UAD: Money-pit hype or good investment?

Does anyone on here use UAD products in their home recording set-ups?
The ability to take your DSP processing off the computer into a specialised unit seems appealing and their hardware can host what appears to be some really good virtual analogue hardware like the Shadow Hills mastering compressor.

So my question is, are UAD like the king's-new-clothes, hyperbole that locks you into an expensive platform or are their plugins and hardware that good and the unloading of processing power onto the separate DSP a real game changer that's worth the investment?
(pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 17935
    edited March 26
    I have the hardware equivalent of several of the products that UAD models (SSL G Bus, Distressor, API 512c, Neve 1073).
    In most instances I prefer to use the UAD equivalent.
    I've got the full compliment of UAD plugins along with a pair of Octo TB2 devices.

    IMHO there is no hype, they are just very, very good.
    The great thing about the UAD version is the recall- I don't have to reset the hardware when starting a new session.
    I do still use the hardware though, especially when printing sounds during tracking.

    The downside?
    Unless you invest in their interfaces (which don't sound as good as the competition) they become mixing plugins.

    I have an Arrow that I use for tracking with some fo the guitar sounds (Friedman) but the rest of the time I use my Red/Rednet rig.
    You cannot track through the plugins with that sort of latency.
    It would be good if their converters sounded better.
    I am the juice of four limes.
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  • Hick81Hick81 Frets: 69
    I’ve got an Apollo Twin I use for home recording which has proved to be really reliable and top quality for what I need - tracking and mixing my band. 

    It’s easy to get sucked into their marketing and spend a fortune, but a couple of observations...

    1. You can demo the plugins for 2 weeks and there’s no restrictions to how you use them in this period - they are the full version so you can properly test them out, or just use them for a specific project. Also, all the demo’s reset once you purchase something.

    2. They have sales all the time and they often chuck £40 credit onto your account so if there’s something you really can’t live without out you should be able to get it for much cheaper. 

    3. Most of their plugins are amazing. Especially the unison tech ones. I’ve got the Plexi plugin and it is head and shoulders above other amp sims i’ve tried - Amplitude, GarageBand, Cubase etc. Their Ampeg bass plugin is also top notch. 

    4. Tracking with zero latency is a big plus.

    5. Just note, you need to have their tech attached to use their plugins when mixing/tracking. If you’ve got a solid home set that’s cool, but I mostly mix on my laptop when I can grab an hour here and there. The Apollo has to be plugged in to a separate power source and then attached via Thunderbolt to my Mac. In reality unless i’m having a mixing session (or tracking) i mix with Soundtoys for every day use. 
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11596
    edited March 30
    I was tempted by this a while ago, but then I realised a couple of things...

    1 - I'm averse to spending large amounts of money.
    2 - While they're nice, I don't need any of their proprietary plugins.
    3 - If I want to offload processing from my main machine, I can always do that with Reaper running on my laptop and slaved to the desktop - for any plugin, not just the ones from a specific manufacturer.

    #1 is critical, really, and #3 means I can rest easy.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2762
    edited March 30
    I find all their stuff to be overpriced; hardware, software, reactive loads, always has been. 
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6904
    My issue is you have to have the hardware, and have it attached in use. I’d rather avoid that situation as much as possible personally and stick with things I can easily use on multiple setups with an iLok or cloud based thing (like Waves). The ideal is multiple installs without any additional steps of course.

    I’ve never used one but only ever hear praise, so if you’re fairly static or happy to take the interface with you then they seem very cool.
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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 310
    ^
    this.

    I have an Apollo Twin, and it's a really nice piece of kit, but I rarely use the plug-ins just because I often find myself needing to work without it.

    I think there are pretty good native alternatives for most of the plug-ins, but there are a few unique ones that are quite interesting -- I got good value out of the Ocean Way Studios plug-in on one project for instance.

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