UAD Plugins with Universal Audio interfaces
In today’s article we’re focusing on the free UAD audio plugins that come with the awesome Universal Audio Arrow and Apollo Twin audio interfaces.
When it comes to build quality and functionality, Universal Audio’s interfaces are held in high regard for their legendary performance. Effortlessly portable, highly expandable and boasting crystal-clear recording capability, they are the go-to interfaces for many leading producers. However, it has come to our attention that although many of you are aware of their hardware credentials, the free UAD plugins at your disposal aren’t quite as high up on your radar. Let’s rectify that.
UA Unison technology
A key element in Universal Audio’s superb flexibility lies in their proprietary Unison technology. With this built-in the preamps on their interfaces can physically alter their impedance and gain stages to mimic those of vintage preamps, guitar and bass amps/pedals. Thanks to this marvellous bit of tech, the results are hyper-realistic renditions across a vast range of gear. Not only that but throw in real-time recording and monitoring and you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with any pro-setup. But it’s all in one interface and accessible anywhere you go!
If you want to hear/see it in action, the legend himself Tom Quayle gives us a run-through in the YouTube video below.
Diving right in
Moving swiftly on, we’re going to run through the awesome plugin collection that comes free with your Universal Audio audio interface.
UA 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ
When Universal Audio’s founder Bill Putnam Sr., first introduced the 610 Modular Amplifier preamp back in the 1960s, it was lauded for its brilliant harmonic clarity and musical overdrive that was rich in warmth. Many an iconic album has benefitted from the vintage 610-A preamp, including the Beach Boy’s “Pet Sounds”. To this day its presence is still felt in its modern variant, the 610-B, on modern day hits from artists such as Adele. The UA 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ plugin give you access to an emulation of that timeless signal path with tube amps and transformers for sumptuous organic detail and buoyant saturation.
Teletronix LA-2A Classic Levelling Amplifier (Legacy)
When it comes to optical compression, the Teletronix LA-2A is in a league of its own. As the de facto compressor for professional mixers across the globe – particularly when it comes to vocals -, the level of control at your fingertips is nothing short of astonishing. A trio of historical units (LA-2A Silver, LA-2A Gray and LA-2A) offer intuitive control with distinct variations with regard to a plethora of characteristics. Acoustic instruments and drum tracks benefits from the midas touch of the LA-2A, and your recordings will thank you! There’s good reason as to why so many top producers rely heavily on it.
1176SE/LN Classic Limiting Amplifiers (Legacy)
Based on the original Universal Audio 1176, this plugin emulates the first true peak limiter with all-transistor circuitry and lightning-fast FET gain reduction. With three 1176 revisions that encompass over 40 years of design know how, the 1176SE/LN infuses a richness that can’t be matched. Punch, presence, and character carries across anything you put through it from percussion to bass to vocals to strings. If it’s good enough for the likes of Led Zeppelin, the White Stripes and Michael Jackson, we’re sure it’s good for you.
Marshall Plexi Classic Amplifier
Name a guitar amp that is lusted after as much as the Marshall “plexi”. Pretty difficult, right? Staking its claim in rock history from the start, the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Duane Allman and Eric Clapton all took advantage of the Plexi’s unabashed sound. The Marshall Plexi Classic Amp emulation come from the masters over of Softube, complete with a perfectly placed mic from none other than engineer Tony Platt. He only recorded AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell”. As noted above, with Unison technology this is a mighty, mighty, MIGHTY, plugin for those who like to rock (we salute you).
To see and hear it in action check out the video with Tom Quayle below
Pultec Pro Equalizers (Legacy)
Mixing with the most sought-after hardware EQs ever built is a pretty wondrous thing. Thanks to the emulations of the MEQ-5 Midrange EQ and the EQP-1A Program EQ, you can get as close to that experience for yourself. Whether you employ them on individual tracks or busses, you can home in on those seemingly impossible to isolate instruments for remarkably clear tweaking without affecting neighbouring frequencies. Shape your mids, temper highs or utilise the EQP-1A’s unique abilities across bass guitar and kick drums without losing out on the musical potency of your recordings.
Ampeg SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp
Since its introduction back in the late ’60s, Ampeg’s SVT bass amp has reigned supreme in the world of high-powered tube bass tone. The emulation by Brainworx capture the raw intensity with the Ampeg SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp plug-in. As noted with the Marshall Plexi plugin, tracking in real-time with the Unison preamp technology guarantees that the thunderous roar you’d expect if you were plugging into the hardware equivalent is as faithful as possible. Brings a tear to our eyes.
Precision Mix Rack Collection
The Precision Mix Rack Collection is chock-full of goodies to play with including four modern, high-fidelity plug-ins for recording and mixing. Digging deeper you’ll find the Precision Channel Strip, Precision Reflection Engine, and Precision Delay Mod plug-ins that are great for those getting their feet wet for the first time and seasoned pros alike. There’s EQ sculpting aplenty within the Channel Strip with five-band control and dynamics modules. Shimmer and movement across chorus, flanger and delay effects are yours to play with in the Precision Delay Mod. Create minimalist space and depth using the Reflection Engine on anything from busses to individual sources.
Watch Tom give the Precision Delay Mod plugin a test drive in the video below
Taking inspiration from a vintage early-’80s Pro Co Rat, the Raw Distortion plug-in is a take no prisoners kind of effect. The list of users of the Pro Co Rat ranges from David Gilmour to John Scofield across every genre imaginable (apart from maybe classical, we’ll give you that). Unison technology means that if you plug into the instrument jack of your Apollo Twin, you can experience that same circuit interaction that you’d expect from its hardware counterpart. They think of everything!
Last but by no means least there’s the delightfully flexible RealVerb Pro, which mirrors Universal Audio’s own top-secret algorithms. You can tailor the room design to your exacting specifications, allowing you to go to into meticulous detail to achieve the response that you desire. Nothing short of astonishing considering that it is – did we mention this already – free!
We really can’t fault the team at Universal Audio. Not only do they build audio interfaces that are solid and perform in ways that exceed expectations, but then they go and include a raft of free plug-ins that give you a veritable professional-quality recording studio in a box. Further plug-ins are available should you wish to expand your library further, but we’re sure that you’ll agree this is a mightily impressive collection to get you up and running immediately.
Check out the Universal Audio interfaces on the Dawsons’ website.
If you need any further info, then our Customer Service team will be happy to answer your questions over the phone on 01925 582420. Alternatively, pop into your local Dawsons’ store for a chat with one of our in-store specialists.
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.