Universal Audio are one of our top brands – known for creating world-class interfaces with their best-selling Apollo range, fantastic analogue studio-gear and stunningly accurate emulations of iconic hardware. With a laundry list of famous artists and producers that their products (Kendrick Lemar, Foo Fighters, Finneas and Tycho to name a few), UA have become synonymous with impeccable design and quality.
Since the release of the Ox (a reactive load box/guitar recording system that lets you record your amp’s sweet spot at any volume), UA entered the guitar market with a bang. Now, with the release of the UAFX range, Universal Audio have established themselves as a serious contender in the competitive world of guitar gear.
Before we see what the individual pedals have to offer, let’s take a look at the features across the range:
Jaw-dropping Emulations of Classic Units: Each algorithm uses Universal Audio‘s thorough knowledge of desirable hardware and cutting-edge software. They’re hyper-realistic emulations of sought-after vintage models, sounding and responding like the real deal.
Three Legendary Effects: Every pedal in the range comes equipped with 3 algorithms, with variations of each one via a switch. The UAFX range is a more affordable, versatile and flexible solution if you were looking to buy each recreated effect individually.
Compact Form Factor: These pedals are effectively full-on effect workstations in a pedalboard-friendly stompbox size.
Hands-On Control: A huge appeal of the UAFX range is that you now have intuitive, immediate control over UA’s studio-quality effects – perfect for on-the-fly performances. No computers, mouses or screens required! This is an analogue experience.
Preset/Live Mode: Preset mode allows you to instantly store your favourite setting to recall later. You can have two completely different settings active at once, with the ability to seamlessly switch between them.
Premium UA Build & Design: These pedals look gorgeous, with a sophisticated style that’s adorned with 1176-esque knobs. With a sturdy and robust build, these are pedals that will last for decades to come.
Stereo/Dual Mono Operation: All the UAFX pedal’s I/O ports feature auto-detection and will automatically adjust the algorithm depending on the configuration. These pedals need to be heard in stereo to experience maximum lushness!
Analog Dry-Through & True Bypass with Silent Switching: This means your core tone is unaffected when the pedal is switched off. You can also switch to a Buffered Bypass mode with the free iOS/Android app.
Configurable Footswitch Operation: The Astra and Starlight have the ability to change between Knob, Preset and Tap + Preset modes, giving you additional flexibility during a performance.
Free Additional Effect: When you register your new UAFX pedal, you can upload a bonus effect type – expanding its tonal palette even further! They don’t replace the ones already installed, so you don’t have to worry about overwriting your favourite patch.
Starlight Echo Station
The Starlight Echo Station is the delay pedal in the UAFX family. It features three stunning emulations of iconic vintage units, tap-tempo, six subdivisions, two dual-delay modes and preamp colouration (Tape EP-III & Analog DMM). This is a fully-equipped delay workstation that can cover all of your time-based effect needs – and then some.
Tape EP-III: Beautiful recreation of one of the quintessential tape echo units, with all the tape age, splice, wow and flutter that you’d expect. There are three modes – Clean, Warm and Worn.
Analog DMM: Accurately captures the warmth and nuance of the famous classic BBD delay, with three modulation modes to choose from.
Precision: Pristine digital delay with a wide variety of modulation capabilities, also with three mod modes.
When you’ve registered your Starlight, you can download an emulation of the Cooper Time Cube. The Time Cube is a “garden-hose” delay that was made famous by Jack White and is great at fattening up lead lines.
The Golden Reverberator is – you guessed it – the reverb pedal in the UAFX range. It’s also packed with three lush reverb algorithms and features a tonne of tone-shaping options as well as modulation for each type. It can pull off everything from straightforward ambiences to ethereal soundscapes with ease.
Spring 65: Experience an authentic “golden unit” Blackface spring reverb in glorious stereo! Features three unique spring tank types.
Plate 140: Studio-fidelity plate reverb with three distinct plate modes.
Hall 224: Recreation of a reverb sound that defined an era. It’s capable of endless tails and luscious modulation, perfect for those dream-pop washes.
Once you’ve registered your Golden Reverberator, you can have access to two bonus reverb modes – Plate and Chamber 224.
Astra Modulation Machine
Last – and certainly not least – we have the Astra Modulation Machine. This covers the mod duties in the UAFX range with aplomb and, like its siblings, it boasts three sound-accurate emulations of prized effects units. With the extra sound-shaping parameters, you can take these classic sounds to new places.
Chorus Brigade: Emulates the beautiful width and texture of a famous 70s bucket-brigade chorus unit to a tee, with an additional Vibrato mode.
Flanger/DBLR: Can go from subtle widening to full-on mayhem, with flanging and doubling modes.
Trem 65: Authentic recreation of a vintage opto tube tremolo unit that oozes balance and vibe. It features Sine and Square wave operation.
Once your Astra Modulation Machine has been registered, you can try out the two bonus effects – Phaser X90 and Dharma Trem 61.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one modulation/delay/reverb solution you need to play through a UAFX pedal, they’re an asset to any rig. The undeniable quality, inviting interface and studio-quality sound make them a no brainer for us. Whether you’re a guitarist, synthesist, keyboardist or any other kind of instrumentalist – the UAFX range will have something for you.