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Volume 2, Number 3, April 2004
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UAD-1 Universe - This Month at Universal Audio
Arfel Hernandez: LA-2A Master Craftsman

Arfel Hernandez, LA-2A Master Craftsman
Arfel Hernandez's important specialty at Universal Audio is the meticulous hand-assembly of the LA-2A Leveling Amplifiers. He can literally make LA-2As from scratch, from just the raw materials: no model unit, no schematic. From hand-wired connections of the multiple custom transformers to every turret mounted carbon resistor and wax tie, the final results are authentic LA-2As that will stand the rigors of studio use and the test of time equally well as their vintage counterparts. As UA's in-house LA-2A über assembler, Arfel confidently assembles every unit we ship, roughly an eight-hour process. The LA-2A is the only UA product made entirely by just one person.

"I was trained to do quality work. The quality and consistency is important to me.
If I was a customer on the other side, I would want my units to be built the way they were meant to be."

Arfel's dedication to quality and to the heritage behind the units is what makes him the ideal man for the job.

"You pretty much fall in love with the unit. It is eight hours of your time spent on building one unit and it becomes a part of you for a day. You kind of get attached to the unit."

Arfel also keeps busy as a student. "I'm going to school studying General Education right now; I have already got my AS in General Engineering, I'm planning on going to San Jose State for a BS in Electrical Engineering."

I asked him if that meant he would be coming back to UA under a new title.

"I would love to come back and work here. I'm proud to work for Universal Audio. The reputation of the products makes you feel proud to work here!"

When not hitting the books, Arfel does DJing for parties, weddings, and dances. Arfel specializes in Hip-Hop, Salsa, Mexican, and Latin. He also mixes live sound for a "Norteño" band, when the band's in town.

Arfel has a wife named Silvia, and a son, Uriel, who is 3 1/2, and is one the cutest and nicest kids you'll ever meet. Uriel (Arfel swears he was not named after "UREI") can be found around the shop from time to time.

"I love that I can bring in my son once a week for a couple hours. And he loves coming in. That's such a great thing. I like that you don't see any difference between the engineers, the vice presidents, the president, and the manufacturing employee. Everyone talks to each other, everyone is a part of the company and nobody sees any difference between us. You really feel appreciated at UA."

-Will Shanks


New ! UAD-1 Project Pak, v3.5.1 & RTAS Support

New v3.5.1 software for Mac & PC is available as of March 31st 2004 as a FREE update. The main feature highlights are as follows:
  • New Pultec-Pro EQ (14-day demo) featuring EQP-1A & MEQ-5 Combo
  • Improved G5 performance
  • Improved OS-X/Panther G4 performance
  • Improved AU MOTU DP stability
  • Improved RealVerb-Pro and DreamVerb behavior
  • Improved startup behavior of delay-based effects
  • Improved Cambridge automation and screen redraw speed.
  • More & Improved Fairchild Presets
  • Improved Phasor Presets

The UAD-1 Project PAK is now shipping worldwide! This new low-priced UAD-1 bundle (US list price $499, expected street around $399) includes the same PCI DSP Card that is available in the Studio PAK, but with a reduced software bundle making it ideal for small project studio DAW users to access the acclaimed UAD-1 plug-in family. It also greatly reduces the cost for existing UAD-1 users who wish to add more cards and DSP power to their systems. Additional UAD-1 plug-ins can be easily purchased, and instant-authorizations downloaded at the new my.uaudio.com store.

Licensed plug-ins can be used for up to four UAD-1 cards (of any type) in one system. So if you already own a Mackie UAD-1 or UAD-1 Studio PAK card with authorizations for any of the licensed Powered Plug-Ins, and you have available slots for additional cards, you can add the Project PAK and download the authorizations instantly and all of your authorized UA plugins will run on your new Project Pak card.

The Project PAK offers Mac & PC support for OS9/OSX/Panther, Win 98SE/Me/XP/2003, and AU/VST/DX/MAS plug-in formats. RTAS support is also provided via the new Fxpansion UAD-1 adapter - (see Digi-Talk column). The DSP card is compatible with universal PCI and PCI-X systems, and PCI expansion chassis from Magma. Up to four UAD-1 cards can be used with seamless load balancing in one system and with all sample rates up to 192kHz.

In an agreement with British developer, FXpansion, RTAS support will be provided via a new custom version of their VST-RTAS Adapter. This adapter will be available for FREE download to registered UAD-1 Studio PAK & Project PAK customers. Owners of the Mackie version of the UAD-1 card will be able to purchase the adapter direct from FXpansion.


The new Pultec-Pro combines UA's Pultec EQP-1A and MEQ-5 vintage emulations
Pultec-Pro Plug-In & FREE Pultec-Pro Promotion !
UA has also added a new plug-in with the release of v.3.5.1 for the UAD-1: The Pultec-Pro! The Pultec-Pro Combines the two most widely used and highly complimentary Pultec tube EQs; the EQP-1A Program Equalizer, and the MEQ-5 Mid Band Equalizer. UA combines the two EQs into one convenient interface, with the same look and feel of the original hardware units. When these two tools are used together, they give the user the definitive vintage EQ palette; this combination is still standard fare in recording and mastering studios around the world. With the addition of the MEQ-5, handy upper and lower midrange frequencies are now accessible for boosting, as well as the desideratum midrange parametric cut.

The Pultec-Pro expands on the highly successful Pultec EQP-1A emulation. UA used the same "Virtual Circuit" modeling techniques developed for all of our vintage emulations when we developed the MEQ-5 for the new Pultec-Pro.

To celebrate the launch of Project PAK and give existing UAD-1 users an extra incentive to go "Multi-card", the Pultec-Pro will be FREE for a limited time (until June 30th 2004) to all new Project PAK customers who register at my.uaudio.com. Existing users who do not wish to buy a Project PAK will also be able to purchase the Pultec-Pro at my.uaudio.com for the low price of $79.

"The MEQ in real-world application is a very different box from the EQP-1A, and the emulation seems very true to the feel
of the real thing, to my ears."
Rob Darling, Producer/Engineer and UAD Beta Member


UA At Frankfurt MusikMesse (March 31st thru April 4th)

UA will be exhibiting in Europe at Frankfurt's annual Musik Messe, the biggest Musical Instrument equipment show on the globe. UA will be in Hall: 5.1 Walkway: D Stand: 91 accompanied by our German and Swedish distributors. It's a great opportunity for European customers to drop by check out all the new UA offerings.


Jay Newland's 2-1176 featured on every-track of Norah Jones "Feels Like Home"

Renowned Blue Note/Verve Engineer and Mixer Jay Newland has been making major use of his 2-1176 since getting the very first production unit back at AES New York in October. For the "Feels Like Home" sessions with Norah Jones and her band, Jay's 2-1176 Twin Vintage Limiting Amplifier got a thorough workout.

"The 2-1176 was used on every song on Norah's new record, recording and mixing. I would have to call it the perfect everyday, 'go to' piece of gear. From subtle to slamming, it sounds great on so everything. It's great for overheads, room mics, acoustic guitars, vocals...really fantastic," commented Newland.

"On Norah's record there are a lot of songs with two guitars...left and right. The 2-1176 pulls them out but somehow connects them together in a very cool way. At my home studio it is the path for all the vocals-lead and background."

Newland, well known for his Grammy winning mix & engineering work for Jazz labels Verve and Blue Note is now planning to add the UA 2192 Master Audio Interface AD/DA to his arsenal.



-Mike Barnes


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