Universal Audio Road To Vinyl

Welcome to the Road to Vinyl

The Road To Vinyl is a new three-part video series from Universal Audio and Vintage King that shows how a song starts in a recording studio and ends up on your record player. With some help from world-class engineers Marc Daniel Nelson and Eric Boulanger, we are exclusively using Univeral Audio interfaces and plug-ins throughout the recording, mixing and mastering process of the song, "Hold Your Hand To The Fire," by The War on Peace. Let's get started!

Part 1: Recording

In the first part of the Road To Vinyl series, Marc Daniel Nelson and The War on Peace get to work at the Chicago Recording Company. Marc's interface set-up for this session includes three Apollo 8p rackmount units and an Apollo Twin MKII. Watch the video to see the recording process, as Marc uses Universal Audio plug-ins in real-time to find the perfect sounds for this uplifting, synth-heavy track.

Recording with Universal Audio Apollo and UAD plug-ins

Plug-Ins Used During the Recording Process

Guitar: API Vision Channel Strip, dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter

Lead Synth: API Vision Channel Strip

Bass Synth: Neve 1073, Teletronix LA-2A Leveler

Vocals/Background Vocals: Neve 1073, Fairchild 670, Teletronix LA-2A Leveler

Drum Kit (Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Rack Tom, Floor Tom): Neve 1073

Trash Mic and Room Mics: UA 610-A Preamp, Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

Part 2: Mixing

Tracking is over and Marc Daniel Nelson is moving onto mixing in the second installment of the Road To Vinyl. Watch the video below to gain insight into Nelson's mixing process and see what Universal Audio plug-ins he uses throughout the session.

Mixing with Universal Audio Apollo and UAD plug-ins

Plug-Ins Used During the Mixing Process

Guitar: SSL Stereo Compressor, API Channel Strip

Lead Synth: SSL Channel Strip

Bass Synth: Tube-Tech CL 1B, Tube-Tech EQ

Vocals: Brainworx bx_digital V3, EMT 140, Thermionic Culture Vulture, Fairchild 670, EP-34 Tape Echo, Precision De-esser

Snare: SSL Bus Compressor, 1176 Blue Stripe, Neve 1073, Cambridge EQ

Snare Sample: Fairchild 670, Thermionic Culture Vulture, API 2500, Pultec EQP-1A

Kick: SSL Bus Compressor, API 550A, Pultec EQP-1A

Kick Sample: SPL Transient Designer

Toms: SSL Channel Strip

Overheads: Townsend Labs U47

Trash Mic: Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

Part 3: Mastering

In the third and final installment of Univeral Audio's Road To Vinyl, our team heads west to The Bakery mastering facility in Los Angeles, California. Marc Daniel Nelson is handing over the final mix to studio owner and engineer Eric Boulanger (Green Day/Hozier), who will be mastering the track using Universal Audio plug-ins and then cutting straight to vinyl.

Mastering with Universal Audio Apollo and UAD plug-ins

Plug-Ins Used During the Mastering Process

Pultec EQP-1A

API 560

Universal Audio LA-3A

Maag EQ4

Marc Daniel Nelson, Producer/Mixer

“With almost all Universal Audio plug-ins, I have had a past with its analog counterpart. Tracking and mixing with these plug-ins gives me the same feelings as when I use the original gear. I find it amazing that all the reasons I would use certain analog pieces for a particular instrument translate flawlessly when using the UAD plug-in version. As for front end tracking with the Apollo, it's incredible. It sounds great and is rock solid.”

Marc Daniel Nelson, Producer/Mixer

The Final Song

Glossary of Plug-Ins

1176 Blue Stripe

1176 Blue Stripe

The classic compressor in plug-in form from the company who made the original back in 1966.

API 2500

API 2500

This is a classic stereo bus compressor that adds energy and tone to mixes.

API 550A

API 550A

The API 550A is an incredibly accurate EQ that offers unique filter shapes, beautiful distortion and more.

API 560

API 560

Getting surgical on a certain track has never been easier than with the 10 ten bands of EQ on the API 560.

API Vision Channel Strip

API Vision Channel Strip

Bring home the classic punch and color of API's flagship console.

Brainworx bx_digital V3

Brainworx bx_digital V3

The Brainworx bx_digital V3 has become an indispensable tool for many mixing and mastering engineers as it offers incredible tone shaping.

Cambridge EQ

Cambridge EQ

The smooth five-band EQ that allows you to get surgical on any source.

dbx 160 Compressor

dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter

Faithful emulation of this legendary, even infamous, VCA compressor.

EP-34 Tape Echo

EP-34 Tape Echo

This beloved piece of gear made famous by Page, May and Van Halen is now available in plug-in form for all of your warm, hazy delay needs.

Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

The world’s most popular compressor, recreated with incredible attention to detail for UAD and Apollo.

EMT 140

EMT 140

This iconic plate reverb is perfect for adding warmth to any track and the plug-in version includes exclusive features.

Fairchild 670

Fairchild 670

The Fairchild is known as one the most coveted vintage compressor/limiters, but comes at much more wallet-friendly price in UAD form.

Maag EQ4

Maag EQ4

Based on the discontinued NTI EQ3, the Maag EQ4 plug-in gives tracks a natural presence without overdoing it on the top end.

Neve 1073

Neve 1073

The only authentic end-to-end circuit emulation of this world-renowned mic pre from Neve.

Precision De-esser

Precision De-esser

A highly specialized tool for transparent de-essing and fixing other high-end problems.

Pultec EQP-1A

Pultec EQP-1A

A faithful emulation of the Pultec EQP-1A, this EQ allows beautiful boosts and cuts to the same frequency simultaneously.

SPL Transient Designer

SPL Transient Designer

A fine tool for reshaping the attack and sustain of important elements like snare drum, room mics, piano and more.

SSL 4000 E Channel Strip

SSL 4000 E Channel Strip

This is an exact end-to-end circuit emulation of the classic SSL 4000 E console, which adds bold and punchy character to any mix.

SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor

SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor

The legendary compressor that provides the glue for mixes and makes everything bigger, powerful and punchy.

Teletronix LA-2A

Teletronix LA-2A Leveler

The rich, warmth of this must-have compressor has been brought to the digital realm via this amazing plug-in.

Teletronix LA-3A

Teletronix LA-3A Leveler

This timeless compressor makes the snare pop in mixes, acoustic guitars shine brighter and gives grit to bass tracks.

Thermionic Culture Vulture

Thermionic Culture Vulture

Need distortion? You got it with the Thermionic Culture Vulture, as this classic piece of gear offers incredible color for your mixes.

Townsend Labs Sphere

Townsend Labs Sphere

Based on the classic Neumann U47, this plug-in was created by Universal Audio for the Townsend Labs Sphere L22.

Tube-Tech CL 1B

Tube-Tech CL 1B

From subtle dynamics to adding weight to instrument tracks, the Tube-Tech CL 1B is a beloved compressor.

Tube-Tech EQ

Tube-Tech EQ

Impeccable tube hardware comes to the UAD plug-in world by way of this outstanding EQ from Tube-Tech.

UA 610-A Preamp

UA 610-A Preamp

The Bill Putnam Sr. innovation at the center of the Pet Sounds sessions will add warmth and body to all of your tracks.

UAD plug-ins loaded up on an Apple iMac computer

Want to get started on your own trip down the Road To Vinyl?

When you purchase any Universal Audio hardware from Vintage King, you'll be able to create your own plug-in bundles and save big. For instance, when purchasing the interface used throughout the Road To Vinyl (the Apollo 8p), you'll be able to take advantage of these savings below and select from the entire catalog of UAD plug-ins.