Many companies give away free plugins in honor of the holiday season, but Universal Audio is stepping it up a notch by offering a free audio interface with a yearly subscription to its Spark plugin platform. These interfaces usually cost $170, making this a great deal for beginners. The Spark subscriptions are also on sale for the holidays, at $150 instead of $240. This price point is quite common, and for $150, you get access to every available plugin on the service for a year, plus the Volt 2.
The Spark platform provides access to a range of plugins, from iconic compressors like the 1176 to virtual instruments like the company’s Minimoog reproduction. As for the Volt 2 audio interface, it features a pair of TRS / XLR inputs, gain control knobs, a phantom power button for condenser mics, and a Vintage Mode for a simple tube preamp emulation. These interfaces are powered via USB-C and come with a 5V jack for use with mobile devices.
In our official review, we praised the Volt 2 for its low noise floor, simple controls, and low latency, particularly when compared to rival Windows-based products. The biggest con was the price, which is normally the case for UAD products. Now that the interface is being offered for free with the promotion, that concern has been rendered moot.
This isn’t the first time that UAD has taken advantage of the holiday season to give away free hardware. The company has previously offered free Satellite DSP accelerators with the purchase of higher-priced hardware items.
For the latest tech deals and buying advice, follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter.