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Universal Audio UAD-2

Universal Audio UAD-2 Octo

Series Universal Audio

Review Universal Audio UAD-2

Universal Audio UAD-2: The Test

WMD: Weapon of Mass DSPs Universal Audio continues its arms race against other DSP card manufacturers, like TC Electronic (PowerCore) and SSL (Duende), by releasing the UAD-2, which comes in three models that dwarf the original in power. We tested the most powerful of all: the UAD-2 Quad. read more…

User reviews on Universal Audio UAD-2 products

moosers's review (Universal Audio - UAD-2 Solo/Laptop)

By moosers, 19/11/2009
The Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo/Laptop is a device that allows your laptop to run plug-ins off of your computer.  This helps the processing of these plug-ins and the overall performance of your system is better because it is under less stress from plug-ins.  Think of it as a mini HD system where your plug-ins are no longer restricted by your computer.  It is a simple device that fits right into a jack on my Mac Book Pro.


Using the Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo/Laptop isn't hard at all.  I run this with a Mac Book Pro that has a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB of RAM.  I run the plug-ins in Pro Tools LE 7.4 that runs with a Digi 002R audio interface.  With this device, I can run Universal Audio plug-ins a whole lot faster than I could without it and it also leaves room for my other plug-ins to run faster on my computer.  I haven't experienced any latency issues or any problems at all as it has only helped out the way that my system runs. 


There isn't too much involved with the installation process of the Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo/Laptop.  I simply followed the instructions that are in the manual, and probably could have figured it out on my own as the software is self explanatory.  It only took about five to ten minutes for me to have this installed and running with a few plug-ins.


I would absolutely recommend the Universal Audio UAD-2 Solo/Laptop for anyone mixing on a lap top.  It offers the high quality signal processing that Universal Audio is known for without all the processing power that would be taken up on your computer.  If you are looking to expand your plug-in collection but find that the more you run plug-ins on your machine, the slower it gets (which is going to be the case for most LE users), then the UAD-2 is the cure that you are looking for.  The price isn't too expensive, but also isn't cheap so keep this in mind.  All in all, I would definitely say the price is worth it as it helps my lap top run plug-ins exponentially better and is a whole lot cheaper than getting an HD system!

Won't leave home without it... (Universal Audio - UAD-2 Solo/Laptop)

By loudfunk, 23/03/2011
After having used 2 UAD1 and a UAD2 duo in my desktop for a long time as my go to plug-ins, I added a UAD 2 solo/laptop for when I'm on the road, or simply just want to work on the proverbial couch.
Using it on Mac Book pro 2.8 intel processor with 4 gb of RAM.

I use it for tracking guitars and of course for channel strips, busses, sends and the master on mixes.


The drivers have always been top notch, the plug-ins are constantly expanded. Most of the time I use them with either Logic 9 or Pro Tools 9. Track count/instances of plug-ins varies dramatically depending on which plug-ins you run.
Some are serious resource hogs such as the Manley Massive Passive as a mastering compressor on the master buss. That said it's worth to just bounce out with the other plugs and then render the final file with it anyways.


Install is a software installer, plug in the hardware, authorize, done.
At times when you're running OSX you might have an issue when the system has been to cluttered and needs a general clean-up where you'll have to repair permissions. What's great on the UAD stuff you can get around this by just rescanning Audio Unit plug-ins via Garage Band. A great time saver in a pinch.

As a side note I had problems with this card installing under Windows 7 in dual boot on my MAC Book pro, however on my Dell laptop no problem.


The best part is the sound quality of the plug-ins, and the portability of the set-up.
Some plugs like the Neve stuff although sounding like the you ran the signal through the hardware box do not emulate the break-up characteristic. The again the work around for that is running the Studer plug-in if saturation is your thing.

The stand-outs for me are the delays...Echoplex, Space Echo, Time Cube, the EMT Plates, of course the compressor like the dBx 160, LA2A and LA3A, 1176, for eq the Manley massive Passive, the 4 different Neve, the SSL stuff, the Harrison, and of course the Triton. Another lovely plug is the Studer for tape saturation.

The Emperical labs Fatsoo is great to add girth, the IBP phase alignment plug is great when messing up with multi-miced tracks and you need to get stuff better in phase..

DUO and the QUAD are both great! (Universal Audio - UAD2 Duo Custom)

By mrjason, 07/02/2013
The Universal Audio UAD-2 DUO is a firewire DSP engine with 2 SHARC chips. I have the Quad Custom that cost more than just the standard DUOCore. You can purchase the Quad Core, Quad Custom, or Quad Ultimate which is a lot more than all of the other models. When it comes to picking the right model I just had to figure out which unit would best suit my setup.


It comes with some very good plug ins right out of the box, but also more can be purchase at the UAD online store for affordable prices. I actually got a coupon when I received my QuadCore that allowed me to get some more plug ins at a very good price.


After I purchased the Quad Custom I was able to get free software upgrades for up to 1 year while it was still on warranty through Universal Audio. I have used these plug ins with Cubase and Logic, they work in those DAW’s just the same way they work in Pro Tools. They load up fast and don’t take too much of the CPU from my projects.


I recommend getting the “Quad” if you can afford it over the “Duo” because it will give you the best bang for your dollar and more features and a better overall sound right out of the box. But any of the Universal Audio UAD systems are good and you can always upgrade. Using the Quad has gave me way better mixes on our music than I thought I was ever going to be able to get from my home studio. It makes everything sound bigger and fills out the stereo field giving a wider feel to the vocals and instruments. Our sound is now very clean, and the fact that I can do all of this from home is perfect. Because I remember a time when you had to go to a big studio to be able to do these things and pay a lot of money by the hour to use this same type of gear.

TOPISSIME (Universal Audio - UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - QUAD Core)

By Greg Datalab, 26/03/2017
Tout est dans le titre.
Je ne vais pas m'étendre sur le sujet, UAD est connu pour faire de la qualité!

Autant le boitier que les plugins fournis par UAD, on ne peut pas être déçu.

Les plugins fournis sont déjà excellent (Pultec, Teletronix LA2A, Fairchild, Precision… et j'en passe) + ceux disponibles sur le shop UAD et là c'est de quoi vider son compte en banque… On en veut toujours plus!

Bref, du bon et encore du bon! Vivement les prochaines grosses soldes :D

News Universal Audio UAD-2

[MUSIKMESSE] UAD-2 Satellite USB DSP series

Published on 04/07/16
Universal Audio presents its new line of UAD-2 Satellite USB DSP Accelerators, shipping Q2 2016.

A small update for the UAD Software

Published on 07/03/15

Forums Universal Audio UAD-2