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Universal Audio Apollo 8 DUO 18x24 Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with UAD DSP Reviews

5.0 stars based on 12 customer reviews
Questions about the Universal Audio Apollo 8 DUO 18x24 Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with UAD DSP?

Questions about the Universal Audio Apollo 8 DUO 18x24 Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with UAD DSP?

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  • from Los Angeles January 15, 2017

    Stop searching. Buy this now.

    This is the only way to run Pro Tools (native) and/or Logic. There is no shortage of great interfaces these days and most can get the job done but.... using this with no regard to latency (on board processors take care of what you could ever want going in) and best in class audio conversion AND the best plugins on the market make it a no brainer. Save yourself the time and buy this.

  • from Rio Rancho, NM January 11, 2016Music Background:

    The Apollo 8...Simply Great!

    We are so fortunate to be in this era of technology and the impact it has had on Home Studios. I have gone from analog tape to digital and during that transition there was something clearly missing. With UA's Apollo 8 and the UAD-2 platform we have not only gained the warmth of analog but we have surpassed the audio quality. The 4 Unison pre's on this unit are pristine and using the Unison technology to track with a Neve 1073 Preamp and EQ for example is outstanding. You can bypass the Pre's however if you wish if you own a great standalone pre.
    I am very excited about this product and feel like I have what it takes now to push out some quality productions. Be sure to get enough DSP however as I find myself reaching more and more for the amazing plugins like the Manley Massive Passive Eq. Outstanding sound and space that it creates. Additionally I have purchased the Apollo Twin Duo which works great together with the Apollo 8...I am able to keep the Twin on my desktop and use it to quickly adjust line and volume settings. Universal Audio is one of those companies that simply satisfies me as a consumer. Amazing quality and the support is great! Thanks to Tim Harrington for getting my order so quickly and making this purchase a great experience.

  • from Portland OR September 2, 2015Music Background:
    guitar, synth, audio post


    This box sounds and looks fantastic. Worth every penny. The only thing to consider is getting the higher DSP models or a satellite - if you're trying to track a good number of tracks with some of their higher DSP intensity plugins running, you'll be wanting more power.

  • from Sacramento, Ca August 3, 2015Music Background:
    College Professor/Jazz Pianist


    I couldn't be happier withe the Apollo 8 Duo. I'm using it with AKG C414's to record my grand piano and the sound is great. It's like night and day over what I had before. The unit is user friendly and the console software works great. Although the quad is quite a bit more, I kind of regret not getting it because the processing power gets used up pretty quickly with plugins. If you have the extra money, go for the quad.

  • from June 29, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Audio Engineer/Technician

    First Rate Interface

    Great mic-pres. (With or without Unison plug-ins). Versatile routing options—especially for monitoring: alternate speakers, sum-to-mono. A/D and D/A converters are extremely accurate, with stable clocking.

    The UAD plugins sound fantastic. I especially love the Unison preamp modeling technology. Admittedly the DUO does not have as much processing as I would like, but that's the tradeoff I made for the price. Of course, the nice thing is that you can daisy-chain UA interfaces and DSP Satellites.

    The Console software is also incredible useful. I've worked with a range of large-format consoles, including SSL and API. The Console program from UA takes many of the familiar controls from high-end hardware into the computer: routing, monitoring, cue mixes, and the ability to insert in either the channel or monitor path, to name a few.

  • from June 16, 2015Music Background:
    Tehcnical Recording

    Incredible Sound!!!

    If you want a profesional sound in you studio, you need the apollo duo, the sound is incredible.

  • from The Bay June 11, 2015

    It's the TRUTH!!

    Went from a Digi 003 to the Apollo Black. It's a beast. Convertors are top notch, Works great with Protools. Preamps are killer. Zero issues so far. It's a great quality box. The cool thing is they make adding UA plugins very simple (a little too simple) be careful or you'll be broke. But they sound so good though.

  • from Usa June 8, 2015Music Background:

    I've used them all

    I have had apogee symphony systems and then some. I've used them all. The New set of apollos just jump up from a quality I didn't even feel needed anything. This new interface has stunning sound quality use this with some twin 6be focal monitors and man oh man. Plus this combined with the thunderbolt satellite octo core. I love this interface. Everything it can do is unheard of. If you need to be efficient in your work. This will help you get to the point where your shaving hours of mixes. I write music for TV film video games and movie trailers. I also song and write for a djent metal band and being able to have this kind of power on call is just stunning and the quality of everything stunning. Nobody is doing this with an audio interface.

  • from Bronx, NY May 1, 2015Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer

    One wasn't enough

    I purchased 1 unit and after using it for a week, I loved it so much I ended up buying a 2nd one to replace my 2 MOTU 828's.
    I like the ability to expand the system via the new Apollo expanded software.
    Great sound.
    Love the unison enabled mic pre's.
    Very low latency.
    Excellent built quality.
    Easy to use specially with the new console 2.0 update.

  • from December 24, 2015Music Background:

    Amazing! (but specs aren't quite right)

    Here are what I see as "The Good" and "The Bad" of the apollo 8 thunderbolt 2.

    The Good:

    I have tried interfaces with similar specs that are lesser models, especially the forte products. But this blows them out of the water. Dead silent gain. It is so clear and robust of a visual image, that even dry without any preamps or gear, it sounds killer. This takes recording interfaces to a whole new level. You can recording and mix fully in the box. I love it.

    Not to mention that the plugins make mixing sound like you have thousands of dollars worth of high end gear. I'm a logic pro x user and always loved their plugins. I also use waves plugins, but I feel like they all miss something that this has. It works great at capturing the sound in the most natural way possible.

    THE BAD:

    Latency- Specs say that you can get it down to 1.1 ms latency at 96k, but I can't get that. This has more latency than my focusrite forte had. That bothers me a lot. I even called Universal Audio to speak with a tech. We tried so many different things and the lowest I could get it down to was like 3 ms of latency without plugins. It's still good, and the tech kept trying to stress that, but I expect the product to deliver what is written in the specs.

  • from Los Angeles, CA October 19, 2016Music Background:

    Apollo 8 is Great and Not Great

    - I noticed a huge difference in clarity and stereo image of my existing mixes (mixes I had before I bought the Apollo).
    - The Apollo preamps are really clean and deliver everything I want to hear.
    - I love that it comes with UAD DSP processors to help take the load off some of my plugin heavy mixes.
    - The headphone single is really clean. Though not as powerful as I expected (you have to turn the knob over 50% to get a decent level in the headphones), still plenty powerful though.
    - The set up was pretty easy and even loaded in a I/O setup into Pro Tools. All I had to do was just rename the ins and outs (but that was more of a personal preference, not required).

    - The Console software was and still is a bit of a headache for me. I read a lot about it, watched all of the tutorial videos on UA's youtube channel and even downloaded the official PDF manual. I still can't seem to get it to do what it says it will do during a recording session. Luckily you don't need to use the Console software at all and for now I'm not.
    - I was disappointed that the Apollo did not come with a manual. I understand that everything is online and it's more environmentally friendly but inside the box was a big, full-color UA catalog. That couldn't have been cheap to print. Why couldn't they have also included a manual too? Instead I had to download the PDF manual and click between the PDF and the Console software when trying to figure something out.
    - I HATE that there is not an easy way to get rid of all the UAD demo plugins. I contacted UA about this but they said there is not official way to only show the plugins you've purchased. Luckily Sweetwater has a workaround tip for this but it took me forever to sort through the UAD plugins and figure out which ones were demos and which ones were included as part of the Apollo purchase.
    - I'm also not a fan of the way you have to click on the front of the Apollo to scroll through the preamp channels. There is no way to see the settings for all 4 preamp channels at once. So if you are trying to match levels of channels 1 and 2, you have to click through channels 3 and 4 to get back to channel 1. There is also no way to easily see if Phantom Power is turned on/off for any of the preamp channels. It would be really great to be able to just glance at the Apollo and see if Phantom Power was off before plugging in a ribbon mic, for example.

  • from September 19, 2015

    It Is What It Is

    UA Apollo Blackface

    This is an all around great interface. It competes with the best offerings from RME & Apogee.

    Sound: Not quite as detailed as the Ensemble on the top end, but with more low-mid bloom, the new Apollo has the sound of the master section of a high end analog console. I think the subdued highs and hint of natural compression make this a great interface for tracking guitars if not a great mastering box.

    Features: A few bummers like XLR inputs ONLY working for mic level (must use TRS for line) and general lack of stability in the Console app subtract a star from this unit. It's really silly how some inputs don't activate until Console is opened! To balance this, the plugs included are great on sends and mixbuss.

    Conclusion: This is a fun interface that will not let you down. Sonics are not up to spec for contemporary mastering grade stuff but it's a great overdub box.

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