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:
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:
Diitto with the Waterfall B3 Organ, as well as multisampled B3, there's:
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.
With Matt Hodson
New Stereo features and FX algos
And a host of other features too