Apogee Duet
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Apogee Duet

Duet, FireWire audio interface from Apogee in the Duet series.

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All user reviews for the Apogee Duet

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Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 27 reviews )
 18 reviews67 %
 6 reviews22 %
 1 user review4 %
 1 user review4 %
Value For Money : Excellent
livewidmusic07/18/2014

livewidmusic's review""Beautiful, Classy and Royal!""

Apogee Duet
The Firewire Apogee Duet was something I found and bought after doing a lot of research. This tiny silver looking box comes with 2 Microphone inputs (with Phantom Power) delivering world class Apogee Pre-amps, 2 Line-level inputs and 2 Monitor outputs, all bundled and tied up together in a single breakout cable.

Having a Mobile setup, i.e. a Macbook Pro [OS Mavericks (Late 2009, 2.8GHz Core 2-Duo, 8gb)], a Shure - PG27 Condenser Mic and a DT770 Pro BeyerDynamics Headphone, and being someone who always travels, I wanted a device that could integrate all my equipment at one place without cluster-confusion at the same time without compromising the quality for sound. This is where I found the existence of Duet.

Duet caught me immediately with its crystal clear AD/DA conversion. The sound is absolutely fantastic. Being a Logic 9 and Logic X user mostly, Apogee already has a place inside the Logic DAW option menus to control the Input levels. The dedicated Headphone input is also commendable.

The Giant wheel knob on the Device is easy to use and straight forward giving us several options (Can be used to adjust Input levels and control the main output volume levels etc). Especially found them helpful while switching between Headphone and Monitor Outputs to check the levels individually.

The Low Latency Monitoring option provided with the Stand-alone Maestro application provided by Duet is also helpful at times where you can listen to the recording that is coming directly from the Duet and not from the DAW.

This goes into your smallest travel bag, your laptop case or your work pouch. The idea of having a device that could accompany you without any hindrance and attend to all your primary recording requirements giving you a unique incomparable quality is something special, and Apogee Duet makes it a reality for me.

UTILIZATION

The Legacy Duet that I am still using has the updated driver for the latest Mac OS Mavericks, and this shows how consistent and alert Apogee products are when its come to updating. Stability has never been an issue for me with Duet. 2 to 3 crashes have happened until now, but only when the session was overloaded with more than 100 tracks. Can't blame just the Duet.

Duet initially became my recording companion on the Leopard OS, recording on Logic Pro 9. Most of my projects usually have almost 20-25 audio tracks with Sample Rate set to 44KHz. With my usual setting of the I/O Buffer set to 256 Samples (only while recording audio) and the Logic Software Monitoring enabled, the Duet provides me with 16.0ms roundtrip latency, which is fairly acceptable. I have to say that in this mode, Duet has never given me any kind of latency, and that is, even with any time or DSP based effects, for e.g., with delays and reverbs etc.

Aside from recording, Duet plays back my session like the playhead scrolling without any stops/pops/clicks. Unless your system does not have enough breathing power to play back the sessions. This depends on the amount of free RAM and other requirements etc. For e.g., My sessions are always hybrid modelled, i.e, a session having midi instrument tracks and audio instrument tracks together, and Duet does a good job in handling this, playing back for me realtime multiple midi instruments (usually around 10-15 midi tracks) and all my audio tracks.

All in All, Duet has read my biggest session till date having 200 tracks with 150 audio tracks and 50 instrument tracks without any overload warning or stop. (Note that while I playback after recording, the I/O Buffer is always set to 1024 samples giving a roundtrip latency of 50.8ms)

GETTING STARTED

Setting up the Duet was simple and clean for me. Coming in a Rectangular shaped box, there is nothing that is not clear inside this while unpacking the Duet. 1 Firewire cable, 1 Breakout cable and the Duet itself. As mentioned in the Manual clearly, after connecting it via a Firewire (Gives you a Firewire 800 and 400 free cable each with the case) to my laptop, I had to install the dedicated driver provided on the apogee website and had to install the Maestro, to control Duet on a stand-alone basis.

Once opened with Logic Pro 9, it detects for the newly attached duet and then we are ready to adjust the levels and hit record. The functions of Duet are easy to understand.

Today I am using the Logic X on the Mavericks 10.9.4. Its been 6 years. There has never been any compatibility issues with me.

OVERALL OPINION

Pros
1) Amazing AD/DA Conversion giving crisp and clear recording.
2) Strong Outer-body, has withstood a lot of misplaces by me.
3) The cables provided within do not cuddle, clatter or has never been bent, destroying the connectivity.
4) Easy to use and understand.
5) Offers 44Khz to 96KHz recording and playback.

Cons
1) Moderate amount of heat exertion while recording and playback.
2) Only XLR Inputs and 2 Stereo Outs.
3) The Led levels sometimes portray peak levels even if the gain level is down.
4) Crashed once while recording in 96Khz.


The price I got this for (directly ordered from the website) was for $533. Some might argue that this is a bit overpriced as there are many sound cards out there that gives you more input and monitoring options. But for me, someone going for the perfect quality recording sound, I would say the price is justifiable for this being the main reason.

Apogee Duet was my first sound card. My first recording on a DAW was using this device. After being used to this quality, I have never been satisfied with the sound of other sound cards (not naming them), that comes in this same range of price and value.

After these many years experience, Apogee only amazes me with the numerous amounts of recordings I have made and it still does. The choice I made was perfect!
10/31/2011

Anonymous 's review

Apogee Duet
The Apogee Duet is an extremely famous interface. Unlike many interfaces that I enjoy reviewing, the Duet is famous not because of how much you get or the money. Two mic and two line inputs is hardly a sizable amount for what you are paying for this. No. It is famous because of its sheer pristine quality. With preamps offering 75 dB of gain or so each, you really cannot go wrong. The singular knob on the Apogee Duet is also midi assignable, so you can use it to control parameters in your favorite digital audio workstation. It is important to note that not only is this interface powered by firewire, it is also Mac only, so sorry to those of you who own windows pc's (I'm in that category, but when you work with audio, you tend to have a lot of friends who own Macs).

UTILIZATION

The beautiful Duet has very bright LEDs on the surface to indicate parameters. What is so special about the utilization of the Apogee Duet is the fact that it has only one knob, that you push to switch between the current parameters you are messing with. You switch between input gain 1, input gain 2, output from software, output from the hardware for monitoring, and the midi assignable function. What I find odd about the Duet is the situation with phantom power. I am not quite sure what drives it, but there does not seem to be any parameter assignable to it, and yet I know people who have used it for condensers. I for one have only used the Apogee Duet with dynamics, and I find that they give adequate gain for just about any dynamic out there.

GETTING STARTED

It is as simple as plug and play. The manual is simple to use and everything about the Duet is elegant and simple.

OVERALL OPINION

I find the Duet to now be a steal when you consider that the Duet 2 is out on the market now, taking up the new sales segment. It is a fantastic deal, very elegant, and the quality is top notch.
loudfunk03/24/2011

loudfunk's review"Perfect travel interface..."

Apogee Duet
2 inputs and 2 outputs, big volume knob selectable for input 1/input 2/output from software/output from hardware/selectable midi function.
Level LEDs switchable for input and or output.


UTILIZATION

Use it on my Mac Book pro as my interface when I travel. And more importantly to interface rental amps with efx via Apple Main Stage 2. More on that below...
As a recording interface I use it on Logic 9, or Pro Tools 9. And when dual booting the laptop into windows to use Samplitude/Sequoia via Parallels Desktop.

It's limited to record two tracks at a time, but for recording guitar on the go it's great. The inputs are switchable between instrument/line level and/or mic inputs. Works well for dynamic mics like the Shure SM57 or the Sennheiser 609, etc...
Downside is that it doesn't have phantom power for condenser mics which require it.

GETTING STARTED

The set-up is a breeze install the drivers and Apogess Maestro control panel that lets you select levels, inputs, routing, whether audio will be send straight to the hardware outs or from the recording software.
And you're ready to record.
Since this is OSX only the only way to use it on a windows program is by using it through Parallels Desktop or VM Fusionware and run Windows on top of OSX with the Apogee running as default audio under WMD drivers.

OVERALL OPINION

The best part of this interface is using it with Apple Maisnstage, Apple's stand alone software-instrument/amp-sim/AU plug-ins rack.

You run your guitar into the front of your amp, run the efx send into input 1 on the Apogee, and output 1 back to your amp's efx return.
Then open Main Stage and select the Apogee Duet as the interface, choose input 1 as your in, and out 1 as your output (switch to mono).

And then you can add whatever plug-ins you like...delays, filters, reverb, etc...
The latency is pretty good in a serial loop and of no concern in a parallel loop. The best part is that the computer pretty much pulls all resources into running Main Stage at a higher priority than anything else so it's just about as solid as a hardware processor. Downside is that in order to switch stuff on or off you still will have to carry a midi controller. But hey it beats paying cargo for a fridge sized rack.
Mark Day03/15/2011

Mark Day's review"Simple, effective interface with professional results!"

Apogee Duet
I needed something portable that yields high quality results. I use this mainly to do product demo videos. I wanted something that would mate perfectly with my MacBook Pro and Logic Pro 9 and the Apogee comes through with flying colors!

I use a 17" MacBook Pro with a 2.4 Core2Duo Intel CPU, 4 gigs of ram, a 500 gig 7200 rpm internal HDD and 750 gig external FW800 HDD for audio. My MBP runs Snow Leopard and Logic Pro 9.

The Duet features a firewire powered bus that is connected via a standard FW cable (2 FW cables included a regular 400 and a 400 to 800). It has a audio breakout cable snake that has two unbalanced instrument level IN's (1/4"), 2 XLR Balanced IN's and two 1/4" OUT's (RCA adapter incl. if you need it). The Mic IN's also have software assignable phantom power (48v).

The control functions are midi assignable.

The Duet has highly visible LED meters that monitor your choice of IN's or Out's. It features a large data wheel that controls the I/O. A push down click of the wheel chooses the functions...very simple.



UTILIZATION

When I bought the unit I downloaded the lastest drivers. They are very stable and feature very low latency. Included is Maestro, a slick little interface for the Duet when using any Mac OS X Core Audio application. Garageband, Logic, Logic Express and Final Cut Studio have a built in Duet control panel and support. I have not noticed any updates for the drivers.

You can only record 2 tracks at a time with the Duet, but plays back as many as your system can handle.
The Duet can record/playback at 24bit/96khz.



GETTING STARTED

The Duet only works with Apple so no PC support. The unit is very simple to use and setup and the manual is clear and concise. The folks at Apogee provide free online support chat if you run into any issues.

OVERALL OPINION

This is a simple to use, high quality interface. I was first hesitant at the price but now realize it is more than worth the money. It's physical size has to bearing on it's huge quality results...brillliant!

I was running a Digi003 and a rack of decent mic preamps. With the Duet I don't miss that at all.

The breakout cable seems a little flimsy, but I have had no issues with it, so the point is really moot anyway. You can buy upgraded breakout cables.

I am very pleased with this purchase.
mooseherman12/15/2010

mooseherman's review"Nice Logic Interface, but works for any DAW"

Apogee Duet
This is a really small, compact audio interface made by Apogee. This brand is known for their high quality products. While this looks more like style over substance, rest assured that it's a quality interface. Granted, it's small and has two channels so it's not cut out for anything huge. But for people just looking to get good sounds on really small projects at home, this could be perfectly fine.
I would say that this is probably a great choice for people who use logic as this interface has surface controls that work for Logic. It's a firewire interface so it's fast enough. It has two channels that have XLR and 1/4" inputs. It has a 1/4" output, either for headphones or monitoring. The channels have phantom power support so you could even use a condenser mic if you wanted to.

UTILIZATION

This product has limited functions, so it's not like you can really go crazy with it. Using it is simple but limited, if all you want to do is plug in an acoustic, and mic the guitar and your vocals, this is perfect and will sound great, but if you are looking to record more of a band, than this will probably not work for you. I perused the manual and it allows you to set up the interface and install it with ease as this is a pretty basic piece of gear to work with. There is a little bit of latency depending on what computer you are using but Logic has a feature that deals with this quite effectively.

GETTING STARTED

I haven't had any compatibility issues with this interface as I've only used it with Logic for basic vocal and guitar tracking. Those were simple setups, less then 15 minutes. The functions are handled pretty easily with this device. The setup is pretty easy overall. You'll be recording in no time.

OVERALL OPINION

I like this mainly because it is so easy to use. For being so small it sure has a nice pre-amp in both channels. It's pretty expensive but I guess it's got nice pre's in it and works pretty well overall. It has a chic kind of look to it, as well, which I guess is how they get away with making it more expensive. I've used a few interfaces, most of which had more than just this. This one is however more conducive to using Logic, and I might recommend for Logic users who really only need one or two mic channels.
moosers02/13/2010

moosers's review

Apogee Duet
Apogee Electronics Duet is a simple, two channel firewire based audio interface. Duet is designed for the user who is looking to put together a simple home studio to get down basic recordings or who have needs that won't exceed only having a two channel interface. It has 1/4" inputs as well as XLR connections, so this will support both microphones and instruments. The interface has a 1/4" output for your headphones/monitoring. It doesn't have too much to work with beyond its basic features...

UTILIZATION

Everything from setting up the Apogee Electronics Duet to using it on a day to day basis is pretty simple. It doesn't get much more basic than this, so even those without experience with studios or interfaces will be able to use this with ease. I haven't seen a manual for Duet, but I don't think that one is necessary as it is easy enough to use on its own.

GETTING STARTED

The Apogee Electronics Duet offers a mix of high quality conversion and basic audio interface features. While certainly not extensive in versatility, the mic pres and 1/4" connections that it does offer do sound quite good. Of course this doesn't sound as good as a full Apogee audio interface or one of their A/D/A converters, but it does offer up the same kind of quality in a more compact setting. Since most of the people interested in this interface will be looking for something simple anyway, the sound that this has to offer should surely exceed their expectations.

OVERALL OPINION

For a two channel interface, Apogee Electronics Duet isn't the cheapest out there on the market by a long shot, but it definitely makes up for this in the high quality sound that you have with Duet. It is the perfect in between for the user who wants to a good sounding interface, but doesn't need a big set up and also doesn't mind paying a bit more for quality. As far as simple audio interfaces go, Duet is absolutely something that you should be checking out if you're in the market for one.
Audiofanzine FR12/04/2008

Audiofanzine FR's review

Apogee Duet
(Originally written by llessor/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
First of all I want to emphasize that the following review bluntly contradicts the previews opinions.

I just spent two days testing the product without a single problem, and the sound quality is great!

In the beginning I was a bit skeptical because the product seemed odd. But the competent shop assistant convinced me.

I use an iMac 24" with 4 GB Ram and a MacBook Pro 17" also with 4 GB Ram. I installed Logic pro 8 on both computers.

I use hardware synths and also many Logic virtual synths. I also play bass guitar, which I usually connect to the interface via a Line6 Bass POD.

UTILIZATION

No installation problems (it's Mac not Windows!!)

Everything was installed pretty quickly and worked fine immediately.

GETTING STARTED

I think the drivers are reliable.

They are not updated 20 times a day like with some Windows applications!

I tested it with Logic pro and the latency is almost nonexistent The sound

is HUGE! But I miss an integrated MIDI interface.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using it for one week.

I like its look but I need three additional inputs.

I previously tested two other interfaces (Motu and M-Audio, which are also very good).

The price is very low considering the sound quality, even if the connections

are via cables.
11/27/2012

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Apogee Duet
no time to write an expos on the subject I leave a simple note.

USE

ok

IMPLEMENTATION

ok

NOTICE GLOBAL

ok
Des notes et du bruit12/05/2011

Des notes et du bruit's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Nothing more nothing less"

Apogee Duet
- I was looking for good converters and good pramps not ruin me. I went first on the Duet2 but my finances were a little face when I saw the price of that stock in toto in b (298E against 500 for 2) I cracked.
I do not need 36 inputs and outputs, 2 me more than enough, one of the important points t ergonomics, it is the caviar.
- Use on a Macbook Pro 2.26GHz and 8 gb of ram.

UTILIZATION

- Installation of 2 min, you plug everything is ok, nothing wrong.
- I use it with Live, no problem so far (4 days of use, I prcise).
- Trs short latency for updates I will tackle it this week.
- At the sound, you feel the small diffrence everyone is talking about when it is prsence of convertos APOG, run an ordinary Mp3 and if you are pregnant take a little road ( Adam A7x for me) you feel immediately the difference.

GETTING STARTED

I saw nothing more clear to mac today, everything is simple.

OVERALL OPINION

- Reu 4 days ago
- Motu ultralite mk3, emu 1616m and some I've seen in others.
- Quality of pramps and converters, big button that does everything, Aesthetics (yes a consideration too).
- Nothing is 300 euros in nine, I see no bad cts.
- If I had a budget a little more consquent I took the Duet 2 is my only regret.

Little updating the 22/12/2011:
I'm having a big concern for latency in Live right, which makes use trspnible follow ....
AkAlvarez10/03/2011

AkAlvarez's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" GOOD PRODUCT strong and viable"

Apogee Duet
Apogee converter = good
facilitates connection and very portable

UTILIZATION

everything works great and very easy to use, there is the choice of the switch between the headset and the speaker that seems a little confusion from time to time.

GETTING STARTED

no worries

OVERALL OPINION

Very good product, robustre, good converters, portable, easy connection. Namely it worth buying a better cable Firwire 400 to 800 since the mac has no connections with firewire 400.