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Apollo x8

Apollo x8

  • Overview
  • Included Plug-Ins
  • Features
  • Customer Reviews
  • 4.8/5
    (95 reviews)
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4.8/5
(95 reviews)
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Elite Audio Conversion with Four Unison Mic Preamps, HEXA Core Processing, and Surround Sound.

Apollo x8 allows music producers, project, and post-production studios to track, overdub, and mix with new world-beating A/D and D/A conversion, HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing, Dual-Crystal clocking, and 7.1 surround sound monitoring — all in a sleek rackmount Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac or PC.

Built upon UA’s 60-year heritage of audio craftsmanship, this 18 x 24 interface distinguishes itself with four Unison™-enabled mic preamps, providing authentic emulations of preamps from Neve, API, Manley, SSL, and more, plus all-new HEXA Core processing — yielding 50% more DSP for running UAD Powered Plug-Ins in real time.

Record with elite-class A/D and D/A conversion — nearing the widest dynamic range and lowest noise available, at any price

Mix with powerful HEXA Core processing, featuring 6 UAD DSP chips for running more UAD Powered Plug-Ins in real time

Track with near-zero latency through Unison™ preamp emulations from Neve, API, Manley, Helios, Fender, and more

Integrate with high-end commercial systems, via 7.1 surround sound monitoring and selectable +24 dBu headroom

Elite-Class A/D and D/A Conversion

With thousands of chart-topping songs and hundreds of Grammy-winning albums under their belt, Apollo interfaces are no strangers to tracking stellar-sounding records. To improve on the previous generation Apollo interface’s class-leading audio conversion, UA engineers obsessively auditioned the latest A/D and D/A converters — ultimately pairing elite-class 24-bit/192 kHz converters with all-new analog circuitry for an ultra-pristine signal path.

The Apollo X series also introduces new Dual-Crystal clocking — featuring dedicated crystals for 44.1/88.2/176.4k and 48/96/192k sample rates — resulting in stunningly low jitter, measured at less than 10 picoseconds. This translates into pure, artifact-free recordings and solid stereo imaging you can trust.

With 129 dB dynamic range and -119 dB THD+N, Apollo x8’s open, natural sound quality rivals any dedicated high-end converter on the market — regardless of price — and is the perfect starting point for applying UAD processing.

Realtime UAD HEXA Core Processing

Apollo x8 features new HEXA Core processing, with six DSP chips and 50% more UAD plug-in processing power than previous Apollos. This lets you run more UAD plug-ins, whether you’re tracking in real time with channel strips from Neve, Manley, or API, or running high UAD plug-in counts when mixing in your DAW.

From the tube warmth of Pultec EQs on guitars to the musical tube limiting of the LA-2A on vocals, or the pump of a genuine 1176 or Fairchild 670 tube compressor on drums, your recordings will take a giant leap forward with a rich, three-dimensional analog sound that UAD plug‑ins provide.

Unison Technology: The Genuine Sound of Neve, API & Manley Preamps

Perfect for musicians, engineers, producers, and sound designers, Apollo x8 features four Unison-enabled mic preamps, letting you track through exacting mic preamp emulations from Neve, API, Manley, Helios, SSL, and Universal Audio. A Universal Audio exclusive, Unison technology nails the tone of these sought-after tube and solid state mic pres — including their input impedance, gain stage “sweet spots,” and the component-level circuit behaviors of the original hardware.

The secret to Unison is its hardware-software integration between Apollo’s mic preamps and its onboard HEXA Core DSP Acceleration. Simply place a Unison preamp plug-in on your mic input in Apollo Console software, and it physically reconfigures the Apollo interface's impedance — so you can tap into the classic sounds of the world’s most recorded mic preamps.

Watch the Unison Shoot Out
Watch the Unison Shoot Out

Watch the Unison Shoot Out


What happens when you put Apollo’s Unison preamp models up against their vintage analog counterparts? Producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Kings of Leon) finds out at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

A Full Suite of Classic<br>Analog Processing Onboard

A Full Suite of Classic
Analog Processing Onboard

Of course, a hallmark feature of Apollo is its Realtime UAD Processing, letting you run the full library of UAD plug-ins with near-zero latency. Apollo x8 includes the Realtime Analog Classics Plus plug-in bundle, so you can record and mix with the world’s only authentic Teletronix LA-2A, 1176LN, and Fairchild compressors, the Unison-enabled UA 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, and iconic guitar and bass amps from Marshall and Ampeg.

See Included Plug-Ins   |   Watch the live tracking video

Access the World of UAD Powered Plug-Ins

Going beyond the included Realtime Analog Classics Plus plug-ins, Apollo x8 lets you tap into the full UAD Powered Plug-In library of legendary vintage EQs, compressors, reverbs, tape machines, channel strips, and more — at near-zero latency, regardless of your audio software’s buffer size and without taxing your computer’s CPU.

With exclusive emulations from SSL, Neve, Studer, Manley, Helios, API, Ampex, Lexicon, Fender, and more, it’s like having a studio full of iconic analog gear, in a single rack space. And unlike competing interfaces, these award-winning DSP-powered plug-ins are also available in your DAW for mixing.



†Apollo x8 includes the “Realtime Analog Classics Plus” UAD plug-in bundle. Other UAD plug-ins sold separately at www.uaudio.com.
Surround Sound, Talkback, and More

Surround Sound, Talkback, and More

The Apollo x8 features built-in front-panel monitoring functions including a Talkback mic, Alt Speakers, and assignable Dim or Mono control. Plus, with its comprehensive 7.1 surround monitoring support, Apollo x8 is a boon for engineers and producers working on audio and music for video games, television, and the web. In addition, Apollo x8 offers selectable +24 dBu operation for out-of-the-box compatibility with professional mixing consoles and other high-end pro audio equipment.

Build an Expanded Studio System Over Thunderbolt

Build an Expanded Studio System Over Thunderbolt

Apollo x8 offers 18 x 24 simultaneous inputs/outputs (8 x 8 analog I/O) and two built-in Thunderbolt 3 ports. This allows users of any Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo Twin or Apollo rackmount audio interfaces to easily combine up to four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices — adding fast, high-bandwidth I/O and DSP as your studio grows.

Apollo X Tech Talk
Apollo X Tech Talk

Apollo X Tech Talk

Universal Audio’s Senior Product Manager, Gannon Kashiwa dives deep into the key features, specs, and development behind the latest generation of Apollo audio interfaces.

Apollo: The Choice of New-School Professionals

Apollo is the confirmed choice of hit-making professionals, used to record landmark albums by Kendrick Lamar (DAMN.), Chris Stapleton (From A Room: Volume 1), Arcade Fire (Everything Now), Post Malone (Beerbongs & Bentleys), and many more. The Apollo range of interfaces has earned numerous industry awards from Sound on Sound, Future Music, and Electronic Musician — as well as the prestigious TEC Award for computer audio hardware five years running.

Apollo Artist Sessions
Apollo Artist Sessions

Apollo Artist Sessions

Watch producer/engineer Fab Dupont (Jennifer Lopez, David Crosby) record Latin superstars Monsieur Periné live in Colombia with Apollo X audio interfaces.

View All Apollo Artist Sessions

Owner's Manual

Realtime Analog Classics Plus Bundle

With the Realtime Analog Classics Plus plug-in bundle, you not only get legendary compressors such as the Fairchild® 670 and EQs like the Pultec® EQP-1A, but also stunning guitar and bass amp emulations from Softube, and UA’s landmark 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ plug-in.

  • UA 610‐B
  • Marshall Plexi Classic Amplifier
  • Fairchild 670 Legacy
  • Teletronix LA‐2A Legacy
  • UA 1176LN Legacy
  • UA 1176SE Legacy
  • Pultec EQP‐1A Legacy
  • Pultec Pro Legacy
  • Ampeg® SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp
  • Precision Channel Strip
  • Precision Reflection Engine
  • Precision Delay Modulation
  • Precision Delay Modulation L
  • UA Precision Enhancer Hz
  • Raw Distortion
  • RealVerb‐Pro

UA 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ

UA 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ

Impart your tracks with the iconic warmth and character of the classic hardware used to track everyone from Duke Ellington to Coldplay. By emulating the entire signal path, including tube amplifiers, transformers, and circuit nonlinearities, the 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ plug-in injects organic detail and saturation to any signal — whether you’re re-amping or tracking through the 610-B via Universal Audio’s Unison™ technology.

Marshall<sup>®</sup> Plexi Classic Amplifier

Marshall® Plexi Classic Amplifier

The undisputed alpha dog of rock and roll guitar amps, the Marshall “plexi” amplifier is as legendary as the music it helped create. From Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Page, Duane Allman to Eric Clapton, the Plexi’s punishing melange of snarl, sustain, smoothness, and raunch defined the sound of rock. Developed by Softube, the Marshall Plexi Classic Amp plug-in gives you the sound of this iconic amp with a perfectly placed microphone from engineer Tony Platt who recorded AC/DC’s Back in Black and Highway to Hell.

Fairchild<sup>®</sup> 670 (Legacy)

Fairchild® 670 (Legacy)

The world’s most coveted compressor, the classic Fairchild 670 tube limiter will give your tracks and mixes unmistakable tube warmth and character. Whether you’re looking for subtle compression on a lead vocal, or grittier textures that can work on guitars, bass, or a drum bus, the Fairchild 670 plug-in adds a classic “glow” to anything you run through it.

Teletronix<sup>®</sup> LA-2A Classic Leveling Amplifier (Legacy)

Teletronix® LA-2A Classic Leveling Amplifier (Legacy)

With its gentle, program dependent optical compression and meticulously designed tube amplifier, the LA-2A is the go-to compressor for professional mixers around the world — especially for vocals. Incredibly easy-to-use Peak Reduction and Gain controls gives you the ideal optical compression sound for guitar, bass, drums, and more.

1176SE/LN<sup>®</sup> Classic Limiting Amplifiers (Legacy)

1176SE/LN® Classic Limiting Amplifiers (Legacy)

Get classic, ultra-fast FET compression from the world’s most recognized compressor. The 1176 will impart punch, presence, and character as well as its signature distortion overtones on drums, vocals, guitars, and bass. The 1176LN has graced countless recordings, from Led Zeppelin, to the White Stripes and Michael Jackson.

Pultec<sup>®</sup> Pro Equalizers (Legacy)

Pultec® Pro Equalizers (Legacy)

Mix with two of the most sought-after hardware EQs ever made — the MEQ-5 Midrange Equalizer and the EQP-1A Program Equalizer. Both of these tube-based icons deliver smooth and silky EQ curves with an abundance of warm analog character.

Ampeg<sup>®</sup> SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp

Ampeg® SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp

Introduced in 1969, the Ampeg SVT bass amp is still the reigning king of high-powered tube bass tone. Developed by Brainworx, the Ampeg SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp plug-in perfectly captures the raw power and punch that has made this the go-to amp for rock, funk, and soul players. Track in real time using Unison™ preamp technology for the tone, touch, and feel of a real SVT bass amp, or transform bland DI tracks with the thunderous roar of a stone cold classic.

Precision Mix Rack Collection

Precision Mix Rack Collection

Featuring the Precision Channel Strip, Precision Reflection Engine, and Precision Delay Modulation plug-ins, the Precision Mix Rack Collection offers four modern, high-fidelity plug-ins for recording and mixing. Powerful and intuitive, Precision Mix Rack Collection gives you an impressive tool set — perfect for beginners and seasoned professionals alike.

UA Precision Enhancer Hz

UA Precision Enhancer Hz

Expertly dial-in your music’s low-end frequencies with the Precision Enhancer Hz plug-in. Able to yield exacting results with minimal adjustment, the Precision Enhancer Hz can add weight to kick drum samples, fatten up a synth bass, or simply make the low-end of your tracks more audible on smaller speakers.

Raw Distortion

Raw Distortion

Modeled from a vintage early-’80s Pro Co Rat, Raw Distortion delivers all the gritty dynamic raunch of the legendary stompbox. And with Unison™ technology, you can plug in to Apollo Twin, 8, or 8p’s front-panel Hi-Z instrument jack and experience the same circuit interaction, gain range, and clip points for the true tone, feel, and response of the original hardware.

RealVerb Pro

RealVerb Pro

RealVerb Pro is a flexible, natural sounding reverb based on UA’s own unique set of algorithms. Allowing you to design the room just as you hear it, the RealVerb Pro goes beyond simply big/small or dark/bright, giving your sources distortion-free, smoothing diffusion control and ultra-long reverb tail.

Apollo x8 Features & Specs


  • 18 x 24 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface with class-leading 24-bit/192 KHz conversion (backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1 & 2 on Mac)

  • Realtime UAD HEXA Core Processing for tracking through UAD plug-ins at near-zero latency, regardless of audio buffer size

  • Record through 4 Unison-enabled mic/line preamps — giving you fully authentic preamp emulations from Neve, API, Manley, SSL, and more†

  • Surround monitor controller up to 7.1 format

  • Includes the "Realtime Analog Classics Plus" UAD plug-in bundle. Other UAD plug-ins sold separately.

  • UAD HEXA Core processing onboard for additional mixing horsepower for Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Ableton, and other major DAWs

  • Combine up to 4 Thunderbolt-equipped Apollos and 6 total UAD devices

  • Selectable +24 dBu operation for easy compatibility with professional mixing consoles and tape machines

  • Convenient front panel monitoring functions including Alt Speakers, Talkback mic, and assignable Dim or Mono

  • Free, industry-leading technical support — on the phone and online — from knowledgeable audio engineers

Interface Specifications

Inputs
Line Inputs 8 Balanced ¼" TRS
Microphone Inputs 4 Balanced XLR
Instrument (Hi-Z) Inputs 2 Unbalanced ¼" TS
Digital Inputs (Optical TOSLINK) ADAT: 8 channels @ 44.1 – 96 kHz
ADAT: 4 channels @ 176.4 – 192 kHz
Digital Inputs (RCA) S/PDIF: 2 channels @ 44.1 – 192 kHz
A to D Conversion
Mic Preamps Dynamic Range: 122 dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: -115 dB (0.00019%)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.05 dB
Line Inputs Dynamic Range: 123 dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: -113 dB (0.00022%)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.04 dB
Outputs
Line Outputs 8 Balanced ¼" TRS
Monitor Outputs 2 Balanced ¼" TRS
Headphone Outputs 2 Stereo ¼" TRS
Digital Outputs (Optical TOSLINK) ADAT: 8 channels @ 44.1 – 96 kHz
ADAT: 4 channels @ 176.4 – 192 kHz
Digital Outputs (RCA) S/PDIF: 2 channels @ 44.1 to 192 kHz
D to A Conversion
Line Outputs Dynamic Range: 127 dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: -118 dB (0.00011%)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.07 dB
Monitor Outputs Dynamic Range: 129 dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: -118 dB (0.00012%)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.06 dB
Headphone Outputs Dynamic Range: 125 dB (A-weighted)
THD+N: -102 dB (0.00080%)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.05 dB

Apollo X Series System Requirements

ALL:


  • Thunderbolt 3 cable (not included)
  • Internet connection to download software and authorize UAD plug-ins
  • 6 gigabytes available storage
  • Quad Core i7 or better processor recommended
  • For additional compatibility information, visit help.uaudio.com


MAC:


  • Available Thunderbolt 1, 2, or 3 port
  • Thunderbolt 1 and 2 connections require an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter (not included)
  • macOS 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra, or 10.14 Mojave


PC:


  • Available Thunderbolt 3 port
  • Windows 10 (64-Bit Edition)

Customer Reviews

Apollo x8

Overall Rating

4.8/5
(95 reviews)

J. Moore

November 16, 2019

Unreal!

I had the original Apollo Quad and was extremely happy with it. I decided to upgrade to the new and recent Apollo x8. Within seconds of listening, the difference was unreal! The lows were punchier/tighter and the stereo field seemed much wider and detailed. Apollo x8 is hands down one of the best units on the market. Long live UAD...Thank you for giving us the tools to be creative!!!

S. Sadre

November 14, 2019

From Orpheus to Apollo x8! Buy one!

Buy one! Mixing is a dream, beautiful converters, world class pre’s! I thought I would feel a difference going from prism sound as only used the UAD cards and Apollo twin ,The XP is a definitely a pro interface and as you probably know the plugins are second too none..

S. Sadre

November 14, 2019

From Orpheus to Apollo x8! Buy one!

Buy one! Mixing is a dream, beautiful converters, world class pre’s! I thought I would feel a difference going from prism sound as only used the UAD cards and Apollo twin ,The XP is a definitely a pro interface and as you probably know the plugins are second too none..

C. Pineiro

November 13, 2019

One word: PERFECTION!

Many years developing a project studio, many interfaces, computers, mixers combined with audio I/O. But nothing, nothing like this gear. Love it, hearing it is falling in love.
Further more, UAD made rethink my studio... now I'm letting go mixers and processors. Less is better. Excellent piece of technology. Analog sound, digital flexibility.

A. khafaji

November 13, 2019

From Apollo 8 to Apollo x8p

Moving from the great Apollo 8 to the greatest Apollo x8, Apollo 8 was great audio interface but I noticed a nice improvement after upgrading, to me both are nice units and am very happy with this upgrade.

M. Vogeler

November 10, 2019

great gear

fantatstic gear and software

M. Vogeler

November 10, 2019

great gear

fantatstic gear and software

S. Stähli

November 5, 2019

Totally happy with it

Super AD/DA and DSP Power paired with ultra low latency enables a creative workflow instantly. The Monitor control features work great and the knobs and Buttons feel just right.

A. Gilligan

November 3, 2019

Best we've heard after extensive testing

We recently purchased and X16, X8 and an X6 - We spent hours comparing Interfaces from UA, Antelope, Apogee, Lynx, Burl. To our ears the X16 was our preferred DA and AD; closely followed by Lynx (n). Antelope's (OrionStudio) was pretty good but their Software felt unstable plus their customer service and reputation are questionable so we opted to avoid them - The Burl was very good; however, we felt the X16, X8, X6 was more in line with the music we make and that we could easily get those 'Burl' kinda sonics using the X16, X8 & X6 through other methods if so required. By the way, the X16 sounds slightly deep and wider and the X6 and X8 which is to be expected considering its their flagship converter...But we are not talking much at all - you'd need to be doing extensive listening tests as we did to truly recognise those differences.
The listening experience is world class with the Apollo X range of interfaces - Recording and Mixing feels easier than ever before...The units just work without having to piss around with manufacturers daft setup idiosyncrasies...To us, the best interfaces are one's that are sonically outstanding, very straight forward to use and stay the hell out of the way of being spontaneous and making music! To summarise, the X8, X6 and X16 units are the best around options in our humble opinion.

B. Watson

November 1, 2019

Apollo x8 extremely satified.

I was a little apprehensive making the switch from Apollo firewire uad2 quad to the thunderbolt Apollo x8 on my windows machine. But let me say the change was seamless, and works like a dream. you can actually hear the difference. it was easy to install and work flawlessly on my windows 10 machine. I'm extremely pleased.

C. Youmans

October 24, 2019

Great Interface

As per the usual with ua knocked it out of the park. The DA the 6 cores of processing. Works as a great monitor controller too!

M. CISCATO

October 21, 2019

Buy it now!!!

I have owned all the Apollo interfaces and I own Dangerous Source and Dangerous 2Bus.
The DA Source is really incredible: for me the Source sounds a little better than Apollo 8.
The Apollo x8 is in another league: all lines are much improved.
I immediately heard the differences in sound: if you don't hear them you have a problem in your room.
I collaborate with various high quality recording and mastering studios.
The Apollo x8 is the best sound I've ever heard.


Highly recommended if you live for sound.

Very very very great job guys

S. Stähli

October 16, 2019

DOA

Can not tell anything yet. My X8 arrived with a defective Monitor Output.

J. Stuart

October 16, 2019

Outrageously good.

I have a number of Apollo's and recently bought an Apollo x8 to chain into the others. Now I've got everything going into that, it's true, the DAC seems much better to me and the processing power is great. I love it!

T. Lockett

October 15, 2019

Works with Windows

This is my second review, since I bought two Apollos X8, I guess this entitles me to two reviews,one thing that I forgot to say in my first, is that the Apollos work well with Windows 10 as they do with Mac OS X, since I work between Mac and Windows,it is nice not having to worry about that issue,UAD drivers are very solid and reliable

T. Lockett

October 15, 2019

Workhorse

I've owned Apollos since the original silver TB 1 ...they have gotten better and better, what sets this apart from the others IMO is the +24 dB headroom, I still own analog hardware and having the added headroom really make a difference. The converters do sound good, but I still prefer other coverts, but that being said, these will get the job done for sure. UAD just works, and for that alone, I give it 5 stars.

M. Vignola

October 14, 2019

A brilliant piece of equipment.

Brilliant, that is all

S. Clark

October 11, 2019

Sounds great but the software needs work and updating

The sound quality and plug-ins are great but console needs a lot of work. If console gets better its a no brainier but as it stands there are other products to look at.

D. Kim

October 4, 2019

Best revision

I’ve had the previous 2 versions, and I can definitely tell that this converter is the smoothest of all 3. The plug ins, especially the Unison pres, react more like the real hardware when pushed hard. They just seem to match better when used with this converter. I’m happier with this upgrade than the previous upgrade from vs1 to 2.

A. Lee

October 3, 2019

5 stars for the Apollo x8, 0 Stars for Console Software and UA support!

A long term UA user, today I purchased an Apollo x8, upgrading my silver face Apollo Firewire with thunderbolt. The one thing you are seriously lacking, is updating Console, GUI to compliment Apple MacOS in full screen and split mode, a request, I have, as well as countless others have been making, for well over 5 years. This should have been done years ago, when you updated console to 2.0. THIS IS A MUST, especially when the Apple Pro display has been announced. its so annoying! THERE REALLY IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS NOT TO HAVE BEING DONE! A company of your standing, I'd have thought this would have been a non brainer. Console Software needs to replicate the eye for detail, of all the hardware and plugins!!

I am asked by UA support, (a Windows user) what the problem is?

Console GUI can’t do this?

https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/mac-help/mchl9c21d2be/mac <https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/mac-help/mchl9c21d2be/mac>

Or this

https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/mac-help/mchl4fbe2921/mac <https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/mac-help/mchl4fbe2921/mac>

Clunky, close, hide, and not really full screen, you have to resize, to get a half hearted fullscreen, non compatible with MacOS features.
As with MacOS which gives you close (red) hide (orange) true full screen and split mode (green)

Then comes the condescending responses, asking, is it really that important to me, by an UA employee who still had no idea what I was talking about.

I had to send a video, to show what I was talking about, asking for it to be forward to Bill Jr.

After reviewing the video, I'm told.

Unfortunately, these features have not been incorporated into the UAD software, nor do I have information if they plan on supporting these Mac features. All I can really do is close this ticket as a feature request, as these are reviewed by development.

I also see you submitted a ticket back on 2014 requested this as well, and this was already escalated to our development team for review. I will go ahead and close this again as a feature request, and hopefully they end up adding this in the future. Have a great rest of your week!

Only archaic UA, have continued to adopted this old GUI, they haven't bothered to update, utilising macOS features. ALL OTHER COMPANIES, ADOPT THESE FEATURES IN THEIR SOFTWARE!

Of course I put up with it, and get on with creativity that's required, but should we really have to put up with it?

Bottom line is, support does not talk to the development team, & development team, must primarily be Windows users, as an everyday MacOS user, would have made sure these features were part of the 2.0 update from over 5 years ago, with no subsequent updates since!

Please get this done!