The Apollo 16 interface places all the most commonly used recording and monitoring features right on the front panel, for fast, direct access. Similarly, its rear panel provides all the dedicated, high-quality I/O needed for a typical production studio.
This diagram illustrates a basic Apollo 16 system. In this example, only analog devices are connected; digital I/O is not used.
This diagram illustrates how Apollo 16 can be connected to a host computer with the Thunderbolt Option Card.
This diagram illustrates how two Apollo 16 units are connected together into an aggregated interface for 32 simultaneous analog inputs and 32 simultaneous analog outputs using FireWire to connect to the host computer.
This diagram illustrates how two Apollo 16 units are connected together into an aggregated interface for 32 simultaneous analog inputs and 32 simultaneous analog outputs.
Apollo 16 is UA’s flagship audio interface, with 16 channels of analog inputs/outputs and Realtime UAD Processing. Apollo 16’s onboard UAD-2 QUAD processor allows it to run the full library of UAD-2 plug-ins — both in real time and in standard UAD-2 mode (inside your DAW). Apollo 16 connects to modern Macs and Windows 7 PCs via FireWire 800. A Thunderbolt Option Card (sold separately) allows Apollo 16 to connect to the latest generation of Macs via Thunderbolt.
The original Apollo was hailed as a breakthrough for its exceedingly open, natural sound quality. Apollo 16 uses the same A/D and D/A converters as the original Apollo, but offers 2X the analog connectivity via professional DB-25 connectors. The Apollo 16 also features slightly revised analog circuitry, including DC-coupled outputs. And the Apollo 16 is available with UAD-2 QUAD processing only, whereas the original Apollo is available with either UAD-2 DUO or UAD-2 QUAD processing onboard.
Yes, Apollo 16 is Mac and Windows 7 compatible, 64-bit compatible, and works with many different DAW applications. Windows 8 is not currently qualified, but initial reports are that UAD/Apollo software does work.
It really comes down to the kind of work you are doing, the gear you have, and the connectivity you want. Both products offer class-leading sound quality, sub-2ms tracking with UAD Powered Plug-Ins, and multiple connectivity options (FireWire 800 and/or Thunderbolt).
You can think of the original Apollo like a “swiss army knife,” with four clean, ultra-transparent mic preamps, two instrument inputs, two headphone outputs with individual control, and rear-panel connections including ADAT S/MUX & S/PDIF — so it’s got everything most songwriters/producers/remixers need to record great music, all in a single box.
Apollo 16 features 16 x 16 analog inputs/outputs via DB-25 connections, but doesn’t have mic preamps, headphone outputs, or direct instrument (Hi-Z) inputs — so it’s ideal for project and professional studios that already have an investment in outboard equipment like mic pres, cue/headphone amps, summing mixers, and/or a mixing console.
UAD Powered Plug-Ins offer warm sonic qualities and character not found in other audio plug-ins. Our software engineering group includes some of the world’s leading DSP authorities, who undertake thorough physical modeling of classic audio hardware. This process means that we essentially “rebuild” classic analog gear in the digital world. So UAD plug-ins not only sound like the original vintage hardware; they behave like the original devices, at even the most extreme settings.
The number varies depending on your system and how it’s configured. For a complete breakdown of UAD Powered Plug-Ins instance counts, check out the UAD Instance Chart.
Apollo 16 ships with the Analog Classics bundle, which includes Legacy versions of the 1176LN, 1176SE, Teletronix LA-2A, Pultec EQP-1A & UA RealVerb (a $400 value). The UA online store has a growing library of plug-ins from brands including Studer, Lexicon, Manley, dbx, SSL, Neve, Roland and many more. So you can audition and purchase plug-ins as you go.
Apollo’s included Console application is a virtual mixing console that enables you to insert UAD plug-ins as you record into your DAW (this is what we call "Realtime UAD Processing"). The Console application also has many powerful routing and monitoring capabilities that make collaborative recording sessions more seamless. Mixing and mastering with UAD plug-ins is the same as with any other UAD DSP Accelerator system. Simply pull up a plug-in in your DAW on the track you need, and you’re good to go.
Apollo has input delay compensation to ensure that all inputs are phase-aligned. You can initiate input delay compensation from the Settings menu of the Console application. This feature ensures that all of your inputs are phase-aligned when recording multi-channel material like drums, or when using multi-micing techniques. If you are not recording multi-channel material, turn input delay compensation off.
Yes, Apollo 16 works just like any other UAD-2 device, whereby you can add Apollo 16 to a “group,” and the plug-ins will be authorized for all UAD devices in the group (including Apollo 16). Groups can contain up to four devices.
Yes, you can cascade two Apollo 16 interfaces on a qualified Mac or Windows 7 computer, giving you a professional system with 32 x 32 channels of analog I/O, plus dedicated XLR monitor outs. One of the cool features of Apollo 16 is that two units can work together via MADI as a single system — integrating a single Monitor section, four Cue mixes, and two Aux buses of both units via the Console application.
No, Apollo 16 cannot be used as a converter or processor with other MADI devices. Apollo 16's MADI I/O is used exclusively for routing audio between multiple Apollo 16 units when they are cascaded in a multi-unit configuration (see above).
No, combining the original Apollo and the Apollo 16 in a single system is not supported. It is therefore better to build a system with two Apollo 16s, or two original Apollo units. You should not “mix and match” Apollo and Apollo 16 devices.
As of UAD software v7.0, both Apollo and Apollo 16 have a feature called Virtual I/O. This feature allows you to route the output of a virtual (software) instrument, or any other DAW track, directly into Apollo’s Console application — adding Realtime UAD plug-ins to these sources. Virtual I/O reduces the inherent latency associated with UAD plug-ins inserted on a virtual instrument or other track in the DAW.
Each Virtual I/O channel in Console has four insert slots for UAD plug-ins, just like the analog and digital inputs. Virtual I/O channels are subject to the same UAD DSP constraints as other inputs in the Apollo Console software. There are other details on this feature, which you can read about in the owner’s manual.
Yes. Read more here.
Thunderbolt provides greater UAD plug-in instances, improved performance at higher sample rates, and reduced UAD plug-in latency in the DAW versus Apollo 16's standard FireWire connection.
Apollo or Apollo 16 can be upgraded with the Thunderbolt Option Card for $499 MAP USD. The update is very simple; just remove two screws on the back of Apollo unit, remove the blank plate, insert the card, and replace the two screws.
In this scenario, we recommend adding a UAD-2 PCIe card to the system via a Sonnet or Magma PCIe-to-Thunderbolt chassis. This will give you the lowest possible latencies and maximum performance.
Got questions? Contact us by Submitting a Help Request.
*Thunderbolt option is Mac-only.
**All trademarks are recognized as property of their respective owners. Individual UAD Powered Plug-Ins sold separately.
Note: See the Apollo 16 Hardware Manual for complete hardware information.