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Universal Audio Apollo QUAD - Thunderbolt Reviews

4.5 stars based on 19 customer reviews
  • from Sacramento, CA USA January 15, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Musician

    Apollo Quad is the BEST!!!!

    I would recommend it to anybody who straggle and can't settle down on something that they can trust. Apollo will change your life and the way you think and work.

  • from Brooklyn, NY, USA December 31, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer, event management, broadcasting live sound engineer, hobbyist, post production

    Best investment in you can make

    First mastering project with my new set up is going way better than expected. I've been scooping up UAD plugs like crazy. It's making everything super silky. I knew they would be a great addition but had no idea they were this good. Signal flow Manley massive passive master, precision multiband, precision k-stereo, shadow hills master comp, and waves L2. Working on a hip hop project for vinyl release. I thought they sounded good in the PT session but the bounced version sounds even better. I guess since the DSP is no longer working and the signal is married to the track plus bounced down to 16 from 24 bit. Wow. 64bit AAX is definitely the way to go. PT HD is pretty much not necessary for my purposes at this moment. No you won't need a master clock but I like First mastering project with my new set up is going way better than expected. I've been scooping up UAD plugs like crazy. It's making everything super silky. I knew they would be a great addition but had no idea they were this good. Signal flow Manley massive passive master, precision multiband, precision k-stereo, shadow hills master comp, and waves L2. Working on a hip hop project for vinyl release. I thought they sounded good in the PT session but the bounced version sounds even better. I guess since the DSP is no longer working and the signal is married to the track plus bounced down to 16 from 24 bit. Wow. 64bit AAX is definitely the way to go. PT HD is pretty much not necessary for my purposes at this moment.
    First mastering project with my new set up is going way better than expected. I've been scooping up UAD plugs like crazy. It's making everything super silky. I knew they would be a great addition but had no idea they were this good. Signal flow Manley massive passive master, precision multiband, precision k-stereo, shadow hills master comp, and waves L2. Working on a hip hop project for vinyl release. I thought they sounded good in the PT session but the bounced version sounds even better. I guess since the DSP is no longer working and the signal is married to the track plus bounced down to 16 from 24 bit. Wow. 64bit AAX is definitely the way to go. PT HD is pretty much not necessary for my purposes at this moment.
    incorporating my apogee Big Ben word clock to offload some of the processing and let the UAD do its thang. Great product. Loved it so much I think this is my second review. One for each rack unit.

  • from Brooklyn, NY December 10, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer, Musician, Broadcast, Production, Mixing, Tracking, Hobbyist

    Loss for words

    The idea of having an external device process your plug ins for you is genius is its own right, especially if you are not operating on maxed out RAM or just using tons of instances that are processor intensive. Having the best sounding recreations and a long standing history in the music, mixing, mastering industry is another thing. The Apollo combines everything you love about UA's standing history and incorporates the tools of today and takes you beyond tomorrow for what was previously thought of as plug-ins limitations. I'm running 2 Apollo quad units in multi-cascading mode with a Rosetta 800 in tandem on a 24 channel mixing console. Tracked all 24 channels simultaneously with my redeemed promo plug-ins, coupons, and additional downloads from UAD's long list of premium plug-ins in Pro-Tools, Logic, and Ableton just to test. OUTSTANDING, AMAZING, UNBELIEVABLE. Of course I can add more tracks easy. But the sound quality was amazing. If you can swing it, swing away. You won't regret it.

  • from Texas by way of Pluto December 5, 2014Music Background:
    Electronic Music Production, Pro Musician, Songwriter

    Simply Awesome

    The converters sound fantastic on my Apollo Quad. I love that the UA plugs are powered by the unit itself and not your computer, which frees up memory for third plugs. I recently used a voucher from my purchase to purchase the SSL plug! I have also received other additional gift vouchers from UA that I have been able to use in combination with current sales to buy the Techtronic compressors which sound amazing! I mean, UA makes the actual hardware, which allows me to trust the sound. The routing on the Apollo is amazing. I have been running soft-synths out of my Apollo, into a lunchbox, and back into the Apollo for effortless tracking into Protools. The UA mixer even allows you to track with UA plugs if desired! Since I have free outputs, I was also able to easily accommodate a dual monitor set up that is able to be controlled with the UA mixer with no need to buy a monitor control box. My experience has been A+++ all the way with the Apollo Quad!!!

  • from United States November 5, 2014Music Background:
    Multi-Instrumentalist, Music Production major at Berklee Online

    Fantastic sound and a great all in one solution

    I've had the UAD Apollo Quad for a year now, and it's the centerpiece of my home studio. The audio interface portion is rock solid, sounds amazing and is very configurable with a few buttons presses. Even without the UAD plugin environment it's an amazing interface with great mic pres and A/D conversion. When you add in the sharc processors and the ability to run all the UAD plugins it's probable the single most important audio device in my studio. I can essentially do everything i need to do with this box. It's also a great solution for live sound when you need portability and power. This was my first UAD purchase and they've become one of my most trusted companies. I eventually added a 4-710D for more mic pres and that purchase was largely influenced by my experience with the Apollo.

  • from FL, USA September 19, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Mixing, Musician, Producer.

    Apollo Quad Thunderbolt

    The mic pre's are awesome, solid piece of gear, everything about it.
    Love the plug ins, you get instant coupons for plug ins and vouchers.
    The old saying' you get what you paid for is so true ..
    Trackin thru unison mic pre are mind-blowing .. i couldn't be happier.
    UA plug ins are the most realistic sounding ones out there.

    This Unit is worth every penny.

  • from Chicago, IL August 25, 2014

    One of the best pieces of gear I've ever gotten!

    I have been using a 003 interface for years with pro tools. I wanted to be able to use both Logic & Pro Tools and the 003 wouldn't support it. On top of that I had connectivity issues with the FireWire interface. When I got the quad - I was absolutely blown away by the improvement in audio quality. It's like I took a blanket off my studio! The setup took only minutes, I loaded the drivers, then the effects software, created a free Universal Audio account which included a bunch of free plug ins for the unit. The software and hardware are ROCK SOLID, I have been using the system for weeks now and the thing will not glitch or crash at all no matter what I throw at it. I couldn't be happier, both Logic and Pro Tools work flawlessly. I also appreciate the preamp and volume knobs right on the front - and when you want to mute the system - just push in on the volume knob and the it will switch from glowing green to red. You can keep your volume setting the same (I like that easy 1-touch convince). The routing software is great too which gives you plenty of options for your setup. I'd recommend this piece to anyone! If you're thinking about upgrading - you'll be impressed with this piece of gear.

  • from July 14, 2014Music Background:
    Muscal arranger/director

    SO FAR SO GOOD

    Perfectly tailored for my set-up!!!

  • from New orleans June 29, 2014Music Background:
    Composition

    All that

    Worth the price

  • from OC California USA June 4, 2014Music Background:
    Media Composer, Producer, Jazz Pianist, Live And Studio Sound Engineer

    Apollo Has Landed

    I really was blown away at the fatness of the hardware recording preamps right out of the box. Anything you plug in anywhere sounds great right away. The included plug-ins are also great as usual from UA. Having had a Uad 1 card I had some experience with these plugs like the Pultec and Realverp Pro. The only thing really missing in the design is a talkback feature. It is a complete front end but no Talkback? I mickey moused one through my board but a thought out built in one should be included and then it would be perfect. I was also a bit skeptical of the monitor sound at first but only I think because my Prior sound was really good also and I was experiencing this new sound for the first few times. Now I love the sound. Good features, Good Product.

  • from Lexington, KY April 30, 2014Music Background:
    Composer & Producer

    Next Level on ALL Levels

    Moving to the Apollo system is a risk, and it's one that anybody serious about music should take. Digital and Electronic technology have enabled guys like me to learn DAWs before ever touching a console or preamp in real life...and this should not be the case! The Apollo system bridges the gap by training the user to meld the digital and analog worlds into the same environment...meaning that you can still use their killer plugins in a backwards way (that most DAWs teach you to do it) OR you can learn how to use them the correct way and track everything with ZERO latency with UA's console app. I have found myself running all of my soft synths through the console app, too! Incredibly fast and consistent...this is a game changer for sure.

    Coming form a history with M-Audio, Apogee and many other companies with interfaces, this is my final solution. AND if you want to lose your mind, synchronize your Apollo with the Dangerous Music D-Box for some of the cleanest sound imaginable!

  • from United States April 29, 2014Music Background:
    Mixing Engineer/Music Artist/Producer

    Greatest Investment Ever

    The preamp and flexible routing options are amazing! The fact that I took the risk of selling my UAD 710 and compressor to just use my Nuemann TLM102 on the preamp of this interface, I bet you think I'm crazy right? Well would you believe I never heard my microphone and recordings sound that great before with the unison 610-B preamp emulated plugin? I can't even call it a emulation it sounds exactly like the 610-B when i had the chance to see it in action a couple years ago. The sound quality from this interface is 100% accurate when you do low level mixing, which a lot of interfaces lack because you'll only hear their true power at maximum level! This is a must have and I will say to most def get the QUAD and not the DUO. You'll be addicted to the plugins trust me, I have only used Waves plugins to analyze meters and phases lol. this is a must have!

  • from United States April 2, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Thrilled

    Wow! I am blown away with how good the preamps sound. I am glad I made the decision to get an Apollo. Never going back to my old pre's. Its as if I lift a blanket of.

  • from Orlando, FL. March 25, 2014Music Background:
    Recording engineer @ the AVE Recordings

    Apollo Quad

    I absolutely love the interface. Everything is great for workflow! GUI, Speed, Quality, Routing... EVERYTHING!

  • from LA February 25, 2014Music Background:
    Engineer, producer, musician.

    So worth the extra spend

    Such an amazing piece of equipment. The plugins are superb. This is the real deal. Don't screw around with anything less. This is well worth the spend and is a joy to use. My tracking has improved ten fold and as a result my mixes sound even better. Sweetwater were really helpful in making sure I got everything on time.

  • from Detroit March 2, 2015Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Apollo Quad IS what need

    My ears couldn't be happier.
    I've jumped thru hoops for years trying to record and manipulate tracks that actually sounded right, and "sat" properly in the mix. There never seemed to be enough plug-ins to make this happen. To get tracks that were warm and fat with good depth seemed to be a thing of the past.
    Admittingly, my ears haven't created any Grammy winning material, but I work with a lot of very "high end" studios and believe that I can easily hear the difference between "pro" and "consumer" gear.
    I could never justify having an Avid/Pro Tools HD rig for my home studio seeing as how I have access to such great rooms. However, there is always that desire to get better sounding tracks no matter where you are. The closest I had come prior was the Digi002 with the Black Lion mod. But seeing as there is a compatibility war between OS, hardware and software upgrades, my system no longer would work together and it was time to make a move. A 003 was a temporary fix but made the "sound integrity" issue worse. I did my research, and had a hard time deciding between a couple different pieces. But I finally just said screw it and pulled the trigger on the Apollo. Now I'm upset that I waited so long to do this.
    The sound difference was immediate. Things sound more "musical" and have the fatness and depth we've all been trying to get by adding more and more plug-ins. You don't have to wrestle with your tracks to get them to sit right in the mix. The UA plug-ins sound "and feel" so much better than most anything I've used.
    I thought I'd hate having an extra step (mix console) to go through but it's super easy and intuitive, and being able to print tracks using plug-ins is great. The 610 and 1073 pre's sound really freakin good, add a compressor, maybe eq and the Studer, print the thing and let the fader and pan knob do the rest.
    The only possible negative I have so far is that using a lot of native plug ins along with the UA plugs causes some latency issues I haven't figured out yet. It could be because I'm using an older Mac connecting via FireWire. It hasn't been too much of an issue yet, but I did notice it.

  • from Florence, MS August 13, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, drummer, student

    The Sour Patch Interface

    This interface is a lot like a Sour Patch Kid candy; you look at the sour, and then it's rather sweet. By sour, I mainly mean it only having four mic pres, no MIDI, and a few little bits hear and then. By sweet, read the rest.
    Before owning this, I've had a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Native Instruments KA6, Steinberg UR28M, and MOTU Track16. The amount of use that I put on them was in the order listed, by the way. Of all of those, the Apollo was certainly a major step up in clarity. Even listening to music from iTunes sounds significantly better, and I do mean quite noticeably.
    Before owning this, I've been using UAD plugs, so it wasn't really new for me, but using the Unison ones have been a real treat. It's a huge difference from the stock pres, and the API Vision sounds extremely close to my 512C.
    All in all, I overlook the flaws because this thing sounds, looks, and performs like a dream.

  • from Florida May 5, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Engineer, Producer

    Superb Solution

    The UAD Apollo Quad provides great solutions for me and my studio. The mic pre behavior is comprehensively controlled via Unison technology, allowing me to have the results of vintage mic pres at my disposal, or I can shoot straight through for the "straight wire with gain" sound. The UAD plugins are amazing, the unit is well built and well thought out. The converters are neutral and very, very clean. The recording console application is straight forward and has excellent monitoring facilities- listen to OR record the effects to DAW. Very nice.

  • from Los Angeles, CA January 28, 2015Music Background:
    Producer/Songwriter

    Great bells & whistles, product & support lacking..

    So I bought my Apollo Quad with Thunderbolt brand new about 4 months ago and unfortunately hadn't really had the chance to test out all the bells and whistles on it until now. After working with UA support for about half an hour it's clear that the output issue that is happening is due to something wrong with the Apollo hardware. So now we visit the reason why I am not satisfied.. the fact that they said it will take at least a month to get it back from warranty service! I'm not sure how a high-end interface like this has such a backlog on support, but I'm guessing it's either that they don't hire enough people to fix the ones that break, or they are breaking left and right. Then the rep has the stones to tell me that I should have a backup plan in place. Not sure what exactly immediately replaces a unit like this other than buying another one.. but my wallet can't afford that. And going with a cheap interface can replace some but not all the functionality.. especially when I bought it for the UAD powered plug-ins that don't work with any other system.

    Ultimately, I feel that paying a premium price for a product should be rewarded with top level support for all users. I refuse to believe for a moment that if I was a big shot producer they wouldn't be sending me an immediate replacement free of charge. Instead I have to ship the unit back at my cost and wait for them to get back to me on it.. with no reassurance as to when I'll actually be ready to resume working with its capabilities.

    So while the bells & whistles look nice on paper.. just be aware that there are some folks who have not had a good experience with UA and specifically the support for the Apollo Quad.

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