New Music Gear Monday: Universal Audio Arrow Interface

Universal Audio ArrowIf you always needed a computer interface and also wanted to get into Universal Audio plugins but didn’t want to pay the price for an Apollo, now you’re in luck. UA has introduced a brand new, scaled down version of the Apollo Twin called the Arrow.

The Arrow is that same as a Twin a few regards, so let’s begin there. It’s built into a sturdy all metal box, comes with two Unison preamps (one has a dedicated instrument input), uses the same Core processor, and comes with a great plugin bundle. Arrow also operates at all resolutions up to 192kHz, and it also has the same basic layout and user interface as the Twin as well. And of course the unit also carries UA’s latest AD/DA convertors, so you know that it already sounds great.

There are some major differences though. The first thing is that Arrow is bus powered from its Thunderbolt 3 interface, which many users with portable rigs will love. Next is that it only has a single core processor, which means that you’ll be limited in the number of plugins that you can run at once (although in practice, that’s still a lot, especially at 44/1 or 48kHz).

UA also states that this is a 2 input/4 output device, and while that’s technically true, it’s counting the headphone output in that. There are only two outputs intended for monitor speakers. That said, 2/4 is probably all you need (that’s all I ever use on my Apollo Twin, as I rarely use the second set of analog or digital outputs).

Maybe the most attractive thing about Arrow is it’s price. At $499 it’s $400 less than the least expensive Apollo and it’s right in the sweet spot for many musicians, artists and producers who travel and need an interface in their Go bag. It also works with both Mac and PC platforms with latter model operating systems (you’ll need a later model computer with a Thunderbolt 3 interface anyway). Check out the dedicated UA page¬†or check out the video below.

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