Superior acoustic guitar recording & mixing.
Exclusively for UAD & Apollo systems.
Wood Works brings dramatic new versatility, quality and simplicity to recording and mixing acoustic guitars. Enjoy the supreme ease of recording direct from an acoustic’s on-board pickup, but still get microphone quality sound, and radical new flexibility. You’re now free to re-mic as you mix, so you can refine your sound, build complexity and drama, or radically re-think your production at any stage of the mix process — all without having to re-track. Use Wood Works on its own, or alongside physical mic’ing. No matter how you’ve recorded and mixed acoustic guitars before, Wood Works now gives you the freedom to do it better.
Now You Can:
- Record acoustic guitars with the ease and freedom of going direct, and still get microphone quality sound
- Record in noisy environments, in front of the computer, or with other instruments/vocals in the room, all without physical mics
- Re-mic as you mix, free to select the mic-ing that best matches your mix as it takes shape
- Vary the virtual mic setup for different portions of your track, and add additional mics for more complex and dramatic sound
- Re-voice the source acoustic guitar by transforming its resonance and other acoustic properties
- Control level and pan of the virtual neck and body microphones
Microphone Quality Sound
The most obvious breakthrough Wood Works provides is microphone quality sound from direct recordings of an acoustic guitar’s on-board pickup. You’ll hear the rich resonance and life of the guitar as if captured by a premium pair of microphones in an ideal recording space. The virtual microphones have been placed in neck and body positions, each with independent level and pan control.
This is a 1972 Guild D25 with mahogany top/back/sides, recorded with a Neumann KM184 microphone into a Neve 1073 mic preamp.
This is that same performance, recorded direct from the guitar's on-board electronics and under-saddle piezo pickup (an L.R. Baggs LB6).
This is Wood Works processing applied to that same direct recorded audio from the pickup.
Re-Mic As You Mix
The other breakthrough of Wood Works is the freedom to re-mic acoustic guitars while mixing. As your production takes shape, you can change the virtual mic setup to subtly or dramatically re-sculpt the sound long after tracks were recorded. You’re also free to vary the setup to best serve different portions of your track, and add additional mic setups (by running additional instances of Wood Works) to build more complex and dramatic sounds.
In this video, the 16 voicings of Wood Works are each applied to the direct out from a Cordoba GK Studio flamenco-style guitar with nylon strings, played by Jason McGuire. Like electric guitars and amps, different source guitars and performances will have different "best fits" with different Wood Works voicings, but as you hear here, there are a wide variety of sounds available to find your own best match-up with your source guitar(s). Jason's guitar's on-board preamp is set flat and its mic/piezo blend switch is set all the way to piezo. Our thanks to Jason, whose CD is available at http://www.bolero-records.com/?product=jason-mcguire-distancias .
All The Benefits of Direct Recording
Of course, this also means you can use the simplest, fastest and most versatile set up when you record acoustic guitars. No need to take the time to set up and level microphones in a perfectly controlled acoustic space, then restrict a performer to a consistent position in front of the mics. Now you can plug-in direct, put the acoustic guitar in the same space with other instruments, record an on-stage performance without compromise, even track while sitting at the computer or in a hotel room — all with fantastic microphone-quality sound. Plus no worries about headphone bleed, vocals being sung at the same time, creaking chairs, heavy breathing, or any other unwanted noise coming from inside (or outside) the recording space. Just jack in, cut your tracks, and mic up in the mix.
A Microphone's Best Friend
Wood Works is also a great complement to traditional mic’ing techniques. Keep mic’ing up your guitar as you’ve been doing, but go ahead and capture a direct track for Wood Works at the same time. Now you’re free to enhance your sound with additional virtual microphones, plus have confidence that no matter how your mix evolves, the versatility of Wood Works will keep you free to refine your sound without re-tracking.
This is a 1972 Guild D25 with mahogany top/back/sides, recorded with a Neumann KM184 microphone in neck position, into a Neve 1073 mic preamp.
Here's that same recording, now with Wood Works adding a single microphone in body position to the KM184 neck position microphone.
Here we've added additional instances of Wood Works, to get a more expansive sound.
Uniquely Powerful Controls
The big dial in Wood Works lets you choose which type of guitar you’re recording, so Wood Works can match its resonances and other acoustic properties. Or get creative by setting this dial to a different guitar type, to re-voice the source acoustic through those resonances and acoustic properties. The rest of the controls are designed to be equally simple and useful, so you can get to great sounds quickly, and fine-tune them with ease.
There are 16 different voicings available, 8 to match dreadnoughts, 4 for jumbos, and 4 for studio guitars (which are small or shallow body guitars, including "parlor" guitars and classic "double-O" and "triple-O" guitar designs.) Turn the knob below the dial to select the voicing that best matches the source guitar. Or try other voicings to re-focus the sound of the source guitar to better match your mix, and get alternate tones when using multiple instances of Wood Works to build up richer and more dramatic soundscapes.
Wood Works gives you independent panning and level controls for the NECK and BODY virtual microphones.
When the toggle switch is set to DEFAULTS, the PAN, NECK and BODY controls will all default to optimal settings each time you select a different voicing from the dial.
Turning NECK or BODY knob to minimum fully mutes that mic, allowing use of a single mic.
Get Wood Works
Wood Works is available exclusively for Universal Audio's UAD-2 powered plug-in systems, including Apollo series audio interfaces. Like all UAD plug-ins, Wood Works can be purchased directly from www.uadio.com/store and all UAD system users have access to a 14-day free demo of Wood Works, once the latest version of the UAD software is installed on their system.
For UAD-2 Systems Only
Wood Works is only available for Universal Audio's UAD-2 systems, including Apollo interfaces and Satellite and PCI-e DSP accelerators. These UAD-2 systems add powerful signal processing capabilities to a Mac or Windows recording and mixing set up, operating in conjunction with the most professional and popular DAW software and plug-in standards. Wood Works is not available for systems that do not include UAD-2 hardware. If you'd like to consider adding UAD-2 capabilities to your set up, please visit www.uaudio.com.
Real-Time, Low Latency Operation
Wood Works can operate in the UA Console when using an Apollo interface, allowing Wood Works to be used real-time like a hardware processor, without perceivable latency for the performer. Like any plug-in operating in the Console, Wood Works can be monitored non-destructively as you capture an unprocessed track, so you can then apply Wood Works with complete flexibility as you develop your mix. Or if you choose, Wood Works processed sound can be permanently committed to the recorded track using the capabilities of Console, or your recording software.
Getting More/Less Mics
If you'd like more than 2 virtual mics, just run additional instances of Wood Works on parallel tracks (not in series). They'll function as a "time aligned" bank of microphones. Try selecting different voicings in each of these Wood Works instances, to build up rich and more dramatic layers of sound. Or if you want to simplify your sound and use only 1 virtual mic in Wood Works, just turn either the BODY or NECK knob to minimum to mute that mic, and use only the other mic (which you may want to pan to center in this case, as well as setting its volume control to max).
Use In Combination With Physical Microphones
If you want to keep mic'ing up with physical mics, but also tap into the versatility and creative freedom of Wood Works, no problem. Wood Works is a great companion to traditional physical mic’ing of an acoustic guitar, as long as you provide Wood Works with a direct signal from the acoustic. Just capture that direct at the same time as you capture the physical mics, and Wood Works will let you add additional microphones as you mix, and even “re-voice” your acoustic guitar sound if needed to best fit your production.
Compatibility With Source Pickups/Electronics
Here's how to use Wood Works with 4 possible source types:
- Under-saddle piezo pickups: This is the most common type of pickup, so if you don't know what you have, start by trying this setup. Run Wood Works in series routing on this source, entirely replacing the sound of the piezo with virtual microphone sound. If you want to run more than one instance of Wood Works, or want to have the piezo source available to run directly through other processing, or to mix in as another element of your sound, then you may want to buss the source track out to multiple tracks where Wood Works or other processing can be run. You'll want each instance of Wood Works to run parallel to others, rather than series, to avoid a "twice-baked" sound (same idea as running more than one amp model on the same source electric guitar audio).
- Microphones: Wood Works is a great complement to actual microphones, giving you additional virtual microphones for instantly larger and more complex sound (like you'd get if using multiple microphones instead of one) and dramatic new freedom to "re-voice" your sound by blending in Wood Works voicings that are unlike the source guitar's original sound. To be able to use Wood Works, you'll need to capture a direct out from the mic'd up guitar at the same time as you are mic'ing it. Then apply Wood Works to this direct source as you mix.
- Other/hybrid pickups: Some on-board electronics (such as Taylor Expression System 2) include additional resonance or microphone-like sound aspects beyond what standard piezos provide. For these sources, run Wood Works as you would to complement an actual microphone, on a parallel aux mixed in alongside the source sound. Adding Wood Works gives you an instantly larger and more complex sound (like you'd get if using multiple microphones instead of one), adds additional microphone qualities, and new freedom to "re-voice" your sound by blending in Wood Works voicings that are unlike the source guitar's original sound. If you're using Wood Works in Apollo’s Console application, you can put it on one of the Aux inserts to achieve this, and since Console's Aux inserts are stereo whereas its channel inserts are mono, this also means you get stereo goodness from Console.
- Magnetic pickups: Treat as you would a piezo pickup. The signature sound of the magnetic pickup will be part of the resulting sound, so you won't get as close a "match" to microphones as a neutral piezo source would allow, but this is still a great sound that brings back the "wood" from your guitar, with more honk than a piezo source would provide.
Wood Works works equally well with nylon strings, as well as steel/bronze strings.
Wood Works works equally well with active pickup systems, as well as passive ones.
Electric and Hybrid Guitars
Wood Works expects an acoustic guitar as its source. You can of course use a different source, including an electric guitar or a "hybrid" guitar with an "acoustic-like" output. To the extent that these behave like the piezo pickup output from an acoustic guitar, they'll work "as expected" with Wood Works. And of course, doing the "not recommended" thing sometimes has wonderful results, so feel free to experiment and do whatever you can think of that's never been possible before Wood Works.
Processing a Track That Was Only Recorded Using "Real" Mics
Wood Works is NOT intended to be run on the audio captured from a physical microphone — doing that will result in a “twice baked” sound (analogous to recording a mic’d up guitar amp, then running that through an amp model, instead of feeding the unprocessed electric guitar source to the amp model). If you want to experiment with processing microphone-captured audio, you’ll probably want to run Wood Works on a send, blending in Wood Works sound alongside the source track.
Copyright Sound Machine LLC. Sound Machine and Wood Works are registered trademarks of Sound Machine LLC. Universal Audio, UAD, UAD-2, and Apollo are trademarks of Universal Audio, Inc. Guild is a trademark of Guild Guitars. Neumann is a trademark of Georg Neumann GmbH. Neve is a trademark of Mark Crabtree. All other marks are property of their respective owners.