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February Giveaway

Universal Audio Apollo DUO Reviews

4.5 stars based on 18 customer reviews
  • from Warren oh July 25, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Pianist and Singer, Recording Enginer & Producer

    I'm in LOVE!!!

    UAD pluggins are more than they are cracked up to be...
    The sound quality is superb.
    The UAD control panel is wonderful as well!

  • from Denver, CO USA June 11, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Pianist

    Quality Conversion and UAD Processing

    A solid piece of gear. It's like getting a high quality FW800/Thunderbolt interface and a UAD-2 Duo in one. My analog synth and amplifier sounds great running into it, and the plugins are outstanding.

  • from Chincoteague Island, VA February 26, 2013Music Background:
    Engineer, Musican, Educator, Performer

    Studio Game Changer

    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 electronic 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.

  • from Kentucky September 4, 2012Music Background:
    Film/TV Music

    Really Incredible!

    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. The preamps combined with the UAD plugins for live tracking has made me think about selling my LA-610 MKII. It's that good!

  • from NYC July 8, 2012Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Engineer/Seducer

    M-Audio ProjectMix I/O to -> THIS BEAST!!!

    The Apollo Duo has been more than enough DSP/Bandwidth for my "Lil' Studio w/ the BIG SOUND!" Things usually leave out of here sounding amazing already, but THIS BEAST has awoken the "Purple Dragons" (what I call my clients)... iHave multiple MBPs running PT 9, mixing & mastering literally in bed through the Limited Edition ATH-M50's :-)~ *Love those bad boys right there. (BTW, Guess how many "BEATS" are sitting on the floor, in the corner, BACK in their box? :-ooo ...err... Sorry Dre, you're Still That Dude tho!) But ANYWAY, the main studio comp was running a modded ProjectMix off a G4. So it was bout time iUpgraded from an old, yet "Plug-in STOCKED" PPC G4 tower. I'm currently now running PT 10 on a stock 13in. 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 Thunderbolt Laptop, 1 Thunderbolt Display & the gorgeous soundin', luscious lookin' BLUE Reactor Mic. *Would have gotten 2 displays but the Ivy Bridge iMac didn't come out to market, yet. And, I'm -> #PatientlyWaitin'OnADream27inchiMacRevision :-(~ ...crickets... :-(~ So for fun, NOW i'm using the Project Mix "just as a controller" aka "Big Mouse" (Lol), w/possibilities of more Adat/Lightpipe expansion that i'll probably never need to use now. Needless 2 say, Yeah, I initially WANTED an Apollo "Quad" but then after using my Duo, iCame to my senses. iWill NOT be returning my new toy for ANYTHING!!! MOST of my projects are stacked RnB vocals and/or Rap sessions with mostly 2trk instrumentals sioooooo, THIS APOLLO BEAST IS OVERKILL. And #iFrickin'LoveIt! It just works flawlessly with its low latency modes and delay compensation. My MAIN ISSUE was getting a better preamp over the M-Audio's ProjectMix I/O which iReally learned quickly how to "dress up with plug-ins" to make it sound nicer than ppl expected it could sound (you know, "sub-par converters and all..." BUT with Apollo, i tip my hats to Sweetwater & UAD cause THESE PREs & Plug-ins truly are utterly, transparently amazing and accurately modeled. It sounds SOOOOO CLEAN...Then allows ME to decide how dutty mi wan fi get pon di mix! :-)~ A likkle Jamaican Patois for ya!
    Final words -> Big studio running bands = get a Quad. For a Medium to Project studio, save money for your future UAD plugins 'cuz the Duo is MORE Than sufficient. (For me & my clients anyhow...)

  • from La Mirada, CA June 30, 2012Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter, Hobbyist

    I Love It!

    I have had this product for just a couple weeks now...and I absolutely love it. There are so many great things about it that I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I'll try to highlight a couple of things that really stood out to me.

    1. Ease of Set Up: I had set aside an entire afternoon to hook this thing up and figure out how it worked, and it only took me about 30 minutes. The included Console Software is very intuitive. And, the integration into your DAW is seamless. I run Pro Tools 10 and I was very impressed and how easily and quickly it configured itself within the program.

    2. The Low-Latency Monitoring: I upgraded from an Mbox 2 (a big upgrade, I know). When you plug your headphones into the Mbox, you're only getting the signal that is coming out of your Pro Tools session. With the Apollo, not only do you get the signal coming out of Pro Tools (or any other DAW), but you also are able to monitor what is coming out of the box itself. I find this especially helpful if I've plugged in a guitar or bass and want to practice a part while I'm listening back to what I've already recorded.

    3. The Quality of the Audio: Before I used the Apollo, I was usually putting several plug-ins (EQ, Compressor, Exciter, etc.) on every single track. Now all I do is use one of the compressors from the included Analog Classics Bundle during the recording intake on the Apollo and it sounds amazing. Maybe I'll add a hint of reverb afterwards in Pro Tools, but overall, the raw audio that you are able to get through the Apollo sounds terrific and needs little tampering.

    Overall I have been very impressed with this unit. It is definitely expensive, but if you have the means and plan on doing recording for a while, it is a good investment. I'm very pleased with my purchase.

  • from Puerto Rico May 20, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, and stufio owner

    Is fantastic

    I have record acoustic guitar before and i try to find that special sound that i always wanted from a acoustic guitar I have to say is perfect and I love it I am very happy with the product

  • from Roanoke, VA April 20, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Amazing upgrade!

    In the world of buy nice or buy twice, this product really is outstanding. I also upgraded from an Apogee Duet. I am using a set of KM 184s and Royer R101s and the sound is amazing. The ability to alter the sound with a plugin prior to recording does not disappoint - zero latency, pristine sound. I haven't even scratched the surface with this one. For a home recording, this one is it - for a while !

  • from Ketchikan, AK USA March 31, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Songwriter

    Just AMAZING!

    When I was researching the Apollo I knew it was going to be a fantastic product but I had no idea it was going to sound THIS GOOD! I upgraded from the Apogee Duet (Which I think is a pristine product already). I figured the interface quality would be comparable between the two and the real difference in the Apollo would be in the integration of its plugins. I was blown away by the difference! It's remarkable. It's an expensive investment, true, but its really the right kind of investment for anyone looking to take the effort out of getting the right kind of sound and focus more on your creativity!

  • from Philadelphia, PA March 29, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer/Producer

    I am in love!

    I expected a great product from UA -- I've owned a UAD2 Quad for a year -- and the Apollo didn't disappoint. A/D's, D/A's and mic preps are spectacular and the addition of 2 UA DSP slots is great to have. I am looking forward to Thunderbolt card upgrade this summer. Additionally, there have been rumors, which make sense, that UA will be writing mic pre-amp modeling software for the Apollo. UAD's plug-ins don't disappoint. Great sound, well constructed and an overall phenominal buy!

  • from New York December 11, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Composer

    Work horse!

    This unit is a work horse and center piece of my studio.
    I combined it with a DBox by dangerous music and the two together give me the perfect front end to achieve that big open sound with pristine quality from the inception to the final master!!

  • from Savannah May 22, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer/musician

    Cool product

    Love (almost) everything about this unit. It's fast, sounds great, the UAD plugins sound great when you track with them. The A/D conversion is great too, sold a Rosetta 800 to get this and haven't looked back. The pre's are decent, the only thing I wish UA explored more was more extensive output routing. I know I can do my routing in the DAW, but it would be nice to do everything in the console application. But I've worked around that and I am happy with my Apollo.

  • from Pittsburgh, PA April 26, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Sound Production

    amazing

    I recently upgraded my studio from an old PPC format to a newer intel based system. part of the upgrade was moving from my RME multiface (the original PCI) to the new Apollo. This box is amazing. If your in the market for a semi-pro box, something for a home studio or for recording in the field, this is it. It's UA quality all around. The mic pres are excellent for the price of the machine. I have read reviews of people who are disappointment with them, but they are comparing them to $5000 stand alone mic pres, which is a little ridiculous. The unit is very musical sounding, as you would expect from UA. The D/A conversion is easily comparable to an Ensemble or RME box, and is even a little more "analog" sounding. My initial mixes on the unit are INFINITELY better than on the RME. And of course, not having to run my UA plugins on my machine is a great DSP saver.

    The only reason it's getting a 4.5 rather than a 5 is that the software is still a little buggy, but im sure that will be resolved in firmware updates soon enough. Bottom line, this was a HUGE upgrade in my studio and has changed the quality of my mixes by leaps and bounds. Well worth the money.

  • from Aptos, CA April 20, 2013Music Background:
    Recording studio since 1986, Play bass in 3 bands

    So Far , so Good

    I really like the sound quality, and the fact I can instantiate plug-ins on recording. It seems to crash with PreSonus Studio 1 - 2, so I need to look into that. I have abandoned a Digi Studio 3 control surface, which I did not seem to use much. I will explore it's possibilities over the next few weeks, and let you know.

  • from Nashville, TN November 26, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer / Producer / Audio Instructor

    Pro Piece

    I've worked on HD3 systems, tracked with Apogee Symphony I/O, recorded through Lynx, Neve, API, Daking, etc....and I have not been disappointed by this piece. Seamless integration with Pro Tools, great sounding conversion, surprisingly pleasant pre's, ability to do 2 headphone mixes seperate from the main mix, and tracking with the UA plugs. One of those few products where the ad copy isn't actually over-selling. Love, love, love it!

    The only downside I've found (and I might be doing this part wrong)....Since the performer is monitoring directly off of the unit (rather than the DAW), if you are doing punches on a track, you need to do a bit of work-around in order for them to hear the already-recorded pre-roll before they punch. But I've figured it out and it's not a huge deal. But to me, this is the main difference between this and an HD Native system. And for the difference in $$$, I'm fine with it.

  • from Asheville, NC June 13, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    Disappointed

    I purchased the Apollo Duo to up my game a bit in the stereo concert recording work that I do. I had been "getting by" with the mic pres and converters on the Avid MBox 2, and as a back up was recording the stereo feed into a Zoom H4 recorder. The mics were a spaced stereo pair of AKG 414's. The H4 came to my rescue a couple times over the years as I sometimes experienced Pro Tools crashing in the middle of a recording. (Reminder: always have a backup!) Overall, the sound was certainly acceptable and people complimented me on the fidelity of the recordings.

    Well, the time and opportunity came for an upgrade to my mic pres and converters and I jumped on it. I researched on the internet, read reviews, consulted with my Sweetwater guru, and also another very experienced engineer friend who really knows about high end recording gear. I ended up selecting the UAD Apollo Duo based on its price point and feature set. Many reviews were overwhelmingly positive.

    I recorded the concert (Asheville Community Band) on the new Apollo rig via an external FW800 drive as well as the H4 for backup. .wav files were recorded at 24/96. I got back to my studio and, on a whim, compared the two stereo recorded tracks: one the H4, the other the Apollo Duo. I soloed back and forth with both continuous and looping time aligned tracks. My studio rig is a Pro Tools HD Accel 3 with the Avid 192 I/O interface.

    I was astonished to discover there was virtually NO DIFFERENCE in the recording quality. Nothing. I scrutinized every comparison I could think of... stereo imaging, dimensionality and depth, hi end graininess, low end sonics, noise floor, transient response (audience applause) very loud passages, solo passages, etc. There was no discernible difference between the two. This got me more than a little irritated... What is this? Is it me? Why doesn't the Apollo blow the N4 away? What am I NOT hearing? (I've been an engineer a long time and am supposed to hear stuff like this)

    I returned the Apollo Duo and am going to stay with the gear I already have for the time being. For all those out there seeking the next level of audio quality, it is absolutely true that *a lot* more money has to be spent to get really hi end sonics. The Apollo is a fine unit, don't get me wrong. If you are blown away by the sound of it compared to your old rig that's great, but that was not the case for me and might be the same for others who read this.

    My sales engineer at Sweetwater correctly said that discerning audio quality is a very subjective thing, to which notion I was already familiar with. Even so, I was shocked the lowly Zoom N4 matched the Apollo Duo sonically. He also admitted the H4 (and its successor the H4n) is an amazing value for the money. To my ears, the converters (not the microphones) of that device do just as fine a job recording digital audio (24/96) than gear costing almost 10x as much! It's also hardware and never crashes! (At least not yet)

    The Apollo Duo has many more features of course. The front end console software runs great. It comes with a bounty of excellent plug ins. It sounds good. It's beautifully packaged, almost like opening up an Apple product. But think twice before you spring for the hype. No need to "upgrade" into this huge upper middle class of preamps and converters unless you really need to... you will only be trading sideways. The truly high end stuff costs a lot more than the Apollo class does, and is in a different realm of sonics entirely. Is it worth spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars more for a slight incremental improvement in sound quality? You decide. I'm sticking to what I've got for now. I give three stars because it is still a quality product.

  • from August 2, 2012Music Background:
    Semi Pro Musician

    Overrated!

    I've worked with my share of audio interfaces over the past 15 years and I can honestly say that I don't know what all the hype is about. Yes, UAD has a solid reputation in the audio industry and this box is similar in quality to their other products, but let's face it, it's their first audio interface, and even though it's got great build quality and features and looks pretty and all of that, I believe it has a ways to go to deserve all of the praises it's getting. While the mic pre's and converters are of high quality, they just don't produce the quality of sound that my Apogee Ensemble did. I ultimately feel that it's over priced.

  • from July 27, 2012Music Background:
    Songwriter/Musician

    Beautiful Box, But Think Twice Before Buying!!

    This box is very well made. The Mic Pre's are great and the A/D Converters are very high quality. It has all the features and quality of a High End Audio Interface.

    However, be VERY AWARE of the way this product works. You're basically "married" to UAD Plug-Ins if you want to use this box the way it's intended to be used and to get the most out of it, and from my experience, I don't think it's the best "marriage". I just don't think it operates as smoothly as it should, when you consider that you need to use the UAD plug-ins when Tracking to hear what your recording in the Mixer, and then again in your DAW to hear your final mix. I've also received a lot of CPU overload messages and Plug-In messages when I shouldn't be getting them and my 2 computers have tons of power. I'm also having to tweak the UAD software to handle the Plug-Ins which negates the whole point of having a DSP card on board.

    I also like to do my tracking and then do my final mix on my laptop in another location which means that I need to haul the Apollo along just to be able to use the UAD plug-ins, as opposed to Pro Tools or some other 3rd party plug-ins that don't need the DSP card to do it.

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