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Founded in 1958 by M.T. "Bill" Putnam Sr, the Universal Audio name and company have been synonymous with innovative recording products for more than 50 years.
Bill Putnam Sr. was a passionate innovator who is widely regarding as the father of modern recording. Putnam was the inventor of the modern recording console, the multi-band audio equalizer, and the vocal booth, and he was the first engineer to use artificial reverberation in commercial recording.
Alongside his friend Les Paul, Putnam was also involved in the early development of stereophonic recording. Several of Putnam’s designs became classics that are still used today, including the ubiquitous LA-2A and 1176 compressors, and the 610 tube-recording console.
Universal Audio Inc. was re-founded in 1999 by Bill's sons, James Putnam and Bill Putnam Jr., with two main goals: to faithfully reproduce classic analog recording equipment in the tradition of their father; and to design new digital recording tools in with the sound and spirit of vintage analog technology, thus preserving the Universal Audio name, and adding the digital arm - UAD.
Several of Bill Sr.’s classic designs are again in production, as well as a host of digital solutions, most notable the award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform.
What are UAD plugins? Universal Audio’s UAD plugins feature the most authentic analog emulations in the industry. Universal Audio’s DSP gurus work with the original hardware manufacturers — using their exact schematics, golden units, and experienced ears — to give UAD plug-ins warmth and harmonics in all the right places, just like analog. The UAD plugin’s are processed on proprietary DSP chips found on Universal Audio products such as the Duo UAD, Quad AUD and Apollo range.