Universal Audio’s Luna DAW finally lands on Windows, and it might make more sense on the PC than it does on the Mac

Universal Audio LUNA
(Image credit: Universal Audio)

Universal Audio Luna, the company’s analogue-inspired DAW, has finally been released for Windows, and if you join the open beta programme you can download it for free right now.

Since its launch in 2020, Luna has only been available on the Mac - initially for users of UA hardware only but now free for all - but now PC users can get a slice of the action, too. The software adheres to the ‘vintage’ blueprint laid out by many of UA’s UAD plugins, and comes with ‘analogue’ summing, tape machines, channel strips and bus/parallel compression built into its mixer. There’s also a dedicated Oxide Tape Extension.

Shape, meanwhile, is a built-in instrument that offers sample-based versions of classic keyboards, drums/percussion, guitar/bass and orchestral content, along with synth sounds that are generated in realtime. If you want more plugins, you can purchase Luna Pro at a cost of $399.

Although the length of time it’s taken for Luna to arrive on Windows might suggest that UA hasn’t seen it as a priority, you could argue that it actually makes more sense on the PC than it does the Mac.

In Apple world, Luna has been competing for attention with GarageBand and Logic - both apps that offer a fast, simple workflow for those who want to just sit down and start recording - but neither of these is available on Windows, so there could be a large potential user base.

It’s also worth noting that Luna offers tight integration with UA’s Apollo audio interfaces, helping you to get the most out of their low-latency recording capabilities.

While projects can be swapped between the Mac and Windows versions of Luna, the fact that one supports the AU format (Mac) and the other uses VST3 (Windows) means that plugin settings aren’t compatible. UA says that it plans to add VST3 support to the Mac version of Luna in order to rectify this, and all UAD-2 and UADx plugins - plus Luna Extensions - are compatible.

You can sign up to access the beta version of Luna for Windows via the Universal Audio website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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