Universal Audio entered the stompbox market at the beginning of the decade with a series of multi-algorithm pedals priced between $280 and $300. Today they introduce a new, more affordable line named “UAFX Compacts” with four pedals smaller in size and price ($199-220).
This new series includes the following stompboxes, rigorously in alphabetical order:
- 1176 – As you may have guessed, this is a compressor voiced after the legendary studio rack Urei 1176 unit, whose modernized versions are sold by Universal Audio both in hardware and plugin. Featuring controls for Attack, Release and Ration, the pedal sports also a 3-way toggle that delivers different types of compression: Single, Dual, and Sustain.
- Evermore – This is a 3-mode reverb + modulation inspired by the digital racks of the late ’70s and early ’80s, with algorithms for Room, Small Hall, and Large Hall. Besides an obvious Mix control, you get a three-way EQ to finely sculpt your reflections.
- Heavenly – Another reverb… Universal Audio makes one of the best plate reverb plugins on the market (the Pure Plate), and this pedal’s algorithm makes the most of that experience to offer the smoothness and lush ambience created by that vintage technology, in three different flavors based on a classic 1950s studio plate reverb unit from Germany: Vintage Dark, Vintage Bright, and Modern Full. Then it lets you also tweak Mix, Decay and Predelay, add Modulation, and apply EQ.
- Orion – This pedal, probably the most interesting of the bunch, is the EP-III algorithm taken from the UAFX Starlight, with expanded voicing thanks to the 3 hi-to-lo-fi modes that simulate the sound of Mint, Worn or Old tape repeats. Besides the expected Delay, Mix and Feedback knobs, it offers a Rec Level knob for adding saturation, and a Wonk one for wow and flutter.
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