We take a look at Universal Audio's ground breaking new API Vision console emulation...

At first glance, this new release from Universal Audio looks like any other UAD plug-in announcement - always welcome, but there are already a number of good API-based plugins out there (not least from UA themselves). However, on closer inspection it quickly becomes apparent that this is something altogether different - dare we say it, a game changer even?

 

 

In short, UA have successfully managed to turn their LUNA DAW platform into an emulation of API’s flagship Vision mixing console - and the results are impressive.

 

API Vision Console Emulation is genuinely groundbreaking stuff - turning LUNA into a complete, end-to-end console emulation with the processor GUI situated where you expect - on the mixer interface itself, rather than relying on conventional floating plug-in windows.

Users can track in real time through highly accurate circuit emulations of API preamps and channel modules, then mix with API’s legendary analog summing and 2500 bus compression - seamlessly switching between low-latency tracking using Apollo DSP, and high-powered native mixing with LUNA.

The new implementation within LUNA means you can quickly “paint” API channel strips across your entire mix. Each channel strip in the API Vision Console Emulation gives you access to six of API's iconic L-Series modules. From the punch and presence of the 212L preamp and colourful 225L compressor and musical 235L gate/expander, to the powerful tone shaping of the 550L/560L EQs and sweepable 215L Hi and Lo pass filters, you can sculpt with bold API tone. It’s worth repeating this again - all in real time.

API consoles are known for their mid-forward, lively mix character with plenty of punch and depth. When audio sources pass through an API console — specifically the 2520 op‑amps and custom output transformers — natural analogue nonlinearities work together, creating musical harmonics and transient clipping. The API Vision Console Emulation expertly captures all of the Vision Console's hybrid voltage/current summing circuit. In essence, this new package effortlessly recreates a fully specified API Vision console with automation and recall within your DAW - both in terms of sound and operability.

UA’s reputation for emulating classic analogue processing is second-to-none - the only limitation being the amount of scalable DSP you have to hand. But this release is about more than the emulation itself - it’s also about workflow. From the input stage to bus summing and the master fader, there's never been a digital workflow that so thoroughly emulates the large-format analog console experience like the API Vision Console Emulation. Now you can harness the same inspired workflow used on countless hit records, complete with the cohesion, character, and colour of a classic API desk.

And if you don’t use LUNA (and why wouldn't you at least try it - it's free to UA Apollo users), the API Vision Console Emulation Bundle also includes UAD plug-in versions of the API Preamp, Vision Channel Strip Collection, and API 2500 Bus Compressor, letting you track and mix in real time with Apollo and your favourite DAW.

So, to answer our original question - "Is this the best mixing desk emulation yet?". We would have to say "yes" and at £529 inc VAT, it also looks like a great deal.

<Click here for more information on API Vision Console Emulation Bundle>