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UAFX Pedals FAQ

This article answers frequently asked questions about UAFX Pedals. 

 

General UAFX Questions

What are UAFX Pedals?

UAFX are a new line of high-quality guitar pedals from Universal Audio, featuring sonically authentic vintage and modern effects, dual-engine processing with spillover, silent switching, stereo I/O, selectable true or buffered/trails bypass, simple operation, and a robust compact form factor. 

 

What pedals are in the UAFX product lineup? 

There are three UAFX pedals: Golden Reverberator, Starlight Echo Station, and Astra Modulation Machine. 

 

How much do UAFX pedals cost?

Each UAFX pedal retails for $399 USD.

 

Where can I buy UAFX pedals?

UAFX pedals can be purchased worldwide from authorized Universal Audio retailers

 

When will UAFX pedals be available?

All three pedals will begin shipping to Universal Audio dealers at the end of March 2021.

 

Why did UA decide to make effects pedals? 

We wanted to inspire musicians with the most sonically authentic classic reverb, delay, and modulation effects ever produced by a stompbox. There are a lot of great pedals out there, but we believe none of them nail classic effects tones as completely as UAFX. 

 

What makes UAFX pedals unique?

There are four main differentiators for UAFX vs. other effects pedals: 

Powerful UAFX Engine for Sonic Authenticity 

We developed a powerful all-new UAFX engine with dual-processing architecture to deliver the most sonically authentic classic reverb, delay, and modulation effects ever produced by a pedal. This engine has massive DSP horsepower to drive more complex and accurate sounds. 

Simple Live/Preset Modes for Inspiring Playability

Simple Live/Preset modes allow instant recall of your favorite sounds, with silent switching, true/buffered bypass, and spillover/trails — all controllable via UAFX Control software.

Additional Downloadable Effects

Add new bonus effect(s) at product registration from the world-renowned UAD algorithm team.

UA Craftsmanship & Build Quality

Timeless UA analog design and beautiful, robust craftsmanship makes UAFX pedals built to last decades.

 

Why don’t UAFX have MIDI?

The goal was to keep UAFX simple and hands-on with a classic stompbox workflow for a more creative and immediate experience. We focused all our attention on making these sound as authentic and inspiring as possible.

 

How can I learn more about UAFX?

After UAFX pedals are shipping, visit our product pages and the UA Knowledge Base for more information and complete user documentation.

 

UAFX Software Control

What is UAFX Control Software?

UAFX Control is a software app that’s used to register UAFX pedals, get your free bonus effects, install UAFX firmware updates, and change UAFX global settings such as true or buffered/trails bypass and right footswitch modes. 

 

Is there more than one UAFX Control app?

Yes. The UAFX Control desktop app is for pedal registration and firmware updates. The UAFX Control mobile app is for registration and global bypass/footswitch settings.

 

What platforms does UAFX Control support?

The UAFX Control desktop app is available for Mac and Windows computers. The UAFX Control mobile app is available for iOS and Android smartphones.

 

When will UAFX Control be available?

The UAFX Control desktop app for Mac/Windows (for registration and firmware updates) will be available when the pedals are shipping. The UAFX Control mobile app (for registration and global bypass/footswitch settings) will be available Spring 2021.

 

How do I update my UAFX pedal?

Firmware updates for UAFX may be provided to improve or add functionality. UAFX firmware updates are installed over a USB connection to a computer using the UAFX Control desktop app.

 

Will deeper control editing be available with UAFX Control?

We’re always listening to users and thinking of cool and exciting new product ideas, but we can’t comment on any specific plans.

 

UAFX Registration

How do I register my UAFX pedal?

UAFX pedals are registered to your UA account using the UAFX Control software app. UAFX Control is available for Mac/Windows computers, and iOS and Android smartphones.*

 

Can I transfer UAFX registration?

Yes! UAFX pedal registration is automatically transferred when the new owner registers the pedal with the UAFX Control desktop or mobile app.

 

Can the bonus effects be transferred?

Yes! The new owner can simply register the pedal with the UAFX Control desktop or mobile app* to get the free bonus effects.

 

I already own UA products. Does UAFX registration use one of my UAD registration slots?

No, UAFX pedals are a completely independent platform from UAD and Apollo products. Your pedal will be registered separately in your UA account. 

*UAFX Control for smartphones available Spring 2021

 

Powering UAFX

What are the UAFX power supply requirements?

Each UAFX pedal requires an isolated power supply that can provide 9 volts DC and 400 milliamps of current.

 

What kind of power connector does UAFX have?

UAFX pedals have a center-negative barrel connector with a 2.1 x 5.5 mm tip (this is the same connector that Boss pedals use). 

 

Is a power supply included?

No, UAFX pedals do not include a power supply.

 

Do you sell a power supply?

A certified power supply for UAFX is available from authorized Universal Audio dealers. However, any modern, isolated, high-current power supply may be used.

 

What happens if UAFX power is interrupted?

If pedal power is lost, true bypass via mechanical relays ensures the pure analog signals are passed from input to output.

 

What is an isolated power supply and why are you recommending it?

An isolated power supply has a power input that is electrically independent from its power output, and with multi-output supplies, the outputs are also electrically independent from each other. We recommend using isolated power to prevent ground loops and other noise issues. You can use a dedicated power supply for each pedal on your pedal board, but this is often both space-consuming and inconvenient.

The best solution is to use a dedicated multi-output pedal power supply, but this is where isolation matters. Some cheaper multi-output power supplies have one power input that is simply cascaded to multiple outputs without any isolation, which is a common cause of noise issues. When buying a multiple output power supply, one should make sure that each output is individually isolated.

 

UAFX Pedal Operation

Can I store my settings as a preset?

Yes! All UAFX pedals feature one preset that can easily be stored, recalled, and modified.

 

What are the UAFX Live and Preset modes?

All UAFX pedals have two effect engines that you can seamlessly switch between, with true stereo spillover. Live mode is the main mode — it works like most other stomp boxes, where the current position of the knobs and switches is what you hear. Preset mode is an additional stored favorite sound that can be recalled independently from the knob and switch positions. The Live mode sound is toggled on/off with the left footswitch. The Preset mode sound is toggled on/off using the right footswitch. The pedals startup in Live mode.

 

Do UAFX pedals have spillover?

Yes! Spillover means delay and reverb processing isn’t cutoff when switching effects. With UAFX’s dual-engine processing, two completely independent stereo effects are always running concurrently — one in Live mode, and the other in Preset mode. So when you switch between the live and preset sounds, you get true stereo spillover from the two different stereo effects.

 

Do UAFX have effects trails when bypassed?

Yes! When Golden Reverberator or Starlight Echo Station is set for buffered trails bypass mode with the UAFX Control mobile app,* processing plays out naturally when bypassed instead of stopping suddenly. Even when set to trails bypass mode, inputs remain analog dry-through when the effect is both on and off.

 

Can UAFX tap tempo?

Yes! With Starlight Echo Station, delay times can be tapped with the right footswitch. By default, the right footswitch controls tap tempo and preset load/bypass, and other right footswitch modes are available in the UAFX Control mobile app* for iOS and Android. With Astra Modulation Machine, tap tempo can be enabled in the UAFX Control mobile app. Golden Reverberator doesn’t feature tap tempo, as reverb isn’t a rhythmic effect.

*UAFX Control for smartphones available Spring 2021

 

UAFX Effects

How many effects do UAFX pedals have?

Each UAFX pedal comes with three unique effects (algorithms), and each effect has up to three variations. And when you register the pedal, you get additional bonus effects.

 

Which effects do UAFX pedals include?

Golden Reverberator includes Spring 65 (three different vintage tube-driven reverb tanks), Plate 140 (three different vintage plate reverbs), and Hall 224 (vintage digital room and small/large concert halls). When registered, you get a free bonus Chamber & Plate effect (vintage percussion/constant plates and acoustic chamber).

Starlight Echo Station includes Tape EP-III (three different vintage tape echo machines), Analog DMM (classic bucket-brigade with vintage-correct chorus and vibrato), and Precision (modern pristine delays including flanging and chorus). When registered, you get a free bonus Cooper Time Cube (vintage “garden hose” echo with a unique sound).

Astra Modulation Machine includes Brigade Chorus (vintage analog chorus/vibrato), Flanger/Dblr (vintage rack flanging/doubling), and Trem 65 (vintage tube-driven tremolo). When registered, you get the free bonus Dharma 61 (dynamically controllable harmonic tremolo) and Phaser X90 (classic vintage phasing) effects.

 

How do I get the free bonus effects?

Register your pedal with UAFX Control software to get your free bonus effects.

 

Are these the same effects/algorithms as your UAD plug-ins?

No. Most of the effects are entirely new. Of course, some R&D from existing UAD plug-ins was used, but these effects were redesigned and optimized specifically for UAFX pedals.

 

Will you be adding new algorithms to UAFX beyond the bonus effects available at registration? Will the new UAFX effects be available as UAD plug-ins?

We’re always listening to users and thinking of cool and exciting new product ideas, but we can’t comment on any specific future plans.

 

Can I download other effects from UAD plug-ins?

No. All effects in UAFX are designed specifically for the pedals both sonically and technically.

 

If I already own the UAD plug-in, can I get a discount?

No. While a few of the effects in the UAFX pedals might appear similar at first glance, they are all redesigned with new features, functionality, and sonic changes to make them perfect for pedal use.  

 

Is the analog preamp sound modeled in the Tape EP-III and Analog DMM effects?

Yes! By default, all UAFX pedals don’t alter the dry guitar tone in any way. But with these vintage effects, preamp coloration of the dry signal is an important aspect of the sound. By enabling preamp coloration on Starlight Echo Station with the UAFX Control mobile app* for iOS and Android, the dry signal is colored to sound exactly like the vintage hardware’s preamp circuitry.

*UAFX Control for smartphones available Spring 2021

 

Does Starlight have stereo ping-pong delay?

Yes. The last two settings on Starlight’s Division knob are stereo ping-pong bounce delays.

 

What delay times are available with Starlight?

Starlight Echo Station’s delay time ranges vary per effect:

  • Tape EP-III: 80-700 ms
  • Analog DMM: 110-1068 ms
  • Precision: 120-1500 ms
  • Cooper Time Cube: 120-2500 ms

 

I’ve heard of the other effects, but what is Dharma 61 Trem?

Astra Modulation Machine’s Dharma 61 Trem bonus effect is a unique invention from UA’s renowned algorithm team that’s unlike anything else available. It’s a dynamic harmonic tremolo — which (in extremely simplified terms) is sort of like a combination of tremolo and phasing — that can respond according to how soft or loud you play. It can also do pitchy-warbly-swirly goodness… It sounds amazing!

 

Routing Inputs/Outputs

Are UAFX pedals true bypass or buffered/trails bypass?

Both! All UAFX pedals feature true bypass by default, and buffered bypass with trails can be enabled with the UAFX Control mobile app* for iOS and Android. Both true and buffered/trails bypass routings feature UAFX’s unique Silent Switching circuitry which provides noise-free bypass switching.

 

How do I switch between true bypass and buffered/trails bypass?

True bypass or buffered/trails bypass is set in the UAFX Control mobile app* for iOS and Android.

*UAFX Control for smartphones available Spring 2021

 

Does UAFX have analog dry-through?

Starlight Echo Machine and Golden Reverberator both feature analog dry-through when the effect is active and when bypassed, including when set for buffered/trails bypass. Astra Modulation Machine does not have analog dry-through when the effect is on because the tonal coloration of the dry signal and the summing of the dry and wet signals are crucial to get the authentic tone of the original analog effects. Astra has analog dry-through when the effect is bypassed.

 

Can UAFX do 100% wet (kill dry)?

Yes! When the mix knob on Golden Reverberator or Starlight Echo System is turned all the way up, the output is 100% wet and the analog signal is muted. However, the 100% wet level cannot be independently adjusted. With Astra, the dry signal is always mixed in.

 

What kind of cables do I need? Is UAFX I/O balanced or unbalanced? 

UAFX inputs and outputs use unbalanced connections, so we recommend using standard TS instrument cables only. Although TRS cables can be used, they offer no benefit over regular unbalanced guitar cables.

 

Do UAFX support mono-in/stereo-out wiring? What about stereo-in/stereo-out?

UAFX pedals feature true stereo processing, so the left and right inputs are processed completely independently. When used in a mono-in/stereo-out setup, the input is split before the stereo effect engine. With stereo-in/stereo-out setups, the left/right input signals remain fully discrete from inputs to outputs. Of course, mono-in/mono-out wiring can also be used.

 

Can I use UAFX with my high output pickups?

Yes! All UAFX pedals are designed to work perfectly with both passive and active pickups such as EMGs.

 

Will UAFX work with bass guitars?

Yes, why should guitar players have all the fun?! All UAFX pedals have been designed and tested to work perfectly for bass too.

 

Can I use UAFX with line-level gear?

Yes, with a couple considerations. UAFX pedals are designed to work great when plugged into the input of an amp as well as in an amp’s effect loop, but they can easily handle line-level gear such as synthesizers and audio interfaces. The pedals are voiced for instrument levels, so you may need to reduce the line out level of the gear you’re connecting into the pedals to avoid overdriving the analog emulations.

 

Can I use it to record with a USB-C cable?

No. The USB-C port on UAFX pedals is for firmware updates and registration only.

 

Do I need a USB-C port on my computer?

No. Although the USB port on the pedal uses a USB-C connector, you can connect to any type of USB port on the computer with an appropriate adapter.

 

Other UAFX Questions

What are the UAFX specifications?

Specs that are common to all three UAFX pedals are in the table below.

Power requirements
(power supply sold separately)

Isolated 9VDC, center-negative, 400mA minimum
Inputs 2 x ¼” unbalanced TS (input 2 for stereo connections)
Outputs 2 x ¼” unbalanced TS (output 2 for stereo connections)

Bypass modes
(switchable via UAFX Control mobile app*)

True bypass via mechanical relays or buffered/trails bypass
Input impedance

500 Kilohms (Mono In)
1 Megohms (Stereo In)

Output impedance 500 Ohms
Maximum input level 12.2 dBu
Maximum output level 12.1 dBu
Frequency response 20 Hz to 20 kHz, ±3 dB
USB Type-C For registration and firmware updates via computer

Dimensions
(with knobs and protrusions)

Height: 2.56 inches, 6.5 cm
Width: 3.62 inches, 9.2 cm
Depth: 5.55 inches, 14.1 cm

Weight (unboxed)

1.24 lbs
0.567 kg

Note: All specifications are subject to change without notice.

*UAFX Control for smartphones available Spring 2021

 

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