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  • Normally, this is where I go through all the problems I experienced, how I solved them, and workarounds. However, I must admit...I cheated: I read the release notes. After doing so, I realized that much of the angst from people who couldn't get the plug-ins to work would have been solved had they read the...release notes

    So, here's how the process works:

    1. Download 6.4.

    2. Open the file.

    3. Say yes to everything.

    4. Download new authorizations if needed.

    5. Boot your DAW.

    6. Enjoy!

    The only non-standard aspect of the installer is you are not given options of where to install the plug-ins, which are installed in the usual Steinberg-centric Steinberg/Vstplugins folder. So, rather than scan another folder, I just moved the plug-ins into my "global" VST folder that holds ALL VSTs, and which I scan with all DAWs.

    So far, everything works exactly as expected with Sonar, i.e., inserting plug-ins in the FX bins. I did see something in the Cakewalk forums about difficulties when loading UA plugs as part of FX chains loaded into a ProChannel when you save the chain and try to load it into a different ProChannel, so I'll look into that...but so far, smoooooooooth sailing.
    The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


    • Well, we've gone from "absolutely no way Satellite will work with Windows" to "Satellite is going to work with 64-bit Windows" to "Yes, it really does work with 64-bit Windows."

      As with the plug-ins themselves, this was painless. I ordered a Sonnet FW800 board (which was qualified by UA) for my PC Audio Labs computer, plugged it in, and booted. The FW800 board loaded its drivers automatically, so I turned on the Satellite, and it installed its drivers automatically. So far so good.

      Then a message came up saying the firmware needed to be updated, so I did that; then another message said I needed to download new authorizations. Okay.

      So I called up the control panel and...

      Success! Happy Satellite!

      Of course, to fulfill my Reviewer Duties I must now play music for long enough to make sure that the plug-ins all load and everything works as expected. And by long enough, I may need to do a LOT of testing, I feel like working on a new song tonight

      And next, the moment we've all been waiting for: Apollo on Windows 64-bit. Based on my experience so far with the plug-ins and Satellite, I'm assuming things will be equally painless but in any event, we'll find out soon enough.
      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!


      • I wanted to see what happened if I loaded up really CPU-hungry effects, and what happened in terms of distributing that over the internal card and the external Satellite. So, I started loading up Manley Massive Passives into Sonar X2.

        Each instance takes up about 60% of each DSP chip, so each of the first four instances filled up 60% of each of the first four slots. Adding two more transitioned over to filling up 60% of the DSP in each of the Satellite's first two DSP chips. Clearly, UA hits the onboard card first, then if it runs out of space, heads over to the Satellite.

        I then wanted to see what would happen if I loaded some plug-ins with lighter drains. They basically filled up the available memory in the chips until they had all reached their capacity, and took advantage of any available CPU power in either the board or the Satellite.

        I then deliberately tried to overload the system by adding more Manleys. After the DSP limits were reached in Sonar, the program froze and I had to quit. However, some element of it was still running as it showed up in the Task Manager and could not be stopped (this is usually some kind of driver not letting go of something), requiring a restart. However, I should add that Cakewalk just released Sonar version X2a today, and I haven't updated X2 yet. If it can handle running out of power with the UA plugs more elegantly, I'll update this information.

        Wondering if this was a Sonar-specific issue (Sonar is supported by Universal Audio, but not officially qualified; on Windows, Cubase and Pro Tools are tested for official qualification, which means the performance of every parameter of every plug-in is quantified), I decided to try the same exercise with Pro Tools 10 using RTAS versions of the plug-ins. The timing was good for a Pro Tools test; I just got a project in for mixing by the hip-hop band ICC, and it was tracked in Pro Tools (I did quite a bit of the engineering as well) seemed like a good time to really exercise the UA plugs.

        There was the same protocol when handling DSP distribution. However upon exceeding the available limit, Pro Tools was better-behaved. It presented an error message saying that the plug-in was unable to load because the DSP load limit was exceeded - no crashes or freezes.

        My curiosity piqued, I then tried the same exercise in Ableton Live. However, the version of Live I have is still 64-bit, so I couldn't use the UA 64-bit plug-ins with it (have no fear, 64-bit operation is just around the corner). I then moved over to Studio One Pro 2, which like Sonar, is 64-bit and can run VST plug-ins.

        Like Pro Tools, SOP 2 presented the same error message upon being overloaded, and neither froze nor crashed. I suspected Cubase 6.5 would act similarly with respect to being overloaded, and it did. As with Sonar and Pro Tools, DSP power was distributed on a CPU-available basis with Studio One Pro 2 and Cubase.
        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and Listen to my music on, and visit Thanks!