Universal Audio is an American manufacturer of audio equipment, known for its high-quality analog hardware and digital audio plugins. The company was founded in 1958 by Bill Putnam Sr., a pioneering audio engineer who is often referred to as the father of modern recording.
In its early days, Universal Audio produced innovative studio gear that became highly sought after by top recording artists, including the 610 Console and the 1176 compressor/limiter. These classic pieces of equipment were used on countless hit records, and remain highly regarded to this day.
The company struggled financially in the 1980s and 1990s, and was eventually sold to several different owners. In 1999, it was acquired by Bill’s son, James Putnam, who set out to revitalize the brand and bring it back to its former glory.
Under James’ leadership, Universal Audio began producing new analog hardware, such as the popular LA-2A and 610-B preamp, as well as digital audio plugins that modeled classic analog gear. The plugins quickly gained a following among audio professionals, and have since become a staple in many recording studios.
In recent years, Universal Audio has continued to expand its product line with new hardware and software, including the Apollo audio interface and the Luna recording system. The company remains committed to providing high-quality audio tools for musicians, producers, and audio engineers.