Join J. Scott Giaquinta for an in-depth discussion in this video Navigating the Apollo Console, part of Learning Universal Audio UAD-2/Apollo.
- The Console application is Apollo's primary software interface. Its main function is to control the hardware unit and its mixing and monitoring capabilities. You'll only use this if you have an Apollo, so if you're just using other UAD DSP devices such as the PCIe card or the satellite by themselves, this app won't be relevant. Since this is an up and running course, I'm not going to be going over every single feature of the Console, but I'll definitely be covering the basics. So let's dive in. First, let's open it up. Remember, these two icons look exactly the same, so make sure you choose Console.
Now, you can see that this looks very similar to a physical mixing console. So if you're familiar with how the routing of one works, you'll already be way ahead of the curve here. If not, no worries, I'll explain it as I go. Also, I should point out that many of the menu choices we're going to talk about in a second have redundant buttons right on the console. I'll point those out as we go. So let's start with the menu switch located at the top left here. All right, so under File you'll see New, Open, Save, and Save As. This is where you can create new sessions, open them, and save them. This is useful if you're using the Apollo in several different sessions that you need to switch between regularly.
Under Edit you'll see Undo, Redo, Remove All, Enable All, and Disable All. Undo and Redo work very much like your DAW. In the UAD console you can undo or redo any action you perform in the console. Remove All, Enable All, and Disable All are referring to plugins. So, for example, if I had a plugin on channel one here, let's just pick one, I could use any of those three choices to either remove it, enable it, or disable it. By the way, one other thing I want to show you is that you can remove all of the plugins entirely, which are the Insert plugins, the Send plugins, or the Unison plugins, or you can just do the Inserts, AUX, or Unison plugins separately.
The next choice under Menu is View. The first three options simply show and hide features. So if I wanted to hide the AUX Returns, do that. Let's show them again. The next four options under View are redundant controls. You can access them here on the left. Got Overview, Inputs, Inserts, and Sends. And those are also over here on the left. Overview shows a compact version of the Inputs, Inserts, and Sends all together. So this is a compact version of the Input section. This is a compact version of the Insert section.
And this is a compact version of the Send section, which you can expand by clicking on these here. Okay, so let's get back to View, and let's skip right down to the bottom of the list, which is Settings. Also, there's another redundant button for that here on the bottom left, so let's just open that up. Okay, so let's start with the hardware tab. Sample Rate is pretty self-explanatory. I do everything at 48 kHz so, as you can see, it's already set to that. Next to that is Clock Source. Now, if you watched the previous videos leading up to this one, you might remember when I talked about word clocking.
My system's currently being clocked by an external source, so I have this set to Word Clock. But if I wanted to use the Apollo's internal clock, I could change it like this. If you had other digital devices hooked up, and you wanted to use the clock from those, you could change them by selecting the corresponding digital input, which you have ADAT and S/PDIF you can choose from. I'm just going to go ahead and set it back to Word Clock. Digital Mirror, when it's enabled, mirrors the monitor outputs, which are one and two, to the S/PDIF output. This is useful if you have some sort of recording device connected, and you're not bouncing your session down on your DAW.
You can turn that on by going here. Delay Compensation, when it's on, makes sure that the phase alignment across the inputs of the Apollo's correct when you're using plugins in the Console. This is only useful when you're recording from a single source, like a drum kit, using multiple microphones. If you're not doing this, then it's best to just leave it off so that you have the lowest possible latency. The Cue Bus Count is how many cue buses you want. For example, let's say you were using the Apollo in a live situation and you wanted to have different monitor mixes going to four different performers. You need to make sure that this was set to four so that you could create four different mixes.
All right, so let's skip over to the Display page. The first option is Metering. Now, Pre-Fader metering displays the incoming signal before any volume changes in the Console, which means you'd see the meter at whatever decibel level is coming in from the source. Post-Fader metering shows the signal level after it's been adjusted by the volume fader. So I'm going to turn my mic on here that's plugged in to my Apollo. I'm just going to show you what this does. Test, test. So it's set to Pre-Fader metering, let's just go to our overview. So, now you can see my signal when I talk. So if I turn it down here, test, test, test.
You still see my signal in the meter. If I set at the Post-Fader metering, as I turn it down, the meter goes down with it. Test, test, test. Clip Hold sets the amount of time the top of the meter stays in the red if the channel clips. So again, what I'm going to do is talk into my mic that's connected to my Apollo. I'm going to turn the input gain up a little bit so that it clips and so you can see what happens. Test, test. And then you see the red stay there for three seconds. And you can adjust this to different settings.
Peak Hold is similar, but it shows the peak hold below clipping, so I'm going to do it one more time, and I'm not going to clip, and you can see where it stays below the red. Test. And if you wanted that little yellow line to stay long, you can set it by choosing one of these. Next is Always on Top. If you want your plugin windows, and let me be specific here, plugins you're using in the console and not your DAW, to always float on top of the console, then set this to Plugins. If you want the console to take priority, then set it to None. The next page is Plugins.
This is basically a redundant page that you can also find in the UAD Meter and Control panel, which I covered in the last video. So, let's explore the channel strips next, which are any of these. Let's start with Input on channel one. Now, if you watched the video on the Apollo's front panel, then you'll already be familiar with how Input works. The controls on the front of the unit mirror these settings in the Input right here on the Console. You can use either the front panel or the console to set it. So right here is where you can insert a Unison-enabled plugin. So let's click on that. Now the Unison-enabled plugins are ones that turn your physical pre on the Apollo into basically an emulation of all of these vintage pieces of gear.
So you have the Neve 1073, the Neve 88RS and so on. So you could choose that, and your settings here and input basically become the settings for this vintage piece of gear. So let's take that off, I'm just going to right click, and go to Remove All. So, next is our Insert section. This is where you can insert UAD plugins into the strip. And you can have up to four. So I've already got a bus compressor there, let's add one of those, we'll add some modulation. So here's one really cool feature of the Apollo.
After you set up your plugin chain in the Console, you can then record the input signal with all the plugins on it in real time with almost zero latency directly into your DAW. This means that if you dialed in the perfect vocal right here in the Console, you could actually record it to your DAW and not have to process it later using the same channel plugins. Now, you can turn this feature on and off. In the instance that you only wanted to monitor the process vocal while you were recording, but you still wanted to capture the unprocessed signal to your DAW, you simply set this to monitor. But if you wanted to capture the process signal, you would set it back to Record.
Let's remove these and move on to Sends. Now, this works the same way as auxiliary buses do on your DAW. Let's say I wanted to set up a reverb one, aux one and have my microphone on channel one affected by it, I'd do this. Go over here, we're going to put a reverb on aux one, we'll just use the EMT 140. And we'll go to Sends, actually I'm going to go to Overview so I can see a little easier. All right, so now I'm going to click on this section right here and I'm going turn up the send to aux one. Test, test, test.
And I also need to turn up the channel. Test, test. So, when you're in Send mode here, the six buttons to the left display the sends you have available, right here. Aux one and two and the cue sends. So I wanted a delay on aux two, I'd set it up like this. Now go over here, and I'm going to put a, let's just say, we'll use an RE 201. Do a wet solo, we'd mix that 100% wet, and we go to Overview, we'd send our microphone channel to the aux 2. Test.
I'm going to turn the reverb down so that you can hear this better. Test, test. Test. All right, I'm going to close these windows. I'm also going to turn the send down again. So, moving on down the strip, the next setting is the physical output of the channel. It defaults to monitor or channels one and two, but if you wanted to change that, you could do that by setting it here. And these are all the physical outputs of the Apollo, digital and analog. Below that are very familiar controls.
A pen knob, solo, mute, and the volume fader. Below those, you can click the channel to rename it. Okay, so let's move on to the control room settings. Again, if you're familiar with the standard mixing board, then you already know what these do. If not, then I'll explain. Over here is Dim. Now, Dim lowers the volume by a preset amount. This is useful if you need to turn the volume of your studio monitors down for a second but you don't want to use the volume knob. You can adjust the dim amount with this knob. Below that is the monitor output source setting.
This defaults to monitor, but you can also monitor any of your cue buses as well. That's great if you have separate mixes you're sending to different musicians you want to monitor what they're hearing. All right, lastly we have our output settings. You have a Mono button, Mute button, and of course, a volume control, which mirrors the physical monitor knob on the front of the Apollo. So that's it for the Console settings. I hope this helps you to be able to make your way around the UAD Console more comfortably.
- Navigating the interface
- Configuring the Apollo Console
- Using the wordclock to ensure high-fidelity mixes
- Exploring the UAD core plugins, compressors, EQs, effects, processing units, and reverbs