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New product teaser from Universal Audio - UAD Spark


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If we take a linguistic approach to the name, a Spark is probably not a fully formed product.

 

But what the hell, let's check the USPTO:

 

https://uspto.report/TM/97264459

"Mark For: UAD SPARK™ trademark registration is intended to cover the categories of downloadable computer software; downloadable audio and music computer software; downloadable cloud-based software; downloadable cloud-based software for audio recording; downloadable computer software for processing digital music files; downloadable computer software for manipulating digital audio information for use in audio media applications; downloadable computer software and firmware for downloading and organizing music files; downloadable computer software for creating and editing music and sounds; downloadable software to control and improve audio equipment sound quality; downloadable computer software for controlling the operation of audio and video devices."

 

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What I would not mind is an evolution of the current system where my UAD effects are tied to my Apollo. The Apollo is a headache and does not even connect to my M1 Air without an adapter. Would like to see them move to a software based system. I'd even pay to upgrade. I think my little M1 Air could handle it.

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8 hours ago, spokenward said:

If we take a linguistic approach to the name, a Spark is probably not a fully formed product.

 

But what the hell, let's check the USPTO:

 

https://uspto.report/TM/97264459

"Mark For: UAD SPARK™ trademark registration is intended to cover the categories of downloadable computer software; downloadable audio and music computer software; downloadable cloud-based software; downloadable cloud-based software for audio recording; downloadable computer software for processing digital music files; downloadable computer software for manipulating digital audio information for use in audio media applications; downloadable computer software and firmware for downloading and organizing music files; downloadable computer software for creating and editing music and sounds; downloadable software to control and improve audio equipment sound quality; downloadable computer software for controlling the operation of audio and video devices."

 

 

 

That came up for me too when I did a Google search this morning. Based on that, it could be almost anything. 

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Philip OKeefe said:

 

 

That came up for me too when I did a Google search this morning. Based on that, it could be almost anything. 

The filing uses the magical word cloud so I certainly don't disagree. Totally speculating here, but I would guess it would include content libraries like NI, software as a service pricing models and support for hardware / software combos that compete even more directly with PT. 

 

That and T-shirts and Merch and an Instagram channel.  I should probably dial back on the evening espresso. 

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I wonder if they're going to release native versions of the UAD plugins? Maybe tied to Luna? Or maybe they're working on a DSP/Native hybrid like Avid did with Carbon? It's also possible they're going to announce a cloud-based subscription plan or a time-limited use (rental) licensing option. I really don't know what they've got in mind.

 

I am a fan of the sound of a lot of the UAD-2 plugins, and I just bought a Thunderbolt Octo a few months ago, so at the risk of repeating myself, I really hope they're not going to discontinue the UAD-2 stuff...  

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11 hours ago, Philip OKeefe said:

II am a fan of the sound of a lot of the UAD-2 plugins, and I just bought a Thunderbolt Octo a few months ago, so at the risk of repeating myself, I really hope they're not going to discontinue the UAD-2 stuff...  

 

I highly doubt they'll discontinue it...Luna is Mac-only. Why kill the only  revenue stream that accommodates Windows users?

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3 hours ago, pinkfloydcramer said:

Wishful thinking, but I would like it to be a proprietary DAW for the Volt 2 series, which currently ships with Ableton Lite. Or at least something connected to the new Volt line.

 

I highly doubt they would ship with anything that wasn't cross-platform. 

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18 hours ago, Anderton said:

 

I highly doubt they would ship with anything that wasn't cross-platform. 

 

Didn't mean to imply that Ableton Lite was not cross-platform, sorry. After some digging, I found a video on the UA site on how to set the Volt series up with Studio One. 

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10 hours ago, Anderton said:

It was me who wasn't clear. My assumption was that a proprietary DAW would be based on Luna, which isn't cross-platform. Maybe their big news is announcing a Luna Windows version...nah, probably not :)

 

Even when I was using a self-built Windows PC as my main DAW computer and running a Satellite quad FireWire with it (which worked great on that system) , I always had the sneaking suspicion they were more focused on Macs than PCs. It just seemed like there was more Mac supported platforms overall. 

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On 3/23/2022 at 2:19 PM, RABid said:

What I would not mind is an evolution of the current system where my UAD effects are tied to my Apollo. The Apollo is a headache and does not even connect to my M1 Air without an adapter. Would like to see them move to a software based system. I'd even pay to upgrade. I think my little M1 Air could handle it.

I think you got your wish, if I understand it correctly. I think it's a subscription platform that gives you access to all their plug-ins for a low, low monthly fee ( ;)  ) and doesn't require any hardware from UA nor anyone else. Right now, it's Mac-only but they say Windows is coming later this year.

 

https://spark.uaudio.com

 

 

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OK, so UAD goes native and drops SHARC.  That's a big deal for their users.  There are going to be lots of DSP cards hitting the classifieds.  If you own the plugin, you can move over to Native for free.  

 

Demo for 14 days free. the plan is $20 a month.  

Hefty download for plugins, about 300mb.

It uses iLok.

I'll have 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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4 minutes ago, ElmerJFudd said:

OK, so UAD goes native and drops SHARC.  That's a big deal for their users.  There are going to be lots of DSP cards hitting the classifieds.  If you own the plugin, you can move over to Native for free.  

 

 

...And start paying a monthly subscription fee? 

 

I haven't had time to read the details yet, but that doesn't sound like a good deal to me. I prefer buying things over subscriptions, by a HUGE margin. 

 

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1 hour ago, Joe Muscara said:

I think you got your wish, if I understand it correctly.

I was worried until I got to this statement.

 

I already own some of the UAD plug‑ins available in this subscription. Do I get access to the native version?

Yes.

 

You get the native version of the plug-in for free. Download UA Connect to get started.

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It looks like what they’ve done here is built a hardware abstraction layer for the plug-in, so it’s the same code. Native latency appears to be lower at about 86 samples.  Native will of course also work with PDC.  It’s not Apple silicon ready but I see online people already running 100 instances of API Vision via Rosetta on an M1 Max. 
 

You get two licenses.  Can be put on two iloks.  Or you can keep one in the cloud. Probably a good time to pony up for zero downtime if you switch to native. 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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Are the plug-ins shown above the totality of what you get for $20/month? Will they be adding more plug-ins, and if so, will it be for the same price or more? I couldn't find details on their web site.

 

I also figure they're going to keep selling cards and hardware, right?

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4 hours ago, Anderton said:

Are the plug-ins shown above the totality of what you get for $20/month? Will they be adding more plug-ins, and if so, will it be for the same price or more? I couldn't find details on their web site.

 

I also figure they're going to keep selling cards and hardware, right?

I believe the cards and hardware will be around for a while, the Luna system still requires it.  But I am not sure for how long or if they’ll open Luna up at some point.  This was inevitable I feel as SHARC becomes less and less relevant when you have in-the-box CPUs running ridiculous instance counts of plugins that were resource hogs just a year or two ago.   If the hammering their servers took yesterday is any indication, I believe they will be adding more plugins.  
 

UAD is not sure if they’ll let people come and go at $20 a month or if they’ll need to lock in for a year.  
 

M1 users note that these plugins are not Apple Silicon ready (though users already have them running in Rosetta).   Windows versions are also not ready.  

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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i think Cakewalk really did their Sonar subscription program right. After you paid a certain amount, you owned the produce in perpetuity. It was more like rent-to-own, so you didn't have to keep throwing money at it forever.

 

However, the hook to keep you paying is they kept adding more stuff - more plug-ins, samples, etc. So if you quit, although the old stuff didn't go away, you didn't get the new stuff.

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On 3/31/2022 at 1:41 PM, Anderton said:

i think Cakewalk really did their Sonar subscription program right.

And then someone bought them, sold lifetime subscriptions for a few months, then discontinued and dropped the product they had just convinced people to buy lifetime subscriptions of.

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Well, to be fair...the "few months" was actually over two-and-a-half years, from January 2015 until October 2017. Everything people received during that time (new plug-ins, samples, presets, libraries, etc.) still work with Cakewalk by BandLab, so they still have lots of additional stuff those who just download the free version of Cakewalk don't get. And, the people who signed up for lifetime usage are still getting lifetime usage of what they bought, even after the original company that offered it went bankrupt.

 

And if they didn't renew their subscription, the program still kept working, and they still got to keep everything they owned up to the point where they stopped subscribing. Somehow, I don't think Adobe or Avid works that way...

 

The program they bought continues to get periodic enhancements and bug fixes, and everything that they bought still works. If it doesn't, like their hard drive crashes and they lose everything, the old website that maintains their Sonar accounts is still maintained, so owners can still go to their account and download whatever they purchased. Granted, it probably won't stay up forever, but it's been there for over three years. That has given users plenty of time to download their files, back them up, and note any serial numbers.

 

The money they spent on the program is what kept the company alive long enough that it could do an orderly handover to the new owners, and make sure their users were taken care of.  So I really don't think the people who bought the lifetime subscriptions got a bad deal at all.

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