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Universal Audio Brand Spotlight

Universal Audio | Audio Interfaces

Eric Lapp • Posted on 10/20/2021 • 4 min read

Analog and digital recording may seem worlds apart. From the classic vision of vintage analog recording to the modern vision of digital recording, it may appear that these two visions are separated by more than time. We are all familiar with the gradual advancement of recording technologies and how we've evolved from the analog to digital world, but few know it as well as Universal Audio.

Founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., Universal Audio championed innovation on an unprecedented level. From artificial reverberation, the multi-band audio equalizer, the vocal booth, all of these ubiquitous recording technologies started with Putnam. This groundbreaking technology grew in popularity and gained a considerable following. Names such as Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles graced Putnam's creations, resulting in legendary recordings and a legacy that is hard to match. Putnam's star-studded list of patrons goes deep into the storied lineage of pop music from the Rolling Stones to the Beach Boys, Nat King Cole to Van Halen. Simply put, Putnam knew his way around a record. Universal Audio was re-founded in 1999 by Putnam's sons, James and Bill. Today's Universal Audio team is based in Scotts Valley, California and tirelessly works toward reproducing classic analog recording equipment and designing new digital recording tools for the creatives of today. With these goals ahead and a rich history behind, Universal Audio bridges worlds for unbeatable recording for any artist.

The name Universal Audio can be found emblazoned across many different types of audio equipment from interfaces to effect pedals. Recording interfaces such as the Apollo series present users with intuitive and streamlined recording experiences. Whether a home or professional producer, the Apollo series offers class-leading A/D and D/A conversion that can be heard today on countless recordings. UAD processing allows for real-time tracking and mixing with different high-class preamps, compressors, and EQs. From desktop interfaces to rackmount units, the Apollo series puts the power into any producer’s hands to create high-quality recordings in any way they choose.

These interfaces are only enhanced by Universal Audio's groundbreaking Satellite series, a selection of DSP accelerators that open up worlds of analog emulation plug-ins to the UAD platform. Universal Audio's compatible plug-in library is extensive for producers to capture classic analog sounds through their modern-day equipment. The Universal Audio experience does not stop with recording, however. The brand's love for analog effects also enters the fray with their Golden Reverberator, Starlight Echo Station, and Astra Modulation Machine pedals. These exceptionally outfitted pedals each carry enormous digital processing power to produce spot-on analog effect sounds in new, cutting-edge ways. Each pedal features three unique analog-inspired effects from iconic recordings and equipment such as spring reverbs, tape modulators, and bucket-brigade delays. These classically inspired effects connect players to the analog technology from which these famous sounds originate. All three pedals' powerful digital design make them perfect companions for players and producers alike. Across the entire Universal Audio catalog, there is a piece of equipment for any musician looking to access an advanced level of recording.

Today, expanding even further on their personal, player-friendly recording experience comes the Universal Audio Volt series. These USB audio interfaces make for a perfect entry point to the world of Universal Audio. Featuring a lineup of easy-to-use interfaces, the Volt series bring the class-leading audio conversion, streamlined designs, and top of the line recording software to solo singers and songwriters, home producers, or anyone seeking an authentic UA experience. Volt interfaces come equipped with a Vintage Mic Preamp mode to evoke the classic analog tones and vibes of other Universal Audio creations. These interfaces easily find a spot on any desktop and with their vintage styling, the UA experience is ready for any recording job. PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad connectivity ensure a spot for every producer on any platform. A certified plug-and-play experience, Volt series interfaces show that Universal Audio is far from finished innovating and sharing their one-of-a-kind recording processes.

A Universal Audio device is something of a catalyst for incredible musical creation. From its earliest days in groundbreaking analog technology to defining our modern recording landscape, Universal Audio has been a companion for musicians and their creativity. Today's Universal Audio experience may look different from its humble '50s beginnings, but the spirit to innovate and create is all the same. With a multi-generational legacy established with only more light on the horizon, Universal Audio knows their way around a record.