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Ocean Way is one of the few surviving super studios, based in LA it's been host to a long long list of classic artists and recordings. Designed by Bill Putnam - who also founded Universal Audio. The artists include Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Sinatra and the Beach Boys and pretty much anyone who is anyone. Indeed our very own Andy Mac had the privilege of making an album there with the Blue Aeroplanes.
The guy who probably knows the rooms better than anyone is Allen Sides and together with UA and his personally selected mics (worth $250k) they created an enhanced convolution type analysis - called Dynamic Room Modelling it adapts the response of the room to the program material to the application. The plugin runs on the UAD2 platform, the powered plugin system and requires UAD2 V7.01 and a UAD2 Duo is recommended.
With Studio A and B available, together with the ante rooms, Allen Sides has created his ideal mic scenarios for various instrument types:
Each one features stereo pair of near, mid and far mics each pair having a distance adjustment, level, pan, phase, LP and HP filters. Typically the mics available are C12 and C12A, KU3A, KM54, MKH20, M50, U67, U47, SM57, 44 ribbon.
Additionally, you can apply a master shelving EQ high and low to more shape the sound of the rooms.
I tried Ocean Way first in re-mic mode - designed to emulate recording your source through the mics provided, it works best with a drier, ambience free source, I bussed the drums to stereo (K, Sn, OH L OH R) as suggested in the manual. It sounded flippin' great, lots of character and wood. I also realized that I am in love with the C12 - it sounds goreous.
Then I tried a male vocal using preset VOC SOLO, which again sounded wonderful - I especially found bringing the close mic extremely close and getting the sound of the mic - really brought the vocal to life.
Incidentally, I want to thank Shamoozey from Looperman.com for providing me with a wav file of one of the free acapella downloads there.
CPU load is pretty hefty, at 38% of one DSP chip, it's one of the more hungry ones, but I guess it is doing a lot of maths - indeed, some parameters (mic distance) are not really automatable as you get zipper noise. It's recommended that you run this on a UAD Duo or higher - we ran it on the Satellite Quad here.
The other thing is of course, great that the UAD2 plug-ins are, they are premium, the Ocean Way Plugin costs $349, which makes it one of the premium ones in an already premium range.
but I guess if you already own a UAD2 system, you'll know what your getting into. Bottom line is that if you want the Ocean Way sound, then this is as close as you'll get unless you actually go there.
Available now priced $349 for UAD2 DSP powered plugin platform.
More From: UNIVERSAL AUDIO
Compact, desktop, analog, semi-modular - whats not to like?