If you’re a music composer or sound designer looking for a great audio interface to work with, you’ve come to the right place. Look no further because the Apollo X series has the solution to all your problems.
However, if you’re new to the Apollo series, you might be asking yourself this question. Which Apollo interface is best for me? Well, we’re here today to answer that very question and instill some knowledge about the Apollo X series
Table of Contents
An introduction to the Apollo X series
The Apollo X series is one of the latest tools released in the market that provides a quality of professional mixing unlike anything before.
Whether you’re mixing your latest EDM track or coming up with a powerful score for your film, you’re going to want to take a look at the Apollo X series.
For those who don’t know, it is a series of comprehensive audio interfaces that allow users to mix, track and overdub with pristine quality. They offer 6-core HEXA core processing power and high-quality 7.1 surround sound.
What’s more, the series offers a variety of amazing UAD plug-ins from renowned audio companies.
The series is compatible with the thunderbolt 3 audio interface and works well on both Windows and Mac devices.
Ever since the release of the Apollo x8 and x8p, we have witnessed thousands of creators and producers take a shift towards the Apollo series. The series is almost dominating the sound industry as we speak.
But in order to provide an answer to the x8 vs. x8p debate, we’ll have to make a detailed comparison between the two interfaces.
Apollo x8 Vs. Apollo x8p Technical Specifications
Contrary to popular belief, there’s really not much difference between uad apollo x8 and x8p. They both perform the same primary functions and give amazing high-quality mixing and production capabilities.
So, rather than seeing these interfaces as completely different entities, we can instead say that the x8p is simply an upgrade to the x8. Just think of the x8p as the older and slightly taller big brother to the x8.
That being said, we will be looking at the details of both interfaces to understand where exactly the difference lies. You better get your thinking hats on because it’s about to get super technical!
So, to start off, both the x8 and x8p feature a maximum sampling rate of 192 kHz/24 bit with a 75 Hz, 12 Db Octave high-pass filter. Similarly, they both have a 10 x multi-segment LED display meter, which looks absolutely fabulous.
Both the x8 and x8p have 8 inputs and 14 outputs when it comes to analog channels; however, we do see a slight difference when we switch over to digital.
The x8 has 10 input and output digital channels, while the x8p has 8. So as you can see, the x8 surprisingly has the upper hand here.
Again, we see similar specifications in both devices regarding the range for gaining and trimming. Both interfaces have a range from +10 to +65, which is a pretty neat score.
However, a major difference comes to light when we look at the number of preamps both interfaces offer. The x8 features 4 preamps, which is a pretty solid number, but the x8p doubles that with 8 available preamps.
Now, this is an important distinction here. Having more preamps can be especially beneficial if you’re into producing music with a lot of different backup vocals.
Overall, it just means that you can do more and add a variety of distinctive sounds as you will have more tracks in your project.
That being said, having as many as 8 preamps might not really be necessary for most of you, but at least you have that option with the x8p should you want it.
Other than that, there’s not much difference in the technical aspects between the two interfaces from here on out.
Both devices are powered by Phantom with a +48 V signal; both have a USB host connection port that supports a thunderbolt-3 type c USB cable as well as a -20 Db switchable pad.
Internal specifications and compatibility factors
When it comes to the digital specifications and compatibility elements, both devices share identical factors.
To start off, both the x8 and x8p feature a sampling rate of 192 kHz with 24-bit depth featuring AD/DA conversions. They both share similar input to output latency rates of 1.1ms at 96kHz.
Coming to compatibility, you’re gonna a need a computer with at least an intel core I 7 processor. Also, you better clear up some space on your computer because you’ll need to reserve at least 6 GB of storage for either of these tools.
Apollo x8 performance review
So now that we have all the technical mumbo jumbo out of the way, let’s come down to the most important aspect of any audio interface, i.e., the performance.
We took the liberty of using the Apollo x8 to record an acoustic song composition with vocals, and we have to say, we’re pretty much impressed.
For starters, the x8 picks up the sound of each and every guitar string with pristine quality.
Whether you’re just strumming around or playing intricately designed arpeggios, the interface will pick up every shade and convert it beautifully into a digital track.
If you’re coming to the Apollo X series from a different brand, you’re definitely going to notice a dimension to the audio that you’ve never experienced before. And that’s just the start of the quality that Universal Audio has to offer.
Next, we decided to go electro and plugged in a synth to cover some light and melodic pop renditions. Needless to say, we were not disappointed by what we heard.
The device captured the subtlety and color of each note, making it sound ten times better.
No matter what effect we put in, the x8 seemed to process the sound smoothly without any hiccups. On top of that, the overall vibe we got was sheer perfection.
But of course, the x8 isn’t just about how well it converts the audio from your device onto the project track. It’s also about how smoothly it can handle the mixing and dubbing. So naturally, that’s what we decided to try out next.
As we mentioned before, the x8 comes with 4 preamps which are plenty enough for any conventional piece of musical composition.
Now what we decided to do was produce a full-fledged song with vocals, synths, guitar, and drums.
The whole thing was supposed to be a performance test; however, we soon realized that the more we added into the mix, the more fun we had.
We overdubbed a synth melody to a 4 by 4 drum track, and it sounded great! The sound had no glitches or imbalances, and both instruments seemed to blend perfectly without overstepping the other.
Meanwhile, the vocal quality also showed many improvements once transferred into the project.
We daresay that the in-built vocal effects and mixing capabilities can make anyone sound like a sensation. None of us are professional singers, so we needed the x8 just to make us sound bearable.
Overall, the x8 showcased a slight but significant improvement of the bass and mid frequencies, making the whole track sound a lot more natural.
Apollo x8p Performance review
The first thing we have to say about the Apollo x8p is that it makes your life considerably easier. This is especially true if your composer or sound engineer who often has to work on vast and overwhelming projects.
Right off the bat, let us say that every aspect of this interface sounds absolutely fantastic. It doesn’t matter what instrument you’re using; you’ll get the best version of that instrument right here on the x8p.
We plugged in an acoustic guitar to start things off, and man oh man did we love what we heard.
It was absolutely crystal clear audio at every strum and pluck! The interface captured every fiber, every tiny detail to its fullest potential, and played it back to us in surround sound.
You can only imagine what happened next when we plugged the synth to cover a full music track. The smooth and vibrant audio levels were unlike anything we had experienced before.
Things got even better once we plugged in a mic to cover the vocals and mix them onto the track. The x8p blends the different elements into a beautiful collage of sounds that flow naturally in the ears.
The mid and high tones sounded sharper and more distant than any other interface, while the low tones had a deeper and more potent drive.
Needless to say, the audio quality you can find with the apollo x8p is unlike anything that came before.
Coming to the mixing capabilities, the overall interface just feels very natural and intuitive.
If you’re coming from other brands, you’ll definitely be surprised at how easy everything feels. Despite offering so much, the console doesn’t feel too cluttered or overbearing, which is not the case with most audio interfaces.
With easy one-click options for grouping and linking functions, the x8p brings a comfortable and smooth workflow.
Now the main feature to discuss here is, of course, the 8 preamps that come with this fantastic interface. It’s not a necessity, but it increases your capabilities as a creator.
The advantage of having 8 preamps can be especially witnessed when you’re working on a complex and multi-layered sound design. This is great for composers who work in the film and tv industry as well as general musicians.
Overall, the Apollo x8p is an advanced audio interface that brings a wide range of capabilities in the most convenient of ways.
What are the major differences between the Apollo x8 and x8p?
The main difference would be the number of preamps and input-output channels provided in each interface.
The Apollo x8 comes with 4 preamps; 10 input-output line channels in the digital version, while the analog version has 8 input lines and 14 output lines.
Meanwhile, the Apollo x8p comes with 8 preamps; 8 input-output line channels in the digital version, while the analog version comes with 8 input and 14 output channels.
Now, apart from these two factors, certain performance factors might affect which console you pick. One of the questions we’ve heard repeatedly is; should I use UA Apollo x8 or x8p for setup with many synths?
If that’s the case for you, we would recommend you go for the Apollo x8p, and this isn’t because of any external reasons.
Both devices have enough input channels to support a multi-synth setup; however, the additional number of preamps provided by the x8p might be a better option for mixing.
After all, if you’re using multiple synths, you’re definitely going to have a complicated timeline.
How to choose the best Universal Audio Apollo X Audio Interface
Well, it all depends on what you need and what you’re trying to achieve. As we said before, both the x8 and x8p are almost indistinguishable, save for a few minor differences.
However, these minor differences can affect your choice quite significantly.
If you don’t need a lot of mic preamps and I/O channels, the x8 should be enough to handle your workload. It has 4 preamps and 8 I/O channels, which is great for any musical composer or sound engineer.
On the other hand, if you like to work on complex projects with a massive list of audio elements, the x8 might be a little outdated for you.
This is especially the case with studios that do multi-channeling recording work that need excessive mic preamps.
The x8p will be the better choice in that situation as it comes with 8 mic preamps which are more than enough for any recording sessions with multiple vocals.
The extra preamps are also useful if you’re doing dubbing sessions for animated films, which often require multiple voice and character actors to perform simultaneously.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Apollo line of audio interfaces is one of the best in the market and is definitely worth considering.
The Apollo X series has been well regarded for its amazing quality and its ability to capture the most subtle details of any musical instrument.
The Apollo x8 has 8 input and 14 output analog channels, while the digital version has 10 input-output channels.