UA Apollo First Look (user review)
Old 12th April 2012
  #721
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cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSnoody View Post
When I listened to the 2 UAD FX files (I feel like you can't compare the other 2 with them due to the fact that they are colored with the plugins) I really do like the overall sound of the UA apollo overall. They are fairly similar, but if you really listen a few times over between the 2, you'll notice the Duet Martech combo is kind of harsh on the high end and it lacks warmth in the mids and low end compared to the UA apollo clip. I noticed the biggest difference between the 2 in the little country riff played at 1:10 on the UA clip and 1:02 on the Duet Martech UAD Clip. the riff on the UA is warm, crisp and the low and mids are nice and beefy. The Duet lacks the beefy mids and the lows sound a little muddy, and what really stands out that I can't stand to the UA is the high frequencies are distorted and harsh and you can hear all the little string hits and picking too much. The UA clip has a smooth top end that is clear but not overbearing, it almost rolls the high frequencies off at a certain point which seems to clear out the nasty little picking and string sounds that you don't want to hear. I'm sure if you EQ'ed the Duet track you could get basically the same sound but the whole point is to have that nice sound right out of the interface without having to enhance or clean up with plugins or outboard gear. Thanks a lot CowboyCoalminer for doing the comparison, I have been curious to what the UA apollo was going to sound like and now that I've heard it and compared it to something I'm familiar with I have a good idea of what it's capable of. I think I'm gonna go to the music store and play with one!

Glad to help! I posted that comparison as I felt more folks would be familiar with the Duet than with my other converters.
Old 12th April 2012
  #722
Anyone go from an Ensemle to Apollo, if so, how are the headphone outputs compared to Ensemble? I have an Ensemble now and think they have a very low gain compared to other interfaces.
Old 12th April 2012
  #723
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
What's your take on the Apollo so far, Chris?
Still trying to set it up.
I've only had it for 48 hours..

Has anyone used Apollo with a second AD/DA yet via ADAT?
Do you just connect the ADAT cables, or do you need to synchronize the second unit to Apollo somehow?
Old 12th April 2012
  #724
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Still trying to set it up.
I've only had it for 48 hours..

Has anyone used Apollo with a second AD/DA yet via ADAT?
Do you just connect the ADAT cables, or do you need to synchronize the second unit to Apollo somehow?
I have my MOTU 828 mkii going into my Apollo via ADAT. I am running my external synths into the MOTU. I had to re-route the analog ins of the MOTU to the ADAT outs of the MOTU. I have the MOTU running off the Apollo clock.
Old 12th April 2012
  #725
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Via wordclock or via ADAT?
Old 12th April 2012
  #726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euphoria89 View Post
Via wordclock or via ADAT?
Via ADAT.
Old 12th April 2012
  #727
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Thanks.
So you only need to connect the ADAT cables, nothing else?
Old 13th April 2012
  #728
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BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blues Bird View Post
If you don't need the plug-ins get the RME UFX instead. The AD's and DA's are ( at least) as good as the Apollo one's and the routing possibilities of RME's Total mix console are awesome.
Fwiw, I have both and I will probabely sell the RME because I am a sucker for those plug-ins and the no-latency-recording-wet options...
OK, thanks for the honest reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pingaton View Post
If you are looking for a high-quality 8ch ADDA, and don't need UA plugins support, there are some choice.
Two most obvious ones in your price range are: Lynx Aurora 8 and RME ADI-8 DS. Both units are very solid, with a flexible routing and low latency roundtrip.
Thx. I'd rather buy once and not feel like I'm compromising so, price isn't as much of an issue as quality. My attention was drawn to the Apollo because I like the UA2192. I figured, if this is anywhere near that for $2K, it would be a steal. I use the Aurora 16 when I'm working at the studio and I'm satisfied with the conversion. The Apollo would be for home where my outboard is high-end, but I'm still on Lucid converters. The Lucids aren't bad at all, but I need more channels and I also need a little higher quality for some comparison files I'll be doing for my vacuum tube website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
at 2K Aurora 8 is my reference
still waiting for Apollo to show up in the digital shootout thread
Yea, I'd like to hear that as I'm familiar with the Aurora and it, to me, is solid.
Old 13th April 2012
  #729
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Hey Bowie, my 2 cents would be to still go with the Apollo. I've talked to many people who have used it and both the pres and converters are considered better than the other options mentioned. I haven't done any direct shoot outs myself, this is just the general consensus from people that I trust that have used it. I have heard the Apollo in person through Focals and I was really impressed with it. Plus the future ability to link up to three units via Thunderbolt makes it a no brainer in my opinion.
Old 13th April 2012
  #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Plus the future ability to link up to three units via Thunderbolt makes it a no brainer in my opinion.
Has this been confirmed by someone from UA? All it says on the site is that they are working on using multiple units but it doesn't say how many. I'm guessing thunderbolt will be needed to support that which means I'll never be able to use more than one with my Mac Pro. That's been my main concern because I really need more inputs.
Old 13th April 2012
  #731
Gear interested
 

I just hooked up my apollo, but it sounds like the voice is doubled during recording my vocals. how can i change this? thanks.
Old 13th April 2012
  #732
Your voice sounds doubled because you are hearing yourself through the console AND your DAW. You need to mute one or the other. The console is always running in the background just keep that in mind. It takes a second to get use to.
Old 13th April 2012
  #733
I got my Apollo yesterday and it's just fantastic.

One thing I don't understand: why do the TRS inputs 1-4, the Line Ins, still go through the preamp gain stage? It's been said on this board that the Line Ins 1-4 bypass the pres but this seems not to be true.

Can anyone confirm?
Old 13th April 2012
  #734
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Quint's Avatar
I was just looking at some of the specs and noticed that it said "4 simultaneous d/a conversion". Anybody know what that's all about? Surely you can send d/a out on all ten analog outputs at once right? Has anybody with one of these tried this?

I know the question might sound pretty stupid but, hey, it says it right there on Guitar Center's website.
Old 13th April 2012
  #735
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Besottedly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Thanks.
So you only need to connect the ADAT cables, nothing else?
Yep
Old 13th April 2012
  #736
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Besottedly View Post
Yep
Wordclock is a better quality connection though and the one I would prefer.
Old 13th April 2012
  #737
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.S.Vega III View Post
I got my Apollo yesterday and it's just fantastic.

One thing I don't understand: why do the TRS inputs 1-4, the Line Ins, still go through the preamp gain stage?
Seemingly yes.
There seems to be no effect with the gain right down, but if you raise the level with the knob it gets loud and distorted quite quickly.
Old 13th April 2012
  #738
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BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Hey Bowie, my 2 cents would be to still go with the Apollo. I've talked to many people who have used it and both the pres and converters are considered better than the other options mentioned. I haven't done any direct shoot outs myself, this is just the general consensus from people that I trust that have used it. I have heard the Apollo in person through Focals and I was really impressed with it.
Thanks, man. I'll keep that in mind.



Now, a couple of really basic questions (I could get these answered through a sales rep but I hate getting a "Yes" response to every question, regardless of what's really going on). The Apollo is referred to as an "interface". In the set-up I have at home, my current converters have to go through the AES input on my Lynx in order to hit my PC. Does the Apollo hook up directly to the computer with no need for another soundcard/interface?

Also, regarding PC support, it says "Windows 7 support coming this Summer". Does it currently work with a PC at all? I have been using XP still because, honestly, I like it's stability and compatibility. Will the Apollo be Win7-only? It's not a deal-breaker, but it's something that I'd have to prepare for.
Old 13th April 2012
  #739
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
I was just looking at some of the specs and noticed that it said "4 simultaneous d/a conversion". Anybody know what that's all about? Surely you can send d/a out on all ten analog outputs at once right? Has anybody with one of these tried this?

I know the question might sound pretty stupid but, hey, it says it right there on Guitar Center's website.
It's 14 simultaneous according to the UA site... but that includes 8 mono line outputs, 2 for the Stereo monitor outputs and Two stereo headphone outputs (which they count as 4) so it IS 14 but really it's 8 in the sense of useable studio d/a
Old 13th April 2012
  #740
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Seemingly yes.
There seems to be no effect with the gain right down, but if you raise the level with the knob it gets loud and distorted quite quickly.
Right, so I'm not going mad! Thanks. This does seem crazy to me, perhaps they can fix it in a firmware update.

Would the levels be the same as inputs 5-8 with the gain down to 10dB (minimum)? Or is that 10dB minimum additional to the line level itself? I just want to be sure all the ins and outs are the same.
Old 13th April 2012
  #741
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by superwack View Post
It's 14 simultaneous according to the UA site... but that includes 8 mono line outputs, 2 for the Stereo monitor outputs and Two stereo headphone outputs (which they count as 4) so it IS 14 but really it's 8 in the sense of useable studio d/a
That's what I thought. It must be a typo on GC's website.
Old 13th April 2012
  #742
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Wordclock is a better quality connection though and the one I would prefer.
Silly question: Do you need both cables connected: Wordclock in and out?
Or can I just connect the wordclock out of my Apollo to the Wordclock in of my secondary interface (Aurora)?
Old 13th April 2012
  #743
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chrisso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.S.Vega III View Post
Right, so I'm not going mad! Thanks. This does seem crazy to me, perhaps they can fix it in a firmware update.

Would the levels be the same as inputs 5-8 with the gain down to 10dB (minimum)? Or is that 10dB minimum additional to the line level itself? I just want to be sure all the ins and outs are the same.
All the ins sound the same to me with no gain added, but I've only had my unit for just over 24 hours and I'm having patchbay issues of my own. So don't take my reply as gospel.
But I recorded an analogue synth into various line-inputs on the Apollo from my API 512c and it seemed fine.
Old 13th April 2012
  #744
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah421 View Post
Your voice sounds doubled because you are hearing yourself through the console AND your DAW. You need to mute one or the other. The console is always running in the background just keep that in mind. It takes a second to get use to.


Thanks!!!! Man it seems like a big learning curve. I come from the 002/003 so I am not used to not having a console. if there is any tips on uad plug ins, and when to use them. Do you use them as audio units? or in the console mixer window? Also what are the best plug ins to buy for rap vocals and rnb music. Thanks again
Old 13th April 2012
  #745
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chrisso's Avatar
 

First you don't need to use Console.
I think the idea behind Console is to introduce low latency plug-ins as you record.
You can demo each UAD plug-in for 30 days (I think?) free of charge. So if you aren't certain which plug-ins to use, just try a few out. Each time you actually buy a UAD plug-in, your demos re-set.
Old 13th April 2012
  #746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer View Post
Here's the master wav of the the sample posted earlier. Same thing applies, loop dump, no bounce.
Out of curiosity, what acoustic guitar are you using on this and string gauge? It has a nice balance with the other sonics.
Old 13th April 2012
  #747
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Seemingly yes.
There seems to be no effect with the gain right down, but if you raise the level with the knob it gets loud and distorted quite quickly.
Yes this is odd. If you look at the block diagram in the hardware manual it clearly shows that the line ins totally bypass the pres. Quite why you can still add gain to line inputs I'm not sure. If left with no additional gain it sounds great though!
Old 13th April 2012
  #748
Quote:
Originally Posted by stakeoutstudios View Post
Yes this is odd. If you look at the block diagram in the hardware manual it clearly shows that the line ins totally bypass the pres. Quite why you can still add gain to line inputs I'm not sure. If left with no additional gain it sounds great though!
Because it doesn't show that at all, the input gain is after the Line input and applies to all inputs (XLR, TRS and Hi-Z) on channels 1-4. These line ins hit the Input gain 10-65dB before they go to the AD, unlike line ins 5-8.

Interestingly it also shows that low cut filter and the polarity controls are digital.

Anyway all that's bypassed by the Line in is the pad and phantom circuits, not the gain stage. I don't really like the idea of having to add 10dB of gain to a line signal unneccessarily. I don't think it can be called "no additional gain" but I don't know much about electronics, maybe someone can clarify.

Disclaimer - I still love the Apollo! Just had some different expectations for these channels.
Old 13th April 2012
  #749
Gear maniac
 

Sorry my bad on this one! Thought I had seen that from memory! Very annoyed by this as I'm not using the pres - plugging my 8ch. Millennia HV3D straight into the line ins.

Strangely even with the 10db visible it appears to come out at the same line level as inputs 5-8. It doesn't seem to be adding 10db or my first four channels of millennia would be insanely hot and unusable for many things.

I'll have to do some tests!
Old 13th April 2012
  #750
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Besottedly's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Wordclock is a better quality connection though and the one I would prefer.
True. Still the ADAT alone will do.
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