The UAD-2 Satellite is an external plug-in processor, meaning that it enables you to offload some of the processing power required to run plug-ins, saving your computer's processing power for other aspects of making and printing a mix in your DAW. On top of that, UAD satellites and Universal Audio audio interfaces are the only way to gain access to Universal Audio's industry leading plug-in collection, which sound more alive and more colorful than plug-ins from other developers. There's no way to use UAD plug-ins without having a UAD satellite or apollo interface connected to your computer.
Keep in mind that UAD satellites and Apollo interfaces have a finite amount of processing power - this is why you'll see designations of "solo", "duo", "quad" and "octo". These designations indicate the total amount of processing power available in the unit. Each of Universal Audio's plug-ins uses a different amount of processing power, so if you want to get a sense for how many plug-ins you can use on a quad or octo unit, check out this helpful chart: UAD-2 Instance Chart.
The UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerator is a sleek, powerful way for Thunderbolt-equipped Mac and Windows 10 users to “supercharge” their systems and run larger mixes filled with acclaimed UAD plug-ins. This convenient desktop unit gives you full access to UA's award-winning plug-in library, including exclusive titles from Studer, Lexicon, Neve, and more.
With improved performance and reduced plug-in latency versus FireWire, UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt makes the perfect introduction to UAD plug-ins, or ideal DSP expander for Apollo audio interfaces.
From serious home recordists to multi-platinum mix engineers, UAD Powered Plug-Ins have been winning over audio professionals for more than 10 years. The reason is simple. No other plug-ins so faithfully capture the sound and behavior of classic analog equipment — from rare compressors and equalizers, to vintage reverb processors and tape machines.
The UAD library features over 90 plug-ins, co-developed with the biggest brands in audio. These plug-ins can be purchased with UAD-2 hardware from retailers as part of bundled packages, or you can buy UAD plug-ins à la carte from UA’s Online Store.
In developing UAD plug-ins, UA’s engineering group undertakes a thorough physical modeling of classic audio hardware — “rebuilding” vintage analog gear in the digital world, component by component. That’s how UAD plug-ins replicate the exact, sometimes quirky, behavior of analog hardware — bringing its rich, three-dimensional sound and harmonics "in the box."