We recently wrote about The Audio Hunt, where you can essentially pay-to-play with the greatest audio gear in the world over the Internet, by collaborating with studio owners who record, process or reamp your music tracks using choice pieces of hardware for a per-track fee.
That’s one way to access world-renown hardware; the other is pay top dollar for your own unit. However, sometimes there’s a third option to get the sound of some of the best hardware around in software form.
In case of Universal Audio’s UAD system, wielding an uncompromising digital emulation requires an investment in external DSP chips, either in the form of one of the company’s excellent Apollo audio interfaces or a UAD-2 Satellite DSP accelerator box or UAD-2 PCIe card. Having such supplemental DSP power means you can take advantage of UA’s Unison technology, which provides the impedance, gain staging and circuit behavior characteristics of the original hardware — all while tracking in real time without your computer’s own processors being bogged down.
All that applies to the newest additions to the UAD Powered Plug-in lineup, which have just been released today with the UAD Software 8.7 update for Mac and Windows: the Manley Voxbox Channel Strip Plug-in ($299) and the Ampeg B-15N Bass Amplifier Plug-in ($149).
The Manley Voxbox 3U rackmount pre-amp, EQ, compressor, limiter and de-esser first set the modern standard for a vocal channel strip in 1997 and still sells today new for more than $4,000. (At the Audio Hunt site, you’ll pay about $30 per channel for it.)
Universal Audio developed the new plug-in version with the endorsement of Manley Labs, and it delivers an end-to-end circuit emulation of the original all-tube signal path of the original. It’s also available as part of the Manley Complete Plug-in Bundle ($749), including the Manley Massive Passive EQ and Variable Mu Compressor/Limiter plug-ins at a discount off the combined individual prices.
One of the most revered boutique plug-in developers, Brainworx, produced the Ampeg B-15N plug-in exclusively for UAD systems to accurately recreate the performance of the 1960s Ampeg Heritage B-15N bass amp, which became the sought-after sound of rock, funk and soul bass, and which can sell today for more than $2,000. (At the Audio Hunt, re-amping with the B-15N currently costs $75/hour.)
The new B-15N plug-in adds modern enhancements such as onboard effects, 42 recording chains and a switch to alternate between the 1964 and 1966 B-15 circuits. It’s also available as part of the Ampeg Heritage Bass Amp Bundle ($299), along with the Ampeg SVT-VR Bass Amplifier and Ampeg SVT-3 Pro Bass Amplifier plug-ins at a discounted bundle price.