Universal Audio is bound to be a familiar name for any studio engineer or producer at the pro level. Backed by an extensive selection of hardware and software audio signal processing gear, Universal Audio has spent over five decades developing DSP modeling tools and vintage-style analog equipment. In fact, UA was the first manufacturer to introduce artificial reverb, recording consoles and multi-band equalizers to the professional toolbox.
The long history of Universal Audio goes back to a sound engineer named Bill Putnam Sr., who drew on his experiences working with legendary musicians like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles to begin creating revolutionary hardware. The descendants of Putnam's original electronics are still around, keeping analog sound quality alive with models like the UA-S610 Classic Vacuum Tube Microphone Preamp. Earlier versions of the 610 saw use by artists like the Beach Boys and Van Halen, and their modern counterparts are every bit as capable.
Today's Universal Audio lineup has two main directions: one is to "faithfully reproduce classic analog recording equipment," and the other is to "design new digital recording tools with the sound and spirit of vintage analog technology." What that means is you can expect Universal Audio's DSP cards, preamps and digital plugins to deliver rich, classic sound every time you use them.
Having such an emphasis on the fusion of vintage tone and modern tech has allowed Universal Audio to really deliver some amazing products, like the LA-610 Mk II Classic Tube Recording Channel. It's a great tool for vocals, with high-end optical compression that does an excellent job of avoiding distortion. Another compressor definitely worth a look is the warm-sounding 6176 Channel Strip, and that's just one more example from a broad variety of standout choices.
It's a challenging thing to blend tradition and innovation, and Universal Audio continues year after year to prove that they're more than up to the challenge. When you have UA in your studio, you'll know you have the equipment you need to get sweet classic sound even when you're using modern, high-tech platforms to handle your production work.
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