Universal Audio aims to impress with its Distressor compressor as it releases UAD Software v9.4

An update to Universal Audio’s UAD Software invariably means that new plugins are in the offing, and so it is with version 9.4. The headline act is an emulation of the famous Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor Compressor, but there are also new releases from Softube, Brainworx and Townsend Labs.

The EL8 is said to be an end-to-end circuit emulation of the original Distressor hardware, which has been used on thousands of hit records. Released in 1993, it’s famed for its versatility and colour; the Universal Audio emulation offers all the features of the original, and comes with a selection of pro-crafted presets. It costs $299.

The next cab off the v9.4 rank is the Dytronics Tri-Stereo Chorus, an emulation of the ‘80s hardware of the same name. This was developed by Softube and features three independent bucket-brigade delay lines that enable you to craft thick, swirling analogue chorus textures. The price for this one is $199.

Also new is the Gallien-Krueger 800RB Bass Amp, an emulation of the solid-state bass amp from Brainworx. This has a bi-amplified architecture - one power amp for the lows and one for the highs - with an adjustable crossover enabling you to control which frequencies go to which power amp. It costs $149.

Finally, we come to the Ocean Way Microphone Collection, which emulates a range of mics from Ocean Way Studios. These come from the likes of Neumann, Sony, AKG, RCA and more, and the three-dimensional modelling emulates the proximity effect, polar patterns and other off-axis characteristics of the mics. The plugin costs $249, though you’ll also need to own the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone in order to use it.

Find out more about UAD Software 9.4 on the Universal Audio website.

Ben Rogerson

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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