Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite Review

Jun 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Kevin Becka

PLUG-IN ACCELERATOR OFFERS UAD-2 PLUGS OVER FIREWIRE

Polls


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

The UAD-2 Satellite comes in 2- or 4-chip versions.

The UAD-2 Satellite comes in 2- or 4-chip versions.

The UAD-2 Satellite comes in 2- or 4-chip versions. The ranks of external hardware plug-in accelerators have thinned since SSL went Native-only with its Duende plug-ins in February 2011 and Waves stopped making its APA32 and APA44 units. Still, Universal Audio has been chugging away, developing a wide array of options for those wanting access to its UAD-2 plug-ins, which are only accessible on the company’s proprietary hardware. Universal Audio’s latest effort in this regard was released at NAMM in January 2011 as part of the UAD-2 Satellite Duo and Quad accelerators. The Quad unit is under the microscope in this review, which I ran on a Mac 2.26MHz Intel Core 2 Duo 13-inch laptop with 4 GB of RAM running Mac OS 10.6.7.

The UAD Link light shows connection status and sits with two FW800 and one FW400 ports on the back of the unit.

The UAD Link light shows connection status and sits with two FW800 and one FW400 ports on the back of the unit.

What’s new about the Satellite platform is the ability to open up the UAD-2 plugs to FireWire 800- and 400-equipped Intel-based iMacs, MacBook Pros and Mac minis. The units are powered by two or four SHARC processors, allowing a whole new group of desktop users access to a large range of processors without taxing internal RAM, which then can be used for other plug-ins outside the UAD-2 family.

START ME UP!
With purchase, you get the UAD-2 Satellite enclosure, which looks very much like an external hard drive, and the Analog Classics plug-in bundle offering the LA-2A and 1176LN/SE compressors, Pultec EQP-1A EQ and RealVerb Pro plug-ins. The unit works with a range of DAWs with support for AU, VST and RTAS formats. From there, you can use the included $50 voucher to purchase new plug-ins from the sizable UAD library.

Out of the box, the UAD-2 couldn’t be easier to hook up. Just FireWire into your host computer, and you’re ready download your plug-ins and host software from the included disc, and then authorize your system via Universal Audio’s Website.

The UAD Meter and Control Panel is one of the system’s best features. It offers a wealth of valuable info to configure your system, check your resources, keep track of your plug-in licenses and get help if needed. Under the System Info tab, you can view your Satellite hardware and see the DSP percentage used per chip, the amount of latency, current software version, check for updates and more. The Plug-Ins tab is where all your licenses are listed, while the Configuration tab gives you access to some high-level tweaks for setting up your DAW. The Help screen offers a UAD Registration and Authorization FAQ, UAD voucher and Plug-In Purchase FAQ, a user manual, the ability to contact support via email, a link to the Support page, access to your my.audio account and a UA Webzine.

Even when the info gets deep, you can get a high-level heads-up by rolling over each section, which reveals a complete explanation of the feature in the INFO box at the bottom of the window. I used this feature with Pro Tools more than once when I needed to fine-tune my system.






Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95

Newsletters

MixLine

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.