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LUNA from Universal Audio – a free DAW program for owners of audio interfaces

17 January , 2020


Universal Audio has announced a system for recording LUNA sound. As far as we can tell, this is nothing more than a free DAW program for users of Apollo and Arrow audio interfaces, and it really can be a breakthrough in the industry.

The first thing to consider is the main LUNA application, which, as you would expect, offers ultra-dense integration with UA interfaces. In fact, we were told that this allows the user to record through plug-in DSP modules without noticeable delay. The developers suggest that this provides performance and reliability along with recording systems with DSP support for $ 10 thousand or more.

— See also: The best sound cards of 2019 for mixing, mastering and composing music —

Next, we have LUNA extensions – these are special processing functions that are built into the application itself. The first of them provides a summation scheme from Neve 80 series mixing consoles from the 60s and 70s. This is much more than a summing plug-in: this technology is built into the mixer itself and promises to add harmonics to the mixing and mastering of materials.

There is also the Oxide LUNA extension – an emulation of a multi-track tape that is built into the vehicle and designed to add heat and cohesion to any track on which you will use it. If more shades of tape are needed, there is an optional Studer A800 plugin, which is supplied separately.

Another major achievement is LUNA Instruments – yes, Universal Audio now creates synthesizers, not just effect plugins. At startup, you can install the official Minimoog called Moog, a Ravel grand piano – a Steinway Model B emulation that uses sampling and physical modeling – and Shape, a sample-based instrument that covers all types of sounds. It’s free, but it looks like you have to pay for Minimoog and Ravel.

All this was provided to us by representatives of the company, except for accurate confirmation for whom LUNA will be delivered completely free of charge. Only Thunderbolt integration is claimed, and it may not work with Apollo FireWire and Apollo Twin USB.

— See also: What is a DAW program in music? —

It is also worth noting that under the current conditions, this software only works on the basis of Mac OS (it is not yet known whether the PC version is under development). Questions also remain open, is there support for VST / AU? Can software work as a plugin in another DAW program? Can new tools be used as plugins in programs from other developers?

You can read more on the official website Universal Audio.

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