Hardware, Software Programs

Universal Audio updates its UAD platform

Universal Audio announced an update to their UAD software platform with five new plug-ins / emulators of pro audio hardware, alongside with some major fixes for RTAS, AU and VST users.

The very first update concerns UAD -2 for Pro Tools as it reduces the one time hardware I/O buffer size [previous hardware versions had the 2x limit]. This update also removes the Fairchild mono Audio Unit – you have to use the regular Fairchild instead. Bear this in mind when you are loading old projects where Fairchild is used. Furthermore, the driver writers made some major improvements to reduce the loads on various multi-processor systems and improved host CPU spiking / dropouts in Windows Vista – this is something that is more than welcome, since we witnessed massive CPU spikes on our Core 2 QX6700 machine. This update will also decrease CPU load for UAD-2 SOLO/LAPTOP model.

Our add-in cards for the in-house DAW: 2x Firewire, UAD-2 QUAD, UAD-1, UAD-1, MOTU PCI-424
Our add-in cards for the in-house DAW: 2x Firewire, UAD-2 QUAD, UAD-1, UAD-1 and MOTU PCI-424

In case you’re wondering who the guys from Universal Audio are, the company needs no introduction for almost anybody involved in the music and film industry. Company founder Bill Putnam Sr. was a recording engineer for Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and many others. Back in 2008, he was awarded with the Technical Achievement Grammy award for contribution to the recording industry, including the first use of artificial reverberation, effects sends and the vocal booth. Transitioning from the analog to digital world, Universal Audio’s UAD products are symbiosis of hardware DSP [Digital Signal Processing] PCI, PCIe and express cards for computers and software plug-ins that simulate analog gear for DAWs [Digital Audio Workstations].

First off, the new plug-in is no other than the legendary digital reverberator EMT [Elektromesstechnik] model 250. It was the first digital reverb in the world, based on algorithms patented by Barry Blesser and Karl Otto Bader. The reason for this plug-in is very simple – with the price tag of 20,000 dollars, only the few had privilege to use it. Also worth nothing is the fact that only 250 units were produced – most of them are still in use in professional audio studios around the world. The next plug-ins are various emulations of Empirical Labs EL-7 FATSO Jr./Sr. audio tape simulator and compressor. Empirical Labs is best known as the makers of EL-8 DISTRESSOR, considered by many producers as the best compressor/limiter/audio leveler in the world.

But the best features of this plug-ins are high frequencies saturator [for adding warmth to any digital sound] and knee compression Empirical Labs are known for. The Last, but not least plug-ins are the two EQ emulations of the legendary AMS-NEVE console:  NEVE 31102 and NEVE 31102SE.

Long story short – if you already have UAD hardware in your system, this is a must download. If you don’t, EL-7 FATSO Jr. and EL-7 FATSO Sr. are something worth serious consideration prior to your next audio hardware purchase.