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Product of the Week: Universal Audio Apollo Solo

Universal Audio has released a 2-in, 2-out version of the acclaimed Apollo desktop interface, with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for Mac and USB3 for Windows.

Universal Audio just released Apollo Solo, a new and affordable desktop interface line. The Solos come in two versions, both priced at $499. The Apollo Solo, for Mac, features Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The Apollo Solo USB, for Windows, connects via USB 3.

The Solo units offer the same analog input configuration as the various models of the Apollo Twin. It consists of two analog input and output channels, including back panel XLR/1/4-inch mic/line combo jacks and a front-panel ¼-inch instrument input.
Unlike the Twin, which has two sets of ¼-inch analog outputs and a headphone output, the Solos only have a single pair, plus a headphone out. They also lack the optical input for connecting an external mic pre unit that you get on the Twin.

Probably the most significant difference between the Solo and Twin lines is that the former has only one SHARC DSP chip to run UAD’s plug-ins and software, whereas the Twin Duo has two and the Twin Quad four.

The control set on the Solo is much like that of the Twin. It includes a large knob on the front for adjusting input and output levels, with six buttons to access highpass filter, global phantom power, pad, polarity reverse and stereo-linking functions.

Thanks to its Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, the Mac version of the Solo is entirely bus-powered, which means you could connect it to a laptop and record untethered to AC. The USB 3 Windows version requires an external power supply.

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Both Solo units come with an excellent selection of UAD2 plug-ins. These include the UA 610‐B Marshall Plexi Classic Amplifier, Teletronix LA‐2A Legacy, UA 1176LN Legacy, UA 1176SE Legacy, Pultec EQP‐1A Legacy, Pultec Pro Legacy, Ampeg SVT-VR Classic Bass Amp, the Precision Mix Rack collection and RealVerb‐Pro.

If you’re a Mac user, buying the Solo entitles you to download UAD Luna, which is DAW software that offers an analog-style approach to music production. (Luna is not currently available for Windows.)

Both the Apollo Solo and Apollo Solo USB are shipping now.