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Universal Audio TDM Compressor Bundle

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Universal Audio TDM Compressor Bundle
Who better to offer TDM plug-ins modeled after two of the most sought after vintage studio compressors but the manufacturer of the original hardware units, Universal Audio? UA, until now only offered these great sounding plug-ins bundled with their UAD-1 processor card. We installed these new TDM versions in a new G4 MAC running Pro Tools 6.1 and after jumping through the Pace iLok authorizations, we found them good to go in both OS 9 and OSX versions of PT.

There are three compressors in this bundle: stereo and mono versions of the LA-2 Leveling Amp, an emulation of the $3,000+ tube unit; and two versions of both stereo/mono 1176LN and 1176SE Peak FET Limiters. The 1176LN is for 44.1kHz and 48kHz sessions while the 1176SE flies from 44.1 to 192kHz. Both 1176 versions retain the program dependent operation and sound of the hardware units with ultra-fast attack times as low as 20 microseconds. While the CPU 'hit' for the 1176LN (in mono or stereo) was 100% of a slot on the DSP card (about as much as a big reverb plug-in), the sound is certainly worth it. However, the 1176SE takes only a 17% bite and works nearly the same for most light compression chores. The LA-2 used only 25% per instantiation or 50% for stereo.

We like the 1176LN/SE for vocals and drums and the LA-2 for bass guitar and for smoothing out obnoxious sounding electric guitars. There are 13 factory presets that come with the 1176LN/SE with "All Button Pump" our unanimous favorite. You also get four presets that come with the LA-2 that make good starting points for novices to experts. Besides these two compressors, there are other bundles available made up of a cool old Pultec EQ and the high-end Cambridge EQ. The 1176LN, LA-2A, Pultec and Cambridge all sell for $395 each with the compressor bundle as review here selling for $695. Both EQs in a bundle are $695 and all four plug-ins in a "Studio Bundle" goes for $1,295. Universal Audio is at Box 3818, Santa Cruz, CA 95063. Telephone them at: 831-454-0630 or visit www.uaudio.com.



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