Universal Audio Apollo with Cubase

I’m reading great reviews about the UA Apollo firewire interface and have a huge question for anyone using this with Cubase.

It’s regards to recording/tracking live with plugins and latency. It states latency of under 2ms, is that in any way noticable when recording say a vocal? I’ve tried tracking with cubase plugins (with direct monitoring off) before and, although my MR816CSX states a latency of under 2ms, I still hear a noticable ‘echo’ when recording a vocal. Is that due to me moniring through cubase itself? And if I were to monitor through the UA Apollo control panel would the noticable echo be gone?

I suppose my big question is when track through cubase and run plugins on the channel when tracking, even though my latency says under 2ms, is the plugin latency much higher than that?


If you´re talking about VST Plugins, then yes, they will obviously add to the 2 ms.
The different Plugins´delay can be seen from the Plugin Info…

Even when I track vocal, without plugin inserted and without direct monitoring ticked I’m gettig a noticeable latency echo. And that’s with the mr816 at the lowest buffer which is under 2ms. What I’m trying to work out is, with the UA Apollo, will I still get that noticeable delay? Does anyone have experience? Thoughts?


That´s why someone invented “Direct monitoring”. And if you get an “echo”, there seems to be somrthing wrong in your monitoring path anyway…

Not quite the answer To my question. Hopefully someone with experience of this unit could offer their experience. Thanks.

You have to add the input and output delay together to get an idea of the total through latency, so 2ms + 2ms would be 4 ms total latency. 4 ms should not be noticeable, it’s equivalent to being roughly 4 foot from the sound. 1 foot per ms.

Of course, if using plugins you need to use zero latency plugins or the through time will increase by the amount of delay added by the plugin and if chaining plugins then you need to add the longest plugin chain time to that.

So if you have a 2 ms or 4 ms reported latency with no plugins and you can notice a delay then something is wrong!

Some of the UA plugins can add a big latency to the path.

Not what he wants to hear though…

The Apollo inbuilt ones claim 2 ms (Which will of course also add to the buffer latency when not direct monitoring).

@OP:FWIW. With a wrong setting, the Apollo will also not give you only 2 ms…

I think I have been misunderstood completely. Does anyone

a) actually have one of these units? And
b) use Cubase?

If so I’d be glad to chat to you.


pointless at this time as UA still has no windows drivers.
also no TB available yet, only with TB will the unit function as it should…

i doubt it will solve your issue and i expect as you use UAD plugins your latency will increase…
only point to buying it is for the plug ins…

funny i have tons of guys using the MR816 without complaint (unless trying to enable onboard effects)

Even if the drivers and Thunderbolt card existed (and your PC supported TB), “Universal Audio” and “low latency” just sound weird in the same sentence.

I am curious to hear peoples’ experiences once it works with Windows and PCs, but it’s gonna take a lot of convincing to get me to believe the Apollo’s a better investment than a current-model Focusrite or RME for high-performance tracking.

Hi Al,

…and ‘HEY’ everybody

Dan from Universal Audio support here. I wanted to drop in on this thread because…

  1. I use Cubase 6 ( I’ve been a Cubase user for years… awesome app )
  2. I use the Apollo

Wellll I don’t OWN one yet ( working on that ) but I work with one everyday.

So to answer this question. There will not be a latency problem when recording. You would need to mute the track in Cubase when you record because you will be monitoring the audio input through the Console software for the Apollo. If you do not mute the channel in Cubase then you will get the doubling of the audio being recorded ( through the console AND through the DAW). The Console software is also where you would apply your UAD2 plugins when recording if you want the unique ‘realtime’ processing through the plugin.

…and I did say ‘realtime’

Because the UAD2 dsp chips are directly ‘physically’ located on the Apollo interface all the audio that is routed into the Apollo can be processed through the plugins in realtime! Also when you process the audio through the UAD2 plugins in the Console you have the choice to either ‘print’ the effect to the track or simply ‘monitor’ through the effect. Simple setup on the Console ( a switch you set to either MON or REC ).

Now there has been some advise on the thread talking about the normal latency you have when you are using UAD2 plugins… And these comments would be correct.

This latency is produced when you are ‘mixing and mastering’ with the UAD2 plugins. In this scenario you are adding the UAD2 plugin directly to the insert in Cubase. When you are adding UAD2 plugins in the DAW then you have to take into consideration the ‘round trip’ the data is taking ( DAW -> UAD2 DSP CHIPS -> DAW). Because of this round trip you need to increase your audio buffer size to a minimum of 512 samples ( perhaps more at higher sample rates or bigger sessions ).

Because you are mixing or mastering it won’t matter that the buffer size is higher. Your Cubase delay comp will take care of the latency produced by the UAD2 plugins.

If you have any other questions on this ( Al… anyone ) please feel free to contact us directly here at UA Customer Support.

Universal Audio Customer Support
Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm PST

Telephone Support
USA: 877-MY-UAUDIO [877-698-2834]
International: +1-831-440-1176

Email Support


Dan Becker

Customer Service
Universal Audio

thanks for that Dan!

when are the windows drivers coming? are you still waiting on the TB add on cards to get released?

i had emailed James and told him we had systems now with TB port onboard the mobo…

when is the TB add in card from you coming?

FYI with a good system 256 or even 128 is do-ble whist using UADs

What about after i’ve recorded my first take on a vocal and wish to record a 2nd take.
Another scenario…what if I wish to either punch on the same track, or overdub to an existing track?
I assume i’d be monitoring through through the Apollo.
To avoid added latency, I’d want to remove the plugs from the inserts of the track I just recorded? Or at least mute them?
I’m just so used to recording with Direct Monitoring on using the MR816,