When it comes to Universal Audio’s pace-setting range of audio interfaces and powered plug-in hosts, the advent of the high-speed Thunderbolt 2 interface has meant Mac users have been getting the better part of the deal. With the newest and most powerful devices all Thunderbolt-equipped, PC users have been shut out of the party. However, keen to make their appeal as universal as possible, Universal Audio have been hard at work redressing the balance. Following on from the Windows-only Apollo Twin USB audio interface launched last year, they have now introduced a complete range of UAD-2 Satellite powered plug-in processor units that connect via USB 3 and are compatible with Windows only.
The new UAD-2 Satellite USB units are available in Quad and Octo variants, packing four and eight SHARC processors respectively, and Universal Audio say that the USB 3 interface offers reduced latency compared to Firewire 800. The Satellites run Universal Audio’s range of proprietary plug-ins, created in collaboration with some of the biggest names in professional audio to accurately emulate some of the most sought-after bits of kit of all time. UA currently boast a library of over 90 plug-ins, available to purchase individually, though it’s growing all the time. The new Quad and Octo Satellite USB units are available in five different variants, distinguished by the number of plug-ins bundled with them. The Quad Core ($999) and Octo Core ($1,499) include the Analog Classics Plus bundle, an eight plug-in collection of greatest hits that includes the LA-2A, 1176 and Fairchild 670 compressor/limiters and the Pultec Pro EQ. The Quad Custom ($1,399) and Octo Custom ($1,899) ship with the same Analog Classics Plus bundle, plus any three plug-ins of your choice from the online store. Finally, the Octo Ultimate ($1,599) includes all 83 UA-developed plug-ins. These new Windows-only plug-in accelerators should be shipping very soon.
Universal Audio have also announced a partnership with Fender to bring genuine Fender guitar processing plug-ins to the UAD and Apollo platforms. "This is an exciting endeavor for Fender, and Universal Audio is the best group to bring the essence of our classic amps to a digital platform,” said Shane Nicholas, Director of Product Development Amplifiers. “We look forward to offering players of all types the opportunity to utilize our products in their musical expression."