In this article
- About UA Connect, UAD Spark, and UADx Plug-Ins
- Setting up UAD Spark and UA Connect
- Getting UADx Plug-Ins
- Managing UADx Plug-Ins
About UA Connect, UAD Spark, and UADx Plug-Ins
UA Connect – Your one-stop software management app for UADx plug-ins, software registration, and other features. UA Connect also manages registration, updates, and software redemption for Volt interfaces. Future updates for UA Connect are made available to you automatically. Open UA Connect at any time for the latest updates.
UAD Spark – Your UADx plug-in subscription. Start your UAD Spark subscription at spark.uaudio.com.
UADx Plug-Ins – The audio effects and virtual instruments included with UAD Spark that run natively on your computer’s processor, in the DAW of your choice. No additional DSP hardware is required. UADx plug-ins are available on subscription with UAD Spark, and perpetually for any corresponding UAD-2 or LUNA plug-ins you own.
Tip: If you have already set up and installed your UADx plug-ins, see Using UADx Plug-Ins to learn how to use them in your DAW.
What you can do with UA Connect
- Activate your UADx plug-ins.
- Download and install the latest versions of UADx plug-ins to your computer for use in your macOS DAW. UADx plug-ins are installed in AAX, Audio Units, and VST 3 formats.
- Remove plug-ins, and move instrument content.
- Link an iLok User ID to your UA account (if one is not already linked) and switch between iLok Cloud and iLok USB.
Note: UADx plug-ins are currently available for macOS only.
Setting up UAD Spark and UA Connect
Before you download UA Connect, start your UAD Spark subscription at spark.uaudio.com. UA Connect presents you with the option to visit spark.uaudio.com to start your subscription if you haven’t already.
Follow these steps on the UAD Spark website to get started with your UAD Spark subscription and to download and install UADx plug-ins.
Note: Each of these three steps are explained in greater detail in this section.
- Start your UAD Spark subscription at spark.uaudio.com.
- After you start your UAD Spark subscription, you will receive an email with the link to download and install UA Connect.
- In UA Connect, install UADx plug-ins.
If you already have a subscription, click here to use UA Connect.
Start your UAD Spark subscription
The UAD Spark website allows you to start and manage your subscription to UADx plug-ins.
- Start your UAD Spark subscription at spark.uaudio.com.
- Follow the instructions in your web browser to set up your subscription.
Note: UAD Spark subscription plug-ins are currently available only for macOS.
Downloading and installing UA Connect
- After you complete your UAD Spark subscription setup, you’ll receive an email that contains your link to download UA Connect.
- After you download UA Connect, double-click the DiskImage (.dmg) file.
- When the disk image window appears, drag the UA Connect icon to the Applications folder.
Starting UA Connect
UA Connect runs in the background after you launch the app, so it can activate your audio effects and instruments when required. When you instantiate a UAD Spark plug-in, UA Connect starts and runs in the background. UA Connect also starts in the background when you open LUNA Recording System.
UA Connect updates automatically when a new version is available.
To open UA Connect for the first time:
- Open the Applications folder and double-click the UA Connect icon, or
- Open Launchpad from the macOS Dock, then click the UA Connect icon.
To open UA Connect from the macOS menu bar:
- Click the UA icon on the macOS menu bar.
- From the menu, choose Open UA Connect.
Log in or create your UA account
Tip: To learn more about UA accounts, visit the UA account support article.
You need to log in to UA Connect before you can download, install, or manage UAD Spark plug-ins.
- If you already have a UA account, type your email address and password, and click Log In.
- If you don’t have a UA account yet, click Create An Account. Enter your information, then click Create Account.
Create or link your iLok account
Your UAD Spark subscription requires an iLok account (an iLok User ID) to manage software licenses for UADx plug-ins. If you have an iLok account, you can link it in this step. If you do not have an iLok account, a free account is created for you in this step.
- By default, UA Connect authorizes your software using the iLok Cloud service. iLok Cloud does not require a USB iLok device, but does require a constant internet connection. If you do not have a constant connection, or want to store your licenses on an iLok USB for another reason, you can move your licenses to an iLok USB. See Managing the iLok license location for details.
- If you have an iLok USB connected when you link your account, UA Connect prompts you to choose the license location. You can license your UAD Spark plug-ins with iLok Cloud or to an iLok USB.
When the Let’s Get Started screen appears:
- If the system does not recognize that you have an iLok account, you are prompted to create a new iLok account using your email address as the iLok User ID. Click Create iLok Account, and the iLok account is created for you. The login from your UA account is used to set up your iLok account.
Note: This iLok account is created without a password. If you need to log in to your iLok account in the future, go to ilok.com, click Sign In, and click the Forgot your User ID or password link.
- If you have an iLok account, but it is not linked to your UA account, click Link to different iLok User ID, then enter your iLok User ID.
- If you use LUNA, you already have an iLok User ID that is linked to your UA account. On the screen that prompts you to link your iLok account, your iLok User ID should already be populated. Click the Link Account button.
Managing the iLok license location
You can set UA Connect to use iLok Cloud or an iLok USB as the default location for UAD Spark plug-in licenses.
Note: This setting does not move existing licenses between locations. To change the location of an already-installed license, use the iLok License Manager application.
To set your iLok license location:
- In UA Connect, click Settings.
- Under License Location, click Manage.
- Choose the license location and click Select. You can choose iLok Cloud or any connected iLok USB.
Getting UADx Plug-Ins
After you have linked or created your iLok account, UA Connect opens.
Depending on whether you have an active UAD Spark subscription, you will see one of the following screens:
- Get Started – You already have a UAD Spark subscription linked to your UA account.
- Learn More/Redeem my Plug-Ins – Your UA account is not yet linked to a UAD Spark subscription.
Each of these two scenarios is explained separately below.
If your UA account is linked to a UAD Spark license
If you have a UAD Spark license activated for your iLok User ID, click Get Started. UADx plug-ins appear in this area, and begin downloading automatically.
Note: Ravel Grand Piano does not download automatically because it has specific storage requirements. Click Download next to Ravel Grand Piano, or Download All at the top of the screen, to download Ravel. See Installing sample-based UADx instrument content for more information.
Activating UADx plug-ins
Your UAD Spark subscription activates your licenses in iLok Cloud automatically. If your licenses are not yet activated (for example, with a trial subscription), click on any Activate License button to activate all UADx plug-ins.
If your UA account is not linked to a UAD Spark license
- If you have not yet licensed UADx plug-ins, and you want to activate a UAD Spark subscription, click Learn More, then follow the instructions in your web browser.
- If you are a UAD-2 or LUNA user and you want to redeem the UADx versions of your plug-ins and instruments, click Redeem My Plug-Ins, then follow the instructions in your web browser. You can download and use available UADx versions of all UAD-2 plug-ins and and UAD instruments that you own.
Installing UADx plug-ins
If a UADx plug-in doesn't download automatically, click the Download button to install it.
Note: Ravel Grand Piano does not download automatically because it has specific storage requirements. Click Download next to Ravel, or Download All at the top of the screen, to download Ravel. See Installing sample-based UADx instrument content for more information.
Tip: Click the Download All button to download and install all plug-ins.
Installing sample-based UADx instrument content
When you start the download of a sample-based instrument that requires significant storage, such as Ravel Grand Piano, UA Connect prompts you with the storage requirements for the sample library. Choose the solid state (non-rotational) drive on which you want to install the sample library, then click Install.
Ravel Grand Piano sample content must be installed on a drive that meets the following requirements:
- SSD drive with 10 GB available storage
- SSD drive must be formatted as APFS (Apple File System)
- External SSD must be inside a USB 3.0, USB 3.1, PCIe, or Thunderbolt enclosure
- Spinning hard drives and macOS Fusion drives are unsupported.
- SSD drives formatted as ExFAT, FAT, and Mac OS Extended are unsupported.
To scan for drives after you add or remove a hard drive, click Rescan Drives.
Managing UADx Plug-Ins
After you download and license your plug-ins, they appear in UA Connect with the Installed status. The license status and days remaining for your subscription are also displayed.
Updating a UADx plug-in
When a newer UADx plug-in is available, the Update button appears next to the plug-in. Click Update to install the latest version of the plug-in. Click Update All to update all plug-ins.
Removing a UADx plug-in
- To remove any UADx plug-in, click the ••• menu to the right of the plug-in, and choose Uninstall.
- The confirmation dialog appears. Click Remove to delete the plug-in.
Note: You can reinstall the plug-in at any time from within UA Connect, by clicking its Download button.
Installing sample content
For Opal Morphing Synthesizer, Ravel Grand Piano, and Waterfall B3 Organ, you can change the default storage location for the sample content (but not the plug-in). Because Ravel Grand Piano has large storage requirements, you can move its installed sample content to a different SSD drive.
Changing the default content location
- In UA Connect, Click Settings.
- Under Instrument Content Location, click Change.
- In the Choose Content Drive window, choose the storage drive for the sample content and click Apply.
To rescan your drives, if you have connected or removed a drive since you opened this window, click Rescan Drives.
Note: If you have already installed Opal Morphing Synthesizer, Ravel Grand Piano, or Waterfall B3 Organ, the sample content is not moved. See Moving sample content to a different drive, following, to move content that is already installed.
Moving sample content to a different drive
- To move the sample content of an installed sample-based UADx instrument to a different drive, click the ••• menu to the right of the plug-in, and choose Move Content...
- The Move Sample Content dialog appears.
- Choose a different drive for the sample-based UADx instrument, and click OK.
The plug-in sample content is moved to the new location.
Click Refresh at the upper right of the UA Connect screen to refresh the list of plug-ins, licenses, and available updates.