Apollo. High-Resolution Music Production with Classic Analog Sound.
Apollo is one of the world’s most popular professional audio interfaces — delivering the sound, feel, and flow of analog recording to music creators everywhere. This 18 x 24 FireWire/ Thunderbolt-ready* interface combines genuine UA analog design with class-leading sound quality and onboard Realtime UAD Processing. So you can track audio through a range of UAD analog emulation plug-ins — from Neve, Studer, Manley, Lexicon and more — in real time, with a sleek, elegant workflow on both Mac and Windows 7.
With smart features including four ultra-transparent mic preamps, eight line inputs/ouputs, dual headphone outs, and front panel instrument inputs, Apollo has all the right tools, all in the right place.
Class-Leading 24-bit/192 kHz Sound Quality
Designed to play a central role in a modern Mac- or Windows 7-based studio, Apollo incorporates an uncompromising approach to audio quality. Building upon decades of UA hardware heritage, it offers extremely high-resolution sound, with the lowest THD and highest dynamic range in its class. Apollo’s four premium mic preamps, top-end converters — and UA’s meticulous attention to circuit design — translate into greater accuracy and depth in your recordings, from tracking and overdubbing, to mixing and mastering. In fact, its sound quality is on par with dedicated converters costing thousands more.
Realtime UAD Plug-In Processing for Tracking, Mixing, and Mastering
While Apollo’s “natural” sound is exceedingly open and transparent, it can quickly deliver a wide range of classic analog tones and color via its Realtime UAD Processing. Available with either DUO Core or QUAD Core processing onboard, Apollo’s onboard DSP Acceleration allows for recording through UAD Powered Plug-Ins — with as low as sub-2ms latency — so that producers can quickly monitor, audition, and “print” audio using classic analog emulations from Ampex, Lexicon, Manley, Neve, Roland, SSL, Studer, and more.** Better still, Apollo's Realtime UAD Processing is also available during mixing and mastering, so that music producers can use UAD plug-ins (VST, RTAS, AU) throughout the creative process.
Thunderbolt™ Connectivity for Macs
Apollo offers compatibility with Intel’s new high-bandwidth Thunderbolt technology on Macs. Available via a user-installable dual-port Thunderbolt Option Card (sold separately), Thunderbolt provides greater UAD plug-in instances, improved performance at high sample rates, and reduced UAD plug-in latency in the DAW versus Apollo’s standard FireWire connection.
Because Thunderbolt offers many times the bandwidth of FireWire, it allows music producers to connect numerous devices in series with the Apollo interface — including hard drives, processors, and additional computer monitors — all with fast, flawless performance. Thunderbolt also makes it easy to expand UAD plug-in processing power via a Thunderbolt-to-PCIe chassis and UAD-2 DSP Accelerator card(s).
Deeper Integration with Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase and More
Apollo’s Core Audio and ASIO drivers ensure compatibility with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, and more. The included Console application and companion Console Recall plug-in (VST/AU/RTAS) provide control and recall of all interface and Realtime UAD plug-in settings within your DAW sessions, even months and years later. A new “PT Mode” allows easier insertion of external hardware in Pro Tools, and a new Virtual I/O feature allows Realtime UAD Processing of DAW tracks and virtual instruments.
Hardware Design and Workflow
One key feature of Apollo isn’t really a “feature” at all. It’s the numerous design details that give you a fast, natural workflow — and better results. There are physical front-panel controls for all the most commonly used features, including Preamp and Monitor level knobs, channel selection, mic pad and low cut, phantom power, and dual headphone outs with independent level control. Smart Hi-Z inputs on the front panel detect when you've connected your guitar or bass, and automatically enable hardware and software monitoring.
Sonically, Apollo's Mic inputs and Monitor outputs are digitally controlled analog, so you don't lose audio resolution when you adjust gain. High-resolution/high-contrast metering, derived from UA’s legendary 2192 interface, is designed to be viewable at nearly any angle. Finally, standalone operation means that you can use Apollo’s audio connections, and last-used DSP mixer settings, even without a computer connected.
* Requires Windows 7 64-bit edition operating system and a qualified PCIe-to-FireWire adaptor. Thunderbolt option is Mac-only.
** All trademarks are recognized as property of their respective owners. Individual UAD Powered Plug-Ins sold separately.
The Apollo 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 simple Apollo setup that might be used by an individual musician/engineer for recording guitar and vocals simultaneously.
This diagram illustrates an Apollo setup that might be used by two musicians that are recording simultaneously. In this setup, only analog devices are connected; digital I/O is not used.
This diagram illustrates a more complex Apollo setup that might be used for recording an entire ensemble, utilizing both analog and digital I/O.
The Console application is Apollo’s primary software interface. Its intuitive, analog console-style design provides ultra-fast ("realtime") tracking and monitoring with UAD Powered Plug-Ins. Additionally, all of Apollo’s front-panel hardware features can be controlled using this Console app, even if the Apollo hardware is out of reach of the engineer.
Apollo's Realtime UAD processing gives you the ability to place UAD Powered Plug-Ins on all inputs, tracking with less than 2ms latency — a feature not found in any other interface. Specifically, UAD Powered Plug-Ins can be inserted into any/all Console inputs and/or auxiliary returns (within the constraints of Apollo’s onboard DSP), for the ultimate sonic experience. For the first time, music producers can track audio through award-winning plug-ins from Neve, Manley, Studer, Lexicon and more, right on input.
When its time to mix or master, Apollo's onboard UAD-2 DUO or UAD-2 QUAD processors can run the entire UAD Powered Plug-Ins library, just like a standard UAD-2 DSP Accelerator. In this way, owning an Apollo not only makes for better-sounding tracking and mixing sessions, but reduced strain on your host computer CPU.
The Console app can be used simultaneously with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Live, Performer and more, giving you very flexible signal routing and processing options. And complete Console setups can be saved as presets — or even saved “within” your sessions using the VST/AU/RTAS-compatible Console Recall plug-in — for full recall, even months and years after you last opened your session.
In simple terms, the Console Recall plug-in provides access to all of Apollo's crucial monitoring and metering funcionality, without having to leave your DAW of choice.
Explore the FAQ tab to learn more.
Apollo is a high-resolution professional audio interface with superior sound quality and Realtime UAD Processing onboard. It features built-in UAD-2 DSP Acceleration, which allows Apollo to track, mix, and master with our full library of award-winning UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins with nearly instant sub-2ms latency. Apollo connects to the computer via FireWire 800, and also has Thunderbolt connectivity via the Thunderbolt Option Card.
Apollo was designed to give users the feel and flow of analog recording, while maintaining the benefits of mixing and mastering in a digital audio workstation (DAW). Its included software turns Apollo into a fully-functioning mixing console and allows users to control its hardware settings remotely, solving longstanding studio workflow and monitoring annoyances.
Apollo has 8 total analog inputs — 4 digitally controlled analog mic preamps, 8 balanced line inputs, and 2 front-panel JFET DIs. It has 14 total analog outputs – 8 balanced line outs, 2 digitally-controlled analog monitor outs, and 2 dedicated stereo headphone outs. In terms of digital I/O, Apollo has 8 channels of ADAT S/MUX, 2 channels of S/PDIF, and Word Clock I/O with an input termination switch.
In simple terms, much better. As the first audio interface to carry the Universal Audio name, Apollo was designed for uncompromising sonic excellence. Our hardware engineering team called upon years of UA analog experience throughout the design process. And every component, from Apollo's mic preamps to its converters, was carefully selected to provide both fidelity and transparency. So we can comfortably state that Apollo offers the lowest THD (total harmonic distortion) and widest dynamic range of anything in its class — performing at or better than interfaces costing far more.
UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins offer warm sonic qualities and character not found in other 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-2 plug-ins not only sound like the original vintage hardware; they behave like the original devices, at even the most extreme settings. UAD-Powered Plug-Ins are available for purchase individually via our Online Store.
With Apollo, latency is basically indiscernible. For example, when recording four "stacked" UAD plug-ins on the input in real time, analog-to-analog latency at 96kHz comes in at 1.1 milliseconds. Of course, 1.1 ms is not an uncommon spec when compared to other professional audio interfaces, however it is unheard of to get that level of latency performance when tracking with plug-ins. With its onboard Realtime UAD Processing, Apollo can retain its low-latency performance even in large sessions, and you can leave your computer at a buffer setting that it can handle.
Yes! Apollo ships with the Analog Classics Plug-In Bundle. Every Apollo also includes a $100 coupon that can be used for UAD plug-in purchases via UA’s Online Store. You will also have access to fully functioning 14-day demos for all UAD Powered Plug-Ins.
The number varies depending on the Apollo model (DUO Core or Quad), the sample rate you're using, as well as how many FireWire devices are on the bus. For a complete breakdown of UAD Powered Plug-Ins instance counts, check out the UAD Instance Chart.
Apollo is available in a DUO Core (with two Analog Devices SHARC processor chips) and a QUAD Core version (with four SHARC chips). If you are looking for a great-sounding audio interface but don’t think you’ll need a ton of simultaneous UAD plug-ins, the DUO has enough power for tracking and mixing. If you want to run a lot of plug-ins simultaneously, or at higher samples rates (88.2kHz and above), the QUAD is the better solution.
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.
Also, by recording "wet" with Realtime UAD Processing via Console, valuable DSP resources are made available during mixing that would have otherwise been used to process the "raw" tracks in the DAW.
Generally, all UAD-2 plug-ins have been ported to work for tracking, however some of our mastering plug-ins, especially the Precision Multiband and the Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder, have some delay due to their algorithms and up-sampling techniques. Plug-ins like these are not ideal for low latency tracking, but can of course be used.
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.
For hardware synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments, just plug in to Apollo’s line, Hi-Z, or digital inputs, and enjoy Realtime UAD plug-ins like you would a microphone or other line-level device.
Apollo is a great solution for playing back prerecorded material from your DAW while also being able to process live sound with UAD plug-ins. Imagine being able to use a Lexicon 224 Digital Reverb as your reverb onstage, or adding an LA-2A Compressor on your vocals to front of house instantly, or adding creative effects like the Roland RE-201 Space Echo to your guitar in a live performance. This is all possible with Apollo.
Yes. Apollo works just like any other UAD-2 PCIe, Satellite or SOLO Laptop card. One license of UAD-2 Powered plug-ins can run on up to 4 devices, but they all must be registered in the same account “group.” By adding Apollo to your group, you can take your plug-ins wherever you take Apollo, such as recording and mixing sessions in other studios.
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 UAD 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.
We test and certify the most popular DAWs that our customers use, including Apple Logic, Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cakewalk Sonar, Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo, and more. Visit the Apollo support page for details.
Yes! Apollo will work with Pro Tools 10, as well as Pro Tools 9. All of Apollo’s 18x24 channels of analog and digital I/O can be recorded and routed in Pro Tools, and UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins will work inside Pro Tools via their RTAS plug-in format.
UAD plug-ins will be updated to AAX compatibility and will be free of charge to customers.
Apollo will work with Windows 7 64-bit editions using a qualified PCIe-to-FireWire 800 adaptor or qualified ExpressCard34 adaptor. Because of widespread variance between PC manufacturers, the built-in FireWire ports on Windows computers are not supported.
For seamless integration with your DAW, we’ve created the Console Recall plug-in, which works inside your DAW to give you control and recall of Apollo’s key functions, including source selection and monitor levels. Everything inside this VST/AU/RTAS-compatible plug-in is stored within the DAW session, and any of your Console application presets can be instantly recalled with the push of a button. Using Console Recall, the entire Console configuration can be instantly reloaded whenever the session is loaded.
Yes, you can connect any mixture of Firewire 400 and Firewire 800 devices to Apollo. To run the greatest number of plug-in instances, a direct Firewire 800 connection should be made between Apollo and the host computer. Apollo has two Firewire 800 ports to facilitate daisy chaining.
In general terms, Thunderbolt is 12 times more powerful than FireWire 800, and 20 times more powerful than USB 2. Thunderbolt support gives Apollo ultra-fast UAD-2 PCIe performance running through a cable with no noticeable bandwidth limitations. So, in simple terms, you’ll be able to run many more plug-ins with lower latency inside your DAW versus FireWire.
Yes, you can combine two Apollo interfaces into a single elegant system via FireWire or Thunderbolt. Multi-unit cascading provides simultaneous use of 16 analog inputs / outputs, including eight Apollo mic preamps, plus 12 digital inputs and outputs — perfect for tracking a full band.
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.
Apollo has a dedicated Thunderbolt option card slot for installing the UA Thunderbolt Option Card (sold separately) and is compatible with Thunderbolt-equipped iMacs, Macbook Pros, Macbook Airs, and Mac minis.
The Thunderbolt Option Card supplies bus power to downstream devices. It does not power Apollo; the included Apollo power supply is required to operate the interface at all times.
Complete technical details and the latest bulletins about Apollo compatibility and operation can be found on the Apollo support page.
There is also a great forum pro review of Apollo on Harmony Central, moderated by Craig Anderton, that discusses the various usage scenarios and applications of Apollo.
Got questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
UAD Minimum System Requirements
Operating systems not listed above are unqualified. Although unqualified operating systems may work, they are untested and unsupported. Prior UAD software for older operating systems and discontinued UAD products is available in the UAD software archives.
Read full Apollo compatibility information here.
Note: The specs below are a subset of the full list. See the Apollo Hardware Manual for complete product specifications.