Universal Audio's Free Luna DAW Has Landed

Owners of Apollo or Arrow Thunderbolt interfaces are in for a treat today, as Universal Audio releases its anticipated new Luna recording system for free to all existing and new interface owners.

Luna is a DAW that works in much the same way Pro Tools does—but because it makes use of the processors inside Universal Audio's best-in-class audio interfaces, it promises near-zero latency throughout the recording process.

First showcased at NAMM 2020, and in later online videos, Luna lets you load a full signal chain's worth of UAD plugins—say, a 610 preamp, an LA-2A compressor, a plate reverb, and some more creative effects—while tracking, letting you hear the fullness of your mix from the very beginning without worrying about timing issues. (You can decide to record your plugins alongside your performance while tracking, tweak plugin settings afterward, or merely use the plugins for guidance without recording them.)

Luna-Ready Interfaces

From that powerful start, Luna offers much more: the Neve-powered summing that UA says gives "instant classic console sound," integrated multitrack tape emulations for "warmth and punch on demand," and—for the first time ever—UAD's own virtual instruments and soft-synths.

Universal Audio has long been renowned for its digital emulations of classic recording gear—working closely with companies like Neve, Pultec, Manley, Solid State Logic, and many more to create honest digital replications of analog classics. With Luna, the company is beginning to do the same with instruments, partnering with Moog to create a Minimoog soft-synth and offering a Steinway-based Ravel Grand Piano. According to UA, there are many more in the works.

Shop Thunderbolt Apollo and Arrow interfaces on Reverb now. Note: Luna will only work on Mac computers. If you're a registered UA hardware owner, you can download Luna now here.

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