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The fast, easy way to step up to UAD powered plug-ins which capture the real magic of analog.
The UAD-2 SOLO gives producers and engineers a simple, powerful entry point into the award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform on Mac or PC. This DSP accelerator package includes several of Universal Audio's most popular analog classic plug-ins—the LA-2A and 1176 Compressors/Limiters, and the Pultec EQP-1A—for rich, vintage sound quality right out of the box. It also provides a processing boost for running larger mixes, thanks to its PCIe card with an onboard SHARC processor. Better still, it gives users access to the UAD Powered Plug-Ins library, including some of the best-reviewed plug-ins of all time.
Specifically, the UAD-2 SOLO provides access to popular UAD plug-in titles from Manley, Empirical Labs, Neve, Roland, BOSS, EMT, Fairchild, Harrison, Helios, Little Labs, Pultec, SPL, Teletronix, and more (sold separately), from any Mac or PC with available PCIe card slot. Whether you use Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Digital Performer, or Pro Tools, the UAD-2 SOLO can inject the character and quality of classic hardware into your mixes, while freeing up your computer's internal processor for other mixing duties.
Mac- and Windows-compatible, with support for VST, Audio Units, and RTAS, the UAD-2 SOLO is easy to use. Just install the software, install the card, and start mixing. Developed by one of the industry's finest engineering teams, and backed by frequent new software and plug-in releases, the UAD-2 SOLO is the processing platform of choice for many of the world's top musicians, producers, and engineers. Now it's your turn to experience it.
Get plug-ins professional record-makers use— and seriously boost your computer's processing power too!
Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo:
Mostly I think UAD cards and the plugs are awesome! I own Pro-Tools but don't really like it (use Cubase/Reaper all the time) and have no interest in somehow affording the massive cost of the hardware based version of Pro-Tools, which to me is the only compelling reason to use Pro-Tools unless you are in a "pro" studio all the time. The UAD cards allow access to extremely nice, hardware based plugs for any platform, giving me the flexibility and control I want in the DAW arena. I own an original UAD-1 card as well as the UAD-2 solo card I just bought (getting harder and harder to get a motherboard with a PCI slot) and they continue to impress me. Anyone who has itched to get a hold of some of these legendary studio workhorse pieces but never thought they could be in your price range should look into a UAD card. For the price of even 1 "pro" studio workhorse piece of hardware you could buy most, if not all the emulations of many, many high end units and get 98% of the quality. With a couple minor points I can only recommend a UAD, whichever version is in your budget. I wouldn't even want to try a mix without having mine anymore!
The UAD stuff isn't loaded with tons and tons of plug-ins, but I think something that does set them apart is the focus on quality and a strong dedication to useful and "true" reproductions of the hardware they emulate. I honestly haven't gotten to use many of the hardware pieces in the UAD lineup, but the 2 or 3 I have gotten my hands on made me realize how well the UAD plugs emulate the tone and behavior of the real thing. Having access to tone shaping options of this caliber for someone like me, and so many of them, is really an incredible deal. I would never be able to approach affording even 1 or 2 pieces of the real hardware in any sane amount of time and am grateful that UAD comes to the rescue. Even better, thanks to the hardware processing being shifted to a decidated card, I don't have to choke my CPU up to have these options! One negative here... while it's great that they let you test out the plugs before you buy, I don't like the way they keep track of the usage. It's pretty much once you activate a trial, you have so many days to use it no matter what. That means that if you think you might like a plug-in on a certain song and don't, unless you have songs lined up to try it out with, you might lose the rest of the trial time before you have another chance to test a plug-in out. I would much rather see a scenario that only counts the days that you actually use the plug, so you have 14 days of actual use. I don't always have prolific period of writing or time to record and have wasted a couple of trials almost completely because after the first use wasn't a fit, I had nothing to use it on and wasn't able to come up with anything before the trial expired. That leaves me with no trial and no real idea whether the plug might be useful to me or not... which usually means it's gonna be dead last on my list of options to buy when the money is available.
The quality really is top notch to me. I have tinkered around with 3 genuine hardware units that the plug-ins emulate and they really went to great pains to make everything as authentic and user friendly as possible, both in sound and controls. I know there are other options out there like the Waves bundles for example, but I think it's just a matter of preference here. I don't think you could find anything that surpasses the quality of the UAD plugs and other high end plug-in bundles are usually in the same price range, and mostly without the advantage of dedicated hardware. It's a tough combo to beat and I have never found myself tempted much to look into anything else. They work well, sound great, and allow me to do more, what's not to like?
I'm torn here. On the one hand I do think for what you get the pricing is understandable and even reasonable. Also for the man hours and expertise that comes into play for this type of emulation, you gotta expect it to cost, otherwise they couldn't invest the time they put into making the untis excel like they do. But, I also feel like sometimes they still cost too much anyway. I guess I would like to see perhaps the cost to get the initial hardware purchase drop, even if it meant the price of the plug-ins being slightly raised to compensate. I know the hardware is itself high-end and costly to create, but it can be hard to save up for the cost of entry with these units and I think UAD does themselves somewhat of a disservice by not coming up with a way to lower the initial hardware cost to open these up to more people. I am OK with the pricing because of the quality, but would still like to see some pricing adjustments or improvement to allow people to afford getting started with these units more easliy. I would imagine they could make up the loss easily just by the additional number of people who would buy. It's easier to come up with a little money here and there for plug-ins than to come up with full amount or more to really get a good start. I didn't take too much off though because the solo option is pretty affordable, but is also pretty darn limited if you're just getting started.
Comments about Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo:
The idea of having effects plug-ins that don't drain your computer's resources is appealing enough, but the bundle of analogue effects that come with the card makes it worth the cost many times over. Just do the math - even one effect, say, the UA 1176LN is one of the best compressors on the market. It sells on MF for $2000. With the UAD card, you can put this exact compressor (albeit the virtual version) on as many tracks as you need.