Using Native UAD Plug-Ins Manual

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About Native UAD Plug-Ins

Native UAD plug-ins run on your computer’s processor. No UA hardware is required. Native UAD plug-in licenses are automatically included with any corresponding UAD-2 or LUNA plug-ins you own. UAD plug-ins can also be purchased on subscription with UAD Spark here

To learn how to install and activate native UAD plug-ins, see UA Connect with Native UAD Plug-Ins.



Native UAD Plug-In System Requirements

For native UAD plug-in system requirements, see this article.

For native UAD plug-in DAW compatibility, see this article.



Instantiating Native UAD Plug-Ins

Follow the procedures in your DAW’s documentation to load native plug-ins. 

Native plug-ins are located in a folder called Universal Audio (UADx), though your DAW may not sort plug-ins by folders.

Using native UAD plug-ins in your DAW

Native UAD plug-ins can be instantiated as mono, stereo, or multi-mono inserts. 

  • An effect plug-in processes audio and is inserted in an effects slot on a track or bus in your DAW.
  • A virtual instrument generates sound from MIDI input, and is inserted on an instrument or MIDI track in your DAW.


UAD Toolbar

The UAD Toolbar is located at the top of every UAD plug-in window. This toolbar contains convenient features that you can use with every UAD plug-in.


UAD Toolbar elements

Previous/Next Preset

Use the < > buttons to quickly select the previous or next preset in the Preset Browser without opening the browser window. 

Preset Title

The active preset title is displayed here. Click this area to open the Preset Browser. If the preset settings have been modified, the title is displayed in italics.


Use the IN button to compare plug-in processing with the original sound. To enable or disable audio processing, click IN above the plug-in’s controls. When IN is highlighted, the plug-in is enabled and processing audio. When IN is not highlighted, the plug-in is bypassed.

IN is a soft bypass, equivalent to toggling the power button in the plug-in. This allows you to bypass and re-enable the plug-in in the most glitch-free way possible. 

Note: In/bypass is not available with Opal Morphing Synthesizer, Ravel Grand Piano, or Waterfall B3 Organ.

A/B Compare

Use the A and B buttons to compare two sounds. For example, you can compare two different presets, or an edited version of a sound with its original. 

To copy sounds from one slot to the other, click the ••• options menu and choose Copy A To B (when A is active) or Copy B To A (when B is active). 


  • The A and B settings are stored in the plug-in instance, not in preset files. 
  • A/B compare is not available in LUNA.

Copy/Paste Settings

Use Copy and Paste to copy settings from the plug-in and paste them to a different instance of the same plug-in. You can use this to copy and paste settings between instances of the same plug-in in a session, or to copy and paste settings between the UAD-2 and native (UADx) versions of a plug-in. 

Note: For plug-ins with narrow header bars (for example, Lexicon 224), the Copy and Paste functions are located in the ••• menu.

Options menu


Resizing UAD plug-ins

Native UAD plug-ins are resized system-wide, per plug-in. When you resize a plug-in, that resize level is shared immediately between all instances of that plug-in, and all plug-in formats, in all DAWs on your system. The resize setting is shared between AAX, VST3, and Audio Units formats.

The menu command Apply to All allows you to immediately apply the current plug-in’s resize level to all native plug-in titles. 

When you resize a plug-in, the plug-in window, toolbar, preset browser, and help windows are all resized.

Note: Some DAWs limit the maximum window size for plug-ins at certain screen resolutions. If your DAW does not support a selected plug-in size, the previously selected size remains selected. 

To resize a UAD plug-in 

  1. Click the ••• in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls.
  2. Choose a resize level, from 75–200%.

The native UAD plug-in is resized system-wide.

To resize all UADx plug-ins

  1. Click the ••• in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls.
  2. Choose a resize level, from 75–200%.
  3. From the same menu, choose Apply to All.

All native UAD plug-ins are resized system-wide.

To reset all UAD plug-ins to the default size

  1. Click the ••• in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls.
  2. Choose the 100% option.
  3. From the same menu, choose Apply to All.

All native UAD plug-ins are resized to their original size, system-wide.

Submitting feedback

To submit feedback about a UAD plug-in, click the ••• options menu in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls, then select Submit Feedback. You can submit feature requests, bugs, or general feedback. You can include any relevant details in the feedback submission form, and automatically include your current log files and system information files. You can also attach files (for example, a screenshot).

Note: LUNA uses a separate feedback mechanism.

View the documentation

Click the ••• in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls, then select Help & Video, to access documentation and tips for the plug-in. You can then choose to open the online documentation page or a short video. The video gives quick tips on the operation of the plug-in, and the documentation page details the operation and controls of the plug-in.


UAD plug-in shortcuts

Keyboard/mouse action Result Notes



Return to control default 

Note that this doesn’t return the control to the setting for a preset, but to the default setting for the plug-in.

With Studer A800 Tape Recorder, changing the Tape Type causes the plug-in defaults for Secondary Controls to change.

Shift + Drag Fine control  
Hover + Mousewheel Adjust control  




Using UAD Plug-In Presets

UAD plug-ins include a preset browser that provides deep and comprehensive ways to work with presets. 

Click the preset name (for example, Default) in the UAD Toolbar to open the preset browser. When the preset browser is open, the search bar takes keyboard focus so you can find presets and tags. With virtual instruments, some DAW keyboard controls and commands still function when the preset browser is open.

To close the preset browser, press the Esc key. 



Using a preset

Click a preset to load it. 

Navigating presets

Press the up and down arrow keys to navigate through, and load, presets. 

Searching for a preset

To search for a preset by name or tag, type in the search bar. The list of presets is filtered as you type. Press Enter to use the first preset in the list, or navigate up/down with the arrow keys, then press Enter.


Using Tags to find a preset by characteristics

The Tags feature allows you to find presets based on descriptive terms, genres, and other categories. 

  • To show the list of tags, click TAGS.
  • To close the list of tags, click TAGS again.
  • To filter the list of presets by a tag, click the tag. Click one or more tags to narrow the list of plug-in presets. Each tag you add narrows the list of results further, and also reduces the list of tags.
  • To remove a tag, click one of the selected tags.
  • To stop filtering by tags, click the X next to TAGS.


Note: You cannot add new tags, or add existing tags to plug-in presets.


Tag categories

UAD plug-ins include preset tag categories. Categories run across the top of the tags list, and allow you to view a subset of tags. 

As an example, Opal Morphing Synthesizer includes the tag categories Genre, Type, and Description, as well as a category for all tags. 


Click a category to see tags for that category. Click All to see all tags.

You can sort tag categories by category name, or by the number of presets in the category, from most to least, and you can show the number of presets in each tag category.

To sort tag categories:

  1. Right-click or control-click on TAGS.
  2. Under Sort Tags By, choose Name or Number of Presets.
  3. To show the number of presets in each tag category, under Show, select Number of Presets. Deselect Number of presets to stop showing the number of presets in each category.


Setting a default preset

You can set a default preset that will load automatically when you instantiate a native UAD plug-in.


  • To set a default preset, right-click the preset name and choose Set as Default Preset. The current default preset includes [DEFAULT] after the preset name. 
  • To clear the default preset, right-click the preset name and choose Clear Default Preset.

Tip: Refer to LUNA documentation to set a default preset in LUNA. 

Favoriting presets

You can favorite presets, and filter the list of presets by your favorites.


  • To favorite a preset, hover over the preset name, and click the star to the right of the preset name, or right-click the preset name and choose Favorite.
  • To unfavorite a preset, hover over the preset name, and click the favorite star again, or right-click the preset name and choose Unfavorite. 
  • To show only favorites in your preset list, click Favorites in the Tags bar.


Working with User Presets

You cannot edit, delete, or move factory presets. However, you can edit a factory preset and save it as a user preset. You can organize user presets into folders, import user presets, and locate and share user presets from your system. Preset files can be shared between macOS and Windows operating systems. When you load a preset into the system, it is automatically added to the user preset list in the plug-in preset manager.

Editing presets

You can edit a preset you have loaded in a UAD plug-in, and save that preset with the Preset browser. 

You can also delete and rename presets that you have created. If you save changes to a factory preset, the preset is saved as a user preset with the same name. Factory presets cannot be edited. 

To save a UAD plug-in preset:

  1. Select a preset.
  2. Make changes to the plug-in as required. The preset name changes to italic text to indicate that it has been edited.
    Note: Reopen the preset browser if it closes after adjusting settings in the plug-in window. 
  3. Click Save. The Save dialog opens.
  4. Click Save to save the changes to the existing preset, or type a name for the preset to save with a new name, then click Save. 

If you save a preset that is based on a factory preset, the preset is saved in the User Presets list. You cannot overwrite factory presets.

To rename a preset:

  1. Select a preset from the User Presets list, and click Rename, or right-click on the user preset and choose Rename. The rename dialog opens.
  2. Type a new name for the preset and click Rename. 

The preset is renamed. Factory presets cannot be renamed. 

To delete a preset:

  1. Select a preset from the User Presets list, and click Delete, or right-click on the user preset and choose Delete.
  2. The Delete dialog appears. Click Delete again.

The preset is deleted from the User Presets list. Factory presets cannot be deleted.

Sharing user presets between systems

UADx plug-ins make it easy to find and share user presets. You can locate a user preset on the file system, and easily import a preset from another system or another user into your plug-in presets. You can use this feature to share presets with another user or between machines. 

Note: Locating and importing user presets is currently not supported in LUNA. 

To locate a user preset:

  • Right-click on the user preset and choose "Show in Finder" (Mac) or "Show in Explorer" (Windows). A window opens with the preset selected. UAD plug-in presets can be freely shared between macOS and Windows systems.

To import (load) a preset:

  1. Click the ••• in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls, then select Load a Preset...
  2. Select the preset on your file system, and click Open.

The preset is imported and opened in the plug-in, and automatically stored in the user presets location on your system.

Organizing user presets

You can organize user presets into folders. 

Note: You must have created one or more user presets to create a preset folder. 


To create a user preset folder:

  1. Right-click on a user preset or on the user presets folder, and choose New Folder.
  2. Type a name for the folder, and click New Folder.

You can save presets from within folders, or organize the presets into the folders on your computer operating system's file system, and they will appear with the folder organization within the plug-in.

Note: Creating preset folders is currently not supported in LUNA. 



Native UADx Plug-In Install Locations



  • ~/Documents/Universal Audio/Presets/Plug-Ins/


  • AAX Plug-ins : /Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins/
  • Audio Units Plug-ins:  /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/
  • VST 3 Plug-ins: /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/



  • C:\Documents\Universal Audio\Presets\Plug-Ins\


  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3

Note: Locations above assume C:\ is your system drive.

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