6 Things you Need to know About Universal Audio Volt Interfaces

We've highlighted the 6 essential things that you need to know about the new range of affordable Volt audio interfaces from Universal Audio.

Will Brook-Jones

Will Brook-Jones

You might have heard that Universal Audio have taken their first steps into the affordable audio interface arena with their new studio-sound quality Volt series. But why should you invest in one? What makes them tick? And just what sets them apart from the competition? We explore the 6 essential things you need to know about Universal Audio Volt interfaces – a series of best-in-class USB interfaces perfect for producers, singers, songwriters, guitarists, content creators and podcasters.

Universal Audio Volt Interfaces

Also, be sure to check out our video below exploring the Volt’s full capabilities. Jack’s joined by Conor Albert – a self-taught artist, songwriter and producer on Ninja Tune’s roster – who creates an entire beat in under 3 hours using the Volt 276! He showcases just how easy it is to use the Volt interface alongside his preferred DAW (in this case, Ableton), sampling and programming drums, plus recording piano and guitar straight from the studio.

Win a Volt Interface at Andertons Music!

But just before we dive into the juicy details, we want to give you the chance to win your very own Volt interface! We’ve teamed up with Universal Audio to give away three great prizes: a UA Volt 276 Studio Pack, UA Volt 276 audio interface and a UA Volt 176 audio interface.

Read the full details below on how to enter and find out how you can improve your chances of winning! Please note: the giveaway ends 10th March 2022, UK entry only. UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED.

Universal Audio Volt giveaway

6 Things You Need to Know About Volt:


1. Vintage Mic Preamp Mode

Innovative in-built tube emulation circuitry has been tailored to recreate the full-bodied, warm, rich sound of Universal Audio’s now legendary 610 tube mic/line/instrument preamp.

The original preamp was a key building block of a number of hit recordings from the likes of Van Halen, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and the Beach Boys. Its main characteristic of increased harmonic detail made it a no-brainer for producers everywhere.

Vintage Mic Preamp Mode will apply the same well-rounded, studio-ready sound to your instruments and vocals every single time you hit record. And what’s more, you won’t find this architecture anywhere else in any other kind of audio interface; it’s a certified Universal Audio exclusive! This feature is present inside each kind of Volt interface – even the more entry-level Volt 1 and 2 variants.

2. 76 Models & the all-analogue FET Compressor

The 176, 276 and 476 models all include an onboard 76 compressor. This impressive piece of engineering, consisting of an analog circuit based on Universal Audio’s renowned 1176 Limiting Amplifier, is ideal for applying some final sheen and punch to any part of your song.

A trio of meticulously crafted presets – VOC, GTR and FAST – can be used to manage the levels of guitar, synths, vocals and more with unparalleled ease.

But what exactly is a compressor and why is it useful within music production? Well, put simply, a compressor can be used to lower the dynamic range of a sound. It helps to make the quieter and louder elements of any track closer to one another in terms of their respective volume levels.

Practically, you could use a compressor to manage sharp, aggressive transients – like a more powerful note suddenly produced from an instrument or a vocalist – to create a more palatable listening experience.

3. Portable Production

Like to get creative whenever and wherever creativity strikes you? Volt interfaces are designed to work seamlessly with both iPad and iPhone. Sling the Volt in your backpack and produce on-the-go.

Carefully craft beats, slice and splice samples, record your band’s rehearsal straight from the practice space, or edit tracks on the train. Even the 476 – the most feature-rich of the Volt’s – can be powered directly from an iPad Pro (as can the rest of the range). No external power supply is required!

One thing that’s worth noting: to work in this manner with iPhone’s and older iPad’s, you’ll require an external Volt power supply, plus an Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (*unless* you’re using an iPad Pro with USB-C).

4. The Software Bundle

Every Volt comes bundled with a carefully curated selection of audio software to help you get creative from the get-go. These tools include the likes of Ableton Live Lite, Celemony Melodyne, Softube’s Marshall Plexi Classic Amp and UJAM’s Virtual Drummer. Check out the full breakdown below for some more detail.

Each one was handpicked for its practicality when it comes to producing high-quality music, livestreams, podcasts, sound-to-picture and more.

Every VOLT Interface Includes:

  • Spitfire: Labs
  • UJAM: Virtual Drummer DEEP, Virtual Bassist DANDY
  • Plugin Alliance: Ampeg SVT-VR Classic, Brainworx bx_tuner, Brainworx bx_masterdesk Classic
  • Relab: LX480 Essentials
  • Celemony: Melodyne Essential
  • Softube: Marshall Plexi Classic Amp, Softube Time & Tone Bundle
  • Ableton: Ableton Live Lite

Spitfire: Labs

Described by Spitfire Audio as ‘an infinite series of free virtual software instruments, made by musicians, for musicians’ this pack – downloaded over 15 million times by creatives around the world – works with any DAW.

Incredibly easy to use, LABS encompasses a deep and varied selection of instruments. Synth strings, guitar harmonics, percussion, organic textures and pipe organ are just some of the sounds you’ll be able to experiment with – all of which have been captured in astounding detail.

Ableton: Ableton Live Lite

With a license that never expires, Ableton Live Lite is their entry-level DAW, allowing you to compose, capture, and produce entire tracks; you can even perform your songs live if you want!

Celemony: Melodyne Essential

Edit and enhance your vocals with this Grammy-award winning technology. Tweak everything from the timing of a specific line, to the pitch of individual notes.

Relab: LX480 Essentials

Harness the iconic sound of the now-legendary 480L hardware reverb within your mixes. Choose from emulations of four classic presets found on the original unit – Medium Hall, Fat Plate, Small Ambience and Large Wood Room – created by industry-leading mixers like Joe Carell and Richard Furch.

Transform any track with the rich, roomy reverb tails and decadent, dynamic textures that characterised this highly sought-after unit!

UJAM: Virtual Drummer DEEP, Virtual Bassist DANDY

Need some drums but aren’t a drummer yourself? Enter UJAM’s Virtual Drummer DEEP. These 60s’/70s’ inspired drum sounds are at the pinnacle of percussion plug-ins. Choose from 30 different styles, 5 drum kits, 690 patterns and more to take your beats to the next level!

Virtual Bassist DANDY is the perfect rhythmic companion. This rich, warm vintage bass offers seriously smooth basslines aplenty. 30 styles; 990 phrases; 100 presets; simply slot-in alongside Virtual Drummer DEEP, and you’ve got yourself a rhythm section to rival the very best out there.

Softube: Marshall Plexi Classic Amp, Softube Time & Tone Bundle

Known for their incredibly accurate emulations of hardware classics in software form, the inclusions from Softube here continue that pedigree.

The Marshall Plexi Classic Amp – based on the renowned Marshall Plexi Super Lead 1959 – ensures you can conjure the very same tones present on the original, transporting your guitar tone back to the midst of the rock ‘n’ roll era.

The Time & Tone Bundle packs together a further four excellent plug-ins: Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor, Tube Delay, Saturation Knob and the TSAR-1R Reverb.

Plugin Alliance: Ampeg SVT-VR Classic, Brainworx bx_tuner, Brainworx bx_masterdesk Classic

Ampeg’s SVT amps are instantly recognisable. Now, you can access the killer tone of these bass behemoths in plug-in form! Generating the same accurate tones as the original (that was favoured by the likes of Bootsy Collins), apply the rounded, punchy low-end and gutsy midrange to your bass sound.

Brainworx have also supplied two plug-in favourites for your collection: bx_tuner and bx_masterdesk Classic. Just like it says on the tin, the former allows you to quickly (and precisely) tune your bass or electric guitar; the latter provides a premium analog mastering unit confined to an all-in-one plug-in.

5. They Look Cool

Featuring the trademark Universal Audio grey and silver colourway, each interface is seriously sleek – slotting perfectly into any kind of studio space. When in use, the various parts of the interface light up in a handful of vibrant colours too, creating a nice visual contrast. The minimalist, retro-inspired industrial design is enhanced further on the 76 models, with real wood end cheeks completing the look.

They aren’t just a pretty face though; quality metal components ensure the Volt is incredibly durable, withstanding years of recording both on-the-go and at home.

Universal Audio Volt Interfaces

6. Which Model is Right for you?

Each model thrives in different sonic scenarios; compare each model against one another below and find the one that’s right for you!

Volt 1:

  • In/Output: 1-in/2-out
  • Vintage Preamp: Yes
  • 76 Compressor: No
  • Who is it for: Singers, Songwriters, Guitarists, Podcasters

Volt 2:

  • In/Output: 2-in/2-out
  • Vintage Preamp: Yes
  • 76 Compressor: No
  • Who is it for: Musicians, Songwriters, Guitarists, Content Creators

Volt 176:

  • In/Output: 1-in/2-out
  • Vintage Preamp: Yes
  • 76 Compressor: Yes
  • Who is it for: Singers, Songwriters, Guitarists, Podcasters

Volt 276:

  • In/Output: 2-in/2-out
  • Vintage Preamp: Yes
  • 76 Compressor: Yes
  • Who is it for: Producers, Musicians, Songwriters, Content Creators

Volt 476:

  • In/Output: 4-in/4-out
  • Vintage Preamp: Yes
  • 76 Compressor: Yes
  • Who is it for: Producers, Musicians, Bands, Content Creators

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Will Brook-Jones
Will Brook-Jones
Will is the Tech & Drums Category Marketing Lead at Andertons. The sole drummer in the web team, Will favours TAMA Drums and Sabian cymbals. His love of Hip-Hop and Jazz is reflected in some of his favourite musicians, from Anderson .Paak and Mac Miller, to Thundercat and Yussef Dayes.

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