Which Apollo do I need?
With several Apollos to choose from, you are probably wondering which is the right one for you. It’s a question of input and output quantity/type and UAD-2 DSP power. A good insight into how many chips you might want for UAD-2 processing can be found on our UAD-2 Instance Chart. Remember that by utilizing our Expanded capabilities you can create an Apollo system by linking up to four Apollos together (one of which can be an Apollo Twin) for more ins and outs.
Apollo Twin is our desktop solution and portable enough to easily take on the road or back and forth to rehearsals. Both the Apollo Twin Solo and Twin Duo feature the same Unison enabled mic preamps and UAD-2 Realtime (latency free) plug-in processing workflow that all of our rackmount Apollos use.
With two preamps and an ADAT/SPDIF optical input, the Apollo Twin Solo has enough inputs for the singer/songwriter or rapper and a single UAD-2 chip for plug-ins. Attaching your favorite multi-channel mic preamp via ADAT will give you ten mic preamps, enough to record a small band but with that many sources we recommend the Apollo Twin Duo with two UAD-2 processing chips. Beatmakers and EDM producers will appreciate Apollo Twin's UAD-2 plug-in processing and deciding between a Twin Solo or a Twin Duo will depend on how big your projects are. Guitar and bass players will revel in the Unison enabled DI and the extensive stomp box and amplifier plug-in choices available.
Apollo Twin MkII now has a built-in Talkback microphone. In Monitor Mode the six buttons under the display screen become active for studio communications and monitoring functions. The first button is Talkback: push to latch, hold for momentary. Talkback can feed any headphone amp or Cue Mix in an Apollo Extended system. If you don’t have an Expanded system you can still feed your local headphones or Cue Mixes. Using the Apollo Console, you can also instantiate plug-ins on the Talkback channel. This allows a compressor to reduce the dynamics of an excited producer, squeezing the control room to even out conversational level, or having some fun with effects in the Cue Mix to lighten the mood. Additionally, the Talkback microphone can be recorded on a separate track in your DAW. Use it to record banter in the control room, song notes about takes or instruments used, as a low fidelity crush microphone to blend in for creative sounds, or quick song ideas when inspiration strikes and your studio microphones are away in their boxes.
And remember that if you own an Apollo rack with Thunderbolt connection, Apollo Twin (Thunderbolt) becomes a remote volume and mute control. It also lets you conveniently plug in instruments and more microphones without having to go behind your rack and disturb your permanent wiring.
For those of you with Windows computers, Apollo Twin USB gives you the same power and sound as Twin Duo but using a USB 3.0 Superspeed connector.
Apollo 8 Duo and Quad are the choice for home and professional studios that need power and flexibility. Each has four Unison enabled mic preamps, two Unison Dis, four line level ins and outs, ADAT in and out, and coaxial SPDIF in and out. Top it off with Wordclock I/O for sync and you have enough connectivity for most professional applications. Choose between a Duo or a Quad depending on your UAD-2 DSP needs.
When four preamps are not enough for drum kits and the like, Apollo 8p brings eight Unison enabled mic preamps and two DIs to the session. It also features six line level outs, ADAT in and out, and Wordclock in and out. Since we assume you need it, Apollo 8p is only available as a Quad DSP.
If your forte is mixing and don’t have tracking needs, or you already have a bunch of boutique mic preamps or an analog console, Apollo 16 may be the choice for you. Apollo 16 has sixteen line level ins and outs all on D-Sub connectors. Use these with cables that terminate with XLR or TRS to connect to consoles, 500 series frames, summing buses, etc. Apollo 16 also has one AES/EBU in and out, XLR outs for control room monitors, and Wordclock I/O. MADI connectivity is also featured but not activated at this time. Like the Apollo 8p, Apollo 16 is only available as a Quad DSP.
As you may have noticed, all of our Apollo 8 rackmount units are exclusively Thunderbolt and for use on Mac computers. For the Windows user or Mac user that does not have Thunderbolt ports you can opt for the Apollo Quad Firewire. It has the same I/O complement as Apollo 8 Quad, but comes with Firewire 800 and can be upgraded to Thunderbolt with the optional card.