UNIVERSAL AUDIO Interface Vs. NEVE Studio Shootout – How Do They Compare?

Rabea Massaad (Toska/Dorje) and his amaze-balls group of bandmates/friends teamed up with Universal Audio to shed some light on an important question in today’s world of recording technology: just how well do plug-ins stand up against their outboard counterparts? Are the differences drastic or negligible?

For this shootout, Universal Audio’s Apollo 8P interface and digital 1073 preamps went up against the real-deal Neve 1073s in Studio 2 of Brighton Electric in the UK. The comparison was done by running a full band mix through both the UAD plug-ins and the Neve outboard gear for a quick and clean A/B comparison. As the video suggests, listening on quality headphones or studio monitors is necessary to hear the subtleties between the two.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the goal of this shootout wasn’t to determine which sounds best, but rather to see just how well UAD’s 1073 sounds compared to the real thing. Ultimately, plug-ins do a damn fine job replicating classic (and expensive $$$) outboard gear of lore. And at the end of the day, most of this stuff is a simple matter of taste. Or budget.

For more on Universal Audio’s range of plug-ins, you can do your homework right here. By the way, this shootout is worth it for the “Wicked Game” jam alone.

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Gear Gods intern Maxwell studied English at Cal Poly Pomona and has since realized life ain’t all about semicolons and syntax. He’s studying audio now, and will probably judge your music taste before your grammar.