Henning Pauly has just published an in-depth look at Universal Audio’s OX amp top box. It’s a much-anticipated reactive load box, attenuator, and digital speaker simulator all in one.
If you’ve not come across Henning before, he’s been doing great YouTube gear demos for years. He’s a professional musician and producer, running his own recording studio over in Germany. Anyone who makes living from running a recording studio is worth learning from – they have to know what they’re on about to stay in business.
A long video, so you might want to make a drink before you settle down to watch this one.
Personally, I’m reluctant to sink money into digital gear, as a rule. Digital gear isn’t cheap, and you’re unlikely to still be using it five years down the road. If you put the same money into analogue gear, that gear can last you 20+ years. And it often sounds better.
Universal Audio though is one exception to my rule. The Apollo gear isn’t cheap, sure, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the gear that the Apollo system models. Much of that gear is unobtainium to us home tone folks … and where would we put it even if we could get our hands on it?
The OX is an option for anyone looking to record real amps silently at home. You plug your amp’s speaker out into the OX, and take a line from your OX into your recording interface. No need for a real speaker, or the hassle of mic’ing up your cab.
You’re limited to the models that Universal Audio provides; this thing won’t run your favourite impulse responses. Henning covers that in his video. I imagine that UAD will make more models available in the future, if the OX sells well enough.
It sounds fantastic in every demo I’ve watched so far. And price wise, it seems very competitive with its main competitor, the Two Notes Torpedo Studio.
At the moment, I’ve gone down the Two Notes Captor route. I’ve built up a collection of impulse responses over the last 4 years, and they’re more than good enough for what I do. (I’ve also picked up a Kemper. More about that soon!)
But I will be keeping an eye on the OX. I really want to move more of the signal chain off the computer, and reduce the amount of work it has to do when I’m recording … and the OX would be a great way to do that.
Please head over to YouTube and leave a comment if you liked Henning’s video.