Apogee Mini-Me; Questions for owners and users...
Old 21st August 2004
  #1
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supaheef's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Apogee Mini-Me; Questions for owners and users...

hey,

There is a lot of discussion on the 'boards about the 'lil Mini-Me, but most talk about it just sounds like advertising sprawl. I guess I am trying to ask a few questions to an owner, as I believe you only really know a piece of gear when you have to rely on it everyday. I was gonna post this in Remote forum, but most posts on the Mini-Me seem to end up here.

I am looking for a little interface to take world travelling with my laptop, my main questions about the unit relate to the headphone output. As the only analog out on the unit, I am very keen to hear about the sound quality of that output. I'm not expecting a Mini-DAC quality of output, but it had better be good. I reckon my headphone out on my iBook is as good as the outs on my ol' Mbox.

Is it powerful enough to drive two sets of headphones via a splitter? I will be working with other songwriters while travelling, and don't really want to carry extra gear. Anuyone know of any battery powered headphone amps?

What's it like driving a pair of monitors? I will have to leave my beloved Emes Blacks at home, so I will be attaching to whatever monitors/boomboxes that I can find. Is it worth the time to make a little splitter cable to run to powered monitors?

If anyone else is clocking up frequent flyer miles with a Mini-Me, and has experiences/tips/warnings to offer, it will be greatly appreciated.

sh.
Old 21st August 2004
  #2
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littledoodler's Avatar
look into the Metric Halo stuff, it is better.
Old 21st August 2004
  #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by littledoodler
look into the Metric Halo stuff, it is better.
I think that this is just the kind of remark supaheef was hoping to avoid. If you care about sound quality, Sh, the Metric Halo box is not in the same league as the Mini-Me.

I have not tried using two headphones so I can't be of any help there. You can run the output to powered monitors, but the headphone D/A is not as good as the A/D so if accuracy is important, you should get the Mini-DAC to go with it.
Old 21st August 2004
  #4
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dim light's Avatar
 

Yes you should go for mini me and the dac.

I got really good result with mini me when recording. I got an old computer with a RME Digi96 Pad card and I haven’t optimized the system for audio so I get some clicks and stuff when I’ve tried to record. Then I connected the mini me and I had a really stable system with no clicks and tricks… Didn’t have to optimize anything and the mini me is perfect for laptops.

If you want a real travel killer setup go for the mini me and dac you will not regret it. The USB interface works well and it’s easy to setup Nuendo etc…

Hope this helps.
Old 21st August 2004
  #5
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Thread Starter
all responses are helpful, thank you.

For those with one, is the headphone output loud (I am hoping for somewhere near ear-bleeding) with one set of cans? Not that I always monitor at ear bleeding levels, but it can go loud chances are it will do a reasonable job with two sets of cans. Can anyone compare the sound quality of the headphone out with some other card that I might know, like Mbox, 828mkII, Digi001, anything?

thanks again,

sh.
Old 21st August 2004
  #6
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jeronimo's Avatar
Have you guys compared the ULN-2 w/ the MiniMe? One friend had both... now he keeps the ULN...
Old 22nd August 2004
  #7
Gear addict
 

The Mini-Me is great; it's not my main rig, but it has saved me several times when the big rig developed problems. As far as the headphone out goes, it's loud enough, but ear-bleeding? If that's what you need, then choose the most efficient Sony's you can find. I have found that the phone out is so clean that I listen a little too loudly - ymmv.

Maybe carry some q-tips on the road with you?

Best....H
Old 22nd August 2004
  #8
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Thread Starter
thanks for the info logichead!

Are you a Logic head? I will be using Logic with mine.

How have you found the pres? Is the limiting and compression useful? Fletcher made a comparison with an Al Smart on "crush", which sounds a little interesting! I love to re-send stuff to a room mic and slam the crap out of it.

I would love to here any stories you (or any user) can tell about the device in use. Any one using a battery pack?

sh.
Old 22nd August 2004
  #9
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The Pre is clean... Not much to say about them. Works great on guitar and clean vocals.

The compressor and soft lim. is not happening at all... Never use it.
Old 23rd August 2004
  #10
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Just wanted to say that I have a mini-me for sale.
I bought from Fletcher at mercenary over six months ago. I recently changed my studio set up so I don't need it, and would love to sell it so I can buy a distressor. I have everything, the original box and packaging materials, manuals, ALSO included is the apogee soft travel case for it.

http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/apogeestore.php

It lived in a smoke free studio. PM me or email me if your interested.

Oh yeh..... $925.00 via paypal, FEDEX shipping included in the US.
Old 25th August 2004
  #11
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Thread Starter
Hey cannikin,

is that the USB model?

how comfortable wpuld you be with maybe selling to an overseas buyer (I am in Australia)

sh.
Old 25th August 2004
  #12
Gear maniac
 

Man,get the uln-2.The mini-me doesn't have half the cool features of the uln-2 and the mm is surviving by the apogee name.It's not near the product of the uln-2 by any means.Go check out the metric halo website and the user forum.The uln-2 has some pretty heavy names behind it and those aren't from advertising dollars.
Old 25th August 2004
  #13
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Oh-another thing.
The mm is usb for heaven's sake.Not exactly "pro".
Old 25th August 2004
  #14
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littledoodler's Avatar
Supposedly Appgee is coming out with a firewire card for the mini-me but for now its still usb.
Old 25th August 2004
  #15
Gear nut
 

The mini-Me is not only USB, it also has AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital outputs, how much more professional do you want.It is a fine converter and very versatile.
Old 25th August 2004
  #16
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supaheef's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
well, yeah, my mouse uses USB. And my XSkey uses USB. Maybe that makes it 'not pro'. But not all interfaces with the same connection are created equal; a Digi HD card is PCI, and so is a SoundBlaster. Does that make them both 'pro'?

Besides, there is plenty of bandwidth in a USB connection to do what the Mini-Me claims to do. I am still not buying one until the Firewire version comes out (supposedly 4th Qtr)! I don't wanna do 24/96 though............ yet!

I will check out the Metric Halo stuff too.

ta lads!

sh.
Old 25th August 2004
  #17
Gear interested
 

I'm an owner of a MiniMe and it sounds great. The USB option is a plus. I've never used it. But if I ever need it, it's there.

A mobile pre/converter with S/PDIF only would be pointless. How many laptops have S/PDIF in and out? PCMCIA S/PDIF cards are (or atleast were) pricey, and many laptops these days don't support PCMCIA. So if it didn't have a USB/Firewire port you would have to carry around another USB/Firewire card with S/PDIF on it.

I would rather have USB than Firewire... 2 audio channels don't get near maxing out USB's bandwidth and more current laptops/desktops have USB than Firewire.

I also still consider the USB option a "bonus". If I ever need/want to record something remotely, I'm set. Even if the sound quality wasn't as outstanding as it's S/PDIF out, it would probably be more than enough for the job, in probably an untreated/less than ideal place. The non-existant limitations the USB interface was causing would be the very last thing on my mind in that situation.

I have not tried the MH product, but the MiniMe is top notch for what it does... The Metric Halo dilly might sound great as well, but don't buy into the only thing you get with the MiniMe is the Apogee name! You get 20 years of excelence and a major reputation at stake. Quality parts and a great design. Add it up and you get great sound.

If the MiniMe didn't sound good, it would be big news. A lot of people have shot it down based on nothing but negative vibe. If there was any substance to these claims it'd be everywhere.

I wouldn't have bought mine but I got an outstanding deal on it. I'm super glad I did. I can't get over how great it sounds.

The exterior design quality is shit for a "professional mobile device". But it's built well enough to survive my unmoving rack.

I think it's ironic that pro audio devices with digital components in them get labeled shit in comparison to another product. But all analog products come in "different flavors".

There is nothing wrong with these converters or the USB interface for the purpose of this product, IMHO.

I think the compression curves are a great addition as well, they add color to the otherwise lush transparent sound. They also add more versatility to the product. There is no audio out (besides the 1/8th jack diled to "DIR(ect)".

No complaints here.

-Dusty
Old 26th August 2004
  #18
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Thread Starter
Dusty!

Just the kind of report I have been looking for. Glad to hear that you are liking it, even though it sounds as if it wasn't something you had been actively looking for.

Can you give an example of "The exterior design quality is shit for a professional mobile device"? Do you think that the unit is not physical well built? I haven't felt one in person, but it looks like it made from thick-ish aluminium.

sh.
Old 26th August 2004
  #19
Gear interested
 

The aluminum is not necessarily thin. It's just not thick. I doubt it would get dented if you dropped it 10 foot on to a wood floor.

But MOST "professional" gear cases are designed with tanks in mind. The MiniMe is suppose to be portable as well...

The box is molded so its basically air tight... cool. BUUUUUUUT they just drilled over sized holes onto the faceplat and stuck the pots through which goes straight to the PC board! The knobs are far from centered as well. But if you look at any picture of the MiniMe, even in their advertisements you'll notice this! It really upset me at first, but then I plugged it in.

The knobs are kind of jangly and probably soldered straight to the board. Poor design choice for a portable device.

The switches are strong and tight, and small enough that I wouldn't worry about anything happening to them.

The phantom power might bug you. You engage it by holding the power switch to the right for a second or 2 until the green power LED turns red. If you shut the unit off and turn it back on the phantom will not come on unless you hold the switch for a second or 2 to the right! This is really no big deal unless you record yourself and have a lot of rooms like I do! But I am used to walking back and forth 300 b'zillion times to change or fix something before a take.

The box is sexy and has a nice weight to it. The ins and outs feel higher quality than most pro gear I've messed with. The meters are nice, the manual is handy.

That's all I know. I've had it for about 4-6 months. And I wouldn't mind keeping it for the rest of my life... Or until 24/96 becomes out dated. <- now that is a cool emoticon, don't you think?

-Dusty
Old 26th August 2004
  #20
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SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Have no fear! This a great unit with neutral Pre amps and decent A/D. A number of people have asked me to "modify" the Soft Limit Compression on their units and are very happy with the results. No USB problems (it's not 1999 you know!), and the mini jack out at the back has been more than useful for evryone.
Old 20th September 2005
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeCained
Have no fear! This a great unit with neutral Pre amps and decent A/D.
What he said! thumbsup
Old 18th October 2005
  #22
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buschfsu's Avatar
 

how did you modify. using the trim pots or something more extensive?
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