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Entries in apollo (33)

NAMM 2015: Exclusive Look At UAD Apollo Expanded And Console 2 Software 

James is given a full show and tell preview of the new Universal Audio UAD Apollo Expanded update with Console 2 software. The preview includes all the new software and many of the new features found in Apollo Expanded and Console 2.
Universal Audio say:
Universal Audio is proud to announce Apollo Expanded software, coming exclusively for Apollo audio interfaces as part of UAD Software v8.0, to be released in March 2015. With Apollo Expanded, users of Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo Twin, Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, and Apollo 16 audio interfaces can freely combine up to four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices — adding I/O and DSP as their studio grows.
Apollo Expanded also marks the introduction of Console 2.0 software, giving Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo users dynamic new workflow options, with more than 25 new user-requested features.

Universal Audio Apollo Console 2 New Features - The Complete List

Universal Audio have been working on on their new Console 2. For those wondering what you get then here is the complete list of 28 updates to the Apollo Console software.

Apollo 2 Console Updates - The Complete List 

  1. 64 Bit Retina application in with new UI
  2. Channel Strip Window
  3. Channel Strip Presets
  4. Drag and drop plug-ins
  5. UAD Monitor/Record per channel
  6. Plug-in categories
  7. ALT monitoring with Trim (2 ALT Speakers)

Click to read more ...

Universal Audio Apollo Twin Wins TEC Award For Computer Audio Hardware

Our friends at Universal Audio have been honoured with a TEC Award for their amazing Apollo Twin Thunderbolt audio interface in the Computer Audio Hardware category.

When we first saw the Apollo Twin last year we knew this thing was a winner and gave it an Pro Tools Expert Editor’s Choice Award, it’s a no brainer.

With the recent announcement of Apollo Expanded software this makes the Apollo Twin and even more flexible Thunderbolt powered audio interface.

So huge congratulations to the unstoppable Universal Audio, a company continuing to show awesome innovation and filled with some of the nicest people in the industry!

Read our Apollo Twin review here

Read more about Apollo Expanded here

Apollo Expanded - A Mac Based Studio Ecosystem That Can Grow With Your Needs

Apollo Expanded may well turn out to be the star of NAMM 2015. I’ll get the skunk on the table early on in this article - yes it’s Thunderbolt so it is only for Mac users right now. However for those Mac users investing in the latest generation of Apple Macs it is the ideal way to build a system.

It means someone can start by buying the baby Apollo Twin and then as their needs change they simply add more interfaces or horsepower in the form of Satellites.

What we have is one system that meets the needs of every user from the hobbyist to a powerful studio set-up with say 4 x Apollo 16 interfaces. At the very least 4 Apollo 16s will give you 64 channels of I/O with real-time DSP processing.

In the 1980s I went shopping with a friend for a Yamaha DX9 synth. It was the baby brother of the Yamaha DX7 synth and around £300 less to buy. In the end he bought the DX7, I asked what had changed his mind and he said “Every time I played the DX9 I would have been dreaming of playing the DX7.”

It’s a smart move by Universal Audio, it means that anyone who jumps into the Apollo Thunderbolt ecosystem is able to with confidence knowing that however meagre their first investment is that it won’t be wasted should they wish to expand later.

A system that takes Mac users from dipping their toe in the water to being the core of a powerful modern recording studio over time is in our minds a very cool thing.

Universal Audio Introduces New Apollo Expanded Software - Powerful Expandable System

Our friends at Universal Audio have announced a major new release of the Apollo software that offers some excellent new features.

With Apollo Expanded, users of Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo Twin, Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, and Apollo 16 audio interfaces can freely combine up to four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices — adding I/O and DSP as their studio grows.

Apollo Expanded also brings the introduction of Console 2.0 software, giving Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo users dynamic new workflow options, with more than 25 new user-requested features.

Apollo Expanded — Key Features:

  • “Mix and Match” up to four Apollos (any model) over Thunderbolt (Mac)
  • Simple Thunderbolt cable connection between units
  • Combine up to six UAD-2 devices per system
  • New Flex Driver lets users customize Core Audio I/O — name, save, and share presets for different hardware setups and DAWs
  • Star clocking over Thunderbolt distributes high-quality clock to all Apollos

Console 2.0 Software — Key Features:

  • New high-resolution / Retina-compatible 64-bit software interface for Thunderbolt equipped Apollos
  • Channel Strip presets lets users see, save, and recall UAD plug-in chains
  • Numerous monitoring improvements including Alternate Monitors, new Control Room functions, and enhanced headphone cue management
  • New UAD plug-in categories and individual Show/Hide functionality
  • Enhanced plug-in features such as preset auditioning and drag & drop functionality
  • Per-input Record/Monitor effect switching
  • Multi-level Undo and Redo for plug-in assignments and parameters

Apollo Expanded is part of upcoming UAD Software v8.0, which, in addition to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility, also adds all-new plug-in categories to the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform.

Russ gives his opinion on this news here

Universal Audio Announce UA Distortion Essentials Plug-In Bundle - Classic Guitar Distortion Stomp Boxes

Universal Audio have announced the new UA Distortion Essential Plug-in Bundle aimed at guitarists wanting some legendary guitar stomp boxes. The bundle consists the legendary:

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is an iconic stomp box made popular by Stevie Ray Vaughan. It has had several incarnations with the TS800 been the original and highly sought after. It is one of the most popular overdrive pedals.

Raw Distortion™

Based on the vintage early-80s Pro Co Rat, from Wikipedia “The Pro Co “The RAT” is a guitar effects pedal produced by Pro Co Sound. The original RAT was developed in the basement of Pro Co’s Kalamazoo, Michigan facility in 1978. Numerous variations of the original RAT pedal are still being produced today.”

Bermuda Triangle

A pedal used by such luminaries as David Gilmore, Frank Zappa and Carlos Santana this plug-in is based on the early 70s-era Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi stomp box.

Unison Technology

All three pedals harnesses Unison™ technology to precisely emulate the circuit interaction, gain range, and clip points of the original stompboxes.

Price And Shipping

The new UA Distortion Essentials Plug-In Bundle will cost $249 and ship with UAD v8.0 in the next few weeks.

Manley Variable Mu - Now On UAD Platform - Review Coming Soon

The Manley Variable Mu has arrived on the UAD platform as a new UAD powered plug-in giving those who own UAD hardware or Apollo interfaces access to this limiter compressor.

This is what Universal Audio have to say about the Manley Stereo Variable Mu Limiter Compressor;


The Manley Stereo Variable Mu Limiter Compressor has been Manley Labs’ flagship compressor since 1994. Its smooth, transparent dynamics control, and ability to add clarity and cohesion to a mix make it the gold standard among mix engineers.
Developed under Manley Labs’ rigorous scrutiny, the Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor plug-in is a thorough emulation of this Class-A, hand-made tube limiter, exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Highlights Of The

  • Add definition and fidelity to individual tracks, stereo buses, or an entire mix
  • Glue together difficult mixes with signature Manley tube compression
  • Link channels for a precise, perfectly matched stereo image
  • Select from Left/Right or Mid/Side operation for precise control of stereo imaging
  • Use the plug-in-only Dry/Wet Mix control to easily dial-in parallel compression

Review Of The Manley Variable Mu

We are working on a review of the new UAD Manley Variable Mu, so check back soon.


How To Set Up ADAT Lightpipe Input To Expand The Channels On The Universal Audio Apollo Twin 

The Universal Audio Apollo Twin is a powerful little audio interface, but for some the limited inputs may sometimes not be enough. However UA have included an ADAT Lightpipe input connector on the Apollo Twin enabling the user to increase it by up to 8 extra inputs.

In this free tutorial we are going to show you how to set up ADAT Lightpipe input to expand the channels on the Universal Audio Apollo Twin.

What Hardware To Use?

In order to do this you need a pre-amp that has a ADAT Lightpipe output on the rear, there are a number on the market, they include; 

  • Universal Audio 4-710d
  • Audient ASP880
  • Focusrite Octopre

What Pre-Amp Are We are Using

We have both the Audient ASP880 and the Universal Audio 4-170d pre-amps at Pro Tools Expert HQ, in fact Mike uses the Focusrte Octopre as seen here, but to keep it in the family we decided to use the gorgeous sounding 4-710D. The UA 4-710d offers up to 8 channels of audio inputs, 4 mic, 8 line, variable tube and transistor tone blending on 4 inputs and UA compressors. Of course the most important thing for this is the ADAT Lightpipe out on the rear, this is what we use to connect the 4-710d to the Apollo Twin.

ADAT Lightpipe Cable

The ADAT Lightpipe or ADAT Optical Interface was invented by Alesis originally for use in their ADAT tape machines, however widespread adoption took place of this protocol. It is called Lightpipe because the data is transmitted over fibre optic cable. They are widely available online or from stores, we got ours from Amazon, a 5 meter cable costing around £7.00.

Connecting It All Together

The connection between the 4-710d and the Apollo Twin is simple, plug the ADAT Lightpipe cable into the ADAT Out 1-8 connection on the rear of the unit, see above.

Then plug the other end of the cable into the ‘Optical In’ port on the rear of the Apollo Twin, see below.

Click to read more ...

Recording Guitar In Pro Tools With The Universal Audio Apollo Twin

If you are new to the Apollo Twin audio interface and are a Pro Tools user then Russ takes you through getting the Apollo Twin set-up with Pro Tools to record guitar.

In this video tutorial you can learn about

  • the Apollo Console application 
  • low latency monitoring in Pro Tools
  • monitoring with UAD effects via the Apollo Console
  • recording with the effects via the Apollo Console
  • using the Apollo Twin console for re-amping the guitar from Pro Tools

This free video tutorial is applicable for all versions of the Universal Audio Apollo interface.

Watch this free video tutorial here

Results Of Our Non Scientific Poll Of Interface Brands

We held a non scientific straw poll on Facebook of what audio interface brand Pro Tools Expert community members use. After 355 responses this is what you have told us.

Avid is at the top with 98 but what was surprising is that it isn’t by much. Focusrite come a very strong second with 81. 

Then we drop a long way to Universal Audio with their Apollo interfaces taking 3rd place.

What perhaps affects the results is that many people may own Avid interfaces as part of bundles or because they use HD/HDX systems. Focusrite have been aggressive with their pricing to features offering and this seems to have paid off for them.

What do you think of the results?