Home » Music » Best UAD Plugins For Vocals in 2023

Best UAD Plugins For Vocals in 2023

Performer Life is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

Are you looking for the best and yet affordable UAD Plugins for Vocals? Have you tried many UAD plugins, but none of them worked in your favor?

If your answer is yes, this article is for you. Here are the best universal audio plugins for vocals introducing a unique standard for plugins and interfaces. 

One of the best collections of top-notch analog emulation plugins is available from the best UAD plugins for vocals.

In order to use UAD plugins, the software must operate on a specialized DSP that provides by either an Apollo gateway or a satellite. 

Universal Audio has been replicating most of the finest hardware gear that appears on all the outstanding recordings we enjoy providing music creators with incredible tools for recording, mixing, and mastering,

UAD has manufactured the industry’s top plugins for a long time. They have developed into the most desirable recording requirements of the current day because they offer the most realistic digital copies of analog equipment on the market.

Let’s dive in!

UAD Vocal Chain

In this case, there is much room for discussion and interpretation on which effects go where in a particular vocal chain.

While keeping an open mind and taking nothing we say as gospel, each combination is a unique beast with myriad variables. 

Due to this, we’ll explore the top UAD vocal chain effects instead of outlining a comprehensive vocal chain while providing some general placement guidelines.

Any vocal impacts chain, whether it be UAD or not, will include E.Q., compression, de-essing, maybe real-time tone correcting equipment like Auto-Tune, saturation, and time-based changes like reverb and delay (usually on sends). 

Where all these ramifications go eventually depends on you, as we just explained. But, there are still a few factors to bear in mind.

Pitch fixing typically happens as quickly in the chain as feasible to receive the dry input and adjust the frequency as it reaches the DAW. 

Then, you might try applying reparative E.Q., a little de-essing, a short and the best UAD compressor for vocals to grab the most tender points, some “sweetening” E.Q., then a slower compressor to tie things together afterward.

If your vocal sounds better with some saturation added, you can consider doing so. You can also add reverbs & delays for vocals on outputs to your mix as you see fit. 

Now we can explain some of the best UAD plugins for vocals to fit into your chain!

Best UAD Compressors for Vocals

Pultec Passive E.Q. Collection

The Pultec collection is right away one of the most incredible UAD plugins for vocals. These are truly phenomenal. The simplest way to explain it is that they quickly transform a vocal from 0 to 100.

There is a fountain of information about how and why Pultecs sound the way they do available online. 

Consider using the EQP-1A and MEQ-5 on your vocal bus (or the Pultec Pro Legacy, a part of the Realtime Analog Classics bundle), and experiment with the settings. Extremely good!

Based on years of the world’s most thorough modeling studies, U.A. has rebuilt the acclaimed Pultec EQ experience as plugins nearly comparable to the original analog hardware. The Pultec Passive E.Q.

Plug-In Collections for UAD-2 and Apollo hardware have the most outstanding plugin renditions of the genuine passive E.Q.s from Pulse Techniques.

The Pultec EQ Collection now has carefully modeled amplifier elements that enable it to “breathe” like the original equipment.

The Pultec EQ has been a staple for years because it transforms challenging-to-isolate instruments and vocalists into stunningly clear audio without impacting nearby frequencies. 

You can elevate the E.Q. boost to incredibly high settings while sounding smooth and musical. This plugin gives any recordings you put through a colorful tube warmth by simulating the hardware unit in outstanding detail.

These passive E.Q. plugins from Universal Audio Software are remarkably precise in capturing the sound and configurability of the original equipment.

One of the most significant plugin firms with the most thorough modeling research is UAD, which has established a pretty decent reputation in the industry.

In light of this, it seems logical that the Pultec Passive E.Q. Collection would emerge on a list like this. These plugins have been painstakingly designed to function and breathe like the vintage Pultec EQs from the 1950s. 

These outstanding E.Q.s can shape the sound to enhance clarity when tracking, mixing, or mastering. They may simply use it to impart desired analog character to the signal without pumping or dampening.

These plugins can be modified gradually or vigorously while still preserving their famed melody, just like the actual hardware they replicate. 

To provide customers with the most realistic experience possible, the software has been rigorously designed to precisely replicate the original equipment’s sensitive tube amplifiers and overbuilt transformers.

UAD Maag EQ4 Plugin

Next is the renowned Mäag EQ4. As the name would suggest, this is a 4-band fixed-frequency E.Q. with additional Sub and Air bands.

Actually, what makes this so distinctive is the Airband, whose vocals can be heard on songs like Madonna and Celine Dion. Check out these vocal effects for rappers.

Unquestionably a leavening E.Q., The Mäag is excellent for singing and can give any voice a ton of real presence and expression.

Cliff Maag invented the EQ4 to offer unrivaled transparency and top-end presence while keeping an authentic, natural sound in his self-described pursuit of “audio perfection.”

The Maag EQ4 plugin for UAD hardware and Apollo interfaces is a beautifully reproduced imitation of this vintage E.Q. created in collaboration with Brainworx.

Many well-known musicians have employed the Mäag Audio EQ4 to improve their vocals, including Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and Snoop Dogg.

Renowned engineers like Dave Pensado, David Reitzas, and Dylan Dresdow enjoy using it.

The Mäag Audio EQ4 is perfect for flavoring records because it is a musical E.Q. rather than a surgical E.Q.

You may see why top audio engineers with expertise in every E.Q. ever built desire the EQ4 for vocals by adding it to your vocal tracks. 

Because of its distinctive layout, the Mäag Audio EQ4 has a deficient phase shift throughout, which helps preserve the quality of your mix’s original track while boosting the “Airy” frequencies.

The same holds when increasing one of the band passes, but this is simply how you should do it and is not a mistake.

The plugin version contains an additional master intensity knob as a function, allowing you to adjust that way if you’d choose.

A magical instrument is being used here. Although we have used many E.Q. plugins, we haven’t really experienced the Air band’s capacity to provide a presence to a sound or mix before.

It may enhance any sound, but acoustic sounds—especially singing—benefit from it the most.

There are many top-notch surgical E.Q.s available, and they are always important. This is a unique and rare tool in the digital world, but it will help you improve your mixes more than anything else.

Harrison 32C

The Harrison 32C equalizer, based on Bruce Swedien’s personal 32 series console and used to record Thriller, is egregiously underestimated.

Actually, all of the compensations listed here have a ton of color and personality, including this one. 

Nothing improves a vocal more than a strong, colorful E.Q.; save the surgical stuff for FabFilter’s Pro-Q 3, but nobody does it better than UAD when you need a tone-rich analog replication.

An expert imitation of this antique, four-band channel E.Q. with lots of character is provided by the Harrison 32C Channel E.Q. plugin for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

The Harrison 32C E.Q. plugin includes four overlapping parametric bands and is renowned for its pleasant, use-it-on-everything usage and brilliant, smooth high-end response.

There are complete sweepable Pitch and Gain Controls for the Low (40-600 Hz), Low-Mid (200 Hz to 3.1 kHz), Hi-Mid (400 Hz to 6 kHz), and High (900 Hz to 13 kHz) bands.

The 32C’s circuitry automatically varies the adequate bandwidth rather than using conventional Q settings, which contributes to the sound of its characteristic.

In the 1970s and the early 1980s, Harrison was able to develop analog consoles, including the first console with complete automation.

In the 1990s, Harrison released their first digital system, and they are still producing top-notch analog and digital platforms today. 

They may not have the same brand recognition as SSL or Neve, but their consoles are used by top film and music mixing facilities worldwide.

Given the long record of console production, Harrison’s opinion on DAW design is hardly surprising.

Their goal is to more closely resemble the sensation and sound of mixing on an analog console, not to provide a “container for plugins,” as stated in the literature and layout. Let’s look at Mixbus in greater detail.

Harrison 32C is a proficient and powerful voice with a lot to offer beginners, seasoned pros, and anyone looking to move to other systems. It works well, moves quickly, and sounds impressive.

Best UAD Compressors for Vocals

1176 Classic Limiter Collection

The original Universal Audio 1176 was a notable development in regulator technology, developed by U.A.’s creator M.T. “Bill” Putnam.

1176 is an easy-to-operate “desert island” best UAD compressor for vocals with solid-state technology. Some of the most excellent recordings in history have benefited from its ultra-fast 20 microsecond FET gain reduction. 

The first 1176 plugin was the only UAD platform’s debut driver. Even more auditory nuance was obtained in 2013 by comprehensive end-to-end circuit simulation.

The 1176 Classic Limiter Collection continues the tradition of superior analog modeling with new graphics and controllers.

Using 1176 is an exercise in simplicity. The compression cutoff of the input and the maximum signal level of the output both simultaneously determine the signal level that approaches 1176. 

Release determines how soon 1176 returns to its initial level, while Attack determines how quickly it responds to incoming signals. The V.U. meter displays the gain reduction (G.R.) or output level (+4/+8).

If you’re using a UAD vocal chain technique, a few extra plugins are thrown in for good measure.

Teletronix LA-2A Leveler Collection

The LA-2A has a long history of earning its place in music history. It’s possible that this voice compressor, which was used on singles by Jack White and Nirvana, is the most well-known ever.

Universal Audio established the benchmark for analog emulation by developing the first UAD LA-2A plugin, followed by its digital version in 2001. 

The LA-2A is the go-to, the best UAD compressor for vocals. And pro producers worldwide because of its mild, program-dependent optical compression and painstakingly constructed tube amplifier.

The LA-2A is the ideal compressor/limiter to achieve the completed sound you’re after because it’s known for bringing parts “into focus” and making a vocal track “sit” better in the mix.

The LA-2A is the preferred compressor for professional mixers worldwide because of its delicate, program-dependent optical compression and finely engineered tube amplifier.

Universal Audio for vocals established the benchmark for analog emulation with the first UAD LA-2A plugin released in 2001.

Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII Compressor

Finally, there is Tube-Tech. Another famous compressor is optically similar to the 2A but offers more customization. Contemporary producers like Kanye and Rihanna commonly use the Tube-Tech as part of the voice chain before mixing. 

Using it with it works wonderfully! Initially developed by Softube, this emulation was made available by UAD for use with their DSP.

This suggests you can track using the Tube-Tech compressor by adding it to your voice channel in U.A. Console. In fact, excellent for rap vocals. 

The Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII plugin for U.A. Audio Interfaces and UAD hardware, designed by Softube, is an upgrade of this legendary optical compressor used by contemporary musicians like Kanye West, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and others.

The Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII plugin has been revamped with Softube’s newest part modeling and signals computing emerging technologies for even more profound virtualization than before, acquiring this contemporary vintage in all its tube glory.

It also features many sonic improvements and new high-resolution graphic elements. Know how to pick the best audio interface between MkII and Apollo Twin X.

Best UAD Reverbs & Delays for Vocals

EMT 140 Classic Plate Reverberator

The EMT 140 Classic Plate Reverberator plugin, recommended by EMT International GmbH, gives you the natural lushness that only plate reverb can offer on UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces. 

The EMT 140 plugin will imbue your instruments with the undeniable tenderness and elegance of this renowned plate reverb by flawlessly simulating three distinctively different EMT 140s installed at The Plant Studios in Sausalito, California.

Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb

Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb debuted in 1978. Even if it seems absurd, one digital reverb unit actually did define the sound of a time.

The Lexicon was everywhere, from Talking Heads to U2, and it is still an unquestionable studio standard today. It can produce a wide range of sounds and works beautifully with vocals. 

The Lexicon 224 plugin includes every variable from the actual hardware and makes it accessible through specific sliders and buttons.

The highly customizable reverb picture is set by Lexicon’s characteristic Bass/Mid “split decay” settings, Frequency adjustment, and Treble Decay roll-off of longer wavelengths. 

Additionally, the diffusion impacts how quickly the reverberant echo density increases over time.

EP-34 Tape Echo

Finally, Echoplex is the most well-known tape delay ever produced. One of the most antique delays with a strong feeling you can find, this one is great for playing with vocal effects like slapback echo and even a little input distortion for more delay saturation.

The iconic tape echo instrument employed by Jimmy Page, Brian May, Chick Corea, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, and Andy Summers is precisely emulated by the EP-34 Tape Echo plugin for UAD-2 equipment and Apollo interfaces.

The EP-34 Tape Echo plugin has been updated with recent workflow improvements like Tempo Sync and is now a necessary tool for any composer.

Why You Should Look For the Best UAD Plugins For Vocals

By now, you must have realized that the best UAD plugins for vocals have more characters.

It helps to add unique color and musicality to your vocal that you simply won’t ignore since UAD closely builds their software after the analog equal. 

The mixing of vocals is a crucial step in the creation of music. The equipment you choose to create your vocal mixes has a significant impact. Thus, selecting the appropriate vocal plugins is a crucial piece of the process. 

The best vocal plugins will improve a terrific recording. Corrective plugins designed for the goal can occasionally improve a terrible recording, but we advise aiming for the most fantastic front-end recording available for genuinely excellent outcomes.

In the end, there is only one simple method for building a vocal processing chain.

As your strategy and style change, you will gradually hone your unique techniques and trade secrets. Each engineer contributes their own distinct “sonic character” to a production, which is the beauty of mixing as a profession. 

You’ll develop your own over time, and other artists will come to you for that specific sound if it gets well-known. There are a ton of choices.