Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

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Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by slate »

Good evening,
This is my first post here .
I'm looking for some advice from anyone that has one of the UAD apollo series interfaces and uses the unison plugins for tracking.
I'm going to be doing some studio upgrades and I'm looking at either an Apollo 8 duo or the presonus quantam.
The apollo has the built in DSP chips to run their unison plugins for tracking (which by all accounts sound extremely good) but the presonus has considerably lower round trip latency (which is good for monitoring guitars etc when recording, especially as i like a little plugin reverb in the monitors when tracking).
Specifically relating to the apollo, I'm wondering how different the results are in terms of audio quality if instead of using ,say , the neve 1073 plugin as a unison plugin at the input and recorded to disc its used as an insert after tracking ?
Anyone have any experience of trying both methods?
I'm very tempted by the apollo but wonder if i can get similar results with the quantam and the UAD plugins in the inserts :-/
Many thanks in advance
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by ConcertinaChap »

slate wrote:but the presonus has considerably lower round trip latency (which is good for monitoring guitars etc when recording, especially as i like a little plugin reverb in the monitors when tracking).

I can't answer your main question because although I have an Apollo 8 duo I don't bother with the unison plugins. This is because the preamps are excellent anyway and I prefer to do my processing after recording. However I can talk about reverb in the headphones/monitors. This is trivially easy on the Apollo and latency is irrelevant because it doesn't involve the DAW at all. The "console" application is how you control the Apollo and each channel in the console has insert points where you can add UAD plugins such as reverbs and where you can decide whether the reverbs affect the sound you record or just the sound going to the monitors. The plugin is running within the console app but on the interface itself and the DAW isn't involved at all.

I also can't speak for the firewire Apollo but the Thunderbolt Apollo has excellent latency anyway.

I should mention that the DSP chips aren't there just to run the unison plugins. They're mostly there to run the UAD plugins in general, whether in the DAW, the insert points or the unison functionality. UAD plugins are very good indeed and you will probably end up buying quite a few. A word of advice. Wait for their frequent sales. They do lots of these with quite sizeable reductions in the cost.

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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Wonks »

Hi and welcome to the forum.

If you want to make the most of UAD plug-ins, then you'll really need more than just the Duo processors in the Apollo. Whilst some of their plug-ins are small in size, some of the highly modelled plugs like the Neve 1073 preamp+EQ plug take up a lot of processing power - 2 stereo or 4 mono instances on a duo and not much left to run anything else. They are very good plug-ins, but you'll need to get at least another UAD Quad unit. I've got two Quad cards in my PC and especially if using plugs like the Neve 1073 on tracks, it's very easy to still run out of processing power on the cards.

Here's a link to the UAD plug-in instance chart. Look for the plugs you think you might like to get in the future and see how many of them you can run.

https://help.uaudio.com/hc/en-us/articl ... _site=true

UAD really need to provide more processing power on the cards, but the latest versions of the older SHARC chips UAD use are only just coming out, and they only provide about 2x the processing power of the old chips. As the UAD processing cards (internal and external) have now been out in the market for over 9 years, by Moore's law, you'd expect nearer 20x the processing power. So the chips used on the themselves are really lagging behind computer development, meaning that native plug-ins can now offer a far greater number of instances. Any new UAD cards are therefore unlikely to be based on SHARC processors, which means all the products need re-coding, which normally means a cost to upgrade.
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Wonks »

The UAD inboard or external card processing latency is far too high to use as insert FX when tracking (though with reverb it doesn't really matter as it's a send effect and the latency is just extra pre-delay time - so you can set that lower on the plug-in when tracking). But as an insert FX, any pre-amp modelling is best left until after you've done the recordings.
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Forum Admin »

Hi,

You can’t run UAD plug-ins as insert effects when using a Quantam. UAD plugs only work with UAD interfaces.
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Sam Inglis »

Well -- I guess you could use the UAD plug-ins as inserts with the Quantum if you also have a UA Satellite. However, this would pretty much negate the advantage that the Quantum has in terms of latency, because the Satellite adds latency of its own.

I think the Quantum is really optimised for use in an entirely native system, and definitely makes most sense in that context.
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by slate »

Thanks very much for your replies everyone, some very useful information and very helpful.
I was thinking of taking advantage of the current offers from UAD which includes a free quad satellite with the duo apollo 8, which should give me enough processing power to be getting on with .
Many, many thanks again for taking the time to share your advice.
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Bob Bickerton »

Perhaps a little late to the party but I'd repeat what others have said, especially Concertina Chap.

I have an Apollo Quad upgraded from Firewire to Thunderbolt and use Console for monitoring. I track with clean preamps, but occasionally use Unison preamps as a post tracking plug-in. To pop a Lexicon 224 on an auxiliary channel in Console as a comfort reverb is something of a luxury! No latency that I can detect.

Also, I rarely run out of plug-in power on the Quad (often running 8 to 16 acoustic music channels), but there's often work-arounds anyway, perhaps using 'legacy' plug-ins on less critical tracks (which we all thought were wonderful in the day).

Highly recommend the Apollo.

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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by ConcertinaChap »

slate wrote:I was thinking of taking advantage of the current offers from UAD which includes a free quad satellite with the duo apollo 8, which should give me enough processing power to be getting on with.

I did exactly this the first time they did one of these offers. I'd commend it.

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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by slate »

Thanks again chaps, i will let you know how i get on once I'm up and running
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Rowboat_1 »

I wonder how it all turned out? Here I am, several years late to the party, but interested.

I operate a Quantum 2626 - really out of disenchantment. A new, unregistered Apollo Twin X Duo came my way for half the retail price; like a big mug, I bought it on the spot.. to swiftly realize that with only two lines in/out and two underpowered SHARC dee ess pees, I'd bought a pup.

To underline my own stupidity, before walking into that particular wall I'd also bought into UA pluggo$ - soon to receive Console warnings of dsp overload (Ocean's Way ate my SHARCs for breakfast).

The desktop I've built has enough horsepower to run native plugins aplenty, but I'd still like to get some mileage out of the UAD stuff in hand.

Is it factually impossible to track through the Quantum, but to simultaneously assign UAD plugs to Cubase auxes, using my Twin X's two lowly SHARCs as a satellite?

If I could, I'd like (for example) to use the UA Ampeg B15 simulation whilst recording fretless bass via the Presonus.

Regards,
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Re: Apollo 8 or presonus quantam with UAD plugins ?

Post by Rowboat_1 »

"Is it factually impossible to track through the Quantum, but to simultaneously assign UAD plugs to Cubase auxes, using my Twin X's two lowly SHARCs as a satellite?"

-please forgive my lack of clarity!

>is it possible (or impossible) to track in Cubase via my Quantum whilst using UA plugins in real-time, on the input side? I.e., only using the Apollo as a slave or satellite to run the relevant UA plugin [I'm still not sure if I'm making this clear 😅] ?
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