Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt – OCTO Core
If you are like us, you are addicted to plugins, especially UAD plugins! Have you been eyeing the UAD Satellite Octo, wondering if it will allow you to run all the plugins that you want, asking yourself is the UAD Satellite worth it?
How often have you seen this?
Or gotten this message?
One or more UAD plug-ins have been disabled.
It can get frustrating and downright stressful at times. I’ve been guilty of not practicing good plugin management, and when I’m refining a mix, go to add a bit more reverb or eq, and find I’m out of resources. I then have to resort to maybe replacing the EMT 140 with a Soundtoys Little Plate, which is totally acceptable, other than getting it to sound exactly how I had it. Then I might replace an EQ with an iZotope EQ or Logic’s EQ to free up a bit more resources. Or turn to a non-Universal Audio option like Plugin Alliance.
All that just so I can add one or two UAD plugins when I’m almost done with the mix. It ends up adding time and frustration to the process. Nothing against Ozone, but I prefer to use UAD’s plugins on the Mix Bus.
1) Out of Resources
Fix “out of resources” error messages. Are you tired of not having enough processing power to run all of your plugins? The Satellite can be added on to an existing Apollo system to expand processing power so that you can run even more plugins!Fix “out of resources” error messages. Are you tired of not having enough processing power to run all of your plugins? The Satellite can be added on to an existing Apollo system to expand processing power so that you can run even more plugins!
2) Mix On the Road
You don’t need an Apollo! That’s right, you can mix on the road with your laptop and run all the UAD plugins via the UAD Satellite Octo. The Satellite has two models, supporting USB or Thunderbolt. If you aren’t already an owner of an Apollo, but have another audio interface, then this is a good way to get access to some of the best analog Compressor, Reverb and EQ emulations bar none. (The included Analog Classics bundle includes the standard free UAD plugins, a Universal Audio 1176, LA-2A, Fairchild 670 and Pultec EQ. Also, if you just use virtual instruments and have no need to record a guitar or mic, then the UAD Satellite Octo is the perfect solution.
3) SSL Channel Strip
The SSL Channel Strip – this plugin is awesome, but sucks down resources. Ok maybe you shouldn’t run it on every track, but wouldn’t that be awesome to emulate a real board? Add this to more than a couple of tracks, and you’ll see that “out of resources” message above. With an Octo you’ll be able to run the SSL Channel Strip on 9 to 10 tracks or put an SSL G Bus Compressor on 40 tracks! The Helix and Neve Channel Strips can be troublesome as well. Imagine tracking with UAD plugins that are resource intensive.
Have enough reverb juice. Have you ever tried to put a Lexicon on one track, Korg SSD Delay on another track, and the Ocean Way Studios reverb emulation on another? Good luck! You are going to be hard pressed running much else on your mix without printing to disk.
5) Manley Massive Passive
The Manley Massive Passive is awesome, but another resource hog. Forget putting it on every track. Even if you only plan on using it on the Master track, it’ll probaly take 10% of an Apollo Quad’s DSP. By the time you are ready to apply plugins to your Master track, I bet you don’t have 10% left!
6) Studer A800
Imagine being able to put a Studer A800 on 48 tracks! While the Ampex typically goes on the 2-Bus, the Studer (if you are trying to emulate how the old production workflow was) should go on each track. Or you do do 24 tracks with the Studer A800 and put an 1176LN Rev E on each track as well.
I was also able to get 24 tracks of the Harrison 32C, 1176LN Rev E and LA-2A legacy on each track. While you probably wouldn’t use that on every track, it would be a nice luxury to add a hair of each for every track.
Be sure to check out any promotions that are going on. For instance, you can get an Octo free if you buy a Universal Audio 6176 Vintage Channel Strip. Obviously that’s quite an upsell, but if you are interested in the 6176, that’s a 30% savings for both items. As an aside, Chris Martin (Coldplay) and Diplo are noteable 6176 users.
UAD Satellite Quad vs Octo
Ok, so I’m just kidding… kind of. If we’re talking most bang for your buck, the Octo USB is about 50% more than the Quad USB, but the processing power is 200% more, so the Octo is a better purchase. Additionally, you can get the UAD Satellite Octo Thunderbolt with Plugins package and get a deal on a few extras. After all, you’ll want more plugins for your new toy 😉
Some comparison of the UAudio Satellite Quad vs Octo. The Satellite Quad can only get 4 (5 if you are lucky) SSL Channel Strips up at once vs 9 to 10 for the Octo. You can run a Studer A800 on 24 tracks vs 48, or 12 tracks of a Studer with an 1176 on the Quad vs Octo’s 24 tracks. You could do 20 tracks of an SSL G Bus compressor on the Quad vs 40 on an Octo.
What about the UAD Satellite Duo vs Quad? We knew you were going to ask! Obviously the Duo is more affordable than the Quad or the Octo. Unfortunately, there is no Satellite Duo! You’d have to get a UAD Apollo Duo which is about the same price as a Satellite Quad. If you are only interested in the plugins, go with the Satellite Quad. If you need to connect a guitar or mic, go with the Apollo.
If you do go for the UAD Satellite Octo Thunderbolt with Plugins Bundle then be sure to check out our article on the Best UAD Plugins Overall to help you decide what to get. We pick what we feel are the best option(s) for each category.