UAD Plug-Ins

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Using UADx Plug-Ins

In this article



About UADx Plug-Ins

UADx plug-ins are the audio effects and virtual instruments included with UAD Spark that run natively on your computer’s processor, in the DAW of your choice. You can use UADx and UAD-2 plug-ins (with Apollo or UAD-2 hardware) at the same time, in the same session.

You can use UADx plug-ins in any macOS or Windows DAW that supports Audio Units (AU), AAX, or VST 3 plug-in types. For a list of tested DAWs, see UADx System Requirements.

To learn how to install and activate UADx plug-ins, see the UA Connect with UAD Spark article.



UADx System Requirements

For UADx system requirements, see this article

DAW Compatibility

For UADx DAW compatibility, see this article.



Instantiating UADx Plug-Ins

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

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

Using UADx plug-ins in your DAW

UADx 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.


UADx Plug-In Common Elements

Every UADx plug-in has unique settings that are specific to the plug-in. You can access documentation and tips for each UADx plug-in by clicking the ••• in the toolbar above the plug-in’s controls. You can also choose to resize the plug-in, or all UADx plug-ins, to a size from 75% to 200% of the original size.



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. Use the IN switch to toggle the plug-in with 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.

Copy and Paste

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 (SHARC DSP) and UADx versions of a plug-in. 

Resizing UADx plug-ins

UADx 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 UADx 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 UADx plug-in 

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

The UADx 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 UADx plug-ins are resized system-wide.

To reset all UADx 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 UADx plug-ins are resized to their original size, system-wide.

Documentation link

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.


UADx 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 UADx Presets

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

Click the preset name (for example, Default) 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. 



Loading 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 load 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 UADx 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

UADx 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.


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.
  • To unfavorite a preset, hover over the preset name, and click the favorite star again. 
  • To show only favorites in your preset list, click Favorites in the Tags bar.


Editing presets

You can edit a preset you have loaded in a UADx 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 UADx 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. 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.
  2. The Delete dialog appears. Click Delete again.

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



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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