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Sweetwater's Mitch Gallagher presents an overview of Universal Audio's new Apollo audio interface.
Click to zoom | Apollo User Interface
It's time for a new approach to digital audio — it's time for Universal Audio's Apollo firewire audio interface. Digital audio workstations have become powerful enough to complete projects we wouldn't have dreamt of ten years ago, and technical advances make quality recording equipment more affordable than ever. However, nothing can truly replace the sound of the analog recording equipment that crafted the sound of modern music. Universal Audio has made industry-leading analog recording equipment for decades, and now presents the ultimate marriage of analog and digital technology: Apollo. The combination of a world-class analog front end, class-leading digital conversion quality, and the unprecedented addition of UAD-2 DSP processing for UAD Powered plug-ins, makes Apollo an entirely new way to record, mix, and master
UAD-2 Power Built In!
There are times when your computer just doesn't have the power and speed to run all the plug-ins your recording session needs. With UAD-2 powered plug-ins, the processing load is taken outside of the computer and borne by UAD's super-powerful Analog Devices SHARC processors. Universal Audio's new Apollo interface has these SHARC processors built in, and is available in DUO (two SHARCs) or QUAD (four SHARCs) models.
Universal Audio has earned a reputation for making world class analog audio gear. UA's Apollo features an impeccable analog front end with full-featured mic preamps with direct front-panel control, as well as two front-panel JFET DIs which offer high-quality inputs for high-impedance instruments like electric guitars and basses.
Bottom line: Apollo sounds amazing, and offers superior dynamic range and total harmonic distortion than other interfaces in its price range.
Apollo's hardware and software settings can be saved with your session file, for true console-style recall when you load your project.
The next generation of connectivity, Thunderbolt gives you the speed and ultra-fast performance of a PCI Express system — but with the convenience of a single cable! Apollo's Thunderbolt expansion port paves the way to the future with a soon-to-be-released Thunderbolt card.
Apollo comes with the
Analog Classics Software Bundle:
LA-2A Classic Audio Leveler — UA's revered, electro-optical, analog compressor.
1176SE Limiting Amplifier — A DSP-optimized version of the 1176LN.
Pultec EQP-1A EQ — A favorite of recording and mastering engineers.
RealVerb Pro Room Modeler — Design your room environment with precise detail.
With Apollo, you can record, mix, and master with authentic emulations of vintage recording gear, while saving your computer's resources for other tasks. Apollo arrives with the Analog Classics Software Bundle, and you can add to the system any of the UAD-2 Powered Plug-ins you desire! Load it up with SSL or Neve console channel strips, echoes & delays, equalizers, reverbs, tape emulations, flangers, compressors, mastering plug-ins, and more!
*You can combine two of any Apollo or Apollo 16 models for double the I/O (Apollo and Apollo 16 cannot be combined in the same computer to increase I/O) — contact Sweetwater for more information
** MADI I/O is for Apollo 16 Multi-unit cascading only. It cannot be used to connect to other MADI gear.
Audio Interface with Built-in UAD Plug-in Processing!
Combining a world-class analog front end, cutting-edge conversion quality, and the unparalleled power of UAD-2 Duo plug-in processing built-in, the Universal Audio Apollo Duo firewire audio interface represents a new approach to recording. Over 10 years of research and development have gone into making the Apollo Duo, and it's poised to change the way you operate in your recording studio. Apollo Duo gives you built-in UAD-2 Duo DSP to let you track, mix, and master with acclaimed UAD-2 powered plug-ins - with near-zero latency! UAD-2 powered plug-ins serve up incredibly realistic emulations of classic studio processors, so you can get the sound of iconic analog equipment on your tracks with the convenience of plug-ins. And with Apollo Duo, you have all the DSP power you need to run an array of these top-notch plug-ins with ultra-low latency while your host computer runs your DAW.
Universal Audio's Apollo Duo is also the world's first Thunderbolt-ready audio interface, with an expansion port that allows you to install an optional Thunderbolt expansion card. Thunderbolt offers a much larger bandwidth and faster transfer rates than USB or Firewire, meaning you'll be able to record more tracks at higher resolutions with lower latencies than you could before - even when using all 18 inputs and 24 outputs. Factor in universal DAW compatibility for Mac (PC compatibility is scheduled for Summer 2012), and the ability to connect a UAD-2 Satellite to power even more UAD-2 DSP plug-ins, and you'll see that the Universal Audio Apollo Duo firewire audio interface sets a seriously powerful foundation for your recording studio.
Universal Audio Apollo Duo Firewire Audio Interface at a Glance:
Built-in UAD-2 Duo DSP for running UAD-2 powered plug-ins
Premium analog signal path
A powerful foundation for any recording, mixing, or mastering studio
UAD-2 Analog Classics plug-in bundle included
Thunderbolt-ready for enhanced future performance
Built-in UAD-2 Duo DSP for running UAD-2 powered plug-ins The really big deal with Universal Audio's Apollo Duo is the built-in UAD-2 DSP that lets you run UAD-2 powered plug-ins without the need for a separate processor card to be installed in your computer. UAD-2 powered plug-ins have earned a worldwide reputation for being some of the best-sounding, most accurate reproductions of classic analog studio gear. While the plug-ins sound amazing, previously it's been impossible to record through them without long latency times. With UAD-2 DSP power built right in, you can track, mix, and master with UAD-2 powered plug-ins with near-zero (below 2ms) latency. This type of performance was previously only available on expensive and complicated DSP-based recording systems - Apollo Duo makes this pro-level performance accessible to home and project studios too!
Premium analog signal path Apollo Duo began with Universal Audio's vision of the perfect marriage of analog equipment and digital recording technologies. You'll capture rich, vibrant audio from the four built-in microphone preamps, and two JFET instrument inputs let you capture sweet direct instrument recordings too. With a total of 18 inputs and 24 outputs, the Apollo Duo has the connectivity you need in a professional environment. And because UA focused on creating a pristine analog signal path, you won't have to buy racks full of analog preamps just to get a great recorded sound.
A powerful foundation for any recording, mixing, or mastering studio Universal Audio's Apollo Duo is a significant advancement for any pro-audio application, whether you track, mix, or master in your studio. UAD-2 powered plug-ins have been acclaimed for their analog-like sound and vibe, and Apollo Duo is the only way to track with these plug-ins with ultra-low latency. You can reproduce the signal chains of the world's most famous recordings, without spending tens of thousands on analog hardware from 40 years ago. When you're tracking, that means you can capture a better recording right from the beginning, and your artists will love the high-quality sound of their monitor mix. During mixing, UAD-2 powered plug-ins give you all the tools you need to produce world-class mixes without compromise. And for mastering, UAD-2 DSP technology gives you access to more emulations of history's greatest mastering processors than any other platform does.
UAD-2 Analog Classics plug-in bundle included Right out of the box, you'll have access to the UA Analog Classics bundle of UAD-2 DSP powered-plugins. You'll be amazed by the Analog Classics collection's spot-on plug-in versions of the venerable LA-2A audio leveler, 1176LN/SE limiting amps, and Pultec's EQP-1A program EQ. You also get the outstanding RealVerb Pro room modeler and CS-1 channel strip plug-ins. Of course you have the power to run any UAD-2 powered plug-in, with a huge selection of EQs, delays, reverbs, compressors, harmonic enhancers, and all other manner of studio processors. And if you ever hit the limit of the Apollo Duo's ample processing power, you can add a UAD-2 Satellite (sold separately) for even more plug-in DSP power.
Thunderbolt-ready for enhanced future performance Digital audio technology is continually advancing, so Universal Audio built the Apollo Duo with future performance in mind. The Thunderbolt expansion port will allow you to add Thunderbolt connectivity (via an optional card) to your Apollo Duo. Based on PCIe technology, Thunderbolt will offer a much-higher bandwidth connection than USB or Firewire, and with lower latency too. While Apollo Duo already sports incredible sub-2ms latency with its Firewire 800 connection, as the technology standards for digital audio advance Apollo Duo will be equipped to handle future transmission requirements with ease.
by Longtayle from Chincoteague Island, VA February 26, 2013 Music Background: Engineer, Musican, Educator, Performer
I bought the Apollo Duo along with the UA 4-710d to upgrade my studio. I am SO glad I did. These two units are marvelous for the type of work I do. Mostly I record acoustic instruments, some electr... read more [+]onic keyboard, but mostly Celtic and folk styles of music. These styles demand transparency, detail and accuracy. Thanks to the Apollo and 4-710d, my recordings are superior to anything I have ever done. With a professional microphone as the input device, these units can create truly professional recording results. The console that comes with the Apollo Duo is about the best I have seen. Easy to use, very clear graphics, great flexibility. The converters are terrific too. The great horsepower of the Apollo is constrained to using UA plugins. Some may find that a problem. I have not at all. UA gives a lot of discounts to new owners in buying plugins. So, cost isnít all that big an issue. The UA plugins are unique, accurate emulations of very expensive studio gear I could never afford. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to use such fine signal processing gear. Iím using lots of different plugins, by many different makers along with the UA plugins in mixes. It all works well together. No discernible latency at all. I really like the headset monitoring system that permits you to hear whatís going on in the box. Most helpful during capture. I gave it only five stars because there was no option for six stars. close [-]
by Daniel from Kentucky September 4, 2012 Music Background: Film/TV Music
I'm blown away by the quality of this interface. Coming from a Saffire Pro 40, my mixes have so much more depth and presence than ever before! The icing on the cake is tracking with the UAD plugins. T... read more [+]he preamps combined with the UAD plugins for live tracking has made me think about selling my LA-610 MKII. It's that good! close [-]
I am an electronic musician and have always had a smaller studio setup. I primarily use VST instruments and processing inside a DAW. But one thing that lacked in my mixdowns was that 'analog sound.' For years, everyone kept telling me to get a UAD card, and that I wouldn't regret it. They were right! My Apollo is the best investment I ever made!
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