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Old 2nd February 2013
Gear Guru
SWAN808's Avatar
Originally Posted by Salpion View Post
I thank all three of you guys so much for taking the time to advise me! I will use Nucleus simply as a controller for Pro Tools 10 (on a Mac) and I will also take advantage of the couple of original SSL preamps it provides. So I do not see Nucleus as an interface. However the connectivity issues you pointed out sound a bit complicated (or even scary) to my ears, since I am not an experience engineer. I really do not want to spend a considerable amount of money on problematic combinations! All your concerns about my case are absolutely right. But how do I know which interface/converter machine will function with Nucleus better? I assume that achieving low latency matters more than getting free plugins, onboard preamps and a large number of I/Os. So which protocol of conversion is considered the most effective? PCI Express? Thunderbolt? I guess not USB nor Firewire, right? This is also highly connected to the decision I will have to make about what kind of Mac I will work with.

So far I realise that Apogee Symphony is well respected by everyone and UAD Apollo Quad is well attractive due to its great plugins. But is that all? If Apollo was evaluated only about its interface and conversion functions, would it reach the bottom of the table? If we forget about that tone of plugins (and even its 4 preamps), is it still a worth-to-buy product? I hope it is, because I have had a crash for Apollo from the very beginning. But you know, it's like I fell in love with a woman I saw in a picture but I have never actually met! This is the first time in my life I will work on a serious audio interface.

Regarding RME Fireface UFX, I am now almost convinced that it has the most fanatic supporters! And this is not necessarily good, because a fanatic supporter is always too objective and often aphoristic with anything else in the market. Why I say that? Well... have a look on the poll I launched! The only people who gave a vote went for Fireface UFX, but NONE of them bothered to write a post and explain to me WHY! Is this a coincidence?
I think you need to check you can run the nucleus as a controller via USB - and not use it as an interface and think about how that works. Bear in mind if you use the Nucleus Pres then you will have to patch them into your chosen interface. You can also consider and read about aggregate devices - which may well work - but Im not an expert on this. A computer generally uses 1 interface at a time - but with Mac some people have success creating an aggregate device in the audio/midi settings. But Most software expects to deal with 1 interface and driver.

The Apollo is a decent choice by the sounds of it but you need to check what the stability is like on the threads people talk about it. Im not sure about how stable it is. Its UA first audio interface. It might be fine tho! The main advantage of the Apollo is recording with and monitoring through plugins in real time - and not everyone finds this neccessary or useful. If you want to commit to processing whilst recording I would suggest real hardware which I prefer over plugins anyway.

You will find a lot of people supporting RME (I have their Fireface I purchased after having a bad time with Focusrite)...because they make stuff with good drivers - and they are solid bits of kit. It may not look as sexy as the Apollo - but having a solid interface with good drivers is paramount. If your system is glitching, and dropping out - its pointless. Thats why I suspect people have said yes to RME - because they feel safe recommending it. It seems to have got very solid feedback with people being pleased-thats a good sign.

I rekon first read about the Nucleus as a controller/aggregate devices. Then Read up a bit more on the interfaces and pick one you feel happy about and has good reports for stability(on your platform)-and you will then know what connection you are dealing with FW/USB/PCIe. They all can work very well from these high quality interfaces. Then consider what connections you will need with your computer and peripherals etc. THen you can pick your Mac.

I used to work in a store so I like discussing these things! If you search for each item you are considering usually there is a good thread on it. In terms of the Nucleus SSL would probably be happy to discuss it with you also.