Universal Audio Intros 8-Processor UAD-2 OCTO DSP Accelerator

Universal Audio has announced ‘a complete re-imagination of the popular UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins platform’.

Highlighted by the new flagship UAD-2 OCTO DSP Accelerator card, featuring eight SHARC processors, the UAD-2 Series offers new Custom and Ultimate software bundles and more affordable pricing for all UAD-2 SOLO, DUO, and QUAD DSP Accelerator models. 

New OCTO DSP Accelerators — Heavyweight Processing Power

The new top-of-the-line UAD-2 OCTO DSP Accelerator ($1,499US) features eight SHARC processors on a single PCIe card and installs into a PCIe-equipped Mac or PC workstation or compatible expansion chassis — giving music producers and engineers twice the processing power of its UAD-2 QUAD DSP Accelerator counterpart. For UAD power users running large audio sessions with high UAD plug-in instances and/or high sample rates, the UAD-2 OCTO DSP Accelerator is the uncompromising professional solution.

New UAD-2 “Custom” Bundles — Pick Any 3 UAD Plug-Ins

For $ 400 US more than a UAD-2 DUO, QUAD, or OCTO “Core” DSP Accelerator model, UAD users can now step up to UAD-2 Custom bundles, selecting any three individual UAD plug-ins within 45 days of their new UAD-2 hardware registration.

New UAD-2 “Ultimate” Bundles — The Definitive Collection

Combining the most powerful UAD-2 DSP Accelerator hardware with the most complete UAD plug-in bundle available, the new UAD-2 OCTO Ultimate (PCIe card format) and UAD-2 Satellite QUAD Ultimate (FireWire format) packages offer an extensive library of more than 55 UA-developed plug-ins, up to and including UAD Software v6.3*. These UAD-2 Ultimate packages represent the definitive collection of more than 10 years of UAD plug-in development.

More Affordable UAD-2 SOLO, DUO, and QUAD Core Models

Alongside the new UAD-2 hardware and software introductions, UA is debuting new, more affordable pricing for the “Core” models of UAD-2 SOLO, DUO, and QUAD PCIe hardware and UAD-2 DUO and QUAD Satellite FireWire hardware. All UAD-2 Core models include the popular “Analog Classics” plug-in bundle, featuring the LA-2A Classic Audio Leveler, 1176LN/1176SE Classic Limiting Amplifiers, Pultec EQP-1A, and RealVerb Pro plug-ins. Additional UAD plug-ins can be purchased from UA’s Online Store. 

See the UA site for details.

By: aymat


25 thoughts on “Universal Audio Intros 8-Processor UAD-2 OCTO DSP Accelerator

  1. Can someone tell me how UAD is still relevant nowadays ?
    My PC is capable of real time processing of tons of different resource consuming plugins with no delays/latency whatsoever.
    Is it the quality of their plugins ? I mean $200 the dbx160 plug-in ? Gotta be one hell of an emulation !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • Obviously , you never used an UAD plugin…
      But even so, you might also consider the card as a “super-dongle”, if you see what I mean ;-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      • Obviously. I’m just skeptical about hyped to death companies that sell their products suspiciously expensive to devoted souls (an other one comes to mind quite easily…)
        I think the DSP card is not relevant anymore and they should sell their plugins as VST like eveyone else.
        $1500 the anti piracy dongle…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  2. @ Robert : UAD plugins ooze soul. They are in a class apart when you’re looking for that mojo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    • No, not from every other VST alternative. I appreciate the piece of mind knowing that any UAD purchase I make, no matter how expensive it is, will not leave me with buyer’s remorse. I know it will sound great, is as close as future proof as I’m likely to find in the digital world and will not put extra strain on my CPU. Which leaves me with more time to compose and mix than A-B testing every 1176 compressor out there.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • “no matter how expensive it is”
        Dream customer, right here. Won’t test anything else, will just buy from you no matter what !
        Truth is, they made you buy expensive hardware and now you’re stuck with them. UA in a nutshell.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. DSP is very good solution for audio processing, and at least my 4 core CPU cannot handle much more than couple of notes with two or three effects in Windows 7 with acceptable latency. Hardware synths have been able to run crazy amounts of signal processing even with mediocre DSP -processors.

    Could some one perhaps use iPhones(/pads) DSP processor to get sizeable boost in processing power. Perhaps at least effect system or some parts of signal path could be moved to DSP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Didn’t Digidesign do just that some time ago? iPad pedal board system of some sort. Don’t know what kind of processor or effects you’re using, but my first gen i7, 4-core 260 can handle ridiculous amounts of effects and soft synths.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      • ^that.
        “not much more than a couple of notes with two or three effects” sounds pretty pessimistic.
        My quad core is a few years old now, and with the exception of one or two specific synths, can handle WAY more than that.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      • I think he meant the internal DSP in iPhone. If it is indeed programmable, the efficiency of the DSP could be harnessed into kicking the mobile music making revolution into another level!

        For example some one could make central workstation app with effects and sequencer with the DSP and it would leave the CPU alone to run regular synth apps as plugins. Or just make really stunningly robust synth by using both processors.

        I’d love that, and I think the DSP would suit especially nicely with mobile music making, as the batterylife is one concern.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. UAD plugins are a bitter pill.

    I equate UAD plugins to doing surgery with a scalpel vs doing surgery with a saw. They both can get the job done, but UAD plugs are so much more pleasant to work with. UAD really does make amazing plugins and once you’ve use them its so difficult to go back to using anything else.

    That being said, they are also fucking EXPENSIVE. I usually wait for the end of year sales to purchase what I want. Are they worth it? Every penny. But that still doesn’t take the sting out of buying them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. If I’m going to spend $1500 on hardware, it would be a) new macbook, b) analogue synth, or c) tube channel strip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    • The people that buy UA systems are professionals that have already have a powerful computer and hardware, but want the benefit of hardware dsp – rock solid power.

      Like a lot of gear – if it seems expensive to you, you probably aren’t the type of user that needs this!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

      • “if it seems expensive to you, you probably aren’t the type of user that needs this!”

        That’s not true and the comment reeks of snobbery.

        The “type of people” that buy UAD systems are not necessarily professionals – indeed, none of the full timers I know own UAD systems – and if you were making enough money from music for price not to be an issue then you’re likely to considering hardware units over software (not always, tho, I concede). The type of people that buy UAD want quality regardless of the price. The problem here is that the cost of buying into UAD seems unnecessarily expensive, especially compared to alternatives.

        I’ve used UAD and it’s brilliant, but would I spend twice to access plug ins that can be replaced by cheaper, and as-good, alternatives? No, and I’m not alone in feeling that way.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

        • Actually, it’s your comment that reeks of snobbery and anti-intellectualism.

          It’s pretty clear that a high-end UA system isn’t worth the money to you – and that’s fine.

          But to extrapolate from that and suggest that the high-end gear that many pros buy is a waste of money is ignorant and offensive. You’re basically suggesting that a lot of pros don’t know how to spend their money intelligently.

          Have you ever considered that maybe you have different requirements than some other people or that your experience may not qualify you to call half the recording industry a bunch of iidiots?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

          • Geoff

            If you are offended by my comments then you really need to recalibrate your sensitivity. I never said that “the high-end gear that many pros buy is a waste of money”, what I said was UAD is expensive compared to alternatives, and then I questioned whether UAD is really worth the price difference. I felt that it wasn’t.

            To extrapolate from my words that I disapprove of expensive gear is incorrect (because I do approve, when I believe it really is worth it), and to say I take an anti-intellectual view point on this topic shows that you don’t know how to use the word “anti-intellectualism”. I suspect that you are the type of chap that buys an expensive car to make up for other shortcomings, and you probably carry over these spending habits to the studio.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  6. It’s not expensive when you can have the ‘exact’ sounds of Pultec, Fairchild, Studer, Manley….. the list of classic gear that is so much more than a ‘copy’ or ‘emulation’ makes UA plugs a very worthy investment. I had the Focusrite Liquid Channel and hated it… and so I was set against the UA-D concept. But I took the plunge and it is really phenomenal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. Just as a reference, I have a 2012 MacBook Pro. I recently ran a session with over 70 tracks with a total of about 106 plugins in Pro Tools. Which includes Slate Digital’s VCC at 8x oversampling! I should also say I had absolutely no hiccups. My CPU activity was at 40%.
    I like the idea of UAD but it would be great if they could release their plugins as standalone versions so us non-DSP card people can get a taste of that mojo.
    I also understand the piracy issue but it is very ironic that the people that suffer because of piracy, are actually the paying customers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. Mixed feelings on UAD here. Soundquility is worth every penny but still no 64bit versions of the plug ins.
    I own a uad2 pci with about 70 % of all their plug ins installed.. Indeed quite an investment…..
    What I find hard to swallow is that my UAd plug ins are still NOT 64bit!
    All that new hardware to distract from what really should be released…..64bit uad plug ins!
    UAD …..Do that first and then I might consider investing in an Apollo to replace my PCI.

    To join the discussion of the sound quality…..I can t do without them. for instance…. Want to produce that huge sound and not spend 3000 euros on a kush audio Fatso? ……the emulation is 300 and sounds magnificent. Put a studer a800 on every channel and your master….you will be astonished……

    I have to use the 32bit audio unit bridge in Logic……very anoying and irritating but native plugs can t do the job ……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. Seriously? No 64-bit? I really thought we were past the point where that was even a consideration. Even Ableton is *finally* 64-bit (in beta).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. The quality of UAD is there, without a doubt. But I’m tired of emulations of old hardware, regardless of how great it is. The audio world is riddled with skeuomorphs (products that imitate design element functionality necessary on the original product, but which becomes merely ornamental on the new product). We’ve been emulating tape decks and rack gear for over two decades now, and it’s time to get modern with the UI and signal flow. I’d love to see emulations of the classic gear but with modern UI and workflow that really brought value to the whole experience.

    Right now the “high end money” for something like a UAD product comes largely from people who have worked with and remember the original hardware. But as that demographic ages up and stops purchasing, I expect they will have a harder time pushing the product line as it stands. And honestly, an outboard box is a ton of extra power today, but in about 7 years it will be dated and needless compared to what you can carry around in a portable form factor for a few hundred bucks. So this sort of product is time-limited.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Interesting discussion on this. The UA systems are overkill for what I do.

      In fairness to them, though, your computer and all it’s software will be just as obsolete in 7 years!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. I have used all of the plug ins….had the Waves Mercury bundle and was very impressed…however…i bit the bullet and bought a UAD-2 quad omni card because a local music store had had one returned so I was able to get it for cost which was around $3000 at the time….but HOLY SMOKES! UAD plug ins are unrivalled…I used them with both a console and a folcrom (switching between both depending on the project) for summing. I will never again be without them…they just sound so smooth…I have lots of nice hardwware as well yet I rarely use i…go figure….UAD plugs are in a league of their own..truly the best out there..unquestioned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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