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Universal Audio Products

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Brett, Phelan, CA

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The Universal Audio Story

Universal Audio was founded by recording engineer Bill Putnam Sr. in 1958. Often regarded as the father of modern recording, Bill worked with Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Ray Charles, among others. A prolific inventor, Bill created the first contemporary recording console, channel equalizer, and vocal booth. Bill was also the first to use artificial reverb on a commercial recording. During his distinguished career, Bill designed studio-standard gear that is still in use today, including the famed LA-2A and 1176 compressors and 610 tube recording console.

UA: The Second Chapter

Unfortunately, Bill passed away in 1989. His sons, Bill Jr. (an electrical engineer) and Jim (a musician and recording engineer) came upon their father's design notebook when they were cleaning out his workshop. The brothers then realized that they wanted to bring back their father's company. Bill Jr., who became acquainted with many talented engineers at Stanford while pursuing his PhD, formed the team that reinvented his father's company. Universal Audio was officially re-established in 1999. Legendary studio pieces such as the 1176, LA-2A, and 610 were re-created and individually handbuilt based on Bill Sr.'s original designs. Modern processors inspired by Bill Sr.'s vision were also built, but the contemporary designs remained faithful to their father's 50-year legacy.

UAD DSP-powered Plug-ins

In 2001, Universal Audio made a surprising move, considering their reputation as a manufacturer of high-end analog gear - they created computer plug-ins. These weren't ordinary plug-ins, however. Bill Jr. had an extensive background in digital signal processing dating back to his days at Stanford. Bill's expertise in DSP, combined with the knowledge he inherited from his father, allowed UA to create a series of DSP-powered plug-ins that meticulously modeled the company's analog gear. Dubbed the UAD platform, these plug-ins delivered the warmth and harmonics normally associated with analog gear. UA didn't stop with their own designs, however. They've worked directly with hardware manufacturers such as Fairchild, Pultec, and others, crafting spot-on models of a variety of classic gear.

Questions about Universal Audio products?

Questions about Universal Audio products?

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Questions about Universal Audio products?

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