Universal Audio's Apollo interface has been a huge hit with many recording aficionados and it was announced yesterday at NAMM 2013 that they have enhanced its features in a major way.
"Among the new Apollo interface features slated for delivery in the first half of 2013 is multi-unit cascading, which combines two Apollo interfaces into a single elegant system via FireWire or Thunderbolt. Multi-unit cascading provides simultaneous use of 16 analog inputs / outputs, including eight Apollo mic preamps, plus 12 digital inputs and outputs — perfect for tracking a full band.
The boost in Apollo connectivity is navigated via a redesigned Console application, offering better visual feedback, a new Mix-Merge mode, and a Pro Tools mode which greatly simplifies integration with Pro Tools systems."
Read more here.
API 500 Series EQ Plug-In Collection
UA also announced API 500 Series Plugins featuring the 550A and 560 Eqs. I know the original hardware well and look forward to trying out the UA emulations.
"Designed by API’s Saul Walker in the late 60's, the 550A and 560 modular EQs featured Walker’s signature 2520 op-amp and proportional Q circuitry. For the API 500 Series EQ Plug-In Collection, UA’s industry-leading circuit modeling team expertly captured the filter shapes, band interactions, and unique filter amplifier clipping behaviors of vintage API 550A and 560 units to exacting detail. The result is tight, low-frequency imaging that gives users that legendary API punch.
Additionally, the API 500 Series EQ Plug-In Collection includes presets from several famed engineers and producers, including Ross Hogarth (Van Halen, R.E.M., Ziggy Marley), Vance Powell (Jack White, Red Fang, The Dead Weather), Eli Janney (Jet, Ryan Adams, Wilco), Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, Shinedown, Train), Carl Glanville (U2, Billy Joel, Jason Mraz), and Darrell Thorp (Beck, Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg)."
UA also upgraded their original LA-2A to the Classic Leveler Collection. If their 1176 Collection is any indication the new LA-2A Collection should not disappoint.
"The original LA-2A hardware — still hand-built at UA headquarters in Scotts Valley, California — is an audio industry icon, bringing smooth, warm compression to anything it touches, especially vocals. With the new LA-2A Classic Leveler Plug-In Collection, Universal Audio modeled the entire electronic path of three highly coveted hardware units — “Silver,” “Gray,” and the original LA-2 model — providing the most authentic plug-in emulations available of this iconic compressor.
The Bill Putnam-era LA-2A “Silver” model features a fast time constant, making it suitable on all sources, including drums and percussion. The Jim Lawrence-era LA-2A “Gray” model maintains an average time constant, providing a range of “medium-speed” compression. Finally, the LA-2 plug-in models the rarest of original Teletronix units, providing a super-slow compression response and a unique “mellowed” sound due to 50 years of luminescent panel aging.
Additionally, the LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection plug-ins includes presets from famous LA-2A users, including Ross Hogarth (Van Halen, R.E.M., Ziggy Marley), Carl Glanville (U2, Billy Joel, Jason Mraz), Darrell Thorp (Beck, Radiohead, Charlotte Gainsbourg), Vance Powell (Jack White, Red Fang, The Dead Weather), and Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, Shinedown, Train)."
I've used the Softube Amp Room Plugin Bundle on various projects and they sound great. I think they make a great addition to the UAD platform.
The Bundle consists of:
1. The Metal Amp Room
2. The Bass Amp Room
3. The Vintage Amp Room
4. Acoustic Feedback Deluxe
My favorite is the Bass Amp Room.
"With the addition of renowned Softube Amp Room plug-ins to the UAD platform, owners of UAD-2 DSP Accelerator hardware now have industry-leading guitar and bass amp modeling at their fingertips. And, when used with the award-winning Apollo Audio Interface, the Softube Amp Room plug-ins allow musicians and producers to jam, write, and record through stunning guitar or bass sounds with near-zero latency."
Get more details on the Softube Amp Room Bundle here.