Universal Audio has been producing high quality audio interface and software for years. You just can’t compare Universal Audio with other audio interfaces. Yes, it’s an audio interface and yes, you can plug a studio monitor into it, but that’s not all there is to it. That undoubtedly explains the hefty price tags attached to these audio interfaces, because they don’t come cheap!
Recently, Universal Audio announced a new generation of audio interfaces, of which we’ll be looking at the Twin X.
In the past we’ve written a bit about the various models of Universal Audio. For example, Universal Audio produced the popular 19-inch Apollo models that see widespread use in professional studios today. Besides that, they have a number of desktop editions, like the Twin, Arrow and the new X4.
Why Universal Audio?
Universal Audio’s goal is to digitalize the classic analogue audio from back in the day, to make it’s sound accessible for digital recordings. They do this in cooperation with the developers of analogue hardware to come as close as they can to emulating real analogue hardware.
DSP is the method Universal Audio uses to make the plug-ins they provide and digitalize work directly from the audio interface. This results in more processing power for your computer, so as not to overstrain it. This provides access to the classic warm sound of an analogue studio, using only a single audio interface.
The Twin X is available in DUO or QUAD DSP chip setup, depending on the complexity of your projects and the number of plug-ins you have you’ll require more or less processing power.
Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and new, high quality AD/DA converters with a 127dB dynamic range are the primary improvements in comparison with its previous editions. It also features an integrated talk-back microphone function, which, for example, would allow you to communicate with an artist in a vocal booth.
Another advantage being if your studio grows, you can easily expand and the Twin X can be utilized as a desktop studio controller. You could for example mount an Apollo 6 to a 19-inch rack and hook it up to your Twin X through its Thunderbolt 3 connection. You can chain up to 6 UAD devices, with a maximum of 4 racks and 1 twin.
The Twin X comes with the Analogue Classics Bundle, which features about 15 plug-ins which really come in handy! This means you’ll have access to the most important plug-ins at purchase and you can get started immediately.
Summary of functions
- Desktop 10 x 6 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac and Windows with elite A/D and D/A conversion
- 2 Unison mic preamps with a classic tube, transformer-based mic preamps and guitar amps
- UAD-2 DUO or Quad Core Processing for tracking via vintage compressors, EQ’s, band machines, microphone front amplifiers and plug-ins for guitar amps with a latency of nearly zero
- On the front panel enabled Hi-Z instrument jack and headphone out
- Built in talkback microphone for communication
- Improved monitor functionality including external monitor functions and mono, mute, DIM and ALT monitor control
- Up to 8 channels extra digital input via optical ADAT or S/PDIF
- Includes the “Realtime Analog Classics” UAD plug-in bundle with the Teletronix LA-2A and 1176 compressors, Plutec EQ’s, UA 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, and more. Other UAD plug-ins are sold separately.
- UAD Powered Plug-ins via VST, RTAS, and AAX 64 in all big DAW’s
- Premium build quality, good components and analogue design
- Free phone support from Universal Audio
It’s the audio interface for the pro’s that desire high quality plug-ins and emulate that old-school analogue sound from back in the day. By providing compact audio interfaces in 19-inch formats, they are as much suited for big studios as for on-the-go. A producer can be out and about a lot but if you’re working from the same space for a longer period, its expansion options allow you the versatility to expand and fit it your desired setup.
By running the plug-ins from the audio interface itself and not your computer, you will have no trouble working on expansive projects.
Its price point can make it inaccessible, but then again it isn’t meant for the beginner looking for a simple audio interface. Are you spending a lot of time recording, mixing and mastering music on a serious level? Then this could be very interesting and high-quality audio interface.