As digital audio gets more affordable and more people enter the world of digital recording, more and more people will never know the world of analog audio and only experience it through software emulations of classic gear. Unique Recording Software's Bobby Nathan comes to the world of software development from a different place. For over 20 years he's run an analog studio, Unique Recording, in Manhattan and has owned vintage Neve and API consoles. As someone who knew the sound of these consoles, he found himself frustrated with the EQ plug-ins available in Pro Tools. He started URS and took on the task of creating EQ plug-ins that emulated the API and Neve EQs, right down to the 'look and feel' of the originals. The URS plug-ins join the Bomb Factory Pultec suite as great sounding "vintage" digital EQ tools. URS (along with Bomb Factory) support iLok so the first thing you'll need to do is get an iLok key and account set up if you don't already have one. Then you can download a free, fully functional demo and hear these for yourself. (I have to digress a bit and give kudos to the iLok system. Copy protection is a necessary evil because not everyone is honest. I've had nothing but problems with most drive based copy protection schemes, but the ilok system works great and the website is very functional allowing you to administrate your authorizations and keys as well as registering them with iLok in the event one of your keys is damaged.) In our usage of the plugs, they sounded great. I used them for several mixing projects, and they have joined my Sony Oxford, Metric Halo ChannelStrip and Bomb Factory Pultecs, as 'must-have' EQ plug-ins. They also seem very processor efficient which is nice, and they come in both HD/TDM and more affordable RTAS versions -for those of us who can't spend thousands of dollars on Digi hardware. I don't have any API EQs, but we recently ran some tests where we duped some tracks in Pro Tools and ran one through our Neve 1073 EQ and used the URS Neve EQ on the other. Duplicating EQ settings on the two, we listened to a few different tracks through the EQs. The URS plugs were very, very similar to the real thing. Only in more extreme high end boosts did the URS plugs not hold up as well to the original. If you're forced to mix "in the box" you need good EQ tools more than anything else. I'd highly recommend these as one of the few worth checking out.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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