New Music Gear Monday: Universal Audio Century Tube Channel Strip Plugin

Century Tube Channel Strip on Bobby Owsinski's Production BlogOne thing you can say about Universal Audio is that the company is always coming out with new products, and most of them are designed to be simple and easy to use. The philosophy seems to be “Let’s make it as easy as possible for the user to get a great sound and not complicate things.” Of course, some of that is built into the fact that so many of the company’s products are based around vintage gear that never had a lot of parameter controls to begin with. That said, nobody’s ever argued with easy and that’s what you’ll find with its new Century Tube Channel Strip plugin.

The Century Tube Channel Strip is designed to emulate the sound of an early tube console. It consists of four sections – a tube-style preamp, a 3 band equalizer, opto limiter and master. The Tube Preamp is meant to work with UA Apollo interface inputs, but can also provide color during mixing. It consists of an Low/High input gain control (complete with an overload LED), switches for mic/line, hi-pass filter, phase and pad, and an output control (with another LED).

The EQ section is 3 band, with the lowest being at 110Hz, the mid sweepable from 300Hz to 7.2kHz, and the high at 10kHz. Each band has a +/- 12dB of gain available. The Opto Leveler section is also dead simple with just an In/Out selector, a Compression control and a Gain Reduction meter, as is the Master section with just an On/Off selector and an Output control.

While the Century Tube Channel Strip might be attractive to a lot of people, you need to have bought into the Universal Audio environment to use it. If you have one of the various Apollo or Arrow interfaces or a UA Satellite you’re good to go with a purchase of $149. Not everyone wants to be part of that universe, but if you’re already a UA user, you definitely should check this out. You’ll get a free trial period when you update to the latest software. Go here for more info, or watch the video below.

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