Universal Audio Apollo FireWire

18 x 24 FireWire 800 Audio Interface with Built-in UAD-2 QUAD DSP for UAD-2 Powered Plug-ins and Included Analog Classics Bundle - Mac/PC
Universal Audio Apollo FireWire image 1
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Universal Audio Apollo FireWire image 1
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Universal Audio Apollo FireWire
In Stock!
  • World-class Front End!
  • Track, Mix, & Master
    with Near-zero Latency!
  • UAD-2 Processing Built In!
Sweetwater's Mitch Gallagher presents an overview of Universal Audio's new Apollo audio interface.
Apollo 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.

back panel Back Panel
  • 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.
    • 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier — UA's legendary, FET-based, hardware classic.
    • 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!

Line Outputs
Hi-Z Instrument
Stereo Cue
Mix Sends
Analog Classics
Plug-in Bundle
Apollo 1616None32x*32None4None2 channels of AES/EBUMADI I/O**UAD-2 QUADIncluded$2999
Apollo Quad84 remote-controlled16x*162 front-panel222 channels of S/PDIF8 channels of ADAT I/OUAD-2 QUADIncluded$2499

*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 QUAD plug-in processing built-in, the Universal Audio Apollo QUAD firewire audio interface represents a new approach to recording. Over 10 years of research and development have gone into making the Apollo QUAD, and it's poised to change the way you operate in your recording studio. Apollo QUAD gives you built-in UAD-2 QUAD 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 QUAD, 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 QUAD is also the world's first Thunderbolt-ready audio interface, with an expansion port that allows you to install a 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 (with PC compatibility 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 QUAD firewire audio interface sets a seriously powerful foundation for your recording studio.

Universal Audio Apollo QUAD Firewire Audio Interface at a Glance:
  • Built-in UAD-2 QUAD 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 QUAD DSP for running UAD-2 powered plug-ins
The really big deal with Universal Audio's Apollo QUAD 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 QUAD makes this pro-level performance accessible to home and project studios too!

Premium analog signal path
Apollo QUAD 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 QUAD 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 QUAD 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 QUAD 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 QUAD'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 QUAD with future performance in mind. The Thunderbolt expansion port will allow you to add Thunderbolt connectivity (via an optional card) to your Apollo QUAD. Based on PCIe technology, Thunderbolt will offer a much-higher bandwidth connection than USB or Firewire, and with lower latency too. While Apollo QUAD already sports incredible sub-2ms latency with its Firewire 800 connection, as the technology standards for digital audio advance Apollo QUAD will be equipped to handle future transmission requirements with ease.

Additional Media

Apollo Hardware Manual
Audio Interface Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity 2 x FireWire 800 ports
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 18 x 24
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes (UAD-2 Quad DSP)
Analog Inputs 4 x XLR, 8 x 1/4" TRS, 2 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
Analog Outputs 8 x 1/4" (line out), 2 x 1/4" (monitor out), 2 x 1/4" (headphones)
Digital Inputs 2 x Optical Toslink (ADAT), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
Digital Outputs 2 x Optical Toslink (ADAT), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
Number of Preamps 4 x mic, 2 x instrument
Phantom Power Yes
Clock I/O In/Out
Rack Spaces 1U
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.9 or later
OS Requirements - PC Windows 7 64-bit or later
Depth 13.5"
Width 19"
Height 1.75"
Weight 9.1 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number ApolloQuad

Customer Reviews

Based on 41 reviews
Write your review

Pro tools HD? why?

This is one of the best Audio interfaces in the market, the UAD plugins are killer!, sounds like the real analog gear, the DSP cards help me a lot when I mixing and can I use my other plugins with out spend all my ram.
Music background: Sound Engineer

as advertised!

Received my Quad Apollo and out of the box, it delivered everything I elected and more. Pre-amps are very clean, DA is pristine, and revealed considerable added detail to previous recordings. Work flow has also benefited, and all the controls are pretty straightforward and self explanatory. I do wish the console was a little more high res, as until I became familiar with everything, I found myself squinting a little. Plugs are great (the ones that came with the unit, and I have used the voucher to purchase the EMT plate (which I immediately fell in love with). I also like the fact that the demos all re-set after a purchase.
Music background: Singer/Songwriter

Apollo Quad with Firewire on PC

After buying the Apollo Quad Firewire I was nervous because I am running Windows 7 Professional on a PC without Firewire. I was nervous as I had to buy the PCIe firewire expansion and was not sure if it would work. I am proud to say I am running the Apollo Quad Firewire with no issues at all. I bought the recommended approved firewire adapter. Sonnet Allegro FW800-E that I added to my PC in order to connect the apollo. If you are thinking of making the move do it. I'm 200% satisfied. A word of advice (do not go to the sonnet website to install the drivers for the allegro adapter). Let your computer itself find the drivers because if not you will experience connectivity issues. I installed the drivers but after some research uninstalled the drivers and let my computer itself find them. Once I did that everything worked fine. And you can't go wrong if you buy it now as you still get the SSL Compressor and other plugins it comes with plus $150 in discounts once you register with uad. I also bought me the 610a pre amp plugin bundle using the discounts and ended paying $0 due to an ongoing $150 off special the site was having. I am in love with my uad apollo quad. Sounds great, looks great and with the great customer service you get with sweetwater you just can't go wrong.

Universal Audio Apollo. Winning!

I don't write reviews very often, because honestly I am not overwhelmed with many purchases. I often find a flaw so glaring it really sours my taste on the product. I can only think of a few items that really surpassed my expectations and thought were brilliant, even if only for their time. 1.) Fostex VF-160 2.) Genelec 1030A (still with me) and the 3.) Mackie Big Knob (don't hate). But I am forced to write about this product. I have both a MAC and PC setup where I am now using a MacBook Pro for mobile tracking and then use my powerhouse PC to mix. I have had nothing but heartache with many of the didyouDesign? interfaces (and their terrible firewire issues. Additionaly other interfaces that made their MIXER software as confusing as possible (Do you really need to route every single input to the same track?) Uh no! So when my DIGI003 Rack+ died another firewire death. (I never hot-swapped, so don't go there) I wanted something new and I was ready to upgrade. I had been reading the reviews and watching the videos about this unit and it was nothing but good stuff and UA has a great reputation. So I took the plunge. So it was just outstanding to load the UAD software (dead easy), plug in my Apollo, authorize my plug-ins and it just worked! I bought a new FW800 card for my PC and was expecting the normal hackathon to get it working with their new WIN7 software. Nope! Repeat the same steps I did with my MacBook Pro. It just worked. Period. And the sonics? Nothing I have used previsouly (and it has been alot) has come close to the Apollo. I mean I was just surprised. Sad state of affairs that I am shocked something worked out of the box. But I am Universal Audio convert now. I have only had this box for a week and started some pre-production work on my next album and it is been fun again to focus on music and not screwing around with making the hardware and my DAW work together. I hope to have started a long affair with this new piece of equipment. Sweetwater is THE place to buy your gear. Nick is the best! I am sure I will find some things I would like to improve later on. But for now, I am in love.
Music background: Pro Musician / Mobile Project Studio /

UA does it again!

Just got the Widows drivers installed, cranked up PT, Sonar, SawStudio . . . they all sound wonderful. Did a little recording and am impressed at the ease and sound of the interface. I'm hooked!
Music background: Pro Musician
See also: FireWire Interfaces, Universal Audio, Universal Audio FireWire Audio Interfaces