Apollo 16 (silver) FireWire Usage Notes

This article outlines important details regarding using the Apollo 16 (silver) via FireWire.

Note: This article only applies to the original Apollo 16 (silver). Apollo 16 mkII cannot be used via FireWire.

1. System Sleep
2. General Use Notes
3. Apollo Console Notes
4. DAW Use Notes

System Sleep

System Sleep is incompatible with UA FireWire devices.

Important: Quit all UAD plug-in host software and power down and/or disconnect Apollo before system sleep.

While Apollo is active, system sleep is incompatible. Follow these guidelines when using Apollo:

  • Disable sleep:

    (Mac) Open the System Preferences*>Energy Saver pane and drag the “Computer Sleep” slider to “Never” (far right position).

    (Win) Select Start Menu>Control Panel>System and Security>Power Options>Change when the computer sleeps, then next to “Put the computer to sleep:” select “Never”

  • Before sleeping the system when Apollo is active, quit all plug-in host applications (including UAD Meter & Control Panel and Console applications) then power off or disconnect Apollo.

    (Mac) After system wake is complete, Apollo may be powered up and/or reconnected.

    (Win) Since hot-plugging is incompatible, shutdown the computer before reconnecting and/or powering Apollo.

*System Preferences.app is located in Applications/Utilities, or click the Apple icon in the menu bar (upper left of screen) and select “System Preferences” from the menu.

General Use Notes

Powering Apollo Systems

  • The order in which Apollo and other FireWire devices are powered on is important for proper initialization. For optimum results, always turn the Apollo on before turning the computer on.

Quit audio software before disconnecting Apollo

  • Important: For optimum results, quit all audio software applications (DAWs) that are using Apollo and/or UAD plug-ins before disconnecting Apollo from the computer.
  • It's safe to leave the Console and/or UAD Meter & Control Panel applications open when disconnecting Apollo.

Sample Rate Changes

  • Because each DAW differs in the way they execute sample rate changes, restarting the computer is generally recommended after the session sample rate is changed for maximum performance.
  • To ensure a sample rate change is properly executed: 1) Quit the DAW after the sample rate is changed, then 2) restart the computer.
  • The UAD Bandwidth Allocation may need to be adjusted after changing the sample rate.
  • (Win) The session sample rate can only be changed from within the DAW. The Console Settings window cannot be used to change the sample rate.

4x Sample Rates Support

  • Console's AUX 2 is unavailable at sample rates of 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz
  • (Apollo 16) Inputs 13 - 16 are unavailable at sample rates of 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz
  • Multi-unit cascading is unavailable at sample rates of 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz

DSP Usage

  • Apollo uses DSP and memory for its internal DSP mixer. Therefore, the UAD meters show some DSP and memory usage even when UAD plug-ins are not in use.

UAD Presets

  • When logged into the computer under an account that does not have administrator privileges, saving UAD preset files via the UAD Toolbar will result in an "Unable to save preset file" dialog. If this occurs, either log in with an administrator account, or use the DAW's preset management tools.

External Word Clock

  • To set Apollo to sync to external Word Clock, the setting must be made in the Interface panel within the Console Settings window. If the setting is changed from within the DAW's control panel, the change may not actually be activated even if the DAW indicates the setting is changed.

Windows-Specific Notes

  • For optimum performance with most DAWs, disabling Windows AERO is recommended.
  • The session sample rate can only be changed from within the DAW. The Console Settings window cannot be used to change the sample rate.
  • The "Enable CPU Optimization" option in the UAD Meter & Control Panel application's Configuration panel may need to be disabled when using Pro Tools on Windows systems.
  • At sample rates of 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz, the smallest available buffer is 64 samples. At sample rates of 76.4 kHz and 192 kHz, the smallest available buffer is 128 samples.

Apollo Console Notes

  • UAD Powered Plug-Ins within Console use DSP differently than when used within a DAW. To maintain the lowest possible input latency, UAD plug-ins used on a single Console input are “chained” and must fit within a single DSP chip. Therefore, it is possible to get an “DSP load limit exceeded” message even though the UAD Meter may indicate there is plenty of DSP available.
  • Console Recall session files (configuration presets) saved within Console will not be saved if the "/" (forward slash), "\" (back slash), or "?" (question mark) characters are in the filename. Avoid these and other special characters when saving Recall files.


DAW Use Notes

What is the lowest hardware buffer setting I can use with Apollo for stable operation?

The audio interface hardware I/O portion of Apollo can run at any hardware buffer setting that is stable within the DAW itself. Results may vary as a result of how much the DAW session stresses the computer system. This can be influenced by:

  • How many processor-intensive native plug-ins (such as virtual instruments, convolution reverbs, etc.) are in the session
  • Track count and sample rate
  • Processor speed and overall power of the computer

When Apollo is connected via FireWire, UAD plug-ins used within the DAW run at a 512 minimum buffer size in order to operate reliably. Apollo’s dynamic buffering enables lower hardware I/O buffer settings (256, 128, 64 etc.) while maintaining a stable 512 buffer for UAD plug-in processing.

When Apollo is connected via the Thunderbolt Option Card, the 512 buffer restriction for UAD plug-in processing over FireWire no longer applies, enabling lower latency for UAD plug-ins running inside the DAW. With Thunderbolt, the buffer size for UAD plug-ins used within the DAW is equal to the DAW’s hardware I/O buffer setting. Additionally, LiveTrack mode can be used with Thunderbolt which lowers latency even further with UAD plug-ins used within the DAW.

Of course, for the lowest possible latency when running UAD plug-ins on live inputs, we recommend using the included Console application to take advantage of Apollo’s unique Realtime UAD Processing feature, where DAW I/O buffering does not apply.

General DAW Notes

  • (UAD v6.5.2 and lower only) If a DAW session is saved then a Console Recall plug-in adjustment is made, the "Save" menu may be unavailable (gray) even though the plug-in has changed. If this occurs, make any adjustment outside of the plug-in (e.g., toggle any DAW setting) then save the session. This issue is resolved in UAD v7 and higher.

  • (Win) The "Enable CPU Optimization" option in the Configuration panel of UAD Meter & Control Panel application's Configuration panel may need to be disabled when using Pro Tools on Windows systems.


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