When Universal Audio introduced the original Apollo interfaces, they set themselves apart in the market place, with the inclusion of their UAD2 DSP cards, that enabled the user to take advantage of Universal Audio’s amazing plug-in emulations within the channel path - almost eliminating the need for expensive outboard gear for tracking. With all the analogue and digital connectivity you could expect from a rack-mountable interface, the Apollo’s impressed with extremely high quality A/D and D/A specs and solid drivers. They were also the first interface to utilise the Thunderbolt protocol on an computer audio interface.
Universal Audio has just announced the arrival of the all new Apollo Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interfaces, and have made significant improvements to all levels of design, whilst maintaing either Duo or quad-core DSP chips included and further take advantage of Thunderbolt protocol, offering 2 x Thunderbolt 2 ports standard.
With a sleek new all black outer aluminium aesthetic, there are still 3 x rack-mountable unit options available - The Apollo 8, 8P and 16. Universal Audio has significantly re-configured their I/O and operational specs. The most significant upgrade being completely re-designed next-generation A/D and D/A convertors. Whilst the three new models use the Thunderbolt protocol exclusively, UA have also announced the introduction of the all new “Firewire Apollo” too. This interface features the upgraded next-generation A/D and D/A converters, UAD2 quad-core DSP, in a firewire only protocol. It has been designed with older firewire compatible Mac’s in mind, and has the look of the original silver-face models.
The rundown of the new black models: The Apollo 8 - available with a UAD2 duo or quad-core DSP chip, The Apollo 8P - UAD2 Quad-core DSP processing with 8 x microphone inputs, and the all new Apollo 16, which features 16 x 16 next-generation analogue I/O via D-Sub connectors, with a UAD2 quad-core DSP chip.
All these devices operate as Thunderbolt interfaces exclusively, and come standard with Universal Audio’s Thunderbolt 2 card pre-installed. Cascading up to 4 x Apollo 8 devices is now possible. Other features include the introduction of Console 2.0, sophisticated new metering and monitoring options, and the new “Unison-enabled” microphone pre-amp design.
Other notable improvements include a new assignable function button on the front panel, and a dedicated Alt button that, once assigned in the Console app, enables you to scroll between 3 different sets of monitors. Universal audio has kept most of the connectivity on the rear of the interface, with only 2 x high impedance jack inputs and 2 x headphone amps accessible from the front panel. The Analog Classic’s Pug-in bundle also comes standard with each interface.
Universal Audio has improved their already impressive line of interfaces by significant upgrades to the convertors, I/O configuration and by fully taking advantage of the Thunderbolt 2 protocol, again setting themselves apart from other products in the Apollo’s class.
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