Universal Audio Steals the NAMM Show with New LUNA Audio Recording System

January 17 2020, 00:20
Universal Audio was the center of attention for musicians, composers, sound designers, producers and audio engineers visiting NAMM 2020, with the introduction of the all‑New LUNA Recording System, basically expanding all the massive power of the company’s existing Apollo Thunderbolt UAD recording interfaces. The new LUNA software uses all the UAD hardware power to create a powerful multitrack recording system and to run virtual instruments, truly leveraging the best of both worlds.

Founded in 1958 by recording pioneer Bill Putnam Sr., and refounded in 1999 by Bill Putnam Jr., Universal Audio is best known for its classic, hand-built analog hardware and advanced UAD Digital Signal Processing technology for recording, mixing, and mastering audio. Headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, UA is focused on merging the best of vintage analog and modern digital technology, following its rich recording heritage and motto, "Analog Ears. Digital Minds." 

Now, with LUNA, Universal Audio is taking its existing range of Apollo Thunderbolt recording interfaces and all its amazing built-in UAD DSP capabilities, to a whole new level, by creating a completely integrated recording and music creation integrated solution. By “simply” adding LUNA software, Universal Audio is adding features like Accelerated Realtime Monitoring, built-in Neve Summing, Multitrack Tape Emulation, and new LUNA Instruments from Universal Audio, Moog Music, Spitfire Audio, and more.
Lev Perrey, Universal Audio’s director of product development, explaining the new LUNA Recording System at the company’s press conference during NAMM 2020.
As Lev Perrey, Universal Audio’s director of product development explained in the first day of NAMM 2020, the new software is the realization of all the potential already contained in the Apollo hardware range, taking what was until now used to run processing and effects plug-ins without latency - the UAD-Powered signal processing hardware - to create a complete recording and music creation integrated solution, including UA's long-awaited foray into software‑based instruments.

The new Universal Audio (UA) LUNA Recording System creates a “full-featured music creation, recording, and analog-style production system, shaped by over 60 years of analog audio exploration,” as Lev Perrey described it. 

LUNA software will be available as a free download for Apollo and Arrow Thunderbolt audio interface owners (Mac only) in Spring 2020, and will transform those interfaces into the most inspiring and fully integrated recording systems available. LUNA Recording System consists of a UA Thunderbolt-equipped audio interface, the LUNA Application, LUNA Extensions, and LUNA Instruments. 

The LUNA Recording System leverages the deep Apollo interface integration to power a built-in Neve Summing solution and Multitrack Tape Emulation, as a foundation of the recording solution. Unlike traditional DAW software, LUNA Recording System's tight hardware-software integration allows quickly routing and recording audio through DSP-powered UAD plug-ins with no discernable latency via the new Accelerated Realtime Monitoring feature. Accelerated Realtime Monitoring is poised to be a major revelation for those unaccustomed to working on a $10k+ DSP-assisted recording system; music production will instantly seem more robust, dependable, and intuitive, without latency or monitoring hassles. 

LUNA Recording System offers precisely emulated audio summing circuitry from the Neve 80-Series audio mixing consoles designed by Neve Electronics in the 1960s and early 1970s, featuring the harmonically rich sound of the Neve 1272 summing amplifier. Far beyond a “summing plug-in," Neve Summing is a LUNA Extension built-in to the fabric of LUNA's mixer — and can instantly transform a clean technical mix into a classic-sounding recording filled with energy and life. 

And LUNA's audio transport features an integrated Multitrack Tape emulation via the included "Oxide" LUNA Extension, providing sonic qualities commonly described by audio engineers as "warmth" and "cohesion" on every desired audio or instrument track. Users may also choose to further explore various magnetic tape sounds with the optional Studer A800 Tape Recorder Extension (sold separately) 

And to implement the virtual instruments development program, the all-new LUNA Instruments - something that all UAD plug-in users have been requested for a long time - Universal Audio hired no one other than Dave Lebolt, which like Lev Perrey, once also lead the Avid development team.
Dave Lebolt, a familiar face now heading the all-new LUNA Instruments development program.
The all-new software-based LUNA Instruments bring Universal Audio's expertise in electrical and acoustic modeling, sampling, synthesis, and signal processing to virtual instruments for the first time ever. These ultra-realistic, and responsive, software instruments, include already a Minimoog synthesizer, developed in partnership with Moog Music, the Ravel grand piano, a model of a Steinway Model B grand piano, and Shape, a complete creative toolkit with vintage keys, drums/percussion, guitar/bass, orchestral content, and realtime synthesis, courtesy of Universal Audio, Spitfire Audio, Orange Tree Samples, Loops de la Creme, and more. All are included free in LUNA.

LUNA will be available as a free download for Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo and Arrow audio interface owners for macOS systems only. LUNA is not compatible with previous Apollo FireWire or Apollo Twin USB interfaces.
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