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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > May-18 > UNIVERSAL AUDIO Arrow £440


UA stole the NAMM show with Arrow, its first Thunderbolt 3 interface. Andy Jones loads his bow with an interface that will tempt many to the UAD world…


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It’s not often I buy a new computer to do a review, but that’s exactly what happened when the Universal Audio Arrow arrived. To enjoy all of the added Thunderbolt 3 speed and mobility that Arrow has, you will need a computer with some of that interfacing connectivity. While there are cable solutions to convert Thunderbolt 2 to 3 and vice versa, Arrow is unsupported on any such backwardscompatible TB-2 setup. You need Thunderbolt 3 – it’s as simple as that. I’m now facing 16 monthly instalments of £156. Just don’t tell my wife or the kids, who, once again, will lack a holiday this year… But was it worth it?


On the face of it, the answer is already a ‘yes’. This is a cost-effective UA interface that comes bundled with some of the company’s effects. I will cover some of the new format’s advantages in more detail later, but what we’re really focussing in on is Universal’s first foray into the world of mobile interfacing, and the plug-ins that you get for the money.

The other aim of this review is to explain Universal Audio’s approach to its hardware and software, which we haven’t done for a while. And that’s because Arrow is so competitively priced, we think that many will be tempted to take their first steps into the UAD world.

Universal Audio actually has a couple of histories. The early one began some seven decades ago when Bill Putnam – who engineered the stars of the day, including Sinatra and Ray Charles – started several enterprises including Universal Audio, Studio Electronics and UREI that would yield gear including the 610 console, the 1176 compressor and, via the purchase of Teletronix, the LA-2A compressor.

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