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Why would anyone NOT buy the Apollo Twin MKII? Audio Interfaces
Old 6th September 2018
  #91
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 

There are USB and firewire versions. Yes, the plugins are expensive.
Old 6th September 2018
  #92
I sat down to learn a tune last night on acoustic, and I just slapped on the headphones loaded up a Console preset I had used for classical guitar with the SSL Unison months before. It just dawned on me at how good it sounded right out of the gate - the Acoustic sounded rounded and full - better than in the untreated room I'm using right now and certainly way better than simply micing it through a regular interface. That's the advantage of the Twin in a nutshell - the monitoring - you no longer have to monitor the dull sound of a room, you can correct and enhance without any latency. That's well worth the price in of itself. Console presets are a godsend- I have a ton now - bass, various DI guitar, amp micing, vocals etc.

It certainly has its limits, dsp being the main one, but working within them is easy. Complaining about them is nitpicking because no other interface does what it does.
Old 6th September 2018
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Dahlberg View Post
There are USB and firewire versions. Yes, the plugins are expensive.
1. USB version is PC only

2. Firewire version is OLD technology and a dead format for us Mac guys. Not to mention that the UAD FW Silver unit is OLD with old AD/DA.

Im not going to buy another FW unit when Im trying to get off of FW here. Currently Steinberg MR816X

This leaves us MacPro tower guys dead in the water as far as UA goes. It sucks for us. If they had a USB Mac version Id be on it. Im not upgrading the Mac anytime soon here
Old 6th September 2018
  #94
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit View Post
1. USB version is PC only

2. Firewire version is OLD technology and a dead format for us Mac guys. Not to mention that the UAD FW Silver unit is OLD with old AD/DA.

Im not going to buy another FW unit when Im trying to get off of FW here. Currently Steinberg MR816X

This leaves us MacPro tower guys dead in the water as far as UA goes. It sucks for us. If they had a USB Mac version Id be on it. Im not upgrading the Mac anytime soon here
Certainly, not having the USB version be Mac-compatible is a strange omission. I use the FireWire version on Mac through the Apple Thunderbolt Adapter and it works flawlessly. I had the Apollo 8 before and did not notice an improvement in performance. UA made big claims about the Apollo 8 conversion being better but really neither of them sound very good. I only use them for the preamps or when I run out of channels of external conversion.
Old 20th September 2018
  #95
I have several times contemplated getting a twin for my guitar and bass needs... is the unison not as good as one could expect? I have a few DIs but ideally I'd like to get a REDDI sound using unison, not sure that would be possible. My other interest was the tweed emulation.. is there anything in native as good? Unison is really the only reason I ever contemplate the UAD platform, such a nice fit for their DSP work.
Old 21st September 2018
  #96
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 

IMO, the best Unison plugins are the Helios MK2, SSL MK2, and B15n. The Tweed is good, I prefer the Fuchs Train II and Friedman Buxom Betty over it but those are very different styles of amps. The Eden and Gallien Krueger are also quite good. Everyone loves the 1073 MK2 but I personally don't think it's as successful an emulation as the Helios and SSL are. If UA makes a 1081 MK2 or 31102 now using the skills they've attained since releasing the 1073 MK2, I bet it would be a closer emulation.
Old 8th January 2019
  #97
Gear Head
Sorry for resurrecting the topic, but I've found good deals on Apollo Twin Duo MKII. I'm just an ocasional recorder (hobbyist) who wants recording vocals, bass and guitars at home. I currently have a very old M-Audio Fast Track Pro, so I need dual booting macOS Mavericks and Mojave to get driver compatibility. I also have a Reaper license and only use built-in plugins.

My workstation is an Early-2013 Macbook Pro 15" (quad-core, 8GB RAM, Thunderbolt 1). I wonder if an Apollo Twin MKII DUO would be fun in 2019 for recording projects from a hobbyist point of view, that is, I don't like managing plugin licenses or have to pay monthly fees (I really don't know which kind of business model occurs in the plugin world). I find the Apollo Twin attractive since it promises to simulate UAD 610 mic preamp which I love listening on YouTube reviews.

So my question is: driver-wise, plugin-wise and the overall fun, would I be happy with an Apollo Twin? Or should I really try buying a less expensive audio interface and subscribe to a pluging plan and/or purchase a bunch of plugin licenses, even considering I'm only involved on audio projects for perhaps three months a year (usually at summer when I'm more freed of job tasks)?

Thanks in advance!
Old 8th January 2019
  #98
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I would suggest buying the UA Solo 610 and a decent non-UA interface.

Unless you really need the plugins, sure, get the Twin, many of the UAD plugins are great.

Driver wise, sound wise, I think you'd be perfectly happy with the Twin.

It's just a tough question for me since I really liked the UA Solo 110 and Solo 610 and used them pretty heavily for a few years.
Old 8th January 2019
  #99
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
Sorry for resurrecting the topic, but I've found good deals on Apollo Twin Duo MKII. I'm just an ocasional recorder (hobbyist) who wants recording vocals, bass and guitars at home. I currently have a very old M-Audio Fast Track Pro, so I need dual booting macOS Mavericks and Mojave to get driver compatibility. I also have a Reaper license and only use built-in plugins.

My workstation is an Early-2013 Macbook Pro 15" (quad-core, 8GB RAM, Thunderbolt 1). I wonder if an Apollo Twin MKII DUO would be fun in 2019 for recording projects from a hobbyist point of view, that is, I don't like managing plugin licenses or have to pay monthly fees (I really don't know which kind of business model occurs in the plugin world). I find the Apollo Twin attractive since it promises to simulate UAD 610 mic preamp which I love listening on YouTube reviews.

So my question is: driver-wise, plugin-wise and the overall fun, would I be happy with an Apollo Twin? Or should I really try buying a less expensive audio interface and subscribe to a pluging plan and/or purchase a bunch of plugin licenses, even considering I'm only involved on audio projects for perhaps three months a year (usually at summer when I'm more freed of job tasks)?

Thanks in advance!
You get a lot of bang for the buck, because you are really getting a standalone FX processor as well as an audio interface. You basically monitor your inputs live within the UAD console, which processes your sound before it hits the computer, so latency is a non issue. You can choose to monitor or record the plugins you use when tracking (except the plugin in the Unison slot, which is always printed).

The included plugins are a great start. You will get a UA-610, a Marshall Plexi and an Ampeg SVT Unison plugin, plus "legacy" versions (not MKII) of the classic UA and Puiltec gear. The plus side of the legacy versions is that they won't eat up processing on your duo SHARCs.

I started with a Twin when setting up a "studio B" while using Apogee Symphony64 and AD/DA16 converters since 2008 in the main studio. I was a quick convert on the real time tracking workflow, and ended up with 3 Apollos and 3 UAD Satellites (now down to two Apollo X and an Octo satellite for 20 SHARC chips).

I would say the main factor in the switch was in fact the FUN factor in being able to work in UAD Console, with all these great plugins in real time. And moving back to tracking with FX and committing while tracking, which I kind of shied away from since moving from analog tape to the DAW 20 years ago.
Old 9th January 2019
  #100
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
I wonder if an Apollo Twin MKII DUO would be fun in 2019 for recording projects from a hobbyist point of view
This is one of its strong suits, it's a pleasure to use. Real-time plugins in a very easy-to-use interface that pretty much never crashes.

Quote:
I find the Apollo Twin attractive since it promises to simulate UAD 610 mic preamp which I love listening on YouTube reviews.
The 610 plugin doesn't sound as good as the real thing. If you are willing to buy plugins, some of the other preamps plugins (Helios MK2, SSL MK2) are very good and compare very well with great hardware preamps.

Quote:
So my question is: driver-wise, plugin-wise and the overall fun, would I be happy with an Apollo Twin? Or should I really try buying a less expensive audio interface and subscribe to a pluging plan and/or purchase a bunch of plugin licenses, even considering I'm only involved on audio projects for perhaps three months a year (usually at summer when I'm more freed of job tasks)?
Honestly, you're kind of the perfect person for a subscription model since you only need the plugins a few times a year. With that said, McDSP has been selling their 6050 channel strip for $49 lately and that does as much or more than most subscription packages.
Old 9th January 2019
  #101
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Dahlberg View Post
This is one of its strong suits, it's a pleasure to use. Real-time plugins in a very easy-to-use interface that pretty much never crashes.
My main concern about my Fast Track Pro has been related to drivers, so I'm stuck on macOS Mavericks (Yosemite is compatible too, but it's a little more tricky). Once drivers are set up, it doesn't crash too much for my hobbyist ambitions. Don't know about preamp S/N ratio... never had something else to compare. I have a Mackie 402VLZ4 which has preamps that seem just barely superior to the Fast Track ones. I've seen good deals on FMR Real Nice Preamp, but recent reviews are not too positive as they were ten years ago.

Quote:
The 610 plugin doesn't sound as good as the real thing. If you are willing to buy plugins, some of the other preamps plugins (Helios MK2, SSL MK2) are very good and compare very well with great hardware preamps.
The maximum budget I'd invest on hardware preamps would be in the range of a RNP and a UA 610 Solo. That is, if there are software comparable to these preamps for a fraction of their price, I would probably prefer this way.


Quote:
Honestly, you're kind of the perfect person for a subscription model since you only need the plugins a few times a year. With that said, McDSP has been selling their 6050 channel strip for $49 lately and that does as much or more than most subscription packages.
I'm not too experienced on software subscription plans besides Microsoft Office 365. I think paying $50/month for a hobby a bit expensive, but I could pay $300 for a license of a plugin comparable to a couple of great preamps e compressors. Reaper plugins are great, but I miss the "voicings" of hardware preamps I hear on YouTube, that is, I think I don't need transparent stuff, but something that gives some character just like a stomp box does to a guitar sound.

Thanks for your advice, I'll certainly take it into account.
Old 9th January 2019
  #102
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I would suggest buying the UA Solo 610 and a decent non-UA interface.

Unless you really need the plugins, sure, get the Twin, many of the UAD plugins are great.

Driver wise, sound wise, I think you'd be perfectly happy with the Twin.

It's just a tough question for me since I really liked the UA Solo 110 and Solo 610 and used them pretty heavily for a few years.
I guess the UA 610 has a great potential to suit my amateur ambitions, although it would give limited versatility, and it's pretty expensive. I have cables to bypass M-Audio preamp through the effect loop (I've already tested this method), so I could get the UA 610 tone and S/N ratio without adding noise from the FTP preamps. On the other hand, I presume the Twin has more robust preamps, which would allow extracting more signal from my AKG mics (a P420 and a couple of P170's) without adding noise like the FTP. It's a tough decision: I have to decide between a device that would improve greatly my mic tone (UA 610) and a versatile unit which could provide nice plugins and a better S/N ratio which would benefit all of my audio stuff.
Old 9th January 2019
  #103
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
I guess the UA 610 has a great potential to suit my amateur ambitions, although it would give limited versatility, and it's pretty expensive. I have cables to bypass M-Audio preamp through the effect loop (I've already tested this method), so I could get the UA 610 tone and S/N ratio without adding noise from the FTP preamps. On the other hand, I presume the Twin has more robust preamps, which would allow extracting more signal from my AKG mics (a P420 and a couple of P170's) without adding noise like the FTP. It's a tough decision: I have to decide between a device that would improve greatly my mic tone (UA 610) and a versatile unit which could provide nice plugins and a better S/N ratio which would benefit all of my audio stuff.
I wouldn't recommend plugging a fancy preamp into a $50 interface, I guess I would suggest to get a better interface.
Old 9th January 2019
  #104
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
You get a lot of bang for the buck, because you are really getting a standalone FX processor as well as an audio interface. You basically monitor your inputs live within the UAD console, which processes your sound before it hits the computer, so latency is a non issue. You can choose to monitor or record the plugins you use when tracking (except the plugin in the Unison slot, which is always printed).
This sounds good.

Quote:
I started with a Twin when setting up a "studio B" while using Apogee Symphony64 and AD/DA16 converters since 2008 in the main studio. I was a quick convert on the real time tracking workflow, and ended up with 3 Apollos and 3 UAD Satellites (now down to two Apollo X and an Octo satellite for 20 SHARC chips).
Well, my major ambition is producing songs with usually 6 to 12 tracks (bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, two or three vocal tracks). I usually take around 1-2 months for producing one song in this terms. Nothing at the enthusiast level, but I wonder if FTP isn't compromising my productivity. Perhaps with a faster device, with better S/N ratio and more routing features would provide more fun to this hobby, since I would spend less time messing with built-in equalizers and compressors.

Quote:
I would say the main factor in the switch was in fact the FUN factor in being able to work in UAD Console, with all these great plugins in real time. And moving back to tracking with FX and committing while tracking, which I kind of shied away from since moving from analog tape to the DAW 20 years ago.
This makes me more impelled to the Apollo Twin way.
Old 10th January 2019
  #105
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
My main concern about my Fast Track Pro has been related to drivers, so I'm stuck on macOS Mavericks
Universal Audio is exceptionally great when it comes to supporting older devices. A lot of us are still using the original silverface Apollos, which are 3 generations earlier than the Apollo Twin MK2. The Apollo drivers aren't as low latency as other interfaces but it doesn't matter when you're using its own realtime plugins.

Quote:
The maximum budget I'd invest on hardware preamps would be in the range of a RNP and a UA 610 Solo. That is, if there are software comparable to these preamps for a fraction of their price, I would probably prefer this way.
Plus, if you invest in the Helios MK2 or SSL MK2, you'll be able to use them during mixing, as well. They are really great EQ's on top of being great preamps. Also, let's say you upgrade to an Apollo with more preamps in the future, all of them benefit from whatever preamp plugin you have invested in now. The Solo 610 is a great preamp but I personally would use the Helios MK2 or SSL MK2 Unison preamps over an RNP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
Perhaps with a faster device, with better S/N ratio and more routing features would provide more fun to this hobby, since I would spend less time messing with built-in equalizers and compressors.
The UAD plugins are mostly very easy to work with and get good sounds out of. Since the plugins are realtime when run in Console, I run my DAW at very high latency and this helps keep everything very stable. There are some downsides, namely that the plugins are expensive, the converters are good but not state-of-the-art, and the latency is higher than some other interfaces, but the overall experience is very positive, especially in terms of being able to get a lot done quickly and easily, which seems to be of primary importance to you.
Old 14th January 2019
  #106
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Dahlberg View Post
The UAD plugins are mostly very easy to work with and get good sounds out of. Since the plugins are realtime when run in Console, I run my DAW at very high latency and this helps keep everything very stable. There are some downsides, namely that the plugins are expensive, the converters are good but not state-of-the-art, and the latency is higher than some other interfaces, but the overall experience is very positive, especially in terms of being able to get a lot done quickly and easily, which seems to be of primary importance to you.
Well... I'm thinking on changing plans. Now I have an offer for an Apogee Element 46 for the price of an Apollo Twin Duo. I have a Logic Pro X license (which is supposed to integrate well with this knob-less Apogee), so I wonder if Element 46 could be a better option considering lower latencies, perhaps better built-in preamp, but without the plugins.
Old 14th January 2019
  #107
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If you don't use virtual instruments and want to use UAD plugins, the Apollo will be a good choice. If you use virtual instruments and have a good collection of native plugins, the Apogee will be a good choice.
Old 15th January 2019
  #108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Dahlberg View Post
If you don't use virtual instruments and want to use UAD plugins, the Apollo will be a good choice. If you use virtual instruments and have a good collection of native plugins, the Apogee will be a good choice.
I don’t understand what the Virtual Instruments have to do with whether Apollo will be a good choice or not? I only use virtual instruments (mostly NI Komplete and Maschine). Apollo has no impact on using them. Of course I’m not trying to also play through heavy latency plugins, but do sometimes route Maschine drums through the SSL G Buss MII and in Logic I can just hit the low latency button if I want to add or change parts (which I constantly do).
Old 15th January 2019
  #109
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Eric Dahlberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
I don’t understand what the Virtual Instruments have to do with whether Apollo will be a good choice or not? I only use virtual instruments (mostly NI Komplete and Maschine). Apollo has no impact on using them. Of course I’m not trying to also play through heavy latency plugins, but do sometimes route Maschine drums through the SSL G Buss MII and in Logic I can just hit the low latency button if I want to add or change parts (which I constantly do).
Even in the best case scenario, The Apogee has lower latency. Anyway, if it works for you, great! I haven't been so lucky.
Old 15th January 2019
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
I don’t understand what the Virtual Instruments have to do with whether Apollo will be a good choice or not?
Exactly.. similarly, when one would like to perform live through UAD effects and have lowest possible latency, he can use virtual I/Os to console, where he can host his effect chains.
Routing DAW Tracks to Virtual Channels in Console (Mac and PC) – Universal Audio Support Home
Otherwise just the output latency is comparable to other TB interfaces.

Michal
Old 15th January 2019
  #111
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Dahlberg View Post
If you don't use virtual instruments and want to use UAD plugins, the Apollo will be a good choice. If you use virtual instruments and have a good collection of native plugins, the Apogee will be a good choice.
Ended up buying the Apogee because it seems to be a little more versatile based on internet opinions and reviews (although I actually never had contact with both interfaces). I'm a bit afraid because it's an expensive interface for my hobbyist ambitions and my wage: ~USD 1200.00 used. In Brazil, believe, it's an excelent deal. I could get a new one from Ebay for a total cost of USD 2000.00 (interface + shipping + taxes) expecting to have the interface delivered two months later.
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