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Rating and Reviews: Universal Audio Apollo 16

Record 16 analog inputs over FireWire or Thunderbolt. Mix and monitor with classic UAD plug-ins. The Universal Audio Apollo 16 interface lets you do it all.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Universal Audio Apollo 16" submitted February 21, 2014

By J S in Chicago, IL
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Professional musician and engineer.
Music Style: Pop/rock, indie, singer/songwriter, alternative, rock n roll.
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Overall: We wanted to upgrade our recording studio from using a slew of Apogee Rosetta series converters and Big Ben combined with Pro Tools 10 to a more streamlined setup. We wanted to splurge for PTHD but we couldn't justify the baseline cost of that which is around 6-7k on the cheap. Our hope was that the Apollo 16, specifically with it's UA Console application (Flex Mixer) would give us the ability to have 4 separate cue mixes with near zero latency using the Thunderbolt card. In essence, a poor man's PTHD. So we bought the unit from Zzounds and the buying experience couldn't have been any smoother as the salesperson was extremely helpful and knowledgable about the product and understood our specific needs. When the package arrived, we unboxed it and thought it was simply a beautiful shiny silver box; 16 channels of I/O all in a simple one rack unit space. Getting it setup and integrated into our studio was easy and very straightforward. Upon first listening, we first noticed the conversion quality is absolutely better than the Apogee Rosetta series. Everything seemed clearer, more detailed, yet fuller and larger than life. From a converter standpoint alone, we love it. Here's where the problems came in…there is definitely a learning curve when it comes to understanding routing and setting up cue sends from PT's to their Flex Mixer. The Flex Mixer is an in-between virtual console which allows UA to get near zero latency but you must use it and understand how it works in order to reap the benefits. We banged our heads against the wall for nearly a day trying different routing scenarios until we finally had our "ah-ha" moment. The cues are set up as stereo pairs 1-2, 3-4, but we wanted to make them mono to use in conjunction with our Furman headphone system, so players and singers can have their own personal mixes. We had to "trick" the Flex Mixer by assigning the physical output cables using 1-3-5-7 instead of going 1-2-3-4. Nowhere did UA explain any of this in the manual and honestly they should hire a dummy like me to write their manual, b/c once I figure something out anyone can. So now that we had that out of the way, it really is like a poor man's PTHD (still has it's limits but is the next best thing) in the cue system sense and having the ability to put UA plugs on during tracking without latency. But you MUST treat the Flex Mixer like a real mixer in the room and monitor from those outputs for live recording, and PT for playback. We now love the Apollo 16 and it's probably the best purchase we've made in the last 2 years, and we buy high end stuff regularly. For people who don't wanna spend big money on the full PTHD rig but need more routing than regular PT allows, getting the UA Apollo 16 is an excellent option, and sounds every bit as good! Thank you Zzounds for helping us out and making our lives easier!
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"Apollo16" submitted October 13, 2013

By John R in Phila, PA
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: 7 yrs I don't play and instrument i record an mix
Music Style: Hiphop/R&b
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: This unit is ideal for people who don't have the money for analogue hardware u. Can get the relatively same sonics for a cheaper price and the plugin sound fantastic Definitely gonna buy another Apollo 16 so I can link them for 32I/O this unit is dope and can't wait until they get do a few adjustment to the console.Love that u can monitor ur recording or track wit the plugin low latency yea def a great unit and it solid as a rock good construction -Universal Audio two thumbs up
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