U73b v2 by Audified
Review by Lora Dimitrova
Audified’s U73b is an emulation of a vintage Telefunken tube compressor/limiter that was widely used for mastering records in Europe from 1960 up to 1980 when it was discontinued. The first version of the plug-in was released to largely rave reviews last year and today Audio Dexterous is taking a look at some of the new features of version 2.
If you’ve used version 1 before, you will notice straight away that the plug-in has undergone a major visual makeover. Although its predecessor’s worn-out look had its own aesthetic merit, the new U73b is noticeably slicker and the controls don’t look as crammed in the new, wider panel. While the original German language certainly contributes to the control panel’s authenticity, it was a smart decision to add the English language option for user convenience.
The settings bar at the top is colour-coded and can match the colour of the track or bus the plug-in has been loaded on, or can be otherwise customized through the Services menu. Seemingly superficial, this new feature comes in handy when going through a track-heavy project with multiple U73b occurrences.
The original vintage device had a built-in high pass filter at 100Hz that is reflected in the HPF button (top left). Audified have thought of a workaround and, like in the first version of the plug-in, the filter can be turned off when needed.
To the right of the HPF are the Input and Output settings (mirroring the Input and Output controls below), as well as the Key Input setting which determines how the compressor is triggered. A great new addition to the Key Input is the External Sidechain option that lets you set a different audio source as the trigger.
In the settings bar, you will also find some presets, as well as the option to store and load your own customized ones. To the far right is the Services menu, which holds yet another new feature – Oversampling. It will help the U73b shine in its entire sonic glory, but will draw too much CPU power, so turning it on would only be recommended directly before mixdown.
Over at the Input and Output controls you will see the new Auto switch, which, when turned on, links the two together - as you turn the Input knob the Output one adjusts itself accordingly, and you can still tweak the Output level on its own if desired.
All of these new extras have vastly increased the plug-in’s functionality, inviting you to explore the full potential of what was already a compressor with quite a unique colouring. With names like Dave Pensado and Bjorn Thorsrud singing its praises, the U73b is a valuable and easily affordable addition to any mixing toolkit.
Written by Lora Dimitrova
Lora is an experienced singer-songwriter, who combines two of her greatest passions in composing music for games.