Best Plug-Ins Included with Apollo
Learn how to use the most popular plug-ins included with Apollo interfaces from producer Fab Dupont.
When you buy an Apollo audio interface, you get an included UAD plug-in bundle that gives you authentic emulations of the greatest analog recording equipment ever made.
Here, award-winning producer/engineer Fab Dupont (Jennifer Lopez, Mark Ronson) breaks down the best plug-ins included with Apollo and gives you tips for using them to get professional sound.
“Classic hardware like LA-2As and Pultec EQs are simple, and they have TONE. It's the sound of records, and having it available as plug-ins on every track in my mixes is wonderful.”
— Fab Dupont
Vintage Sound For Modern Workflows
Apollo’s onboard DSP offloads plug-in processing from your computer, meaning you can use your included UAD plug-ins with no discernable latency to get inspiring sound while you record, or apply them afterward while you mix.
This realtime UAD processing is what makes your Apollo’s included plug-in bundle so powerful. Plus, unlike the plug-ins included with your DAW, UAD plug-ins are authentic emulations of real analog hardware — the same gear used on some of the greatest recordings ever made.
What makes Apollo’s included plug‑ins different
- They can be used in real time while you record, with near-zero latency
- They add vintage character since they model real analog equipment
- They’re easy to use and can make your recordings sound better instantly
Teletronix® LA‑2A Legacy
One of the most revered audio compressors of all time, the LA-2A has been used by everyone from Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin to Kurt Cobain, Drake, and Jack Johnson. The Legacy UAD version is the best plug‑in included with Apollo for pushing vocals through the mix with vintage character, as demonstrated here by Fab Dupont.
Beyond vocals, the Teletronix LA-2A Legacy plug-in can add classic analog warmth to any other source. You can use it to balance an acoustic guitar, level out keyboards and synths, or punch up a horn section. And with just two knobs, it’s one of the simplest plug-ins included with Apollo.
“The LA-2A has two main controls,” explains Dupont, “When you apply it to a track, you can choose how much compression you want with the Peak Reduction knob, then compensate for any volume loss with the Gain knob.”
Learn More: Audio Compression Basics
Compressing an audio signal results in overall lower output. The Gain knob on the LA-2A Legacy plug-in is used to compensate for the volume loss from the compressor.
UA 610B Tube Preamp & EQ
Introduced in the late 1950’s, the 610 was the first modular recording console, meaning it could be customized and modified to accommodate different preamps, EQs, and channel strips. The 610’s highly-coveted tube preamp has been used to record everyone from the Beach Boys and Neil Young to Coldplay and Arcade Fire.
When Universal Audio founder Bill Putnam Sr. introduced the 610 Modular Amplifier preamp in the early '60s, it was a milestone in audio recording history.
The 610B plug-in utilizes Apollo’s Unison™ Technology, allowing you to harness all the unique tone and gain stage “sweet spots” of the original circuit — resulting in beautiful analog warmth and saturation as you drive up the gain knob.
Learn More: How to Set up Unison Technology
“It’s easier, faster, and more consistent to work with UAD plug-ins over the original hardware during long sessions.” — Fab Dupont
Pultec EQP‑1A Legacy
Used by the producers of John Mayer, Daft Punk, Mariah Carey, and many more, the Pultec EQP-1A is the choice in pro studios around the world for broadstroke EQ moves. It’s perfect on bass, synth, drums, or the mix bus, and is notorious for lending focused thump with just a few knobs.
Watch Fab Dupont break down one of his favorite uses for the UAD Pultec EQP-1A plug-in:
Here are a few more pro tips from Fab on getting the most from your Pultec EQ plug‑in:
Add vintage tube sound: “I use the UAD Pultec not just for EQ, but also for the sound of the transformers and tubes. They create a definite shine and soften the transients.”
Get fat bass: “It’s particularly useful on bass drum, acoustic or electronic, where I find the 20Hz band to be a killer fattener.”
Use it with other EQs: “Pultecs are not for getting rid of annoying frequencies. On a vocal, I’ll use a clean EQ to get rid of issues and then add a Pultec to sweeten the sound.”
“The Pultec EQ circuit itself is passive, but there is a tube gain stage at the end,” says Dupont, “It’s great if you have a mix where the bottom end is weak and you want to fatten it up.”
Go Deeper with your Included Plug‑Ins
When used on their own, the three best plug-ins included with Apollo can make vocals and instruments sound more exciting and album-ready. But when you combine them, you can explore a multitude of new sounds.
“When you build a ‘chain’ you are effectively combining plug-ins in different orders and combinations to achieve new sounds,” says Dupont.
“For example, adding the UA 610B, LA-2A, and Pultec to a vocal is a classic combination. Engineers in our studio will often set up an Apollo and track with this very plug-in chain, even though we have the hardware equivalents in the rack next door.
“It’s easier, faster, and more consistent to work with UAD plug-ins over the original hardware during long sessions. It’s a one click preset recall and we’re making music instantly.”
For further reading, be sure to check out these related articles: How to Record with Apollo, How to Record Vocals, How to Set up Unison Technology.
Looking to add even more analog sound to your collection? Browse our entire library, featuring over 100 UAD plug‑ins and instruments.
- Fab Dupont, McCoy Tyler