UA 610 Tube Preamp Collection
Basics and FAQ
What is the UA 610 Preamp & EQ Plug-In Collection?
The UA 610 Preamp & EQ Collection is part of Universal Audio’s groundbreaking entry into microphone preamplifier and channel strip plug-in emulations with Unison™ mic preamp technology. Two emulations of the 610 are available with one purchase: A modern version based on Universal Audio’s current 610-B design, and a vintage version based on the original 610-A console (specifically, the extremely well-pedigreed Wally Heider “Green Board”). The 610 mic pre has an illustrious history associated with numerous landmark recordings of the past, and is widely used today in its modern incarnations. The 610 preamp emulations capture the entire circuit of the original and very colorful 610 tube preamplifier.
How do Unison mic preamp plug-ins work with Apollo’s built-in preamps?
Apollo’s mic preamplifiers are digitally controlled and offer high-resolution, ultra-transparent translation from microphone to converter. While fantastic sounding on their own, these preamps are also designed as an ideal starting point to add processing color through Unison-enabled mic preamp plug-ins. Specifically, Unison mic preamp plug-ins control the analog impedance and gain structure of the Apollo’s physical mic preamps — so hardware and software works in tandem to very convincingly emulate classic tube and solid state preamp designs.
How do I use the UA 610 Preamp & EQ Collection while recording with Apollo?
Simply insert the Unison mic preamp plug-in into the “PREAMP” insert in the Apollo Console software. This enables near-zero latency recording with Mic, Line or Hi-Z inputs through the target preamp model. In addition to physical gain and input impedance control of the Apollo’s hardware preamps, Unison allows tactile control of preamp parameters. See the "Unison" chapter in the Apollo Software Manual more information.
I own UAD-2 hardware and/or Apollo 16. Can I still use the UA 610 Preamp & EQ Collection?
Yes. Unison plug-ins can be used as standard UAD plug-ins inside your DAW of choice, or as Realtime UAD Processing inserts in the Apollo Console. The Unison plug-ins are great for adding color and tone with any UAD-2 hardware, but the hardware preamp interaction is only possible on Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, and Apollo Twin (i.e., devices that have physical mic preamps).
Variable analog impedance is not a feature found in Apollo’s original documentation. Why?
Apollo’s preamp operation does not feature input impedance switching, so no user access to the function was required. While the circuit has always been present in the unit, the feature is now operational to match the modeled input impedance of current and future preamp emulations, whether fixed or switchable (like the 610-B) providing physical, microphone to preamp resistive interaction.
How are the two 610 units you've modeled different from each other?
While the basic amplifier circuit is essentially unchanged between the original and modern 610, the 610-B (found in the 6176, LA-610, 2-610, etc.) was re-engineered for modern studio use with modern components and an expanded feature set. Because of this, there are differences between the two plug-ins in headroom, distortion characteristics, total gain, amplifier interactions, input impedance and other behaviors, which make both plug-ins complementary and essential. See the UAD Plug-Ins Manual for more information.
When I use the 610-A or 610-B in my DAW, they have Input settings for Mic/2.0K/500 ohm, but the plug-ins can’t be connected directly to a microphone. How do I use the 610 Collection as a mic pre in my DAW?
When not used as the front end of an Apollo interface, the 610 Collection’s main workflow is to color your signal at Line level in either your DAW or via Apollo Console’s non-integrated insert points, after the mic signal has been amplified. However, the Mic/2.0D/500 ohm settings are always available. The plug-ins can also can be used for heavy distortion of audio sources — it is the equivalent of putting line level signal into a mic level input. Use caution when switching from Line to Mic for this workflow, as a large jump in gain is expected!
Why does the 610 have so much distortion when I set the Input setting to
See the above FAQ. Like the hardware, both the 610-A and 610-B plug-ins easily allow the user to send Line level signal through the “virtual” Mic input, which allows creative use of distortion to color signals.
Which Universal Audio hardware 610 is the basis for the 610-B plug-in?
Minor differences among modern 610 incarnations exist such as the 6176, LA-610, LA-610 MkII; but the 610-B plug-in is based on the currently shipping version of the 2-610.