The team at Universal Audio a very pleased to announce the latest version of their software for the UAD-2 platforms and Apollo range of interfaces. Version 9.6 also brings 4 new plug-ins and plug-in updates to UAD-2 and Apollo in the form of the BX Masterdisk mastering plug-in, Century Tube Channel Strip, Putnam Mic Collection for Townsend Labs Sphere and Suhr PT100 Guitar Amp Plug-In and GUI updates to help the SSL 4000E plug-in operate better with Retina and HD displays.
bx masterdesk Plug-In by Brainworx
Every mastering engineer has their signal chain, their secret sauce if you will. This might not just be about the equipment they choose, but also the specific order and settings that make all the difference. Brainworx bx_masterdesk offers a complete and field-tested chain of high-end analog mastering tools. In the hands of an expert, this is a complete mastering-desk in your DAW which will enable the pro user to achieve that polished sound and yet, the plug-in layout is simple enough to allow even the bedroom producer to turn their mixes into masters ready for streaming services, YouTube and social media. bx_masterdesk is easier to use than other 'in the box' mastering solutions and the results can sound much more musical.
- Complete analogue mastering chain in a simple, all in one plug-in
- User-friendly interface and essential controls provide an efficient mastering process
- Professional, field-proven audio processing, pre-tuned for easy and effective results
- Low DSP footprint allows processing with a single DSP chip
- Price $299 USD.
For a full deep-dive into bx masterdesk check out Julian's article.
Century Tube Channel Strip With Unison Technology
The new Century Tube Channel Strip provides the sound and features of a well-known boutique, tube-amplified channel strip including simple three-band EQ, and a "do-no-harm", "always-sounds-great" optical compression for low-latency recording and/or mixing.
The mic preamp in the Century Tube Channel Strip gives instruments and vocals a burnished valve colour with the unmistakable warmth and detail that only a valve (tube) mic pre can provide. Employing UA’s Unison technology, the Century Tube Channel Strip treads a very fine line between modern digital and classic analogue, capturing all the important impedance, gain staging “sweet spots,” and circuit behaviours of a beautiful vintage tube preamp.
Century Tube Channel Strip features a very intuitive, musically voiced, three-band EQ, that is perfect for quickly bringing out the details in a breathy vocal, adding punch to an overdriven electric guitar, or giving acoustic guitar propulsive stunning top end shine. The final piece of signal processing is a classic 'autoformer-driven' optical compressor. The Century Tube Channel Strip’s dynamics section is designed to take the guesswork out of compression settings with a single knob. Users can quickly tame a dynamic vocal or bass performance, and add energy and harmonics to acoustic guitars or piano, all with the twist of a knob.
- Everything you need to capture great vocal & amp; instrument sounds in a single plug-in
- Vintage-inspired channel strip made for UA Audio Interface tracking, always easy to dial and musically flattering
- Console-inspired tube preamp with bold and musical hardware sound
- Three-band EQ with simple high and low shelf tone control and sweepable midrange
- Performance-inspiring single knob optical dynamics control with firm yet transparent response
- Physical input impedance and front panel control of gain staging and other preamp parameters with Unison Mic Preamp Technology on UA Audio Interfaces
- Requires a UAD DSP Accelerator or UA Audio Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide
- Price $149 USD
In the example below, you can first hear a naked un-processed drum track then hear it with the Century Tube Channel Strip engaged. I think you will enjoy the difference.
Putnam Mic Collection Plug-In For Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Microphone System
The Bill Putnam Mic Collection plug-in for the Townsend Labs Sphere Microphone expands the capabilities of the Sphere L22 microphone system with emulations of vintage microphones from Bill Putnam Senior’s collection as used by countless iconic artists of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Bill Putnam founded United Recording Corp. in 1957 where he recorded the Hollywood elite of the day, including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and countless others.
- Record through classic and rare microphones of Bill Putnam Sr.’s legendary collection including the Telefunken Ela M 251E, AKG C12A, Neumann U47, RCA 44, and more
- Track through Putnam mic models into any UA Audio Interface with near-zero latency
- Change proximity effect in real-time, or after the recording, to match an earlier vocal take
- Adjust the polar pattern and other parameters to reduce bleed, room colouration, and feedback, before or after tracking
- Available exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and UA Audio Interfaces
- Price $249 USD
Suhr PT100 Guitar Amp Plug-In With Unison Technology by Brainworx
World-renowned guitarist Peter Thorn is not only known for his touring and session work with legendary artists such as Chris Cornell and Melissa Etheridge, but he is also considered by the guitarist community to be one of the foremost authorities on tone. After five years of extensive road testing and countless hours spent modifying his original PT100 amplifier, Suhr created the ultimate, no compromise, multi-channel amp. The Suhr PT100 Signature Edition features a 100 watt, three-channel tube amplifier head loaded with a custom 'Plexi-style' output transformer, four EL-34 power tubes and six 12AX7 preamp tubes. Brainworx has worked closely with both John Suhr and Pete Thorn to ensure that the plugin version brings all that tone to the UAD platform.
- Switch between three channels, each with a distinctive tone: American, British, and high-gain modded British
- Easily customise tones with 3-band EQ and Crunch, Boost, and Bright switches for each channel
- Unique Custom Feedback, Presence, and Depth controls to adjust amplifier response
- Plug-in only FX Rack for host-syncable lo-fi delay, noise gate, tight and smooth filters and power soak, as well as preamp and power amp bypass switches
- Unison™ technology for UA interfaces offers authentic tone, touch, and feel of original
- Suhr PT100 amplifier thanks to impedance matching
- Available exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and UA Audio interfaces
- Price $149 USD
In the image right you can see 2 instances of the Suhr PT100 plug-in that were used to record the track above. The top amp sim is the chugging rock rhythm sound and the bottom the lead line. This track was recorded using my 87 Gibson Les Paul Studio.
Left you can see the two instances of the Suhr PT100 which were used for the clean demo track. The top plug-in is the picked rhythm and the bottom the clean yet compressed sounding Strat lead recorded using my 90 Fender Strat Plus.
SSL E Channel Strip With Retina-Capable Graphics
The Universal Audio team have also tweaked the GUI of the much-loved SSL E Channel Strip to make it look better with the latest range of Apple Retina and other high-resolution HD displays for both Mac and Windows.
It's great to see that UA are not just giving us new goodies to play with, but also fixing issues and keeping their product range up to date.
If you have not heard just how good the SSL E Channel Strip is, check out the drum track below and compare it to the naked drums from the Century Channel Strip.
If you are an Apollo interface, or UAD-2 DSP platform user you can update to version 9.6 of the Universal Audio software now by logging into your UA account now.