Universal Audio Apollo Quad
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Universal Audio Apollo Quad

Apollo Quad, Thunderbolt audio interface from Universal Audio in the Apollo series.

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All user reviews of 4/5 for the Universal Audio Apollo Quad

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Robin Schneider10/02/2012

Robin Schneider's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"I love it"

Universal Audio Apollo Quad
I think the tab "info" is quite clear about the technical characteristics of this interface.

To clarify certain points sometimes dark:
There are a total of 8 analog inputs, 4 line and 4 mic / line preamp, filter pad, and polarity inverter 48v. Only the preamp and the PAD are analog filter and inverter are digital. So be careful if you cut down on a source rich bass. Note that the input 1 to 4 have XLR and jack connectors separately, which can be wired both.

There are 10 analog outputs. Two monitoring outputs, 8 line to attack a mixer, headphone amp, or create insert points. All about Jack

I bought it for two reasons. The first is that I need better converters compared to my Presonus Firestudio Tube, both input and output.
The second is the integrated UAD plugs and use the plug to work in English even digital.

I put 8 because it lacks a small MIDI interface, and the Thunderbolt card price (500 euros) for an interface is already exorbitant expensive.


The interface is made in China, but it is solid, imposing and heavy (this is the most profound of my rack, perhaps the heaviest). The display is clear without being aggressive, both clickable encoders do not stay in the hand.
Bonus: when the interface is on, the Apollo is a mini game of tennis during the boot sequence, it is always fun to watch.

UTILIZATION

Mac, no problem at software, I can even use the Apollo and Presonus together to save batteries.

AU offers its software updated every 4 months. As a whole is stable and functional updates are not urgent waiting.

Latency is 128 samples at 44.1. Anyway using the internal routing of the interface I have a latency of 2 ms headphone with UA plugs, which is excellent for the FW course without achieving excellence on a good system PCIe.

The lack of MIDI can hinder some users. It is currently impossible to control the console other than the mouse. A software update is planned to integrate the HUI (tbc).

That said, the V window of the application of Neyrinck V Control for iPad allows you to control the console of the Apollo. I use it for the battery taken to address AU plugs quiet with headphones
(Battery and mac are in the same room, not the place).

GETTING STARTED

Manual paper describes the physical interface. For the software part (Console and plugins) should read the PDF available from AU.

Configuration and current use do not require manual, especially if you are used to work with a physical console. Yes the Apollo behaves exactly as such with respect to the DAW.

Note: The console of the Apollo manages inputs. And the master bus of a DAW does not appear on the console as a slice but goes anyway.

In terms of routing, it is flexible enough even if it lacks some features such as routing to AUX from the DAW to make networks more headphones. These errors youth will probably be fixed in the future. Again this is like a console. Can be routed to the headphones networks from the DAW for playback and the musician's playing is routed directly via the console without going through the DAW. It's simple and it works well. In addition to the AU plugs work very well and the channel is perfect for CS1 networks set a headphone if you have not the means to invest on a neve EQ.

There can also regret the "REC / MON" effect that is too small.
This function allows you to choose whether the treatment of UA is sent to the console or DAW is only used for monitoring. Specifically I would have loved to have this button increments rather than the entire console.




OVERALL OPINION

It's been about 5 months since I use it every day.

I've heard a lot of interfaces, the low / mid-range (PreSonus FireStudio, M-audio profire), good equipment (RME) and even high-end (Prism Orpheus) and bare Apollo stands a hair above RME without reaching Prism.

Integrated preamps are very good, with 65 dB of gain we can go all the mics you want (they even cashing my favorite ribbon microphones).
Converters are very good too, can be an analog for a digital mix without loop waste conversion process.

Of course, the AU treatment is very good and can take from one leg to add sound.
Personally I only use the 88RS to take to filter, and even a little noise gate is nice to clean some drum tracks.

The quality / price is right considering the quality of the whole but does not reach the Apollo of all budgets. If it is a matter of using the thunderbolt, I find the price of the optional indecent, while UA fan I am. They should make more than 250.
Especially the FW800 is a bit limited for exploiting Card Quad thoroughly, especially if you use multiple audio interfaces together Firewire (in my case the Apollo + FireStudio when I record a battery or a full band).

I remake this choice because this interface experience allows me to work as I always wanted, taking decisions at the right time without wasting time thereafter.
I also think that the software portion "Console" will improve with time and open the Apollo uses more advanced, live by example.

In summary:

+ Number of outputs (10 anyway!)
+ Quality preamps
+ Quality convertos
+ Stability Software
+ Console features and potential future developments.

-Total lack of MIDI control protocol (but control should happen).
-Unable to route to the AUX from the DAW (again it will change).
Price-card thunderbolt, especially for someone like me who should invest more in a PCIe card (my mac pro has no thunderbolt).