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Davydh

Universal Audio with Cakewalk?

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I'm considering different soundcards/audio interfaces for a new computer.

I'd like to know does anyone use Universal Audio and does anyone know if their gear works well with Cakewalk? And their proprietary in-house plugins?

Thanks guys!

I don't want to buy it then find out they don't go together well...

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UA gear works fine with Cakewalk. I've been using various UA interfaces with Cake products since 2012. Currently using their Apollo Twin USB device. Apollo drivers are stable and working for both the audio & DSP (separate drivers for each). UAD plugins work fine inside CnB and with the Apollo Console app. Only thing to keep in mind is that you will need to enable the "Extra Buffers" option from the UAD Control Panel when using UAD plugins inside CbB. Otherwise, everything pretty much works out of the box using default settings.

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I'd like to thank everyone who replied. No, RobertWS, I didn't know about that link. It's very helpful, thanks.

And to all the users of U.A. gear, it's great to know the plugins work and recording/playback is solid with Cakewalk!

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On 7/30/2019 at 8:52 PM, Davydh said:

I'm considering different soundcards/audio interfaces for a new computer.

I'd like to know does anyone use Universal Audio and does anyone know if their gear works well with Cakewalk? And their proprietary in-house plugins?

Thanks guys!

I don't want to buy it then find out they don't go together well...

ive used the blackface apollo 8p via thunderbolt 3 and faced many issues, mainly dropouts in cakewalk. I couldnt figure out why, ive tried all buffer sizes, windows optimization and bios changes to no avail. Email UAD support and they couldnt help much too. Could be an isolated issue with my PC but ive since sold that apollo and gotten an RME UFX+.

Also WDM drivers are really bad that causes lots of crackling when playing audio from your browser etc. Also, the bad wdm drivers causes your recording source to be badly distorted when using the apollo with discord or skype etc.

You can read several issues in their bug reporting forum


Sources: 

UAD WDM Drivers issue (first reported in 2017 in the first link):
https://uadforum.com/support-troubleshooting/30545-apollo-8-thunderbolt-recording-crackle-sound-non-daw-apps-problem-windows-10-a.html
 https://uadforum.com/support-troubleshooting/40666-apollo-thunderbolt-wdm-issue-ever-fixed.html
https://uadforum.com/support-troubleshooting/42211-windows-audio-crackling-randomly-possible-solution.html#post290032


UAD Arrow WDM crackling (supposed fix): https://uadforum.com/support-troubleshooting/43635-amazing-solved-crackling-distortion-windows-44-1-48khz-100%-working2019.html

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Posted (edited)

I was running an Apollo-8 (Quad) and Quad Satellite expander (both via Thunderbolt) for a good while.

Fidelity is excellent (super low noise-floor).

Stability was excellent.

My only gripe with the UA audio interfaces is that (due to their onboard DSP), round-trip latency is a little higher than something like a UFX+ or Quantum.

Of course, if you're wanting to run UAD plugins, you can play/monitor in realtime thru UAD plugins with 2ms round-trip latency (via their Unison tech).

The lowest round-trip latency you'll achieve with the Apollo series (and Arrow) is ~3.7ms.

 

If you go Thunderbolt, you've got to make sure all the details have been tended-to.

The combination of Asus Thunderbolt EX3 and the Apple Thunderbolt-3 to Thunderbolt-2 adapter has worked extremely well in all scenarios we've tested.  This includes many different desktop builds, laptops, etc...

Though Presonus recommends the StarTech Thunderbolt-3 to Thunderbolt-2 adapter, the Apple adapter works perfectly fine with Quantum.

Edited by Jim Roseberry

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Presonus Quantum can get down to ~1ms total round-trip latency.

UFX+ can get down to ~2m total round-trip latency.

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4 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

I was running an Apollo-8 (Quad) and Quad Satellite expander (both via Thunderbolt) for a good while.

Fidelity is excellent (super low noise-floor).

Stability was excellent.

My only gripe with the UA audio interfaces is that (due to their onboard DSP), round-trip latency is a little higher than something like a UFX+ or Quantum.

Of course, if you're wanting to run UAD plugins, you can play/monitor in realtime thru UAD plugins with 2ms round-trip latency (via their Unison tech).

The lowest round-trip latency you'll achieve with the Apollo series (and Arrow) is ~3.7ms.

 

If you go Thunderbolt, you've got to make sure all the details have been tended-to.

The combination of Asus Thunderbolt EX3 and the Apple Thunderbolt-3 to Thunderbolt-2 adapter has worked extremely well in all scenarios we've tested.  This includes many different desktop builds, laptops, etc...

Though Presonus recommends the StarTech Thunderbolt-3 to Thunderbolt-2 adapter, the Apple adapter works perfectly fine with Quantum.

Yup I'm using a x299 mobo with Asus ex 3 card. I've even went to buy both the startech and apple adapters. Could just be an isolated issue with my pc but I realized the dropouts were also due to using non vst3 plugins. Thunderbolt as a whole is really more of a Mac thing, way better drivers implemented in Mac than in windows. Hence u don't see a ton of thunderbolt interfaces with windows drivers right out of the box e.g. slate vrs8 (beta), Steinberg arx, antelope discrete (beta)

The Apollo is a great interface and I wished that it would work well with my setup but eventually I have to go for a more stable option even if it meant spending the extra dough.

Yup the extra buffer for their plugins' delay compensation adds quite a bit of latency. You can adjust this extra buffer but like what Jim said, if you intend to use a lot of vsti with midi controllers, the UA stuff are not the best.

 

 

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FWIW, Thunderbolt-3 is rock-solid on the PC side.

 

I've been running Thunderbolt audio interfaces on PC for a good while (UA Apollo-8 and Satellite, Antelope Zen Tour, RME Fireface UFX+, Presonus Quantum).

All ran flawlessly...

I'm currently using Quantum and UFX+

  • Quantum for when I want ultra low round-trip latency
  • UFX+ for when I want hardware based monitoring

 

We have many clients running Thunderbolt audio interfaces.

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I have been working with UAD products for several years.

They integrate perfectly with CbB....

Currently one of my systems has UAD DSP cards as well as UAD AD / DA converters via Thunderbolt 3.

Everything works flawlessly..

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I'm looking for a UAD product for a new PC that has:

1) at least eight inputs and eight outputs (I record in 7.1)

2) Neve pre-amp mic emulation

3) The lowest possible latency

If there's some deal that gives free UAD plugins with it, yes please!

Any recommendations?

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You'll want either the Apollo x8 or x8p.

  • x8 has four onboard mic preamps
  • x8p has eight onboard mic preamps

Both will allow playing/monitoring thru UAD plugins at ~2ms total round-trip latency (using their  "Unison" technology).

 

Apollo's only real downside is if you're trying to achieve lowest possible round-trip latency when using 3rd-party plugins.

Apollo can achieve ~3.7ms total round-trip latency.

That's not particularly bad... but you can achieve about the same with a top-tier USB-2 audio interface (ie:  RME Fireface UFX).

 

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8 hours ago, Jim Roseberry said:

Both will allow playing/monitoring thru UAD plugins at ~2ms total round-trip latency (using their  "Unison" technology).

 

Apollo's only real downside is if you're trying to achieve lowest possible round-trip latency when using 3rd-party plugins.

Apollo can achieve ~3.7ms total round-trip latency.

That's not particularly bad... but you can achieve about the same with a top-tier USB-2 audio interface (ie:  RME Fireface UFX).

 

Thanks for that!

What about virtual instruments? What's the latency like with them?

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I know you are looking for more inputs than this, but I have multiple audio interfaces, and for my laptop, I use an UAD Apollo Arrow, which is a Thunderbolt 3 interface - FANTASTIC little interface.

Bob Bone

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Davydh said:

What about virtual instruments? What's the latency like with them?

When playing virtual-instruments, you're dealing with one-way (Playback) Latency.

Playback latency is (roughly) half the total round-trip latency. 

Certainly workable (decent) with the Apollo...

 

The RME Fireface UFX+ can achieve lower Round-Trip and Playback Latency.

The Presonus Quantum can achieve even lower Round-Trip and Playback Latency than the UFX+. 

 

If lowest possible latency when using 3rd-party EFX/Instruments is a paramount concern, Apollo isn't the interface you want.

Apollo's forte' is fidelity... and being able to run UAD plugins at ~2ms round-trip latency.

Edited by Jim Roseberry

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