Universal Audio has just released version 9.7 of their UAD software and as usual, have included five new plug-ins including an emulation of the Lexicon 480L digital effects system.
A (Very) Brief history of the Lexicon 480LThe Lexicon 480L was released in 1986 and rapidly became the ultimate digital reverb by which all other reverb and digital effects were measured. Designed as the successor of the 224XL, it included a mainframe and the Lexicon Alphanumeric Remote Control (LARC) to give you controls of all the different aspects of the reverbs. It also used 18-bit quantisation and a sampling rate of 48kHz, offering a dynamic range of 98dB for the wet signal which was very impressive at the time. It also benefited from some of the latest computational power available which helped create lush and realistic-sounding reverbs and two different engines that could be used simultaneously, dramatically extending the possibilities on offer. The 480L saw the inclusion of the Random Hall that is often associated with the “Lexicon Sound” and the Ambience algorithm that was used so prominently on drums in the 80s.
Recreating a ClassicAfter the success of the UAD Lexicon 224, Universal Audio went all out to recreate the legendary sound of the 480L, using Lexicon 480L’s final firmware (v4.10). Just like for the 224, the plug-in GUI is based on a recreation of the LARC with an alphanumeric Program select buttons to let you dial the chosen program, eight global utility buttons which give you quick access to important functions and six faders to adjust parameter values and an additional six buttons at the bottom. All these give you access to all the controls of your reverb with notable workflow improvements over the original. First of all, all the algorithms are directly accessible by a click on the main display. Universal Audio have also re-assigned certain functions to some of the buttons that were not useful in the plug-in removing the need for multi-function buttons. For example, the Bank and Page buttons have been moved to the buttons below the faders while the blue Prog and Rec buttons have been recommissioned as Machine A/B select. A hidden panel access unveils input and output gain controls. Just above the fader can be found a Parameter display which shows the name of the parameter and its value which is controlled by the slider below it.
The AlgorithmsUniversal Audio have included five of the most popular reverb and algorithms of the original hardware including Reverb, Effects, Twin Delays, Random and Ambience. These algorithms have been organised in banks.
- Banks 1 to 4 use the Reverb algorithm
- Bank 5 uses the Effects algorithm
- Bank 6 uses the Twin Delays algorithm
- Bank 7 and 8 use the Random algorithm
- Bank 9 uses the Ambience algorithm.
- Bank 0 uses a variety of these algorithms based on your selection.