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Thinking of getting a Apogee Duet or Metric Halo
Old 22nd October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Thinking of getting a Apogee Duet or Metric Halo

I have a good friend who is looking to up grade his interface. He has an Apogee Duet 1, and is considering getting the new Apogee Duet 2. I have a Metric Halo ULN-2 and have been tyring to talk him into a Metric Halo.

His question to me is, will the MH be that much better than the Duet 2? He really likes the portability of the Duet and he doesn't have to buy a newLaptop to accommodate the Metric Halo. Personally I can't answer that question because I never had a Duet 2...... I only had the Duet 1.

I can hear a somewhat compressed sound in his recording samples he's sent me that I attribute to the preamps of the Duet 1.

He only records Classical guitar, so doesn't need the DSP stuff and all the bells and whistles that come with the MH.

Are there any comparisons or shootouts between a Duet and a Metric halo?

Is there anyone here who can explain the difference between the preamps and converters between these two units that can shed light on this so I can tell him?

Thanks!
Old 23rd October 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Maybe I put this question in the wrong heading.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
Halo gets raves
I think Duet is more than adequate
However pre amps into computers are clumsy imho
Get an SD or a Nagra, they are intrinsically right.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

There speaks a recent NagVI convert.

Can't really help since MH are Apple only, and I haven't owned an Apple computer since they milked and then dropped the Apple // line in favour of the Mac. (I have a long memory!)

However, as someone else in the household owns a iPad, the notion of the Apogee Duet, vs the RME BabyFace in Core Compliant (Complaint?) Mode has attracted some scrutiny. The Apogee configurability has somer attractions including powering configurations, and the preamps have a natural wider gain range, (and of course Apogee was started by an Australian!)

If you already have a computer of some sort, then the incremental cost is low compared to a piece of dedicated hardware. The cost differential between the MH and the Apogee - only your friend can justify in terms of his sonic perception - and the relative usefulness. Will he hear the difference? (For me, it is only 50% of the deal).

But ain't it grand that the world of the free market gives you such a choice!
Old 23rd October 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Something to keep in mind, the Duet 2 is one of the simplest interfaces out there. It really can't do much in terms of I/O, expandability, etc. The quality is really high, there just aren't many extras available. Having said that, since the preamps can be bypassed, I run a DAV BG-1 my Duet 2 for just for the conversion (and other audio interface tasks). The ULN-2 has many more features. Either way, he will be getting a good interface.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Yea, I told him to just get the DAV bg1...... One just went for $666 on eBay yesterday. Damn I almost bought it.

Personally I hear a vast difference between the duet 1 and the metric halo.... Don't know about the duet 2.

However, he needs to buy a DAV and a new duet 2 which will cost the same as a metric halo.......
Old 23rd October 2013
  #7
Deleted User
Guest
Not that there is anything wrong with buying interfaces that are dedicated to the Macintosh, I'm typing this into a MacBook Pro, but I think there is way more flexibility in getting an interface that was built to run on multiple operating systems. For that, check out Sound Devices and RME. I don't think it is good to be tethered to the Apple tree. Your interface will probably satisfy you for five or more years but your laptop may end up getting replaced more often (mostly because it is used for more things and you run it longer).


The SD USBPre2 and RME Babyface or RME UCX are very good contenders.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #8
Hello Guitarwhisperer

I have gone through many interfaces over the past few years, and among them a Duet, Duet 2, and a Quartet. All of which have been sold off... (slut-aholic)

Stating the obvious, if your friend is already familiar with Apogee/Maestro the transition would be a relatively easy one. So no learning curve.

Apogee support is excellent from my experience, and your friend could probably find a good used Duet 2 on evilbay, sell their Duet 1, and have some fun...

That being said, there is the 'dongle' consideration. I am not a dongle fan.

There is a difference in converters and at one point I talked with a guy at apogee regarding the differences between pre's and converters on the Duet, Duet 2, and Quartet.


For what its worth, I am inline with your MH recommendation. Trying new gear is what it is all about.

Not to hijack your thread, however how do you like your ULN -2? I think this is my next move and the pres and conversion are supposed to be really nice. MH support is also supposed to be very good.

Cheers.
Old 24th October 2013
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktadoussac View Post
Not that there is anything wrong with buying interfaces that are dedicated to the Macintosh, I'm typing this into a MacBook Pro, but I think there is way more flexibility in getting an interface that was built to run on multiple operating systems. For that, check out Sound Devices and RME. I don't think it is good to be tethered to the Apple tree. Your interface will probably satisfy you for five or more years but your laptop may end up getting replaced more often (mostly because it is used for more things and you run it longer).


The SD USBPre2 and RME Babyface or RME UCX are very good contenders.
I hate PC's..... in fact I wouldn't own a computer unless it was a Mac.... I would rather send letters.... ha ha! My friend is Mac all the way, so these other options are not a consideration. It's between a Duet 2, and a Metric Halo..... that's all.
Old 24th October 2013
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Well Dadgad65, I don't have that much experience with different preamps, that said, I did listen to guitar recordings made on the metric halo and was blown away...... that's why I ended up getting one myself.

I like what I hear so far in my recordings and really can't imagine anything better than the Metric Halo for my needs. Other friends make guitar recordings with so called top of the line gear Neve preamps, lexicon reverb, AKG 414 mics, and it doesn't sound as good as what I have done with the Metric Halo and a couple Oktavamod MJE-K47H mics. Perhaps it's just beginners luck.

Sometimes things can be so prefect that it sound sterile and lifeless.

Here are a couple recordings I did with the Metric Halo and Michael Joly mics. These aren't perfect but it goes to show what a Metric Halo, OktavaMod, and a complete amateur can do. BTW, I'm the guy who makes the guitars.
Jason Mullen Plays Regondi Etude #8 version II - YouTube

Baracole by Alexandre Tansman played by Jason Mullen - YouTube
Old 24th October 2013
  #11
I've owned a Duet 2, a MH 2882 and a ULN-8. I think the Duet 2 might have converters equal to the 2882, but the preamps have a weird, slightly plasticy sound in the upper mids and highs to my ears, so I'd go for the 2882 over the Duet unless I needed a lot of gain, although I'd probably still go for the 2882 and add outboard pres. The ULN-8 stands head and shoulders above the Duet and I would think the ULN-2 would as well.

While he may not need expandability now, in the future, if he wants to record bigger ensembles, add room mics or whatever, the ULN-2 has great options, from AES to s/pdif to ADAT. The Duet is prosumer, the ULN-2 is pro.

Finally, the Metric Halo customer support and community is second to none. I've had the president of the company step up on his own volition on a Saturday night at 9pm to help me out when I ran into difficulty and posted on the user's mailing list. Apogee? Well, let's just say that it seems a bit more challenging to get a timely and helpful response.
Old 24th October 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
surflounge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwhisperer View Post
Here are a couple recordings I did with the Metric Halo and Michael Joly mics. These aren't perfect but it goes to show what a Metric Halo, OktavaMod, and a complete amateur can do. BTW, I'm the guy who makes the guitars.
Jason Mullen Plays Regondi Etude #8 version II - YouTube

Baracole by Alexandre Tansman played by Jason Mullen - YouTube
Wow! I can hear the Savarez P1 strings. Amazing what those microphones picked up. Good room ambience too. Congrats on a really great recording. Please tell the guitar player thanks. What a pleasure to listen.
Old 24th October 2013
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwinhurwitz View Post
I've owned a Duet 2, a MH 2882 and a ULN-8. I think the Duet 2 might have converters equal to the 2882, but the preamps have a weird, slightly plasticy sound in the upper mids and highs to my ears, so I'd go for the 2882 over the Duet unless I needed a lot of gain, although I'd probably still go for the 2882 and add outboard pres. The ULN-8 stands head and shoulders above the Duet and I would think the ULN-2 would as well.

While he may not need expandability now, in the future, if he wants to record bigger ensembles, add room mics or whatever, the ULN-2 has great options, from AES to s/pdif to ADAT. The Duet is prosumer, the ULN-2 is pro.

Finally, the Metric Halo customer support and community is second to none. I've had the president of the company step up on his own volition on a Saturday night at 9pm to help me out when I ran into difficulty and posted on the user's mailing list. Apogee? Well, let's just say that it seems a bit more challenging to get a timely and helpful response.
Yes, thanks for confirming my suspicions. I really think he should go for the Metric Halo ULN-2. He's not a Gearslutz member so I will forward this post to him to read through. Thanks for the input, it has great validity coming from someone who has owned both.

I'm so happy with the Metric Halo, I really can't imagine I could hear a better sounding preamp. At this point my focus should be on learning editing skills, and post production effects.

I am seriously considering a pair of Schoeps in the not too distant future. A friend mentioned he got a pair of Gefell M296, but, have read here they are perhaps too realistic sounding, I think I like the color of the Scheops better.
Old 24th October 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by surflounge View Post
Wow! I can hear the Savarez P1 strings. Amazing what those microphones picked up. Good room ambience too. Congrats on a really great recording. Please tell the guitar player thanks. What a pleasure to listen.
Thanks..... I'll pass that on to him!
Old 24th October 2013
  #15
Deleted User
Guest
Guitarwhisperer, I remember an artsy-fartsy record producer saying to me in 1985 that he thought that MacIntosh computers were much more creative. I admit they were with all of those fancy midi cables hooked up. I admit, some of those 1980s product and brand perceptions live on -- but seriously I value flexibility and change, and interoperability. And even I have changed some of my values since then.

(Typed on an Apple computer).
Old 24th October 2013
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktadoussac View Post
Guitarwhisperer, I remember an artsy-fartsy record producer saying to me in 1985 that he thought that MacIntosh computers were much more creative. I admit they were with all of those fancy midi cables hooked up. I admit, some of those 1980s product and brand perceptions live on -- but seriously I value flexibility and change, and interoperability. And even I have changed some of my values since then.

(Typed on an Apple computer).
LOL! Yea, I feel like I'm piloting an Alien spacecraft with all the cool Icons! When I get on a PC I feel like I'm back on earth..... bummer!
Old 24th October 2013
  #17
Deleted User
Guest
If you want a real bummer try teaching your handwriting or even your printing to the Apple product "Newton". Somehow I has able to acquire a heavily discounted Newton in 1995 in Riyadh KSA. It's one of their duds. I don't know why anyone would defend Apple for that product.
Old 24th October 2013
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacktadoussac View Post
If you want a real bummer try teaching your handwriting or even your printing to the Apple product "Newton". Somehow I has able to acquire a heavily discounted Newton in 1995 in Riyadh KSA. It's one of their duds. I don't know why anyone would defend Apple for that product.
I'm afraid that was before my time...... I became aware around 2005. You might think of me as star-child.
Old 24th October 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by surflounge View Post
Wow! I can hear the Savarez P1 strings. Amazing what those microphones picked up. Good room ambience too. Congrats on a really great recording. Please tell the guitar player thanks. What a pleasure to listen.
How can you tell from a processed UTube clip ????
Old 24th October 2013
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
How can you tell from a processed UTube clip ????
Because he is probably one of the unfornunate slaves who aren't lucky enough to hear music on $20,000 speakers. Please have mercy on us master!
Old 25th October 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwhisperer View Post
Yes, thanks for confirming my suspicions. I really think he should go for the Metric Halo ULN-2. He's not a Gearslutz member so I will forward this post to him to read through. Thanks for the input, it has great validity coming from someone who has owned both.

I'm so happy with the Metric Halo, I really can't imagine I could hear a better sounding preamp. At this point my focus should be on learning editing skills, and post production effects.

I am seriously considering a pair of Schoeps in the not too distant future. A friend mentioned he got a pair of Gefell M296, but, have read here they are perhaps too realistic sounding, I think I like the color of the Scheops better.
Does your friend have a budget in mind? Needs in mind? I thought the ULN-2 was only two channels hence the comparisons to the Duet 2. Now that I'm informed, there are many interfaces with only two mic preamps, but if they can expand to 10 channels with 3 types of digital connections, I usually don't compare them with the Duet 2 or any other two channel interface. I also wouldn't seriously compare two interfaces when one of them costs twice as much as the other.

After rereading the OP, if your friend doesn't need the bells and whistles of the Metric Halo and will have to buy a new computer in order to use it (?!), then I'm not sure thats the way to go.
Old 25th October 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwhisperer View Post
Because he is probably one of the unfornunate slaves who aren't lucky enough to hear music on $20,000 speakers. Please have mercy on us master!
HD 650s actually slave....
Old 25th October 2013
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Given To Fly View Post
Does your friend have a budget in mind? Needs in mind? I thought the ULN-2 was only two channels hence the comparisons to the Duet 2. Now that I'm informed, there are many interfaces with only two mic preamps, but if they can expand to 10 channels with 3 types of digital connections, I usually don't compare them with the Duet 2 or any other two channel interface. I also wouldn't seriously compare two interfaces when one of them costs twice as much as the other.

After rereading the OP, if your friend doesn't need the bells and whistles of the Metric Halo and will have to buy a new computer in order to use it (?!), then I'm not sure thats the way to go.
On the other hand, if there is any chance that he'll expand in the future, it's far better to buy once than to have to keep buying and selling (and losing money along the way) as he upgrades. If he was in his 50s and only recording his solo guitar and pretty stuck in his ways, OK, that makes sense, but if he's young and growing his musical horizons, the MH makes a lot of sense.
Old 25th October 2013
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Yea, his budget is a concern, but not the primary driving factor. He only needs two inputs for two mics. The consideration is this...... he doesn't like laptops, and wants to use his iPad to record with out of convenience sake, but has a concern about the long run etc.

So he can get a duet 2, the new one that works with his iPad, or a Duet 2, and a DAV preamp..... or a Metric Halo, and a new Laptop. The MH and new laptop are the most expensive way to go. So I guess the real question here is if it he is going to hear a drastic difference in audio quality over the MH verse the Duet 2.

I mean if it were like a considerable difference then he might go for the Metric Halo and laptop, if not so big a difference he will opt out for the duet 2 and then perhaps getting a DAV or something down the line at a later date.
Old 25th October 2013
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Oh this brings up another question....... since I have a Metric Halo ULN-2 is there a kind of adopter that lets me put two mics on one channel? So I can use a ribbon mic close to the guitar, with a couple SDC mics back more to get the room ambiance.
Old 25th October 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwhisperer View Post
Yea, his budget is a concern, but not the primary driving factor. He only needs two inputs for two mics. The consideration is this...... he doesn't like laptops, and wants to use his iPad to record with out of convenience sake, but has a concern about the long run etc.

So he can get a duet 2, the new one that works with his iPad, or a Duet 2, and a DAV preamp..... or a Metric Halo, and a new Laptop. The MH and new laptop are the most expensive way to go. So I guess the real question here is if it he is going to hear a drastic difference in audio quality over the MH verse the Duet 2.

I mean if it were like a considerable difference then he might go for the Metric Halo and laptop, if not so big a difference he will opt out for the duet 2 and then perhaps getting a DAV or something down the line at a later date.
If I were him, I'd try to see if anyone is using the rigs he is contemplated and see how it goes. The iPad thing is pretty seductive (although once you start adding outboard preamps, etc., it loses its charm for me), but I wonder what editing, exporting, etc., is like for that.
Old 25th October 2013
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwhisperer View Post
Oh this brings up another question....... since I have a Metric Halo ULN-2 is there a kind of adopter that lets me put two mics on one channel? So I can use a ribbon mic close to the guitar, with a couple SDC mics back more to get the room ambiance.
You could use an external mixer to mix all three microphones. Or, you could use a single mic for the distance mic and record it separately. The limiting factor is that the ULN-2 only has two channels of conversion. But, with a Grace Lunatec V3, or something similar, you could have an external pair of mic preamps with absolutely stellar conversion for a total of 4 channels in. There are cheaper options, although the lowest cost I'd go would be a Presonus Digimax LT, which can be had used for $250-300.
Old 26th October 2013
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks Edwin, I look into those. BTW, the drama is over my friend just ordered a Duet 2 yesterday, the clincher was he didn't want to buy a new computer.
Old 28th October 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitarwhisperer View Post
Thanks Edwin, I look into those. BTW, the drama is over my friend just ordered a Duet 2 yesterday, the clincher was he didn't want to buy a new computer.
Not that it really matters at this point, but why did he think he would need to buy a new computer? The ULN-2 is compatible with everything the Duet 2 is compatible with….
Old 28th October 2013
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_bj View Post
Not that it really matters at this point, but why did he think he would need to buy a new computer? The ULN-2 is compatible with everything the Duet 2 is compatible with….
I think he wants to use an iPad, not a computer. I'm curious as to how well that would work out.
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