The Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite is a plug-in accelerator that allows you to use your UAD-2 plug-ins via FireWire. There are two different versions of the Satellite: a two-chip version and a four-chip version. While other companies seem to be getting out of the plug-in accelerator industry, Universal Audio has gone all-in and has included many different options with the UAD-2.
The UAD-2 is about the size of an external hard drive, so it doesn’t take up a whole lot of room. It comes with different plug-ins depending on which bundle you get. The Analog Classics bundle, for example, features two compressors (LA-2A and 1176LN/SE), an EQ (Pultec EQP-1A), and the RealVerb Pro plug-in. You also receive a $50 voucher for other plug-ins from the large UAD library, letting you instantly customize your UAD-2. Connecting the device is also very easy. Just connect the FireWire port, install the software off the CD, and then complete the registration on the Universal Audio website.
One of the new features on the UAD-2 is that it allows Mac users to access all of the UAD-2 plug-ins if they have FireWire 400 or 800 ports. The Satellites use two or four SHARC processors to allow access, which frees up each computer’s RAM for other programs.
Once everything is up and running, you can explore all of the new UAD-2 features. Their new control panel lets you configure your plug-ins, organize your licenses, and even get help. The UAD Meter tracks your system resources. It’s all laid out very nicely and is intuitive.
The UAD-2, especially the quad version, is about all you need to mix on a laptop. The fact that your computer’s internal RAM is freed up is a huge gain. The plug-in sounds excellent, too, and the UAD-2 gives you access to a wide range of hardware emulators. The quad retails for $1,499.