In this review, I’ll be taking a look at Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin Mk2 Heritage Edition audio interface. For those of you wondering how this “Heritage Edition” differs from your average Mk2, skip ahead to the Software bundle section of the article. Otherwise, let’s get started with the review.
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Final verdict on the Apollo Twin Mk2
The Apollo Twin Mk2 is one of the best audio interfaces you’ll ever use. It’s still a difficult purchase for some people, though, because it’s in a tricky price range. It’s well worth the money, but it’s also well beyond the average beginner budget.
The Apollo Twin Mk2 would be good enough on its own, but the plugin pack you receive with the Heritage Edition is definitely worth your consideration. There’s really nothing bad to say.
What I like
- Amazing sound quality.
- Built-in UAD processing enables recording with complex plugin chains in real time.
- Durable build.
- Great software bundle.
What I don’t like
- Requires more gear to take advantage of all I/O.
Use these jump links to navigate to the desired section of the review.
I/O and controls
The front of the unit has a Hi-Z guitar input on the left and headphones out on the right. The Hi-Z input replaces Mic/Line 1 when in use.
Turning over to the rear panel are two XLR/TRS combo inputs, four analog outputs, 12 V DC power port, a Thunderbolt port, an On/Off switch, and an optical input which allows for an additional eight inputs.
All inputs are Unison-enabled, allowing you to load Unison plugins onto the console’s software, record through them, and achieve the effects of vintage preamps in real time.
The focal point of the top panel is still the oversized knob that controls preamp and monitor parameters. You determine what it controls by selecting either the preamp or monitor buttons found left and right.
A nice update for the Apollo Twin Mk2 is that the LED display has been extended to now show visual feedback for every function.
Right under the oversized knob, you’ll see a tiny hole, and that’s the built-in talkback mic. It’s a very handy feature for room to room communication or cues. It’s even useful for recording quick notes/ideas.
Input/output metering is shown by four LED ladders.
Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin Mk2 is a clean, and transparent unit. The Twin Mk2’s A/D converters are slightly different from those found on the Twin X, giving it a warmer sound. The unit has a dynamic range of 127 dB and a gain range of +10 dB to +65 dB.
The preamps on the Apollo Twin Mk2 are amazing. The console and software have been integrated with Unison preamp technology, allowing you to do things never before thought possible.
Essentially, Unison allows for two-way communication between the DUO’s mic preamps and Unison-capable plugins. These plugins physically alter the preamp’s circuit inside the unit, modifying the behavior so that they match the character of the plugin.
In the most basic terms, the microphone will be interacting with the preamp the same way it would with the true external hardware, rather than just being run through a digital emulation.
While the Apollo Twin Mk2 is powerful enough to operate in a home studio, the I/O connectivity isn’t quite what it appears to be.
Although it’s technically a 10-in and 6-out unit, 8 out of its 10 inputs are only available through ADAT and S/PDIF, meaning you might need to purchase another external interface to get your 10 mic drum setup running. It’s also worth mentioning that the sample rate suffers when using S/PDIF and ADAT.
This isn’t the worst thing in the world, but again, if you’re an intermediate and you’re not ready to spend close to over $2000 to get your entire setup functioning the way you’d like it to, it might be in your best interest to look elsewhere.
All that being said, the Apollo Twin Mk2 is still fantastic, and the UAD real-time processing is what really makes this interface so valuable.
The Apollo Twin Mk2 is perfect for mobile recording due to its lightweight and compact design. Its real-time processing power makes it ideal for live sound recordings as well. DJs, mix engineers, and recording artists can all benefit equally from the Twin Mk2.
The Twin is sturdy, durable, and is an incredibly solid machine. There’s no wiggle on any of its inputs or outputs, and all knobs and buttons are smooth and securely attached.
You may have been wondering why this bundle is called the “Heritage Edition”, and I’m happy to say that it’s strictly about the plugins you receive with the software bundle.
When you buy Heritage Edition, you gain access to five of Universal Audio’s award-winning plugins, including the UA 1176 Collection, Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection, Pultec Passive EQ Collection, UA 610 Tube Preamp & EQ Collection, and UA Pure Plate Reverb.
On top of all this, you’ll also be granted access to the Realtime Analog Classics bundle, consisting of 14 more amazing plugins.
Compared to other audio interfaces
The Apollo Twin Mk2 is, no doubt, one of the best Thunderbolt audio interfaces you can buy. But here’re some other interfaces to consider against the Twin Mk2.
Apollo Twin Mk2 vs Apollo Twin X
This is a straightforward comparison, but the Twin X sounds a bit more modern and crisp. Other than that, the only difference is between their Thunderbolt connections. Although, the Twin X is backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2.
Apollo Twin Mk2 vs Focusrite Clarett+ 8Pre
The Clarett is incredibly simplistic in comparison to the Twin, it grants more onboard connectivity in favor of the Twin’s DSP capabilities. However, you can’t go wrong with either.
Apollo Twin Mk2 vs Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre
If you want a no-frills interface with stellar preamps, go for the Arturia. While you won’t have the real-time processing that the Twin offers, you’ll have a unit with a massive gain range and low EIN.
Who is the Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mk2 best suited for?
The Apollo Twin Mk2 is suitable for anybody, whether you’re a bedroom recording artist, a professional audio engineer, a DJ, etc. There’s really nothing bad to say about this unit.Buy UA Apollo Twin Mk2 at: SweetwaterAmazon