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Apogee Duet, professional two-channel firewire audio interface for the Mac Audio Interfaces
Old 18th August 2008
  #961
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Dysanfel's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackstarr View Post
Has anyone here with the Duet had problems with distortion? I've read a few posts on line about a similar problem I have, where the Duet's output will start distorting in a digital bit crushed sort of way after a random period of time, the only fix is to open the audio/midi control panel and reset the Duet's sample rate. Some say it's incompatibility with external firewire devices, I've been able to reproduce the problem with no firewire device attached to the computer except for the Duet, I have a feeling it's more to do with 3rd party AUs and bad drivers on the Duet.
I have never experienced this. I have had my Duet since November 2007.
Old 18th August 2008
  #962
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackstarr View Post
Has anyone here with the Duet had problems with distortion? I've read a few posts on line about a similar problem I have, where the Duet's output will start distorting in a digital bit crushed sort of way after a random period of time, the only fix is to open the audio/midi control panel and reset the Duet's sample rate. Some say it's incompatibility with external firewire devices, I've been able to reproduce the problem with no firewire device attached to the computer except for the Duet, I have a feeling it's more to do with 3rd party AUs and bad drivers on the Duet.
Think I might have had this problem once since April, when I changed buffer sizes in Logic 8. I think I ended up restarting the Mac. Other than that not one single issue.
Old 1st September 2008
  #963
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I'm going to be using a Duet w/ a 24" iMac and an external drive. The drive has USB 2.0 and Firewire 400/800. Should I hook up both devices via Firewire or should I connect the hard drive via USB?
Old 1st September 2008
  #964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougb415 View Post
I'm going to be using a Duet w/ a 24" iMac and an external drive. The drive has USB 2.0 and Firewire 400/800. Should I hook up both devices via Firewire or should I connect the hard drive via USB?
You can hook up both via firewire. I use my harddrive on the 800 and Duet on the 400, but I've heard you can even use an adapter from 400to800 for the Duet. (for that matter, USB would work too, but why use USB when you can use firewire)

Also, the firewire 800 will run at 400 speed. If the firewire channel is split in two, the Mac automatically does this.

One note of caution: when unplugging a harddrive firewire 800 while the Duet is on... be careful. I did this once while the harddrive was unmounted but still on, and I got a lot of grungy static through the Duet as the power current changed. Best to turn off the harddrive before unplugging.


hope this helps.
Old 2nd September 2008
  #965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougb415 View Post
I'm going to be using a Duet w/ a 24" iMac and an external drive. The drive has USB 2.0 and Firewire 400/800. Should I hook up both devices via Firewire or should I connect the hard drive via USB?
Depending on your DAW you can run most sessions on your internal drive. I get 60+ track playback on my 5400RPM drive. I originally planned something similar to you, but now my external is just for Timemachine.
Old 2nd September 2008
  #966
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysanfel View Post
Depending on your DAW you can run most sessions on your internal drive. I get 60+ track playback on my 5400RPM drive. I originally planned something similar to you, but now my external is just for Timemachine.
i can't do that even on an external 5400rpm drive which i use with my laptop

it depends on the bit depth you're recording at, the sample rate and whether your tracks are composed of many regions(edits) or one region
Old 2nd September 2008
  #967
Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
i can't do that even on an external 5400rpm drive which i use with my laptop

it depends on the bit depth you're recording at, the sample rate and whether your tracks are composed of many regions(edits) or one region
Yeah but a internal drive would give you a faster throughput no?

So what would be better an internal 5400rpm or Firewire external 7200rpm?
Old 2nd September 2008
  #968
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Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
Yeah but a internal drive would give you a faster throughput no?

So what would be better an internal 5400rpm or Firewire external 7200rpm?
i don't think so. the issue would be in the speed that the drive can spin at which is what it's capped at. the buss definitely wouldn't be the bottle neck.

an external firewire/usb 7200rpm would be much better than an internal 5400rpm also because the internal drive will also be used for virtual memory and reading of os & application files. an internal 7200rpm drive would be brilliant too
Old 2nd September 2008
  #969
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Do a search on Gearslutz. There are screenshots of 80+ tracks playing back on internal 5400RPM drives on MBP @ 24bit 44.1k. I guess my point is unless your doing outrageous sessions your internal drive can handle 99% of your composition needs.
Old 6th September 2008
  #970
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Quote:
Do a search on Gearslutz. There are screenshots of 80+ tracks playing back on internal 5400RPM drives on MBP @ 24bit 44.1k.
There are also plenty of instances of people having problems with less than half that many tracks once they start doing overdubs, edits, etc...
Old 6th September 2008
  #971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
i don't think so. the issue would be in the speed that the drive can spin at which is what it's capped at. the buss definitely wouldn't be the bottle neck.
Actually it would, FW400's maximum transfer speed is 400Mbps (50MB/Sec) and faster 7200 rpm drives can go beyond 80MB/Sec. If you are using an MBP, getting an eSATA ExpressCard and connecting an HDD via eSATA is probably the safest bet. FW800 is fine too but note that the FW400 and 800 ports share the same internal bus (33MHz PCI bus) and the maximum bandwidth of this internal bus is 133MB/Sec. This means that you can't use the full bandwidth of both FW400 and 800 at the same time (50MB/Sec + 100MB/Sec =150MB/Sec).

If you're using a MacBook simply change the internal HDD to a 7200 rpm drive. Unlike MBPs it can be very easily done.
Old 6th September 2008
  #972
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
There are also plenty of instances of people having problems with less than half that many tracks once they start doing overdubs, edits, etc...
I guess I must have a magic Mac.
Old 7th September 2008
  #973
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YUGA View Post
Actually it would, FW400's maximum transfer speed is 400Mbps (50MB/Sec) and faster 7200 rpm drives can go beyond 80MB/Sec. If you are using an MBP, getting an eSATA ExpressCard and connecting an HDD via eSATA is probably the safest bet. FW800 is fine too but note that the FW400 and 800 ports share the same internal bus (33MHz PCI bus) and the maximum bandwidth of this internal bus is 133MB/Sec. This means that you can't use the full bandwidth of both FW400 and 800 at the same time (50MB/Sec + 100MB/Sec =150MB/Sec).
It's funny, you went and did all that math, but you didn't do the math to figure out that nowhere near that much bandwidth is required for hardly any recording application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
i don't think so. the issue would be in the speed that the drive can spin at which is what it's capped at. the buss definitely wouldn't be the bottle neck.

an external firewire/usb 7200rpm would be much better than an internal 5400rpm also because the internal drive will also be used for virtual memory and reading of os & application files. an internal 7200rpm drive would be brilliant too
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
There are also plenty of instances of people having problems with less than half that many tracks once they start doing overdubs, edits, etc...
Both these statements are based on serious misconceptions about drive speeds.

rpm is not a hard drive performance benchmark, it's just the rotational speed of the platter. It only has a direct relation to throughput when multiplied times the data density of the platter.

For example: a 200 GB platter spinning at 5400 rpm has the same theoretical max throughput as a 150 GB platter spinning at 7200 rpm.

And of course this is only one element of drive performance. The fact is, modern 5400 drives are significantly faster than 7200 drives were five years ago, when we all started insisting on using them, and their throughput is more than adequate for the great majority of applications, certainly for home recording.

The bottom line is that it's foolish to think of all 7200 drives in one speed class and all 5400 drives in another speed class. Rotational rate is simply not a sensible one-metric-only measure of drive speed.

Having said that, this stuff isn't that expensive, and I don't know why anyone wouldn't spring for the 7200 drive. If you can afford a Duet, you certainly can afford a 7200 drive.

And if you only have one internal drive space, the best thing to do is to boot from an external drive, and put a nice and fast internal drive in there for your DAW projects.

JSL
Old 8th September 2008
  #974
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WideawakE's Avatar
 

just want to say that it sucks you can't use the FW on an Apple Cinema display to use the Duet

guess I'll go shopping for a long FW cable
Old 8th September 2008
  #975
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
The bottom line is that it's foolish to think of all 7200 drives in one speed class and all 5400 drives in another speed class. Rotational rate is simply not a sensible one-metric-only measure of drive speed.

Having said that, this stuff isn't that expensive, and I don't know why anyone wouldn't spring for the 7200 drive. If you can afford a Duet, you certainly can afford a 7200 drive.
i hear what you're saying about the rotation speed vs disk size...that never really crossed my mind. my 5400rpm drive is 120gig and is definitely not fast enough for the sessions i'm running.

money isn't always the reason people go for certain types of gear. i went for a 5400rpm USB2 drive cos it's all i could get (when i bought it) that was buss powered so i could work on my laptop on the road. perhaps running it off buss power affects it's rotation speed so it's not working at it's optimum??
Old 8th September 2008
  #976
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matt thomas's Avatar
I haven't read the other 1000 posts on this thread

After my duet has been on a while it starts not recording cleanly. Recordings have harsh digital crackles irregularly every half a second or so. It is not a playback problem as the actual recorded files have the glitches in them. I reset my computer and it works again

Powerbook pro 17 dual 2.4 4gb ram, logic audio latest version

when it works it is great, when you do a good take and it doesn't record cleanly it is very frustrating

I use an external GR preamp, I haven't even tried the internal ones

narco
Old 8th September 2008
  #977
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David Robinson's Avatar
 

1000 posts or more.
better than a paid advertising campaign for apogee!!!!

just some observations, seeing as how i've been using this little sucker for 9months now.

in LP8.02, with the buffer set at max., 1024 samples, the actual latency of the duet seems to be ~5ms. nice.

being a -10 single ended device, i've inserted a line driver between it and my pwr amp.
i've added the missing ~12db of gain, with no problems at all.
if you have a +4 input only, this is the best solution.

as far as sound quality goes, it's transparent, otherwise i would not be still using it.

i'd love to hear it using a tube line driver, something like Decware make.

DR9.
Old 8th September 2008
  #978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
i hear what you're saying about the rotation speed vs disk size...that never really crossed my mind. my 5400rpm drive is 120gig and is definitely not fast enough for the sessions i'm running.

money isn't always the reason people go for certain types of gear. i went for a 5400rpm USB2 drive cos it's all i could get (when i bought it) that was buss powered so i could work on my laptop on the road. perhaps running it off buss power affects it's rotation speed so it's not working at it's optimum??
Although the theoretical max speed of USB2 is 480Mbps ,the actual speed is much slower. The USB2 is definitely the bottle neck. I connected the same 5400 rpm drive via USB2 and eSATA, and the drive was 3 times faster when connected via eSATA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xbench Results
eSATA
Results 60.41
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.4.11 (8S2167)
Physical RAM 2048 MB
Model MacBookPro2,2
Drive Type WDC WD32 00BEVT-00ZCT0
Disk Test 60.41
Sequential 90.20
Uncached Write 99.07 60.83 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 100.54 56.89 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 63.58 18.61 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 116.54 58.57 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 45.41
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Uncached Write 120.17 38.47 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 65.20 0.46 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 109.80 20.37 MB/sec [256K blocks]

USB2
Results 17.04
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.4.11 (8S2167)
Physical RAM 2048 MB
Model MacBookPro2,2
Drive Type WDC WD32 00BEVT-00ZCT0
Disk Test 17.04
Sequential 12.63
Uncached Write 29.83 18.32 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 30.82 17.44 MB/sec [256K blocks]
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Uncached Read 40.86 20.54 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 26.18
Uncached Write 9.75 1.03 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 55.62 17.80 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 55.74 0.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 69.81 12.95 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Old 8th September 2008
  #979
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macgee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by YUGA View Post
Although the theoretical max speed of USB2 is 480Mbps ,the actual speed is much slower. The USB2 is definitely the bottle neck. I connected the same 5400 rpm drive via USB2 and eSATA, and the drive was 3 times faster when connected via eSATA.
thanks for the explanation!

so you reckon there's no point going for a 7200rpm if it's running on USB2? i can't test this drive on other protocols
Old 9th September 2008
  #980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macleodgrant View Post
thanks for the explanation!

so you reckon there's no point going for a 7200rpm if it's running on USB2? i can't test this drive on other protocols
Still faster drives are faster even when connected through USB2. I checked my old Hitachi 4200 rpm 80GB drive and the max sequential read/write speed was about 10MB/Sec. But the same drives are much faster via eSATA, FW800 or even FW400.
Old 9th September 2008
  #981
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I have an RNC, which I had inserted in my old Yamaha i88x. I'd like to use it with the Duet, but there are no insert points on the Duet. Would it be a 'problem' to go XLR -> 1/4" -> RNC -> 1/4" -> Duet?
Old 9th September 2008
  #982
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YUGA View Post
Although the theoretical max speed of USB2 is 480Mbps ,the actual speed is much slower. The USB2 is definitely the bottle neck. I connected the same 5400 rpm drive via USB2 and eSATA, and the drive was 3 times faster when connected via eSATA.
Unless I have the math wrong — or the math has changed — 100 tracks of 24/96 audio yields a data rate of only 200 Mbps —*less than half the USB2 theoretical maximum. (One track at 24/96 is 15 MB per minute, which is 120 Mb per minute, which is 2 Mbps.)

So whatever the issues are with USB2, they don't have anything to do with the 480 Mbps. There are many, many recording/mixing situations where USB2 will work just fine, and for those where it isn't, Firewire 400 is better but not by that much.

I use SATA or Firewire 800 pretty much 100% of the time. Again, it's just not expensive enough to be worth skimping on. It ain't like the old days, where the UltraSCSI controller cost $1000 and the drive cost $1000 and it wasn't that big and it wasn't that reliable, either.

JSL
Old 10th September 2008
  #983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Unless I have the math wrong — or the math has changed — 100 tracks of 24/96 audio yields a data rate of only 200 Mbps —*less than half the USB2 theoretical maximum. (One track at 24/96 is 15 MB per minute, which is 120 Mb per minute, which is 2 Mbps.)
Yeah the correct answer for that particular situation is 220Mbps (27.5MB/Sec) though (1 minute mono 24/96 AIFF/WAVE is 16.5MB).
But as I showed above, the max speed of one of the fastest 2.5 inch 5400 rpm drive is about 20MB/Sec. So this particular HDD intense project probably would not be feasible via USB2 even if a faster 7200 rpm drive was used. You need a VERY fast machine and HDD to use half the USB2's theoretical maximum speed.

Anyway most of us don't use that many tracks, so yeah you can use USB2 for audio.

But USB connectivity takes much more CPU power than eSATA or Firewire. Probably it doesn't matter much if you're using a 8 core Mac Pro but I personally don't wanna waste limited CPU power to use a USB HDD, so I only connect backup drives through USB2.

If your Mac is a MacBook or Mini and their FW port is occupied by the Duet, then maybe no choice as I heard daisy chaining a firewire HDD to the Duet could cause trouble. But I'm just saying that, if you're using other Macs, why don't you use eSATA or FW for audio?
Old 10th September 2008
  #984
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As far as Mac vs PC ...

I freelance track/mix at 10+ studios in Atlanta and haven't seen a single PC in any of them.

OK, I take that back ... some of the receptionist/lobbies have PCs...

They are just better and more reliable ... and in professional arenas, cost is not an object.

What other PC users forget is that it's not a hardware/technology ("OMG Mac uses INTEL ITS THE SAME!" a buddy continuously argues) thing ... it's a Windows vs OS X thing.

One just works better and more consistently than the other ... do the math.
Old 3rd October 2008
  #985
Gear Addict
 

The duet definitely has problems with daisy chained firewire drives. I don't have a problem when using the 1 drive, but when there's traffic to 2 drives at once, the duet gets out of sync or something and starts producing awful digital distortion like you used to get from dirty heads on a dat, only it doesn't go away unless you put the mac to sleep, or unplug and replug the duet. It'll be fine again until the next big transfer over firewire. Drives me crazy. I am using a mini with a single fw400 bus, tho.
Old 3rd October 2008
  #986
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Grawk

Hello Good to see a head-fier on Gearslutz. Welcome!

Have you tried changing the latency settings with audio/midi setup?

Sometimes that seems to work. When I'm recording in Logic, sometimes changing those and changing the latency settings in Logic seems to solve any digital distortion problems that occasionally pop up.

Overall the Duet's stable, but it does get cranky and unresponsive sometimes. Though I think these problems are more software based (drivers, maestro) than hardware.

Overall, I have to hand it to MOTU. It may not sound as good, but overall it's more predictable and stable than the Duet.

Of course, I use my Duet.
Old 3rd October 2008
  #987
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The problem happens even in itunes. As far as I can tell, there is no way to change latency or buffer settings when not in logic/etc. If I'm missing something, I'd love the additional information.
Old 5th October 2008
  #988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
The problem happens even in itunes. As far as I can tell, there is no way to change latency or buffer settings when not in logic/etc. If I'm missing something, I'd love the additional information.
have you tried messing around in audio/midi setup?
Old 8th October 2008
  #989
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
The problem happens even in itunes. As far as I can tell, there is no way to change latency or buffer settings when not in logic/etc. If I'm missing something, I'd love the additional information.
I spoke to an engineer at Apogee and he clarified a few things that helped my situation a bit with the distortion problem. Contrary to what a lot of people online believe the duet is not compatible with aggregate device, which is a let down, a lot of us are tempted to use the Duet with other soundcards since it only has 2 tracks. I noticed the Duet was working fine with my laptop but always ended up distorting with my G5 tower, it turns out that more than firewire harddrives it has problems with, it's third party audio drivers it doesn't like. I did have in my system an old Maudio delta 66 installed which I removed completely including the drivers after which things improved and is now a lot more usable. I still have a Focusrite Saffire though, which I'm not getting rid of and still occassionally will conflict, whether it's the fault of the Duet or the Saffire it's debatable, but at least the Saffire was working fine with other audio drivers so I would blame the Duet for not being compatible. The only other solution I find is to use something like a Minime for A/D conversion and feed the digital output via spdif or optical to the computer, this would avoid firewire conflicts altogether.
Hope this helps
Old 8th October 2008
  #990
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for the record, i've used the duet next to an external hard drive (on FW 800 port), often, with no incident.
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