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Anyone move from UAD Apollo to Antelope Orion Studio?
Old 2nd April 2019
  #91
Here for the gear
Tracking; I traded a 8P for a X8P recently for the Unison pre's as I like to come up with different preset's for guitar, bass, vocals, etc. I am not concerned with 100% accuracy with the Unison emulations in regards to hardware accuracy and more concerned with 'does it sound good?". It sounds pretty good and some of the plugins are ported 1:1 which is hard to beat.
Mastering; The x16 is impressive @133db's of headroom, but the real spec is -129db's noise as compared to the -119db noise floor of the X8P, which becomes an issue with outboard gear as the user is adding an additional I/O.
Clocking; I've heard it all and read it all. The X series specs at 10 picoseconds of jitter, which should not be an issue until mastering, in which case, for example, the BLA XB outboard clock specs at .6 picoseconds which is more suitable for outboard analog I/O.
Lynx; quality products. I cannot compare the units in a shootout, but I had a Lynx card with my Apogee 800 and a Big Ben for a long time and it was a solid high quality system. The UAD plugins tipped the scale for me after the TC System 6000 Powercore 'ball drop' and Waves 'lower quality' emulations for 29.99 with constant 'update' fees.

I am new to this forum in regards to posting but have been deriving solid advice from this site for years saving me thousands of dollars and steering me away from bad purchases. Thanks you slutz.
Old 2nd April 2019
  #92
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esaustew View Post
Tracking; I traded a 8P for a X8P recently for the Unison pre's as I like to come up with different preset's for guitar, bass, vocals, etc. I am not concerned with 100% accuracy with the Unison emulations in regards to hardware accuracy and more concerned with 'does it sound good?"..
?? They both have Unison pres.....??
Old 16th October 2019
  #93
Here for the gear
 

I was wondering how the x8p would compare to the antelope Orion studio synergy core? Thoughts?
Old 16th October 2019
  #94
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sruzycki View Post
I was wondering how the x8p would compare to the antelope Orion studio synergy core? Thoughts?
Me too! I currently have the original Orion Studio, and I think they sound brilliant. However...I've had a lot of issues with it in the past when I would try to update. As of now it's been running pretty darn smooth...but again...I've had reliability issues with both a Zen Studio and my current Orion Studio.

I'm trying to decide between going with the new Orion Studio Synergy...with all the cool plugins...or going with UAD Apollo. I have the UAD Octo Satellite and love their plugins...but have always like the Antelope sound, as well as the ability to use their mic emulations now...lots of options.

I'm torn between chancing it again with the Antelope stuff so I can use their amazing conversion and cool new plugins/mic emulations...or just going for the rock solid Apollos...
Old 29th October 2019
  #95
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7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB_12 View Post
Me too! I currently have the original Orion Studio, and I think they sound brilliant. However...I've had a lot of issues with it in the past when I would try to update. As of now it's been running pretty darn smooth...but again...I've had reliability issues with both a Zen Studio and my current Orion Studio.

I'm trying to decide between going with the new Orion Studio Synergy...with all the cool plugins...or going with UAD Apollo. I have the UAD Octo Satellite and love their plugins...but have always like the Antelope sound, as well as the ability to use their mic emulations now...lots of options.

I'm torn between chancing it again with the Antelope stuff so I can use their amazing conversion and cool new plugins/mic emulations...or just going for the rock solid Apollos...
I would think twice about it...
The designer/CEO has had a reputation for unreliable products for years now...
He had a company called Aardvark 20 years ago, drivers were never stable...he kept promising new drivers, would leave the users waiting for months and finally come up with an update drivers that was just as buggy.
A shame as the sound was not bad
The mac drivers never got released, left in beta stage.
They eventually stopped releasing any drivers and left their customers hanging.

He basically sneaked out through the back door while opening a new company in 2005 : Antelope
No statement (nor explanation or apologies) was ever made on the Aardvark site, everything just vanished.
When people found out Antelope & Aardvark were run by the same guy, Aardvark users contacted him.
He refused to release the source code for the drivers, so users got stuck with obsolete products...that they just bought a year or two before.

It seems that the reliability problems aardvark users were experiencing are still happening today ... only under another name..or animal.
Some things don't change.
Not even the style of the boxes they design
(Q10 on the left and Zen on the right)

There are serious manufacturers out there, Universal Audio, Metric Halo, RME, Apogee, Focusrite, Motu, Prism
I found Prism, Metric Halo, Lynx and Agogee to have better sounding conversion than the Antelope stuff.
And the other brands have fine conversion too.
More important is to ensure you have reliable tools and great customer support
I have a rig made with boxes from one of the manufacturers listed above and I haven't had one single issue in five years of daily use
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone move from UAD Apollo to Antelope Orion Studio?-aardvark-q10.jpg   Anyone move from UAD Apollo to Antelope Orion Studio?-zenstud.jpeg  
Old 1st November 2019
  #96
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB_12 View Post
Me too! I currently have the original Orion Studio, and I think they sound brilliant. However...I've had a lot of issues with it in the past when I would try to update. As of now it's been running pretty darn smooth...but again...I've had reliability issues with both a Zen Studio and my current Orion Studio.

I'm trying to decide between going with the new Orion Studio Synergy...with all the cool plugins...or going with UAD Apollo. I have the UAD Octo Satellite and love their plugins...but have always like the Antelope sound, as well as the ability to use their mic emulations now...lots of options.

I'm torn between chancing it again with the Antelope stuff so I can use their amazing conversion and cool new plugins/mic emulations...or just going for the rock solid Apollos...
Yea thats where I'm at. I've decided I'm definitely staying with companies that have have positive and proven track records. I'm very happy with Apollo mk2's and am either going to upgrade to the X's when I update my mac, or possibly move to Motu AVB to save a few bucks but retain good conversion. Only cause I track with UAD plugs less and less but still mix with them. Still torn though, I do like the workflow, ease of monitoring with plugs and even using them for synths and drum machines...
Old 3rd November 2019
  #97
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xanax's Avatar
Damn I'm in the same boat.. torn in between tested/proven UAD Apollo X & the Antelope Orion Studio Synergy Core.

I've never tried or heard an Antelope interface before but the I/Os on the Orion Studio are a dream come true for my particular needs.

Also 6xDSP + 2xFPGA chips sounds better than any UAD interface.

Stability is important though and the above comment by @ Nick Tammer and others around the net is really giving my second thoughts

But apparently from what i hear Antelope has really stepped up their support service, not sure about reliability though and especially driver support for the ever changing Mac OS.

As for sound quality & DSP sound FX quality I'd like to know what is the general opinion VS UA?

Finally UAD plugs are a lot more diverse/complete and are official 1:1 digital clones so that certainly tips it in UA's favor.

Still would really like to go with the Orion if not just for the I/Os and DSP power. But it's a really big investment (2800€ !!!!) for a company with so-so track record.
Old 3rd November 2019
  #98
There is such an avalanche of issues regarding the drivers for Antelloppe that it baffles me that people are still even considering it - do your research. UAD is way more reliable, all else considered.
Old 3rd November 2019
  #99
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xanax's Avatar
Lol.. I am trying to do my research as we speak. Like I said on the hardware side the Orion Studio is perfect for my needs with no real competition.

On the drivers/software side, it seems indeed there are a lot of unhappy users and this most certainly raises flags.

That said, doing research across Youtube, forums, reviews etc. It seems most of the complaints are from PC users.

Definitely some Mac users as well, mainly from using USB/TB hubs.

I'm just curious about if there is any feedback on the latest Orion Synergy Core interface that now uses TB3/USB-C type ports.

I'm hoping with that extra bandwidth and native connectivity to latest gen Macs there would be less issues? Wishful thinking perhaps.

Any happy Orion users out there?
Old 18th November 2019
  #100
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
Any happy Orion users out there?
Been using my silver Orion Studio daily in a professional situation daily since I got it. Works great and is solid.
Old 18th November 2019
  #101
Quote:
Originally Posted by climber View Post
Been using my silver Orion Studio daily in a professional situation daily since I got it. Works great and is solid.
same here. rock solid, easy to use (both orion 32 and zen)
Old 18th November 2019
  #102
Gear Maniac
There are a lot of happy customers, but they don't have time to express their happiness in the forums. This is the reason why most of the comments here are negative.
Old 18th November 2019
  #103
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AudioGaff's Avatar
Pfffft. Uhh no. There may be some happy customers, but there are A LOT of very UN-happy uses as well. Don't gloss over that fact. Happy customers and a good number of unhappy customers both post on GS. But if you read all the various comments, you easily will find that even many happy customers have continued issues that they either live with or find ways to work around. Like in selling their faulty units.
Old 19th November 2019
  #104
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioGaff View Post
Pfffft. Uhh no. There may be some happy customers, but there are A LOT of very UN-happy uses as well. Don't gloss over that fact. Happy customers and a good number of unhappy customers both post on GS. But if you read all the various comments, you easily will find that even many happy customers have continued issues that they either live with or find ways to work around. Like in selling their faulty units.
It's official : apparently on Gearslutz it is now forbidden to criticise Antelope...
Moderators erase your criticising post and post a praising one instead (George Necola)
Totalitarian censorship? When did Gearslutz turn into Soviet Union?
or Fahrenheit 451?
This very post will probably disappear within the next hours or days.
All that because I dare inform people about a company that lies to its customers (advertising included effects to daw and charge $400 for them later) and products that bug more often that they work?
Don't people realise that reliability/stability is essential?
A launcher that does not launch...
A massive bug with the presets...
Random disconnecting.....
Diverse OS/hardware compatibility issues.
and the list goes on...

Last edited by Niconic; 20th November 2019 at 04:34 AM..
Old 20th November 2019
  #105
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niconic View Post
It's official : apparently on Gearslutz it is now forbidden to criticise Antelope...
Moderators erase your criticising post and post a praising one instead (George Necola)
Totalitarian censorship? When did Gearslutz change into Soviet Union?
or Fahrenheit 451?
This very post will probably disappear within the next hours or days.
All that because I dare inform people about a company that lies to its customers (advertising included effects to daw and charge $400 for them later) and products that bug more often that they work?
It's not the first time this happens
Old 21st November 2019
  #106
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
On the whole, I find comments and reviews on GS reflect real-life scenarios pretty accurately.

So much so that when, on the odd occasion, I ignored what has been said here negatively about a certain product, I have come to regret it.
Old 21st November 2019
  #107
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
On the whole, I find comments and reviews on GS reflect real-life scenarios pretty accurately.

So much so that when, on the odd occasion, I ignored what has been said here negatively about a certain product, I have come to regret it.
Hello Tui,

It will be very interesting for me to read comments for any specific product without any negative comments nowadays. To be honest the Antelope Audio Software has come a long way, but with the new Launcher V.2 everything looks very stable.

Alex
Old 4th December 2019
  #108
Gear Head
 

what other interfaces offer the same quality hardware and conversion at a similar price?
Old 4th December 2019
  #109
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehognrown View Post
what other interfaces offer the same quality hardware and conversion at a similar price?
At this level/price, sound quality will be pretty similar, differences are minimal.
If you want to make a difference in your recordings, get a world class microphone and a 'boutique' external mic preamp (no internal interface mic preamp is really musical apart maybe from the ones in Metric Halo's ULN8)

Converters of similarly priced interfaces will play a marginal role/no role at all, compare to the acoustics of your room, your microphones and the sound your instrument (and your skills)
Record a vintage 1948 Gibson LG2 or J45 / Martin 0018 with a $100 interface, it will sound better than let's say a Sigma guitar (chinese Martin copy) recorded with a $3000 interface.
That's because the Sigma sounds like it's made out of cardboard, and cardboard recorded a with $3000 interface sounds like...cardboard

So if the sound quality difference is negligeable what sets apart audio interfaces in that price bracket?

- Reliability on daily basis
- Drivers/software stability
- How quickly bugs are fixed, or compatibility with new OS insured
- How "future proof" is the interface going to be (meaning when will it become a 2nd or 3rd rate product neglected by the company or even worse obsolete/unusable)

1. This thread started only 2 years ago and the interface is already discontinued : https://en.antelopeaudio.com/products/orion-studio/

2. A year after OSX Mojave has been released Antelope's products were still not fully compatible..even though if Catalina was already here...
https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare...compatibility/

These two points alone should suffice to answer your question.
Other manufacturers have their drivers compatible with the new OS the day the OS is out.
Some manufacturers have 18 years old products that are still NOT discontinued.
Even better : they offer hardware updates (cards) that change them into current top of the line specs/features/connectivity/audio quality for a few hundred dollars.

To stay exactly on topic, Apollo is widely recognised as being rock solid driver/software wise.
To answer your question precisely "What other interfaces ..."
Are these other manufacturers interfaces of a lesser quality?
RME UFX++ (Rock solid tool, rock solid driver, always works and great customer support) is probably of similar quality.
Metric Halo ULN8 is superior without contest (preamps with 91dB of clean gain, top mastering quality converters, vastly superior software in terms of routing capabilities, connectivity and stability)

I have not owned Lynx, Prism, Apogee, Focusrite rednet, but they have a solid reputation of reliability and quality. All of them are in the 2000/3000 price bracket.

I'm not including BURL as it's more expensive at 5000 for a 8 ch ADDA system.

So there you go...your question was about sound quality in this price bracket... imho I think your question should be "What interface of comparable pricing/quality will behave like a real professional tool that I can forget about and start focusing about music"
"What interface will give me many years of use before it gets discontinued"
With these questions in mind, I'm certain you will find the best tools for your music.
Good Luck.
Old 4th December 2019
  #110
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Tammer View Post
I'm certain you will find the best tools for your music.
Good Luck.
thanks for the reply--as a PC user some of these are interesting but sadly not available. what if we threw the quantum 8 and the clarett 8 and the MOTU AVB into the mix? any of those a standout performer to anyone?

edit: i should also mention i need to be able to move this and plug 8 mics into it to record drum sets in other people's spaces. it's not practical enough and i'm not fancy enough to lug boutique preamps around the city for these projects, so the onboard micpres are important.
Old 4th December 2019
  #111
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehognrown View Post
thanks for the reply--as a PC user some of these are interesting but sadly not available. what if we threw the quantum 8 and the clarett 8 and the MOTU AVB into the mix? any of those a standout performer to anyone?

edit: i should also mention i need to be able to move this and plug 8 mics into it to record drum sets in other people's spaces. it's not practical enough and i'm not fancy enough to lug boutique preamps around the city for these projects, so the onboard micpres are important.
Prism Titan is windows compatible, but it only 4 pres. Quality is great!
True the Red8 pre is only mac yet, so is Apogee.

Metric Halo is supposed to release windows drivers within a year...
a pity because if you want something that's only 1U to lug around with 'state of the art' conversion & preamps this is it.
I don't think you can find better recording tech with 8 preamps in only 1U space to put it simply.
If it was me and I was PC..I would get a 2012 macbook for $400, add 16GB RAM and a SSD and do a year or two with it and a ULN8 and then switch back to PC when Metric Halo has the drivers released...
That's only because I'm a fan of Metric Halo.

Although I'm not familiar enough with MOTU to recommend them myself, I've heard they really upped their game in terms of reliability/driver quality. Their DSP software mixer is good and their boxes are versatile with great connectivity. Worth to check out!
They seem to have two 8 preamp interfaces : 8pre-es and 8M. Don't know the differences between the two
Same converter chips as Apogee Symphony (although chips aren't everything, analog circuits around are more important)

For PC/windows RME UFXII/UFX+ is hard to beat to be honest.
I use one in a studio where I freelance regularly it's reliable and Totalmix rocks (not as amazing as Metric Halo MIO console though)
Rock solid tool! 75dB of gain
If I had to stay PC I'd choose that one.
For projects where you need more pres I'd add a Dav BG2 or a used Sytek mpx4 or Audient ASP800
You should check that video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRKtaEqckp8 where you can hear the UFX+ preamps holding their own against world class designs (API, Daking, Sebatron)

Not familiar with the Presonus.
Or the Focusrite Clarett range...not sure if it's closer to the Scarlett or to the Red 8pre.
Serious manufacturer though! Pres have 57db of gain... not bad, but not plenty for ribbons or RE20s, SM7s with quiet sources.

UA Apollos are solid interfaces, I'm not a fan of their business model, their plugins are super expensive.
Especially with developpers like Valhalla who release great sounding plugs for 50 a pop.
They seem to release new interface models quite often..not sure if they still support the older ones..for future proof long term support I'd choose Metric Halo or RME over UA.
Old 4th December 2019
  #112
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Tammer View Post
UA Apollos are solid interfaces, not a fan of their business model, their plugins are super expensive.
They seem to release new interface models quite often..not sure if they still support the older ones..for future proof long term support I'd choose Metric Halo or RME over UA.
that's exactly my hesitation with UAD. they seem like real money pits and their latency seems to be twice what's on offer elsewhere. that being said, metric halo and UFX certainly sounds interesting, but quite a bit more expensive. the discrete 8 synergy is going for 1300-1400 and comes with a free edge microphone (I already have one, i like them) and do there's the temptation to roll the dice if there's no clear cut challenger at that price. i think to go higher I'd mostly be looking at 4 ins in that price range.
Old 4th December 2019
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgehognrown View Post
their latency seems to be twice what's on offer elsewhere.
Really? I have played VI or amp sim through Apollos and never found it a problem.
Quote:
that being said, metric halo and UFX certainly sounds interesting, but quite a bit more expensive.
I'd rather spend 600 more and have no headache. When you have a tool that works 100% every day for many years, you know it's an additional 600 well spent.
Creating/recording music is an art that's already hard in itself.
Sometimes there is already some tension when you record a band, you don't need a piece of gear that might add some more.
I've recorded music for 30 years (Started with a 4 track tape machine when I was 13)
I feel the bling bling plugins are just candy, a good tool is a tool that never fails.

I owned an Aardvark Q10 (former brand of Antelope 20 years ago) and got accustomed to the various bugs..until we had a session with a great old school musician/band and the drivers froze the computer right before the end of the magical take of the evening.
It took me one hour to get it working again, the band got completely frustrated..started drinking and nothing else got recorded that night.
Except at 3am the singer bored waiting for me (fixing stuff or trying to retrieve some takes) too stubborn to go to bed, started to sing a song on his own with an acoustic guitar, a song that he usually plays on the electric.
It sounded incredible, the performance was so honest and raw, he'd never tried that song with an acoustic before.
I went and grabbed a laptop and a MBox1, set up just one single mic in front of him in 2 seconds... and that made it to the album.

The next day he told me : "I don't understand you guys -the computer generation- you seem to be ok doing computer maintenance all the time..why are you not using tape ... or ADAT machines if you prefer digital.
You press record and it works. It's that simple"
And he was right.
Later I bought something reliable and never looked back. 0.1% less or more sound quality is not gonna change your life...especially because it is subjective.
Today I see friends with antelope boxes ...trying to minimize the problems they're having, it's the same story repeating itself.
About "rolling dice" I'm pretty sure I would be much safer with a used RME unit (to save the 600 bucks) than a new Antelope.
Old 4th December 2019
  #114
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Tammer View Post
Today I see friends with antelope boxes ...trying to minimize the problems they're having, it's the same story repeating itself.
About "rolling dice" I'm pretty sure I would be much safer with a used RME unit (to save the 600 bucks) than a new Antelope.
you've been very helpful. whether i can afford a nicer unit is also a concern. i may have to look at an adat micpre rather than something that might improve the conversion i already have.
Old 4th December 2019
  #115
Gear Head
 

oh also, i can live with 2U in a rolling rack, that would be fine, just can't be carting pres. but it's not like i'm taking the bus, lol. so if opening to 2U is different is some interesting way...
Old 4th December 2019
  #116
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There are maybe other options but Audient is good value if you go that route (Adat)
Old 13th January 2020
  #117
Gear Maniac
 

Nick Tammer

Thanks for the back story. Unbelievable. I almost bought from them, but went UAD.


Empty pockets, but satisfied as one can be.
Old 20th January 2020
  #118
JDO
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Tammer View Post
why are you not using tape ... or ADAT machines if you prefer digital.
You press record and it works. It's that simple"
Well, I think most guys with a tape machine would tell you they wish maintaining one was as easy as working out a compatibility bug from time to time... But your point is valuable nonetheless!
Old 22nd January 2020
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDO View Post
Well, I think most guys with a tape machine would tell you they wish maintaining one was as easy as working out a compatibility bug from time to time... But your point is valuable nonetheless!
Well it was the singer who said that! Clearly with a tape machine goes a lot of maintenance and care. I guess he's recorded in lots of studios in the 80s/90s with tape machines and never had a session stopped for an hour or two.
At that time I was recording them on location, the only backup system I had was an mbox and a laptop (this was 2004)
If he had recorded in the same studios he used to, but in 2004 instead of the 80s90s it would have been computers and DAW, probably a solid system like Pro Tools HD, and a good backup, and he wouldn't have to stop for an hour either.
My PC was dedicated for audio and a solid machine, but the Aardvark had bugs like that quite often.
When it worked it sounded good, especially with external preamps.
If I had known better at the time I would have spent the extra money for a powermac and a Metric Halo 2882...I would still be able to use the 2882 today with Catalina...and would have had a stable system for nearly two decades
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