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Customer Reviews 276 Reviews

4.81 out of 5 stars

by a. de rocco (10/17/2016):

Really helpful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Amazing. Read more

238 Reviews
27 Reviews
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FATSO™ Jr./Sr. Tape Sim. & Compressor Plug-In
Get the rich sound of magnetic tape, class A transformers, and tube circuits.

Able to warmly burnish frequencies and transients, or crush them with thick saturation, the FATSO™ Jr./Sr. Tape Simulation & Compressor plug-in for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces exhaustively emulates the iconic, industry standard
Empirical Labs hardware.

Used by legendary engineers Ed Cherney, Al Schmitt, and Brendan O'Brien, the FATSO™ can also increase the apparent volume of your source material. The FATSO™ plug-in is officially endorsed and scrutinized for accuracy by its designer,
Dave Derr.

Now You Can:
  • Inject the warm, musical qualities of magnetic tape, tubes, and class A transformers to instruments or an entire mix
  • Lightly color or destroy drums, vocals, and more with tube and tape saturation
  • Harness “plug-in only” Tranny Saturation, Sidechain Filtering, and Stereo/Mono controls
  • Dial-in a wealth of analog textures with Warmth and Spank controls

Go From Tame — to Trashed
The FATSO plug-in offers a wide palette of possibilities for adding fat analog character and cohesiveness to your DAW tracks. It’s also a creative tool, able to add varying degrees of saturation — from subtle to severe — on any source. The FATSO's Input control lets you dial in shades of harmonic generation and distortion, while the Tranny and Warmth features provide varying amounts of of tape and tube tone.

Plug-In Only Features
The FATSO plug-in’s versatility is greatly expanded with the addition of Dave Derr's custom mods. The FATSO Sr. offers a “Tranny” saturation control, Sidechain Filtering, and deeper compression parameters including Threshold, Attack and Release. These special FATSO Sr. mods are only available with the UAD plug-in version of this essential studio tool.
With Unison Technology


Note that artists names and/or likenesses contained herein do not constitute an official endorsement of Universal Audio products. All trademarks are property of their respective owners.



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  • Jono Buchanan

    (Future Music UK)

    "UAD owners are going to flock to the FATSO plug-in in huge numbers. As they should ... this processor is irresistible."

    Ivan Barias

    (Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott, Estelle)

    The FATSO is a 'must own' UAD plug-in. I love it on the kick and bass tracks. It's also amazing in the master buss chain.

    Young Guru


    “These are the best plug-ins I have ever used. God bless you for the FATSO Jr./Sr.”

    Justin Niebank

    (Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts)

    “That FATSO plug knocks my socks off, period. I'm always finding new things to use the FATSO on"

    Billy Bush


    “The [UAD] FATSO is my favorite tool for warming up guitars. It brings out some of the harmonic content that isn’t necessarily obvious when recorded digitally.”

  • Christopher "Stone" Garrett

    (Thievery Corporation)

    “I totally love a Fatso Sr. on the overhead mic, and we set it to obliterate or fry…A lot of times I'll use the same settings from the hardware on the UAD version."

    The Glitch Mob

    "The Fatso is our go-to secret weapon for softening and warming up abrasive soft synths.”

    Paul Moak

    (Third Day, Matthew Mayfield)

    "The FATSO underneath the primary voice chain adds a cool sonic character that brings the voice out."


    (Computer Music)

    "Overall, you should buy FATSO for its sonic footprint (from a proven hardware unit) and its excellent custom upgrade FATSO Sr."


    (Computer Music)

    "So, what's FATSO Jr. good for? Unsurprisingly, fattening snares and adding low-mid punch to kicks proved successful."

  • Reviewer


    "FATSO is a 'magic wonder box', and again, UA has nailed what the original is all about—but also gone further, by including a FATSO Sr."



    "Granted this is Universal Audio's forte, but even so, this [FATSO] is a very impressive plug-in."



    "Anyone who's a fan of 'the analog sound' but uses digital because of cost and convenience will welcome what FATSO brings to tracks."



    "You can't go wrong with UA's plugs, and these three [EMT 250, FATSO and Trident A-Range EQ] are no exception."

    Jacquire King

    (Norah Jones, Tom Waits)

    "And the FATSO Sr. That’s the [FATSO jr.] companion plug-in. Yeah, that is super, super cool."

  • Elliot Mazer

    (Neil Young)

    "FATSO is just that ... It is amazing that it can make something sound warmer and bigger and more present at the same time."

    DJ Richard Devine

    "When you need something to really punch but still have that warmth, the UA FATSO plug-in is the weapon of choice."

    Dean Coleman

    “The [UAD] FATSO plug-in really brings back the bottom-end warmth to a vocal that's lost it's way.”

    Garrett Haines

    (Tape Op Magazine)

    "Should mix engineers buy this [Manley Massive Passive] plug-in? YES. If they don’t have a UAD-2, should they buy one just for this plug-in? YES. You’re also going to want a license for the FATSO and Cooper Time Cube as well."

    Jono Buchanan

    (Future Music UK)

    "If you hanker for tape-like warmth, with an irresistibly wide and rounded sound, this [FATSO plug-in] you'll love."

  • Paul White

    (Sound On Sound)

    "[FATSO] makes a fabulous bus compressor for adding a touch of analog magic and density to a mix ..."

    Paul White

    (Sound On Sound)

    "[FATSO is] Perfect for making aggrssive things even more aggressive! ... Definitely one to have on your team, if you can."

    Paul White

    (Sound On Sound)

    "[Cooper Time Cube, EMT 250, or FATSO] ... for the real vintage character, I don't think UA have any rivals at the moment."

    Ed MacFarlane

    (Friendly Fires)

    "I use the FATSO plug-in as a buss-compressor ... I really like what it does – it can change the timbre of the drum kit."

    Elliot Mazer

    (Neil Young)

    "FATSO is a fantastic multi-use plug. I used it on some toms the other day and kaboom!"

  • Jeff Balding

    (Amy Grant, Faith Hill)

    “I'm knocked out by the FATSO! It sounds absolutely amazing!”

    Charlie Clouser

    (NIN, "Saw" Soundtracks)

    "I have to say, the FATSO sounds better than any plug-in I've ever heard. I'm utterly amazed."

    Roy Davis Jr.

    "UAD FATSO is my #1 choice for compression on drums or vocals it can give you that upfront presence that you need with alot of warmth."

    Roy Davis Jr.

    "[The FATSO plug-ins] can breathe life back into your digital system!!! I'm riding with UAD all the way!!!"

    Charles Scott

    (Star Trek, Hung, Fringe)

    "The new FATSO Jr/Sr [plug-in] is amazing. It may be the only dynamics module you need — it’s that versatile."

User Ratings

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Average Rating (276 Reviews)
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    i'll never mix without
    by a. de rocco(Monday 17 October, 2016)

    Really helpful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Amazing. Read More

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    Almost the real thing
    by M. Nigro(Friday 14 October, 2016)

    Do you want real mean punch on your drums? Can't miss with UAD Fatso. It really sound very close to the hardware for a fraction os the price. And you get Jr and Sr. versions. Just go for it! Read More

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    by B. Gotch(Tuesday 16 August, 2016)

    This is my Sauce on any source it just adds so much character but Lov It On VOCALS Read More

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    by S. Giordano(Tuesday 9 August, 2016)

    Not much to say here.... I ALWAYS wanted the hardware unit, but who can afford that? This is analogue tape to my ears. I am in love. Buss it up! This thing is amazing. This plug is a game changer. Try this compressor on the drum and bass buss - fattens them up and glues them together! Read More

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    A steal.
    by . (Thursday 21 July, 2016)

    The fact that one these costs thousands and you can have as many of them with you as you like is a steal. The warmth and character that this plug gives you is unparalleled. It's not a DSP hog at all. I print to tape with it! You have to take the time to figure out you vocal tone that you're… Read More


  • Armin van Buuren

    In the world of dance music, few have amassed as stellar a resume as Armin van Buuren. Here, he details how UAD plug-ins help him to entrance audiences. Read More

    Jacquire King

    Jacquire King is a three-time Grammy winning producer, engineer and mixer with credits that include Of Monsters and Men, Norah Jones, Modest Mouse, and more. Read More

    Charlie Andrew

    As the producer of Alt- J's, An Awesome Wave, Charlie Andrew won Britain’s Breakthrough Producer of the Year Award for 2013. Read More

  • Tom Salta

    Renowned video game composer Tom Salta details how he uses UAD plug-ins to craft award-winning scores. Read More

    Diplo on crafting mega-hits with UAD plug-ins.

    One of the most in-demand producers in music, Diplo has crafted hits for M.I.A., Snoop Lion, and Beyoncé. Read More

    Neal Cappellino on mixing Brad Paisley

    Grammy-winning engineer Neal Cappellino has recorded and mixed hits for Nashville's biggest stars. Read More

  • Noel Hogan's Production Renaissance

    Noel Hogan shares his Cranberries history and his current recording and production methods. Read More

    Top Engineers Top "Desert Island" Plug-Ins

    If you were stuck on a desert island with your recording studio, what UAD plug-ins could you not live without?… Read More

    R&B Engineer Tremaine Williams

    Tremaine reflects on how UAD Powered Plug-Ins have helped to further his quest for audio perfection. Read More

  • Producer/Engineer Billy Bush Mixes Garbage

    Bush uses UA tools extensively while sculpting the band’s edgy guitars, driving percussion grooves, and glistening electronics. Read More

    Rik Simpson

    Simpson has worked on three of Coldplay's albums, including Mylo Xyloto, which he co-produced, engineered, and helped mix. Read More

    Phil Tan

    With more than 24 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, 3 Grammys®, and nearly 300 album credits, there are few engineers that can touch Phil Tan’s recent track record. Read More


Features & Specs
FATSO™ Jr. /Sr. Analog Tape Simulator & Compressor Plug-In
Key Features
  • Recreates the warm, musical qualities of magnetic recording tape, tubes, and class A transformers
  • Licensed and endorsed by Empirical Labs, created by Universal Audio
  • Clipping, Warmth, Tranny, and Compression Select allow for a wide variety of analog tonal shaping possibilities
  • Additional UAD plug-in exclusive, FATSO Sr., provides original concept developed by Empirical Labs’ Dave Derr
  • FATSO Sr. features include Tranny Saturation, Sidechain Filtering plus Threshold, Attack, and Release
  • Stereo or Mono operation with independent Left/Right controls
See the UAD Instance Chart here
  • Input Gain operates as processor threshold and allows for clipping distortion
  • Output Gain operates as makeup gain/gain reduction
  • Warmth circuit and cycling button offers seven degrees of saturation simulating the softening of the high frequencies that occurs with analog tape
  • Tranny circuit adds frequency "rounding," low order harmonic clipping, intermodular distortion and transient clipping
  • Tranny/Bypass cycling button allows for Tranny enable/disable and independent channel Bypass of all processing
  • FATSO Comp cycling button offers seven compression options:
    • Buss - Slow attack, fast release, soft knee buss compression
    • G.P./General Purpose - Medium attack, slow release, transparent compression
    • Tracking Compressor - Fast attack, medium release “1176-type” compression/limiting
    • SPANK - “SSL talkback-type” aggressive limiting, can also be combined with Buss, G.P. or Tracking
  • Warmth and Compression metering via horizontal LED meters
  • Distortion metering via the "0 VU" yellow LED light indicating 1% THD, red "Pinned" LED indicating 5% THD or more
  • Link Compress links or unlinks compressor sidechain between Channels 1 and 2
  • Link Controls links or unlinks Ch 1 and 2 controls for ease of use in stereo operation
  • Processing can be bypassed globally via the Power switch for comparison to the original unprocessed signal
  • All of the FATSO Jr. controls plus…
  • Threshold Lvl knob adjusts compressor threshold
  • Tranny Lvl knob adjusts transformer saturation
  • HP Side Filter enables high pass filter in compression sidechain, selectable between 60, 120, 240, and 480 Hz
  • Attack cycling button manually adjusts compressor attack time between 0.9, 10, 30, and 60 ms
  • Release cycling button manually adjusts compressor release time between 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.5 s

 Hardware & Software Manuals