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UAD-2 quad Omni vs UA Apollo
Old 12th September 2012
  #1
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
UAD-2 quad Omni vs UA Apollo

I'm currently using a Line 6 UX2 interface and running all my instruments through Pod Farm; however, I am planning on upgrading to a UAD-2 quad Omni or UA Apollo because my songwriting has dramatically improved over the past year and I've been getting really into recording now, so I'm trying to take things more seriously to get a more professional sound. I'm more into the indie "DIY" scene, so I'm not into the polished commercial stuff; however, I'd like the quality of my songs to be in the higher quality range of lo-fi or lower quality range of hi-fi, if that makes any sense...

I currently have an HP laptop, so I plan to buy a Mac before purchasing one of these, so I guess another question I have is, do I still need a really good computer or is a Mac book pro good enough if I have one of those interfaces?

I understand that the UAD-2 quad Omni and UA Apollo are fairly different, but I'm just trying to weigh the pros and cons and hear other people's suggestions or to be corrected if I'm saying incorrect things about each device. To my knowledge, the UAD-2 quad Omni comes with every single plugin UA has to offer and it's very powerful and takes the weight of your computer's CPU and the UA Apollo is also fairly powerful and takes weight of your computer's CPU and you can plug instruments and mics into it and record through it; however, it only comes with a few of UA's plugins and the rest are just demos for 14 days. Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways, I definitely like the idea of being able to record through the Apollo; however, I love the idea that the UAD-2 quad Omni has all their plugins and is extremely powerful.

Is it true that neither of them can hold plugins from other companies and that they can only run UA's plugins? If so, I guess I still would need a pretty good computer if I want to use plugins from other companies as well...

PS: If anyone thinks that there's something out there that beats both the UAD-2 quad Omni and UA Apollo, then I'd be curious to hear your opinions too. I'm still fairly new to recording and songwriting, I've just been slowly teaching myself over the past year. I don't believe in upgrading gear non stop. i.e. beginner gear, to intermediate gear, to professional gear. Pretty much, I start with beginner gear and if I feel like I have the passion and realize it's something I'll do forever, then I just jump to the good stuff right away.

Anyways... I hope you knowledgeable 'slutz' can help an amateur aspiring musician/producer to get on the right track to making good quality recordings from home. Thanks.
Old 12th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk ➑️
I currently have an HP laptop, so I plan to buy a Mac before purchasing one of these, so I guess another question I have is, do I still need a really good computer or is a Mac book pro good enough if I have one of those interfaces?
If you get a Macbook Pro, you'll need to get the UAD-2 Quad Satellite if you go that route since laptops cannot use PCIe cards. Apollo will work with the MBP via Firewire, Thunderbolt (if you decide to get that expansion card), or a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter if your MBP doesn't have any Firewire ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk ➑️
To my knowledge, the UAD-2 quad Omni comes with every single plugin UA has to offer and it's very powerful and takes the weight of your computer's CPU and the UA Apollo is also fairly powerful and takes weight of your computer's CPU and you can plug instruments and mics into it and record through it; however, it only comes with a few of UA's plugins and the rest are just demos for 14 days.
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk ➑️
Is it true that neither of them can hold plugins from other companies and that they can only run UA's plugins? If so, I guess I still would need a pretty good computer if I want to use plugins from other companies as well...
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OolalavSuperfukk ➑️
PS: If anyone thinks that there's something out there that beats both the UAD-2 quad Omni and UA Apollo, then I'd be curious to hear your opinions too. I'm still fairly new to recording and songwriting, I've just been slowly teaching myself over the past year. I don't believe in upgrading gear non stop. i.e. beginner gear, to intermediate gear, to professional gear. Pretty much, I start with beginner gear and if I feel like I have the passion and realize it's something I'll do forever, then I just jump to the good stuff right away.
Really depends on your needs and desires. There's no such thing as "Professional" gear. Commercial records have been made with everything.

While the QUAD includes all of UA's plugins, don't believe you are going to be able to run all of the plugins at once on a single QUAD card. Also, don't believe you NEED every single UA plugin - you might, but buying one at a time gives you the option of demoing and figuring out what you need first. Generally, the question you should be asking yourself is do you need a new interface that happens to give you access to UAD plugins or do you just want to use UAD plugins. Will the Apollo have better preamps than your Line6 interface - yes. Will the Apollo have better AD/DA conversion than your Line6 interface - yes. Will the Apollo have more I/O than your Line6 interface - yes. Will the Apollo support Thunderbolt which your Line6 interface doesn't - yes. Do anything of those things matter to you? That is your call.
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
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OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified ➑️
If you get a Macbook Pro, you'll need to get the UAD-2 Quad Satellite if you go that route since laptops cannot use PCIe cards. Apollo will work with the MBP via Firewire, Thunderbolt (if you decide to get that expansion card), or a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter if your MBP doesn't have any Firewire ports.
The UAD-2 Satellite QUAD Omni 6 Firewire DSP Accelerator can be used with a mac book pro though, right? when I look at the pictures it looks like an external device as opposed to being a PCIe card.

Quote:
While the QUAD includes all of UA's plugins, don't believe you are going to be able to run all of the plugins at once on a single QUAD card. Also, don't believe you NEED every single UA plugin - you might, but buying one at a time gives you the option of demoing and figuring out what you need first.
I don't ever plan on using all the plugins simultaneously; however, I am currently writing and recording an album right, so having many different plugins would definitely help for different songs etc.

Quote:
Generally, the question you should be asking yourself is do you need a new interface that happens to give you access to UAD plugins or do you just want to use UAD plugins.
It's a bit of both. I've listened to a lot of demos on YouTube etc. and really like the sound of the UAD plugins plus I heard that even a really powerful computer can struggle to run several UAD plugins simultaneously.

Quote:
Will the Apollo have better preamps than your Line6 interface - yes. Will the Apollo have better AD/DA conversion than your Line6 interface - yes. Will the Apollo have more I/O than your Line6 interface - yes. Will the Apollo support Thunderbolt which your Line6 interface doesn't - yes. Do anything of those things matter to you? That is your call.
All those things certainly matter to me, yet I'm still undecided cos the UAD-2 Satellite QUAD Omni 6 Firewire DSP Accelerator is so strong and has all of the plugins. I just can't decide if I'm just being too naive in thinking that I'll need all those plugins. All I know is that I want something really worth the money that will help me improve the quality of my sound. I mean, I've only had the UX2 for a little less than a year and I already feel like I need something better. Sure it obviously can't be compared to either of these, but I want to make sure that I have something really nice that will still be good in the long run no matter how much I progress in songwriting and music production.
Old 12th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
If you can't articulate why you need something, you probably don't need it.

Go through every plugin on the UAD site - do you need it? Why? How often? Is it worth the price to you? Are there native alternatives that are cheaper / sound better?

You say you "feel like" you need something better than your UX2 - in what sense and capacity?

FYI, nothing you buy will make you sound better. That is your own doing.
Old 12th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think I have articulated pretty well, for why I need one of these. I'm just too indecisive to make up my mind on which one to get and was just looking for other opinion on the matter. I haven't gone through all of AU's plugins on their site, but I've read about many of them and looked at demos on YouTube and I suppose I don't absolutely need all of them for a good recording; however, I know there's many that I want because they'll help me achieve the sounds in my head. The reason I want to upgrade from my UX2, is because that's made simply just to plug your instruments into and run through Pod Farm and the sounds on Pod Farm are decent, but far from a professional sound. I know it has nothing to do with poor recordings. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to tracking, so that's not the problem, it's mixing and trying to enhance what I have, but the on board plugins in my DAW use up a lot of my CPU and most of them don't have a very nice sound to begin with.

Quote:
FYI, nothing you buy will make you sound better. That is your own doing.
Perhaps you're wording yourself funny or just being too vague, but I disagree with that. Sure if you suck at tracking and/or have no idea how to use your gear properly, then yes, this is true. But like they say, if the performance is good then it's virtually impossible to make it sound bad with processing gear. In fact, it's almost hard not to make it sound better. But with crappy processing gear you can easily destroy a good recording.

To my knowledge the algorithms for these plugins are nearly identical to the original hardware and the DSP power on these interfaces are very powerful. So that's me articulating why I "feel like" I need to upgrade from my cheap built for amateur producers UX2.

Surely great gear has a huge part to play on sound, and that is of course why many people today search for specific gear to get a rich warm vintage sound.
Old 12th September 2012
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Hi Oolalav,

Here's my experience...

I've had a duo satellite running on a reasonable spec iMac for a while and couldn't resist an Apollo duo about four months ago with the aim of having a more integrated pre/interface/uad plugs set up.

To be honest I think gear lust took over as although the uad plugs are excellent (lexicon reverb for example), I find the extra processing power doesn't necessarily give better results than well used alternatives like the Stephen slate console emulation (if you want that sort of thing). *Also, the Apollo does crap out reasonably easy if you use heavy plugs (like the studer emulation for example)

If cash is an issue, for the sound you're after, there may be better ways to get it but if you have the money an Apollo quad would make a great interface and pre, just don't expect it to dramatically improve your music or run every plug under the sun.

That's my experience anyway, others will feel differently.
Old 12th September 2012
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Interesting Question.

I actually have both, so perhaps I can offer my observations.

UAD has - what - 55 plug ins? It takes quite a while to learn the differences, which want to be pushed, etc. Starting with a finite set is almost preferable. I almost sold my Satellite because I was using so few of the full set (that has, of course, changed over time).

The Apollo works very nicely as an overall solution - the D to A is revealing which is extremely helpful. I compare it favorably to the Benchmark DAC-1, which was my preferred D to A prior to the Apollo.

If I was starting from scratch, it would be the Apollo and a small set of their more recent plugs - Ampex, Fatso, new 1176 set and Massive Passive. I have had much better luck tracking with these than some of the less harmonically complex offerings.

You can then add other classics like the EMT verbs and some of the killer delays (the Time Cube and Space Echo are just great) as you dig into mixing.

Best of luck - it is a learning process, but man, what a fun one.

MJ Heck
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Heck ➑️
I actually have both, so perhaps I can offer my observations.

UAD has - what - 55 plug ins? It takes quite a while to learn the differences, which want to be pushed, etc. Starting with a finite set is almost preferable. I almost sold my Satellite because I was using so few of the full set (that has, of course, changed over time).

The Apollo works very nicely as an overall solution - the D to A is revealing which is extremely helpful. I compare it favorably to the Benchmark DAC-1, which was my preferred D to A prior to the Apollo.

If I was starting from scratch, it would be the Apollo and a small set of their more recent plugs - Ampex, Fatso, new 1176 set and Massive Passive. I have had much better luck tracking with these than some of the less harmonically complex offerings.

You can then add other classics like the EMT verbs and some of the killer delays (the Time Cube and Space Echo are just great) as you dig into mixing.

Best of luck - it is a learning process, but man, what a fun one.

MJ Heck
Sorry for the late response. Yeah, I'm thinking I'm going to settle for the Apollo like you said. I mean, it's time to upgrade for sure, but I'm still relatively new to the recording world so I probably won't know what to do with most of the plugins that UA offer. So I'll probably just look into the one's you suggested for now and once I become familiar with them get better at producing I'll look into more of their plugins and some other companies. One question I do have though... I plan on buying some outboard effects eventually as well. It would be nice to have a good outboard preamp that I could record though, but I'm wondering, can you plug any sort of outboard preamp, compressor, EQ etc. to the Apollo? I understand that it can only run UA plugins, but I'm assuming it should be able to have any outboard effect connect, right?
Old 17th November 2012
  #9
Gear Addict
 
OolalavSuperfukk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Instead of making a new thread on the same topic I'll try to kick start this briefly. I've decided that I'm going to buy the Apollo; however, there's a UAD-2 DUO DSP version and a UAD-2 QUAD DSP version. There is a significant price difference, so I'm wondering exactly what DSP is and why someone would need the QUAD instead of the DUO. I don't want to purchase the DUO just cos it's cheaper and find out it's not enough for me. I hope someone can answer this for me. Thanks.
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