Vienna Symphonic Library Forum
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  • RME vs Apollo vs 'other' audio interface?

    I want a new interface and I need answers.

    Any RME users on here that can say whether Totalmix is useful using VSL or no? Anything better or worse about using either interface?

    I'd either use an RME Pci-e or the Apollo with thunderbolt, so the comparison on latency I figure is equal. If I go with RME then I'd buy a UAD quad pci-e card. I'm just not sure which will be better. I'm not using the interface for physical i/o at all, just samples. I do record now and then, but no more than one mic at a time. And if I do more later I'll buy more hardware. For now I want the best quality interface, best features, etc. for using with VSL. Any ideas?


  • I haven't used (or even seen) the Apollo, so I can't make a comparison between the two. That said, RME is known for the most reliable driver-structure on the market (plus very useful additional software, like Totalmix, or the indespensable DigiCheck suite), great sound and copious feature-sets for their interfaces in any price range.

    Hard to go wrong with them. :-)

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • I like very much my Motu PCI system, it had grow with my needs I started a with a  few tracks now I have 84 ins and 64 outs

    I started years ago with a PCI MAC, upgrade to a PCI X and them to a PCI E just changing the PCI card (the 4 interfaces connected to the PCI card was not changed)

    In my system I still have 2nd generation Motu 2408 MKII, a 24i and a 1296 (at least 15 years old) and a more recent one the 2408 MKIII and they are all working toogether with no problems since many years

    My only reproch with Motu are 

    - that the CueMix* only display 24 tracks at a time so with my big configuration I have to scroll back and forward

    - In the CueMix you can only dispach 180 ins to your 64 outs, but what is good is you can store dispatches and have different dispach depending of the tasks you are doing 

    What could be helpfull is you may need one day Adat, TDIF, SPDIF, AES ......, just by sotware you switch 8 analog ins/out to an Adat

    My Mac digital outs is connected thru a the light pipe to AES converter 

    Motu is using the same converters than Protools

    You do not need an additionnal mixer in the studio

    You can connect a control surface if you really need



    * CUE MIX = realtime mixing table that run on the MAC  with no latency as the mix is done in the PCI interface, the sound does not go in the MAC, the MAC is only controling the faders and the switches

    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" - 1 x 27" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D Dolby Atmos --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • Dietz, thanks for the reply. I have one more question if you don't mind. First, fyi- The Apollo is new from Universal Audio with 4 sharc processors (essentially a combo with their UAD quad cards).

    I've seen that RME says total mix lists capability to mix between 500-8000 channels, etc. I understand how they came to those numbers from reading on their site. But does any of that translate to better performance or any more channels in Vienna Ensemble? I'm trying to find a better way to view this. Currently, the only thing I can see besides software benefits with RME is that it can be used up to 192kHz (mine can't),  42-bit internal processing, and better latency via PCI-e. These are all great, but do these or other features (software or hardware) have any specific benefits to large orchestral projects, etc? I've only ever had my EMU 0404. I want to start using higher sample rates and down-convert them after the fact (if I hear a noticable difference, which I can't even test with my current card). I want a better interface capability-wise. But more importantly, I want what's going to give my VSL library the most flexibility and quality I can possibly give it. Ultimately my question is, is there any feature, software, etc. about RME cards that will benefit my being a VSL user as opposed to other offerings?



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    @Cyril said:

    What could be helpfull is you may need one day Adat, TDIF, SPDIF, AES ... You can connect a control surface if you really need

    Okay, so I completely get that. That makes sense, and having the ability is definately a good thing. But do I really need to use a control surface? Is there any benefit not available through software? I just don't know. If not, then my second question to Dietz is where my main focus will be.


  • For me the best thing about RME is low latency, stable drivers.


  • Another longtime absolutely happy RME customer.  My RME cards have never been the issue in my recording studios.  It is the one thing I have always been able to rely on.

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    @DG said:

    For me the best thing about RME is low latency, stable drivers.


    That's pretty much what I was trying to say.

    All the specific features are more or less a question of personal habits, and the actual AD/DA-converters can be added to all systems according to taste (and the size of one's wallet 😉 ...), but reliable drivers are essential. Not all brands have them.

    TotalMix is more or less a glorified routing matrix with additional options to do internal loop-backs, basic monitoring tasks and MIDI-remote control. You could achieve this with other manufacturer's control panels, too - it's just sooo convenient and flexible with TotalMix, once you grasped the idea.

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Thanks for the feedback and answers!


  • I think you should forget the Apollo for the moment for a variety of reasons:

    1. Nobody knows what it sounds like or how low the latency actually is.
    2. The latency is likely to be lower with RME, because the Apollo is Firewire
    3. No Windows drivers for at least 6 months
    4. The Thunderbolt add-on is an extra card and won't be available for at least 6 months anyway
    5. You will need to buy a new motherboard to use Thunderbolt, and I would be very surprised if it was compatible with AMD, being Intel technology.

    However, if you are not looking to buy for a year or so, it might be worth keeping in mind.


  • DG,

    I had considered those points, so Apollo is out for sure. The only appeal was thinking maybe there would be an extra benefit in having the UAD DSP processing built in. I've since learned that the only real benefit is something that won't help me anyway (being able to record straight into the plugins, saving some people time despite being stuck with a 'wet' signal). For me, that's essentially spending an extra $1000 for something I could already do with a UAD card.

    Thanks anyway.