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Anyone move from UAD Apollo to Antelope Orion Studio?
Old 30th September 2017
  #1
Anyone move from UAD Apollo to Antelope Orion Studio?

I've been asking a lot of questions lately, so my thanks in advance for any opinions...

I have an Apollo 8 Duo that I like quite a bit, great interface. Drivers, quality, everything is cool. However, I'm more a hybrid guy and definitely use analog on the way in so I almost never track with plugs. The 8x8 IO is a little lacking, and I can only add another 8x8 via ADAT.

The Orion has 12 in x 16 out so I wouldn't need to buy an additional adat interface for a while, plus I'd prob have enough to send 8 outs to a summing mixer (if i decide to try that?). PLUS, I need to buy 2 guitar reamping boxes to integrate stereo pedals, the Orion already has, and an extra set of speaker outs which I would def want too...

I'm a lil afraid due to some of the driver and hardware issues I'm hearing about, but they seem to be isolated to older mac's and windows macines? UA support is amazing too! It seems that Antelope (thanks Marcel!) has been doing a fine good job here in the forums too...

I'd love to hear anyone's story that switched up! Cheers
Old 1st October 2017
  #2
Friendly bump. Any feedback?
Old 1st October 2017
  #3
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If I were just starting out, the new Antelope stuff looks awfully tempting! I'm just so invested in UAD stuff and the workflow, I don't really want to switch now. It works well for me, I'm just not as wrapped up in features as I used to be. Having said that, the Antelope seems to have a leg up on the Apollo in terms of features and price. At the very least, I'm hoping it will push UA to update the Apollo in a more major way. I would love an 8p style with 16 outs, as that's what I need to expand into soon.
Old 1st October 2017
  #4
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I did the other way around, went from Orion Studio to Apollo. It was the best decision I could have made.
Old 1st October 2017
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
I did the other way around, went from Orion Studio to Apollo. It was the best decision I could have made.
Hey Jantex, thanks much for your response! I'm def a lil blinded by the Orion's sparkly lights ( ie: IO mainly)... But my Apollo is working great for me too! If you don't mind I'd like to know what issues or problems you had with your setup? Either way tho, thanks again!
Old 2nd October 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
Hey Jantex, thanks much for your response! I'm def a lil blinded by the Orion's sparkly lights ( ie: IO mainly)... But my Apollo is working great for me too! If you don't mind I'd like to know what issues or problems you had with your setup? Either way tho, thanks again!
Apollo is a mature interface like UAD is a mature manifacturer. Apollo simply works everytime, drivers are rock solid and software as well. Everything always works without surprises, drivers work great at low buffer sizes, UAD plugins sound better than Antelopes.

With Orion Studio I never knew when my interface will not connect, whenever the new firmware was available, I was nervous during automatic updating when powered on, whether interface will work or not. Drivers were buggy, I had dropouts even at 256 buffer sizes with pretty empty projects. The interface has shiny features but the real world execution is so far behind Apollo.

I changed 3 units within one year and when waiting for the fourth new one I had enough and bought Apollo and my issues became history. When I received brand new Orion Studio, I never even bothered to open the box to try it. It is still waiting here on Classifieds section to be sold for half the price I paid for new one when it was released.
Old 2nd October 2017
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
If I were just starting out, the new Antelope stuff looks awfully tempting! I'm just so invested in UAD stuff and the workflow, I don't really want to switch now. It works well for me, I'm just not as wrapped up in features as I used to be. Having said that, the Antelope seems to have a leg up on the Apollo in terms of features and price. At the very least, I'm hoping it will push UA to update the Apollo in a more major way. I would love an 8p style with 16 outs, as that's what I need to expand into soon.
Yea I hear ya. IF I decided to give the Orion Studio a whirl I'd def still keep my satellite to continue mixing with UAD plugins. I just almost never track with plugs so the Apollo 8 is really just an interface to me. It works good and sounds good, but I'm just really tempted at all the features baked into that Orion Studio. But I have no patience for driver issues. Thanks for the input!
Old 2nd October 2017
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jantex View Post
Apollo is a mature interface like UAD is a mature manifacturer. Apollo simply works everytime, drivers are rock solid and software as well. Everything always works without surprises, drivers work great at low buffer sizes, UAD plugins sound better than Antelopes.

With Orion Studio I never knew when my interface will not connect, whenever the new firmware was available, I was nervous during automatic updating when powered on, whether interface will work or not. Drivers were buggy, I had dropouts even at 256 buffer sizes with pretty empty projects. The interface has shiny features but the real world execution is so far behind Apollo.

I changed 3 units within one year and when waiting for the fourth new one I had enough and bought Apollo and my issues became history. When I received brand new Orion Studio, I never even bothered to open the box to try it. It is still waiting here on Classifieds section to be sold for half the price I paid for new one when it was released.
Oh man, sorry you had to deal with that mess, yea I'd go crazy. Thanks a lot for your input. I guess I could give it a shot and just return it if it didn't work properly. But sounds like theres that chance that it would start acting up right after the return window closes haha.
Old 1st May 2018
  #9
SEA
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I heard that the Orion Studio has all the bugs out now. I'm temped on getting it but the Apollo sounds great as well.

I'm only running 2 channels in my home studio so no biggy on the I/Os. My thing is best conversion (which Antelope would probably be) and the plugs to not take my CPU down to crunchville! I have a Prism Lyra which I love and can switch back and forth with my RayDAT (Love the RayDAT)

Any thoughts?

SEA
Old 2nd May 2018
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA View Post
I heard that the Orion Studio has all the bugs out now. I'm temped on getting it but the Apollo sounds great as well.

I'm only running 2 channels in my home studio so no biggy on the I/Os. My thing is best conversion (which Antelope would probably be) and the plugs to not take my CPU down to crunchville! I have a Prism Lyra which I love and can switch back and forth with my RayDAT (Love the RayDAT)

Any thoughts?

SEA
So are you on PC? I'm still rocking and loving my Apollo on mac. No issues, and pretty darn low latency. Like any of these interfaces with their own software, it's takes a minute to get used to it. I tried the Motu AVB stuff and just didn't feel like learning their process, though they have the best IO configs atm. Though I keep reading about a lot of driver issues...

Personally, I think I'm kind of attracted to the Quantum right now, I really just want to stay in my daw. "Best" conversion is something I'm no longer chasing but do want really good.

I'm currently shopping for a portable interface that I can also use in the studio. I'll prob gran an Apollo Twin MKii since that would be a great controller and addition to my Apollo 8. My only bummer is lack of IO, I'll need to bring an additional interface out for remote stuff since I'll need at least 4 inputs. Though, I do feel comfortable with the Apollo mic pres, esp if I want to use unison for some flava.
Old 2nd May 2018
  #11
SEA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
So are you on PC? I'm still rocking and loving my Apollo on mac. No issues, and pretty darn low latency. Like any of these interfaces with their own software, it's takes a minute to get used to it. I tried the Motu AVB stuff and just didn't feel like learning their process, though they have the best IO configs atm. Though I keep reading about a lot of driver issues...

Personally, I think I'm kind of attracted to the Quantum right now, I really just want to stay in my daw. "Best" conversion is something I'm no longer chasing but do want really good.

I'm currently shopping for a portable interface that I can also use in the studio. I'll prob gran an Apollo Twin MKii since that would be a great controller and addition to my Apollo 8. My only bummer is lack of IO, I'll need to bring an additional interface out for remote stuff since I'll need at least 4 inputs. Though, I do feel comfortable with the Apollo mic pres, esp if I want to use unison for some flava.
I'm Windows 7 guy. I am thinking about the Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite USB OCTO Core and running my Prism Lyra.

The Orion Studio I might get as well for a 2nd converter. Prism sounds so freek'n good! Beats the Hilo for clarity and analog I think. One Hilo die hard loves the Prism Lyra over his Hilo and can hear things the Hilo misses. Mainly in the mids to low mids I believe.
Old 3rd May 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA View Post
I'm Windows 7 guy. I am thinking about the Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite USB OCTO Core and running my Prism Lyra.

The Orion Studio I might get as well for a 2nd converter. Prism sounds so freek'n good! Beats the Hilo for clarity and analog I think. One Hilo die hard loves the Prism Lyra over his Hilo and can hear things the Hilo misses. Mainly in the mids to low mids I believe.
Nice, I really was considering picking up a solid 2 channel AD/DA converter. Reviews on the Lyra seem to be overwhelmingly positive. So, your using it via it's USB connection? I'm assuming if it was used via SPDIF into another interface, it would still sound exactly the same?

I've been following the Antelope threads and while it does sound like they're getting past some growing pains and doing a little better with their QA, I'm still not quite convinced yet. But, obv many folks are using their products with great results. The Pure 2 was on my list of options...
Old 3rd May 2018
  #13
SEA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
Nice, I really was considering picking up a solid 2 channel AD/DA converter. Reviews on the Lyra seem to be overwhelmingly positive. So, your using it via it's USB connection? I'm assuming if it was used via SPDIF into another interface, it would still sound exactly the same?

I've been following the Antelope threads and while it does sound like they're getting past some growing pains and doing a little better with their QA, I'm still not quite convinced yet. But, obv many folks are using their products with great results. The Pure 2 was on my list of options...
I use the USB for cutting vocals and instruments but I use the Lyra's ADAT connection to my RayDAT for normal use since the RayDAT gives me better performance and less CPU.

I had pre-ordered the Pure 2 before it came out but then cancelled it. Later I picked up a used Lyra for $1,700 that came me with a $150 usb cable. So far the Lyra is my go 2 converter. I want the Orion Studio for the plugs not hitting my CPU.
Old 3rd May 2018
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA View Post
I use the USB for cutting vocals and instruments but I use the Lyra's ADAT connection to my RayDAT for normal use since the RayDAT gives me better performance and less CPU.

I had pre-ordered the Pure 2 before it came out but then cancelled it. Later I picked up a used Lyra for $1,700 that came me with a $150 usb cable. So far the Lyra is my go 2 converter. I want the Orion Studio for the plugs not hitting my CPU.
I had no idea a $150 usb cable even existed lol... Yea, I actually use a MBP with only 8gb of RAM, so using the UAD plugs to mix ( or several pieces of hardware ) let's me get a lot of plugin instances with very little CPU hit, definitely awesome.

I'm not sure if the Orion is going to use their new AFX2DAW plugin for actually plugin mixing, I believe it's just for tracking? I could be wrong though but their current method of running DA back through the AD to use their plugs is a bit weird to me. If I'm going to go through that process I'd rather just hit hardware... Just my opinion...
Old 3rd May 2018
  #15
SEA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
I'm not sure if the Orion is going to use their new AFX2DAW plugin for actually plugin mixing, I believe it's just for tracking? I could be wrong though but their current method of running DA back through the AD to use their plugs is a bit weird to me. If I'm going to go through that process I'd rather just hit hardware... Just my opinion...
From what I have seen the plugs are for mixing as well.
Old 3rd May 2018
  #16
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It doesn't run through DA and AD when using the plugins for mixing, it's digital all the way of course. It's just routed in the DAW like you were using external hardware, but it stays in the box for the whole time.
Old 3rd May 2018
  #17
SEA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askomiko View Post
It doesn't run through DA and AD when using the plugins for mixing, it's digital all the way of course. It's just routed in the DAW like you were using external hardware, but it stays in the box for the whole time.
So it's like using WAVES but not tasking my CPU correct? UAD does the same correct?

The one thing about UAD that I don't like is it's USB where the Prism is ADAT to my RayDAT.
Old 3rd May 2018
  #18
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Well, not exactly, since you need to

1. Route the audio in/out DAW for the track you want to use the effects on
2. Adjust the effect settings in the Antelope software

Their AFX2DAW -plugin is supposed to change this though, so that you can control it right inside the DAW without the need to jump between the windows. And yes, the effects run within the interface, it doesn't tax your CPU.
Old 3rd May 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by askomiko View Post
It doesn't run through DA and AD when using the plugins for mixing, it's digital all the way of course. It's just routed in the DAW like you were using external hardware, but it stays in the box for the whole time.
Oh OK cool, thanks. Whatever thread I read lead me to believe the opposite.

Hs AFX2DAW been released yet? It's hard finding any definitive info...
Old 7th May 2018
  #20
After some issues in the beginning, the Orion hd32 works perfect for us, enough in/outs for any task

Preferably i use the spdif out to drive my crane song avocet, but the monitor out on the antelope are ok if no Avocet is around
Old 7th May 2018
  #21
Interesting to hear as I was looking at the Antelope, and tbh, got spooked by the amount of issues with not just the box, but the customer service that went with it.

Is it safe to say that these issues have now gone?
Old 7th May 2018
  #22
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Not to minimize anyone’s experience but my Orion Studio has been near flawless with a MBP since purchase and support for a couple of little things has ensured ongoing stability the latest firmware updates have even made things easier and better. I have never had a serious issue.

I am one of the rare people that buy interfaces on sound quality alone and would never buy an interface for the sake of plugins or as a dongle for plugins.

The fact that I got top rate plugs with my OS is just icing on the cake.
Old 7th May 2018
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo555 View Post
Interesting to hear as I was looking at the Antelope, and tbh, got spooked by the amount of issues with not just the box, but the customer service that went with it.

Is it safe to say that these issues have now gone?
As long as Aardvark/Orion have been around they seem to have a higher complaint rate than others. With all the awesome brands out there I just can't take the chance.
Old 7th May 2018
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartfelt View Post
I am one of the rare people that buy interfaces on sound quality alone and would never buy an interface for the sake of plugins or as a dongle for plugins.
That's cool, I'm glad you've had a good experience with them. No doubt in my mind that it's capable of a professional studio experience. But calling the Apollo's a "dongle" for plugins is a bit back-handed and incorrect imo. I've gone through a lot of interfaces throughout the last few years, and the Apollo has stayed in my rack due to it's own merits. Fantastic bit of kit.

Cheers
Old 7th May 2018
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
That's cool, I'm glad you've had a good experience with them. No doubt in my mind that it's capable of a professional studio experience. But calling the Apollo's a "dongle" for plugins is a bit back-handed and incorrect imo. I've gone through a lot of interfaces throughout the last few years, and the Apollo has stayed in my rack due to it's own merits. Fantastic bit of kit.
Cheers
That’s cool. It all about our opinions. I will never buy an Apollo interface - I vigorously disagree with their business model. To me, they will always be dongles.
Old 7th May 2018
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Karloff View Post
As long as Aardvark/Orion have been around they seem to have a higher complaint rate than others. With all the awesome brands out there I just can't take the chance.

Nice to confirm that my “awooga!” Bell is still accurate.
Old 7th May 2018
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo555 View Post
Nice to confirm that my “awooga!” Bell is still accurate.
The Zen Tour fits My IO,Portability and form factor requirements. I wish it was made by a company I personally feel I could trust. I currently use a RME Babyface for my portable interface. So the software and firmware need to be on par with RME. If Lynx or RME made the ZT I would have already own one.
Old 27th May 2018
  #28
Gear Head
 

I moved from a UAD Apollo Twin to an Antelope Zen Tour last year.
I don't use the AFX plugins as, honestly, it's a PITA to route and I don't care about the Zen Tour's mixer as I tend to do all of that in my DAW.
The one time I tried the workflow, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of the plugins, but I sort of resent the lackluster process and have stubbornly refused to use it.
Why they don't release these in an AU/VST format for easier use is beyond me.
They've been promising it for a while to now avail.
Updating the firmware on the unit is also really unintuitive.
From a UX and software standpoint, Antelope need some help.

On the other hand, I've never had a single technical issue with the unit.
I use a MacBook Pro 15" with Thunderbolt and it's always been rock-solid.
I used it for a while in an aggregate chain with another soundcard and, even then, I had no problems whatsoever.

I can say, based on my experience, the converters on the Antelope are far better than those on the UAD; it's pretty much night and day.
Two of my most skeptical friends confirmed it (and I say "skeptical" with a capital S).
I upgraded to Barefoot MM45s and decided to tack the Zen Tour on and am certainly glad I did.
The Apollo Twin was poorly outmatched for the MM45s.
My ability to hear "deeper in the mix", for lack of a better phrase, has increased.
It's far easier to make surgical decisions quicker.

If they would release the plugins in an easier-to-use format, UAD would have some serious competition on their hands.
Right now, you have to make the decision around a better overall sounding product, but they aren't a contender to UAD's crown, IMO.
If you supplement with a UAD satellite, you'd have the best of both worlds.

Or skip it and go 500 series.
Old 27th May 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

I moved to antelope orion studio from lynx aurora. I needed more IO but was concerned that the sound quality would suffer. It didnt And the afx sound really really good (I also have UAD plugs on a pcie card). And the unit and routing matrix is so flexible! Im extremely happy with mine.
I have to presets i switch between, one with the afx on the inputs, and one where I have afx on 8 stereo and 2 mono busses in my daw.
Old 28th May 2018
  #30
I switched from a RME FF 800 to a UFX, to an Orion 32 and then an Orion Studio. The antelope interfaces have killed the RME, are very reliable and the conversion is significantly better.
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