uad ocean way studios: king of convolution

There are a huge number of convolution reverbs out there to help us recreate live spaces. Sometimes we record in rooms with less than ideal acoustics and need to breathe life into our sterile tracks . I’ve tried and spent a LOT of money on many plugins. I own Altiverb, VSL MIR, EW QL Spaces, and Bricasti Impulse responses. But in my opinion, none of them recreate the sound of a recording studio live room as well as UAD Ocean Way Studios (OWS). Today, I’ll be reviewing UAD Ocean Way Studios.

UAD Ocean way studios recreates the sound of the legendary Ocean way studio to a ‘T’. the plugin is an indispensable tool for those recording in less than ideal acoustic environments such as home project studios or while recording on the road.

the interface

The interface is quite intuitive. There are 2 main ‘modes’ when using it: REVERB & RE-MIC. The REVERB mode is essentially a convolution reverb and sounds pretty decent, but like a lot of convolutions, it sounds a little washy and not quite real. The RE-MIC mode is where the plugin shines. It takes your signal and digitally re-mics it though various mic setups (SOURCES) in your choice of 2 STUDIOS (OWS Room A, or Room B).

OWS Room A is a recreation of the studio’s A live room. It features a 45’X52′ room with a large open sound. OWS Room B recreates the studio’s B live room. It features a large room split into 2 smaller rooms (35’X45′ & 18’X45′). Once you choose your STUDIO, your can choose a mic setup (SOURCE) that recreates classic mic setups including: Drums, Strings, Piano, Guitar, Vocals, and a Cabinet/Amp.

Once you’ve picked your STUDIO and SOURCE, and can then edit the 3 mic sources (close, mid, far). So if you want to capture very roomy drums, for example, you could mute the close and mid mics and only use the far mic. But here is where it gets really cool. You can adjust the distance each mic is to its SOURCE and really dial in the tone you want! Not only that but you can record live through the plugin to dial in your tone before tracking.

my impressions

It would be an understatement if I said I use the plugin on every song. I almost max out my UAD Satellite’s DSP power because of this monster of a plugin… No doubt, it’s a DSP hog, but man is it worth it!

In my Dallas based recording studio, I have spend a lot of time and money acoustically treating my space with panels, diffusers, etc. But now, if a client sends me poorly recorded guitars,  drums, or vocals (and more), I’m confident I can breathe life back into it thanks to this plugin. I especially like to use it on virtual instruments. It makes them sound so much more convincing and “real”. UAD Ocean Way Studios has definitely become one of my ‘desert island’ plugins.

For more info and audio sample, check out the plugin on UAD’s website.

For more questions feel free to contact me!

Pierre Andrews is a mixing and mastering recording studio based out of Dallas, TX. We house state of the art plugins and hardware and provide mixing and mastering services at affordable rates.