Sunday morning just gone, I downloaded the latest (v9.2) update for my Universal Audio Apollo Twin. Why? Well, there were a couple of new plugins in there that had me curious to get the 14-day demos activated.
The two plugins I really wanted to get my hands on were the Fuchs Train II guitar amp – a Brainworx-modelled plugin version of the amp inspired by the legendary Trainwreck – and the Pure Plate reverb plugin, but I ended up spending a bit of time with the new Eden WT800 bass amp.
UAD Fuchs Train II review
In a previous post, I said how the Chandler Gav 19T was the only amp I needed for all four songs we worked on during the session. I stand by that as well, it’s a great amp model. However, the new Fuchs Train II might be another ‘only amp you’ll ever need’, as it truly is quite wonderfully versatile. Okay, it might not do the business without some pedal help if you’re looking for modern, high-gain metal sounds, but from cleans, to crunches, to pretty dirty, the Fuchs Train II model is a superb choice of amp emulation.
The secret to it’s versatility is the different sounds available from those two drive controls on the left. Keep drive 2 at zero and dial up drive one, and go from sparkly cleans to bluesy crunch; or open up drive 2 to access the next level of dirt. Once you’ve got your crunch sorted, head on over to the versatile EQ section to tweak away and perfect that tone. Also, it has a control labelled ‘Thrust’. I like that on a piece of gear; it’s why I’m such a fan of the API 2500…
UAD Pure Plate reverb review
Of course, one thing absent from the Fuchs Train II is reverb. No problem, time to drop the new UAD Pure Plate reverb onto a send track and get to work. We really are spoiled for choice when it comes to reverbs these days, with a huge range of plugins to choose from and a huge range of parameters to tweak. That’s what made me notice the Pure Plate ‘verb, it doesn’t have too many controls. Sometimes it’s all to easy to get lost making tiny adjustments to seemingly dozens of parameters.
The Pure Plate reverb gives you the controls you need, focussing your attention on the key parameters: reverb time and pre-delay. Of course, there are more controls than that. The handy addition of a high-pass filter and a two band EQ mean you don’t need to add a separate EQ plugin on the return, and the balance control lets you quickly dial in those great dry one side, wet on the other effects. Oh, and it sounds pretty good as well!
UAD Eden WT800 review
I wasn’t planning on using the Eden WT800 to be honest, but in the process of recording a little 12-bar blues jam to audition these plugins, I needed some bass. I used the Jay Bass from Native Instruments’ Komplete, and played in a quick bassline using Ableton Push. I usually use a UAD Ampeg model for my bass sounds, but thought I’d give the Eden WT800 a try.
And that was the only plugin I used on the track. With a comprehensive EQ section included – as well as a compressor – this is a handy little amp sim to have around. Now, I’m not sure if this will replace your dream bass recording/mixing chain – I’ll always get an LA2A on there! – but as a quick and easy way of dialling in a good bass tone in the one plugin, the Eden WT800 does a safe job.
I spent a few hours with these plugins, recording my Strat and Les Paul direct into the Apollo Twin, with the Fuchs running in its Unison mode. With single coils and humbuckers and those two gain controls, I could find 95% of all the sounds I think I would ever use, and I could find them quickly. It also sounded good to add a bit of dirt to an organ part from NI’s Vintage Organs.
The Eden WT800 provided a steady bass tone, and the Pure Plate put everything in a nice space. I’m impressed. In particular, I think I’m going to have to grab that reverb, it’s just the perfect blend of parameters I need, without the ones that would keep me pre-occupied and more than likely end up ruining my mix!
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