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The Axe FX with the UAD Apollo

SHEPPARD

Inspired
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Then your soundcard has some sucky preamps :)

The Axe-Fx analog outputs sound amazingly good.
I am using an RME Firface400. The preamps are fine. Like Simeon said, there is a slight difference. I am sure the UAD has nicer preamps than my RME though.
 

vangrieg

Forum Addict
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Then your soundcard has some sucky preamps
Line inputs are usually fine in most sound cards. But you still go through an extra D/A and an A/D conversion. And no matter how good the preamps are, they will still distort the signal.

So unless your project is using a sample rate other than 48k, you’ll get better results with digital.
 
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mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
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You also have to make the distinction between better and more accurate. Better is purely subjective, while accuracy can be measured. You might prefer the sound of a certain analog preamp over going in digital even though it technically may be less accurate compared to the source signal. People don't love vintage Neve consoles because they are so accurate and transparent. They love the unique way they color the signal. In the end, go with what sounds good to you and don't get caught up in all the little details. Odds are they are not the reason your recordings or mixes suck. Your average modern audio interface is going to be more transparent and lower noise than most anything used decades ago to create some of the most iconic recordings in music history.
 

vangrieg

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You can always spoil the signal later. Including pushing it through a vintage preamp, if plug-ins aren't enough. But what is spoiled during recording cannot be undone.
 

vangrieg

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BTW, if that Apollo has an instrument input and S/PDIF I/O, a much better way to use it might be plugging your guitar into the Apollo, then send that DI signal to Axe via S/PDIF via direct monitoring and then record both the DI from Apollo and digital from Axe and maybe analog from Axe as well if routing permits.

This way you might take advantage of Apollo’s better converters and preamps, by the way.

When people talk about vintage preamps, they usually mean mic preamps, not line inputs, IMO.
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
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You can always spoil the signal later. Including pushing it through a vintage preamp, if plug-ins aren't enough. But what is spoiled during recording cannot be undone.
True. SPDIF, AES, or USB digital from the Axe II is going to be about as unspoiled as it gets.
 

loreweaver

New here
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I record analog mono into unison line in with 1073 pre eq ... and really like it .... of course I record the processed signal as it was a real signal chain
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
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I record analog mono into unison line in with 1073 pre eq ... and really like it .... of course I record the processed signal as it was a real signal chain
I do the same. Analog Unison with the Neve 1073. Fat tone.

I just upgraded from the Apollo Twin to the Apollo 8p. To my ears it's got a little more clarity and depth than the Twin. I'm really enjoying it.
 

GiRa

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You can always spoil the signal later. Including pushing it through a vintage preamp, if plug-ins aren't enough. But what is spoiled during recording cannot be undone.
I think it's a matter of workflow. I prefer to get something sound good and then commit to it. For me it's a faster way to get the things done. Other people prefer to have more freedom for later. It's all good :)
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
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I think it's a matter of workflow. I prefer to get something sound good and then commit to it. For me it's a faster way to get the things done. Other people prefer to have more freedom for later. It's all good :)
With a UAD system, and it's dedicated hardware processors, it's nice to print some of the plugins to free up processing power for the mix down.

At mix down, I like to have an SSL channel, for example, on every track.
 

sbanville

Regular
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i have an apollo and i have both the analog outs and the spdif connected to it. i have the spdif muted in console (which only mutes the monitor level). i have the spdif selected as the input source in logic. this means that i'm monitoring the analog inputs and can control the level i hear by adjusting the main output on the front of the axe fx (which is right next to me). the spdif signal is the one recorded (and is not affected by the main out control on the axe). it's just a workflow thing. i do boost the spdif signal a bit in console, using one of the uad plugins. i do notice a very slight difference in the quality of spdif vs analog, but it's very small. if your patches are basically mono, then selecting L or R should sound the same as selecting L+R in your daw. pretty easy to test by recording two tracks and then A/B'ing them. i'm not reamping, so the spdif signal is the same as the analog signal.
Thanks Simeon, I'm going to try this tonight
 

sbanville

Regular
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Thanks everyone for the valuable information!! I always enjoy to know how people are recording with Axe.
 

elchampion

Inspired
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I recently bought an Apollo Twin and with @austinbuddy 's help I was able to try out recording via S/PDIF. I was running into some latency issues in Logic before via USB and sometimes changing the buffer didn't help. My initial tests worked great and I look forward to recording this way.
 

Guitarmandan

Inspired
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I was under the impression that the axe fx with a digital signal is superior to analog. Analog introduces more noise etc. Is this true that an analog connection can match digital?
the SPDIF out sounds great. w/ the analog you go thru 2 conversion stages and this prob affects the quality
.
the limitation of 48k w/ SPDIF for the Axe doesn't make much diff to my ears but having to do everything else then at 48k
limits the project quality as a whole IMO. all things being equal, recordings at 96k sound better than 48k
 

mwd

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My disclaimer is that I'm an old rock fart and maybe my fine tuned hearing has sailed but my AX8 via s/pdif thru Apollo Silverface sounds stellar, the XL, with same path sounds stellar, both at 48khz and my old Ultra with analog out thru either a Saffire 40 or RME Babyface sounded pristine at 44.1khz.

I'm still of the opinion that, in my case, it's like trying to discern the difference in a billionth of a second and a millionth of a second. Is there a difference. Yes. Will you notice it... No.
 
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