UA Announce Spark: Curated Native Plug-ins & New Synth

US New subscription model launches      30/03/22

Universal Audio today announced a major shift in their offerings with the new Spark Subscription which offers a fully native (Mac only for now) suite of hand-picked UAD plug-ins and  UAD instruments.

UA have ported a curated collection (17 plug-ins to start) of their DSP powered plug-ins to work on native CPUs in AU, VST3 and AAX formats. They have also included four instruments,  two previously only available from within LUNA (their own recording software). So as well as the Ravel Grand Piano and the Moog Minimoog D (officially endorsed) there's the Waterfall B3 Organ and the Opal Morphing Synthesizer (Exclusive to Spark).

Interesting that they are now working on more instruments - we were always hopeful that they would.
As well as these instruments, subscribers to the Spark model ($19.99 a month which allows single month or rolling commitments) will also get:

  • Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ Channel Strip
  • API Vision Channel Strip
  • UA 1176 Classic Limiter Collection
  • Teletronix LA-2A Leveler Collection
  • API Vision Channel Strip
  • Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb
  • Studer A800 Tape Recorder
  • API 2500 Bus Compressor
  • Galaxy Tape Echo
  • Pure Plate Reverb

These are essentially the same plug-ins that run on their own UAD DSP platform but in native form, and are considered by many to be the definitive versions, usually made in collaboration with original manufacturers, or endorsed by them.

See the above video from Pro-tools Expert to illustrate that they reallty are  identical to the UAD versions. 

Its an interesting move, we can assume that now processing power has been increased on the new Apple Silicon, it makes sense - although for real-time recording paths and live processing, their UAD DSP platform still offers unrivaled low latency and quality A/D D/A.

Opal also is an interesting development as it is a totally new instrument with Wavetable and modeled analog oscillators and some interesting takes on continually morphing wave shapes and filter models.
You also get UAD grade effects and processing (dynamics, delay reverbs etc) directly built in to the instrument.

Opal Key Features:

  • Breakthrough analog-meets-wavetable synth with continuously morphing oscillators,
  • noise, filters, and LFOs
  • Studio-quality UA effects, including premium studio reverbs, tape delay, modulation,
  • 1176-style compression, and more
  • Hundreds of curated presets across multiple genres, for instant professional sound
  • Hardware-inspired controls and layout for easy navigation and sound sculpting
  • Available exclusively to UAD Spark Subscribers

Diitto with the Waterfall B3 Organ, as well as multisampled B3, there's:

  • Best-in-class physical and circuit modeling of entire tonewheel organ for unparalleled
  • playing dynamics and realism
  • Complete three-dimensional emulation of a classic rotating speaker with perfectly
  • positioned mono and stereo vintage mic setups
  • Over 70 "album-ready" presets for instant professional organ sounds for any genre
  • Authentically-modeled tube power amp saturation
  • Keyboard Split functionality lets you play upper and lower manuals with a single MIDI
  • controller
  • MIDI-mapped parameters give users hands-on, real-time control in the studio and on
  • stage
  • Available for UAD Spark Subscribers and standalone purchase for $199 -- LUNA
  • extension, AU, VST3, and AAX formats

If you already own perpetual licenses for the UAD DSP versions of any of these plugins, you will get the UADx versions for free, there's also a 30 day subscription for new owners of any of the Volt audio interfaces.

Currently the Spark versions are Mac only and run under Rosetta but will be M1 native later in the year. The collection is also set to expand as UA add more plug-ins in native form and will also add more value.

Universal Audio Social

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