UAD Plugins Alternatives for Cubase on Mac

TheThumbPuppy

New Member
It's my first post on this site. Please bear with me if I break any rules on this site.

I have a rather classical musical education from a Conservatoire, but I am just now in the process of learning how to use Cubase and available plugins.

I'm trying to find good alternatives for the following UAD plugins and I would appreciate it if you could give me some advice:
  • UAD Studer A800 (Simulator of an old tape machine)
  • UAD Lexicon 224 (Reverb)
  • UAD Precision Buss Compressor (Parallel compressor)
  • UAD Precision Maximizer (Harmonic enhancer)
  • UAD Manley Massive Passive MST (Equalizer)
  • UAD Precision Limiter
My first choice would be to purchase a UAD-2 Satellite Octo and the UAD plugins. That would free up cpu and memory from my main computer, which is a MacBook Pro 2019 2.4 GHz Intel Core i9 (8 cores) and 32 GB RAM.

However its price tag is not negligible and I would like to test my capabilities on Cubase first with plugins that may have a similar functionality to the ones above (although perhaps not the same quality) at a lower cost.

I thank you in advance for any suggestions you could give me.
 

Henu

Senior Member
Studer: Try out U-he Satin or Slate's VTM. I like VTM for drums, Satin for everything else.
Lexicon: -50% sale currently, can't go wrong with that. Just don't get it from their site (way more expensive)

The Precision I can't unfortunately comment on, as I don't use them personally. For MMP you could go with SPL's PassEQ or some Nebula stuff.
 

Steve Wheeler

New Member
I've got the UAD stuff. It occasionally comes in handy, but I'm moving away from it a bit because you need a lot of cores to run most of their plugins. I've got an Apollo quad and there's a few plugs that eat the hardware bandwidth a lot. That said, with a lot of the stuff that you listed, there's native alternatives that are comparable.

  • Studer A800 - There's a million tape sims out there for saturation. While not marketed as a tape sim, Decapitator from sound toys has an Ampex 350 mode and 4 other distortion modes. One of my favs.
  • Lexicon 224 - While not the specific piece of gear, there's a bunch of algorithmic reverbs out there. Valhalla Vintage Verb is pretty great for $50. Room is good too for $50. I think Relab has a lexicon emulation that's not specifically a 224. Can't speak on that one though.
  • Buss compressor - There's a ton of these out there. Waves has the SSL and Plugin Alliance has the Townhouse. I like the townhouse a lot. People sell them used regularly for $29 to 50.
  • Maximizer and Limiter - Pretty similar in function from what I can tell. Waves L2 can be picked up cheap on sale for $29. Fabfilter Pro L2 looks pretty good. I use Sonnox Oxford Limiter, which I like a lot.
  • Massive Passive - Native Instruments has an emulation of this in Komplete. Not sure how it stacks up, because I rarely use it. BAX Dangerous EQ is ok from Plugin Alliance. Again, you can get this used cheap. Personally, I've been using Pro-Q3 in Linear Phase mode on my stereo bus these days.
Hope this helps!
 

Henu

Senior Member
THIS times a zillion. You'll just end up buying the good stuff later anyway, because the "almost there" isn't just sufficient at some point. And that will just cost you more in the long run.

Relab has a lexicon emulation that's not specifically a 224. Can't speak on that one though.
I can, it's very good. A bit "dirtier" than the Lexicon plugins. For orchestral stuff, definitely get the Lex. Relab is a bit better for rock and more gritty material, while the Lex is very clean, hifi and honey-dripping. :P
 
OP
TheThumbPuppy

TheThumbPuppy

New Member
I have one rule that's made a huge difference: don't buy the thing that gets you close to the thing that you want. Just buy the thing that you want. Save up, and in the meantime use Cubase's built-in plugins.
I'm starting to realise that. I've calculated the difference between plan A and various alternatives and in fact it's not as much as I would have liked it to be. In addition to that if I choose the alternatives everything would be running on my cpu, which may not cope or at best my resources would be stretched. I suppose Christmas is coming up... (not that it makes much difference)
 
OP
TheThumbPuppy

TheThumbPuppy

New Member
For orchestral stuff, definitely get the Lex. Relab is a bit better for rock and more gritty material, while the Lex is very clean, hifi and honey-dripping.
Thank you about this extra piece of information. I only do orchestral compositions.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
For Reverb I love Spaces II and Seventh Heaven. Gorgeous.

Also MirPro 24 is on sale at the moment.

Otherwise, I'd stay with the UAD Plugins. Don't forget their big sale is up soon and when their plug-ins are on sale there are usually some good offers.