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Christopher Dubey
Christopher Dubey

Apollo Twin Driver

The Apollo twin install went exactly as stated per UA's website - install, restart, complete registration online, activate plugins, etc. No problems. The problem arises when I go to make the interface the default input/output audio device for the computer/Cubase DAW. It shows up in the UA meter but NOT in the audio settings option. In Cubase its an option, but when I select it , error message "device not found" pops up.

Apollo Twin Driver

Just to get this discussion out of the way at once, I've been working on Mac and PC, side by side since 1996. I do not favour one or the other and I feel that ProTools works in the same way on both platforms except for the keyboard modifier keys in keyboard shortcuts. The differences are mostly related to the system and drivers and I know from personal experience that it is more difficult to get some equipment working on a PC than on a Macintosh, that's just how it is. Once Pro Tools is up and running, there's no difference.

Back to the PC. I've been waiting passionately for Universal Audio to release Thunderbolt drivers for Windows, which they now have done at last But I was very disappointed when they announced that Thunderbolt support would only be for Thunderbolt 3 and I thought my days on a PC were numbered. I decided to have a go and see if I could make it work, but the first attempt was a disaster.

Installing the drivers on my Windows 10 PC was no problem at all and the installation went smoothly. Once the drivers were installed my computer immediately recognized my Apollo Quad and announced it wanted to update the unit's firmware. After some painful deliberation on whether it was a good idea to update the firmware on a system that wasn't exactly qualified, I decided to press GO and updated the firmware. Thankfully, the Apollo did reboot and firmware upgrade was successful.

I did not have ProTools installed on my PC at the time, but I had Studio One. I opened the software and sure enough, there was my Apollo TB driver set up. I could change the settings in the audio engine, record, playback and edit. To my satisfaction I stood up, raising my arms in the sky and thought - I WIN! - well... no.

When Pro Tools started and with ASIO4ALL chosen as my HW interface. I could use the Apollo Thunderbolt as the interface inside the ASIO4ALL driver, but only with a buffer of 512. My goal was to get the Apollo Thunderbolt driver running in Pro Tools, and not use ASIO4ALL so I didn't spend too much time trying to solve the buffer size problem. Also, I discovered that there were no plugins showing inside Pro Tools just as I Studio One.

At this stage, I remembered that there were some messages appearing when I installed the Universal Audio drivers, but I didn't remember what they said. As with all experienced PC users, I do not read all the messages during an installation, I just press Next, which in this case proved to be a bad move.

So, maybe the installation of the UAD drivers didn't succeed after all since the plug-ins wouldn't show up in ProTools or Studio One. To try and resolve the lack of plug-ins I wanted to reinstall the UAD drivers. However, at this point, I made a mistake leading to the complete format of the hard drive and reinstall of Windows.

What happened was that the reinstallation failed (probably because of a hardware failure described in part 2), and I was left unable to uninstall, reinstall, remove or manually remove the drivers. I tried searching forums, google, FAQ and the documentation, but the installation of the UAD drivers would always fail after this move.

While I would never recommend any one to make music without an audio interface plugged into Ableton, objectively, you don't need one. Ableton works perfectly well with your computer's built-in audio drivers. In fact, if I pop into my Ableton right now, I can easily switch between the built-in audio driver (MME) or the external audio interface (ASIO).

Of course, the performance of the built-in audio driver (especially on Windows) is almost always horrible. The latency is completely out of sync and you will see a very noticeable delay between pressing a note and hearing it back. This makes built-in drivers redundant for any serious music making.

The Behringer UM2 doesn't have a lot to offer as far as performance goes. The sampling rate at just 48kHz is far from ideal. The built-in drivers have some balance and power issues. And with just one mic and one line input, your setup is severely constrained.

This price might not fetch you great sounding, pro-grade drivers, but it will get you decently low latency. Hook up your MIDI keyboard to it and the playback will be near instantaneous. Plug in your mic and you'll cut down the buzz drastically compared to your computer's built-in microphone.

The Babyface is a mainstay of studios because of its extremely low latency, well-balanced AD/DA drivers and analog I/O options. Plug in a keyboard into the device and the result is crystal clear, instantaneous sound. Add an SR58 and you'll find that the vocals are fatter, clearer and crisper than anything a low-end audio interface can ever get you.


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