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Universal Audio's New VOLT USB interfaces pack a punch

Universal Audio has announced Volt, a new range of compact USB audio interfaces designed to let users easily record audio with a classic studio sound.

Ready to capture music, live stream, or podcast content with professional studio tone, Volt interfaces have been designed to add clarity and punch to voice, instruments, and other sources with an analogue compressor based on UA’s iconic 1176.

All Volt interfaces utilise class-leading 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion, and include a vintage mic preamp mode with tube emulation circuitry for a rich, full sound.

An essential suite of audio production software also comes packaged, including Ableton, Melodyne, UJAM’s Virtual Drummer, Marshall, Ampeg, and more.

The first and most compact model in the range – Volt 1 – is designed for singers, songwriters, guitarists, and podcasters who want to create classic-sounding music productions, live streams and podcasts on Mac, PC, iPad, and iPhone.

Universal Audio says Volt 1’s exclusive built-in tube emulation circuitry allows it to produce the rich, full sound of the UA 610 tube preamp, a classic mic/line/instrument preamp used to record everyone from Ray Charles to Van Halen.

Volt 1 provides simple one-in/two-out audio connections; those travelling light can plug Volt 1 into an iPad or iPhone to easily create beats and samples, record a band’s rehearsals, and edit songs anywhere. Volt 2 meanwhile provides increased versatility with its two-in/two-out audio connections.

Volt 176 is designed for singers, songwriters, musicians, livestreamers and podcasters who want to easily record audio with big studio tone. The unit’s onboard 76 compressor – an analogue circuit inspired by UA’s classic 1176 limiting amplifier – features three tailored presets to tame voice, guitars, synths and drum machines. Volt 276 has been designed to the same standard, albeit with two-in/two-out connections.

Round back, there’s MIDI I/O and USB-C connectivity. Unlike other UAD interfaces, the Volts don’t have any DSP power of their own to run the suite of UAD plugins you might have heard of before; you’ll still need an Apollo or other UA interface for those needs.

The final model in the range is Volt 476 (pictured), designed for musicians, producers and content creators looking to record larger projects with that same big studio sound. Volt 476 includes four-in/four-out audio connections, as well as a 5VDC power supply.

Other key features include 48V phantom power for condenser microphones, direct monitoring for latency-free recording, one-in/one-out MIDI connections, and a USB-C to USB-A cable in the box.

Volt audio interfaces and Studio Packs – which include Volt 2 or Volt 276, a condenser mic with XLR cable, and closed-back headphones – are available for pre-order from select Universal Audio retailers, with general availability projected for late November 2021.