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Tommy Byrnes

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About Tommy Byrnes

  • Birthday 11/13/1960

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  1. I love UAD the company and struggled to leave their ecosystem as my main interface but I wanted the best drivers, clock and converters I could get in a single unit so I chose RME. No real life experience with their equipment but their reputation and long conversations with other studio owners convinced me. Knowing that I can still use the Apollo firewire as essentially a preamp and plugin host, connect my other ADAT pres and sync them all to the RME clock made the choice pretty easy. I got the inside info on the new converters and clock for the UFXIII from my Sweetwater guy, who is a studio geek whom I trust.
  2. I have to admit, I'm not that interested in UAD at this point other than for the Unison preamps in my Apollo. I use them to track with all the time but there are so many native alternatives to most of their other plugins, and at a much more friendly price, that unless it's a useful Unison plugin or truly unique I don't feel compelled to pick up more of their plugins. I've recently built a new main studio computer and I'm going to get the new RME UFX III USB 3 when it comes out. I'll connect the Apollo via ADAT and clock it to the REM. I should then be able to run just about any session natively without any real sacrifices any more regarding CPU management. UAD's commitment to Thunderbolt and their treatment of Windows users as a second thought (uh, where is Luna for Windows?) kept me from going with a newer Apollo instead of the RME. I figured USB has been around and will be around forever and RME's drivers are second to none. We've had 4 iterations of TB already and since Apple owns the tech I don't have much faith in the future of it. Firewire is now obsolete but not too long ago it was going to replace USB.
  3. I just completed a build with this case and I love it! It is really, really quiet and the airflow is fantastic.
  4. I almost always track electric guitar cabs miked through the UAD Helios plugin (That and the HLS are emulations of the Olympic Studios Helios console) and use the HLS during mix. EQ-wise it's like fishing with dynamite but they have this great very colored sound that makes guitars and bass growl. The preamp gain is where the magic is. Gain stage with the fader.
  5. No new Pro Channel. The upgrade was free for me. Be sure to be logged into your account.
  6. I love the Cakewalk Plugin Manager because I can easily make various plugin lists, such as Essentials. The number of plugins installed and the space they take up isn't a reall issue any more with 1+TB SSDs. I have all samples installed on their own drive and backed up on an external drive, as are all the plugins and their installers. So, if I need a stripped down, uncluttered plugin list I can just use a custom plugin list in the Manager. It's an illusion as the plugins are still installed but it does help a bit. 🙂
  7. I think the reason so many of us lean towards emulation plugins like 2As and 3As and 1176s and Fairchilds is because they have been essential studio tools for decades. The behavior and sound character is so well known and those "sounds" have been an integral part of recorded music for so long that results from their use is a known commodity and easily gets folded into one's mix strategy. Opto, FET, VCA, tube, etc. all have various attack/release times and ratios and the type of sound being compressed informs us on which might be best suited to the program material. For instance, an LA2A has no adjustable ratio (it's set at around 3:1) and the attack is about 10ms. But what makes it so desirable is the multi-stage release. The initial release is around 60ms or so for the first 50% and then the last 50% of the release takes from around 500ms to 5 seconds, depending on the source. This allows the signal to "sit" in the compressor at all times, with a couple of dBs of reduction as a constant. Louder parts of the signal will then be attenuated more but since the comp is already engaged the compression will be very smooth and buttery, which is why it's a perfect vocal comp. Very hard to get a standard digital comp to do this. Plus, being a tube-driven compressor the non-linearities of tubes colors the signal in a pleasing way. One could certainly use a distortion plugin to try to emulate the sound but it's not like the organic part of the 2A's sound. Each piece of hardware (and its plugin emulations) has its own personality. Knowing which one to use is part of being an informed engineer and can greatly improve one's craft.
  8. I grabbed this primaraly for the 3A. This is a really good plugin! Being able to M/S is a great feature.
  9. I concentrate these days on primarily the Unison stuff and have all the ones I want at the moment. Being able to track through the plugins is what led me to UAD 8 years ago. Native plugins have come so far that they rival a lot of the UAD plugins, though being able to off-load CPU cycles to the UA hardware is very helpful as well. The real magic is with the Apollo pre/Unison plugin signal chain. For instance, I usually track electric guitars by miking cabs through the Helios console in a Unison slot, followed by the UAD Distressor. Sublime. It got me back into committing the sound "to tape" like the old days as opposed to trying to fix stuff downstream. The Neve 1084 is wonderful (I like it better than the 1073. The upper mids sound smoother and less spiky to me), the Avalon VT-737 and the Manley VoxBox are go-tos on vocals (the VoxBox is also great on a bass DI), the SSL 4000 gets used for tracking almost everything, as does the API Vision. The plain Neve and API preamps alone do wonders to an incoming signal. The Helios, though, is a secret weapon. It's about as surgical as a grenade but push it a bit and it sounds amazing. To be sure, it's a sizable investment to enter into the UAD world but it's helped me make better, more inspired recordings from the very first day.
  10. True, I did not demo it, just based my snark on the audio examples.
  11. The other two in the Studio Series (Fame and Sunset Sound) are super versatile and one or the other is on just about every project to put things in a room together. I don't think I'd want to run my stems through what will make them sound like they were recorded in an aircraft hanger. This would be great for "that" sound but I doubt I would use it enough to grab it. I love this idea, though and hope other great sounding rooms make it to this series. Putting different stems through the Fame verb with subtle pre-delay, along with the various positions available in the plugin makes me think I'm mixing tracks recorded in a really great sounding room. My tracking room is small and tight so sometimes I'll use Sunset Sounds, which has a bigger, more "rock n roll" sound to it to open the sound up. The Farm Stone verb seems less versatile to me.
  12. This is the one BF sale I was hoping for. Soothe 2 is amazing. I used the demo a couple of months ago and was amazed at how much better my mix was with just a bit of resonance supression on a few offending tracks. Regular price was a bit too high but I'm in on the sale.
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