UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

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bealesh
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UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by bealesh » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Hi all! So after about 8 years of not thinking as much about recording, and just being a drummer (mainly because I was living in Brooklyn and space was impossible to find) I've found myself with a very usable space in Durham NC and bought a UAD Apollo Quad 8 for a VERY good deal. I recorded a decent bit years ago, but it was always on the cheap and my best preamps were a modded Nady 8 channel preamp and a peavey mark 4 mixer (they actually sounded great on drums and bass). I have a nice collection of drums / cymbals / and have been building a decent mic collection as well, so I'd really like to try my hand at the remote drummer game as well as possibly recording others. So, I'm looking for a temporary solution for 4 more channels while I build up better preamps - the plan is to go 500 series eventually, but I'm looking for something to bridge the gap. I've been considering a Sytek or a Presonus M80 - both seem totally usable, so I'm a bit concerned about the lack of pads on the Sytek. I'm hoping to stay in the ~$500 range. I've considered going the Focusrite Octapre / Presonus Digimax route but I'd love to not deal with additional clocking / ADC since the Apollo is so far ahead in that world. Thoughts? Links to previous posts asking the same questions? I'm wide open!

Calaverasgrande
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by Calaverasgrande » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:55 am

I agonized over the same question and just ended up getting a second Apollo 8 on Ebay.
Every other thing out there seems like a step down in quality, or a step up in price. Though the Apollo 8, even the older ones, are not cheap!
There are also a lot of affordable options out there that do a decent job. Golden Age project, Warm audio etc. Seems a lot of companies are making Neve, UA and API clones. Sure they won't sound 100% like the originals. But even if only 90% there, I'd rather a 90% Neve than 100% Presonus.

I'm currently sweating the idea of additional converters. Because even with 16 inputs and outputs I still need more. The Apollo Unison preamps beg to be left open, so I can use them to model various things. Right now I have just enough inputs to plug all my gear in. Which means the Unison inputs end up modeling a V72 or 1073 line amp for a synth or drum machine!

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justinf
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by justinf » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:09 am

Sytek is a great way to go if you can find a good deal on one.

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:41 am

bealesh wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:22 pm
So, I'm looking for a temporary solution for 4 more channels while I build up better preamps - the plan is to go 500 series eventually, but I'm looking for something to bridge the gap.
I never buy stuff "between other stuff". Just save up and get what you really want.

In order of drumming sound amazingness, based on record sales etc etc etc:

NEVE - There are amazing clones out there now. They will impart a fatness other preamps cannot. No, not the 500 series, the full rackspace ones. BAE and Heritage Audio look to be the best clones out there. The "official Neve" 500 series stuff is HORRIFIC. Stay ways from those.

API - That American Sound. Bright, fast. Lacking the heft of the NEVE, but for some rock sounds are the ones to get. Here, 500 series would be fine, as they were the innovators of that format, their stuff sounds the same as the console mic preamps.

My philosophy on recording drums (also of many other engineers): ALWAYS USE THE SAME MIC PREAMP. Change up the mics, so you learn all about mic placement, polarity, etc from the mics, not the preamps. You WANT the same preamps so your sound is consistent across the board. Also, if you do find issues, it is easier to solve when you have all the mic preamps the same, as opposed to different circuits all over the place. Talking again about phase issues, and not the 180 only kind, but in small degrees of phase shift. Same mic pre? Same phase shift across all channels. Not an issue. Can be solved by mic placement techniques.

I did a lot of records recording 8 channels of drums, so if you are not going to record more people at once, 8 channels should be plenty.

Cheers
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vvv
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by vvv » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:58 pm

FWIW, I often end up with just 6 on the kit - mebbe I'm weird:

Kick
Snare top
OH's
Floor tom(s)
Rack

Optionals would be room, stereo room, front of kit, crotch, or a second on the rack toms, or one on a second floor tom or snare.

In the basements and garages and living rooms I end up recording in, room is mostly (not always) useless, altho' a tube mic can sometimes help make it work.

Troof to tell, I usually/often fake a room mic using the OH's and also pass-filter, compression and reverb, and a little offset ...
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digitaldrummer
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by digitaldrummer » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:20 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:41 am
No, not the 500 series, the full rackspace ones.
There ARE some really good ones. Avedis MA5, Hairball Audio copper (or gold - a little cleaner), Audio Maintenance Limited (UK) 5003D. I have used (or own) all of these and they are amazing on drums and many other sources. The Vintech 573's are pretty decent too. The GAP (Golden Age Pre) 73 are not. So if you want this color for under $500, you probably won't find it. Pay a bit more and you can. Not really 1073 clones, but all of the A-Designs 500 modules are excellent too.

But the OP said they wanted to pay $500 for 4 channels, which puts them in "you got a heckuva good used deal" or "probably not gonna get what you wanted out of it" land IMO.

bealesh
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by bealesh » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:47 am

I've done a lot of research since I posted and decided to pony up for a UAD 4-710d and I'm planning to start building a 500 box - aiming for 2x Avedis MA5's, 2x A Designs P-1's, and 2 channels of yet to be decided compression.

In the meantime the pre's on my 70's Sony MX-20 mixer are filling the void nicely - I got this bad boy for $75 and it has discreet FET preamps and 4 direct outs. Pairs super nicely with my Cascade Vinjet for a room sound.

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vvv
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Re: UAD Apollo 8 - the other 4 inputs, and other stories.

Post by vvv » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:22 am

I was gonna reco that but thought it out of your price range.

That said, I own both a single-channel UA710 and an ISA1.

Between the two?

ISA1.
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