A Beautiful Introduction
I'm new to the UAD universe and while I make use of a lot of plugins in my production, I'm always a bit cynical finding hardware to be both sonically and ergonomically more appealing. With Arrow that has all changed and I have to say of the plugins I have tried they are superb, musical and inspiring. I have a new MBP and was heading towards an Apollo before this was released. Now while it is a little underpowered in the dsp department, I feel it is a great portable solution and for the money an Apollo quad will cost, you can get one of these and a quad satellite (which I'm planning on getting). I think if you have a new TB3 laptop this is a great portable option that sounds just great. The included plugins are awesome and comprehensive (a few weirder ones would have been nice) and getting to demo all the gear is great (bear in mind that if you buy a plugin your chance to demo resets so you get to demo all the products again for another 14 days). I'm glad to have joined the world of UAD!
I patiently waited for a native thunderbolt 3 audio interface, so I was beyond excited when I saw the arrow. That said. The latency is absolute trash outside of dsp powered plugins. I can't even play one single vst with a decent buffer size without horrific pops, clicks and totally inaudible sound after a few moments. My skull canyon nuc is completely configured for thunderbolt as per the instructions on the uad website as well as my bios. I so disappointed it's sickening. What's the point of coming out with a TB# audio interface with garbage latency and drivers? Did they forget that people use these interfaces for thing beyond tracking!? Meanwhile Focusrite thunderbolt drivers are rock solid......smdh! I'm sending this thing back asap before my 30 day return expires!
Expert Sound | Novice Hardware
This thing sounds terrific ...Which is the most important thing, right? Well, not exactly. The Arrow is a relevant audio interface because of it's portability... So, it's important for the hardware to be consistent. It's not. I bought the highest quality Thunderbolt 3 cable I could find and it still cuts out. I've tried more than 5 different cables but the device has intermittent shutdowns and glitches. This may be a driver issue or a converter issue, the fact of the matter is... It's not consistent. I would love to give the Arrow 5 stars for the quality (sonically) because that is premium, however the hardware is made to breakdown unexpectedly. 3 out of 5 stars.
Great device - Terrible Windows drivers
As long as the Arrow is a blast and Unison is a lifesaver, Universal Audio's (terrible) WDM drivers rendered it pretty much useless for me. As stated from their support team, "we don't officially test or support using it with WDM applications". 3 stars is it, then!
oops! apple bit me. my bad!
Lots of love here for UAD hardware and plugs. Having a rack of Apollo gear (Quad, Octo, 16) had me yearning for a truly portable solution with my MacBook Pro, that is, bus-powered interface rather than a lump or wart. Bought the Arrow and then found out there is no Thunderbolt 3 adapter work around to connect to my mid-2015 MBP. Not planning on spending $2-3k for a new 'puter. Back to thinking about the Twin.......
Awesome sound and quality
A great intro into the UA world. It’s portable and light. You are up and running in no time. Comes with some great plug ins to get you started.
Arrow For Dummies ,,, How About It, Tom Waterman?
There is a great passage in “Mixing With Your Mind”, a book written by Michael Stavrou, a guy who worked at EMI studios in the 60’s under the general supervision of George Martin. He had always been puzzled at the age and seemingly dilapidated condition of the speakers they used. That perception was changed dramatically one day when he witnessed a sound engineer mixing sounds that came through those speakers to transform the studio into a an Aladdin’s cave of miraculous and beautiful music he had never before heard.
My guess is that they would have been at least some Universal Audio equipment in those studios costing thousands of dollars. But now, the new Arrow and its free on board software allows kids in their bedrooms anywhere in the world access to that equipment that costs thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars for a very affordable price.
The only problem is that those kids (and the more elderly) don’t have access to those guys who drew such wonderful music out of the old UA compressors, EQ’s and other complicated boxes of electrical components.
I had been using an Audient converter with my Mac Book and Native Instruments Guitar Rig insert in Ableton. So when I cranked up my Arrow, I took out the Guitar Rig insert on the Ableton page and replaced it with the UA Marshall Classic Plexi insert … on the Ableton page. Well… that’s what I had always done, right? I then added the UA Marshall Classic Plexi insert to the UA console page. I kept getting a message about the DSP having been overloaded and disabled.
It took James and Chris, the guys at the Canberra Better Music store at which I had purchased the Arrow about ten minutes to diagnose the problem and explain how the console worked.
Maybe UA could get Tom Waterman, who has been doing the PR rounds, demonstrating the Arrow, to get involved in an “Arrow For Dummies” video series. The sounds he gets out Arrow and his guitar about nine and half minutes into the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb699IIuuEw
were the main reason I decided to make the purchase. In that video he says he uses …
1. Marshall Plexi Classic
2. LA2A compressor
3. Pultec Pro EQ
4. 610 B used as a driver
5. Sending to a Precision Reflection Engine
6. Adverb reverb
Can we have a more detailed demo of exactly what he is doing, and why, on a AYouTube video?Ask Audio/Mac Pro Video would surely be interested in featuring him doing a course for new Arrow users.
this setup is becoming a nightmare..
Great Pre Amps, great converters, great plug ins, nice size, 100% portable, all in one box
I’m having a lot of problems with this interface
some initial problems getting it to behave in a cascading setup but standalone it works great. having bus power is HUGE.
Sound great, amazing plugin, the solo Dsp to me looks like a 1,5 core.... Only problem the compatibility on windows with Sonarworks. But it's not their fault... I'm impressed, sound terrific... Well done again UAD. Just push Sonarworks stuff to fix that problem and will be 5 stars!!!
Amazing sound! In the studio and everywhere
I had an 8 channel interface but never recorded more than two tracks in the studio. Bought a 18 channel interface for my band’s live gigs and decided to scale down the studio and get a better sounding interface. The arrow is very practical eith only 1 cable, sounds amazing on my Equator monitors or driving my HD650. The unison technology is amazing, the amps sounds amazing (I’m selling my Atomic Amplifire) and they are very easy to use for practicing and playing along tracks. Unison pres do really give charachter to DI Bass and vocals. Impedance and gain staging on amps means that pedals works gracefully in front of the amp models. The processing power is enough to record through it using some unison models and for a reverb or two on a mix. Very sturdy and sleek looking, a perfect match for the space gray Macbook. Very happy with the purchase, it is way more than just a boring interface: an amazing tool and coolest guitar gadget ever - awesome guitar tones on the go!
O. Kyoung Seok
Got the Arrow to use as a low latency guitar interface for quickly sketching out ideas. The quality is amazing, it is built like a tank, and as for anyone who says that the UAD solo chip is pointless, well no, it's not if you're using it for printing on single take tracks, in fact it works very well for that.
Solid and intuitive
As soon as I opened the box I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed... feels like a solid chunk of metal and all the buttons/dials feel well seated.
Haven’t used it extensively for recordings but what I have done so far sounds clean and uncoloured.
The additional UAD plugins all sound great (although it is a shame my DAW recognised all the demos as well so I had to do a bit of manual rejigging to see the ones I could actually use).
In use I particularly liked the way youcan toggle between input and output levels to get a balance for the artist, and having different monitor/headphone levels is a godsend.
All in all a fantastic piece of kit for the money, just one thing that could be added would be the addition of a Thunderbolt lead - luckily I had one to hand but I could see that annoying other buyers - most other bits of kit include leads (even if they are cheap it at least lets you get started straight away).
The only other thing to mention is that the output connections can be a little clicky when you are connecting the trs leads, make sure they are fully inserted. I have fairly bulky leads and connecting those was a little challenging as output 1 & 2 are close together.
But the small niggles aside, couldn’t be happier with the sound quality and sturdiness of this unit.
Solid Portable Audio Interface that is great for Guitar Work and small office.
After over two weeks with the UAD Arrow, it is just a solid portable audio interface. I love it is a single cable to my MacBook Pro ( Big thank you Sweetwater for throwing in a free .5 m Thunderbolt 3 Cable). The Arrow is small enough to fit into a standard backpack along with headphones. It is also a great for small desk studio solution that is a fantastic alternative to Apogee Duet, Focusrite Clarett, or a Motu.
At home I run this into Focal CM50 Monitor which it routes audio cleanly too. I have tested a number of headphones with it: Audio Technics ATH-50, AKG 712 Pro, and the more demanding HiFiMan HE-560 Planar Magnetic's. I found all three headphone sound great via the Arrow.
I have been using it when I mic up my Guitar Speaker Cabinets at home with condenser, ribbon and dynamic mics.
Also have been trying out plug-ing the the guitars directly into interface and via a guitar pedal chain unfiltered, aka direct into the desk. Then following up with UAD Amp plug-ins: Marshall Plexi; Friedman DS40 & BE100 they are fun to play. Another great direct plug in is the Korg SDD-3000 delay which just sound great. I hit the Arrow with a few Guitars Gibson Les Paul ; Fender PM-1 Deluxe Acoustic, Deluxe Strat & American Special Tele; and Gretsch 6119T Player Edition. Also ran number of Guitar Pedals( Delay, Reverb, Chorus Pedal, Phaser, Vibes) into the front-end. Still looking test it with pre-amp peddle and a few of my fuzzes.
I was not expecting it to have the DSP performance of Apollo 8, so you need to understand limit of number of number of plus-ins you can run simulatanously on on a single SHARC DSP. So do not go plugin crazy. If I need more processing power look at picking up Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII QUAD. Or you can use an Arrow with a UAD-Satlite Quad when your Docked at home. You still be in for less money then a Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII QUAD and you will have 5 DSP's for processing, If you need more performance pick up a Octo for 9 DSP for processing since you going to spend more on SW Plug-in then on the hardware.
Overall it has been great experience with UAD and the Arrow.