In podcast 210 community member Stephen Moniz asked for our advice about the best way to set up Pro Tools with an Apollo 16 with a Dangerous Music 2Bus+ and Monitor ST and having discussed it we decided to ask Fab Dupont from PureMix for his advice on what Stephen should do.
Stephen Moniz's Question
I recently purchased an Apollo 16 Thunderbolt 2. I also have an Audient 880 and 2 Neve 1073lb's for preamps. I also have a Dangerous Music 2Bus + and Monitor ST. I really do not want to use the Apollo Console as it seems it’s just an extra step, but how do I configure Pro Tools (I/O I am guessing) to have the outputs for both recording AND mixing to be sent to the 2 bus+ and how do I get the input back from the 2 bus+ to print the session? I take it in this case I would not need a Stereo Master Fader in the session? So far it seems the only thing I have been able to do correctly is bypass the monitoring section from the Apollo itself, so my audio is coming strictly from the Dangerous Music ST (Yay for small victories). I have tried video tutorials, manuals and emails to the companies which have just left me more frustrated. I am about ready to sell half the stuff out of frustration. Any help would be much appreciated.Thank you so much! Stephen
Fab Dupont's Response
I think the key phrase from Stephen's question is this: "how do I configure Pro Tools (I/O I am guessing) to have the outputs for both recording AND mixing to be sent to the 2 bus" I'll try and describe a basic connection idea for this lovely rig:
- He should have his 16 analog outputs of the Apollo connected to the 16 inputs of the 2Bus+.
- He should have the recording outputs of the 2Bus+ connected to a pair of inputs of the Apollo 16 and he should make sure that those channels are muted in the Apollo console.
- Summing: done.
- He should have the monitor outputs of the Apollo 16 connected to another input of the ST and he should make sure that the monitoring DCA is bypassed in the prefs of the Apollo console.
- He should have the monitor outputs of the 2Bus+ connected to an input of the ST for real time no latency monitoring in mixing situations.
- Monitoring: done.
- He should have the outputs of his preamps connected to the inputs of the Apollo.
- Preamps: Done.
Fab Dupont On The Apollo Console
The Apollo console is a virtual representation of the inputs of the hardware. It's not an extra step really. The guys at UA just created this interface so you can visualize what is going on in the machine first but also add real time plugins on the way in (Nice, very nice) and manage zero latency cues. It is not a factor for sound. It has no sound if you do not use realtime plugins. It does not add latency. It IS nothing. It's virtual.
If you run your DAW at super low latency, meaning your computer is fierce and your sessions are small enough, you can live your whole audio life without launching the Apollo console at all. In this case you just monitor the stereo final output of Pro Tools, organize your cues from the Pro Tools sends and life goes on.
Because you do not want any spill from the UA console monitor section, you do have to mute all channels on there and then you're done. Muting the Apollo console channels does not impact the routing to Pro Tools. It just mutes the feed to the monitor section. Some people get confused about that. Muting the channels of the apollo console does not mute the send to ProTools, it just mutes the channels feed to the monitor section of the Apollo console.
If your sessions are big, or your computer is not up to task, and you want low latency monitoring then then you need to organise your cues from the Apollo console because his DAW buffer will be higher and induce latency. It takes a minute to get used to but it's not a life threatening situation. [Editor: and then you can take advantage of the low latency monitoring that the UA Console offers you].
There you have it, as we said in podcast 210, Fab knows the UA Apollo, and Fab knows the Dangerous Music 2Bus+ and Monitor ST. Thank you Fab for taking the time to respond to Stephen's question.
Following on from Fab's answer, Stephen we would suggest that you might consider arranging your session into stems, up to a maximum of 16 channels or eight stereo pairs. You would create stems and route them to your 16 Apollo outputs, perhaps something like this....
- Drums Left
- Drums Right
- Bass Left
- Bass Right
- Guitars Left
- Guitars Right
- Keyboards Left
- Keyboards Right
- Solo Instruments Left
- Solo Instruments Right
- Backing Vocals Left
- Backing Vocals Right
- Lead Vocal Left
- Lead Vocal right
- FXs Left
- FXs Right
Your stems are then fed into your Dangerous Music 2 Bus+, and as Fab suggests, you take the stereo output from the 2Bus+ back into two inputs on your Apollo. Create a stereo audio track in Pro Tools and set the input to that track to the 2 inputs coming from the 2Bus+ output. That way you can record the mixed output from the 2 Bus+ into your session and it is that mix that you send to the client when you are ready.
Want To Know More About The Dangerous Music 2Bus+?
This video presents the 2-BUS+ from Dangerous Music and discusses how it came to be. The 2-BUS+ offers active analog summing, with 3 added analog color circuits to give you a palette of options.
In this video, Fab Dupont runs some tracks through the new 2-Bus+ from Dangerous Music. He showcases the Harmonic Distortion, Paralimiter, and Transformer Saturation and demonstrates just some of the many ways they can be used on a track.
Want To Know More About the Dangerous Music Monitor ST?
In this video Fab Dupont explains the Dangerous Monitor ST/SR and Additional Switching System.
In this video Fab Dupont talks about the Dangerous Monitor ST, and why it's important to have a good monitoring system.