Universal Audio have announced that LUNA, their Mac-based DAW, is now available as a free download with no UA hardware required, having previously only been available to those with Apollo interfaces. For those wishing to extend its functionality, the company are also offering the LUNA Pro Bundle, a paid-for collection of UAD plug-ins and LUNA Extensions created with some of the biggest names in pro audio.
Introduced in 2020, LUNA comes with a built-in set of features that emulate the sound of classic studio hardware. It supports the use of AU plug-ins, but thanks to UA’s renowned processing, the DAW’s mixer is capable of offering analogue-style summing, tape machine simulation, classic channel strips, bus and parallel compression as LUNA Extensions without the need to load any additional plug-ins. Track count is unlimited, so users are able to record and play back as many tracks as their machine can handle.
The free version comes loaded with the company’s Oxide Tape Extension, a Shape instrument that comes packed with sounds to sketch new ideas or add the finishing touches to a track, and the ARP Arpeggiator. There are plenty of useful writing tools included, too, from customisable session templates to song variation functions, whilst a Smart Tool and intuitive session browser help to avoid switching between modes and navigating menus. For those wanting hands-on control over their sessions, the DAW supports a range of MCU-based control surfaces.
LUNA Pro Bundle
The optional LUNA Pro Bundle expands the DAW with the following selection of UAD plug-ins and LUNA Extensions:
- Ampex ATR-102 Master Tape Machine & LUNA Extension
- API 2500 Bus Compressor & LUNA Extension
- API Preamp
- API Summing LUNA Extension
- API Vision Channel Strip & LUNA Extension
- Century Tube Channel Strip
- Galaxy Tape Echo
- Oxide Tape Recorder
- PolyMAX Synth
- Pultec Passive EQ Collection
- Pure Plate Reverb
- Studer A800 Tape Recorder & LUNA Extension
- Teletronix LA-2A Leveler Collection
LUNA is supported on Macs running macOS 10.15 or later. It is authorised via PACE’s iLok system, but supports machine-based licensing. LUNA Extensions and UAD plug-ins can be authorised via iLok Cloud or an iLok USB dongle.
Pricing & Availability
LUNA is available now as a free download. The LUNA Pro Bundle is priced at $399, and a 30-day free trial is available.