Universal Audio intros Spark subscription service with native plugins, Opal synth & more

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Universal Audio Spark, a new subscription service that unchains the UAD plugins from the hardware DSP interface, plus new Opal synth and Luna native plugins.

Subscription services are popular, especially among developers. iZotope, Waves, Native Instruments, Reason Studios… almost every big player now offers their plugins additional in a monthly or yearly subscription.

Today, another major developer has jumped on this trend. Universal Audi has unveiled their Spark subscription service starting at $19,99 USD per month.

Universal Audio Spark

Universal Audio Spark

Spark is a new subscription service from Universal Audio (UAD) with a wide range of virtual instruments, effects, and mixing & mastering plugins. The highlight is certainly the possibility to load the plugins natively in your computer. So far, the products have only been available in connection with the UAD DSP hardware. It’s the first time that UAD is offering its plugin with native support.

At the start there is a selection from the current catalogue available. More plugins will be added in the coming months says UAD. It includes the following:

  • Neve 1073 Preamp & EQb
  • UA 1176 Compressor Collection
  • Teletronix LA-2A Compressor Collection
  • Studer A800 Tape Recorder
  • API Vision Channel Strip

Universal Audio Spark

OPAL Morphing Synthesizer

Not only the well-known effect and mix/mastering plugins are in the bundle, you also get access to plugins that were previously only available in the Luna DAW. For example, you get the Moog Minimoog Synthesizer emulation, Waterfall B3 organ and Ravel Grand Piano.

There is also a brand new Synthesizer plugin called Opal exclusive to Spark users. Opal is a new morphing Syntheszer plugin that features three hybrid virtual analog/hybrid oscillators, filters, and UAD studio effects. It looks very modern, intuitive but I doesn’t see any super innovative features.

Now Universal Audio has also jumped on the subscription service bandwagon. I’m not a fan of renting plugins, but I think there are enough producers who will benefit from this option. And so far the bundle already offers a good selection of high-quality plugins. Let’s see how the offer develops.

Universal Audio Spark is available now for $19,99 USD per month or $149 USD per year. Currently the plugin are only compatible with macOS, Windows support is coming in Fall 2022. Existing customers of the DSP versions get the native version as a free download.

More information here: Universal Audio

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  1. Some people don’t mind subscription tools but for me it means I’ll for absolute sure be locked out of my own material some time down the track. So it’s an instant ‘no thanks’.

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