In the upcoming 4.10 release of the UAD software, they are doing another dual plug-in release. This time around, Universal Audio are adding another stellar compressor emulation and a new Precision Mix Series plug-in. The VCA VU compressor and the Precision Enhancer are due to be released later this month.
The Precision Enhancer kHz is a sophisticated tool with a simple control set, primarily designed to bring dull or poorly recorded tracks to life. However, with five distinct Enhancement “Modes”, the Precision Enhancer kHz will find uses on virtually any source. It can be used to minimally massage the middle and upper frequencies of a mix, or drastically alter the presence or dynamics of individual tracks or groups; Unlike other enhancers that function by frequency delay or filtered clipping, the Precision Enhancer kHz works on specialized techniques of equalization and dynamic expansion that can be used as a highly versatile effect.
The five Modes (A, B, C, D and the shift-clickable “All”) present various control configurations to support the widest array of source material. With Modes A and B, the filtered audio is mixed in with the dry signal according to the Sensitivity control. For Modes C, D and All, audio is passed through a unique upwards expander where the expanded audio is then filtered before being mixed with the dry signal. For these modes, Sensitivity is used as a fader on the way into the expander. The release can be adjusted to either Fast or Slow via the Speed button, giving a greater range of dynamic/frequency enhancement. For Mode C, the sweepable filter applied to the expander’s output is identical to the filter used with Mode A. For Mode D and All, the expander’s output is passed to a set of filters in parallel. Finally, the Precision Enhancer kHz includes control over the final Output control with metering to compensate for gain changes created by the effect.
The VCA VU Compressor/Limiter is a faithful emulation of the first commercially available VCA compressor, the dbx 160. Originally designed and sold by David Blackmer in 1971, this solid-state design set the standard for performance and affordability. “VU” is the common nickname for this widely regarded studio staple, famous for its simple control set and firm compression characteristics. The original unit is still considered the very best VCA compressor ever made. Unlike later monolithic IC units, the “VU” uses a series of discrete components for gain reduction, and therefore has unique nonlinearities not found in other VCA compressors—thus giving it a sonic distinction from later models. The VCA VU captures all the sonic nuances from our “golden” modeling unit and the simple control set of the hardware, including Threshold, Compression (Ratio) and Output Gain. Like with the hardware, LED threshold indicators are provided, as well the Input/Output/Gain Change VU meter for which the unit is famous.