Using the term ‘flagship’ as Universal Audio have, is deceiving. It suggests a new DSP hardware unit is available, but in fact this is just their latest ‘flagship’ software package. Ultimate 5 contains all 89 UAD-developed plug-ins, up to and including UAD v9.0 software. The UA Ultimate bundles can only be purchased with their DSP Accelerator products, but that’s a lot of mixing and mastering fun.
Universal Audio new flagship UAD-2 OCTO Ultimate 5 Bundle
The Ultimate 5 bundle is available to buy with either the UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt OCTO DSP Accelerator, the UAD-2 Satellite USB OCTO DSP Accelerator and the UAD-2 OCTO PCIe DSP Accelerator Card. This latest version of their flagship software bundle now includes 89 UA-developed plug-ins, up to and including UAD v9.0 software. Any UAD plug-ins created by 3rd party developers (such as Brainworx, Softube, etc) are not included.
Sure enough, this is a very cool product by one of the most respected plug-in developers of today. Having access to one of these pieces of hardware and all these plug-ins would be wonderful for anyone. However, I can’t help but feel this is slow progress in terms of releasing new products to market. Is this an excuse for UA’s marketing department to drag out a story?
Take Waves’ Mercury bundle, for example. I’m not going to argue which manufacturer is best, or the difference between the solutions, but I’m simply using the fact Mercury is probably the most comparable software package. They don’t need to announce the latest version of Mercury every time some new plug-ins are released and then added to the bundle. We all know that the latest version of Mercury will include all of Waves’ plug-ins, and if you pay for their annual update plan you will continue to receive future updates too. Simple.
The news we were really hoping for from UAD was for some new DSP hardware solutions. UAD-3 Dual-octo core perhaps? While many users might be happy with the current level of processing power for their workflow, there are other users that want more power. It’s mostly mixing engineers who require significantly higher instances of UA plug-ins at any one time. The UAD-2 technology isn’t new any more, and some of the hardware solutions such as the USB Satellite can’t be daisy-chained. Daisy chaining is too expensive for most anyway. Please can we have some new hardware, UA? I predict something is brewing, perhaps we’ll see it announced at NAMM 2017? The bets are in!
For a complete list of all 89 UAD plug-ins included, see this link.
For more information about the UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt OCTO DSP Accelerator, the UAD-2 Satellite USB OCTO DSP Accelerator and the UAD-2 OCTO PCIe DSP Accelerator Card, see Universal Audio’s website. These products with the Ultimate 5 bundle can only be purchased through a distributor and therefore prices vary. As a guide however, the UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt OCTO DSP Accelerator with the Ultimate 5 bundle will set you back around 3,800 GBP.