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Universal Audio Apollo FireWire Reviews

5.0 stars based on 40 customer reviews
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  • from Virginia December 2, 2016Music Background:
    Sound Engineer

    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.

  • from Fl July 16, 2016

    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.

  • from Tulalip, WA July 6, 2016Music Background:
    Audio Eng.

    Apollo Firewire

    Very precise sound, now I hear all the music. So many things yet to be discovered its a very good Audio Interface,

  • from Virginia September 18, 2015Music Background:
    Yes... I have a musical background and foreground

    Good thing, Bad thing

    So the Good thing is it sounds superb.... I lack adjectives to describe the improvement in sound quality of recording. The bad thing...... well, it was so good it highlighted the deficiencies in my room treatment.... so I'm working on that right now.... but I guess in reality that'd be a good thing/good thing.

  • from Minnesota June 11, 2014Music Background:
    Musician

    Excellent Company

    I ordered my first item (Eurorack Pro mixer) from SweetWater and was very impressed with the company. They didn't charge me until the product was shipped, as soon as it was shipped; I received a personal call and an email notifying me that it was shipped (with a tracking number). Shipping was also free and I received it in two days. They put candy in the box to show appreciation :) No problems at all. Excellent Work SweetWater

  • from Dallas Texas December 13, 2013

    best improvement

    this unit is one of the best improvements to my studio that ive ever made. my event opals are close second but they only reveal what is sent to them and the Apollo sends impeccable quality. the UAD plugins have made me forget hardware. I cannot recommend the Apollo quad highly enough. Outstanding. Rock Solid, powerful, effortless.....

  • from Portland, OR September 3, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer & Producer

    Amzing piece of gear!

    Absolute night and day compared to the Digi 003. The AD/DA conversion and transparent preamps are the perfect platform for running the UAD2 plugins. Getting to grips using UA Consloe in conjunction with Pro Tools 10 was the only learning curve involved but after an hour of usage, it was a breeze. The UAD-2 plugins are of the highest quality too!

  • from San Francisco August 30, 2013Music Background:
    producer, Engineer, composer, professional musician

    Great Sound and Functionality

    I can only say good things about this interface as it is doing a great job for me. I love the clean pre amps, uad plugs and the concole interface is great, very intuitive. A great device and does what it is supposed to.

  • 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 Laredo, TX July 23, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, Producer, High School Teacher

    This thing is INSANE!

    I never write reviews for equipment because I suppose I've never been that MOVED by it, but this box is absolutely incredible. If you can't make a hit record with this thing, then the problem certainly ain't your gear. It makes my Rode NT1a sound amazing and anything I plug into it sounds great. There is nothing like being able to run the UAD plugins in realtime either. I totally love this thing! I'm on a Mac Mini going through the Firewire 800. I can get down to about 64 samples without too much trouble either as far as running VST instruments and monitoring effects in realtime is concerned. About 8ms roundtrip latency which isn't bad considering there is still room to move with the thunderbolt option... Anyway, that should be enough to convince anyone.

  • from United States May 29, 2013Music Background:
    Engineer, Producer, Songwriter

    Completely changes the way a project studio records

    This is really about as close as one can get to a perfect interface. The low-latency monitoring is amazing. After monitoring through my digi002 for years, I forgot how awesome it is to hear a monitor mix with basically no latency. My returning clients have walked into my studio and asked me why they sound so much better this time. I just point to the Apollo.

    One of the first things I did was open up a session that I had mixed on my digi002 and simply bounced it to disk using the Apollo's clocking and conversion. Without any changes at all to the session, the bounced mix sounded fuller and deeper. I knew right then that I had made the correct choice with my new interface.

    The ability to track with plugins is excellent, too. I use outboard compression so I usually go direct to tape (and by tape, I mean the "Studer A800" plugin) and print it all on tracking. Sometimes for vocals I'll throw a de-esser on the track, too. The Apollo is an amazing interface in and of itself, but the ability to track with plugins for monitoring or to print the plugins directly opens up a whole new world. I always envied the engineers at larger studios who had all the expensive outboard gear they needed to mix the track as they recorded them. Now I've started to do the same. As I've gotten more and more comfortable with the Apollo and the UAD plugins, I've also become more and more willing to commit to a sound on the front end, which has dramatically sped up my workflow on the back end. I still use a little eq here or some extra compression there, but for the most part, all the processing is done before I even start to mix. That makes mixing so much faster and so much easier. It has made me a better engineer.

    Between the awesome monitoring options, the excellent AD/DA conversion, the UAD plugins, and the ability to print the plugins on the front end, the Apollo has simply opened up a whole new world for me as a home studio owner. My workflow is faster, the quality of my recordings has increased, and the room for expansion by adding more UAD plugins means that the sky is the limit. It's just a great piece of equipment.

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention the preamps and the di's. I don't use them very frequently as I have other preamps that I usually prefer. However, the preamps are really solid. They have a good amount of gain. In fact, I used them once when I really wanted to use my sm7b but my other pre just wasn't able to give it enough gain. I've also used them to help boost a ribbon mic that I was using on banjo. I've also tracked bass through them. While I prefer the other outboard pre's that I've invested in, I would not be concerned at all about doing a session with the Apollo preamps, alone. In other words, if I were a project studio looking to make my first big purchase and I had neither high-end preamps nor a high-end interface, I would start with the Apollo.

  • from Tx. Usa April 6, 2013Music Background:
    I like music in general

    This little baby is truly amazing

    Coming from the omega for 5 straight yrs than switched to duet2. Than quartet. Just for the record i liked quartet untill something else got in the way APOLLO i can only say two words. Simply amazing !!!!!! I like everything about it. So buy it. Maybe if other interfaces would intergrate plug ins to track the way apollo does like quartet with waves maybe they could come close to apollo and i still doub it

  • from Portland me April 1, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Apollo quad rocks!

    Fabulous! For the home studio musician the apollo is a revelation. Coming from an mbox 3 mini the apollo is a serious step up in sound quality, inputs, connectivity, and most importantly inspiration. Ua plug ins are incredible and have totally changed both the way I mix and the way I record. The work flow of console combined with the sonic potential of USA plugins are simply inspiring to work with. They really boost the creative experience of recording because the give you so many ways to subtlety color, shape, and texturize your sound. I've used tape sims in the past, but they all seemed like little more than mild distortion boxes. Even waves master tape seemed like more of an effect than a real sound shaping tool. Before ua I would not have believed that plugins could be described as warm...distorted yes...but not warm the way real analog gear can be. Is there something better out there...probably, but at this price to performance ratio I came down to the apollo or the rme fire face. Both are great, but went with apollo for the ua sound and I'm so glad I did. It is also very nice to have the extra Dsp power as well as the ability to print fx. For me, it's an incredible experience, and most important it makes me want to make music!

  • from Tacoma, WA March 26, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician/Recording Engineer

    Taking my music production to new heights

    Simply put, this interface is amazing! My creativity is no longer disrupted by latency, popping, or system overload messages and I can now output the music in my head with fluidity. The UAD-2 Powered Plug-ins give my sounds a breath of clarity that either out compete or complement my Waves plugins. I will be happy with this interface well into the forseeable future. Thank you Chris Carter for the great customer service and recommendation!!!

  • from Weldon Spring, Missouri March 10, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound, Pro Musicican, Publishing Company

    Apollo QUAD

    Bill Putnam would have loved this stuff. All the Studer A800 plug-ins and the LA-!A stuff is unreal. Ryan Murphy did a great job explaining it all, and with the Manley Vox Box, you get the warmth of tubes and tape. The sonic difference is staggering and the Studer A800 plug-in is worth the price of admission. These guys know what they are building and as Ryan said, it was seamless hookup, download updates, plug-ins, make a few Pro Tools 10.2 setting changes and listen to your recent tracks! Just glad I had not sent the recent demo out before getting it all. Truly first class build and finish and very well written software.

  • from Phoenix, AZ March 5, 2013Music Background:
    Just for fun and as a live rig

    Best interface for me

    For my setup this is the best interface. The pre-amps in this thing sound amazing. I have a focusrite isa one digital and these pre-amps and converters are at least as good as the ones in there.

  • from Nashville, TN February 28, 2013Music Background:
    Audio Engineer and Hobbyist Songwriter

    I Love the Apollo Quad

    I've had this interface for a couple of weeks now and I don't know how I worked at home without it. I always hated it when I had to leave the studio and mix ITB, but now it isn't even a concern. This is by far the best sounding interface I have ever used, and if you need to record ITB the pre's are outstanding. Superior AD/DA and UAD Plug-ins are top of the line. I used to dread having to work ITB, but this interface makes it a non-issue. Worth every penny, you will not believe the difference in your sound.

  • from Jacksonville, FL, USA February 7, 2013Music Background:
    Composer, Engineer, Artist

    Get this Now!!

    I have been using Daws for a long time. Infact I have used them all. (Well everyone that was ever made except Abl live) Even when they were on floppies. I remember my first excitement was the wami-rack, then the turtle beach card , then the motu pci-324, then the Yamaha dsp card, then some card made by a company that sound blaster bought, then the avid stuff, then the.., then the... You get my drift
    For the first time here comes something that is affordable that just works. The concept behind it is exactly what those in the know crave. That is all I am going to say without getting into detail. Trust me when I tell you that this thing is the real game changer and it is from a stellar company. look! They gave us an octo without doubling the price.

  • from United States February 4, 2013Music Background:
    Composer, Mixing Engineer

    THE BEST INVESTMENT EVER

    Good AD/DA, awesome UAD plugins, clean headphones/monitor out, real time processing with plug-ins. It can't get BETTER than this especially when it comes with 900+$ worth of plugin (during the promotion). Apollo has completely changed my workflow and my music for the better. This is the best interface in terms of money/value

  • from Lexington, KY January 29, 2013Music Background:
    Composer

    Sell your birthright to get this thing...seriously

    Stop looking at other products and make this investment.

    I'm still trying to figure out why I love the Apollo Quad so much...It's not just the incredible preamps or the sleek design...or the thunderbolt capability...or the UA name...or the incredibly easy setup and installation...or the ease of updating your plugins. And it's not just the plugins themselves (which have all but replaced my suite of Waves bundles I was relying upon for years). It's the fact that the apollo quad has become a coworker of mine as I'm writing and mixing. The sound quality is next level and the instruction manual and setup is so easy I could probably teach a 5th grader to do it! So unexpected int his day and age!

    UA brilliantly read the market proactively years ago, and as a result, they built a product that's ahead of its time. I was using Apogee's Duet2 before this and this blows it out of the water - the prepamps are studio grade and have virtually NO background noise so that everything you're hearing is fully transparent. They also include 14 day trial demos of all of their plugins so that you can use them without having to mess around with the old ilok system that companies like Waves put you through. It's fast, intuitive and has worked flawlessly.

    Just beware that even if you're running at FW 800, you will still overload Logic while trying to add plugins in real time. Editing the plugins in realtime is no issue at all...it's just adding instances of them is too much for FW800. The thunderbolt capability takes care of that though - just waiting for the new Mac Pro release before I buy UA's thunderbolt card.

  • from Decatur Texas January 10, 2013Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter/producer, keyboardist

    this thing is almost revolutionary

    i was using a Motu 828mk2 for years...then it fried and i started using a duet2...software issues and not flexible enough...i ordered the Apollo Quad from Sweetwater and it arrived 2 days later! then i plugged it all in. THEN installed the software and did the EFFORTLESS registration and plugin authorizations and in less than TWENTY MINUTES i was working with apollo....THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST INVESTMENT IN MY STUDIO IVE MADE YET. I bought the Event Opals and i LOVE THEM but this unit does what nothing does and PERFECTLY. I am very used to the movie Avatar..ive sat at my computer and watched it many times and was very familiar with the Foley work and sountrack. I NEED NO A/B comparison with any other unit...>THE STEREO FIELD WAS SO CLEAR...It was like night and day with anything ive used before...i was using a neve compressor and eq and de-esser and chorus on a vocal and printed it WITH NO..ABSOLUTELY NO AUDIBLE LATENCY OR FLAMMING!!! it is a godsend and i cant imagine anyone not owning this amazing machine. and again, Sweetwater came through in TWO DAYS. thanks again Josh Dillon

  • from United States December 12, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician / Mobile Project Studio /

    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.

  • from Minneapolis, MN December 3, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    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!

  • from Pac NW November 22, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Artist, Singer/Songwriter

    Powerhouse!

    I haven't had a ton of experience with interfaces. This was a tremendous upgrade for me as well. This interface in my opinion has both ends of the spectrum. Its user friendly enough for an ape to operate and on the other side, it has many technical facets with what seems like endless possibilities in terms of workflow and functionality. I still haven't used the Apollo to its full extent yet but I'm thoroughly impressed with what it has to offer thus far. I'd say that my favorite aspect of the Apollo is its ability to monitor plugins (on its own processors!) and then with one click of the mouse you can record the wet signal or continue to monitor it into the comfort zone. Very nice touch. I find this to be a very useful feature because you can get extra creative with a session on the fly and have a concrete idea on where you want to take your project as a final result. Amazing and powerful machine. Worth every penny.

  • from September 5, 2012Music Background:
    Recording engineer

    Awesome

    What can I say? Everything the Internet is saying about this thing is true. UA's plugins are awesome as well. I love the front end feature more than anything else.

  • from Honolulu, HI August 21, 2012Music Background:
    Recording/Mixing Engineer, Musician

    Just buy it!

    I knew the Apollo was going to be good but I didn't expect it to be THIS good! Wow! The Preamps, conversion is just mindblowing for the price! I have used most of the real hardware analog gear that are included in this bundle as plugins, and I can tell you that they are just as good! I was hesitant for so long to get this but now I'm mad at myself for waiting so long! just buy it!!!

  • from Genoa, Illinois August 15, 2012Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter

    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.

  • from Louisville, KY August 8, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer/Studio Owner

    WOW! Talk about streamlining your workflow

    Totally blown away by this unit. Super solid construction, great sound quality, and mind blowing features.
    This thing totally streamlined my workflow!

  • from OKC July 29, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Awesome!

    Awesome, Awesome Awesome. This is a great piece of equipment and good center piece for your DAW. The monitoring is easy to use and has the feel of a real mixer.

  • from Honolulu, HI July 6, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    Worth the Upgrade!

    Before this I was using Eleven Rack as my interface and converters. I noticed right away when I started tracking and mixing with Apollo. Everything seemed to get more detailed and open so my mixes translated more accurately. I watched all the videos and demos from Fab Dupont and read the manual before I even got the box. I'm loving the UAD-2 powered plugins to! And my computers CPU is happy. The pre amps and the ability to write the plug ins or monitor them are a plus. I use the onboard preamps more than my 6176. Love it!

  • from Hartville, OH USA July 4, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound engineer and Student

    Best audio interface on the market today

    I opted for the Apollo Quad and I have to say I am blown away with this interface. Its everything that UA says it is and more. All the switching is done via relays, as well as the output level for the monitor section, so you have no audio degradation at all. This really is the best interface on the market. Effortlessly easy to use sounds great and o yeah.....quad UAD processing in the same box?! I am extremely satisfied and would recommend anyone who is serious about recording or mixing, whether pro or home studio, to check this box out.

  • from Minneapolis, MN June 12, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer, Muscian, Fan

    Masterpiece

    This is the main piece of gear you'll need to make your project studio sound pro. It's absolutely stunning!

  • from Florida April 18, 2012Music Background:
    Artist / Producer / Engineer

    Didn't Miss A Beat

    I already liked UA before this but honestly this is icing on the cake. I love the idea of building my own channel strips and using them for recording on the way in rather than treating later. It's like having a whole arsenal of hardware at your disposal. The console recall plugin is very nice as well if I had certain settings for particular songs.

    I probably broke a million rules by switching interfaces in the middle of an album, but I couldn't help myself. The Apollo didn't miss a beat. The activation was simple and everything just worked with my existing Satellite system without me having to do anything. Which was very nice to see.

    I really liked my RME FF800 but I honestly like the Apollo more. The Console application is much more visually appealing than TotalMix and just makes more sense to me. Another thing I appreciated about the Apollo is that the main outs are assigned to the monitor outs and not Analog 1&2. A frustrating little quirk of Logic is that the "Stereo Out" always eat up Analog 1&2 on the FF800 meaning that I had to make a couple of extra adjustments when doing analog summing, this isn't a problem with the Apollo which was nice to see.

    You notice I haven't even mentioned the UA plugins which are on a whole other level. Also, their support is absolutely top notch. They have great folks working over there. That's a lot of marks in the plus column for the Apollo. Do yourself a favor and check this thing out.

  • from Charlotte nc March 31, 2012Music Background:
    Artist writer and producer

    I'm In Love

    If you're looking to take your studio to the next level then look no further. The Apollo is a game changer by a long shot. It's like being in a high end recording studio without having to spend your life's savings.This all in one box makes a statement that words can't explain. It packs with quality converters, mic pres, word clock etc. If you're looking to take your studio to the next level then look no further. The Apollo is a game changer by a long shot. It's like being in a high end recording studio without having to spend your life's savings.This all in one box makes a statement that words can't explain. It packs with quality converters, mic pres, word clock etc. I give this product a thumbs up.

  • from Fremont, CA January 19, 2016Music Background:
    Rock, Metal, Alternative

    Sounds great

    I upgraded from a MOTU 828mk3 hybrid which I consider to be an excellent product. However, the Apollo for the most part is much better. I miss the MIDI I/O and the software tools (spectrum analyzer, phase tool, oscilloscope and tuner) but the sound of the Apollo is clearly superior no doubt due to the more expensive AD/DA. I have to spend a couple of days listening to reference mixes to recalibrate my ears so it is definitely a noticeable change in audio quality when monitoring. The real draw though, of course, is the integrated UAD-2 Quad. I have an early 2011 MBP that I'm not interested in upgrading due to cost but also features and I have everything dialed in and working and lots of great native plug-ins but the MBP can't run the session and many instances of higher quality plug-ins. Enter the Apollo. Now I can add a ton more plug-ins and the MBP isn't straining at all. I bought the API Vision and SSL E-Channel channel strips and the UA1176 bundle. The sound of my mixes is much better. The UA plug-ins sound outstanding. There are two downsides. One, obviously this is a very expensive platform. Two, depending on the plug-in you can't run as many instances as you'd like. Many of the plug-ins are resource hogs. For example I can only run around 12 instances of the API Vision. However, I bought my Apollo during the Christmas sales and am getting a free UAD-2 Quad Satellite so my cost is reduced and my DSP horsepower is doubled. That is a great deal.

  • from November 3, 2015

    BUY ONE NOW!!!

    Been using the Apollo for 3 months now. I was a 003 user prior to that. Started reading up on the Apollo and came across a few reviews saying how the Apollo was almost a night and day difference over the 003. So I bought one and WOW! The monitoring alone is so much better than the 003. You can hear more depth in the mix and much more clarity. Also, the stereo field is much better and it's a lot easier to hear your panning adjustments. Even the low end coming from the speakers sound's much better. The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars is because of the lack of built-in alternate monitoring, which is very inconvenient (I hate workarounds). Also, when listening back with the Apollo in mono mode, the mix get's audibly louder and can clip/distort the main output. The 003 maintained the same volume in both mono and stereo modes.

  • from November 28, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great sound

    after using RME Fireface800 for about five years
    the apollo Has a great A/d/A converter and a great Mic pre amp
    is Beter Then RME in Tracking.. With No latency !
    and Amazing Plug`ins ! i give it a 4.5 cues The routing is limited
    Not like The RME.
    After All The apollo is a Great Unit .. i Recommend it

  • from Martha's Vineyard, MA November 27, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Keyboardist and Composer and Engineer

    Hardware Great, Software, not so much....

    Being that the hardware is sooooo good, I gave this 4 stars, but the software needs some tweaking. You cannot use it with Digital Performer 8 yet, and you have to disable 'sleep' mode or it crashes the console. It will also hard eject another drive it you have it plugged thru the firewire port on the Apollo when it goes to sleep mode. The sound is top rate, nearly that of the apogee symphony system, way above MOTU etc. The flexibility,I/O's, and plugins put this piece in a league by itself. I'd buy this again if I didn't already own it!

  • from Los Angeles, CA August 19, 2016Music Background:
    Professional Media Composer

    Great Interface, terrible software.

    This interface works great, sounds excellent, but the software is so obnoxious. It installs all of the plugins, but only gives you authorizations to a few. There is no easy way to hide the plugins, so it makes navigating the plugin page difficult. They want you to buy more plugins after you've already spent a ton of $$.

  • from New York, London, Los Angeles July 18, 2013Music Background:
    composer

    beware the box failing...

    Take this as you will, it's a great box, but it failed, completely, during a lunch break in a studio after 10 days of ownership. And the problem with the box failing (at the time of writing, nobody knows why it failed, suffice to say all software and power issues have been verified) is that you can't mix anything unless you can get hold of another unit. All your plug-ins are hardware-dependent. So there goes your mix session until someone can find another Apollo, which is no easy thing (I was tempted to buy another one as the cost of a new purchase was almost offset by the cost of lost studio time, but this felt wrong). The company's support in this case was average at best. I should also note that no piece of hardware has ever failed on me as to render it utterly unusable, so this was a first. So in sum, great box when it works, but catastrophic when it breaks.

Reviews

  • Mitch Gallagher
    5-24-2012

    At the annual Winter NAMM trade show, there are always a few products that become the "buzz of the show." This year, that honor goes to Universal Audio, with their super-exciting new Apollo audio interface. Apollo offers 18 inputs: eight analog, eight ADAT optical, and stereo S/PDIF. It also provides 24 independently accessible outputs: eight analog, eight ADAT optical, stereo S/PDIF, two separate stereo headphone outputs, and stereo monitor outputs. There are also four excellent microphone preamps built in. These preamps are clean, transparent, and dynamic, and accept line-, instrument-, and microphone-level inputs. The Apollo connects to your computer via FireWire 400 or 800, and there will be an optional Thunderbolt card available later this year.

    All of that is very nice, but there are tons of audio interfaces on the market today. What really sets the Apollo apart?

    There's a UAD-2 card built right inside! This means that you can run all the cool UAD plug-ins for mixing and mastering. And there's another huge benefit: you can use UAD plug-ins while you're tracking. UAD console software is included, allowing you to set up DSP-powered, latency-free monitoring and to insert whatever plug-ins you want right onto any input channel. Want an 1176 compressor on your guitar while you're tracking? Insert one! Want an LA-2A and a Neve EQ on your vocal mic? Just insert them! You can choose to record with the plug-in processing, or just monitor the plug-in outputs without recording them, for the ultimate headphone mix. You can also use UAD reverbs, delays, and other effects while tracking, with no hit on your CPU and no additional latency.

    Because of Sweetwater's close relationship with Universal Audio, I was fortunate to receive a pre-release Apollo DUO for testing (with two SHARC DSP chips; there will also be a QUAD version with four SHARC chips). I immediately fell in love with this audio interface. It worked perfectly with Avid Pro Tools, PreSonus Studio One v2, Ableton Live, and other DAWs. The sound is transparent and dynamic, and the mic preamps sound great. But the real joy is being able to use the UAD plug-ins while tracking, mixing, and mastering. This takes the recording experience to an entirely new level.

    If you're in the market for an audio interface, you must check out the Apollo. Universal Audio has clearly thought through how we make music in our studios, and this interface gives us the tools and features we need. I predict the Apollo will be one of the biggest products of 2012.

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