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UA Apollo First Look (user review)
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MJB
#4501
20th January 2013
Old 20th January 2013
  #4501
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I'm a little behind some of the more experienced members here in some of the signal path/engineering aspects, but I think I follow you, and that sure is an interesting insight trashman. Perhaps I'd trust myself printing effects if I was in a really pro studio, with top of the line monitors, but I don't like to work that way.
#4502
20th January 2013
Old 20th January 2013
  #4502
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Just to be clear:

The only thing you can "real-time" monitor are the physical inputs. You cannot assign DAW bus to the console channels, just the main bus. So, for VSTi you have to loop it.

The inputs are useful for cue mixes for sure ... But why print effects?

I think it's interesting/useful as a digital summing mixer because you can load up different channels with different colors.

Just seems like a lot of money to cue up UA plugs. But then again, if you don't have a decent converter and want a powerful UAD mixing setup the free plug promotion makes the Apollo a great package.

I have an RME digiface and babyface , so the Apollo would be a great front end in standalone mode perhaps. The power of Totalmix and Totalmix FX is hard to live without once you've used it.
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#4503
20th January 2013
Old 20th January 2013
  #4503
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OS updates

@trashman,

agreed had an rme b4 my apollo, UA has done some surveys over the last year on new features so we are all keeping fingers crossed that first major OS update will increase routing flexibility

personally I don't track with plugs, just put things in my daw when mixing

I use SSD drums(midi to usb to computer) which console doesn't see, so another reason to just put stuff in my daw and see everything at once

at the price point if you are starting from scratch even a year ago apollo was a very good deal

now with a $1,000 of plugs given to you and other freebies its even better but the OS needs some tweaking !

kcat
#4504
20th January 2013
Old 20th January 2013
  #4504
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@kcat

The $1k in plugs (and very good plugs: neve package, studer and lexicon ) makes the Apollo an incredible value.
The satellite plus the free plugs cost the same as the Apollo Quad. Therefore, you get the entire ad/da for free ;D

Hopefully, UA does a major update.
#4505
20th January 2013
Old 20th January 2013
  #4505
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Hello,

I am a PT 10 user with mbox3. I use and record a lot of hardware synths, drum machines, samplers, the occasional vocal mic and bass and guitar DI.
I have been reading about the apollo for a long time and the more i get into it i can't seem to settle for this exact same reason, The monitoring

issue. It seems like you said trashman, that it is "input only". I love in PT to record, play and edit, is quick and i got use to it. I am just not sure if

the Printing way of recording might work? I'm currently between apollo, rme ucx, or an aurora 8 and some electrodynes 501 since i have a lunchbox

working to its fullest as a monitor stand(empty), lol. In Totalmix do you have the same issue, another software where you have to route things

back and forth, or everyhting is fine just in PT?

I use waves, softtube, etc but wanted to get into the UAD plugs. Use PC with a Mac coming next week.

Thanks,

Edi
#4506
20th January 2013
Old 20th January 2013
  #4506
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Ok. Let me be clear again:

You can mix with the plugs AFTER recording without the UAD DSP. You can record without the DSP. So, it's like owning a quad satellite if you pick up the quad.

However, half of the entire point of this box is the low latency plugin performance. You can ONLY achieve this on the hardware inputs. You cannot hit the "console channels" from your DAW without going hardware out and back in again. Follow?

So, if you use VSTi like SSD or Korg Legacy there isn't any low latency DSP. If you use a lot of hardware synths this unit MIGHT be useful suiting recording IF you want to print the DSP... And this process is slightly strangely implemented. But why would you? Then you have committed to a sound without hearing how it sits in the mix!!

That's why the zero latency is pretty much a cue'ing feature. So one aspect of this box is a high quality cue mixer.

The other aspect is a traditional converter. It'll go straight to your DAW. And then you can mix (with latency) using the quad DSP -- awesome!

It is also a traditional multi output dac. You can choose outputs in your DAW. These outputs though CANNOT go directly to the console input channels. The only way to get there is through the hardware inputs .. As far as I can tell.

For an extremely high quality, super low latency environment for VSTi mixing with hardware inputs with fx there is the RME Totalmix fX. Massively powerful routing and latencies that seem supermatural. But very limited fx.

My point is this: with the free plugs they are offering: Studer tape, lexicon reverb and Neve package it's basically a satellite quad with a free converter. So if you wanted a quad with some useful mixing plugs ... AND you get a free converter that offers fun and useful cues ;D
#4507
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4507
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haha, thanks for the answer!

"Then you have committed to a sound without hearing how it sits in the mix!! " exactly!, I dont know if i would love it or hate it since at the end you commit, but for

mixing you dont want to later regret and go back to the chain. question:

So i can use the plugs in PT, they run on the card but with latency?, how bad is it? how practical would it be to be in PT and use the plugs post

recording.

I really want to fall for it but i can't seem why. Im going to see if i can try one out and trial and error for myself.

thanks tho, i appreciate it.

Edi
MJB
#4508
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4508
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I need to record a vocal along with an mp3 of the music. I created a new project, dragged the mp3 over, recorded the vocal, with Console supplying the EMT 140 reverb to help with the vocal sound. I usually open new projects with a template that has AUX tracks already there. I didn't do that for this project,and it's been so long, I've forgotten how to create AUX tracks in Logic. I need it to bus reverb to the tracks, when I simply put the EMT140 on the track, the revel level is wayyy to high, and the "wet/dry" knob doesn't help much.
Can someone please walk me through it.
#4509
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4509
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Ah hold on a sec:)

@trashman,

"It seems you don't have an apollo ?

This statement seems unclear:

You can mix with the plugs AFTER recording without the UAD DSP. You can record without the DSP. So, it's like owning a quad satellite if you pick up the quad. "

All ua plugs run on the uad-2 card, if you track with them that fx is set and can't be changed. Again a reason not to track with fx, monitor sure, but why commit ?

I record with protools and combine using ssd and recorded tracks. The simple work around is using ptx delay compensation and recording your vi trx before loading in intensive or oversampling plugs. So build your bed trax and leave mixing to after you have recorded or simply defeat the plugs to record vi late in your mix.

No offense , but apollo works fine and i feel you are creating a bit of an unfair perspective. The rme routing flexibility is an attribute but i only need one road to get to Rome not 100.

The rme is a very good unit but if you get that you also have the expense of the satelite and purchasing ua plugs.

But, perhaps thats what you mean, that the apollo quad with the current $1,000 plug deal , $100 voucher , and classic package included is the better deal ?

If maximum flexibility for routing is critical, the rme is impressive but if that isn't a deal breaker, the rme is currently significantly more expensive: like about a $1-1500 if you include the plugs, isn't it ?

I think more routing flexibility and expanded Console capacities are clearly on UA's radar and I wouldn't be at all surprised by announcements addressing those to some extent this week at NAMM !



Kcat
#4510
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4510
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I have had my Apollo for over a week now and am starting to get more comfortable with the Console/PT10 workflow. The UAD plug-ins are a whole new world to me and I am having a blast trying to figure out which 6 I will buy with the promotion.

Here is a clip to a new original song my friend wrote. This is him playing the guitar parts. I am working on drums and percussion and we will track that and bass Tues...maybe vocals if we get on a roll.

I am very new to mixing and this is really rough but let me know what I can improve upon.

Thanks.

Last edited by IamJohnGalt; 21st January 2013 at 01:38 AM.. Reason: attchmnt
#4511
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4511
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
I need to record a vocal along with an mp3 of the music. I created a new project, dragged the mp3 over, recorded the vocal, with Console supplying the EMT 140 reverb to help with the vocal sound. I usually open new projects with a template that has AUX tracks already there. I didn't do that for this project,and it's been so long, I've forgotten how to create AUX tracks in Logic. I need it to bus reverb to the tracks, when I simply put the EMT140 on the track, the revel level is wayyy to high, and the "wet/dry" knob doesn't help much.
Can someone please walk me through it.
In the channel strip, just under where you would have inserted the Plate 140 as an effect on the channel.

There are the bus sends. Left click on one, and assign to a bus.

It will create the aux for you

Or from the mixer window (X on the keyboard) you can go to the OPTIONS menu and CREATE NEW AUX


cheers

Wiz

(maybe the best place to ask this question, would be at a logic user group or even a quick search if you were really struggling for time, I was just passing through 8) Logic Pro Help • Index page is a good place )
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MJB
#4512
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4512
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Thanks Wiz, much appreciated. You're right, a Logic group would be great, I'll look around Slutz and see what's available. I was stuck for time, in a session, and needed an answer right away, and since I was using my Apollo, and the EMT140, I figured it was a related topic, if not exactly on topic. I somehow managed to get the Aux track, but wasn't sure how I did it.
#4513
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4513
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@Kcat

Hello, i am actually waiting for NAMM for that too, ( and the new moog sub Phatty of course! if there is some update regarding the routing and the monitoring. I

just dont know if i can commit FX recording, Is it that bad to do it after? i mean in PT as any other Plug in? the card would work with the latency and you can hear

everything else form your track playing back fine? Sorry i just dont know how does it work exactly in that situation... :/

The clips people have post sound amazing and i really like how it sounds.

Edi
#4514
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4514
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pas du problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by entresolmusic View Post
@Kcat

Hello, i am actually waiting for NAMM for that too, ( and the new moog sub Phatty of course! if there is some update regarding the routing and the monitoring. I

just dont know if i can commit FX recording, Is it that bad to do it after? i mean in PT as any other Plug in? the card would work with the latency and you can hear

everything else form your track playing back fine? Sorry i just dont know how does it work exactly in that situation... :/

The clips people have post sound amazing and i really like how it sounds.

Edi

Hi and welcome,

honestly I think you are worrying about nothing, don't worry about console you don't need to use it for plugs at all or to record other than using its pres.

Console is just a gui in front of your daw, yes it looks cool but i hardly use it.

If you are recording a virtual instrument you don't even use Console, you just use your daw.

If load plugs in your daw they are always saved exactly as you left them. You can do instant recall of plugs in Console to re-track, but I use my daw for mixing.

To record real instruments or voice , again you do not have to use the Console for plugs either, unless you want to monitor with them

I use Console strictly to control the UA's pres, Di inputs or inputs 5-8. Mostly I am just using 1 or 2 of the pres or putting an OB pre into line 5-8.

I have no latency problems with protools , just mute one or the other of the input tracks in console or the daw channel in protools. I normally mute the daw channel when recording to that channel.

I have had trouble with latency when I was recording vi drums to a heavily processed set of bed tracks and the work around is as I described it in my earlier post.

I can understand if you have a lot of vi's and for some reason need quite flexible routing the apollo may not be best for that.

But what I didn't understand was why go out of your daw once you are in it other than for OB mastering ? Once inside protools you can set your session mixing up pretty well anyway you want.

I think you would be perfectly happy with Apollo. YOu need to use Ua plugs to capitalize on that but they are regularly on sale and they are giving current purchasers almost a complete set of plugs; 2 verb, the 1176 origin comp, the neve channel strip(expander, gate, 4 band eq, hi and low pass filters) and the studer tape emulation, which is a very powerful tool.

Its your decision but I believe the current deal goes only for a few months. They are basically giving you back about $1- 1500 in free plugs and freebies.


@IAJG where is the clip you need to attach and load, underneath your input screen !
Kcat

Last edited by Kcatthedog; 21st January 2013 at 03:03 AM.. Reason: clip
#4515
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4515
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entresolmusic is offline
Thanks Kcat,

that definitetly clarified a few things that i just couldn't understand on the forums or the manual. I think i will give it a try and hope for the best,

my PT10 issues where those and i am very exited to try the plugs too. I mostly just track hardware Synths, samplers, etc so VI wont be a

problem. Maybe i was worrying a little too much, just wanted to make sure before i spend the $.

I appreciate it!

Edi
#4516
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4516
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better safe than sorry

no probs honestly Ua kind of over markets the whole console thing but I hope they continue to develop it

there are people who post here who use it live and print fx to tape more power to them. I am not that skilled yet.

A handful of people have posted here over the last 9 months saying they were unhappy and selling their apollo !

its a great tool and I have learned so much from it and the great group here on this thread.

kcat
MJB
#4517
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4517
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The console is useful for remembering settings from a previous session. Once I get good mic levels, it's nice to get right back to that same setting on a different day. I also monitor with verb, nothing else needed.
#4518
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4518
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@kcatthedog

No man I have an Apollo Quad sitting a few feet away from me. However, it's likely going back. I'm not sure yet

I was just stating MY impressions based on how I approached the unit because of the marketing emphasis.

Like I said, the console can only be hit from the hardware inputs. The console is what gives the zero latency plugin monitoring.

There isn't any way to hit the console for zero latency monitoring SHOULD you be a heavy VSTi user ... Like SSD and like or Korg Legacy and like. So if you wanted to use it live or get some real time mojo off the plugs you'd have to loop it out and back in -- UA FAQ even states this.

I was just throwing some stuff out there that I hadn't read in any threads here. Important stuff to know for a producer recording musician or live performer.

Like I said, it's a fantastic deal on a quad processor with a great promotion current running. But it isn't nearly as complex or integrated as you might think.

Use it in your DAW as a Quad UA processor - perfect!
Make some nice sounding cue mixes with the plugs on the console for real time monitoring.
Record those cue mixes if you dare even!!

But it isn't a fully integrated in and out mixing system like Totalmix or the Metric Halo ... Both which offer DSP.

For me it's worth it just for the quad processor and free plugs. I have a usd2 solo the has a massive passive living on it. So the Apollo Quad coupled with my Duende is a hot porno for mixing ;D And you also get that decent front end and decent DA. It isn't a Symphony or Orpheus but it isn't prosumer.

It was just the impression I got before digging deeper was "super low latency" THROUGHOUT the box as well as flexibility. Not the case.

If you were or are in the market for a Satellite the Apollo is a steal. If you were looking for a studio centerpiece with all the fixings AND your heavy into VSTi, I'd strongly review the RME UFX too.
#4519
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4519
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Ok here is where I'm not getting through:

Some people play their virtual instruments live and real time like a hardware synth ... Well, many people do. So if you load a stack of four+ UAD plugs into your DAW on your VI say goodbye to the latency. Even with an RME which gives 1-3ms of latency.

If you intend to use the DSP AFTER you record then perfect!! You have a nice front end and DA as well as a tremendous DSP engine.

But if you intend to use the plugs live with VSTi if isn't going to happen unless you loop it out via ADAT or analog and back in ... To the console which is where the low latency magic happens.

I have no complaints about how amazing UA plugs sound ... The free plug promotion alone is worth the price of the Apollo. You break even AND you get 4 decent mic amps and ad/da.

All the best
#4520
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4520
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I use a lot of software instruments, and sample libraries. I have an Apollo. I am happy. When I'm recording audio I use the console, with effects in place for a better recording, and a happier performer. With software instruments, I don't. It's not a big deal. I can get the latency low enough that it's not an issue.

I often commit to tracking through plugins, because if my source needs it, why not get on and do it? Saves time, and processing power. It's really not unusual to process audio on the way in and then process again while mixing, so you don't have to get it perfect first time. This has been happening for as long as multitrack recording has been happening. If you can make it sound better, do it.

Maybe it's because I'm English and we're just more hardcore?
#4521
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4521
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
Ok here is where I'm not getting through:

Some people play their virtual instruments live and real time like a hardware synth ... Well, many people do. So if you load a stack of four+ UAD plugs into your DAW on your VI say goodbye to the latency. Even with an RME which gives 1-3ms of latency.

If you intend to use the DSP AFTER you record then perfect!! You have a nice front end and DA as well as a tremendous DSP engine.

But if you intend to use the plugs live with VSTi if isn't going to happen unless you loop it out via ADAT or analog and back in ... To the console which is where the low latency magic happens.

I have no complaints about how amazing UA plugs sound ... The free plug promotion alone is worth the price of the Apollo. You break even AND you get 4 decent mic amps and ad/da.

All the best
I do see your argument.

Many other interface software mixers give you the ability to have a virtual bussing system, much like Pro Tools or Logic, whereby you can assign outputs to inputs without having to physically connect anything together. Its often called loop-back or similar. I know of Totalmix and MixControl both having this feature. This would get the audio back into the low latency monitor path whereby you could add low latency FX or create cue mixes.

You're correct in that the Apollo can only do its low latency FX monitoring via the Console at the input level, but by the same score, no other platform, including RME, lets you use the UAD plugins for realtime processing of up to 4 plugins, with aux sends/returns. Is it a pain to use digital out to digital in to create a physical loop? Yeah, it's not ideal, and with other software you don't always need to do so, but you've just gotta remember once its done, you have a very low latency audio path, complete with the best sounding plugins going. Up until the release of the Apollo, this wasn't a realistic option no matter what the routing system or how low the buffer system could manage.

There are 10 channels of digital i/o, which would let you run 5 stereo synths complete with all the FX you want, and of course, as many instances as your CPU could handle at the specified buffer rate from within your DAW. It's also quite possible for a significant software update to add this feature, as well as many others that have been requested. I also sometimes get frustrated with the limited routing options, but i always find a way around the problem one way or another.
#4522
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJohnGalt View Post
I have had my Apollo for over a week now and am starting to get more comfortable with the Console/PT10 workflow. The UAD plug-ins are a whole new world to me and I am having a blast trying to figure out which 6 I will buy with the promotion.

Here is a clip to a new original song my friend wrote. This is him playing the guitar parts. I am working on drums and percussion and we will track that and bass Tues...maybe vocals if we get on a roll.

I am very new to mixing and this is really rough but let me know what I can improve upon.

Thanks.
Song didnt upload so here is the suncloud link:

https://soundcloud.com/iamjohngalt-1/oppsiderefmix
#4523
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4523
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Different strokes

@trashman. I guess limitations are like beauty in the mind of the beholder ?

You refer to the apollo as limited but want 5 synths with 4 plugs each and no latency ? The holy grail of itb recording.

Given the quality of the UA plugs and their oversampling, but the avaiibility of faster chips am curious how low this can get.

I wonder if the sharc chips are ganged to maximixe their efficiency like1 big hyperthreading chip or do they work in isolation discreetly on dedicated plugs, basically could they be overclocked by a software command ? My new i7 does so could the uad card function like a quod core ?

But fingers crossed console just has a virtual patchbay or equivalent added soon.

Me i am just an unlimited singer songwriter happily single trackin with no fx so pedestrian !

Kcat
#4524
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4524
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Hey guys,

Sorry to go a bit off topic here, but for those of you tracking through the Studer800 plug-in ...

Where can I select the tape type?? In the UA console window, I have no idea where to load a preset, or tape type when I'm recording through it. I know where to access a preset when using it in Pro Tools, but not in Console. Is there any way to do this?

I'm trying this Studer800 plug-in for the first time this weekend (I know, took me a while). Before I started my mix, I used an oscillator to send a 200Hz, 1K, and 10K tone to the Studer800 and calibrated the sync and repro heads from scratch, and this thing is pretty close to doing it on a real Studer! Would love to be able to save my custom calibration to a preset, and recall it in the UA Console and track through it.

Haven't used tape in a session in a few years, and this plug-in is re-hashing my love for it.
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#4525
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4525
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@beechwood
Haha! That's a good one!! But, I'm not sure what being English has to do with it or what that even means anymore besides a passport ; P

I don't record like that. I keep things as unprocessed As possible so that I have maximum flexibility when mixing - the whole point of mixing in my view. When I was a kid I recorded everything as I "heard" it. Years later I regret it. I'd love to remix that music.

If you can get low enough latency out of the Apollo for real time performance, well God bless you friend.

I just wanted to pass along some of the issues that I encountered and some of the misperceptions about the console and routing.

Like I've said about a dozens times the Apollo is a great value right now. You basically get 4 free mic amps and a free ad/da with interesting cue mixing for FREE!

Go buy one and have some fun mixing!! And tracking!!
#4526
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4526
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Plug presets

@avening

Click the button the plug gui bottom left hand corner , follow prompts defaults will be there if you check load vtas on install, if not you have to reinstall.

When you save your preset its confusing just rename it and your modified preset will be saved in that plug's folder for access later.

I described it back in the thread about 10 screens.

Kcat
#4527
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4527
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@kcatthedog

Haha so pedestrian yet so flexible in the long run!

No no man, I don't think the Holy Grail at all. So I can get 1-3ms of latency on a VSTi and play my computer like a Korg workstation using my RME drivers and hitting fx that is processed on the RME box.

I can achieve a similar thing with the Apollo Quad, I just have to bounce it out via digital or analog and back in. Seems there ought to be a "direct to console" ASIO routing choice is all. That is, it would seem obvious that I should be able to select the console channels as an output from my DAW. That way I can real time monitor that "input". They do label the console DSP recordable output as an "input" right? Heh

For me the quad is useful for cue mixing, tracking and then after, for actually mixing.
#4528
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4528
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Anyone here using Apollo to augment a live sound system?

Sean
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#4529
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4529
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JohnGault, beautifully done. I do find the verb feels a little like a phaser, and not a capture of a real room. That might be your intent, so I'm not saying it's wrong at all, just that it distracted me a little from the pure beauty of the guitar sound. I'd like to hear this when more tracks are done, right now, with the pans hard left and right, the center's missing, and impact suffers temporarily.

This sounds right to me:

Paul O'Dette
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#4530
21st January 2013
Old 21st January 2013
  #4530
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Aug 2008
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Category 5 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
@kcatthedog

Haha so pedestrian yet so flexible in the long run!

No no man, I don't think the Holy Grail at all. So I can get 1-3ms of latency on a VSTi and play my computer like a Korg workstation using my RME drivers and hitting fx that is processed on the RME box.

I can achieve a similar thing with the Apollo Quad, I just have to bounce it out via digital or analog and back in. Seems there ought to be a "direct to console" ASIO routing choice is all. That is, it would seem obvious that I should be able to select the console channels as an output from my DAW. That way I can real time monitor that "input". They do label the console DSP recordable output as an "input" right? Heh

For me the quad is useful for cue mixing, tracking and then after, for actually mixing.
Agreed. The console is missing a LOT of functionality and UA are aware of it. Don't worry though , fixes are on the way.

The loop back optical work around isn't as elegant as routing in the mixer, but if you're not using the optical anyway, just connect output to input and then you CAN do the loop back in software after that.

Maybe it will work with spdif and coax. Not sure.
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