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From Sapphire to Apollo Desktop Synthesizers
Old 21st November 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 

From Sapphire to Apollo

Hey Guys,

Opportunity has come up with a great deal on an apollo-8, especially now with the included satillite. Currently have a saffire pro 40 that I have had absolutely no problem with through the years. I've always been a fan of the UAD stuff and the plugins are a big draw for me, having relied mainly on the slate plugins for my analog flavour.

I've been running the saffire into thunderbolt through adaptors which is officially supported by focusrite so no problems there, but I've been wanting to upgrade to a thunderbolt interface for a while. Anyone have experience with the newer apollo-8, is it a solid interface that I can use forever? (or until I get the itch again)

Money aside, is this going to be a substantial upgrade in more than just access to UAD plugins? How are the pres compared to the saffire? Headphone outputs plenty hot? (I use R70x and 7506)

Thanks


*Also I just realized I wrote sapphire, been a long day
Old 21st November 2015
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

I already know you'll get dozens of replies saying that the Apollo's preamps and converters are so much better, bla bla...

Let me just say this.

I have a client for whom I recorded and mixed a lot of songs, some of which we recorded through a Saffire 24, some through an Apollo. It just happened because sometimes we didn't have the Apollo where we were recording. There is no audible quality difference between any of those songs. They all sound amazing.

The lesson learned for me was: If there is a difference in quality between the two interfaces, then still nobody's going to be able to tell later on. At least not if you're a good engineer.

I think the Saffire did a great job and whatever the difference between the two interfaces, it wasn't relevant for our work. Underrated interface in my opinion.

I know this has been said a lot in this forum, but it hasn't been said often enough: What matters are your skills, not the plugins or hardware you work with.

If you're craving a new interface (because we all just love gear), then go for it. But there won't be a noticeable quality boost in your recordings other than the imaginary difference you'll persuade yourself to notice in order to justify the investment
Old 21st November 2015
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexe View Post
I already know you'll get dozens of replies saying that the Apollo's preamps and converters are so much better, bla bla...

Let me just say this.

I have a client for whom I recorded and mixed a lot of songs, some of which we recorded through a Saffire 24, some through an Apollo. It just happened because sometimes we didn't have the Apollo where we were recording. There is no audible quality difference between any of those songs. They all sound amazing.

The lesson learned for me was: If there is a difference in quality between the two interfaces, then still nobody's going to be able to tell later on. At least not if you're a good engineer.

I think the Saffire did a great job and whatever the difference between the two interfaces, it wasn't relevant for our work. Underrated interface in my opinion.

I know this has been said a lot in this forum, but it hasn't been said often enough: What matters are your skills, not the plugins or hardware you work with.

If you're craving a new interface (because we all just love gear), then go for it. But there won't be a noticeable quality boost in your recordings other than the imaginary difference you'll persuade yourself to notice in order to justify the investment
I haven't compared a Saffire and Apollo head to head, but I'm sure they sound pretty similar and both are great. What brought me to the UAD stuff is the plug-ins and ability to record with them without any delay. As a guitar player, being able to fire up a great amp like the Marshall or Chandler and add all the delay and reverb I want has been a dream come true. I'm coming a lot closer to the analog vibe I've been after for years.
Old 21st November 2015
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bndy View Post
I haven't compared a Saffire and Apollo head to head, but I'm sure they sound pretty similar and both are great. What brought me to the UAD stuff is the plug-ins and ability to record with them without any delay. As a guitar player, being able to fire up a great amp like the Marshall or Chandler and add all the delay and reverb I want has been a dream come true. I'm coming a lot closer to the analog vibe I've been after for years.
Yeah, the UAD plugins are great. I'm a guitarist myself, though, and never had any delay problems DI'ing my electric guitar with native plugins such as Amplitube or Guitar Rig. There is a delay, but it's so short that it's unnoticeable in practice.

Also I don't like the concept of closed, proprietary systems and plugins that ONLY run on those systems. You can neither use UAD plugins on the go (because you might not have an Apollo around), nor can UA's shark CPUs be used for anything other than running UAD plugins (as opposed to investing the money in a faster CPU for your desktop instead, for example, and that CPU power can be used for anything, not just for plugins).
Old 21st November 2015
  #5
Gear Nut
 

I use a laptop about 75% of the time and with the current promotion you get a satillite for free, which would allow me to just use that on the go if I don't need to listen back through monitors. I've demo'd a bunch of the plugins through a friends system (A7x, RME UFX, treated and floating room) and heard some really really good things.

After sleeping on it I think this is something I'll make the jump on. The extra power from the satillite is just an added treat.

On another note then, is the quad a substantial enough jump in power over the duo? Given that it will include a quad satillite, I'm basically deciding between 6 and 8 cards. As guys that use the software, do you notice ever hitting the limit? I normally work on more indie rock style stuff with track counts hovering around 40+.

Thanks
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