Apogee has long been known for making top-quality AD/DA converters and audio interfaces. Now they’ve unveiled a new interface, aimed squarely at those who need several simultaneous inputs, want to control multiple sets of monitors, want a desktop format, and expect pristine audio quality. That new interface, the Quartet, checks all of those boxes, and it offers not only excellent sound quality but also excellent ergonomics and a streamlined user experience.
The Quartet features four analog inputs, which can accept instrument-, line-, or mic-level signals. There are also eight digital inputs available on ADAT optical/SMUX format. Three pairs of analog outputs can be configured as three sets of stereo speaker outputs, and there is also a headphone output. MIDI I/O is available via a dedicated USB port. An additional mini USB port is used to connect the interface to your Macintosh.
The Quartet is controlled using a single large knob; it’s function can be determined by using soft buttons to select any of the four inputs or the headphone or speaker outputs. Three additional soft buttons can be independently assigned to various functions, such as monitor dim, monitor mute, and others. All of the “under the hood” routing, control, setup, and low-latency monitoring are handled by Apogee’s Maestro 2 software. The Quartet is housed in a heavy-duty aluminum chassis/enclosure that stays put on your desk and feels solid.
I was actually part of the beta-test team for the Quartet, so I’ve gotten to know this interface very well over the past several months. In that time, I’ve come to rely on it for fast and easy operation — and for that legendary Apogee sound quality, of course! I used it with Pro Tools, Studio One, Digital Performer, and Peak. I even plugged it into my iPad, using the Apple Camera Connection Kit for playback of audio from iTunes as well as synth and recording apps. In every situation, the Quartet performed flawlessly.
If you’ve been looking to step up to a high-quality desktop audio interface for your Mac, look no further. The Quartet delivers!