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May 14, 2010

Apogee Duet Review

After having been using an old USB audio interface for a few years, I started realizing my weakest link in my recording chain was my audio interface. After doing some research, I decided on the Apogee Duet.

The Apogee Duet is a small, bus-powered, FireWire 400 2-channel audio interface designed purely for Mac computers. It is incompatible with Windows PC. If you are not a Mac user, you can stop reading now.

The Duet can simultaneously record and play two channels of up to 24-bit, 96 kHz audio, and Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro, and GarageBand all have direct support for the Apogee Duet.

The Apogee Duet is designed to connect to a MacBook or MacBook Pro. It certainly looks like an Apple product, with a sleek design; aluminum casing and rounded corners. It is actually a lot smaller than I envisioned.

Features

The tests I have done with Logic Express and my guitar gear have shown me, without doubt, how much better the Apogee Duet really is, compared to my old USB audio interface. In fact, everything sounds better - even just listening to songs on iTunes! The analog to digital conversion is astounding. Only when I heard it, did I realize what I've been missing out on. Now my guitar amps really come to life, when I use my Shure Sm57 and Golden Age Project Pre-73 mic preamp. However, the mic preamps built in to the Duet are really good too - you will be able to create really good results without having to buy an external mic preamp.

A closer look

On the front panel, we have a quarter inch headphone jack and a pair of LEDs for indicating whether phantom power is active or no. On the rear panel, we have the FireWire 400 port and a DB15 connector, connected to a breakout cable. The breakout cable provides six jacks on separate 18-inch cables - two balanced XLR mic/line inputs, two unbalanced quarter-inch high-impedance inputs, and two unbalanced -10 dBV quarter inch line outputs.

The Apogee Duet has a very elegant and simple design. The largest control you find is the large, rotating aluminum knob. Everything is controlled from this one knob. Pressing down on the knob lets you scroll between the list of devices you can control.

Maestro

The software Maestro is a simple configuration program, which you use to set up your preference on the Apogee Duet. The mixer page enables low-latency monitoring, and you can select 48V phantom power and phase inversion with the Maestro software. Maestro is very easy to understand and use, and it makes great sense once you start using it.

Summary

The Apogee Duet is a really good product, and the sound quality is nothing but excellent. It is very easy to use, and it comes in a small, affordable package. I have to say - I love it. I give the Apogee a hearty recommendation and for those looking for an affordable quality audio interface for their Mac - the Apogee Duet is one of the best you can find.

Buy the Apogee Duet from Amazon

The Duet is a 2-channel FireWire audio interface that features the amazing sound quality that made Apogee Electronics famous. With control functions built directly into Apple's Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro and GarageBand software, Duet empowers you to create professional recordings effortlessly on your Mac. With Duet, you can plug in guitars, keyboards, and microphones to record your music, or simply experience how much better your favorite tracks in iTunes sound. The Duet is compact and powered by FireWire, so you can pack up your studio and go anywhere your music takes you.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on May 14, 2010

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