Best UAD Audio Interfaces
There has always been a reputation for innovation at Universal Audio. The brand has contributed significantly to the field of recording, from legendary mic preamps and compressors to game-changing audio interfaces and software.
One of the most important purchasing decisions a music producer can make is selecting one of the best audio interfaces for their studio. Audio interfaces are essential components of any recording setup since they are literally the interface between what you record and what you hear.
You will be able to connect other essential studio gear and instruments during your recording sessions if you own one of the best audio interfaces, whether you make music on a PC or Mac. It is important to note that the right interface depends on the needs of the user.
Universal Audio Brief History
Since 1958, M.T. Putnam Sr. and Universal Audio have been synonymous with innovative recording equipment. Over the second half of the 20th century, Putnam Sr. led the way in the design of consoles and studios. He is often referred to as “the father of modern recording.”
He developed the first US multiband equalizer in addition to artificial reverb. Regarding his compressors and microphone preamplifiers, they remain the gold standard. The sound of recorded music was transformed by his golden ears and innate sense of business.
Recently, Universal Audio released a number of high-quality products specifically targeted at guitarists. In addition to the modern-day classics OX Amp Top Box and UAFX Pedals, these products replicate some of the most sought-after effects and amplifiers in the history of guitar music.
Their extensive line of high-quality audio interfaces, a library of authentic software recreations of vintage hardware, and powerful DSP devices have been developed since then. In addition to recreating the revered tools of the past, Universal Audio is well-positioned to create the classic gear of tomorrow as a result of these illustrious origins.
Now let’s dive deep into what we think are their best audio interface models and let you decide which one you will need!
Universal Audio Apollo Series
1. Universal Audio Apollo Solo TB3 Heritage Ed.
It features class-leading audio conversion, two UnisonTM mic preamps, and a suite of onboard UAD plug-ins for instant recording of album-quality results. The Apollo Solo is the world’s finest Thunderbolt 3-powered desktop audio interface for Mac and Windows.
Featuring the acclaimed Apollo A/D and D/A conversion, this compact interface performs better than anything in its class sonically. The unit can also be used to record through classic studio tools, such as the UA 610B Tube Preamp & EQ, the LA2A and 1176 compressors, and more – with nearly zero latency thanks to its Unison technology and UAD2 processing.
There is a marked difference between Apollo Solo’s onboard headphone output and other interfaces in its class in terms of loudness, punch, noise level, and frequency response.
Therefore, you will be able to track and mix using headphones with complete confidence, knowing that every sonic detail is being heard. It is the only “clutter-free” portable audio interface that offers album-quality sound with its rugged all-metal construction and Thunderbolt 3 operation.
2. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X Duo Heritage Ed.
This compact interface combines the best analog and digital characteristics of Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin X Duo Heritage. As a result of UA’s Unison technology, vintage preamps are emulated by simulating the interaction between mics and instruments at the preamp’s input.
In addition to the features found in the Apollo Twin X Heritage Edition, the device offers DUO Core real-time UAD plug-in processing, Unison mic preamps, and full integration with the LUNA Recording System.
A comprehensive monitor section is provided on the Apollo Twin X DUO, with talkback capability, dedicated controls on the front panel for Alt Speakers, Dim, and Mono functions, as well as input and output metering.
It is possible to increase the power and capability of the Apollo Twin X DUO at any time by integrating qualified Universal Audio hardware. In addition to delivering crystal-clear, high-resolution recording and mixing, the Apollo Twin X DUO offers a wide dynamic range (127 dB) and low distortion (-117 dB).
3. Universal Audio Apollo X4 Heritage Edition
A desktop 12×18 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface from Universal Audio, the Apollo x4 Heritage Edition offers a broad range of features and a powerful QUAD Core real-time UAD processing engine.
Various top-tier plug-ins are included with the Heritage Edition, ranging from vintage compressors and EQs to virtual guitar/bass amps, time-based processors, and tape emulators.
You may add qualified Universal Audio hardware to the Apollo x4 at any time to increase its power and capabilities. Thunderbolt users can combine up to four Apollo interfaces with six UAD-2 devices to expand their I/O and DSP capabilities without abandoning their Apollo x4.
The interface has four XLR-1/4″ mic/line combo inputs and two 1/4″ Hi-Z inputs that are all compatible with Unison for precise UAD emulations of classic analog preamplifiers. Bypass the unpredictable nature of old equipment while imparting a vintage character of your choosing to microphone recordings and instrument recordings.
4. Universal Audio Apollo x8
In comparison to its predecessors, the Universal Audio Apollo x8 offers unmatched conversion, processing, and monitoring capabilities. To offer Apollo x8 users pristine sounds with a 129 dB dynamic range, the design team combined 24-bit/192 kHz converters with new analog circuitry.
As part of the Apollo x8, you will be able to track and mix utilizing an 18×24 (8×14 analog I/O) interface with four Unison-enabled mic preamps and the new HEXA core processor.
There are four Unison-enabled mic preamps on the Apollo x8, which allow the user to simulate actual input impedance, gain stage “sweet spots” and circuit behavior of the gear the Apollo x8 emulates.
You will also receive the Apollo x8’s included “Realtime Analog Classics Plus” bundle, which includes the most accurate collection of classic analog emulators available.
Universal Audio Volt Series
Universal Audio Volt 1
This audio interface was designed for singers and songwriters, guitarists, and podcasters. Vintage Mic Preamp Mode allows you to record vocals that sound as if they were recorded with a classic microphone preamp.
The full sound is assured by the built-in tube emulator circuits. You can easily connect a microphone or instrument to the front panel with the 1-in-2-out audio connectors. A recording can be listened to without delay if headphones or speakers are connected to it.
Its built-in tube emulation circuitry, exclusive to UA, gives Volt 1 the rich, full sound of this classic UA mic/line/instrument preamp.
The sound and features that his audio interface provides are enough for every new-coming producer and aspiring engineer to enter the audio production world. Besides that, you will be able to get some high-quality recordings if you know your craft and get industry-standard music out!
Universal Audio Volt 2
For musicians and songwriters – as well as live streamers and podcasters – Volt 2 is the perfect audio interface for easily recording audio with legendary studio sound. On Mac, PC, iPad, and iPhone, you can create legendary-sounding music productions, live streams, and podcasts.
The Vintage Mic Preamp mode allows you to record your voice or guitar with an album-ready sound. Create music and audio with a comprehensive collection of audio and music software, including Ableton, Melodyne, Virtual Drummer, Marshall, and Ampeg.
It is convenient to produce professional-sounding music productions, live streams, and podcasts at home or on the road thanks to the high-quality audio quality and retro-inspired industrial design. You can capture the rich, full sound of classic UA outboard gear with built-in vintage-style mic preamps and tone shaping.
The Volt 2 offers simple audio connections with two-in and two-out. Simply plug your microphones, guitars, or synthesizers into the front panel. Once your audio has been recorded, you can monitor it with your speakers or headphones without experiencing any latency. Volt will enable you to create like a pro in no time.
Universal Audio Volt 4
Designed for creative collaborators who desire to record audio projects with professional studio sound, Volt 4 is the ideal audio interface. Upon connecting Volt to your Mac, PC, iPad, or iPhone, you immediately receive professional sound, courtesy of Universal Audio.
With two rear-panel 1/4″ inputs, you can connect extra line-level sources such as preamps and monitor yourself with no distracting latency. The speaker and headphone outputs have separate volume controls as well.
Volt 4 offers best-in-class audio fidelity with 24-bit processing and 192kHz sampling frequency, capturing every detail of your performance with incredible clarity. You will find a selection of carefully selected software packages included with Volt 4 in order to inspire your creativity.
Moreover, Vintage Preamp Mode enables the Volt 4 to be used with external preamps and channel strips without adding color. It is possible to create album-quality tracks with the Volt 4 in your studio.
Universal Audio Volt 176
In addition to providing one-in, two-out USB 24-bit/192kHz audio conversion, tone shaping via 76 Compressor (based on UA’s 1176 iconic compressor), a choice of vintage mic preamp modes, and a suite of industry-leading software, Universal Audio’s Volt 176 desktop recording interface is also compatible with Apple iPad and iPhone.
Volt 176 has been designed for singers, songwriters, musicians, live streamers, and podcasters who wish to easily record audio with big studio sound. Your studio will benefit from the rich, full sound of classic UA outboard gear thanks to the built-in vintage mic preamps and tone shaping.
The Volt 176 provides you with simple audio connections with one in and two out. It is simply a matter of plugging a microphone or instrument into the front panel. Once you have connected your speakers or headphones, you will be able to monitor your audio without any delay.
When traveling light, you can use Volt 176 to create beats and samples, record rehearsals, and edit songs from anywhere with your iPad or iPhone.
Universal Audio Volt 276
Volt 276 was developed by Universal Audio to meet the needs of collaborators ranging from musicians and producers to live streamers and content creators who wish to record audio with a big studio sound. Volt 276 delivers superior studio sound quality than any USB interface in its class.
It has a Vintage Mic Preamp mode, based on the Universal Audio 610 tube preamp and 76 compressors. It is a 2-in/2-out USB audio interface designed to provide superior sound quality for singers, songwriters, guitarists, podcasters, and many others…
Thanks to its Vintage Mic Preamp based on the Universal Audio 610 tube preamp, the Universal Audio Volt 276 provides superior audio quality and more character than any other audio interface in its class.
Using an innovative analog circuit inspired by the legendary 1176, the 276 also includes a built-in compressor for controlling vocals, guitars, synthesizers, and drum machines.
Universal Audio Volt 476
Designed for collaborators – from musicians and producers to live streamers and content creators – Volt 476 provides big studio sound with ease of use. It takes just a few seconds for Volt to appear on your Mac, PC, iPad, or iPhone, ready to record your productions with legendary sound quality.
This USB interface is from the same team that brought you the game-changing Apollo interface, delivering superior studio sound quality with more character and tone than any other USB interface in its class. Due to its built-in tube emulation circuitry, Volt 276 delivers the rich, full sound of this legendary UAD preamp.
There are some audio interfaces that offer a selection of random audio applications. It is not Volt. Instead, UAD provides a comprehensive package of music production tools, virtual instruments, and plug-ins, including Ableton, Melodyne, UJAM’s Virtual Drummer, Marshall, Ampeg, and others.
With its retro industrial look and rugged construction, the Volt 476 will allow you to capture your music for years to come.
Universal Audio Volt 476P
The Volt 476P from Universal Audio is a desktop 4-in/4-out USB 2.0 audio interface that provides a studio-quality recording workflow. With an easy plug-and-play design, you can create professional high-quality audio on your PC or Mac.
A rectangular-shaped Volt 476P measures about 10.5 inches in width by 4.5 inches in depth and has feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding. The 467P comes with a 5VDC power adapter on the back, which plugs into the USB-C port on some of the smaller Volt models.
As UAD’s first Volt model to feature four analog preamps, the Volt 476P offers 76 Compressor and Vintage Mic Preamp modes on every input channel, making it perfect for creative collaborators and bands that want to easily record large audio projects with high-quality studio sound.
Rugged metal construction and retro wood sides further enhance the styling of the Volt 476P, which has expanded outputs for headphones, speakers, and other outboard gear.
You may find that a single interface is simply too limited at this point. In order to maximize your studio’s ability to scale and expand, consider investing in computer systems and recording platforms that allow features such as daisy-chaining between interfaces.
In order to ensure your audio interface provides all the features you require, it is essential to identify what you are looking for before you purchase one. You can save thousands of dollars if you are aware of features you do not require.
If you are having any questions in regard to this topic, please let us know in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to answer and elaborate!