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- What does this mean?
Universal Audio know more than just a thing or two about studio outboard in the digital age: they wrote the book! The Universal Audio Apollo Duo is a firewire audio interface with a difference: it combines an 8 in 14 out (expandable) interface with Universal Audio's renowned UAD hardware acceleration. The result is all you need to record in the studio with real time UAD processing in a single rackmountable unit. The 4 digitally controlled mic pre-amps are completely transparent to allow you to use the UAD processing to apply the tonal qualities of your classic mic pres all in real time while you're recording it latency of less than 2ms!
Installation of the extra Thunderbolt card (not included) makes the UA Apollo the worlds first Thunderbolt audio interface
Here's what Universal Audio say about the Apollo Duo
Class-Leading 24-bit/192 kHz Sound Quality Designed to play a central role in a modern Mac- or PC-based studio, Apollo incorporates a true "no compromise" approach to audio quality. Building upon decades of UA's analog hardware heritage, it offers extremely high-resolution sonics, with the lowest THD and highest dynamic range in its class. Apollo's premium mic preamps, top-end converters - and UA's meticulous attention to circuit design - translate into greater accuracy and depth in your recordings, from tracking and overdubbing, to mixing and mastering.
Realtime UAD Plug-In Processing for Tracking, Mixing and Mastering
While Apollo's "natural" sound is exceedingly open and transparent, it can quickly deliver a wide range of classic analog tones and color via its Realtime UAD Processing. Available with either DUO Core or QUAD Core processing onboard, this onboard DSP Acceleration allows for recording and mixing through UAD Powered Plug-Ins - with as low as sub-2ms latency - so that producers can quickly monitor, audition, and "print" audio using classic analog emulations from Ampex, Lexicon, Manley, Neve, Roland, SSL, Studer, and more.
Want to place multiple 1176 compressors on your drum inputs, or record vocals through a classic Neve 1073 EQ, or even track the entire band through a Studer A800 tape machine in real time- No problem. With Realtime UAD processing, Apollo's sonic options are virtually endless.Thunderbolt I/O: The Next Generation of Connectivity
Apollo offers compatibility with Intel's new Thunderbolt technology, as found on the newest iMacs, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and next-generation PCs.
Available via a user-installable dual-port Thunderbolt I/O Option Card (sold separately), Thunderbolt provides lower latency, reduced audio buffer size, improved performance, and greater UAD plug-in instances versus FireWire. And because Thunderbolt offers many times the bandwith of FireWire, it allows music producers to connect numerous devices in series with the Apollo interface - including hard drives, processors, and additional computer monitors - all with fast, flawless performance.
Deeper Integration with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase and more
Apollo's Core Audio and ASIO* drivers ensure compatibility with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Live, and more. Beyond this basic compatibility, Apollo's included Console application and companion Console Recall plug-in (VST/AU/RTAS) provide control and recall of all interface and UAD plug-in settings within individual DAW sessions, even months and years later. Read more about Apollo's included software here.
One key feature of Apollo isn't really a "feature" at all. It's the numerous design details that give you a fast, natural workflow - and better results. There are physical front-panel controls for all the most commonly used features, including Preamp and Monitor level knobs, channel selection, mic pad and low cut, phantom power, and even dual headphone outs with independent level control. Smart Hi-Z inputs on the front panel detect when you've connected your guitar or bass, and automatically enable hardware and software monitoring.
Sonically, Apollo's Mic inputs and Monitor outputs are digitally controlled analog, so you don't lose audio resolution when you adjust gain. High-resolution/high-contrast metering, derived from UA's legendary 2192 interface, is designed to be viewable at nearly any angle. Finally, standalone operation means that you can use Apollo's audio connections, and last-used DSP mixer settings, even without a computer connected.
- 18 x 24 FireWire/Thunderbolt-ready audio interface for Mac and PC*
- Realtime UAD Processing for low-latency (sub-2ms) tracking and mixing w/ UAD Powered Plug-Ins**
- Premium mic preamps, top-end converters, and uncompromising analog design
- Front-panel controls for all commonly used features
- Full recall of interface and UAD plug-in settings within DAW sessions via Console Recall plug-in (VST/RTAS/AU)
- 8 analog inputs: 4 digitally controlled analog mic preamps; 8 balanced line inputs; 2 front-panel JFET DIs
- 14 analog outputs: 8 balanced line outs; 2 digitally-controlled analog monitor outs; 2 dedicated stereo headphone outs
- 10 channels of digital I/O: 8 channels of ADAT; 2 channels S/PDIF; Wordclock I/O
- Dual FireWire 800 ports (standard)
- Thunderbolt I/O Option Card for connectivity to new Macs and PCs (card sold separately)
- Available in DUO Core and QUAD Core processor models
- Includes "Analog Classics"
- plug-ins: LA-2A Classic Audio Leveler, 1176LN Limiting Amplifier, and Pultec EQP-1A Program Equalizer
- Virtual I/O feature for Realtime UAD Processing of virtual instruments and DAW tracks
- Multi-Unit Cascading allows combining two Apollos for 16 analog inputs/outputs and 12 digital inputs/outputs
Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 30 December 2013
So far this is turning out to be fantastic !
Dave | Purchase date: 02 July 2012
I couldn't be happier with the Apollo. The A/D D/A conversion is exceptional. I made the upgrade from a DIGI002 system and I couldn't believe the difference! Stereo imaging, depth and the extension of low end that I wasn't hearing before were immediate. The included UAD 2 card is brilliant and the ability to track through plug-ins is also a massive bonus. All in all in incredible product!
Jared | Purchase date: 30 May 2012
I don't normally bother with reviews but this is just an amazing piece of gear. I mainly record acoustic guitars, upright bass & vocals, but need the flexibility to record larger ensembles & multi mic drum kits. The mic preamps do a beautiful job in maintaining a rich acoustic tone via my mics (rode k2 & NT55). The software lets you monitor or record with the amazing plugins. I'm currently recording with a 1073, a 1176 and an EMT plate reverb in the insert channel of the software mixer and it's just gorgeous - This is amazingly close to analogue heaven. I never like to commit to a sound when tracking so I monitor with the plugs and then tweak from logic when mixing; a great feature. Different headphone mixes mean the fussy singers can get what they want taken from the monitor mix while you hear what you want. The HiZ input is the best that I've put an electric guitar through. The bundled plugins are good, but you will want to upgrade to the revamped 1176 bundle as soon as you trial it. UA have done a serious, serious upgrade to the original. The apollo pretty much does everything I want - pristine gain and any amount of analogue colouration from the plug ins. The wise old heads at UA have such a hardware pedigree and they've used this to produce software of the very highest order. Life just got better and easier.
Diego | Purchase date: 07 April 2012
The Audio interface is just great. A little bit of trouble upgrading the software due to locking of the license file on mac os (happened before). Just be sure to double check you dsp needs since a little dsp (~10%) is used by the device itself and so the plugin instance count is sully slightly less compare to UAD2 duo or quad. Great quality and tracking with plugins on the inserts is just great. The Mix Console software is quite limited in version 6.1 RME and Focusrite Mix control software is a lot more advanced in routing and mix setup.
Used to track an entire band with no problem at all, it was so easy to track in M/S with dsp decoding.
It is important that you keep your daw project clean until 100% sure your tracking is done since it won't be quick to disable all UAD plugins in the mix to free the device to use it all for the new takes.