Analog Heat vs. Apollo Interfaces

For anyone that owns an Apollo interface and utilizes their Unison plugins etc, just out of curiosity - what value does the Analog Heat have over let’s say a virtual Thermionic Culture Vulture UAD plug-in (outside them having their own characteristics in sound)? Just that this has its own hardware?

I’m trying to understand the price point of this device and what other functionality it can deliver to justify my inevitable purchase lol

Thanks in advance!

I guess nobody utilizes both an Apollo interface and Analog Heat?

Well, I don’t use both, but have friends that have various Apollo interfaces and no one has ever said anything about how great the UAD plugs are. A perspective for you, is that interfaces in general will phase out, whereas hardware like Heat or a real CV will always be relevant. I think that plugs are close, but not fully there yet. Heat does magical things and is one of my all time favs. Anyways! Good luck on picking up your new gear!


All the UAD stuff adds quite a lot of latency and I’d have a look at their DSP charts to see how many instance you can run on those cheaper UAD (<£800) interfaces. Spoiler: It’s not many for the better plug ins.

Obviously, one is analogue and one is 2d virtualization. The Heat has 8 algos and modulation etc too, filter etc etc.

I think the Heat is quite a bargain TBH.


Both are cool. Won’t go wrong either way

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I don’t have an AH, but I do have a lot of the UAD stuff. For certain budgets and space constraints, it’s pretty ideal. Some of the plugins are excellent, and some are just average. However, I’ll echo what @og_tea_boi said: the number of plugins you can run at once will almost definitely be less than what you want, especially within a single channel strip inside the Console app. Running a Unison preamp with one or two big plugins (Lexicon 480L, for example) often isn’t possible without overloading. To be fair, this was improved a bit in a recent update, but it’s still an often-overlooked fact when shopping for them.

Does that DAW UA made for mac reduce the latency? I’ve only just come across it.

I have an apollo x4 which functions as mixer and effect chain for my mix buss) doing compression/equalising/limiting and saturation for my jam sessions.

I stopped using the Culture vulture for this set-up, because I found it difficult to create some nice subtle settings. Its nice, but it cannot replace the heat in my opinion. Hands on and analog saturation.

I think the analog heat does a better job and also allows much more fine tuning of your sound.

However the apollo device is so much more and a superb audio interface. It allows me to use limited space available and cable management. I have a very small working space at the moment.

For best possible results use both!

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Thank you all for the responses! I just picked one up! Excited to use it!

I haven’t really used it yet; I’ve been away from my main studio space since its release, but I’ll probably get my hands on it next week sometime.


@Jaminman curious to hear your thoughts, now that you have both. I have an apollo twin and about to get an analog heat.

Its been great so far. Especially with the apollo twin - you’ll free up a little DSP on the device for other plugins. I like the sounds I’m getting out of the heat and so far to me - its been a worthy investment.

Also everything looks cool together lol.


Congrats, glad you like it!

Just to correct a few things stated about UAD gear in this thread:

  • UAD plugins sometimes do add latency, however, there’s absolutely no latency (< 1ms) when plugins are used in their Console app (the Apollo’s mixer) - that’s the whole point of UAD Apollos, you can perform/monitor/record with effects and the integrated DSP takes care of all processing

  • Whether your Apollo runs out of DSP power depends on how many cores you have. I have a Quad Core Apollo 8 and with effects lined up in the Console for incoming signals, I have yet to run out of processing power. And I’m talking 4 unison plugins, compressors and EQs on 4-6 tracks, reverb + delay in aux and occasionally a tape emulator in there somewhere as well. My point: when recording, a quad-core should provide you with ample power, when mixing however (more plugins on more tracks) then yes, you’ll probably run out of DSP with a quad (or even hexacore) quite quickly

  • UAD plugins are renowned for their quality, as a matter of fact you can find reviews and testimonials in lots of places, where users do praise their quality. The unison plugins are really great, some of the UAD reverbs are phenomenal (AKG BX20 comes to mind), UAD’s compressors are excellent, and their tape emulations are also fantastic. Their plugins are the whole point of getting a Satellite or Apollo.

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