Universal Audio released version 9.10.0 of its UAD software & plug-ins. The update spans a pair of rare tube compressors, enhancements to Apollo functionality and a hefty number of bug fixes.
Universal Audio 175B & 176 compressors hit the mix
Masterminded by UA founder Bill Putnam Sr., the 175B and 176 all-tube compressors appeared in the early 1960s. Unlike broadcast limiters at the time, they were designed for music studios from the get-go. Only about 1000 units were made from both, with vintage market prices reaching well beyond USD 5000. Capable of gentle compression and character smashing when pushed, the compressors sport up to 12:1 ratios and fast envelopes, easily comparing to Fairchild limiters with improved controls.
Universal Audio is indeed in the best position to supply accurate emulations of the rare hardware, focusing on their signature tube-based gain reduction, amplifier harmonics, and transformer saturation. According to UA, you can use the 175B and 176 as tube tone boxes by strapping them on your channels and turning off compression. Plug-in exclusive enhancements to the original hardware include a Dry/Wet blend knob and custom operating levels.
The UA 175B & 176 tube comps are sold for EUR 299, exclusive to owners of Universal Audio gear (UAD-2 & Apollo).
10 new Sphere mic models
UAD 9.10.0 brings aboard the 10 new mic models from the Townsend Labs Sphere plug-in 1.4 update. The collection includes some interesting finds, such as the Soyuz 017 tube mic, three Sennheiser MD421 models from different eras, and an “industry-standard shotgun microphone” used in film voice-over recording. The mic models are available at no extra cost to owners of the Sphere L22 microphone modeling system.
Channel DSP Pairing for Apollo/Arrow
Following the update, owners of Apollo and Arrow interfaces can utilize the Channel DSP Pairing functionality to optimize their sessions for larger plug-in chains on Console inputs at the cost of fewer Virtual Channels. As the DSP PAIRS value is increased in Options, the VIRTUAL CHANNELS value is decreased – and the opposite applies. Read more here.
Extended mixing range
As a final touch, UAD added +12 dB fader gain to extend the mixing range on Console inputs.