Regarding audio interfaces, you get basic entry-level and pro-grade interfaces that cost thousands of dollars. Finding super reliable interfaces for middle-of-the-road musicians cannot be very pleasant.
This is why Universal Audio tried to remedy that issue once and for all with a brand new line of audio interfaces called the Volt series.
The Volt series offers five interfaces for different production sizes and producer needs. The inputs and outputs are the most significant differences between the various models, but other more nuanced features are also included.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on Volt 476 to share our thoughts and insights. So let’s dive into what we thought about the largest and most feature-packed model in the Volt series line.
What Is The Universal Audio Volt 476
The Universal Audio Volt 476 combines UA’s decades of analog expertise with its iconic sonic palette to deliver a fast-acting USB-C audio interface that will fit perfectly into your studio for years to come. The Volt 476 has industry standard circuitry and class-leading AD/DA conversion for recording at the highest possible sound quality, enabling you to create music, recordings, podcasts, and more that sound damn incredible.
This audio interface has two mic preamps with switchable 610-style analog sound, two additional line inputs, and convenient input metering. The built-in 1176-derived FET compressor is one of my favorite features on this unit, with three push-button application modes to achieve a warm and compressed sound at an incredibly affordable price.
This mixer also has six analog outputs and a headphones output for easy monitoring, as well as direct monitoring for zero-latency operation (which was a damn lifesaver if you ask me). You can also connect MIDI devices to this mixer for use with synths and controllers. This mixer has a rugged, retro-inspired industrial design with the sound to match and comes with a cutting-edge native software bundle that offers free hundreds of dollars of value).
Volt 476P is available for $469. Find out more about the whole Volt range right here
Who Is The UA Volt 476 Made For?
Out of the entire line of Volts, this one offers the most inputs, which makes it the best option for more extensive operations. If you’re recording your whole band, producing a podcast in the studio with multiple guests, and don’t like plugging and replugging in cables on your wall of synths (like me), this is the best audio interface for you.
That being said, even if you have a small production size or are just using this interface to record a guitar or a vocal, the price point of the entire line of Volt interfaces is so approachable that you might want to snag this unit just to save yourself the hassle of cable patching!
What I Liked About The Volt 476
I love the Volt 476 for its retro 70s Quadraphonic Stereo Gear look.
This audio interface is spot on with so much of what it’s doing. Its form and function all in one fell swoop. Simple things like lighted buttons that aren’t cheap or flimsy (though their placement is problematic; I’ll chat about that in a second).
I also really love the metering lights and color scheme there. Overall, it just looks sleek and cool. And while I know that isn’t everything in a piece of hardware, it certainly is a significant component if you ask me.
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The vintage compression buttons also are an incredible touch. I don’t have the budget or the space in my humble studio to have walls of outboard processors, and being able to tap into the warm and edgy dynamics controllers on such a small and compact audio interface is damn awesome. And the ability to attenuate the compression and coloration even further depending on whether you’re recording vocals, guitar, or other instruments is a fantastic bonus.
This audio interface is just as good as any other in its price range, if not better. I can see why some people may not like the four input-output button options on the top, but I think they make total sense and fit the straightforward layout of the design and flow of this splendid interface.
The preamplifiers are excellent. The ability to use non-DSP versions of plugins that sound identical to the UAD DSP versions is also a great benefit. UAD bundles some amazing plugins with the Volt and other helpful software plugins.
What I Didn’t Like About The Voly 476
Overall I love this product and would recommend it to any producer or podcaster friends. But I do have one substantial gripe.
The phantom power button is RIGHT on the front and super easy to hit accidentally, which most certainly can fry your gear! This has the potential to be severely problematic. It has no business being that easy to hit. For beginners or gigging artists, this worries me a little bit. With the amount of surface area on the unit overall that is going unused, there certainly is room for a more strategic place to put the button, but they opted for it to be in a straightforward place to nudge on accident.
Specs on The Voly 476
Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
I/O: 4 x 4
Number of Preamps: 2 x mic
Phantom Power: Yes
A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/instrument), 2 x 1/4″ (line)Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ (monitor L/R), 4 x 1/4″ (line)
Headphones:1 x 1/4″MIDI
USB: 1 x USB-C