Community member Knut Richard Vanderloock decided to take on the challenge to see if he could get his older machine with Thunderbolt 1 to work with his UAD hardware, even though it is not supported by UAD. Although he managed to get it to work the setup was not straight forward and required the right procedure. In part 1 he ended up having to reinstall Windows 10, I will let Knut Richard take up the story...
In this second part, I will cover preparing the system, the system settings including BIOS, the correct installation routine, and share a video of the working setup.
BSOD - Blue Screen Of Death
When making this tutorial I must be honest and admit I almost gave up. UA had just released v9.2 and I found that making the tutorial on v9.2 instead of the already old v9.1 had to be the best choice. The installation I had running on my PC was v9.1. Already at the start of the installation things started to go wrong. My 9.2 installation came up with different problems than I had on v9.1 and crashed almost immediately on installation. After some troubleshooting, unplugging several peripherals, uninstall, reinstall, changing settings on my system, even changing the display, I managed to install v9.2. My biggest problem as I had to report to Mike, was that I didn't know how I did it. How could I write a tutorial if I didn’t know what I had done? The famous BSOD did not stop either and continued appearing from time to time. At this point I was starting to believe that UAD had changed something in v9.2 that made the system incompatible with UAD and Thunderbolt 1. I was after all trying to make something work that shouldn’t.
To make a long story, headaches, swearing and weeks shorter, I started at some point to read the error message on my BSOD and found that the message was related to memory. And sure enough, after running some diagnostic tools the culprit part was exposed as one of my memory modules. I removed it and have never seen the BSOD again.
So, why am I writing this in this tutorial? Don’t give up, and read the error messages! The problem might be related to something completely different, as it did in my case.
The Installation And Setup Of UA 9.2 On A Thunderbolt 1 Windows PC
My PC is a self-built computer, and it’s old. I bought the parts in 2013 and have been upgrading it until 2016, so, it’s kind of outdated on paper, but its performance keeps up with today’s demands. Please read both parts fully before trying to do the install. Also, this worked for my setup and I can’t guarantee that it will work on yours.
Load the default settings. If you are one of those people that know what they are doing in the BIOS, overclocking and tuning the memory, you don’t have to read this part.
In the Thunderbolt settings, there are different options depending on what motherboard you are using. These are my settings that work.
Update Windows, Drivers And Plug-ins
You must be running the latest version of Windows 10 64-bit. Run the update manager to get all the updates. Also update all your drivers, especially your graphics drivers, network drivers, and if you have any other audio interfaces connected. I’ve made the installation on a clean Windows installation, but if you have plug-ins installed on your system that are used in Pro Tools, update them as well.
Download the software from UAD and run the installer. The installation should be straight forward, except from one small detail. Windows should prompt you to run the installer as an administrator, if it doesn’t you will need to do that manually. Find the installer in your download folder, right click and choose “Run as administrator”. This is a must, or your installation won’t work as described in UAD installation procedures.
Follow the instructions through the installation, and reboot at the end.
I’ve run the installer with my UAD devices turned on and off, and it didn’t matter. After the installation or rather during, windows started to recognize the UAD and Apollos and as I wrote in part 1, it prompted me to do a firmware update. To be on the safe side, you could run the installer with your UA devices turned off.
When troubleshooting the setup in the early stages on v 9.1 there was a lot of “good advice" on forums. One was telling me I had to disable the internal Windows sound card, and as I had major problems getting it to work I did. But after I had to reinstall Windows 10 and on v9.2, nothing was disabled and it works fine. Now, this might differ from system to system, so keep that in mind.
Do Not Move UAD Plug-ins To The Unused Plug-in Folder
"Some UAD plug-ins are not 64 bit, and failed to load, do you want to move them to the Unused Folder?" Sure – I don’t need 32-bit plug-ins…
Read the installation documentation! Well, I didn’t at first. This instruction tells you that you will be prompted and must press NO when asked if you want to move the failed UAD plug-ins to the Unused Folder. As I wasn’t expecting this error (as it appears during the installation) I pressed YES, resulting in me not finding any UAD plug-ins in Pro Tools!
Studio One - Yay, Pro Tools - Nay?
As I wrote in part 1, the setup worked perfectly in Studio One, showing my Apollos. I could play, record, change settings as normal. I found that to show the UAD plug-ins in Studio One, I had to specify the UAD plug-in folder in the settings in Studio One. After I had done that, all plug-ins showed. So why did my setup work in Studio One and not in Pro Tools?
Pro Tools wouldn’t even start if it didn’t have an ASIO interface to connect to - giving me an AAE error, so I wasn’t able to choose the Apollo interface in the Playback Settings. I found an article written by Focusrite about ProTools First which helped me. The solution was to install ASIO4ALL to get Pro Tools started and then set the Playback Engine.
As the article stated, in the Playback Engine setup my Apollo Thunderbolt didn’t show as an interface. I could run ASIO4ALL and use my Apollo through that driver, but that wasn’t the goal and I’m guessing that down the road, my I/O and latency would be a problem. The solution (modified from the Focusrite article for Apollo and Pro Tools) was this...
- Close Pro Tools Turn off your UA devices
- Install ASIO4ALL (already done)
- Launch Pro Tools again. You should now be able to open it and select the ASIO4ALL driver.
- Create a session, then fully close Pro Tools.
- Turn on your UA devices
- Open Pro Tools again.
- Once your session loads, go to Setup > Playback Engine > select the Apollo TB driver
And there you have it, a fully functional UAD Apollo Thunderbolt 1 system on a Windows 10 PC.
Look Its Working
Below is a slideshow showing all my UAD plug-ins and software working on my Windows 10 PC with Thunderbolt 1.
Stress Test Video
Now that I had a working system I wanted to stress test it and in this video, you can see how I got on.
Update - Running UAD v9.3 With No Problems
Knut Richard has been in touch to say that he has updated to v9.3 on his Windows 10 PC with Thunderbolt 1 without any problems. He just ran the installer and updated as normal.
He reports that it is working just like 9.2 with good performance, but that he had to do the same procedure as laid out above with 9.2 to get it working with Pro Tools.
Thank you so much, Knut Richard for persevering with this to get a successful outcome. We must, however, echo Knut Richard's comments that although this is working on his system neither he or us can make any promises that it will work on your system. In addition, neither Knut Richard or Pro Tools Expert can be held responsible if you try this on your system and it all goes wrong. Remember that UAD does not recommend or support this, so if you want to go ahead and try this for yourself on your system you are on your own.