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Thread: Upgrading to Apollo - Some Questions

  1. #1
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    Upgrading to Apollo - Some Questions

    Hi folks,

    I was thinking about upgrading to the OMNI but I am glad I looked into the Apollo because it looks very attractive for the price. However I have some questions for you, hopefully you can answer for me:

    First currently I have PT10 and an MBOX3 (not the pro, not the mini). Interested in either the Apollo duo or quad.

    1. Will the Apollo run with PT10? Or does it need PTHD? Even if the Apollo runs with PT10, will I have less latency with PTHD? I doubt it cos I understand that because the processing is done on the Apollo, the unit does not care about the buffer size of PT. But maybe the Apollo plays better with the HD software for some other reason/s?
    2. WHat are the differences between the duo and the quad, I am reading more processing power on the quad but I dont understand what that means. I usually track no more than 3 sessions at any one time. Usually one or two.
    3. I am confused about thunderbolt. I run a WIN7 rig. First: is the thunderbolt option lowering latency versus the Firewire800? DOes it do sth else I dont understand? I am building a new PC and I want to know if I should equip it with thunderbolt ports.
    4. My vocal chain currently is a U87 into an Avalon 737sp and then into the MBOX3. The first two items are from my latest series up upgrades, hence the ridiculous discrepancy there. I used to connect a Shure 58 into the MBOX3. So my question here is: because I am going to be connecting an excellent preamp into the Apollo preamp (which is also good as I understand it), how does that sound? Just use as little gain as possible on the Apollo preamp would give me as much as possible from the Avalon signal? Is that the solution? THat's what I am currently doing with the MBOX3.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavriil1 View Post
    Hi folks,

    I was thinking about upgrading to the OMNI but I am glad I looked into the Apollo because it looks very attractive for the price. However I have some questions for you, hopefully you can answer for me:

    First currently I have PT10 and an MBOX3 (not the pro, not the mini). Interested in either the Apollo duo or quad.

    1. Will the Apollo run with PT10? Or does it need PTHD? Even if the Apollo runs with PT10, will I have less latency with PTHD? I doubt it cos I understand that because the processing is done on the Apollo, the unit does not care about the buffer size of PT. But maybe the Apollo plays better with the HD software for some other reason/s?
    2. WHat are the differences between the duo and the quad, I am reading more processing power on the quad but I dont understand what that means. I usually track no more than 3 sessions at any one time. Usually one or two.
    3. I am confused about thunderbolt. I run a WIN7 rig. First: is the thunderbolt option lowering latency versus the Firewire800? DOes it do sth else I dont understand? I am building a new PC and I want to know if I should equip it with thunderbolt ports.
    4. My vocal chain currently is a U87 into an Avalon 737sp and then into the MBOX3. The first two items are from my latest series up upgrades, hence the ridiculous discrepancy there. I used to connect a Shure 58 into the MBOX3. So my question here is: because I am going to be connecting an excellent preamp into the Apollo preamp (which is also good as I understand it), how does that sound? Just use as little gain as possible on the Apollo preamp would give me as much as possible from the Avalon signal? Is that the solution? THat's what I am currently doing with the MBOX3.

    Thank you.
    MAC & PT 9 (native) here - works great. PT 10 Native is probably the same, but you should verify that for PC users.

    UA plugs need the UA processor(s) to work. The more processors you have, the more plugs you can run at once. I bought the Apollo Quad and it's fine for my needs. Two chips might be tough for full-blown ensemble mixing.

    Mac with the Apollo Quad w/ TB card here, works great. You would be wise to check for Windows results via TB here, there may be some issues for folks with certain TB cards or mom boards. Way out of my experience set. There are many existing posts which you should search, rather than waiting for others to help you.

    Take the Avalon via TRS 1/4" to bypass the Apollo preamps. However, if you took XLR from the Avalon into the Apollo XLR ins, most likely you'd be the only one on the planet to ever know.

    Two caveats:

    DO examine your monitoring and cue mix needs before buying. Some here report difficulty creating and routing all the headphone mixes they need. For me it's fine, but I usually rent a big room with larger sessions.

    DO realize that when you utilize higher input counts, the bandwidth drops. For instance, you cannot record 16 channels at 96 or 192 (unless I'm misinformed) so there is trade-off between bandwidth and number of inputs. Good luck.
    Last edited by Loxias; 9th October 2013 at 10:47 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loxias View Post

    Take the Avalon via TRS 1/4" to bypass the Apollo preamps. However, if you took XLR from the Avalon into the Apollo XLR ins, most likely you'd be the only one on the planet to ever know.
    Thanks. So you're saying that if I use TRS-in into the Apollo, it bypasses the preamps? Is that true for most similar-to-Apollo interfaces? Interesting.

  4. #4
    Practically a UAD Expert cheerful hamster's Avatar
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    The Apollo has 8 analog input channels, 4 have preamps and 4 are line inputs. You will bring the Avalon in on a line input.
    Core i7 920 | Asus P6T Deluxe | RME HDSP 9632 | 2 x UAD-2 Octo | 2 x UAD-2 Quad | UAD-1 PCI | Windows 7 x64 | Sonar X3 | Wavelab 6 | BFD2 & Trilogy | Apogee Mini Me | Shure KSM44 | 1975 Strat | Bill Nash Ultra Tele

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    Duh! Sorry, that was a dumb question. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheerful hamster View Post
    The Apollo has 8 analog input channels, 4 have preamps and 4 are line inputs. You will bring the Avalon in on a line input.

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    As a fellow Win7 user I have the Apollo Quad plus a UAD2 Quad and Octo dsp cards installed within my tower. You MUST connect the Apollo via firewire in the windows world. I called UA tech support and was told to purchase the Allegro FW800 PCIe adapter card for my PC. This is an Universal Audio approved card and works beautifully. I'm running Pro Tools 10 & 11 non HD , and have had no issues with instability , latency , dropouts etc.. Ironically I had ALL of the above issues with the Pro Tools mbox the Apollo replaced. I spoke with my Sweetwater sales rep recently to see how much I'm missing (or not) by not having HD (Native). Was told aside from larger track count and the Pro Tools production toolkit , any gains would be minimal and none where sonically superior unless you go HDX or HD Omni which is another tax bracket for me altogether. Beware of the Universal Audio plugin slippery slope which can be more expensive than a Crack habit. Although during the holidays UA historically runs some great deals on their plugs. Sounds like you have a wonderful front end already that the Apollo Quad (if I were you) would be a good fit. Just make sure you have enough PCIe slots in your tower for expansion and the firewire card.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeromewauk View Post
    As a fellow Win7 user I have the Apollo Quad plus a UAD2 Quad and Octo dsp cards installed within my tower. You MUST connect the Apollo via firewire in the windows world. I called UA tech support and was told to purchase the Allegro FW800 PCIe adapter card for my PC. This is an Universal Audio approved card and works beautifully. I'm running Pro Tools 10 & 11 non HD , and have had no issues with instability , latency , dropouts etc.. Ironically I had ALL of the above issues with the Pro Tools mbox the Apollo replaced. I spoke with my Sweetwater sales rep recently to see how much I'm missing (or not) by not having HD (Native). Was told aside from larger track count and the Pro Tools production toolkit , any gains would be minimal and none where sonically superior unless you go HDX or HD Omni which is another tax bracket for me altogether. Beware of the Universal Audio plugin slippery slope which can be more expensive than a Crack habit. Although during the holidays UA historically runs some great deals on their plugs. Sounds like you have a wonderful front end already that the Apollo Quad (if I were you) would be a good fit. Just make sure you have enough PCIe slots in your tower for expansion and the firewire card.
    Thanks. I got the Quad but not my new PC which is custom built and sent to me soon. My big question is if I need the DSP card/s also? I am under the impression that the DSP is for mixing and the Apollo for tracking, however cant the Shurk chips in the Apollo be used for mixing purposes also?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavriil1 View Post
    Thanks. I got the Quad but not my new PC which is custom built and sent to me soon. My big question is if I need the DSP card/s also? I am under the impression that the DSP is for mixing and the Apollo for tracking, however cant the Shurk chips in the Apollo be used for mixing purposes also?
    Yes.

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