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Apogee Duet, professional two-channel firewire audio interface for the Mac Audio Interfaces
Old 16th May 2008
  #871
TCW
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Has anyone been limited by the in/out situation on the Duet? One thing that's holding me back is the inability to have a little verb on the vocals while tracking (Digital Performer gives latency when tracking with effects). Since theres no routing options with the duet other than the stereo outs, I could see that being a problem. Just 2 in and 2 out...and the 2 outs gets used up by the playback (stereo)

I've been trying to decide between a Duet and a Mackie 400f. I could live w/out the verb while tracking if the sound is superior (preamps and converters)

Any opinions on this?
Old 17th May 2008
  #872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
But eventually any design has to call "enough". There is more than enough remaining control capability in the controller chip however.
Well, sure, if you're assuming they're adding these things in after the entire design is already done. Seems to me this should have been part of the spec from the beginning, but what do I know?

JSL
Old 17th May 2008
  #873
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Well, sure, if you're assuming they're adding these things in after the entire design is already done. Seems to me this should have been part of the spec from the beginning, but what do I know?
There is always a tension between the requirements and the design. A very important idea in this phase is the notion of a design "closing". That is where the tension between the competing requirements yields a design that is feasible within those constraints.

The Duet was clearly specified with a few non-negotiable constraints. Things like bus-powered, price point, Apple driver compatibility, audio quality. It is also clear that there was a desire to use the design of the Ensemble as a basis. In most ways the Duet is a 2 channel Ensemble. This would yield a clear head start in the design of the device, including software. So adding a feature or design element missing on the Ensemble to the Duet would have been frowned upon.

It isn't clear that adding a pair of level controls after the DAC would have had the same audio quality as using the DAC's internal one, and it would have added a set of new design elements - requiring new software - and a design that was no longer a cut down Ensemble. The other way of providing level controls on the outputs would be to add a second DAC. But the obvious chip to use is the same one that they already do, so you find yourself only a few components short of making not a Duet, but a Quartet. And in either case probably with a power budget that was getting quite difficult.

If you follow the internal design of the Duet you find that the device almost designs itself. Everything flows very neatly. Almost every feature of every component is used and it all meshed together like a perfect jigsaw.

The obvious step up is not a Duet Plus, but a Quartet. But that would take a lot of thinking about. It could no longer be bus powered, well it could, but it would kill battery life, and thus cease to sit in the Duet's slot as a viable portable device. It would probably need to sell for about $800 US, and there may simply not be market enough for it there. People might prefer to pay the difference to go to an Ensemble. Or go for competitor products. So it could be a bit of an orphan. Difficult to know. There is no doubt the Duet has hit a sweet spot in the market.
Old 18th May 2008
  #874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
If you follow the internal design of the Duet you find that the device almost designs itself. Everything flows very neatly. Almost every feature of every component is used and it all meshed together like a perfect jigsaw.
The software cost of adding the two controls would be trivial, but the more significant cost might be that if you're going to have isolated attenuators from the DAC output, then neither one of them can be integrated within the DAC.

An awful lot of interface product feature sets are based on the OEM chips that are available, as opposed to companies having a unique point of view on what customers will want and like. That's why so many of the interface feature sets are almost identical.

JSL
Old 18th May 2008
  #875
TCW
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Best Duet settings

Duet users,

What settings are the best for the Duet? I have Digital Performer/Mac G4 dual 1GHz and was wondering what buffer size and proiority level I should assign.

Thanks,
Tom
Old 18th May 2008
  #876
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anyone know if the duet will work with fw 800??
Old 19th May 2008
  #877
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just spoke with apogee, they said fw 400 to 800 will work....
Old 21st May 2008
  #878
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what do you think a good external pre would be to add to the DUET?
Old 21st May 2008
  #879
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Apogee Duet & Firewire Hub

I tried plugging my Duet into a firewire hub but the Maestro software doesn't activate it remains gray. Is anyone else having success using a firewire hub? I'm on a 24" iMac.
Vangogh57
Old 21st May 2008
  #880
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Question Duet Aggregation?

Anyone ever try (successfully) to aggregate the Duet with something like an Ultralite?

Would it be possible to do that and still get the conversion and preamps from the Duet and then run a DAV BG1 (or similar external preamp) into the ultralite, so ideally I'd have 2 excellent channels (duet) and 2 so-so channels (DAV thru UL)?

Am I making stuff up?

Let's hear about your aggregation experiences, please!!
Old 22nd May 2008
  #881
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Quote:
what do you think a good external pre would be to add to the DUET?
Depends on the sound you're looking for...its preamps are actually quite good, so if you felt compelled to add an external preamp of some sort I'd add something with some color. What type of color would, again, depend on what kind of sound you were looking for.
Old 22nd May 2008
  #882
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Updates! ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
Depends on the sound you're looking for...its preamps are actually quite good, so if you felt compelled to add an external preamp of some sort I'd add something with some color. What type of color would, again, depend on what kind of sound you were looking for.
Here you can grab the latest updates for Duet and Ensemble:

Index of /downloads/drivers

I don't know if it's legal to post this link (I don't care), if its officially released (there is nothing on the site), also I don't know if it's a beta, or if they will completely destroy your system. I didn't install myself .... YET.

Yesterday, I had a session with a singer, full of audio glitches and kernel panics. I feel very ashamed not knowing what's going on. Today I will install this update myself. xIt can't be any worse.


regards,
Bill.
Old 22nd May 2008
  #883
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Don't suppose you know how to get the zipped file to open and then mount the disk image... The file appears broken, even after downloading from my user account at Apogee Digital.
Old 22nd May 2008
  #884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kincept View Post
what do you think a good external pre would be to add to the DUET?
anyone?

do you think the grace m101 is to similar in sound to the duet?
Old 22nd May 2008
  #885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
Depends on the sound you're looking for...its preamps are actually quite good, so if you felt compelled to add an external preamp of some sort I'd add something with some color. What type of color would, again, depend on what kind of sound you were looking for.
they seem a bit thin to me. my motu had more character and punch.
Old 23rd May 2008
  #886
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kincept View Post
they seem a bit thin to me. my motu had more character and punch.
My guess is that your monitoring is scooped out, so you want a muddy preamp in order to make you feel like you're getting a full sound. Not a good situation to be in.

I wouldn't expect the Grace to sound profoundly different in character from the Duet's stock preamps.

JSL
Old 23rd May 2008
  #887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kincept View Post
they seem a bit thin to me. my motu had more character and punch.
I would agree.

The preamps are nothing to write home about IMO but that's kind of what I expect for a $400 unit like this.
Old 23rd May 2008
  #888
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Max, don't know if you still monitor this thread, but I'd like to ask if you have any knowledge about possible improvements to Duet's aggregation abilities?

Thanks.
Old 24th May 2008
  #889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
My guess is that your monitoring is scooped out, so you want a muddy preamp in order to make you feel like you're getting a full sound. Not a good situation to be in.

I wouldn't expect the Grace to sound profoundly different in character from the Duet's stock preamps.

JSL
what do you mean my monitoring is scooped out? Im really basing my recordings on how my vocals sound on a dry take vs other preamps. I dont think my monitors have anything to do with it the only variable is my preamp slash interface.

im using mackie MR5s to monitor.
Old 24th May 2008
  #890
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"The two outputs can't be run at different levels. Lots of people have been moaning about just this issue." "Wow. That does kind of blow. I mean, it's workable, I guess, and I guess it's part of the impressive price-point they hit, but ... it can't feel right to have it that way.""

is this even a real issue? I can see that having to deal with kernel panics and glitches would piss me off ( I have none of those issues on my system, but the recent update is supposed to fix that ), but don't powered monitors have a volume knob?

in my set up that isn't even a concern because I use a custom built power amp that powers two sets of monitors with a nice A/B switch to select either set...and a freakin' huge volume knob!

i know this board can be about pissing matches as much as real info; but really, you're not even limited to powered monitors if you don't want to be! set the volume for a decent listening level off the headphones and if the monitors aren't loud enough, reach over and crank it up!
Old 25th May 2008
  #891
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kincept View Post
what do you mean my monitoring is scooped out? Im really basing my recordings on how my vocals sound on a dry take vs other preamps. I dont think my monitors have anything to do with it the only variable is my preamp slash interface.
Of course your monitoring (not just your monitors, the whole situation including acoustics) has everything to do with how you perceive different preamps. You're speaking fondly of a fairly mushy preamp that doesn't have much definition, then when you hear a preamp with more clarity and superior tonal balance, you say it sounds "thin."

What that says to me is that you're hearing both preamps through scooped monitoring, thus the muddier one sounds less muddy and the tonally flat one sounds thin. For all I know, you're not even monitoring in phase.

General note to everyone here ... for all the opinions that get offered up around here, not even this in particular, you never really know how good the monitoring is that's behind them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Football View Post
The preamps are nothing to write home about IMO but that's kind of what I expect for a $400 unit like this.
What does that even mean? There aren't many two-channel units that cost as much as $495 retail, and those that do have a lot more features, not necessarily better quality at all.

JSL
Old 25th May 2008
  #892
Quote:
Originally Posted by kincept View Post
they seem a bit thin to me. my motu had more character and punch.
They definitely don't sound thin, they don't however have masses of character, but they do have a pretty forward sound. I've compared them to The Brick (which is a valve tube pre) and although The Brick is definitely has more character I find the Duet's pre easier to mix on vocals (i.e. I need less processing to get the sound to sit well) although on a more aggressive vocal they can be a little too forward to my ears.
Old 25th May 2008
  #893
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I have to agree. The Duet pres don't sound thin at all.
Old 4th June 2008
  #894
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Hey guys,

I am new to the whole recording thing and was wanting to record some stuff from my guitar amp to the computer/garage band/pro tools. I was just wondering how this unit compares to others out there and also how you actually plug from the amp into this unit. Would i just jack straight out of the 8ohm output of the amp into the input of the Duet?

Any help would be appreciated, sorry if this a really basic question, but i'd hate to blow something up...

Thanks again
Old 5th June 2008
  #895
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Do not plug the 8 ohm output of the amp into the Duet, or you will blow something (namely, the Duet) up...

How you'd connect it to your amp depends on the amp. Most would suggest that you connect it by plugging a microphone in to the Duet and then put the microphone in front of the amp...but depending on the amp you have there may be other ways to do it that will work.

How it compares to others is subjective, but I think it's the best in its price range (and, not coincidentally, considering the features it's also among the most expensive).
Old 5th June 2008
  #896
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How trustworthy is the Duet ?

I'm going to plug the Duet directly into my powered monitors - Does the Duet software ever mess up and forget what volume it was set at or send out full scale glitches even though the sound level is set really low + is the volume level always remembered even when the Mac is rebooted or restarted after a crash - can you get away without a monitor controller ? or is there always the worry of a full scale blast at the back of your mind !


Cheers
Old 5th June 2008
  #897
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave12345 View Post
I'm going to plug the Duet directly into my powered monitors - Does the Duet software ever mess up and forget what volume it was set at or send out full scale glitches even though the sound level is set really low + is the volume level always remembered even when the Mac is rebooted or restarted after a crash - can you get away without a monitor controller ? or is there always the worry of a full scale blast at the back of your mind !


Cheers
I've used the Duet since it came out until bout a month ago without a monitor controller and everything was fine. Not one time did the Duet/Maestro software forget its volume position and blast me out. You should be good to go.
Old 5th June 2008
  #898
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave12345 View Post
I'm going to plug the Duet directly into my powered monitors - Does the Duet software ever mess up and forget what volume it was set at or send out full scale glitches even though the sound level is set really low + is the volume level always remembered even when the Mac is rebooted or restarted after a crash - can you get away without a monitor controller ? or is there always the worry of a full scale blast at the back of your mind !


Cheers
good points to be concerned about! i for one don't know the answer but would love to know the true answer. i use a monitor controller between my interfaces and speakers as it is
Old 5th June 2008
  #899
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cheers guys - my maudio projectmix has always been ok - apart from once when i pressed the reset mixer button without thinking! The apogee firemix software that comes with the xfirewire cards seems to be pretty unreliable + there doesn't seem to be a way to save your settings so you have to remember to turn the master fader down every time you boot your system - I don't always remember ! + firemix only controls the asio output level - so any other audio players like windows media player or quicktime still play at full level out of your DA. Not ideal !
Old 6th June 2008
  #900
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Hi guys!!

I just found out that I have a slave output from my amplifier (Mesa Boogie Roadster) which has an adjustable level knob and it says that this is usually used for using the Roadster as a preamp, which can be connected to power-amps for more power. Does this sound like the right type of connection to hook into the Duet??

Any help would be much appreciated!!
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