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  • Audio Interfaces (Thunderbolt 3 vs USB-C, DUO vs DUO DSP)

    Posted by Taylor George on at 11:37 am

    Thanks for the mic suggestions in this forum, I think I will be going with the V67. For the final piece, I’m looking at the Apollo Twin Audio Interfaces. They’re all here: Apollo Twin – Audio Interfaces (uaudio.com). The only difference I currently see between the top two I’m comparing (Apollo Twin X vs Apollo Twin X USB) is the Thunderbolt 3 vs USB-C port, and the description of DUO vs DUO DSP. The prices are identical at $999. I will be using a Dell Alienware laptop to record with. Is there a meaningful difference between these two?

    I know Thunderbolt 3 is compatible with Mac & Windows USB-C, but the reverse is not true. The DSP means the audio interface not only has two processing cores, but also has integrated digital signal processing capabilities. So, based on that, my current understanding is that the regular X is more computer-flexible, but the X USB has more processing capabilities. Is that the right way to look at this?

    Thanks for any and all help,

    Taylor

    JON PLETT replied 7 months ago 3 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • Dana Nielsen

    Administrator
    at 5:06 pm

    Yeah man, I think the main difference is Mac compatibility on the regular one. If you’re not planning on switching to Apple in the near future the new X USB one would be fine. They both have two UAD processors (i.e. “duo”), tho it looks like you can order the original Twin X in quad configuration too (four processors).

    The original X says it’s linkable with additional apollo units (which is a handy futureproof feature when you want to expand your studio with more inputs). However, I don’t see that option listed for the X USB version. (My guess is this is a data throughput thing only possible with Thunderbolt).

    Also worth noting (tho not that important) is the X version comes with “legacy” plugins whereas the X USB comes with the newer “heritage” plugin versions. Honestly, this is just naming/marketing… both plugin sets will be robust and awesome and similar.

    Hope this helps! Stoked for your new studio gear!

    • Taylor George

      Member
      at 3:09 pm

      Just now seeing this. I was notified of your other replies, but not this one for whatever reason. Thank you again sir! I’m also excited.

      • Dana Nielsen

        Administrator
        at 3:18 pm

        Oh interesting u didn’t get a notification … huh. Lemme know if u get this one!

        • Taylor George

          Member
          at 3:27 pm

          Got it; and it was more that I didn’t get an email like last time, but I’ll pay attention to the bell.

    • Taylor George

      Member
      at 11:30 am

      @dana Just got the Mic and Audio Interface today; excited! Unfortunately, I think I’m still missing a few pieces; it obvious this is my first time buying this equipment. Does it sound right that I would have to separately purchase a Thunderbolt 3 cable for the Apollo and a XLR cable for the JZ mic? Anything else to grab while I’m at it?

      • Dana Nielsen

        Administrator
        at 12:10 pm

        Sweet!! Congrats on your new awesome gear, man!! That’s super exciting.

        Definitely will need an XLR cable to connect the mic to the interface. That said, it seems odd that there’s no thunderbolt or USB-C cable included with the UAD interface … hmmm. Always good to have extras of all that stuff anyway, so I would pick up some cables from Amazon or your local store. Other things you’ll likely need:

        • Mic stand with boom arm
        • pop filter
        • headphones
        • Taylor George

          Member
          at 1:27 pm

          Went to guitar center: got an XLR cable, Thunderbolt 3 cable, mic stand with arm, and I already have some nice Sony WH-1000XM Headphones & a pop filter. Almost there! Taking your mix prep course now.

          • Dana Nielsen

            Administrator
            at 1:52 pm

            DUDE – u are set!! Very exciting!

  • JON PLETT

    Member
    at 7:21 am

    Hey @KNGGRG fun adventure in building a setup.

    I don’t want to add more confusion and decision paralysis, at the end of the day, just getting started is what’s important, are you considering anything other than Apollo interfaces?

    At the risk of sounding like a Gearspace clown and opening myself up to much hate…There could be better options out there (blasphemy I know)

    The strength of Apollo is their plugins. They’re great and you can make up for the rather lack-luster pre’s by taking advantage of the unison stage. But there are certainly other great options such as Antelope or Audient. (However not armed with the plethora of plugin options)

    Obviously, a zillion hit records have been made on Apollo gear, so it’s hands down a good choice.
    All I’m saying is when I got started I thought UA was all there was and was glad some people took the time to introduce other options.

    I’m very excited to get UAD plugins now that they’ve gone universal (We’ll see if this is going to mean a computer upgrade though 🤦‍♂️)

    • Taylor George

      Member
      at 9:03 am

      Thank you for those suggestions @Jon_Plett! I’m looking them up as we speak. I did end up going with the Apollo Twin X, but I will be testing it out the next couple weeks to determine if I’m going to keep it or swap it out for something else?

      So, in your opinion, the UAD’s biggest drawback is the preamp that is built into them? And from my novice understanding, this would be the gain that is applied to the signal to get it to line level to record?

      Thanks for any and all guidance,

      Taylor

    • Dana Nielsen

      Administrator
      at 12:24 pm

      Hahah, what a great informative hilarious reply @Jon_Plett 😂 – and very true, there are lots of really good interface options on the market these days! I would also even add the Focusrite stuff! All of my system sounds and most of my voiceover for video/zoom etc all is done on a Focusrite Scarlet 6i6 and I’ve got no complaints whatsoever about that thing!

      @KNGGRG the preamps in the UAD are amazing – probably one of their strongest attributes! I love the UAD interfaces. They do, however, tend to be some of the most expensive when compared to other brands with similar number of inputs and outputs. This is due to the built-in processors used to run their proprietary UAD plugins. UAD make very high quality plugins and they’re very popular, but they’re not “mandatory” haha. There are lots of other brands of interfaces on the market, as mentioned by Jon, that will perform well if you find you’re not satisfied with the UAD.

      • Taylor George

        Member
        at 1:25 pm

        Appreciated!

        • JON PLETT

          Member
          at 1:12 pm

          Hey!
          Glad you picked up the Twin and you’re getting set up. It’ll treat you well.

          Can’t wait to hear you post some things you’re working on 😉

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