, McCartney reproduction (lefty)
1999 1954 Gibson Les Paul Historic Reissue - Goldtop (lefty R4)
Chandler Limited Zener Limiter
Lexicon 480L Digital Reverb and Effects
Braionworx sub synth
I'll probably sell the Lexicons in 2020 as I'm frankly not using them, although they are nice, I tend to like my software and the hardware T.C. Electronics M3000 more for vocals. For guitar I use the FX8 still out of laziness b/c it's been setup that way.
If I am being honest, I can probably sell the Roland V-Drums 15k that I only use sporadically for fun, not for performance. Maybe the Gibson R4. Its a superb guitar, but for recording what I do, unnecessary to my setup. I mostly got in on a whim & decent price. I got the synth out of curiosity, never having owned one, to learn a bit about sound synthesis. The UA6176 was more to have the fast compressor for the vocal chain. As a whole unit, it's redundant to my gear, but if my other gear fails, it can takeover wholesale while the other stuff is getting fixed. Here I am, solving problems that don't exist! But my interest was in having hardware to last decades vs the software I've typically bought for recording these past 15 years with almost no equity to show for it. (why oh why do I still buy UAD2 plugins? I guess I'm an addict and I hate myself for doing it.)
Most of my time this year has been spent transferring old Cassette tapes to digital, doing Ancestry/Genealogy, and digitalizing photo/film collections from various family members to preserve them (and lots of cycling) Not much time spent playing or making music, which I hope to rectify starting this weekend and forward 2020.
I still want to plug in some tubes and see some glowing shit!
IF you don't have a Class D, you might as well put that extra juice to work, neh?
Or maybe some innovative fellow could offer that Modded service?
Grabbed a DSI Prophet Rev2
Never really delved into Synths beyond what you could get from a rack unit (ie Motif Rack, or Integra-7) or Omnisphere.
Nice to have twiddly knobs (but they don't show settings, so you're back to an editor anyway perhaps)
But I'm having fun with it.
I was trading gear and swapped a guitar I couldn't sell for someone's Mesa Boogie Express 5:25. Versatile little bugger. While I had it (about 6 months) I loved toying with it. Not b/c it was better than the Kemper, or more "in the room" bullshit, but essentially b/c it turned on immediately and I didn't have to wait a minute like I do with the KPA. Lazy, but there it is. My biggest gripe. I know, some say "you gotta let the tubes warm up" but I've never heard that difference unless it was a compressor. That is, I typically don't overdrive the tubes that much.
But it was damned fun and I'm kinda missing the Mesa Boogie. IF I had the room, I'd have a few amps for shits-n-giggles.
Lefty 1999 R4
Say, what was your drum work flow and programs on PC? (mine used to be audio loops in Sony Acid Pro, or FLStudio. The loops were often Drums on Demand)
SD3 has the huge advantage of a MIDI search engine. You can input or choose a MIDI pattern and it searches like patterns from commercial or your own 3rd party library. Plus it has a Song Creator that can make up element patterns such as Intro, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Outro.
EZ Drummer has these as well, is cheaper, less options, and sound less good, but is quite a great program. Its definitely for ppl who want to work immediately with "processed" sounds. It's for a more lazy person wanting to get on with the song rather than tweak drums for hours. But you CAN be lazy with SD3, too, with presets.
I've had a bunch, Slate, Logic, etc but prefer SD3.
Btw, I still sometimes use audio loops, but match them BPM-wise to a MIDI track so I can alter the beat in the future if need be. But this tends to be only when I'm looking for an ambiance that MIDI drum machines don't have. Audio almost always sounds more authentic b/c it often is actual drummers.
Logic also has a quickie drummer program, but if you're on Reaper, a standalone drum machine makes more sense.
Yeah, Mike's profiles sound good everywhere: headphones, computer monitors, FRFR, recorded, you name it.
About the only thing they don't sound good on is country music!
Well, duh, buy a NEW guitar!! haha
But these helps: break from guitar playing to do something else (a sport, a hobby like Ancestry, etc), listen to new music outside your usual comfort zone, new gear (pedals), write new songs, change the strings, alternate tuning, go slide if you normally don't, go finger style if you normally pick, pick if you... etc.
Create a project song where you showcase every guitar you have somewhere in it. One for intro, one for outro, dual harmony on chorus, one for answering on early verses, others for later verses or for building up the song dynamics as it goes. I did that and it really helped me see what guitars I liked for recording and which ones I could put on the chopping block. It also gave me a new respect for some guitars committed sounds vs the ones I preferred to pick off the wall.