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Musikmesse 2015: Universal Audio announces Apollo thunderbolt 2 for 2015
Old 4th July 2015
  #391
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
Thanks for posting that FreeRanger. Of course it's impossible to form an opinion and judge accurately, but I think I hear a smoother high end too, and a little better tonal balance. The mid push is still there, but not as obvious, now it's more like a tone of its own than a shortcoming.
It sounds good. But I still like the idea of continuing to buy outboard gear. Keep my old apollos. I find that with darker/fuller mics ( like the oktavamod stuff ), I'm satisfied with the Apollo and why it does. But I absolutely LOVE the hairball audio mic pre amps. So I'm gonna stay that direction I think.
And overtime, maybe the newer Apollo 16
Old 19th July 2015
  #392
Gear Head
I have a new Apollo 8 Duo and a (new to me), used Apollo Quad Thunderbolt, which I purchased on Ebay. I've fired them up, but haven't been able to try recording yet because I'm reconfiguring my studio. I'll be done with that in two to four weeks, (I hope). I'll post my impressions of any differences between the two when I can.

There is one hardware difference that I'm aware of that is a big plus for me. The new Apollo 8 line inputs' preamps can be turned off in the console app.

I have a Mackie ONYX 1620 analog board. This board has direct recording outputs, which taps the channel post input gain but before filtering, EQ, fader etc. So the board effectively becomes 8 mic preamps on these outputs.

That means I can connect four of the ONYX preamps to the Apollo line inputs and I won't be going through an added line preamp.

I see this feature as a real benefit. The ONYX mic preamps will have a different sound than the Apollo mic preamps. I might find I like them for certain instruments or with specific mics. I'm also wondering what they'll sound like with the legacy versions of the Neve, UA and API channel strips.

I'd also like to try to answer some of the input / output questions I've seen in this thread.

A single Apollo 8 (2nd generation) has a total of 8 channels of A/D and 14 channels of D/A conversion.

You have 8 analog inputs total. You can use any combination of 8 analog inputs. If you use a Hi Z input, you have seven left. I can't remember positively if each of the Hi Z inputs steal one of the mic preamps, or you can take a line input away.

You have a total of 14 analog outputs.

There are two monitor outs, which can be configured to a fixed output level for connection to an outboard monitor controller.

There are 8 line outputs. You can use one pair of these outputs on the Apollo 8 are for a second set of monitors. This is another feature not found on the original Apollo.

The front panel of the Apollo has two sets of headphone outputs.

All of these outputs can be bussed separately in the console application.

You can simultaneously connect two channels of S/PDIF and 8 channels of ADAT input and output on one Apollo 8. Note that if you are running at 44.1 or 48 Khz sample rate, the second ADAT input / output pair is disabled. You don't get two banks of 8 channels. So there is no extra inputs advantage by running at a lower sample rate.

Bottom line is a maximum of 18 simultaneous inputs and 24 outputs per Apollo.

Of course you will need additional A/D and D/A converters to add digital inputs and outputs.

I have a MOTU Traveler MK 1 and a Traveler MK3. I will connect the MK 1 ADAT connection to my Apollo Quad TB, and the two ADAT connections on my MK3 to my Apollo 8 Duo. That will add 12 inputs and outputs (running S/MUX) to my setup. I'll use the S/PDIF inputs on the Apollos to connect my Kemper Profiling Amp and my Roland VG-99. Both are 24 bit / 44.1 devices. The good news for me is that the Apollo console allows the lower sample rate outputs of these devices to be connected to my project which will run at 96Khz sample rate. The Apollo console handles the clock issues. You just have to set it up there.

So I will have a total of 16 analog inputs and 28 outputs via my two Apollos. I'll have an additional 12 digital inputs and outputs via the MOTUs. Plus 4 inputs and 4 outputs via the coaxial S/PDIF ports. My system will therefore have 32 total inputs and 44 total outputs.

Hopefully these examples will help clear up some of the connections and input / output questions from earlier in this thread.
Old 19th July 2015
  #393
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Another Mackie mixer / Onyx user here. I find these preamps don't negatively color anything I run through them on the way to my interfaces. In fact, they sound pretty good. I'm perfectly happy to track through them.
Old 19th July 2015
  #394
MJB
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I'd appreciate it if Gannon could give us some details, and his impression of the difference between the converters in the new Apollo 16, and the 8's.
Old 19th July 2015
  #395
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
I'd appreciate it if Gannon could give us some details, and his impression of the difference between the converters in the new Apollo 16, and the 8's.
Apparently there's multiple Apollo threads going on.

He posted some information about this on one of the other threads yesterday.
Old 19th July 2015
  #396
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Apparently there's multiple Apollo threads going on.

He posted some information about this on one of the other threads yesterday.
FWIR, the info was the differences between silverface and blackface's....not the differences between the blackface Apollo 8's vs blackface Apollo 16's.
Old 19th July 2015
  #397
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
FWIR, the info was the differences between silverface and blackface's....not the differences between the blackface Apollo 8's vs blackface Apollo 16's.
oh good point... I am curious about that too.

The original Apollo silver and Apollo 16 also had different conversion. The Apollo 16 removed the DC blocking caps on the outputs and direct-coupled them instead. I don't know if they made other changes.

I would be interested to hear specific technical details about the differences in these new black converters, rather than just sound-words. I think that could possibly be more informative than just saying "sounds good."

I know they have started using more expensive op amps, and different AD/DA chips as well. Maybe that's already been covered in this thread I don't recall. I guess the point is you could expect them to have detectable sound differences that you could hopefully recognize in blind ABX listening, or just using them side by side.

I would also expect the Apollo 16 to be "better" since it is the flagship model.
Old 22nd July 2015
  #398
Gear Head
Just a quick note. The Hi Z inputs on the front of the Apollo 8 are directly connected to the number one and two Unison mic preamps. If you connect anything to a Hi Z input, you automatically disconnect the corresponding mic preamp.
Old 22nd July 2015
  #399
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch17 View Post
Just a quick note. The Hi Z inputs on the front of the Apollo 8 are directly connected to the number one and two Unison mic preamps. If you connect anything to a Hi Z input, you automatically disconnect the corresponding mic preamp.
Sorry, this is a bit confusing to me, I'm not sure what you're saying.
Old 2nd August 2015
  #400
Gear Head
The 2 Hi Z inputs are hard wired to the first and second mic preamps on Apollo. If you plug an instrument into a Hi Z input, you disconnect the corresponding mic preamp. For example, you cannot plug a guitar into Hi Z input one and a mic into mic preamp one and hear both simultaneously. If you do so, you'll hear the guitar, but the mic preamp will be disconnected from the signal path.
Old 2nd August 2015
  #401
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch17 View Post
The 2 Hi Z inputs are hard wired to the first and second mic preamps on Apollo. If you plug an instrument into a Hi Z input, you disconnect the corresponding mic preamp. For example, you cannot plug a guitar into Hi Z input one and a mic into mic preamp one and hear both simultaneously. If you do so, you'll hear the guitar, but the mic preamp will be disconnected from the signal path.
Are you sure about that? Are you sure the Hi-Z is not a "direct box" interfacing kind of module that works along with the gain stage of the mic preamp? That's how most preamp DI's work. Are you sure it's a completely separate circuit? I find that hard to believe. Where did you get this information?
Old 4th August 2015
  #402
Here for the gear
 

Not to go off topic but can you use an external A/D converter with apollo pre amps?
Old 4th August 2015
  #403
MJB
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MJB's Avatar
Yes Tom, you can..
Old 4th August 2015
  #404
Here for the gear
 

Would you take a silver face quad with a burl bomber b2 and dbox OR

the next gen Apollo? Two channel recording fits most my needs.

Also, is dante on the B2 needed on a small setup like this? What is the huge benefit?

Last edited by Tom Dorr; 4th August 2015 at 04:49 PM..
Old 5th August 2015
  #405
Gear Head
Quote:
Are you sure about that?
This is from page 11 of the Apollo 8 hardware manual:

Automatic Input Detection

Hi-Z inputs 1 & 2 use the same A/D converter channels as the corresponding Mic 1 &
2 and Line 1 & 2 inputs. When a device is plugged into a Hi-Z input, the Mic and Line
inputs for the channel are overridden, the Mic/Line switch for the channel has no effect,
and the stereo link is severed (if active).

Important: To use Mic or Line inputs 1 or 2, its corresponding Hi-Z input must be disconnected.
Old 5th August 2015
  #406
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch17 View Post
This is from page 11 of the Apollo 8 hardware manual:

Automatic Input Detection

Hi-Z inputs 1 & 2 use the same A/D converter channels as the corresponding Mic 1 &
2 and Line 1 & 2 inputs. When a device is plugged into a Hi-Z input, the Mic and Line
inputs for the channel are overridden, the Mic/Line switch for the channel has no effect,
and the stereo link is severed (if active).

Important: To use Mic or Line inputs 1 or 2, its corresponding Hi-Z input must be disconnected.
OK I know all that already, but that still doesn't prove to me that anything is going on electronically to bypass the mic preamp, only that those inputs are muted or disabled. These are not "technically" the same thing, which is why your language is/was confusing me. Most DI inputs associated with mic preamps tend to use the mic preamp for gain, rather than being a completely separate and second circuit. The DI part of it just corrects the impedance, gets the unbalanced signal to work with the balanced input somehow, and sets the gain staging where its needed. Usually this is how DI inputs work on mic preamps.

I would have to hear from a UA engineer to really know what's going on at the circuit level. About that, we're all just making guesses.

Not that it matters anyway. It's just that when you're using language in a technical way, it tends to specifically mean certain things, so you have to be careful you know what you're talking about.

What you can say for sure is just what the manual tells you. "Mic or Line inputs 1 or 2 are overridden when something is plugged into HiZ 1 or 2"

Notice that the word "input" is used not "preamp."

Last edited by monkeyxx; 6th August 2015 at 04:03 PM..
Old 6th August 2015
  #407
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
OK I know all that already, but that still doesn't prove to me that anything is going on electronically to bypass the mic preamp "
FWIW... you are correct. Plugging into the HiZ only 'overrides' the other inputs on channels 1 and 2 but still uses the preamps.

The really cool thing about the Apollo 8 black face model compared to the silver face is that the TRS Line Inputs 1-4 have the option of completely bypassing the built in preamps. Extremely useful if you want to track with 8 outboard preamps. This is not the case with the silver face. Line inputs 1-4 are forced to go through the onboard pres. Line Inputs 5-8 on both units have no option but to bypass the preamps.

The 8P model differs in the fact that all line inputs 1-8 can completely bypass the onboard pres (just like the Apollo 8), but the difference being that all line inputs have the ability of using the onboard pres. This is useful if you want to track with all 8 inputs and don't have any outboard pres. The 8P give you the full range of options with all 8 TRS line inputs.
Old 6th August 2015
  #408
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by scratch17 View Post
This is from page 11 of the Apollo 8 hardware manual:

Automatic Input Detection

Hi-Z inputs 1 & 2 use the same A/D converter channels as the corresponding Mic 1 &
2 and Line 1 & 2 inputs. When a device is plugged into a Hi-Z input, the Mic and Line
inputs for the channel are overridden, the Mic/Line switch for the channel has no effect,
and the stereo link is severed (if active).

Important: To use Mic or Line inputs 1 or 2, its corresponding Hi-Z input must be disconnected.
OK I know all that already, but that still doesn't prove to me that anything is going on electronically to bypass the mic preamp, only that those inputs are muted or disabled. These are not "technically" the same thing, which is why your language is/was confusing me. Most DI inputs associated with mic preamps tend to use the mic preamp for gain, rather than being a completely separate and second circuit. The DI part of it just corrects the impedance, unbalances the signal, and sets the gain staging where its needed. Usually this is how DI inputs work on mic preamps.

I would have to hear from a UA engineer to really know what's going on at the circuit level. About that, we're all just making guesses.

Not that it matters anyway. It's just that when you're using language in a technical way, it tends to specifically mean certain things, so you have to be careful you know what you're talking about.

What you can say for sure is just what the manual tells you. "Mic or Line inputs 1 or 2 are overridden when something is plugged into HiZ 1 or 2"

Notice that the word "input" is used not "preamp."
If you look at page 40 of the manual, there's a block diagram of the circuit. It shows the Hi-Z going through the same amplifier as the mic input, as well as the line being able to bypass the amplifier.
Old 7th August 2015
  #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by core64 View Post
The 8P model differs in the fact that all line inputs 1-8 can completely bypass the onboard pres (just like the Apollo 8), but the difference being that all line inputs have the ability of using the onboard pres. This is useful if you want to track with all 8 inputs and don't have any outboard pres. The 8P give you the full range of options with all 8 TRS line inputs.
But you also lose a couple of line outs and the spdif's on the 8P vs the 8.

So there is some give and take with 8P unfortunately...
Old 7th August 2015
  #410
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
But you also lose a couple of line outs and the spdif's on the 8P vs the 8.

So there is some give and take with 8P unfortunately...
Yup, correct. I was just focusing on the inputs per the preceding conversation.
Old 27th September 2015
  #411
Gear Addict
 
PistolP's Avatar
ADDA specially DA

has anoyone finally done a comparison of the converters quality? comparing it to the old units or other higer end converters. I would highly appreciate it...
Old 28th September 2015
  #412
MJB
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I've heard one friend's work after switching, and the new Apollo has more of a 3D sound to my ears.
Old 1st October 2015
  #413
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by PistolP View Post
has anoyone finally done a comparison of the converters quality? comparing it to the old units or other higer end converters. I would highly appreciate it...
Yes I have. But of course not everybody think I did it the "right" way.
But if you read the whole thread, you'll get the picture.
Apollo 16 silverface vs blackface AD shootout

In short I would just say that working with the SF for a year, and switching to BF was absolutely the right thing to do. It just sounds better. Period.
Old 10th October 2015
  #414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Dorr View Post
Would you take a silver face quad with a burl bomber b2 and dbox OR

the next gen Apollo? Two channel recording fits most my needs.

Also, is dante on the B2 needed on a small setup like this? What is the huge benefit?
Silver face , b2 and d box all the way. Record into your b2 and send digital into Apollo. Have apollo main outs routed to dbox and use d box da for monitoring. There is a great vid from fab DuPont on integrating dbox and Apollo. Good luck

Last edited by ChaseUTB; 11th October 2015 at 03:17 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 7th November 2015
  #415
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Motor For Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
OK I know all that already, but that still doesn't prove to me that anything is going on electronically to bypass the mic preamp, only that those inputs are muted or disabled. These are not "technically" the same thing, which is why your language is/was confusing me. Most DI inputs associated with mic preamps tend to use the mic preamp for gain, rather than being a completely separate and second circuit. The DI part of it just corrects the impedance, gets the unbalanced signal to work with the balanced input somehow, and sets the gain staging where its needed. Usually this is how DI inputs work on mic preamps.

I would have to hear from a UA engineer to really know what's going on at the circuit level. About that, we're all just making guesses.

Not that it matters anyway. It's just that when you're using language in a technical way, it tends to specifically mean certain things, so you have to be careful you know what you're talking about.

What you can say for sure is just what the manual tells you. "Mic or Line inputs 1 or 2 are overridden when something is plugged into HiZ 1 or 2"

Notice that the word "input" is used not "preamp."
What does it matter whats going on at circuit level, basically you can not have a mic and a hi z input going at the same time on lets say input channel one because they share the same channel on the virtual console.
Old 7th November 2015
  #416
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Motor For Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Silver face , b2 and d box all the way. Record into your b2 and send digital into Apollo. Have apollo main outs routed to dbox and use d box da for monitoring. There is a great vid from fab DuPont on integrating dbox and Apollo. Good luck
Too many bits of unrelated gear when the new apollo does it all at probably a lot less than the set up your suggesting
Old 7th November 2015
  #417
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Motor For Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
I've heard one friend's work after switching, and the new Apollo has more of a 3D sound to my ears.
Its a much better unit, just plug a set of headphones into the old and the new headphone amps, its like night and day.
Old 7th November 2015
  #418
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor For Music View Post
What does it matter whats going on at circuit level, basically you can not have a mic and a hi z input going at the same time on lets say input channel one because they share the same channel on the virtual console.
I addressed "what does it matter" in the quote you replied to. Some people like to know how things actually work. Some people just want to use things without understanding them. That's fine too.
Old 7th November 2015
  #419
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Motor For Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Users were maxing out their quad DSP on the silverfaces with 4 instances of the 1073 MKII's...
I have 8 instances of the Neve 88RS Mk2 on my quad with everything switched on without any problems, and thats an outstanding mic pre and channel strip
Old 7th November 2015
  #420
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Motor For Music's Avatar
The original apollo was a brilliant piece of tech when it was introduced , but since that time other units have supassed apollo, this new unit sets the record straight and puts UAD back where they were at the top of the ADDA food chain. I have an apollo twin and its a great desktop unit, I have tracked some great sounding stuff with it and even though I have the new 8 I wouldn't get rid of it as it sounds different to the new one but I might want that sound if I was tracking. For monitoring though and mixing the new Apollo is going to be a class leader it is a serious ADDA converter with the unison pre's and UAD plugins into the bargain.
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