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Author Topic: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
ChristianR-
ice
Knob Twiddler
Posts: 4
Post Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: February 28, 2014, 16:31

I am planning to refresh my DAW setup, and I was looking at the UA Apollo. My thinking is that the DSPs will be kinda handy, and the Apollo has a free thunderbolt option card as a promo for the next month.

8 channels, 4 DSP cores, thunderbolt, a few UA plugins included, probably around $2,200. It would work well with a modern Mac laptop w/ thunderbolt and an onboard SSD, I'd expect.

Prism, Magic Halo, Lavry, SSL? Great stuff, but I'm kinda thinking if I wanted to spend more, I'd rather get mo' better mics and outboard pres. If I have a great channel path, is a UA gonna f it up? I kind of think not, but then again I never used one, nor have I used UAD plugins.

Any sage input, flames, and/or dire warnings?

Aaron-
Reppert
Moderator
Posts: 81
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: February 28, 2014, 18:00

Hey Christian,

I'm actually thinking of upgrading to the Apollo as well for the fact my friend who is a mixing has used it for the past year. I was amazed at the quality of the mixes and thought they were mixed "out of the box". I learned it was all "in the box" mixes. The converters are good, but I think the highlight is the UAD plugin processing for mixing. Just love the sound. I've invested mostly on a console and outboard gear to get the "out of the box" sound. I haven't tracked through it so I can't give my thoughts during recording. But, the jump in quality during mixdown sold me on the processing site. Also, the realtime plugins during recording is a plus. My only drawback is I'd have to get at least 16 channels, so I'd have to spend more. But, like you said, it's all about the front end (microphones/pres) that is most important. Hope this helps.

fractile
Propellerhead
Posts: 161
fractile
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: February 28, 2014, 18:16

To be more certain of the sound you'd get, you might be able to audition it beside some other options at Guitar Center Pro, Cutting Edge, Vintage King (in LA), or your favorite pro audio shop. Beyond that, it sounds like a good package deal. And I think to get any closer to angelic sound quality would take one or more multiples of that cost.

Aaron-
Reppert
Moderator
Posts: 81
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: February 28, 2014, 18:20

Good point Fractile. Cutting Edge is a good spot to try it out.

ChristianR-
ice
Knob Twiddler
Posts: 4
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: February 28, 2014, 18:59

Hopefully someone will post some dirt, but I appreciate the good words and ideas so far.

fractile
Propellerhead
Posts: 161
fractile
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: February 28, 2014, 23:23

Dirt might be able to be fixed in the DSP or outboard. From my limited experience digital has a signature that whether it's used right or wrong has a sound. And then it 'can be fixed'. Some record to tape or 5.4Mhz 1-bit, or whatever. I'm just saying that from what i see it is common for people to lay back the digital audio one last time thru some analog gear before final record. This translates anything that may have been generated into a physically harmonic signal. That's not a final word, but when needed it's useful.

McKay-
Garner
Administrator
Posts: 110
McKay Garner
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: March 10, 2014, 13:57

It's hard to find any people that don't dig their Apollos. They are Mac only, though, if that is a consideration...

ChristianR-
ice
Knob Twiddler
Posts: 4
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: March 26, 2014, 15:17

So the Apollo it is, and I want to pick up a channel strip plugin (I have outboard gear, but I also have a coupon for a plugin or three).

The main thing I'll be trying to evaluate is the channel strips, and this is where I'd greatly appreciate input. For those who've used API, SSL and/or Neve consoles, your comments and prejudices are solicited and helpful, even if only to help me frame my investigation better. I gravitate toward recording string ensembles, experimental rock, jazz and sometimes foley, in case that matters...

The big choice: API VIsion vs SSL E-series vs Neve 88RS. Of course I've never used any of these consoles, I don't know their characteristic sound, I've only ever touched any of them at AES shows. The API Vision plugin has an additional "Unison" feature of integrating w/ the four Apollo mic pres, controlling the physical gain stage and impedance. Impedance control is cool.

fractile
Propellerhead
Posts: 161
fractile
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: March 28, 2014, 10:18

I found this: Waves Studio Classics Collection VST Bundle: API, SSL And V-Series Console Modelers At NAMM

ChristianR-
ice
Knob Twiddler
Posts: 4
Post Re: Any comments on the UA Apollo?
on: March 28, 2014, 14:49

Heh.

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