UA Apollo First Look (user review)
Old 12th April 2012
  #721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOWIE View Post
Quick question fellas, is the Apollo a good choice for someone who needs a high-end 8ch AD/DA and has no intention of ever putting the plug-in features to use? Is it a really a solid AD/DA for 2k? I've got good hardware and don't want to be paying more or compromising overall quality for the extra UAD integration. UA seems to be pushing the UAD aspect more than the converter quality, so I'm not sure what this piece is about. If there's a better 8ch AD/DA for 2K then let me know what I should be looking at.
Thanks.
If you are looking for a high-quality 8ch ADDA, and don't need UA plugins support, there are some choice.
Two most obvious ones in your price range are: Lynx Aurora 8 and RME ADI-8 DS. Both units are very solid, with a flexible routing and low latency roundtrip.
Old 12th April 2012
  #722
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
What is the secret to the output routing?
I was presuming I could mix with all 8 analog outputs going to a passive summing mixer, then back into Apollo (stereo).
But I haven't found a way of even send audio out of my DAW to my patchbay yet (with Apollo's 8 outputs).
All the outputs are are backed up on the Apollo. Analog out 1&2 = virtual 3&4 on the daw. Weird but its because of the dedicated monitor outs.
Old 12th April 2012
  #723
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chrisso's Avatar
 

I don't understand your answer.
do you mean I select 3&4 out on my daw but patch 5 & 6 on my patchbay?
I'll give it a try now.
All the inputs are working perfectly by the way. I'm just not hearing any audio at any analog output
Old 12th April 2012
  #724
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I don't understand your answer.
do you mean I select 3&4 out on my daw but patch 5 & 6 on my patchbay?
I'll give it a try now.
All the inputs are working perfectly by the way. I'm just not hearing any audio at any analog output
I was having the same problem when I started hooking it up. Reference page 67 in the software manual. It explains it better there.
Old 12th April 2012
  #725
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OK, I see what you mean, but maybe I've patched it into my patchbay incorrectly as I'm still not getting 5&6 or 7&8.
Thanks anyway.
Old 12th April 2012
  #726
What's your take on the Apollo so far, Chris?
Old 12th April 2012
  #727
Apollo and UAD-2 Plugs

Today's mission: Compare a few UAD-Plugs to the "Real-Thing" just out of pure curiosity AND because I'm a geek like that

1. Vintage LA2A

2. Vintage 1176 Rev D

3. Vintage 1073 EQ's

4. DBX 160 (although I only have the ability to use the vintage 162 and a 160XT this might not apply)

Since its one thing to know each unit and say "hey they do behave and sound very similar or the same and also have the same characteristics" I thought it'd be nice to throw some of the same sources through each one to get a true perspective. If anyone is interested in my opinions, I'd be happy to share.

* I should note, this experiment is not to prove the Real-Thing sounds so much better or anything to that manner. It's only to get a perspective on the notable differences and for pure fun.
Attached Thumbnails
UA Apollo First Look (user review)-photo.jpg  

Last edited by Micah421; 12th April 2012 at 05:51 PM.. Reason: adding a sentence
Old 12th April 2012
  #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOWIE View Post
Quick question fellas, is the Apollo a good choice for someone who needs a high-end 8ch AD/DA and has no intention of ever putting the plug-in features to use? Is it a really a solid AD/DA for 2k? I've got good hardware and don't want to be paying more or compromising overall quality for the extra UAD integration. UA seems to be pushing the UAD aspect more than the converter quality, so I'm not sure what this piece is about. If there's a better 8ch AD/DA for 2K then let me know what I should be looking at.
Thanks.
at 2K Aurora 8 is my reference
still waiting for Apollo to show up in the digital shootout thread
Old 12th April 2012
  #729
MJB
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Micah, I'd love to hear that comparison.

My friend has the same kind of outboard as you do, but not the Apollo, which makes me even more curious. Usually, each approach, analogue or digital has its benefits and drawbacks. The issue is how much do you lose to gain something else, and how important is what you lose to the big picture.

For me, the Apollo looks like a dream come true, great professional sound for a home demo studio. If I ever decided to take a project further, and mix, master, I'd likely bring it to a real studio for a final mix. But, that said, I can imagine a few projects that the Apollo would allow me to do from concept to completion right in my living room, without being too dissatisfied with the sounds.

Now, all I need is a few grand extra...
Old 12th April 2012
  #730
Gear Head
 

When I listened to the 2 UAD FX files (I feel like you can't compare the other 2 with them due to the fact that they are colored with the plugins) I really do like the overall sound of the UA apollo overall. They are fairly similar, but if you really listen a few times over between the 2, you'll notice the Duet Martech combo is kind of harsh on the high end and it lacks warmth in the mids and low end compared to the UA apollo clip. I noticed the biggest difference between the 2 in the little country riff played at 1:10 on the UA clip and 1:02 on the Duet Martech UAD Clip. the riff on the UA is warm, crisp and the low and mids are nice and beefy. The Duet lacks the beefy mids and the lows sound a little muddy, and what really stands out that I can't stand to the UA is the high frequencies are distorted and harsh and you can hear all the little string hits and picking too much. The UA clip has a smooth top end that is clear but not overbearing, it almost rolls the high frequencies off at a certain point which seems to clear out the nasty little picking and string sounds that you don't want to hear. I'm sure if you EQ'ed the Duet track you could get basically the same sound but the whole point is to have that nice sound right out of the interface without having to enhance or clean up with plugins or outboard gear. Thanks a lot CowboyCoalminer for doing the comparison, I have been curious to what the UA apollo was going to sound like and now that I've heard it and compared it to something I'm familiar with I have a good idea of what it's capable of. I think I'm gonna go to the music store and play with one!
Old 12th April 2012
  #731
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSnoody View Post
When I listened to the 2 UAD FX files (I feel like you can't compare the other 2 with them due to the fact that they are colored with the plugins) I really do like the overall sound of the UA apollo overall. They are fairly similar, but if you really listen a few times over between the 2, you'll notice the Duet Martech combo is kind of harsh on the high end and it lacks warmth in the mids and low end compared to the UA apollo clip. I noticed the biggest difference between the 2 in the little country riff played at 1:10 on the UA clip and 1:02 on the Duet Martech UAD Clip. the riff on the UA is warm, crisp and the low and mids are nice and beefy. The Duet lacks the beefy mids and the lows sound a little muddy, and what really stands out that I can't stand to the UA is the high frequencies are distorted and harsh and you can hear all the little string hits and picking too much. The UA clip has a smooth top end that is clear but not overbearing, it almost rolls the high frequencies off at a certain point which seems to clear out the nasty little picking and string sounds that you don't want to hear. I'm sure if you EQ'ed the Duet track you could get basically the same sound but the whole point is to have that nice sound right out of the interface without having to enhance or clean up with plugins or outboard gear. Thanks a lot CowboyCoalminer for doing the comparison, I have been curious to what the UA apollo was going to sound like and now that I've heard it and compared it to something I'm familiar with I have a good idea of what it's capable of. I think I'm gonna go to the music store and play with one!

Glad to help! I posted that comparison as I felt more folks would be familiar with the Duet than with my other converters.
Old 12th April 2012
  #732
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Anyone go from an Ensemle to Apollo, if so, how are the headphone outputs compared to Ensemble? I have an Ensemble now and think they have a very low gain compared to other interfaces.
Old 12th April 2012
  #733
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
What's your take on the Apollo so far, Chris?
Still trying to set it up.
I've only had it for 48 hours..

Has anyone used Apollo with a second AD/DA yet via ADAT?
Do you just connect the ADAT cables, or do you need to synchronize the second unit to Apollo somehow?
Old 12th April 2012
  #734
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Still trying to set it up.
I've only had it for 48 hours..

Has anyone used Apollo with a second AD/DA yet via ADAT?
Do you just connect the ADAT cables, or do you need to synchronize the second unit to Apollo somehow?
I have my MOTU 828 mkii going into my Apollo via ADAT. I am running my external synths into the MOTU. I had to re-route the analog ins of the MOTU to the ADAT outs of the MOTU. I have the MOTU running off the Apollo clock.
Old 12th April 2012
  #735
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Via wordclock or via ADAT?
Old 12th April 2012
  #736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euphoria89 View Post
Via wordclock or via ADAT?
Via ADAT.
Old 12th April 2012
  #737
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Thanks.
So you only need to connect the ADAT cables, nothing else?
Old 13th April 2012
  #738
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BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blues Bird View Post
If you don't need the plug-ins get the RME UFX instead. The AD's and DA's are ( at least) as good as the Apollo one's and the routing possibilities of RME's Total mix console are awesome.
Fwiw, I have both and I will probabely sell the RME because I am a sucker for those plug-ins and the no-latency-recording-wet options...
OK, thanks for the honest reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pingaton View Post
If you are looking for a high-quality 8ch ADDA, and don't need UA plugins support, there are some choice.
Two most obvious ones in your price range are: Lynx Aurora 8 and RME ADI-8 DS. Both units are very solid, with a flexible routing and low latency roundtrip.
Thx. I'd rather buy once and not feel like I'm compromising so, price isn't as much of an issue as quality. My attention was drawn to the Apollo because I like the UA2192. I figured, if this is anywhere near that for $2K, it would be a steal. I use the Aurora 16 when I'm working at the studio and I'm satisfied with the conversion. The Apollo would be for home where my outboard is high-end, but I'm still on Lucid converters. The Lucids aren't bad at all, but I need more channels and I also need a little higher quality for some comparison files I'll be doing for my vacuum tube website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
at 2K Aurora 8 is my reference
still waiting for Apollo to show up in the digital shootout thread
Yea, I'd like to hear that as I'm familiar with the Aurora and it, to me, is solid.
Old 13th April 2012
  #739
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Hey Bowie, my 2 cents would be to still go with the Apollo. I've talked to many people who have used it and both the pres and converters are considered better than the other options mentioned. I haven't done any direct shoot outs myself, this is just the general consensus from people that I trust that have used it. I have heard the Apollo in person through Focals and I was really impressed with it. Plus the future ability to link up to three units via Thunderbolt makes it a no brainer in my opinion.
Old 13th April 2012
  #740
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Plus the future ability to link up to three units via Thunderbolt makes it a no brainer in my opinion.
Has this been confirmed by someone from UA? All it says on the site is that they are working on using multiple units but it doesn't say how many. I'm guessing thunderbolt will be needed to support that which means I'll never be able to use more than one with my Mac Pro. That's been my main concern because I really need more inputs.
Old 13th April 2012
  #741
Gear interested
 

I just hooked up my apollo, but it sounds like the voice is doubled during recording my vocals. how can i change this? thanks.
Old 13th April 2012
  #742
Your voice sounds doubled because you are hearing yourself through the console AND your DAW. You need to mute one or the other. The console is always running in the background just keep that in mind. It takes a second to get use to.
Old 13th April 2012
  #743
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J.S.Vega III's Avatar
I got my Apollo yesterday and it's just fantastic.

One thing I don't understand: why do the TRS inputs 1-4, the Line Ins, still go through the preamp gain stage? It's been said on this board that the Line Ins 1-4 bypass the pres but this seems not to be true.

Can anyone confirm?
Old 13th April 2012
  #744
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I was just looking at some of the specs and noticed that it said "4 simultaneous d/a conversion". Anybody know what that's all about? Surely you can send d/a out on all ten analog outputs at once right? Has anybody with one of these tried this?

I know the question might sound pretty stupid but, hey, it says it right there on Guitar Center's website.
Old 13th April 2012
  #745
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Thanks.
So you only need to connect the ADAT cables, nothing else?
Yep
Old 13th April 2012
  #746
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Besottedly View Post
Yep
Wordclock is a better quality connection though and the one I would prefer.
Old 13th April 2012
  #747
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.S.Vega III View Post
I got my Apollo yesterday and it's just fantastic.

One thing I don't understand: why do the TRS inputs 1-4, the Line Ins, still go through the preamp gain stage?
Seemingly yes.
There seems to be no effect with the gain right down, but if you raise the level with the knob it gets loud and distorted quite quickly.
Old 13th April 2012
  #748
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BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Hey Bowie, my 2 cents would be to still go with the Apollo. I've talked to many people who have used it and both the pres and converters are considered better than the other options mentioned. I haven't done any direct shoot outs myself, this is just the general consensus from people that I trust that have used it. I have heard the Apollo in person through Focals and I was really impressed with it.
Thanks, man. I'll keep that in mind.



Now, a couple of really basic questions (I could get these answered through a sales rep but I hate getting a "Yes" response to every question, regardless of what's really going on). The Apollo is referred to as an "interface". In the set-up I have at home, my current converters have to go through the AES input on my Lynx in order to hit my PC. Does the Apollo hook up directly to the computer with no need for another soundcard/interface?

Also, regarding PC support, it says "Windows 7 support coming this Summer". Does it currently work with a PC at all? I have been using XP still because, honestly, I like it's stability and compatibility. Will the Apollo be Win7-only? It's not a deal-breaker, but it's something that I'd have to prepare for.
Old 13th April 2012
  #749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
I was just looking at some of the specs and noticed that it said "4 simultaneous d/a conversion". Anybody know what that's all about? Surely you can send d/a out on all ten analog outputs at once right? Has anybody with one of these tried this?

I know the question might sound pretty stupid but, hey, it says it right there on Guitar Center's website.
It's 14 simultaneous according to the UA site... but that includes 8 mono line outputs, 2 for the Stereo monitor outputs and Two stereo headphone outputs (which they count as 4) so it IS 14 but really it's 8 in the sense of useable studio d/a
Old 13th April 2012
  #750
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Seemingly yes.
There seems to be no effect with the gain right down, but if you raise the level with the knob it gets loud and distorted quite quickly.
Right, so I'm not going mad! Thanks. This does seem crazy to me, perhaps they can fix it in a firmware update.

Would the levels be the same as inputs 5-8 with the gain down to 10dB (minimum)? Or is that 10dB minimum additional to the line level itself? I just want to be sure all the ins and outs are the same.
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