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UAD Plugins and latency

Discussion in 'Mixing, Post-Production, and Effects' started by JohannesR, Sep 14, 2018.

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  1. JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    Sep 30, 2011
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    Hi guys!

    I'm considering offloading my DAW with a UAD Satellite Octo. I know that the plugins sound great, but I'm a little concerned with latency since the data has to travel from the computer to the UAD box and back.

    What are your experiences? Has it gotten any better?

    Cheers!
     
  2. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    If it's Thunderbolt connected, it's not the travel time, it's the plugins.

    I have that same box, and it's amazing how much processing power it has but, except for reverb (for which I pretty much ignore plugin delay while composing), I use Pro Tools' Delay Compensation when mixing. I do like the box; a nice improvement over my PCIe card.

    Have you checked out the Apollo? Expensive but boasts very low latency.
     
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  3. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    Wow! Thanks so much for the heads-up! Latency has always been the one thing that has held me back from going the UAD route, and if I understand correctly Apollo process in real-time.

    Expensive yes, but I think I might bite the bullet.
     
  4. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    I tried out an Apollo Twin a few days ago. I played Guitar, using a Marshall UA Plugin and had various Compressors, EQs and Reverbs running and It blew my mind how great it was. I couldn't tell any noticeable latency. I am absolutely getting a UA Interface and some UAD2 Satellite's for further plugin processing. Even if you are working in a massive comping template, because the Unity preamps and UA processing is via DSP, you can still track things at very low latency using UAD2 plugins which is amazing!
     
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  5. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    Thanks!! Great to know.

    I’m not sure if I understand correctly, but is it only when tracking that the Apollos shine with real-time processing? When running a composing template, are there any differences when it comes to latency between Satellite and Apollo?
     
  6. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    Have no idea as I haven't bought it yet but considering so many professionals in the world uses UAD2 plugins and/or interfaces It's not a single concern I have.
     
  7. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    Well, arguably UAD is most popular in the mixing world where latency doesn’t matter. Running a large template is somewhat different. I don’t want to wait two seconds for a patch to sound :)
     
  8. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    Why would it? It runs on DSP. The plugins aren't native and therefore you can run massive templates and have low latency. You should try one out.
     
  9. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    This magical button in Cubase, "Constrain Delay Compensation" will work wonders with anything running on DSP.

    Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 19.33.40.png
     
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  10. jmars

    jmars Member

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    There are major differences between the two.

    Satellite is designed for mixing so it will impart noticeable latency if you try to monitor a record track through a UAD plugin. I have a few plugins (EMT 140, MXR Flanger, Fairchild) that live on Aux channels in my template and are hosted by my satellite card but I only feed these after I've tracked so there are no latency issues.

    The Apollo is the only one that allows you to track and monitor through their plugins (or most of them) with near-zero latency. You can even do this while you track with VSTs. You just need to setup your VST to send out of your DAW to one of the Apollo's virtual mixer channels and then you can apply their plugins and monitor the affected sound in real time from the UA Console.
     
    JohnG likes this.
  11. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    Sorry, when I said “why would it?” That sounds really rude haha! I didn’t mean anything by that. Such is internet nuance.
     
  12. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for the clarification. So when running a massive template and not tracking through the UAD plugins, there are no difference latency wise between those two?
     
  13. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    All good, no rudeness detected :)
     
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  14. jmars

    jmars Member

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    Yeah, that’s right.
     
  15. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    No -- there is a huge difference. That's what he was trying to say (and I think did say) but possibly said it in such a thorough way the sense got a little obscured.

    If you want to write with zero latency, the Apollo appears to be the ticket.
     
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  16. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    So when running a massive template and not tracking through the UAD plugins, there are no difference latency wise between those two?


    Sorry guys, I'm a little confused! But I really appreciate the help! :)
     
  17. jmars

    jmars Member

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    Just to clarify- there is no difference between the two as far as hosting UAD plugins in your DAW session and not tracking through those plugins. They both impart some latency by just being in your session but your DAW should compensate for that.

    If you find yourself in an overdub situation where you have a bunch of active UAD plugins in your session and you notice the latency (even though you are not tracking through UAD plugins), that's when things get tricky. I believe you can use "Constrain Time Delay" (as Jono suggested above) to help bypass any delay compensation while overdubbing. But it all depends on your tracking/monitoring setup.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  18. OP
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    JohannesR

    JohannesR Senior Member

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    I think I’m starting to understand :)

    Real life scenario; I have a session with a couple of UAD plugins on the master bus, plugins that introduce latency with a Satellite Octo. Will UAD Apollo, on the other hand, let me record an overdub from Kontakt without any noticeable latency?
     
  19. jmars

    jmars Member

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    Aug 18, 2018
    Just to clarify- this is also assuming you aren’t doing overdubs. If you setup your template with UAD plugins on active busses and try to live track a vst (even if it’s not through a UAD plugin), you will encounter latency as the DAW has to compensate for the delay of the active UAD plugins in your session. It really all depends on how you are monitoring your mix and monitoring your record tracks. The UA console basically makes it so you never have to worry about these things but you only get that with an Apollo interface.
    Yes but it would require some clever routing in the Apollo Console app. It’s probably best to leave off any pugins from the master until you are done with tracking
     
  20. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    Dude -- do you know what you're talking about? Because you are giving a lot of advice that seems to be different from what I've read from others. The Apollo is much more expensive, but everyone says it has only like 3ms of latency even when running plugins.

    By contrast, the Satellite definitely introduces substantial latency when you put in plugins; you can run a lot of them, but the latency is there.

    You seem like a nice fellow and I'm not trying to have a go at you personally, but I can't reconcile what you are writing with what everyone else with experience of the Apollo says.

    I haven't read anything about a need for "some clever routing in the Apollo Console app." I'm not saying it doesn't, but nobody else says that. As I understand it, that's why the Apollo costs so much.
     

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