The team at Universal Audio are very pleased to announce their latest UAD-2 software 9.9 update. Once again they have collaborated with Softube to bring us an updated version of the Tube-Tech CL-1B MKII Compressor but the big news for this release is the new Capitol Chambers plug-in. An exact software recreation of 4 of the legendary Capitol Studios echo chambers. If you like real reverb. This one is a must.
The Capitol Chambers Plug-In
Some of the worlds most closely guarded secrets include the alien landings at Roswell, New Mexico and who really shot JFK. But one of the most closely guarded secrets of them all, the legend of the reverb chambers at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California.
The 8 reverb chambers, designed by recording pioneer Les Paul, which were built in the early 1950’s under what is now the car park, are prized for their natural sound and dense ambience. These subterranean echo chambers are famous for their smooth response and lengthy decay times, and their tone has been imparted on thousands of hit recordings from Ray Charles to Radiohead to Frank Sinatra.
Universal Audio were granted unprecedented access to Capitol's four most popular chambers 30-feet below ground accessed from what looks like a man-hole cover. They also used historic technical diagrams from the early 60's to recreate the exact microphone, speaker and horn arrangements for chambers 2, 4, 6, and 7. New and creative mic and speaker combinations have also been devised by UA and Capitol's chief engineer, Steve Genewick. Steve very kindly gave us an exclusive insight into this very special project between Universal Audio and Capitol Studios:
“When you get down below the parking lot and go into the chambers, judging by eye alone you might think they are all the same size, but there are very subtile differences between all of them. However the main differences are the speakers that we use to drive the room and the mic placement. These days we use Shure SM80 microphones in the chambers linked to custom made mic pres that live in racks down in the chambers that were built back in the 50’s. This means we send and receive signals at line level to and from the chambers. However if you want that real 50’s vibe, choose the Altec 21D mics as the positions we used were recreated from original pictures and documentation here at Capitol. The images used in the plug-in are graphics, but they might as well have used actual photographs of the chambers, that is pretty much how it looks down there.
If you just open the plug-in and don’t adjust any of the parameters in the 4 chambers, you are going to be using them in their current working state as they are set up right now. And if you want to use the settings that Al (Schmitt) uses, then default on Chamber 4, which is also called the Al Schmitt -The One custom preset is the one to choose.
There are also some really nice little touches like when you change chamber or any of the presets the door in the plug-in image open so you know something is happening. The light on the top of the Capitol building logo also flashes. Even the colour of the plug-in is relevant. The green that is used in the plug-in is the same as the racks that are in the main studio patching room that link the patch-bays in the control rooms down to the chambers. It’s attention to detail like this that makes this plug-in really special.”
Using the same technology and techniques as the award-winning Ocean Way Studios plug-in, Capitol Chambers uses UA’s proprietary Dynamic Room Modelling technology, which is an exclusive combination of physical modelling and advanced measurement techniques, letting the user reposition the mics within the chamber for next-level ambience control.
Available now for $349 USD the Capitol Chambers plug-in is a must if you want access to this classic space for your In-The-Box mix.
Precisely modelled emulation of Capitol Studios' historic echo chambers, exclusively for UAD hardware and UA Audio Interfaces
Licensed and endorsed by Capitol Studios with mic/speaker setups curated by Capitol's Steve Genewick
Dynamic Room Modelling allows users to create new sounds by repositioning
Access the chamber's entire signal chain including amplifiers, speakers, custom preamps, and mics
Other features include adjustable Decay, Pre Delay, sweepable low-cut filter, three-band EQ, Dry/Wet mix, and Width
Exclusive Demos Of The New Capitol Chambers plug-in
Here you can hear 3 audio files of an acoustic guitar recording with reverb coming from the new Capitol Chambers plug-in…
Softube Tube-Tech CL-1B MkII Compressor
Developed by Softube, the Tube-Tech CL 1B MkII is an updated emulation of a modern classic opto compressor, fully authenticated and endorsed by Tube-Tech in Denmark. The CL-1B is a go-to vocal compressor for many major pop, R&B, and hip-hop artists including Kanye Wes, Jennifer Lopez and more. The new CL 1B MkII adds Sidechain, Low Cut and Parallel Compression controls, as well as updated hi-res graphics.
The new Tube-Tech CL-1B MKII is available now for $299 or existing Softube CL-1B MKI users can get the upgrade for just $99.
An updated emulation of a modern classic compressor, fully authenticated by Tube-Tech, Denmark
Optical tube compression with a modern sound and reimagined features
New Sidechain Low Cut and Parallel Compression controls
Updated hi-res graphics for 4K and Ultra HD screens
You can find out more about the Capitol Chambers and Tube-Tech CL-1B plug-ins and the rest of the UAD-2 plug-in range at the Universal Audio website.