UA Apollo First Look (user review)
#361
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #361
Gear nut
 
potslutz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
I agree with you, but the original poster ....as I recall...was talking about just the sound of the unit. The Mbox3 Pro actually does SOUND pretty damned good...nothing like the old ones....but as you say, as a total package it's not even close (nor is it priced closely). You'll notice UA is not raving about their conversion quality on this thing...it's all about being able to record with plug ins.

Still, I have a feeling the UA is going to be the new standard in an all in one interface that won't break the bank, ....assuming it works as advertised.

TH
in order to understand the actually power of the apollo conversion and preamp we need to stop talking about the plugins,i know the mbox3 very well so if i ear the a/b then i'll know exactly where the apollo is at in the conversion dimension.
i really like the idea too of having in the market all in one box,it is very interesting for sure (i'm travelling a lot) so it could be a very nice option for me since i got hernia and i can't carry anymore lots of stuff with me
#362
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #362
Gear interested
 

apollo

just ordered my apollo duo... thanks for all of the example to the cowboy.. and to whoever mentioned the JRR shop... it saved me a few hundred dollars! Now i cant wait to put it to use
#363
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #363
Lives for gear
 
kgdrum_nyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by potslutz View Post
in order to understand the actually power of the apollo conversion and preamp we need to stop talking about the plugins,i know the mbox3 very well so if i ear the a/b then i'll know exactly where the apollo is at in the conversion dimension.
i really like the idea too of having in the market all in one box,it is very interesting for sure (i'm travelling a lot) so it could be a very nice option for me since i got hernia and i can't carry anymore lots of stuff with me
What I think you have to consider is UA has created a box with an entrance fee of $2000. Few people will buy this and not spend substantially more with UA over time.
When people start adding plugs and believe me they will! lol
UA will make (estimate) $4000 to $6000 on the Apollo so UA can actually put in equivalent if not much better converters in the unit as they have developed the unit to be its own revenue generating machine thus giving them open ended profit potential and loyalty with this unit that no other company has ever had before.
To think the converters are going to be inferior just doesn't even make sense IMO.they have built an I/O that gives UA the ability to add and develop new plugs with a influx of perpetual revenue tied to it.
While still having the best crack proof dongle for their plugins that still has never been cracked.
I started buying UAD1 cards and adding plugs 8 or 9 years ago.
Last year I got a MacPro and migrated to a UAD2 Quad card,as a typical UA user I've spent lots of money on the physical hardware but for UA the real profit comes with the added revenue down the line after the fact because once you get a taste of their Studer,Ampex,Fatso,Dimension D,Lexicon etc.... Your not going to stop buying,they are that good!
With UA's great marketing abilities constant ever changing sales promotions etc....this has more profit potential than a typical I/O
Substandard converters? Not a chance!
#364
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #364
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by potslutz View Post
...i know the mbox3 very well so if i ear the a/b then i'll know exactly where the apollo is at in the conversion dimension.
I would love to hear that comparison too, since the Mbox pro 3 is what I was all set to buy till I saw the NAMM announcement for the Apollo and had to stop and say, whoa, this could be killer. I won't be buying gobs o' plugz either way, I just need it to sound good straight up, maybe a little sweetener.

Quote:
Originally Posted by potslutz View Post
i really like the idea too of having in the market all in one box,it is very interesting for sure (i'm travelling a lot) so it could be a very nice option for me since i got hernia and i can't carry anymore lots of stuff with me
See? Getting to you, isn't it?
If this thing had been out for six months already and had the kind of overwhelmingly positive reviews that the Neumann kh-120's have, another highly revered company entering a new market, I would have gotten mine already. (With the kh120's) Almost bought an Apollo 5 seconds after I heard cowboy's demo...
#365
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #365
Gear nut
 
potslutz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathanz View Post
I would love to hear that comparison too, since the Mbox pro 3 is what I was all set to buy till I saw the NAMM announcement for the Apollo and had to stop and say, whoa, this could be killer. I won't be buying gobs o' plugz either way, I just need it to sound good straight up, maybe a little sweetener.



See? Getting to you, isn't it?
If this thing had been out for six months already and had the kind of overwhelmingly positive reviews that the Neumann kh-120's have, another highly revered company entering a new market, I would have gotten mine already. (With the kh120's) Almost bought an Apollo 5 seconds after I heard cowboy's demo...
yes i almost bought it too after i heard cowboy's demo, decided to go to a different direction because i need more channels,but this apollo still stuck in my mind.
we all will be very curios to ear this a/b
the mbox 3 sound incredible good and since it came out time before the apollo i'm expecting the apollo to sound as good or even better but it will not make sense to me if it doesn't sound as good as the mbox 3 and i'll end up thinking that this was just a marketing strategy,that's why is so important this a/b test for me
but again the idea of having all in one box is brilliant,i always dreamed to have one magic stellar box that does everything and may this apollo is the result of out dreams.
we will know it with the time
#366
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #366
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgdrum_nyc View Post
If I understand correctly you can use the effects from the UA card in the Apollo internally and externally in your DAW, so this gives you flexibility to use the comps the "old school way" or itb in a new way. Of course it's still not like having a hardware based outboard compressor but you can use this with your DAW just like a user with a UAD2 card in their Mac.
The ability to use effects in the console gives you advantages, that's opening up new territory.
Even if we agree the converters on both units and even the equivalent RME,Apogee are all comparable, all of the other things UA is bringing to the equation makes the converters a very small part of the picture.
A company like UA with their resources,knowledge,ability and reputation aren't going to put substandard converters in this box to save $50.
The genius behind this box from a marketing perspective is that they have the ability to turn the sale of a $2500 I/O into a $5000 or $6000 sale and have a very low churn rate,after using a product like this and developing projects with UAD plugs integrated how are you going to go back to a product without all of this?
You can't use a DSP plug in before the A-D converter. As someone pointed out earlier:

Old school:

Mic Pre....(LA-2a hardware)...A-D Converter

DAW School:

Mic Pre ....A-D Converter....(LA-2a Plug in)

On the radio, when they playing your latest hit, I doubt if anyone will hear the difference though.

TH
#367
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #367
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Withnail's Avatar
 

#368
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #368
Lives for gear
 
kgdrum_nyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
You can't use a DSP plug in before the A-D converter. As someone pointed out earlier:

Old school:

Mic Pre....(LA-2a hardware)...A-D Converter

DAW School:

Mic Pre ....A-D Converter....(LA-2a Plug in)

On the radio, when they playing your latest hit, I doubt if anyone will hear the difference though.

TH
Agreed you can't use as the Old School example but I think it can be used like your DAW school example :
Mic Pre.....A-D converter.....DAW(UA LA-2a on inserts).......D-A converter.....
Again it's still not a hardware based LA-2a but the possibilities of this are pretty damn cool.
#369
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #369
Gear addict
 
isma's Avatar
 

Regarding the mbox 3 pro, which sounds great, cowboy compared the apollo to his mytek in terms of conversion...
And mytek is in an other league compare to the mbox 3...
From the first feedbacks, on GS and in France it seems the Apollo has very decent converters, better than expected...
#370
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #370
Gear nut
 
potslutz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by isma View Post
Regarding the mbox 3 pro, which sounds great, cowboy compared the apollo to his mytek in terms of conversion...
And mytek is in an other league compare to the mbox 3...
From the first feedbacks, on GS and in France it seems the Apollo has very decent converters, better than expected...
i have the buy it now button in front of me and my nose is bleeding
#371
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withnail View Post
hi

you guys with the apollo,
please go to gear shootouts and show us the results from the loopback test with diffmaker.

The Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Shootout Thread!

that would be very interesting indeed!

Thanks.
+1.000.000
rlg
#372
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #372
rlg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tothemoon View Post
Hi rlg, as Red Baron asked earlier, would you please tell us about the preamps and converters sonic differences between the Apollo and RME? (Specially the UCX) I was ready to get a RMA interface until I heard of the Apollo. Thank you
Re: the differences between the Fireface UCX and the Apollo sonically, I find that the Apollo is noticeably more open and transparent than the UCX, with the UCX sounding relatively more congested, somewhat muddier mids and harsher/strident highs. These are just comparisons that come to mind when listening to both together. If I was to listen to the UCX by itself, I'd probably conclude that it's a fine unit. It is.

When comparing plugins, the Apollo wins hands down, unsurprisingly, but the comps, eq & reverb on the UCX would certainly be useful for providing confidence mixes (but recording dry) in a session, or in use live.

Re: drivers, RME's have always been rock solid, and UA's new low-latency ones are so far untested. I mentioned that the Apollo has a 10ms round-trip latency with a 32 sample buffer @48khz; those same parameters with the UCX yield a 3.19 ms round trip (1.68ms in, 1.52 ms out).

Bottom line, I'm keeping both units. I can use the UCX for jam sessions or small gigs; that box has a lot of functionality that I can take along in a laptop bag. Apollo would be used in the studio over the RME, and can be toted along when greater fidelity is important.
#373
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #373
Lives for gear
 

Thanks rlg, it´s really interesting, if I could, I would buy both, because each one has it´s own applications, anyway, what you wrote about the UCX sound left me worried (...."relatively more congested, somewhat muddier mids and harsher/strident highs"), I´ll have to balance cons and pros of both units, included the UFX, really hard choice without even listening to them.

I expect some UFX vs Apollo reviews and samples, maybe some of you own both.
cowboycoalminer
Thread Starter
#374
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #374
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Thread Starter
192k sample. I can't get anything done for exploring this thing.
#375
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #375
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
192k sample. I can't get anything done for exploring this thing.
So what are we listening to in this clip? Is this all tracked at 192K? What type of way did you use the UA Plug ins on this one. Is this the UA Pres or are you using your Outboard? Sounds very good! Maybe not quite gelled though?
#376
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #376
Gear maniac
 
Artist4's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
192k sample. I can't get anything done for exploring this thing.
i love it!

i can hear the air!
:D
rlg
#377
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #377
rlg
Gear maniac
 
rlg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tothemoon View Post
Hi rlg, as Red Baron asked earlier, would you please tell us about the preamps and converters sonic differences between the Apollo and RME? (Specially the UCX) I was ready to get a RMA interface until I heard of the Apollo. Thank you
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
Thanks rlg, it´s really interesting, if I could, I would buy both, because each one has it´s own applications, anyway, what you wrote about the UCX sound left me worried (...."relatively more congested, somewhat muddier mids and harsher/strident highs"), I´ll have to balance cons and pros of both units, included the UFX, really hard choice without even listening to them.

I expect some UFX vs Apollo reviews and samples, maybe some of you own both.
Well, like I said, both units are very good, and as I noted in my post, on a standalone basis, not having the Apollo right next to it, I'd be pretty happy with the UCX. I wonder how much of the sound difference comes down to the preamps, and how much the converters. I.e. a standalone preamp into the UCX's converters might sound better. I don't have the time or inclination to do this kind of experiment, though. In any event, the Apollo is a good chunk of change more expensive than the RME; one would expect it to sound at least a little bit better.

Regarding drivers and buffers, I've uncovered two bits of information today.

First, turning off the Input Delay Compensation in the UA console gets my Apollo roundtrip latency down to 5.83 ms (3.44 in, 2.40 out) with a 32 sample buffer @48khz.

Next, I've found a bug (or maybe it only affects me) with RealVerb Pro -- if I change a preset, the console crashes. This is not a major annoyance; I suppose there will be several kinks to work out. Similarly, there are features I would like to see in future revisions of the UA console software, and I'd start with the opportunity to select pre- or post- sends for the auxes. I'd also like more auxes.

That's it for now, back to experimenting with this marvelous new box.
#378
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #378
Lives for gear
 
ProducerBoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
Well, like I said, both units are very good, and as I noted in my post, on a standalone basis, not having the Apollo right next to it, I'd be pretty happy with the UCX. I wonder how much of the sound difference comes down to the preamps, and how much the converters. I.e. a standalone preamp into the UCX's converters might sound better. I don't have the time or inclination to do this kind of experiment, though. In any event, the Apollo is a good chunk of change more expensive than the RME; one would expect it to sound at least a little bit better.

Regarding drivers and buffers, I've uncovered two bits of information today.

First, turning off the Input Delay Compensation in the UA console gets my Apollo roundtrip latency down to 5.83 ms (3.44 in, 2.40 out) with a 32 sample buffer @48khz.

Next, I've found a bug (or maybe it only affects me) with RealVerb Pro -- if I change a preset, the console crashes. This is not a major annoyance; I suppose there will be several kinks to work out. Similarly, there are features I would like to see in future revisions of the UA console software, and I'd start with the opportunity to select pre- or post- sends for the auxes. I'd also like more auxes.

That's it for now, back to experimenting with this marvelous new box.
I read UA's response on the UAD forums. The real verb issue is a known bug they're working on.
#379
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #379
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euphoria89's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
Regarding drivers and buffers, I've uncovered two bits of information today.

First, turning off the Input Delay Compensation in the UA console gets my Apollo roundtrip latency down to 5.83 ms (3.44 in, 2.40 out) with a 32 sample buffer @48khz.

Next, I've found a bug (or maybe it only affects me) with RealVerb Pro -- if I change a preset, the console crashes. This is not a major annoyance; I suppose there will be several kinks to work out.
There's the answer folks. Input delay compensation increases roundtrip latency in order to create the latency free UAD live tracking. Enable for tracking, disable for mixing i would assume, and let your DAW internally compensate for delay of UAD plugins.

The issue with realverb pro seems to be a global one. Your not the first to be affected, and UA have already noted the problem and are working on a fix as we speak.
#380
1st April 2012
Old 1st April 2012
  #380
Gear maniac
 

You don't need to use input delay compensation on Apollo console AT ALL unless you are using the up sampled plugins which are listed in the Apollo software manual.

You can stack four non- upsampled plugins adding zero extra latency.

Up sampled plugins add tiny amounts of additional latency so if using these you will want input delay compensation enabled, but keep it as short as you need. It will keep multi mic setups such as drums in phase.

The amount of latency varies, and some reduce when you increase sample rate (presumably no longer having to upsample). Some remain constant due to look ahead algorithms or other coding techniques.
cowboycoalminer
Thread Starter
#381
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #381
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
Maybe not quite gelled though?
No. Not mixed, spent about a minute on it. I had a session coming in. The clarity on this thing is really good.

I'll ask the artist if I can post a sample of the stuff we are tracking with it now later on. I'm going to track her session with it at 192. Should be good, this girl can wail.
#382
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #382
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
First, turning off the Input Delay Compensation in the UA console gets my Apollo roundtrip latency down to 5.83 ms (3.44 in, 2.40 out) with a 32 sample buffer @48khz.
Thanks for the info! Unless there are other tricks/tweaks, that's 1.5 - 2 ms slower than the fastest Firewire interfaces out there (MOTU, RME, Metric Halo).

-James
cowboycoalminer
Thread Starter
#383
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #383
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Thread Starter
I need some help figuring out if I'm doing something wrong. Using Cubase I can't seem to figure out why my outputs won't send to the device. I have them properly set up via VST connections, but for some reason, when I send a channel, it doesn't show a signal on the Apollo. I am trying to set up a sub mix to route through my outboard and dump separate from my monitor mix. Anyone else had issues like this? Maybe I'm not setting up something right in the console?
rlg
#384
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #384
rlg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnashguitar View Post
Thanks for the info! Unless there are other tricks/tweaks, that's 1.5 - 2 ms slower than the fastest Firewire interfaces out there (MOTU, RME, Metric Halo).

-James
That may be true, but I'll take it anyway, as that roundtrip number includes audio passing through the UAD plugins in the console. If memory serves, that's a lot more responsive than using UAD plugs via audio units, regardless of the interface.
rlg
#385
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #385
rlg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
I need some help figuring out if I'm doing something wrong. Using Cubase I can't seem to figure out why my outputs won't send to the device. I have them properly set up via VST connections, but for some reason, when I send a channel, it doesn't show a signal on the Apollo. I am trying to set up a sub mix to route through my outboard and dump separate from my monitor mix. Anyone else had issues like this? Maybe I'm not setting up something right in the console?
What do you mean by "show a signal on the Apollo"? If I'm understanding your question correctly, and I certainly may not be, the Apollo console, as far as I understand, will only "show" signals coming through the hardware inputs, which can then be processed, sent on to the firewire driver and/or the aux busses. Audio sent to the outputs, as far as I know, won't show up in the console (like it would in RME and Metric Halo console software, for example). I haven't yet had the opportunity to set up outboard routings, but I was able to successfully send separate DAW outputs to separate hardware outs (in my case, separate feeds to the Monitor Outs, HP 1 and HP 2).
cowboycoalminer
Thread Starter
#386
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #386
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
What do you mean by "show a signal on the Apollo"? If I'm understanding your question correctly, and I certainly may not be, the Apollo console, as far as I understand, will only "show" signals coming through the hardware inputs, which can then be processed, sent on to the firewire driver and/or the aux busses. Audio sent to the outputs, as far as I know, won't show up in the console (like it would in RME and Metric Halo console software, for example). I haven't yet had the opportunity to set up outboard routings, but I was able to successfully send separate DAW outputs to separate hardware outs (in my case, separate feeds to the Monitor Outs, HP 1 and HP 2).
Say I've got a stereo track and I assign it to out 7/8, although I have 7/8, set up in VST connections, it still won't play audio out through the device. This has never been an issue with my other converters, so I think I'm missing something in the console setup.
rlg
#387
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #387
rlg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
Say I've got a stereo track and I assign it to out 7/8, although I have 7/8, set up in VST connections, it still won't play audio out through the device. This has never been an issue with my other converters, so I think I'm missing something in the console setup.
Hmm. All of this worked perfectly well for me (out of Ableton Live) and I didn't need to set anything up in the console, although I'll note I was only sending to the different headphone outs, not the analog outs. You did make sure to send to the correct output pair, right? As per the manual on page 67, analog out 7/8 corresponds to driver out 9/10 (the first output pair is MON L & R, followed by the analog outs).
#388
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #388
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euphoria89's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
Hmm. All of this worked perfectly well for me (out of Ableton Live) and I didn't need to set anything up in the console, although I'll note I was only sending to the different headphone outs, not the analog outs. You did make sure to send to the correct output pair, right? As per the manual on page 67, analog out 7/8 corresponds to driver out 9/10 (the first output pair is MON L & R, followed by the analog outs).
Yeah i was going to suggest making sure the names in the F4 IO setup corresponded to the same numeric values of the output, as Cubase may name them according to hardware order, which would make all outputs appear incorrect.
cowboycoalminer
Thread Starter
#389
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #389
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlg View Post
Hmm. All of this worked perfectly well for me (out of Ableton Live) and I didn't need to set anything up in the console, although I'll note I was only sending to the different headphone outs, not the analog outs. You did make sure to send to the correct output pair, right? As per the manual on page 67, analog out 7/8 corresponds to driver out 9/10 (the first output pair is MON L & R, followed by the analog outs).
I'll bet that's it. Thanks so much. I'll try it when I get back tonight.
#390
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #390
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OK, so who wants to buy my RME HDSPe-AIO, UAD 2 Duo, and UAD 2 Solo? I see the Apollo in my near future.
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