Universal Audio offer a number of discounts and coupons each month. Within this article we will give you a few helpful tips on how to get the most out of your Universal Audio account. At Audio Animals we have owned and used UAD plugins for well over 12 years since the first UAD-1 pcie card was released. Over this period of time we have learnt all the tricks and tips related to UAD and were here to share our knowledge with you.
First and foremost you will need a UAD account. Without having a unit of hardware registered to your UAD account you will not be able to create one. The reason for this is to stop you gaining coupons and collecting plugin licenses for free or cheap without the intention of using them.
Coupon Code Tricks
Almost every month UAD will issue you with a coupon code in your account. This is designed to entice you to buy products and it works. Below I have listed a few helpful tips and tricks that will hopefully help you gain the most from your coupons.
Never buy more than one plugin at a time. The reason for this is every time you buy a plugin more often than not you are issued with a coupon code for £20 in your account almost instantly. If you buy one plugin using a coupon, then wait till the next coupon comes in you'll save twice.
Check your account weekly or monthly. Each month could be during the month or at the beginning of the month you will receive a coupon. Not guaranteed but 9 times out of 10 you will.
Buying hardware that comes with free plugins. If you buy a unit of hardware inside one of the deal periods you can get up to 4 plugins free with it as part of the deal. For instance at the moment is a deal where if you buy an octo satelite box you get a free Api vision channel strip, UA-610 pre, SSL channel strip and Neve 1073 pre. If however you already own any of these plugins you will receive a coupon for that amount. Recently this has changed to you being able to select a certain amount of plugins from a list that equal the value of what the coupon would have been. It is often better off to have the plugins so that you gain your money back you paid for the hardware in coupon codes to spend on what you want.
Leave a product in your basket. This is something I do on all sites not just UAD. It may not work but it's worth doing just in case. By leaving a product in the basket you could be issued with a coupon as a way of enticing you to check out. This does work with Plugin Boutique most times.
Sign up to the mailing list. Coupon codes are sometimes sent out in the news letters. Often you will have to do something for them such as a quick 5 minute survey about UAD products to receive them but it's usually a £20 coupon for 5 minutes data entry.
Check the expiration date. This is an important one. Using the table below you can cross refference your expiration date with the sale start date. You may be issued a coupon code in January while there are no sale items, that expires on the 14th of February and be able to save the coupon til the next sale period.
Special dates for coupons. If there is a special date in the American calendar, you can bet your life there will be a coupon for it. Such days include labor day, thanksgiving, black Friday, presidents day and so on. These coupon codes will be anything from £20-£40. So if you have a day off work for a holiday chances are there is a coupon in your account.
Free coupon code when registering new hardware. If you have bought a brand new interface or DSP expansion you will more often than not receive a coupon code for up to £100. This is designed to entice you to get started on your UAD plugin collection.
Plugin Licensing Tricks
Believe it or not there is actually a way to own every UAD plugin from the minute you buy a UAD card or interface. It's really quite simple to do and totally within your right to do so. Follow the step by step instructions below. But bare in mind this will cost you to do but will be over a long period of time. I personally did this for the past 8 years to the point of owning every license.
Step 1 - Buy a UAD interface or card and register it with your account.
Step 2 - Upon downloading the UAD software you will receive a 14 day trial on all products. Activate your 14 day trial on all plugins.
Step 3 - Use all your plugins for 14 days. Once the trial period has ended buy another plugin.
Step 4 - Authorise your new plugin to reset your 14 day trial.
Step 5 - Continue this process till a new software version is released. At this point wait till your new trial ends and install the new update. This will reset the free trial again on all plugins. I have had this not reset the trial on a couple of occasions so is not guaranteed.
If you are smart about it and buy plugins in the sales using coupons you save up you will spend around £19 a plugin. Some you will even get for free, some maybe a bit more. But you will have every plugin until you have them all. Keep an eye on the month and what sale is approaching. For instance don't buy a mastering plugin until mastering month and don't buy a tape plugin until tape month. If you buy them outside of this month chances are you'll end up with all the tape plugins and not be able to purchase a sale item in tape month. When purchasing plugins in this manner be sure to purchase by date, oldest first. By doing so will mean you do not reach the most recent plugins for a long time and will always be able to get plugins in the sale.
Doubles folders. If for some reason you end up with two of the licenses your second license will go into a doubles folder. What's the point of a doubles folder you may ask. Well if you ever go to upgrade your interface from lets say a duo to a quad you will be able to sell it more with a few extra plugins.
Plugin Sales Tricks
During the sale a number of products will be on sale. The tips below will generally coincide with all sales UAD have to offer. If you are smart about it you can read UAD like a book.
New plugins are never on sale. In the general sales all newer products are usually exempt and not included. So you can never get the newer plugins cheap. There is a way around this however. In the months of April, May and December UAD should do a sale where you can build a custom bundle of 3 plugins for £299, 6 plugins for £529 and 10 plugins for £749.
Wait at least 4 months for new plugins to go on sale. Outside of the months of April, May and December you will not be able to get new plugins cheap. You will need to wait at least 4 months or until the new update comes out. If you wait the new plugins will eventually be included in the sale.
Sales often last a couple of days extra. If you miss the sale and remember on the 1st you were meant to get a plugin in last months sale. Be sure to check to see if the sale is still on. I've known sales to overrun by 3 days in the past. This does not apply to coupons, they generally expire on the day.
Double plugins from purchasing bundles. There are a few plugins that are listed in bundles in the UAD store. These include the Manley bundle, tape bundle, SSL bundle, Classic Fx bundle, classics bundle, guitar amps bundles and reverb bundles. Even if you have one of the plugins in this bundle you can still purchase it and in many sales you will find you can purchase the bundle for the same price as a single plugin in that bundle. If you do, any doubles you have go into a doubles folder of licenses. No harm in having extra licenses. If you ever sell or upgrade a UAD unit of hardware you can sell the doubles licenses with it and get more money for it.
Every few month UAD will have hardware deals listed with all authorised dealers. It doesn't really matter where you get your hardware from as long as it is new and is unregistered to a UAD account. Don't be fooled by the dealers offering you free plugins as this is not issued by them, this is issued by UAD and all shops that sell UAD hardware issue the same deal. Check the website by clicking the button below for the current deal UAD are offering.
Always check the website for the current deal. UAD list all the deals and expiration periods on their home page. There is almost always a deal on but is it the right deal for you.
Plan your hardware purchase to coincide with a plugin sale. See the table below for what deals you can expect. Usually if you receive a coupon for your purchase you have a couple of months to use it.
Buy Cards From Ebay. But be warned you can only buy and sell up to 5 cards or interfaces or UAD will cotton on and stop you from registering and selling on cards. If you contact UAD and explain the situation you can get them to reset your UAD limit and issue you with another transfer. You can buy cards and interfaces from ebay that include the users plugin licenses. This is a very cheap way of purchasing licenses. You can often pick up about 16 licenses on a card for an additional cost of about £450.
Buy a cheap PCIe solo card. If you plan to invest in UAD but can't right now, you can usually pick up a cheap solo PCIe card for around £160 and register it to your account. By doing so you now have access to the coupons and can start building your plugin licenses up slowly for as little as £9 a plugin or even free.
UAD custom bundles. The custom bundles are good and if you can get a custom bundle cheap they work out really good. You can pick 3 of the plugins to licenses free. I would recommend getting 3 of the most expensive plugins you have not got.
Register you hardware at the right time. Just because you bought it doesn't mean you have to register it straight away. I believe a lot of the hardware can be used standalone without registering the hardware. So why would you do this. You may have bought the hardware outside of the deal period and want to register it whilst in a deal period gaining lots of plugins for free.
Get a free Helios EQ. When you register your new hardware I have known on a few occasions you get a coupon code for a free Helios EQ. This is not guaranteed but you may be pleasantly surprised when registering your new hardware.
Plugin Sale Periods
Please note that this table is subject to change. This table is how sales panned out in 2016 / 2017. 2018 seems to be quite different so bare this in mind and don't go by this table 100%. The half year sale and end of year sale are always in the same month and are as described.
|January||£40 Coupon||1st / 31st|
|February||Mastering||1st / 29th|
|March||Top 20||1st / 31st|
|April||Custom Bundle||1st / 30th|
|May||Pick Any 2/3/6||1st / 31st|
|June||Half Year||1st / 30th|
|July||£40 Coupon||1st / 31st|
|September||40% Off 40 Plugins||12th / 16th|
|October||Unison||1st / 31st|
|November||12 Days Of Christmas||20th / 30th|
|December||End Of Year||1st / 31st|
January - After the big winter sale in December has finished you will be given a £40 coupon code in your account. This is only good if you are going to purchase something that wasn't in the sale. more often than not using the coupon code in January will not reduce the price of the plugin down to the price it was in the winter sale.
February - Mastering month includes a sale on all products in the mastering category. This includes everything from compressors to EQ's. A great month for us mastering engineers. Can sometimes include newer products.
March - The top 20 sale includes the 20 most popular plugins UAD have to offer. This will be based on sales figures for the previous period. Not 100% sure how accurate they are in terms of sales stats but you will certainly find a great deal of plugins that you will want and need.
April - Custom bundle sale period is a great one. You will essential get any plugin no matter the cost for £99. Obviously don't buy the cheaper plugins, go for the expensive ones to make the most of the discount. This is the period in which you should buy the newer plugins that have just released in the update as these will not be on sale in the near future. Pick any 3 plugins for £299, any 6 plugins for £529 and any 10 plugins for £749.
May - Pick any 2/3/6 is another great month. You can pick any 2, 3 or 6 plugins to create your own custom bundle. You can get a really good deal here. Just remember the big sale is next month so may be worth waiting, you need to do the math. Again look at buying the newer plugins that will not be in the sale next month.
June - Half year sale. This is essentially the same as the winter sale but in a summer sale. All plugins except the newer plugins will be on sale at up to 60% off. With the aid of coupons you can pick up plugins for as little as £9.
July - Again after the big sale you will receive a £40 coupon.
August - Tape month is a sale on all tape related products. This includes real to real tape machine emulations as well as some tape delays.
September - This is subject to change year by year, but 40% off 40 plugins is a sale on 40 selected plugins each with 40% off them.
October - Unison month is a sale for all unison enabled plugins. This includes most channel strips and the Korg delay. The deals generally match what they were sold for in the summer and winter sales.
November - Don't be fooled by this one. It's a great set of deals that get released once a day. Like opening an advent calendar. But what many people don't realise is that this is the price the plugins will be in the December month. It's just a marketing hype for Black Friday and thanks giving. Only time you want to get sucked into this is if you have coupons that need to be used up before September. Wait till December the deals will all still be there just more of them. The 12th day is always the opening of the winter sale.
December - The end of year sale. The best sale if you ask me. This is the time to pick up the best savings. All products excluding newer products will be on sale. Essentially it is exactly the same as the half year sale.
Hardware Sale Periods
|January / March||Free Plugins With PCIe / Satellite|
|April / June||Free Plugins With Apollo Rackmount Interface|
|July / September||Free Plugins With Apollo Duo|
|October / December||Free PCIe or Satellite With Any Rack Mount interface|
January / March - If you are want to expand your DSP power this is the time to do it. You can register a UAD PCIe card or satellite box any time between January 1st and March 31st to receive up to £1000 in free plugins. If you already own the plugins that come free with the hardware don't worry you will be issued a coupon of the value to spend on any plugin.
April / June - Exactly the same as the satellite and PCIe card deal from the beginning of the year but this one is for rackmounted interfaces. Depending on what interface you buy will determine the amount of free plugins you receive free. Often one of the excellent tape machines are part of this deal.
July / September - Much like the previous deals but this deal is for the UAD Apollo duo. The smaller desktop interface. Purchase any Apollo duo interface in this period and get anything from 2-4 plugins free.
October / December - This deal is great if you are planning to buy an interface and want to expand your DSP power whilst doing so. You will get a free PCIe card or satellite box free with any rackmount Apollo interface. A huge saving if you already planned on buying an additional card or satellite box.