When it comes to audio interfaces, you get basic entry-level and professional-grade interfaces that cost thousands of dollars. Finding super-reliable interfaces for intermediate musicians can’t be very pleasant.
That’s why Universal Audio has attempted to remedy this problem once and for all with an all-new line of audio interfaces called the Volt Series.
The Volt Series offers five interfaces for different production sizes and grower needs. Inputs and outputs are the biggest differences between the different models, but other more nuanced features are also included.
We had the chance to get our hands on the Volt 476 to share our thoughts and ideas. So let’s dive into what we thought of the biggest and most feature-rich model in the Volt line.
What is the Universal Audio Volt 476
The Universal Audio Volt 476 combines UA’s decades of analog expertise with its signature sonic palette to deliver a fast-acting USB-C audio interface that’ll fit right into your studio for years to come. The Volt 476 features industry-standard circuitry and state-of-the-art AD/DA conversion for recording with the highest possible sound quality, allowing you to create music, recordings, podcasts and more.
This audio interface features two mic preamps with switchable 610-style analog sound, two additional line inputs, and convenient input metering. The onboard 1176-derived FET compressor is one of my favorite features on this unit, with three push-button application modes for warm, compressed sound at an incredibly affordable price.
This mixer also features six analog outputs and a headphone output for easy monitoring, as well as direct monitoring for latency-free operation (which was a hell of a 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 state-of-the-art native software bundle that offers hundreds of free dollars worth).
Volt 476P is available for $469. Find out more about the entire Volt range here
Who is the UA Volt 476 for?
Of the entire Volts range, this offers the most inputs, making it the best option for larger operations. If you’re recording your whole band, producing a podcast in the studio with multiple guests, and don’t like plugging and re-plugging 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 just use this interface to record guitar or vocals, the price of the entire Volt line of interfaces is so affordable you might want to snag this unit. just to save yourself the hassle of connecting cables!
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 a lot of what it does. Its form and function at once. Simple things like lighted buttons that aren’t cheap or flimsy (although their placement is problematic; I’ll get to that in a second).
I also really like the metering lights and the color scheme. Overall it looks stylish and cool. And while I know it’s not all in one piece of hardware, it’s definitely an important component if you ask me.
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The vintage compression knobs are also an amazing 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, twitchy dynamics controllers on such a small and compact audio interface is damn awesome. And the ability to tone down the compression and coloring even further depending on whether you’re recording vocals, guitar or other instruments is a fantastic bonus.
This audio interface is as good as any other in its price range, if not better. I can see why some people might not like the four input-output button options at the top, but I think they make perfect sense and match the simple design and flow layout of this beautiful interface.
The preamps are excellent. The ability to use non-DSP versions of plugins that sound identical to UAD DSP versions is also a great advantage. UAD bundles amazing plugins with the Volt and other useful 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 have one big complaint.
The phantom power button is right on the front and super easy to hit accidentally, which can definitely fry your gear! This has the potential to be seriously problematic. It doesn’t have to be so easy to hit. For beginner artists or in concert, this worries me a little. With the amount of surface on the whole unit that is not being used, there is certainly room for a more strategic place to put the button, but they opted for it to be in a simple place to nudge in the event of an accident.
Voly 476 Specifications
Computer connectivity: USB 2.0
Number of preamps: 2 x microphone
Phantom Power: Yes
A/D resolution: 24 bit/192 kHz
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)
Headphone: 1 x 1/4″ MIDI
USB: 1x USB-C
Weight: 2.06 lbs.