Jason Blum and J. Scott Giaquinta, the duo that comprises Deepsky, recently remixed David Bowie's single, "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship" from his 2002 album, Heathen, as well as Madonna's "Die Another Day" single from the James Bond movie of the same name.
Since acquiring the UAD-1, the pair has found it an intricate part of their production process. On vocals, they rely on the LA-2A to--as Giaquinta puts it--"make big sounds bigger." Blum adds, "There's really no other compression we've used in the digital realm that can 'glue' sounds together so well. It's one of those transparent effects that you can hear, like a really high-end reverb. It almost isn't there, but because of that, it makes the material sound so much better. Just using the LA-2A on things like vocals and lead sounds makes them smooth and present. You can really turn them up in the mix, and yet they don't sound brash or upfront."
According to Deepsky, they appreciate the advantages of achieving a vintage analog sound through DSP processing. "They're really so much like the original pieces of hardware; it's almost unthinkable that they would be able to sell this card for $700 where you can run 15 or 20 of these 1176s side by side," Blum said. "You can't get that many units in a room without raising the temperature to like 150 degrees." Adds Giaquinta, "The guy that designed those algorithms must feel like a stud."
Deepsky used the Mackie UAD-1 and its plug-ins on both remixes, employing the 1176 and LA-2A for bus compression; the Nigel amp modeler was also used on guitars in the Bowie mix. "It's some of the best-sounding digital distortion that I've ever heard," said Giaquinta.
Deepsky is at work on another studio album, this time around with more song-based compositions and organic instrumentation.