So last night, I was having a Facebook chat with my buddy Groove Status (keep your eyes out for this genius!) and he posed this question –
“By the way producer question…do you know of any plugins that are good for creating space? for instance, I normally use convolution reverb to set every tracks space (far, near). Do you know of any X,Y style spacing plugins to design depth? If that makes sense…”
My answer basically went like this – Have you ever had an expensive habit? Because if you have and want to avoid another one, please don’t google ‘UAD Ocean Way Studio’s Plug In’.
Many moons ago I invested in a UAD pci card, a duo. Just enough to give me a taste of this powerful collection of plug-ins. Since then, I’ve spent WAY more money than I want to admit on them, a semi-healthy addiction. They are the most pro of pro-level mixing and sound design tools money can buy without investing in expensive outboard gear. From reverbs to delays to compression, NOTHING on the market is as smooth in processing your audio as the stellar digital offerings from legendary makers of analog gear, Universal Audio.
The Ocean Way plug-in is no exception. This is not convolution reverb, but an advanced room modeling technique which Universal Audio spent years engineering. The two main rooms at the legendary Bill Putman designed Ocean Way Studio’s were measured intricately; every corner, every bit of potential mic bleed, every possible arrangement of the mics. You have the choice of two different rooms, 8 different starting mic positions per room, countless vintage microphone options, the ability to move the mics around (close, mid, far), and can even filter and mix the individual mics to get just the sound you’re looking for.
The thing that impresses me the most about the Ocean Way plug-in is not it’s incredible sound, because it IS beautiful, but it’s the ease of use. You’re able to dial in exactly what you’re looking for in seconds once you know your way around the controls. If you find that something sounds a little too far back in the mix, you can just open it back up and pull down the mix on your far mics. If something loses too much foreground presence, you just scoot the near mics closer to the source.
This plug-in is made to emulate the sound of one of the most famous studios on the planet. Imagine recording live drums in Ocean Way, with this release from UA…you can do it. If live sounding instrumentation isn’t for you, do not fear, because I can tell you from experience that what it does to a synth is jaw dropping. It creates a level of presence you just cannot replicate with any other plugin on the market.
Obviously, I’m a huge fan of this mixing tool. I give it 5 stars, even 8 stars on a 1-5 scale. This comes highly suggested for anyone who is looking for depth in their mix. Peep the vid, get more in depth here, and if you already own a UAD compatible device, please I beg of you to try the plug-in for the free grace period and hear this beauty for yourself.
I welcome your comments below on any other tips and tricks for creating space in your mix, and also any other thoughts on the Ocean Way plugin.