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In-depth Feature:  Universal Audio UAD-1
Rob G writes: .

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The Plug-ins
The UAD-1 is a short (7") PCI card, the bulk of which is occupied by the single DSP. No inputs or outputs are provided - the card is purely intended as a platform for high-quality plug-ins. The supplied software includes drivers for the card and plug-ins in VST format.

Installation is straight-forward. For this review, the latest drivers (V2.26) were downloaded from the internet ( The hardware is installed, located at startup – and driver installation went without a hitch under Windows ME and Windows 2000.

Classic Compression with the 1176LN
The 1176LN Limiting Amplifier plug-in () offers a faithful reproduction of the vintage hardware unit much desired by recording engineers. Controls are simple (input level, output level, attack, release and compression ratio from 20:1 to 4:1). The provided VU allows monitoring gain reduction or output level or may be disabled to reduce DSP usage. The simulation is so faithful, it's even possible to press all 4 ratio buttons at once, resulting in a ratio of about 12:1 with faster release and different release curve shape. The sound is truly excellent - vocals appear brighter and snares particular retain their bite well while losing peaks. The fast attack for which the original unit is renowned appears to be faithfully reproduced.

Teletronix LA-2A Levelling Amplifier
The LA-2A Levelling Amplifier is another vintage unit much favoured in pro studios. The user-interface is deceptively simple, sporting gain, peak reduction and a switch to choose between compressor and limiter. Again the VU can show gain reduction or output level and may be disabled. While simple the unit is indispensable - adding incredible warmth to drum loops and fatness and drive to bass lines.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • UAD-1 ($599)
  • Compatible Applications
  • Latest Drivers (Mac + PC)
  • UAD-1 User reviews@ Sonic Studio

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