Universal Audio 1176LN Hardware vs UAD UA 1176LN Rev E Plug-in Software

Today we are comparing the hardware version of the beloved Universal Audio 1176LN, which costs $2,600, to the Universal Audio plug-in software version that is anywhere from free to around $120. We are comparing these two versions in the Universal Audio Console App.

Listen to the subtle differences between the 2 units as Bryan runs a vocal loop through each on five different settings.

Let’s Compare!

*Preface: Due to our hardware having gone through repairs in the past, the meter doesn’t quite work as it should. It also has some other quirks that are not present in the plug-in version. That being said, I did the best I could to get the 2 as close as possible for your reference. Like I state in the video, this test is far from perfect, but it’s a great reference point to hear how similar the hardware and plug-in version are.

Summary from video

1. Very Slow Attack / Very Fast Release – a typical setting used for recording vocals in the studio

1 Universal Audio 1176LN Hardware vs UAD UA 1176LN Rev E Pl

2. Fast Attack / Fast Release – a more aggressive setting

2 Universal Audio 1176LN Hardware vs UAD UA 1176LN Rev E Pl

3. Very Aggressive Compression Setting – adjusted the hardware and software to match each other’s levels and get close to the same amount of compression

3 Universal Audio 1176LN Hardware vs UAD UA 1176LN Rev E Pl

4. Slow Attack / Fast Release – 20:1 Ratio

4 Universal Audio 1176LN Hardware vs UAD UA 1176LN Rev E Pl

5. Attack And Release Set To Medium – 4:1 ratio with heavy compression

5 Universal Audio 1176LN Hardware vs UAD UA 1176LN Rev E Pl

Can you hear any differences? If so, what do you hear? Do you think the hardware is worth the difference in price? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Watch the video in this post to see the entire process in detail.

Stay tuned for more video posts like this every Monday. For more great video content, make sure to check out our YouTube channel and remember to visit our blog weekly for more tips and techniques!

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