TOPIC: UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham

UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 6 days ago #19179

I recently upgraded from a Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB Duo to their new Apollo x6. It was a two generation jump as well as going from USB to Thunderbolt. Folks, this thing is serious business in front of the Scuffham Amps software. Blows the previous out the window.

As I understand it, there are three major things that affect the upgrade. A new power supply design, new Analogue to Digital (AD) converters and new DA converters. This significantly changes how I use the Scuffham Amps software. I use it as an insert inside Pro Tools (my DAW) to record mostly.

What I USED to do was dial up the inbound signal from my guitars to the Apollo Twin until it got too much noise. Then inside Pro Tools, I added 6-18db of clean volume to get into Scuffham somewhere around -20dbfs. The trick was to balance gain stage it in such a manner as to be as loud at each stage as possible without introducing too much noise. Then I would pass the signal through an additional plugin to help color and saturate the tone a little bit more because the signal path was a tone-sucking beast.

And now it isn't. Now it's straight guitar to Apollo x6 to Pro Tools. All gain increase done in the Apollo. No more bright hissy mess at 3kHz and across the whole mid to high-mid range. No need for an additional tube saturation plugin once inside Pro Tools. Just tone and the associated noises one gets when playing an over-driven amplifier loud enough to shake the windows.

The reason for this post is that I know some have been in the same boat as myself and have been struggling to get clean, strong signals in to Scuffham. It ain't cheap, but this new x-series interface of UAD's is the cat's arse. A significant tonal improvement. The only drawback is that the latency between Pro Tools and UAD has to be managed, which is doable, but not always elegant.

Rock on!
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Last edit: 1 week 6 days ago by PatriotsBiker.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 6 days ago #19180

Uh well ... that IS an investment - at the same price you can buy a Kemper Profiling Amp or another specialised guitar hardware.
For a studio environment, an Apollo UAD might make sense as it is an universal audio interface.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 6 days ago #19181

Uh well.... good thing I have a Pro Tools based home project studio, then.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 6 days ago #19182

If you want to record into a computer you need an audio interface anyway. Even with a Kemper.

A high quality audio interface makes a big difference. I went to an Apogee Element and I am very happy. No frills. Only good sound.

However you have a lot of choices now when it comes to audio interfaces.

I think I have tried most of them. Including the twin duo and focusrite.

I still have a UAD Satellite Quad but I prefer the Element as an audio interface.
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Last edit: 2 weeks 6 days ago by fatherjacques.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 6 days ago #19183

A friend of mine has tracked some great Gibson Acoustic tracks through his Apogee. Very warm.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19185

Wow...I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. Is there that much of a difference in the quality of tone with these higher end devices?

Have good guitars, headphones, PC, etc.. Latency tends not to be an issue for me but in my mind still think there could be a tone quality improvement in my digital world.

Dave
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19189

I think all of these interfaces sounds good.

In my set-up I have a Lehle Sunday Driver in front of the Apogee Element . Sometimes I also use a simple MXR Dynacomp sets at unity gain with the sensitivity at 0. I love what it does to the sound.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19190

fatherjacques wrote:

I think all of these interfaces sounds good.

In my set-up I have a Lehle Sunday Driver in front of the Apogee Element . Sometimes I also use a simple MXR Dynacomp sets at unity gain with the sensitivity at 0. I love what it does to the sound.

Hey Fatherjacques...I have Sunday Driver as well (based on Mike's recommendation). You run that into your Apogee as a line (opposed to hi-z)? Interesting regarding the compression pedal.

Dave
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Last edit: 2 weeks 5 days ago by DC42.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19192

I've not used the Focusrite. I would have considered it had it not been for some users of the same DAW I use having bad luck with the Focusrite drivers. That said, the new specs for tracking and playback clarity are very impressive. Clarity is wicked high. The downside, is that they "voice" their system for optimal use to use with a variety of their proprietary incoming plugin platform. Very clean and pristine, but not as warm as some others might be until that expensive software (plugins) gets inserted. In other words, in order to get the warmth of say an apogee, I gotta buy a plugin and make adjustments.

On the upside, I can hear every bit of resonance ringing out of my SJ-200 without any screeching, hissy sounds interfering or otherwise climbing up on top of the harmonics. Don't need RX7 Denoiser unless the HVAC is running. :)
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19194

On the Focusrite I was using the Sunday Driver on the line input instead of the Hi Z. On my Apogee I use it in front of the Hi Z and It works very well.
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Last edit: 2 weeks 5 days ago by fatherjacques.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19195

I use RME Babyface Pro and I love it.

Also I dug the UAD Arrow. But I do not love how they make you download their entire plugin library every time there is an upgrade... Really annoying actually and the main reason I am selling it.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19196

Hi Dallon426...PC or MAC?
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 5 days ago #19197

PC but it would not matter either way.

I have an Asrock z370 Gaming ITX Fatality
Intel I5 8600K
1tb NVME
16GB ram
and this machine is fast!
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 2 weeks 1 day ago #19217

The only difference that could be noticeable is the one derived from the AD/DA converters, once the signal is digital, I cannot understand where one should find any substantial quality increase decrease, except latency or other issues due to crappy drivers.

I should make a test between using my Focusrite 18i20 and the Axe Fx, but guess will not be able to tell the difference on a blind test.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 1 week 6 days ago #19224

mohi wrote:

The only difference that could be noticeable is the one derived from the AD/DA converters, once the signal is digital, I cannot understand where one should find any substantial quality increase decrease, except latency or other issues due to crappy drivers.

I should make a test between using my Focusrite 18i20 and the Axe Fx, but guess will not be able to tell the difference on a blind test.
What are you referring to?
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 1 week 4 days ago #19230

PatriotsBiker wrote:

Don't need RX7 Denoiser unless the HVAC is running. :)

Oh that blessed HVAC and all its capabilities to damage sound. I suppose I could turn it off, bundle up and try to play with numb fingers. Wait what is that other noise? Oh the clothes washing machine is at the spin part of the cycle.
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UAD Apollo X-Series and Scuffham 1 week 3 days ago #19234

rose703 wrote:

PatriotsBiker wrote:

Don't need RX7 Denoiser unless the HVAC is running. :)

Oh that blessed HVAC and all its capabilities to damage sound. I suppose I could turn it off, bundle up and try to play with numb fingers. Wait what is that other noise? Oh the clothes washing machine is at the spin part of the cycle.
I did that two days ago. hehe

We are on the airport side of town with a 6-lane highway close by. We have a permanent low freq rumble and the occasional plane passing over the next subdivision to deal with. Recording direct can be soooooo nice. :)
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