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The 15 Best Plugins
From Universal Audio

If you’re looking for the most realistic and detailed analog emulations, UAD plug-ins are the best in the business. For over 20 years Universal Audio has been painstakingly recreating your favorite analog hardware in the digital realm. If you’re looking to add the warmth and punch of analog gear to your productions, look no further than Universal Audio’s all-encompassing lineup of world-class tools. We’ve compiled a list of the best (and sometimes brightest) UAD plug-ins to sculpt and color your tracks to your heart’s desire.

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Dynamics

Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection

With its gentle, program-dependent optical compression, and meticulously designed tube amplifier, the LA-2A is the go-to compressor for professional mixers around the world. In 2001, Universal Audio set the standard in analog emulation with the original UAD LA-2A plug-in.

Today, UA’s engineers have redesigned the LA-2A plug-in with more obsessive detail. The LA-2A Classic Leveler Plug-In Collection for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces features immaculate models of three highly sought-after LA-2A units, giving you the most authentic emulations ever of this iconic compressor.

UA 1176 Classic Limiter Collection

The original Universal Audio 1176 was designed by UA founder M.T. “Bill” Putnam and represented a major breakthrough in limiter technology. The first compressor featuring solid‑state circuitry and ultra-fast 20 microsecond FET gain reduction, the 1176 is an easy‑to‑use “desert island” compressor that has lent its character and punch to some of the greatest recordings in history. 

Upon its release in 2001, UA’s first 1176 plug‑in single‑handedly launched our UAD platform. Extensive end‑to‑end circuit modeling in 2013 captured even more sonic nuance. Now with updated graphics and additional controls, the 1176 Classic Limiter Collection continues its legacy of analog modeling excellence.

API 2500 Bus Compressor

The API 2500 Bus Compressor is a permanent fixture on the stereo bus of many of the world’s top engineers and producers. Considered the best of the Paul Wolff-era API circuit designs, this famed compressor adds energy, movement, and tone to stereo mixes and subgroups, unlike any other compressor. 

The API 2500 Bus Compressor plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is a spot-on emulation of this classic compressor, capturing its all-discrete signal path with Thrust circuitry — and features a fanatically detailed modeling of API’s custom transformers and 2510 and 2520 op amps.

Fairchild Tube Limiter Collection

The Fairchild 670 and 660 are the most coveted vintage compressor/limiters in the world, with good reason. These 20-tube tone titans — which now fetch upwards of $50,000 — impart an unmistakable silky warmth heard on hundreds of hit records from the Beatles and Pink Floyd to countless Motown classics.

Now your vocal tracks, drum bus, and entire mix can benefit from the world’s most accurate plug-in recreations of these one-of-a-kind compressors, with the Fairchild Tube Limiter Plug-In Collection for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Tube-Tech CL 1B Mk II Compressor

Developed by Softube, the Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII plug-in for UAD hardware and UA Audio Interfaces is an update of this iconic optical compressor used by modern artists like Kanye West, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and more. 

Featuring numerous sonic enhancements and new high-resolution graphics, the Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII plug-in has been reimagined with Softube’s latest component modeling and signal processing technology, for an even deeper emulation than before — capturing this modern classic in all its tube glory.

SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor Collection

Integral to the hit-making SSL sound, the G Bus Compressor is a legend for making mixes bigger, more powerful, and punchy, all the while enhancing cohesion and clarity. Fully endorsed by Solid State Logic, Universal Audio proudly unveils the SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor Collection for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces — an expert end-to-end circuit emulation that goes further than UA’s original standard-defining SSL G Bus Compressor plug-in.

Equalizers

Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ Collection

The Neve 1073 Channel Amplifier is easily the most revered preamp and EQ circuit ever designed. Introduced in 1970, this hallowed class-A, transistor mic/line amp with EQ epitomizes the beautiful “Neve sound,” with unparalleled clarity, sheen, and bite.

Now for the first time, you can track through the only authentic end-to-end circuit emulation of this legendary piece of audio history, with the Neve 1073 Preamp & EQ Plug‑In Collection.

API 500 Series EQ Collection

The API 500 Series EQ Plug-In Collection for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces faithfully captures the punch, low-frequency transparency, and ultra-tight imaging of API’s iconic 550A and 560 Series EQs.

With unique filter shapes, complex band interactions, and musical filter amp distortions, the 550A and 560 Series EQs left an indelible stamp on legendary recordings of the ’60s and ’70s. Painstakingly modeled on pristine early-’70s units provided by Ross Hogarth and Capitol Studios, the API 500 Series EQ Collection gives you stunningly accurate, end-to-end modeling of these revered EQs.

Pultec Passive EQ Collection

Building on a decade of the world’s most intensive modeling research, UA has recreated the famed Pultec EQ experience as plug-ins – ones that are nearly indistinguishable from the original analog hardware.

The Pultec Passive EQ Plug-In Collection for UAD-2 and Apollo hardware includes the ultimate plug-in emulations of Pulse Techniques’ original passive EQs. With painstakingly modeled amplifier sections now onboard, the Pultec EQ Collection “breathes” like the original hardware.

Massenburg MDWEQ5 Parametric EQ

A unique, powerful equalizer, the Massenburg DesignWorks MDWEQ5 plug-in provides crystal clear processing at the highest resolutions. A go-to EQ for game developers and engineers in film and television, the MDWEQ5 plug-in is ultra-precise and ear-tuned by the man who invented the term, “parametric EQ,” George Massenburg.

Ultra-clean, with zero color and zero distortion, the MDWEQ5 plug-in lets you isolate problem areas in a mix and quickly make corrections with its choice of filter types. Now you can harness Massenburg’s unrelenting attention to quality in design, with the Massenburg MDWEQ5 plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Manley Massive Passive EQ

Officially licensed and endorsed by Manley Labs, the Manley Massive Passive EQ plug-in expertly captures the behavior of the original hardware, from the unusual filter curves, to the multiple band interdependencies, right down to the tube amplifier distortion, and all-important transformer/inductor hysteresis.

Time-Based FX

Lexicon 480L Digital Reverb and Effects

Released in 1986, the Lexicon 480L Digital Effects System and its iconic fader-driven remote control are recognized the world over — residing at the center of famous studio consoles for more than 30 years. The 480L’s spacious reverb and vivid effects textures are a coveted sonic benchmark, helping to shape thousands of chart-topping tracks to this day. 

Now available exclusively for UAD hardware and UA Audio Interfaces, the UAD Lexicon 480L Digital Reverb and Effects plug-in is the world’s only Lexicon-endorsed emulation of this classic studio reverb — expertly capturing its unique, infinitely moldable ambiance and modulation splendor.

Captiol Chambers

Located below the iconic Capitol Tower in Los Angeles, Capitol Studios is arguably the most recognized studio in the world — and much of its legend can be traced to its hallowed, subterranean echo chambers. From Ray Charles to Frank Sinatra, Beck to Muse, these underground spaces continue to provide gorgeous hi-fi ambiance that is simply unmatched. 

Now, after years of R&D and close collaboration with Capitol Studios — including unprecedented access to four legendary echo chambers 30-feet beneath the studio — Universal Audio proudly presents the Capitol Chambers plug-in, a startling end-to-end recreation of the most popular echo chambers ever created, exclusively for UAD hardware and UA Audio Interfaces.

EMT Classic Reverb Bundle

By bundling two of the most legendary reverbs ever made, the EMT Classic Reverb Plug-In Bundle for UAD-2 and Apollo interfaces saves you 20% compared with buying the plug-ins solo.

From the lush plate textures of the EMT 140 plug-in, to the expansive, reverb, phasing, chorus, and echo effects of the EMT 250 plug-in, the EMT Classic Reverb Plug-In Bundle features the only emulations of these revered reverbs fully endorsed by EMT International GmbH.

Galaxy Tape Echo

In 1973, Roland created the RE-201 Space Echo — a tape delay/spring reverb system that created warm, warped, unabashedly analog echo effects. From subtle tape textures to mindbending chaos, this iconic contraption can be heard on classic Pink Floyd and David Bowie, to seminal dub sides from King Tubby, Scientist, and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

The Galaxy Tape Echo plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces is an exhaustive emulation of the iconic, legendary ’70s unit, and expertly captures the physical behavior of the inspiring hardware, down to its distortion, musical wow and flutter, sci-fi pitch shifting, and real-time tweakability.

For over 20 years Universal Audio has proven to be the go-to choice of professionals. Their plug-ins are more than just a digital flavor, behaving and responding to subtle changes in your music just like their analog counterparts. Armed with the tools mentioned above, you will have the power and resources to bring your production ideas to life.

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