Greg Wurth shares some information on a select few companies that create emulations of many types of analog equipment, including guitar amps, microphones, preamps, compressors, EQs, console channels, tape machines, and effects units. He lists each company's most well-known products and what makes them unique and innovative in today's technology.
- [Instructor] There are countless companies that create emulations of many types of analog equipment, from guitar amps, microphones, pre-amps, compressors, EQs, console channels, tape machines, effects units, and more. We are in a time of abundance for these emulations, and technology is allowing for them to be extremely accurate. And in a lot of cases, they are so accurate that professionals are ditching their hardware in favor of the emulations. I'll go over a select few companies that make analog emulation plug-ins.
Universal Audio reinvented themselves with their DSP-based UAD system that supports their proprietary plug-ins. They began with the UAD-1 PCI Card system, that offered classic emulations such as the LA-2A, LA-3A, 1176, Fairchild, Neve 1073, and more. Now they are currently offering the UAD-2, which is the next generation of even higher-quality plug-ins, along with a variety of options to integrate them into your system.
They offer their DSP in the form of PCI cards, Thunderbolt systems, and also multiple interfaces that have their DSP built right in. They have an ever-growing catalog of classic emulations of some of the most sought-after gear. Slate Digital is a company that has created their own path in the pro audio industry with their high-end analog emulations of everything from tape machines to microphones. They currently offer what they call the Everything Bundle, which is a subscription-based model that literally gives you every plug-in they make for the duration of your subscription.
Recently, they have launched a product that is called the Virtual Microphone System. I used it for my audio examples from the previous chapters on microphones and microphone pre-amps. The system is designed around a very transparent microphone and pre-amp that work in conjunction with their microphone and pre-amp software modules, that are accessible from within the Virtual Mix Rack plug-in. This allows you to have access to an entire mic locker full of rare microphones, that can be used with their collection of analog pre-amp emulations.
In addition to these plug-ins and microphone system, the Slate company also offers a very innovative, multi-touch screen monitor called the Raven. It allows you to have a completely hands-on experience while working in your DAW. Plugin Alliance is a company that is built from a collection of smaller companies that contribute various plug-ins ranging from classic emulations, to fresh new designs that are unique to the digital world. One thing that stands out about Plugin Alliance is their dedication to offer the most innovative features in their products.
They don't just offer a direct clone of a classic piece of gear, but instead they might add some features such as parallel mix knob or mid-side matrix. Another unique offering is their TMT technology, which stands for Tolerance Modeling Technology. This is the process of capturing all the variations from channel to channel, which is a big part of the analog sound. Softube is a company that has made their mark with fantastic emulations of Tube Tech, Summit Audio, and Trident equipment.
After having success with their plug-ins, they had announced the Console One, which is a hardware controller that gives you physical controls over their plug-ins. The product is essentially a channel strip that has several pods dedicated to input, EQ, dynamics, and output. Softube offers proprietary channel strips that are modeled after the SSL 4000, 9000, as well as classic Neve. They also allow you to use any of their brand plug-ins, along with a large list of UAD plug-ins, so that you can create your own custom channel strips.
Throughout the course, Greg shares images, diagrams, and audio examples that can help you grasp how this equipment functions, and why you might want to opt for one piece over another. Greg dives into working with different kinds of microphones and preamps, describes the main types of compressors and equalizers, and shows how an analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter works. Plus, he covers analog summing—the process of combining multiple audio channels down to a stereo signal—and analog emulation.
- Dynamic, condenser, and ribbon mics
- Tube mic preamps and solid state mic preamps
- Different types of compressors and equalizers
- Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion
- Analog summing
- Analog emulation