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Musikmesse 2015: Universal Audio announces Apollo thunderbolt 2 for 2015
Old 14th May 2015
  #301
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofmack View Post
I have the new one and I can say that my tracks seem a little wider and has better clarity though I don't have any metrics compared to my old Apollo. Everything just sounds more open and better to me.
Would you say it's well worth the upgrade? I have never used an Apollo before and I trying to decide wether to buy the old model for cheap or spend the extra on the new one. I'm leaning toward the new one so I'm hoping it's a decent upgrade foe the old.
Old 14th May 2015
  #302
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier G View Post
Would you say it's well worth the upgrade? I have never used an Apollo before and I trying to decide wether to buy the old model for cheap or spend the extra on the new one. I'm leaning toward the new one so I'm hoping it's a decent upgrade foe the old.
I have an Apollo Twin and use it 98% via headphones and i can confirm that the Apollo 8 headphone out had given me goosebumps listening my favorite songs with my T5 that remembered me at the first time i had listening with them.
Old 14th May 2015
  #303
Gear Head
Quote:
Looks like they dumped the firewire and PC support.
Not true. They have a silver face model with Firewire SRP at $1999. It also works on Win 8.

$1999 is the same price as the Apollo 8 Duo (which is Thunderbolt only). You can add a Thunderbolt card down the line to the Apollo Firewire when and if you want.

My Apollo 8 Duo arrived today. I've been a MOTU interface owner since the Traveler MK1. I still own the MK1 and also a MK3.

I spent a year or so making a decision as to whether I wanted to go with the new MOTU AVB interfaces, or the UA Apollos. I really like the expandability (and manufacturer agnosticism) of the AVB platforms. Frankly, I don't see why all of the interface manufacturers (including UA) don't jump on that bandwagon.

However, I chose the UA platform. The UA Unison plug-ins were the deciding factor for me. Maybe UA will offer an Apollo with AVB next year. If they do, I'll buy it.

Steven Kastner
Old 16th May 2015
  #304
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier G View Post
Would you say it's well worth the upgrade? I have never used an Apollo before and I trying to decide wether to buy the old model for cheap or spend the extra on the new one. I'm leaning toward the new one so I'm hoping it's a decent upgrade foe the old.
I think it was well worth the upgrade. I like the flexibility of using the alt button for an extra pair of monitors or the fcn button for checking mixes in mono. These in addition to the better ad/da makes it worth it over the old model.
Old 16th May 2015
  #305
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofmack View Post
I think it was well worth the upgrade. I like the flexibility of using the alt button for an extra pair of monitors or the fcn button for checking mixes in mono. These in addition to the better ad/da makes it worth it over the old model.
How good are the pre's? Is it worth getting the 8p for the extra 4? I've never used Apollo pre's but I have a toft atb.
Old 16th May 2015
  #306
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier G View Post
How good are the pre's? Is it worth getting the 8p for the extra 4? I've never used Apollo pre's but I have a toft atb.
The pres in the Apollo are nothing extra without using one of the preamp emulations from API, Neve or the 610 stuff. They are just good utilitarian pre's otherwise. When you add the emulations though you get really close to the originals. With that said, I always used a Slate Fox pre or my 6176 when recording most of the time. I think a 8P will solve a lot of tracking issues though, such as drum mics, etc.. I would just invest in some emulations if that is all the mic pre's you plan on using.
Old 17th May 2015
  #307
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofmack View Post
The pres in the Apollo are nothing extra without using one of the preamp emulations from API, Neve or the 610 stuff. They are just good utilitarian pre's otherwise. When you add the emulations though you get really close to the originals. With that said, I always used a Slate Fox pre or my 6176 when recording most of the time. I think a 8P will solve a lot of tracking issues though, such as drum mics, etc.. I would just invest in some emulations if that is all the mic pre's you plan on using.
I actually plan on using the Apollo pre's in combination with the Toft ATB pre's. I have no way of knowing currently which i will like better but i find the toft pre's to be just ok sounding. I'm hoping the pre amp emulations sound good to my ears. Does the new Apollo come with any decent pre amp emulations or do u have to buy some? I think it said it comes with some plugs but I'm not sure how good they are since i am new to the world of UA. I'm hoping i don't have to spend a ton more on plugs to get the thing sounding really good.
Old 17th May 2015
  #308
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofmack View Post
The pres in the Apollo are nothing extra without using one of the preamp emulations from API, Neve or the 610 stuff. They are just good utilitarian pre's otherwise. When you add the emulations though you get really close to the originals. With that said, I always used a Slate Fox pre or my 6176 when recording most of the time. I think a 8P will solve a lot of tracking issues though, such as drum mics, etc.. I would just invest in some emulations if that is all the mic pre's you plan on using.

I was a fan of the old apollo mic pres on drums. That was until I purchased my first pair of outboard mic pres from hairball audio ( elements copper ). It was such a difference. My drums sounded like my drums. Everything sounded full and warm. So warm that I struggled at first to get good headphone signal. I'm wondering if the new apollo has fixed that issue? And Im curious about the mic pres. But something tells me I should continue collecting outboard gear. Then save for a new apollo a couple of years down the road or so.
Old 17th May 2015
  #309
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier G View Post
How good are the pre's? Is it worth getting the 8p for the extra 4? I've never used Apollo pre's but I have a toft atb.
Im not sure if the new apollos are an improvement on the older models. But I can tell you that the mic pre amps in my apollo firewire are a little thin. Now, the emulations and plugs make things fuller sounding. But it wont take away some high end sharpness that I just don't dig. It comes more in focus with cymbals or vocals. There's just a top end zing that doesn't sound pleasing to me. Even when I used ribbons. Certainly, room can change things. THe mic pre amps are certainly workable/useable. But i'd still opt for outboard mic pre-amps.

Just my two cents =)
Old 18th May 2015
  #310
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRanger View Post
I was a fan of the old apollo mic pres on drums. That was until I purchased my first pair of outboard mic pres from hairball audio ( elements copper ). It was such a difference. My drums sounded like my drums. Everything sounded full and warm. So warm that I struggled at first to get good headphone signal. I'm wondering if the new apollo has fixed that issue? And Im curious about the mic pres. But something tells me I should continue collecting outboard gear. Then save for a new apollo a couple of years down the road or so.
The pre's are the same to me. I believe this is the case because they needed the original spec for the emulations to be as similar as possible.
Old 18th May 2015
  #311
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier G View Post
I actually plan on using the Apollo pre's in combination with the Toft ATB pre's. I have no way of knowing currently which i will like better but i find the toft pre's to be just ok sounding. I'm hoping the pre amp emulations sound good to my ears. Does the new Apollo come with any decent pre amp emulations or do u have to buy some? I think it said it comes with some plugs but I'm not sure how good they are since i am new to the world of UA. I'm hoping i don't have to spend a ton more on plugs to get the thing sounding really good.
They come with the 610B which is the same as what you get in the 6176, etc. It's close to the real thing. I think that the API and 1073 emulations are a good purchase to round out the flavors. Of course I would still grab outboard when I could too.
Old 18th May 2015
  #312
Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse View Post
Still only quad core processing on a three thousand dollar interface, adding dour more sharcs cost less 50 dollars.....
As it's been explained to me, adding four more sharcs (while inexpensive and seemingly reasonable for them to execute) is technically impossible. That being said though, you know if they were able to, they would have done so already and charged you another $500-$1000 on top as a premium.
Old 18th May 2015
  #313
I ordered the 8P for two reasons. The first is it has what I need and the second, it has what I want. I needed at least 8 pre amps and since I don't have any outboard boxes, this was a good choice. I wanted to be able to use the plug-ins on tracking so, again, good choice. Whether or not these are the best converters or the best pre-amps is somewhat irrelevant, not entirely, but somewhat. I am certain I can get a good result with good microphones, good instruments and good players. In general, I will be recording duos, trios, quartets and maybe quintets. For the main genre I will be recording the players will be playing at the same time. For other styles, which I will be recording less often, I can use the 8 preamps for drums and the two directs for bass and keys/guitar and build my tracks from there. All in all (or all-in-one) this is a great fit for what I do. That is for me the ultimate question.

As a side note, I understand that the Dylan record Shadows in the Night, was done with essentially 8 tracks of basically live recording - it sounds it too. But it is a sound that I can work with and that I would be happy to achieve. Maybe the playing is not what I would want all the time but the concept is what I'm after even if the style is not. So, I'm excited and in good shape I think.
Old 18th May 2015
  #314
As to whether converter quality matters - everything matters. I have made some very good sounding recordings with an MBox. I think it's safe to say that this new Apollo should help improve the sound quality measurably. As for the content - that is something else entirely.
Old 18th May 2015
  #315
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Sounds good, the Apollos sure do tick a lot of boxes.

Also I couldn't have said this better myself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
As to whether converter quality matters - everything matters. I have made some very good sounding recordings with an MBox. I think it's safe to say that this new Apollo should help improve the sound quality measurably. As for the content - that is something else entirely.
What a beautiful thing it is to move into a session confidently, ready for the twists and turns, but with the question of sound quality (plus skill) more or less guaranteed. This is really the beauty of having high end gear. Or to say it differently working in a high end environment.
Old 18th May 2015
  #316
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Sounds good, the Apollos sure do tick a lot of boxes.

Also I couldn't have said this better myself:



What a beautiful thing it is to move into a session confidently, ready for the twists and turns, but with the question of sound quality (plus skill) more or less guaranteed. This is really the beauty of having high end gear. Or to say it differently working in a high end environment.
Amen to that brother….(but lets not forget that modest gear is perfectly good for learning and sometimes even more).
Old 19th May 2015
  #317
Gear Maniac
 

Does any one know if the pre's are exactly the same on the new models as they are in the old ones? I don't see any mention of the pre's being changed or upgraded, just the convertors.
Old 20th May 2015
  #318
MJB
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MJB's Avatar
Great question Xavier, I was so interested in how the new converters sound, I assumed it was the same pres as before.
Old 20th May 2015
  #319
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavier G View Post
Does any one know if the pre's are exactly the same on the new models as they are in the old ones? I don't see any mention of the pre's being changed or upgraded, just the convertors.
They are the same to my ears.
Old 21st May 2015
  #320
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRanger View Post
I was a fan of the old apollo mic pres on drums. That was until I purchased my first pair of outboard mic pres from hairball audio ( elements copper ). It was such a difference. My drums sounded like my drums. Everything sounded full and warm. So warm that I struggled at first to get good headphone signal. I'm wondering if the new apollo has fixed that issue? And Im curious about the mic pres. But something tells me I should continue collecting outboard gear. Then save for a new apollo a couple of years down the road or so.
Kinda an apples to oranges comparison.

Those hairball copper pre's have neve cloned input/output trannys (real iron).

That's the big difference here, you're comparing a IC based non-transformer pre (apollo) to a class-A discrete transformer based pre. Especially when pushed, there's just no comparison. "Full and warm' = output transformer saturation, which = more distortion. That is not the point of the Apollo pre's in which the intent is to get that with emulation, not to mention it's impossible to get that kind of saturation with an IC based transformerless pre .
1073 saturation all-the-time would also get in the way of API or SSL channel strip emulations, etc.

Also, the Apollo isn't just a mic pre (like the hairball is), it's a AD/DA, DAW interface, monitor, external DSP engine, etc., etc.
The hairballs are 500 series kits, but 'built' ones are usually $550-$600+ each x 8 = $4800, and that's NOT including the 8 space 500 series rack/power supply---which would push you well over $5k+. And that's just for mic pre's, nothing else...not even eq.

Now, compare that to the new Apollo 8p @ $3k? The IC based pres in the apollo 8p would probably sell for about $300-$400 as a separate 8-mic pre unit (like Presonus, etc.).

You will NEVER get the 'full and warm' analog mic pre saturation of real transformers in ANY IC based transformerless mic pre. UA would have to put REAL transformers into their interfaces, and if you wanna get an idea of how much that would cost, well, take a look at Burl audio
Old 21st May 2015
  #321
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for all the info from those of you who are currently using it. I'm really struggling over whether to buy the 8 quad or the 8p to get the 4 extra pre's. Are the pre's on the Apollo good enough that I would want to have 8 running for things like drums, or would it be better to save the $500 to put towards an outboard pre eventually? I already have a Toft ATB 32 so i have plenty of pre's there, although they are just "ok" to my ears. Its a tough decision since i have never heard the Apollo in action and have no idea how it will compare to the Toft pre's. I also don't have the cash right now to be buying more plugs, so i will be running what ever plugs come with the included bundle. Would you say its absolutely essential to buy more plugs to get the Apollo pre's really sounding good?
Old 21st May 2015
  #322
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
I ordered the 8P for two reasons. The first is it has what I need and the second, it has what I want. I needed at least 8 pre amps and since I don't have any outboard boxes, this was a good choice. I wanted to be able to use the plug-ins on tracking so, again, good choice. Whether or not these are the best converters or the best pre-amps is somewhat irrelevant, not entirely, but somewhat. I am certain I can get a good result with good microphones, good instruments and good players. In general, I will be recording duos, trios, quartets and maybe quintets. For the main genre I will be recording the players will be playing at the same time. For other styles, which I will be recording less often, I can use the 8 preamps for drums and the two directs for bass and keys/guitar and build my tracks from there. All in all (or all-in-one) this is a great fit for what I do. That is for me the ultimate question.

As a side note, I understand that the Dylan record Shadows in the Night, was done with essentially 8 tracks of basically live recording - it sounds it too. But it is a sound that I can work with and that I would be happy to achieve. Maybe the playing is not what I would want all the time but the concept is what I'm after even if the style is not. So, I'm excited and in good shape I think.
The Apollo 8p has "Eight channels of analog-to-digital conversion via mic, line, or high-impedance inputs." So if you're using the two hi-z, you could only use 6 preamps, not 8.
Old 21st May 2015
  #323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodeath View Post
The Apollo 8p has "Eight channels of analog-to-digital conversion via mic, line, or high-impedance inputs." So if you're using the two hi-z, you could only use 6 preamps, not 8.
Oh well. So it goes. On the other hand I could ADAT in more channels or, if and when necessary, add an Apollo 16. Not a bit deal for me but a little disappointing. The Ensemble TB can do all 10 at a time I think but of course, it cannot run the UA plug ins for tracking.
Old 21st May 2015
  #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
Oh well. So it goes. On the other hand I could ADAT in more channels or, if and when necessary, add an Apollo 16. Not a bit deal for me but a little disappointing. The Ensemble TB can do all 10 at a time I think but of course, it cannot run the UA plug ins for tracking.
It's a tough call. The Ensemble has better features and is less expensive. I myself am considering an interface upgrade and the Apollo 8p and Ensemble TB are front-runners (I currently have a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56). To me, the Apollo 8p is just a more "exciting" interface; probably because it would give me access to UAD, which I've never gotten to experience before.
Old 21st May 2015
  #325
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodeath View Post
It's a tough call. The Ensemble has better features and is less expensive. I myself am considering an interface upgrade and the Apollo 8p and Ensemble TB are front-runners (I currently have a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56). To me, the Apollo 8p is just a more "exciting" interface; probably because it would give me access to UAD, which I've never gotten to experience before.
Your music should be "exciting" not the interface.
Old 21st May 2015
  #326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilaci View Post
Your music should be "exciting" not the interface.
Well, my music is exactly as I intend it, and my clients will send me whatever they send me. Those are not really the variables here. This is a thread about interfaces, and getting new gear is usually exciting.
Old 22nd May 2015
  #327
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
agreed, the Apollo is an "exciting" interface. It makes me excited to record new songs!

I don't rely on gear for inspiration, but I am really grateful that it can add some here and there.
Old 22nd May 2015
  #328
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Kinda an apples to oranges comparison.

Those hairball copper pre's have neve cloned input/output trannys (real iron).

That's the big difference here, you're comparing a IC based non-transformer pre (apollo) to a class-A discrete transformer based pre. Especially when pushed, there's just no comparison. "Full and warm' = output transformer saturation, which = more distortion. That is not the point of the Apollo pre's in which the intent is to get that with emulation, not to mention it's impossible to get that kind of saturation with an IC based transformerless pre .
1073 saturation all-the-time would also get in the way of API or SSL channel strip emulations, etc.

Also, the Apollo isn't just a mic pre (like the hairball is), it's a AD/DA, DAW interface, monitor, external DSP engine, etc., etc.
The hairballs are 500 series kits, but 'built' ones are usually $550-$600+ each x 8 = $4800, and that's NOT including the 8 space 500 series rack/power supply---which would push you well over $5k+. And that's just for mic pre's, nothing else...not even eq.

Now, compare that to the new Apollo 8p @ $3k? The IC based pres in the apollo 8p would probably sell for about $300-$400 as a separate 8-mic pre unit (like Presonus, etc.).

You will NEVER get the 'full and warm' analog mic pre saturation of real transformers in ANY IC based transformerless mic pre. UA would have to put REAL transformers into their interfaces, and if you wanna get an idea of how much that would cost, well, take a look at Burl audio
True. I'm still learning about gear. I just wanna play and have it sound good.

Last night, I had a chance to record with a friend and his apogee quartet. At first, I was all about bringing my set-up with the onboard pre amps. But he insisted everything would be fine. And it sounded good. He started talking to me about conversion. I think i'm starting to get it a bit more. I like CLEAN sounding mic pre amps. I also like WARM sounding pre amps.

From a conversion standpoint, I like the sound of the quartet better. I'm assuming that's why UA decided to re-tool the apollo. There's just a little shrill in the sound of the apollo to me.

Now, I love the plugs and the console app. I'm curious to hear what the new apollo will sound like.

1 more thing, $550 for the hairball is really expensive. I paid $410. It's still expensive. But man, someone is charging quite the dollar. Just saying =)
Old 22nd May 2015
  #329
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilaci View Post
Your music should be "exciting" not the interface.
For that type of $, I wanna be excited. No shade...Just keeping it 100%
Old 22nd May 2015
  #330
Gear Head
 

UA please give us firewire user a separated thunderbolt promo. 2 years ago I bought the early 1st gen apollo without thunderbolt :(

Separated TB costs too much
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