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Is Apollo Twin Duo good for EDM?
Old 22nd December 2014
  #1
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Is Apollo Twin Duo good for EDM?

Hey,

I currently have a 2011 15" Macbook Pro, Mbox 2 and DynaAudio BM5A MkII's. I make EDM music and I do everything in the box using Logic as a DAW. I was looking for a Digital Analog converter to run my tracks through to just give it that analog quality hoping that would help the quality of my tracks a bit. A friend of my mine told me about the Apollo twin Duo which pretty much gives me a better interface and DA converter with UA plugins. I was sold on it and then I came across the Apogee Quartet which is also a interface/DA converter.

That confused me on which one to get for what I need it for. Which interface would be better for making Electronic music? Would it be a big difference from what I am using now which is a Mbox 2?
Old 22nd December 2014
  #2
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big difference from box 2 to ua apollo.

Id go with UA allay!
Old 22nd December 2014
  #3
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They Apollo twin definitely improved my audio quality, the converters sound different depending on what pre amp or unison pre amp you use. They can go from ultra clean to dirty depending how you set your pres.

Using hardware pres is straight forward but the unison pre have a learning curve. Sometimes I need to use the 20 db pad for loud vocalist even if I turn the unison pre down, it may still clip. But with use of the pad it works great.

No regrets here, the Apollo Twin is awesome!
Old 22nd December 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrlFrndWrks View Post
Hey,

I currently have a 2011 15" Macbook Pro, Mbox 2 and DynaAudio BM5A MkII's. I make EDM music and I do everything in the box using Logic as a DAW. I was looking for a Digital Analog converter to run my tracks through to just give it that analog quality hoping that would help the quality of my tracks a bit. A friend of my mine told me about the Apollo twin Duo which pretty much gives me a better interface and DA converter with UA plugins. I was sold on it and then I came across the Apogee Quartet which is also a interface/DA converter.

That confused me on which one to get for what I need it for. Which interface would be better for making Electronic music? Would it be a big difference from what I am using now which is a Mbox 2?
May I respectfully suggest you spend a little time learning what a "Digital Analog converter" is and what it does?

Your MBox already contains DAC's...the number depends on which model MBox you have.

Were it me, if the Apollo Twin offers enough inputs for your needs, that's what I would go with as it opens the door to the world of UAD's excellent plugins...
Old 22nd December 2014
  #5
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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the great advice. I don't use any gear or instruments outside of my laptop. I only use Virtual Instruments and drum samples. I was hoping to run all the VI's and Drum samples through the Apollo after making an EDM track.

I understand how the MBox 2 is a DAC as well but I initially wanted to buy gear that I can run my tracks out of logic and through such as a physical compressor or EQ, to make the quality of my EDM tracks better.

When I came across the Apollo Twin it seemed like it did that in a convenient way where I didn't have to buy a bunch separate gear and for an affordable price

I'm definitely open to more advice and more comments from people that have experience with the apollo twin.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #6
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
I'm still trying to work out why someone who was 100% ITB would need a device like the UAD apollo...??

will you be tracking in synths and guitars...???
Old 22nd December 2014
  #7
Deleted #135818
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Have you checked the system requirements?

According to the manual, it needs Mountain Lion (OSX 10.8) or later. If you haven't already upgraded to that but decide that you might like to, it might be wise to check that it won't break anything else before doing so.

According to the apogee website, the quartet requires 10.6.8, 10.7.5 or greater.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #8
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Think you might be a little confused as to what the signal path is. An A/D (or D/A) converter translates from outside the box (think mic or analog synth) to insde the box (Logic). Working only with virtual synths and drums is pure digital, and will not be converted to analog (except when you render a finished track).

The UAD hardware will allow you to run UAD plugins on an outboard processor, but the result is the same as any vst on your computer - you are not processing "outside the box". UAD makes good stuff, but most who buy it do so for access to the UAD plugins - in any case, you are still working in the box, in no way to be compared to running the signal through outboard processing.

tldr - the UAD box will do nothing for you unless you want to run UAD plugins

correction - the converter won't matter when you render (that's your daw), but when you play back to analog
Old 22nd December 2014
  #9
Deleted #135818
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Now I'm confused...

Unless you still plan to get your signal out of the box an into some hardware processing?
Old 22nd December 2014
  #10
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Ok I understand. I recently was speaking to a mixing and mastering engineer who works in the same building as me. He owns his own professional studio and I asked him how could I get my quality as big and as good as these big time producers such as Diplo or GTA. He told me that even though they make all there music in the DAW's at the end of the day they run it through outboard gear to get that warm big analog sound.

I figured I would be able to do that using the Apollo twin Duo. Such as where I create a loop, Logic -> apollo twin analog processors -> back into logic. From what you're telling me, the analog processors in the apollo twin duo will not help my digitally created tracks at all?
Old 22nd December 2014
  #11
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You can "loop back" any audio tracks you have into the UAD console and then print I believe, but I'm more than sure the OP was not even considering this...
Old 22nd December 2014
  #12
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ponkapog's Avatar
 

The confusion here seems to be about what outboard processing means. The Apollo interfaces have the ability to process UAD vsts, offloading cpu use from the computer - but they are still vsts, running n the box just like all other vsts. AD/DA converters do not "process" sound- ideally, they go from digital to analog (or vice versa) as transparently as possible. So, an outboard processing chain would go something like Logic > DA converter > outboard gear with physical (like a compressor with, say TRS) connection > AD converter > Logic.

So to process "outboard", you need a converter to send the audio to/from that outboard hardware. The converter is just for translation from the digital to analog world.

And just to be sure the point is clear - the Apollo is not running anything "analog" - just digital vsts, like any other vst on your computer.



And off topic - what effects are you trying to acheive? There are very, very good itb vst emulations of classic hardware these days.......
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrlFrndWrks View Post
Ok I understand. I recently was speaking to a mixing and mastering engineer who works in the same building as me. He owns his own professional studio and I asked him how could I get my quality as big and as good as these big time producers such as Diplo or GTA. He told me that even though they make all there music in the DAW's at the end of the day they run it through outboard gear to get that warm big analog sound.
Bull****.

It sounds like you think that running your track through some outboard gear will magicly make it sound "warm and analog".
I can asure you, that buying an expensive soundcard for your purpose, is not gonna help you at all.
And as others has explained - it doesn't work the way you think.

I think you should focus on what you have, especially if you work all ITB. Buying expensive gear is not gonna help.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkapog View Post
The confusion here seems to be about what outboard processing means. The Apollo interfaces have the ability to process UAD vsts, offloading cpu use from the computer - but they are still vsts, running n the box just like all other vsts. AD/DA converters do not "process" sound- ideally, they go from digital to analog (or vice versa) as transparently as possible. So, an outboard processing chain would go something like Logic > DA converter > outboard gear with physical (like a compressor with, say TRS) connection > AD converter > Logic.

So to process "outboard", you need a converter to send the audio to/from that outboard hardware. The converter is just for translation from the digital to analog world.

And just to be sure the point is clear - the Apollo is not running anything "analog" - just digital vsts, like any other vst on your computer.



And off topic - what effects are you trying to acheive? There are very, very good itb vst emulations of classic hardware these days.......

OP wants to know if looping back audio through an Apollo 2 will benefit the sound. Although the Apollo runs digital plugins, the audio is being converted from digital to analog back to digital by looping it through the DAC. It will change the original signal. So will it benefit it in any way is the original and valid question.

Edit: OP beat me to my response. Yes, there is a lot of analog outboard gear that can improve your sound.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RecordMe View Post
Bull****.

It sounds like you think that running your track through some outboard gear will magicly make it sound "warm and analog".
I can asure you, that buying an expensive soundcard for your purpose, is not gonna help you at all.
And as others has explained - it doesn't work the way you think.

I think you should focus on what you have, especially if you work all ITB. Buying expensive gear is not gonna help.
So you're saying I can achieve great professional quality with ITB plugins alone? because no matter how much I mix down my tracks using plugins a lone, such as mastering suites and compressors and limiters I can never get my tracks to sound as big and as loud as a track made by one of these big time producers. Is it that they just send it out to mastering engineers who then again run it through more plugins and compress it some more, e.t.c?
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opeth13 View Post
OP wants to know if looping back audio through an Apollo 2 will benefit the sound. Although the Apollo runs digital plugins, the audio is being converted from digital to analog back to digital by looping it through the DAC. It will change the original signal. So will it benefit it in any way is the original and valid question.

Edit: OP beat me to my response. Yes, there is a lot of analog outboard gear that can improve your sound.
yea thats what I want to know opeth13 but according to ponkapog, he's saying it won't because the processors in the apollo twin aren't meant for that. They are meant to run the digital UAD plugins. Which honestly still is a bit confusing. But I guess the sound made in the computer by VI does not run through the apollo twin duo and then back into the computer. Correct me if I'm wrong.

(I'm assuming OP means original post, sorry I rarely go on forums)
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkapog View Post
The confusion here seems to be about what outboard processing means. The Apollo interfaces have the ability to process UAD vsts, offloading cpu use from the computer - but they are still vsts, running n the box just like all other vsts. AD/DA converters do not "process" sound- ideally, they go from digital to analog (or vice versa) as transparently as possible. So, an outboard processing chain would go something like Logic > DA converter > outboard gear with physical (like a compressor with, say TRS) connection > AD converter > Logic.

So to process "outboard", you need a converter to send the audio to/from that outboard hardware. The converter is just for translation from the digital to analog world.

And just to be sure the point is clear - the Apollo is not running anything "analog" - just digital vsts, like any other vst on your computer.



And off topic - what effects are you trying to acheive? There are very, very good itb vst emulations of classic hardware these days.......
Oh ok thanks you cleared that up for me a whole bunch. I thought the apollo twin Duo was a shortcut to all of that gear.

I basically want to run my digital created tracks through any type of gear that would just boost the signal and maybe clean up the quality.

From what my engineer friend told me, running tracks through outboard gear such as compressors and eq hardware I can achieve the loudness and warmth I want my digital tracks to have.

Could the apollo twin duo work as the AD/DA converter that I need if I wanted to connect outboard processors to my macbook?

Or do i physically need two separate converters one for AD and one for DA to achieve that outboard processing?

If thats the case can my Mbox 2 do the conversions? and I should just look into buying outboard processing gear?

Should I look into buying a new interface because the Mbox 2 is so old and dated?

What would be a good piece of hardware to get in that case, to achieve what I would want (louder and warm sound)?

Sorry for all the noob questions and thanks for your patience.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
You can "loop back" any audio tracks you have into the UAD console and then print I believe, but I'm more than sure the OP was not even considering this...
I was thinking the apollo twin duo would do exactly that. But other repliers are telling me that it wouldn't effect the print of the track at all. From what I understand the processors in the apollo twin duo are only for the UAD digital plugins.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #19
Deleted #135818
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrlFrndWrks View Post
From what my engineer friend told me, running tracks through outboard gear such as compressors and eq hardware I can achieve the loudness and warmth I want my digital tracks to have.
Yes but don't forget that in the examples you've given, the general ITB mix will already be top notch and the outboard that they've used is likely to be fairly high quality and not to mention rather expensive.

Nevertheless, as long as you're not expecting a magic bullet then by all means give it a go - I personally quite liked what the RNLA can do to software drums.

Quote:
Could the apollo twin duo work as the AD/DA converter that I need if I wanted to connect outboard processors to my macbook?

Or do i physically need two separate converters one for AD and one for DA to achieve that outboard processing?
If your system meets the minimum requirements then yes. It would go:

DAW out -> APOLLO OUT (3&4) -> Hardware FX -> APOLLO IN -> DAW in


Quote:
If thats the case can my Mbox 2 do the conversions? and I should just look into buying outboard processing gear?
I could be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure the Mbox 2 only has a single pair of outputs for the monitors. You will need an additional separate pair.


Quote:
Should I look into buying a new interface because the Mbox 2 is so old and dated?

What would be a good piece of hardware to get in that case, to achieve what I would want (louder and warm sound)?
I'm afraid these are all debatable. There are entire threads in the Low end forum devoted to debating the pros & cons of pretty much every (low cost) piece of gear ever made. For me personally, as much as I like mixing with hardware it simply wasn't worth the cost and hassle in the end. Incorporating hardware can also lead to further issues with latency when you're trying to mix.

Keep in mind that a competent mastering engineer can also provide much of what you're looking for - and it might work out better from a cost vs benefit point of view.

But in the end, it'll be up to you.

Quote:
Sorry for all the noob questions and thanks for your patience.
No worries. Everybody has to start somewhere. You're better off taking the time to ask a few questions BEFORE spending the $$.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #20
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrlFrndWrks View Post
So you're saying I can achieve great professional quality with ITB plugins alone? because no matter how much I mix down my tracks using plugins a lone, such as mastering suites and compressors and limiters I can never get my tracks to sound as big and as loud as a track made by one of these big time producers. Is it that they just send it out to mastering engineers who then again run it through more plugins and compress it some more, e.t.c?
I am going to be the harsh voice of reason here. Yes, you most definitely can sound like that itb. But only if you know what you're doing. And in fairness, the type of questions you ask sound like you don't know your tools that well yet.

Which isn't bad or evil, just seems to be the case. Just keep plugging away at it. But to think that it is mastering engineers that get the sound you are after is folly. The great sounding tracks already sound great before mastering and change very little.

Your mastering engineer friend saying that analog gear can help is not wrong, but the crux is in what context does it become an important difference. Basically, it will only help if you're doing all the baking the pie properly, and then it can give the whole pie a sweet tonal assistance to make it sweeter still. Will do no good at all if you don't know how to make a pie first though.

On topic you'd likely be making a pretty good choice with an Apollo, as the UA plugs are good.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #21
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Well, according to this interview, Diplo's secret sauce is "resampling":
Super-Producer Diplo on Creating Hits with UAD Plug-Ins - Blog - Universal Audio

But of course this might be another "poster-boy-endorsement" article with little bearing on the real world, so take it with a grain of salt.

This "never going to achieve the sound these cats are getting" is nonsense.. How long you been doing your thing? And how long has Diplo been at it?
Old 22nd December 2014
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Also keep in mind that Diplo or anyone else for that matter hasn't been doing this all by themselves. You can learn a lot from your fellow musicians, but hoping that a 1176 - UAD or analog - is going to fix all your mixes - that way lies only disappointment.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #23
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
I'm still trying to work out why someone who was 100% ITB would need a device like the UAD apollo...??

will you be tracking in synths and guitars...???
It's for EDM bro, you don't understand....it needs to be phat.

And the UAD has analogue.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #24
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fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
It's for EDM bro, you don't understand....it needs to be phat.

And the UAD has analogue.

lol..
Old 22nd December 2014
  #25
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Yeah there is no "magic box" that you can place in your chain and boom will turn **** into gold.. excuse my french.. going OTB requires a lot of know-how which OP is clearly not ready yet to handle. I'm ready to bet the problem with his tracks hasn't got to do with lack of tools but problems in his mix & processing. Sadly I'm not sure the fantastic UAD plugs or even the most expensive outboard compressor can fix that either.. it could even make things worst.. I'm only on a hunch here but my advice to OP would be to perhaps hire the pro engineer in his building to have a look at the sessions and analyse what is wrong...
Old 22nd December 2014
  #26
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Kaoz's Avatar
I remember a pic that was doing the rounds a while ago, was of an "awesome knob" or something like that.

Engineers would turn it up when the artist wanted the track to sound better. Think the OP is looking for one of those.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
Yeah there is no "magic box" that you can place in your chain and boom will turn **** into gold.. excuse my french.. going OTB requires a lot of know-how which OP is clearly not ready yet to handle. I'm ready to bet the problem with his tracks hasn't got to do with lack of tools but problems in his mix & processing. Sadly I'm not sure the fantastic UAD plugs or even the most expensive outboard compressor can fix that either.. it could even make things worst.. I'm only on a hunch here but my advice to OP would be to perhaps hire the pro engineer in his building to have a look at the sessions and analyse what is wrong...
Yea I was going to actually do that with the engineer. I was going to sit down and he was going to walk me through proper mixing technique and what not for a small fee of 60 dollars an hour.

For the rest of commenters on the forum, it really shows your lack of professionalism with the replies you guys leave. I never said I was expecting the apollo twin duo to magically make my music sound better. I understand it takes a great understanding of the frequency spectrum and experience with one's personal gear to accomplish a certain sound. I just simply wanted to process my music outside the box to see how that would effect my mixing. I guess thats why you're in a forum trolling and I'm out gigging. I make money doing what I love. I just know very little when it comes to working outside the box. I humbly was asking to learn like I'm sure you guys once had to as well.
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Also keep in mind that Diplo or anyone else for that matter hasn't been doing this all by themselves. You can learn a lot from your fellow musicians, but hoping that a 1176 - UAD or analog - is going to fix all your mixes - that way lies only disappointment.
I'm sorry did I ever say I was hoping it was going to fix my mixes? Stop assuming. I was just humbly asking a question about processing through outboard gear. I understand one would still have to properly mix even if its getting processed through physical hardware.

You guys take this forum sh*t way to seriously. Need to relax.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #29
Old 22nd December 2014 | Show parent
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I am going to be the harsh voice of reason here. Yes, you most definitely can sound like that itb. But only if you know what you're doing. And in fairness, the type of questions you ask sound like you don't know your tools that well yet.

Which isn't bad or evil, just seems to be the case. Just keep plugging away at it. But to think that it is mastering engineers that get the sound you are after is folly. The great sounding tracks already sound great before mastering and change very little.

Your mastering engineer friend saying that analog gear can help is not wrong, but the crux is in what context does it become an important difference. Basically, it will only help if you're doing all the baking the pie properly, and then it can give the whole pie a sweet tonal assistance to make it sweeter still. Will do no good at all if you don't know how to make a pie first though.

On topic you'd likely be making a pretty good choice with an Apollo, as the UA plugs are good.
Thanks man I appreciate your honesty and very informative reply. You are absolutely right about me not knowing my plugins very well. I'm still experimenting with them everyday to see which one gives me the proper tone I want and so forth.

Everyone I keep asking about the apollo twin keep telling me the same thing that the UAD plugins are good. But I have a ton of plugins, such as the wave bundle, soundtoys, logic plugins are good, fabfilter and a few others. So my other question is and again it has nothing to do with me wanting to magically make my music sound better. Its just a question of curiousity. Would me looping the tracks out of logic and into the apollo twin and back into logic have any effect on my tracks as far as tone or anything of that matter? Is that even possible with the apollo twin duo?
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