It’s never enough power

A couple of years ago I was shopping for a new audio interface for my studio and I wanted to get a pro sound. The big things are the mic pre-amps as well as the converters from analog to digital and back. I was looking at the Apogee units because they sound great.

And then Danny suggested the Universal Audio Apollo. The folks at UA have been building pro audio gear for a long time and they care deeply about quality. So the Apollo’s are well-built and sound terrific. They also have on-board processors that run plugins. So you can get an Apollo with four cores.

The UA plugins typically model older, expensive gear. Like I can get an emulation of a Fairchild compressor that weighs a ton and has a bunch of tubes that I’d never be able to afford or maintain in real life. And they sound amazing. And they take the load off of my poor Mac computer.

I’ve been taking Danny’s mixing and mastering course for the past few months and he teaches a style of using the UA stuff to color sounds. I can fatten things up, add warmth, and define my vibe with the UA plugins, which make my tracks sound way less digital / computer-y.

Then I do my clean, surgical edits using the new state-of-the-art plugins that run on the computer. Like the FabFilter stuff. So I mix and match. Old and new. Back and forth.

I shape my sounds and I take a huge load off of my computer, allowing it to focus on just part of the job.

And it turns out that four cores aren’t enough for the way I use the UA stuff. I just added an eight core Satellite. Now I’m running four cores of computer CPU plus twelve cores of Universal Audio DSP, so 16 cores total.

It’s almost enough. Almost.

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Oh, man, I heard “Boys of Summer” on the radio yesterday. One of my all-time faves. I was listening to “Style” by Taylor Swift and I think they were listening to “Boys of Summer” when they wrote it. Listen to the beginning of “Style” and tell me you don’t hear it.

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