UAD's reputation as a software company dedicated to packaging up some of the most classic studio hardware products ever made and making them available as plug-ins is second to none.
The combination of these plugs and the UAD-2 hardware platform, which carries out strenuous processing duties and thereby draws power away from your computer's own CPU, has proven popular with producers the world over.
With the release of the latest update of UAD's software, a new plug-in joins an illustrious list: the MXR Flanger/Doubler, originally produced by Dunlop Manufacturing, which has participated fully in the creation of UAD's software emulation. Widely regarded as the best-sounding flanger/doubler ever made, it certainly comes with the pedigree to take its place in UAD's software range.
As ever, the plug-in can be evaluated during a free, fully functioning 14-day demo period for all UAD-2 users; to activate MXR; you'll simply need to download the V6.1 software and click the Activate Demo option within the UAD control panel. Then, as is customary for new UAD plug-ins, you'll be greeted with a GUI that looks a spitting image of the original hardware on first glance, only to reveal some unique, bespoke features upon closer inspection.
The dials and buttons are largely self-explanatory, with a Flanging/Doubling toggle button on the far left flanked by the first 'custom' option in the form of a UAD-added Dual (stereo)/Single (mono) button. The Manual dial selects the depth of the effect, while Sweep controls come in the form of Width and Speed, the latter offering a range between .03 and 20 cycles per second. A Mix dial controls the balance between Dry and Delayed signals, and the final dial controls Regeneration.
The customised Mono/Stereo option mentioned above has the capacity to 'reverse', in that there's a Mono Summing button to squash a stereo-based process into mono. Another button enables you to invert the processed signal with a single push, and there's a Sync button for the MXR's internal LFO so that the effect can either be left to run 'unclocked' or instantly locked to a quantise value to sync to your track.
So flanging good
Flanging/doubling isn't an essential process for everyone, but if you're someone who relies heavily on instrument, audio or whole-track processing of this kind, the MXR is without question the best-sounding flanger we've heard in software form. It's capable of a great range of flavours, from subtle to chaotic, and the options to widen mono material or take super-stereo effects back into mono enable you to keep phasing problems to a minimum.
Most importantly though, the richness the MXR can add to sounds is wonderful, from warmer, subtle treatments on bass sounds to full-on craziness on drum, vocal or synth parts. It's possibly not a standout 'name' processor to encourage new users to leap to the UAD-2 platform in their droves, but as a further complement to UAD's software collection it's a thoroughly welcome addition.
If you're the proud owner of a UAD-2 card, we guarantee you'll be pleased.