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UA Capitol Chambers, 175B & 176

Plug-ins For UAD2 System
By Paul White

Universal Audio continue to tempt UAD2 owners with officially licensed recreations of classic equipment — and rooms!

Every couple of months brings a software update for owners of Universal Audio interfaces and co-processing boxes, introducing yet more tasty new plug-ins! The latest updates to reach SOS Towers are v9.9, which includes the Capitol Chambers reverb and an update to Softube's Tube-Tech CL-1B compressor, and v9.10, which introduces emulations of UA's 175B and 176 valve compressors.

Chamber Music

Capitol Chambers is an emulation of the physical echo chambers built below the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. These chambers have been used to add reverb to a wide range of performers from Frank Sinatra to Muse, Ray Charles to Beck, and whereas many physical echo chambers simply sound roomy, the ones at Capitol have a magical quality that just seems to improve anything you use them on. They may just be underground rooms equipped with mics and speakers but each was carefully designed, apparently with some input from Les Paul, to offer a musical sounding ambience/reverb.

UA Capitol Chambers, 175B & 176 plug-ins.UA's engineers employed the same dynamic modelling techniques they used when creating the Ocean Way studio emulation, so unlike IR-based snapshots, the user can adjust the microphone distance to achieve different results. The plug-in is licensed and endorsed by Capitol Studios, whose resident engineer Steve Genewick worked with UA on the mic/speaker setups.

Capitol Chambers is an end-to-end model that takes in the room, the speakers, the microphones and the electronic components in the signal chain — which includes Capitol's custom preamps. Of the eight chambers below the Capitol building, the four most popular (2, 4, 6 and 7) are recreated here, along with the exact same mic and speaker setups used in those rooms. The plug-in presets include historic speaker/mic/room configurations plus some new setups, again in collaboration with Steve Genewick. Numerous top-tier engineers and producers, including Al Schmitt, Frank Filipetti and Darrell Thorp, have also contributed presets.

Despite the complexity of what goes on behind the scenes, the GUI is very...

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Published October 2019