The Duet really impressed me. I compared it to a $150 interface and it was like the difference between a standard definition to high definition television in the audio realm. It really added a lot of clarity and now I am forced to remix my old sessions. What an impressive interface with great converters.
Apogee has a true winner with the Duet! My clients that are on-the-go recording engineers and artists are loving it! Like the Ensemble, the Duet gives you top-class converters, tight integration, and super stability with most any Core Audio application, and awesome features for such a small and affordable FireWire interface.
I picked up a Duet for my laptop recording rig, and I have to say, the Duet's setup and simplicity of operation are simply awesome. No feature bloat, it has just enough of all the right stuff for me - and it looks and feels great doing what it does so well. I love it!
Love it! Get one now
Caution buy this may change the way you hear things!!
WOW, coming from a mbox 2 to this has such a better set up in sound quality. I remember when I first plugged it in and played even basic music from my itunes, i stared to hear much more depth in the music. now i've had this little partner for about 13 months but what excited me the most ( which is more of a pro tools 9 thing) is that we can now use it with pro tools 9. Doing so you know i trashed the old mbox 2 and stuck to this main partner as my interface. I will say this as well i recently went up to the ensemble which has more inputs but the sound quality on the duet is on par with even it's bigger brother. Such a great sound piece of gear if you are doing mainly computer base music and few instrument tracks its A MUST BUY!!!
I'm very happy today
Coming from an Mbox2, I feel like I'm walking on a cloud.
The headphone amplification was the first thing I noticed. This even makes itunes sound better, and louder.
Pres are useable, TRS is great, it all works. So far, so great.
Thank you apogee.
IF YOU'RE READING THIS....LOOK....JUST ADD TO CART!!!
IF YOU ARE LIKE ME, YOU ARE VERY PICKY ABOUT HOW YOUR AUDIO RECORDINGS SOUND. I HAVE HAD LOTS OF EXPERIENCE IN STUDIOS AND HOME STUDIOS. THIS LITTLE PIECE OF MAGIC CHANGED MY HOME RECORDING LIFE! IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE RECORDING AT A STUDIO THAT CHARGES 75-100$ AN HOUR.
THE CLARITY OF THE PRE-AMPS AND THE A/D CONVERSION ON THIS THING IS UN-HEARD OF FOR SOMETHING THIS SMALL AND COSTS THIS MUCH.
I DID RESEARCH FOR A MONTH ONLINE TRYING TO FIND A BETTER INTERFACE TO REPLACE MY MBOX2. EVERYTIME I CAME ACROSS A PRODUCT, IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE IN "THE KNOW" HAD TO COMPARE IT TO THE "DUET". ALL I KEPT READING WAS..."HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO THE DUET?".....ETC. SO I HAD NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO LOOK IT UP. TURNS OUT IT RECENTLY WON AN AWARD FOR A/D CONVERSION. THATS ALL I NEEDED TO HEAR. I WAS SOLD, AND IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!! LIKE A GUY WROTE BEFORE ME, U BETTER BUY IT NOW BEFORE THEY REALIZE THAT THEY ARE SELLING THIS THING TOO CHEAP!!!!
JUST BUY IT. LOOK NO FURTHER!!!!!!!!
The best portable interface for Pro Tools 9!
I am simply blown away. I use this interface with a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro headphones and Pro Tools 9 on my Mac Book Pro. There is no better combination! The clarity is superb, everything is accurate, and tracking through the DUET is top of the line. A+
I had this from sweetwater and i am really impressed with its sound clarity. Preamps are excellent and able to drive SM7B with excellent clarity. I am very happy with this purchase.
This product is COMPLETELY worth every penny. I went through numerous interfaces before I purchased my duet and I haven't looked back since! It's one of those beautifully designed products that you take for granted because it works so flawlessly you almost forget it's even there! Which is fantastic because it means it gets the job done with no hassle and sound quality that is the real deal.
Thanks to Ryan Murray and the Sweetwater staff once again!
top notch pre's, hi-fi conversion, smooth like butter
TOP NOTCH PRE'S - IHO the pre's are better than presonus eureka, grace 101. Duet is smooth and silky while the eureka and grace 101 are grainy and thin.
HI-FI CONVERSION - My duet replaced my presonus firestudio mobile. Although I lost 6 simultaneous inputs with the FS mobile, I gained incredible sound quality with the duet. The FS mobile is a good interface (a definite step above Pro TOOLS LE), however the duet will take you to a new level. PICK YOUR POISON - do you need 10 simultaneous inputs with the FS mobile or the quality of the duet with only 2 simultaneous inputs? PRO TOOLS LE Mbox2 setup absolutely is horrible compared to the my DUET + Presonus STUDIO ONE PRO setup. I would seriously hesitate to buy the MBOX 3. Avid makes you buy an I-lok key at $50 to authorize all your software and PT LE 8.4 doesn't work without an MBOX. Sound quality of PRO TOOLS mbox is worse than my m-audio fast track pro, seriously.
SMOOTH LIKE BUTTER - remember the principal of "garbage in = garbage out". At the end of the day, if the average listener does not enjoy your music, then what's the point? The duet sound is so detailed and beautiful. I'm actually doubling vocal and lead harmony parts giving me a blending of sound as beautiful as a church chorus. There is no build up of coloration or frequency. What you get is a "ballzy" in your face tone yet transparent and true.
Buy the duet and then buy another in case the first one breaks, i'm seriously considering stepping into a higher line apogee interface as i hear they make even better products than the duet. The duet was the "appetizer" now i'm moving into the main course. Seriously people, I have never enjoyed recording so much in my short 6 year career. Pure joy, to make music and I have apogee to thank for jump starting a stale recording environment. Of course let's not forget that without good music you really have nothing. Producing a quality product for my audience has always been my goal, apogee is just a vehicle now which i work through.
ALOHA, A HUI HOU!
Bought this for producing dance music on my MacBook Pro. My speakers are KRK RP6 G2s. Before this, I was using a Korg Zero 4 for all my audio-interface needs. In terms of sound quality, the Duet blows it away. There's no audible hiss for me (except the hiss that originates within my speakers), which was a huge relief compared to the Zero 4, which is plagued by hiss. The difference in sound quality was immediately apparent to me. The Duet has NO "fuzziness" at all - everything is clear and pristine.
I wish I could use this box for recording my old 12" records into my computer - unfortunately it has no phono preamps, which is why I'm giving it 4.5 stars instead of 5. Other than that, I can't complain. I love the fact that the Duet is bus-powered, and it looks slick too :)
Runs cool, no noise problems, easy setup, fantastic sound
Forget any naysayers who complain of noise/hiss, difficult setup, gain problems, or excessive heat with the Duet - I have experienced NONE of
these issues. I suspect that there were a few faulty units made, that's
all. Production errors can occur in any product line.
I found the Duet setup to be a total no-brainer - install the software,
restart the Mac, connect the Duet, the Mac sees it, confirm that you
want Mac playback to default to the Apogee. Launch any audio app -
beautiful sound! I'm hearing details in audio I never heard before,
everything has more depth, the stereo field is wider, crystal highs,
smooth mids, warm and punchy lows. It's like getting a new set of
My only complaint is that now I want to go back and remix everything
I did with my MOTU 828 Mk2.
I gotta be honest, I didn't think I would notice much of a difference in quality between my old FireBox and the Duet. I was WRONG. Wow. The FireBox always sounded like it was struggling to give me sound. This Duet feels effortless. LOTS of room for even more sound. I'm totally blown away and REALLY glad I was able to spend the extra money for what is obviously a better product (At least for what I need it to do. I'll rarely if ever need more than 2 inputs as I use this more for the output than the inputs.)
The meters and the HUGE multifunction knob are almost worth it by themselves. Couple them with the fantastic sound quality and sleek design and this thing can't be beat.
I can't discount how cool it looks on my desk either.
This device is beautiful. Simple, elegant, and it does its Job amazing. I got it hooked up to a mac book pro and i use it live, perfect. sounds wonderful for recording. i could not be happier with it. If you use logic, do not buy anything else! this is the best 500$ you can spend!!!
A great product
I recently stepped up from a Boss Br1180 to Garageband and got the Apogee for my interface. It has been wonderful. It is taylor made for use with Garageband and the sound quality is phenomenal. For awhile I had an Mbox with Pro Tools and the Duet is so much nicer to use. A simple, functional, beautiful product.
My only gripe is that in order to get an exact numerical read on the recording level, I have to open the window of the Apogee Maestro software. I wish this reading were built in to the screen that pops with Garageband so I don't have to toggle between screens. But I have gotten used to this and it is not a big deal.
Thank you Apogee for making a very nice looking, well thought out product that is worth the $$.
I just picked this up after christmas and I have to say that it was the best investment I've ever made to date for production. I produce dance music on a macbook pro and my productions always came out squashed together and the soundstage was not full and lush. After picking up the apogee duet and listening to a couple of songs I noticed that the soundstage was incredibly wide and full. Every detail imaginable flows into your ears. After making a few productions with this interface I noticed my productions are incredibly clear and professional. This quality cannot be achieved with anything else unless you spend thousands of dollars! Do not waste your money on a cheap $250 interface just save up the extra money and get the best thing for the money you wont regret it!
ALL WE WANTED
All we wanted was a high quality affordable interface...
1. Duet is far from a contraption. I have owned Motu MK3 828, Presonus FireStudio and Emu 1820m in the past. All were great interfaces but the Duet stands out.
2. 40dB of gain is alot gain for a prosumer device.
3. I'm sure all reviews on this page are opinions of people who have tested the Duet and found it satisfactory.
What makes duet stand out?
I love my Duet so much and will always suggest it for anyone who intends to make pro quality recordings on a Mac. For hiss and noise (which I've not experienced), buy ProCo cables, that should solve that problem.
I don't know what the story is with this page of reviews, but type 'apogee duet noise and hiss' in a google search and find a very different story to the 5 star reviews here. I bought one three weeks ago and two days later had to get it replaced as it was faulty. Fair enough I thought until two weeks later the same problems occur with the second one. I then found a lot of people experiencing the same thing. Basically, the microphone input is useless. I can't turn the gain past 40dB without getting A Lot of extra hiss. I can't use this contraption for recording with a microphone. I will now be returning to the shop and trying to find out where to go from here.
DUET: THE REAL DEAL
There are some devices that we wish we had a decade ago, the Duet tops that list.
My only short fall is lack of MIDI but not a major issue since most devices come with USB connectivity. I would like to use this medium to appreciate the Sweetwater Team, FedEx Team and most of all the Apogee Design Team for a job well done!
Apogee Duet is the winner!
i just bought my apogee duet yesterday. and i must say the quality of it is amazing. AD/DA is my main reason why i chose this. preamps are clean.
Having a nice DA helps a lot, i heard details i haven't heard before. i was using presonus firestudio project. they're nice. i was stupid to have ignored this for a long time. i've been through a lot of interfaces... m-audio, etc.. and spent lots of dollars. overall its a very good product with a solid tech support!
Take from Someone Who's Unbias To a Fault!!
I Never Ever Ever write reviews on products but i couldn't resist. I call this giving back. If you need know what it sounds like to have professional sound STOP WHAT YOUR DOING RIGHT NOW!!VIEW YOUR BANK BALANCE and invest right here(2channel needs)First your outboard will simply sound like it suppose to point blank this is essential. Next you hear everything and i mean EVERYTHING its apogee folks they didn't skimp, this thing should cost double what it does. GO GET IT NOW BEFORE THEY REALIZE how much money they can really make. It will get you going down the pro-road
Just what I expected and even more so.
Literally blown away by the quality of my recordings. Looks can be deceiving. It looks like it can't do anything for you but I was blown away. I use this to do simple things like transfer my recordings or voice-over work for radio commercials. The sound quality is literally breath-taking. I was very happy. I only use Garage Band and listening to my projects makes me SMILE. The price is fair for a SUPREME 2 channel interface. I use this with a MacPro Laptop and I don't have problems with it. I only hear comments about how great and professional my recordings sound. The funny thing is, I'm a beginner when it comes to recording.
I bought the Duet about a year ago and it is simply the best a device of its kind at this price, period. I recorded a violin and piano sonata in a small concert hall with stereo M-S miking with my MacBook Pro and Logic 8 with AKG condensers. Amazing sound quality and such an easy setup. The pianist said that he was shocked at how quickly I set up the equipment and how much better the audio sounded than what he had experienced in the past. I love this thing!
got this less than a week ago and am still grinning. for the price and size this thing is the best bang for that buck o five.
1st One Died...No Problem!
I bought a Duet from Nate @SW last year, a month or 2 before SW started the 2-year warranty included problem. Sure enough, right after the 1-year factory warranty had expired, I had the time to get back into my music after a long 6-month delay (work, bleh!). During this time, the Duet remained attached to my Mac Pro, but was never actually used since I do my day-to-day operations on WXP Pro via OSX Bootcamp. The Duet does NOT work in a Windows environment (OSX only), so I just used the Realtek audio built into the Mac. Long story short, the Duet had died.
Thankfully I had purchased from SW. Even though technically out of warranty, I sent it to them for testing, and they then sent it to Apogee. After it got there, emails were quick, and after minimal discovery participation on my part, they sent me a brand new unit; again, technically, they did NOT have to do this...many thanks to Brett P. for the fast, courteous, generous help.
Now, I gave 4.5 stars simply because the first one died. I used a USB interface (starts with a big M)that performed admirably. Honestly, had I bought it last year before the Duet, I probably would have been happy. Even though it sounded really good, nothing I have had before or heard compares with the Duet...yes, it sounds that good (you will hear subtle sounds in familiar pieces you have never heard before). Duet+Apogee+Sweetwater=A WINNING COMBINATION!!!
With all honesty the sound quality from the headphone input is pristine. You need a special jack ( that is not included to input your speakers from your computer ). This rig is made for teeny boppers or anyone who likes to listen to recorded music. As far as recording your own music via a Mic and Instrument forget it. The sound is hard to regulate and the instructions that come with it are confusing. I was most of the day on the phone with Apogee who were most obliging and helpful. I would get one area cleared up then another problem would occur. This interface was supposedly designed with Logic Pro in mind but the 2 seem to be fighting one and other. This is the first apogee product I have owned and will definitely be my last. I have a Edirol FA66 that I was going to replace with this unit, however after spending most of the day trying to get it to work and with disappointing results I have since returned it. Will probably opt for an MBox2 with Pro Tools. Apogee has produced a disappointing product for the musician.
its a bird, its a plane,umm.. its a duet?
great A/d conversion i use it with my neumann tlm103 and U.A. LA 610 and i can hear such a difference when i compare to my korg d3200 imputs.i was weary of this product at first because the outputs are -10 db ts(unbalanced) but i dont hear any type of issue when comparing my mixes or listening to britney spears before i do my hard rock vocals (great inspiration for all you vocalists out there, this is a nifty little tip lol) once again my sales guru as ill call him because i think he some how knows everything about any type of music gear the man, the myth, the engineer Matt Masek. He convinced me into this while i was so hesitant ,do to the unbalanced outs, but now im tracking like never before and if youve had great vocals and a lame signal chain you know my pain on this when i get that vocal i know its gonna be write. no longer will i loose my best work to noise issues. well thats all i gotta say so get it in yo head an fink about it.
An absolutely GREAT device!!!
I've been using the Duet for about 8 months now, and I am very, very satisfied!!! It is incredibly easy to use, and it does an incredible job at exactly what it is supposed to do: syncing the sound between your instruments and your computer!!! There is practically no delay in lag time, which is known to severely effect the recording process. While the Duet is limited (it only has the potential to use a maximum of two inputs from an XLR and/or 1/4 input), for the home studio artist it is a perfect and very practical and affordable tool. Definitely three thumbs up if it were possible!!!
Don't spend $500 on anything else...
I bought the Apogee Duet so that I could have a hardware device to travel with, since we tour around the country. If you pair the Apogee Duet with Apples Mainstage, there is no better combination in the world. I must say, the sound quality is cleaner than a straight wire, it's really unbelievable. The best part of the Duet is the fact that it's bus powered, enabling a quick setup, without having to find multiple power cords. It's really just the best money I've spent in a LONG DAY. I bought Logic, and Duet, $1,000 that I could not spend any better...
Look no further
This little box does a whole lot of what it's supposed to do and it does it beautifully. It was up and running immediately, it's a dream to set up and use, and it really sounds great. It smokes my previous interface in sound, size, style, and ease of use. What more could you want?
Worked perfectly out of the box, sounds amazing. One thing I realized after a little monkeying around - you need to have the FireWire plugged in before starting your computer. On my MacBook Pro, it won't work unless I make all connections before power up (which is usually a good idea with any connections anyway). The first thing I heard through it was "Blues Beach" by Steely Dan from a few years ago. Even though I was istening through mediocre Hafler moniters, I couldn't believe the difference in sound quality in the iTunes track. When I tried the same song through an M-Audio fast track pro, it was amazing how tinny, small and indistinct the sound became. Then I moved to my new Logic Main Stage samples. Unbelievable. This is a fairly pricey piece, but for the ease of use and great audio quality, you should really consider it. Some of the negative comments I've read don't ring true hear. I've had no troubles at all.
Beautiful sound, very happy!
I upgraded to this a couple of weeks ago on the advice of a friend who's a professional music producer and uses the Apogee Ensemble. He previously had the Motu 828 mk II, as did I.
I went with Duet over the Ensemble as I was only using 2 in's and out's on the Motu anyway and it better suited my budget. I was already very happy with the Motu and was very surprised to hear an immediate difference in sound with the Duet. It's even better!
It also looks great next to my Macbook Pro and the volume control feels better than the tiny knob on the Motu. The integration with Mac OSX is more convenient, eg. I can use the volume controls on my Apple Keyboard which I find very handy.
It's made for a better experience for me and I highly recommend it.
Rock Solid Interface
I dread tracking drums now because it means I have to break out my Firepod and all its associated driver glitches and issues when used as an aggregate device. When I plug my Duet in it just works. I didn't think I would like the breakout cable at first but I really appreciate how it keeps the units overall size down now.
The sound quality is amazing too. You can really hear the difference between the duet's pres and converters and the firepod's. Recording stereo with two AT4040's yields a rich, life-like sound that sounds way more expensive than it actually is.
Many other portable interfaces boast 4 or 6 inputs and while the duet only has 2, I've found it suits me just fine. Its perfect for me because I use it as an additional 2 channels when tracking drums, and I use it by itself for anything else which also allows me the flexibility to record anywhere. Its like having 2 detachable channels!
The big knob on the front is great for controlling monitors. Even when I'm not recording, the duet is always sitting on my desk hooked up to my BM5a monitors. Great quality and handy control at all times!
Easily the best recording interface ever made in this price range. Not only does it use the preamps and AD/DA converters of Apogee's boutique gear, but it's also the most brilliantly designed and intuitive interface on the market. If you're reading this and even considering any other interface, believe me, i spent months obsessing over what to buy and resisted all the hype for far too long.. Now i can back to what's important; the music.. And it's never sounded better.
Best 2 Channel Interface out there!
I've had a bit of experience with Apogee gear, and the Duet is no exception to the high quality you will find with any other piece from Apogee.
It is solid, made of aluminum. It accompanies a PowerBook or MacBook Pro perfectly. The big volume knob/encoder is nice and the breakout cable is amazingly simple. It's host powered, so no AC Power supply is neccessary. The preamps are good. The headphone jack is on the front so you don't have to fumble around with the unit to listen with headphones.
You can get a carrying case for the Duet right here on Sweetwater which fits the unit and cables perfectly.
All you need is a 2 channel ADC? All you need is a 96k DAC? This is it! High quality all the way around.
If you're like me you may have read the review that stated the apogee sounded like a fuzz box... that didn't stop me from getting, because apogee is known for the best converters. i believe that reviewer had the line level cranked up which is very unnecessary for line instruments. This is the most clear sounding interface, and honestly has very low latency. I was amazed with this product, and would recommend it to anyone. talk with you sales associate today i guarantee this will aid your productions in so many ways.
Great Product, Travels Well
The apogee duet is awesome!
Working at my home studio, listening to audio tracks through the Duet with a quality pair of headphones is like listening with a microscope ... it allows me to edit, mix and balance better than any (affordable) set-up I've heard so far.
On the road as a keynote speaker, the duet is small enough to slip into my travel bags with my Apple laptop and a decent microphone ... giving me a powerful recording studio for creating audio tracks on the fly.
I dinged apogee 1/2 a star because the unit runs a bit hot. Certainly not hot enough to fry an egg on, but it still gets hot at time.
Other than the slight heat in the unit, I highly recommend the Apogee Duet.
Duet-incredible sound/intelligent design
Incredibly musical and warm sounding. Running iTunes through Duet and bypassing the internal convertors/amps of the computer is a huge leap in sound quality as well. You'll enjoy it even more now that high sample rate recordings can be downloaded off the internet.
Some reviewers complained about the pigtail. But, I think it is a great idea. I've often messed up jacks from cables being yanked. One connector that screws in is much better that six internally mounted jacks any day!
I use the Duet with DP. Using Maestro as opposed to being internally integrated into the software like Logic is no big deal. Set the recording and output levels in Maestro and then forget about it.
Using a cable splitter on the headphone output drives 2 Audio Techica M40 headphones with no loss of punch and clarity that I can tell.
One reviewer said you could fry an egg on the unit. I have no idea what he is talking about. It is mildly warm.
I LOVE IT!!!
A PERFECT SOLUTION TO A PORTABLE RIG. I CANT TELL THE DIFFERENCE FROM MY RECORDINGS FROM MY STUDIO AND THE RECORDINGS I DO ON LOCATION.
I ALSO PURCHASED A DUETBREAKOUT BOX TO MAKE THE DUET A LITTLE MORE PROFESSIONAL
Let's Duet,.... In Ways That Make Us SOUND Good
My previous two interfaces were MOTU units (896 and Traveler). I enjoyed the stability and features of the MOTU products, but was not blown away by the sound. I have owned Apogee in the past (original Rosetta AD) and while it was a good A/D...you need the D/A side to be at the same level to get the real benefit of the converters.
The Duet is a wonderful sounding piece. It has all the sonic fidelity one could want for your conversion (a/d AND d/A), and works seamlessly / flawlessly in a Mac/Logic setup.
My only advice for prospective buyers would be to spend an extra $100 and get the Duet BREAKOUT box. (google it) It eliminates the flimsy breakout cables supplied by Apogee by replacing them with a sturdy metal box with all the same I/O connections. Without a doubt, the connecting cables are the weak point of this otherwise OUTSTANDING interface.
In summary: If you are on a Mac, this is as good as it gets for the price.
Buy the Duet.
Get the BREAKOUT box (unfortunately Sweetwater doesn't carry it for some odd reason).
Record your music with the confidence you are using top quality conversion.
Listen and smile! (you will.....trust me)
I own a considerable amount of project studio gear - and I comoaired this to my (not so portable) RME multiface in the studio. It just sounds better, not to mention that it's a very well built and simple to operate unit. Paired with my MacBook Pro, it looks like they were built for each other. If all you need is portable 2 channels in and out - this is it. Apogee put some excellent converters in this little box. It was a breeze to use, right out of the box. Setup is simple, and you will be surprised at the high quality results. Just Buy It.
I like i
If you are Running OS X and want a 2 Channel AD - DA firewire 400 converter that actually works, i would suggest this product. It may cost a bit more than some of those other devices, but it is well worth it.
I only wish the TS output was a TRS and balanced.
Well Worth It
I started with the Edirol FA-66 because I had mixed feelings about the breakout cable, unbalanced outputs for monitors, one button design, and expense. It may sound like a great deal of money but it's worth it. Once I started working with the FA-66 I found out you could not mute the monitors for recording. If you are working with Mac products the Duet is by far the best investment you can make for your home studio. The integration with the iMac & Logic is outstanding! Once I started working with the unit I realized what a wonderful design it is. My concerns with the unbalanced outputs were unfounded. They work great with my monitors and they can be muted for recording. Just make sure the monitors you get accept an unbalanced TS connection. Get it and don't look back.
Setup was extremely easy on MacPro. The harness could be better, but is adequate. Functions efficiently, offering base functionality in two channels.
The prime feature of this interface is the SOUND QUALITY. I've had several interfaces in this price range, the last being a MOtu uLTRAlite. There is no comparison.
The DUET is clear, transparent, with that great presence only found in superior electronics. This is a certain improvement in depth and resonance of low end, and superior imaging in mid and highs. Technically, I'm not sure exactly how accurate it is in the upper mids. It would be interesting to know, but generally speaking, it sounds GREAT.
The reality lives up to the hype.
Essential piece of gear
If you're using audio in a Mac, this is an essential piece of hardware regardless of the application. On first glance I was a bit worried about the cost of the Duet compared with other similar items, especially for being limited to two channels. What other products seem to gain in features, however, the Duet more than compensates by its sound, stability, portability, and ease of use. It is a beautiful, transparent piece of hardware that gets the job done better than any of its competitors, bar none.
I moved from an original MOTU 828 (which served me very well) to the Duet and couldn't be happier. One of the biggest pluses is being able to assign the mute function, so I can quickly change output from Monitors to Headphones by holding the button- great for tracking.The mic pre-amps sound terrific as does the Duet as a whole. I am hearing things I missed before.
I have heard some complaints about the break out cables, but I find them very well constructed, easy to work with, and not at all flimsy or cheap. The Duet is the perfect companion for a laptop and Logic!
You can't beat the sound of this interface in this price range!
I upgraded to the Duet from an M-Audio Firewire Solo. The difference in sound quality was noticeable as soon as I started using it.
The drivers are rock-solid! And having the control panel accessible directly in Logic is a great plus.
Perfect for a home studio
Overall a great product. Easy to interface with my current setup, simple connections and great sound. Instant improvement in clarity and depth of recorded tracks over my previous interface (002R). For the price and quality I don't think there are any complaints.
First I was to get some audio interface for my new PC. I was looking at RME & Motu, but one friend of mine told me, that there is also this Apogee Duet, but it's only for Macs. I didn't have Mac back then. I was also wondering which software should I be using. Previously I used mainly Fruity Loops & tried a littel Reason & Cubase. FL was fine, but didn't like Reason or especially Cubase at all. So I took my chances on Macbook, Logic pro 8 & Apogee Duet, after reading a lot of reviews and forum discussions.
When I got my gear together, I was definitely impressed. My microphone is a budget choice, but works ok for me, Rode NT1000. It's a very good choice in it's class & works very well together with Duet.
This set up is very easy to use & sounds great!
DUET, yes I can "Do it!"
I bought my DUET after a lot of apprehension, reading, learning more about audio interfaces, bouncing ideas off of many other people, and just "sweating bullets." For me, $495 is a LOT of money. I had spent around the same amount for two other interfaces that just never worked at all. Was the answer to just throw more money at the problem and try something else that may not work like the others or to just sit there with the other two "broken toys" that are doing me no good? Unlike others, I have had NO real experience with in-home recording and I am, for all intents and purposes, extremely new to all of this DAW, and USB vs. Firewire interfaces, and such. I have only owned Macs since 1985. So, when I looked at the DUET, I first noticed tat it was a "Mac only" product. That was somewhat reassuring. Remember, I had already been burnt twice and I was REALLY shy now! So, one morning, I spilt all of my coffee into the heart of my MacBook and killed it and the interface that I had along with it. The next day, I ordered a new MacBook Pro and the next week I finally broke down and ordered the DUET. When I got the DUET, I actually read everything before doing anything with it. Then, I just followed every instruction, one at a time. I got it all together, did the final "reboot," and I listened to iTunes first, just like it said to in the manual. I was awestruck by the sound quality, the clarity, the cleanness of it all. I could hear things in each of the 5 tunes that I chose for different sound qualities and I was amazed at what I could hear that was BEYOND anything I heard before on these "favorite" songs.
Next, I set up Logic Express 8 and was actually able to record my voice as well as my quitar right off. Due t a problem with the sound outs setup in the template in LE 8, I could not hear what I was recording at all, nor could I listen to it afterward. When I finally determined and fixed the output problem, I was totally thrilled to hear my song and my voice coming through! My other 2 interfaces could only give me a whisper of sound back for only a little bit of time before dying out. Now, it was clear, loud and "there"! So, basically, right out of the box, I was able to actually record a song in just a few minutes and finally felt successful with my equipment, with my DUET that let me "do it."
As I said, it took a lot for me to actually "get" another interace after all of my previous "failures." My only "real" failure was not to buy a DUET in the first place!! However, I have regained my soul and and now playing, singing and recording all of the "old" songs.
This unit runs very hot
I can only describe what I attempted to do with this. And that is run Sure SM76 mic through my Garage Band program on my MacMini. It did not work properly. There was a constant hum unless I turned the db down to nothiness. And the sound was far from acceptable. So I unplugged it and tried a Mackie. And yeah, for the Mackie, it works perfectly and only for $100. It is a very good preamp. One other word of caution for those buying a Duet. They run hot. Real hot. After only a half hour of use I could almost fry an egg on this thing. So keep this in mind.
Piece of cake to install and the set-up is a snap.
OK, so how does it sound? Simply Amazing. A/B comparison: AKG C414 into UA LA-610 direct into Apogee Duet vs. MOTU 828mkII. And the verdict is: the Apogee sounds distinctly cleaner, crisper, and higher detail, without sounding harsh.
"Distinctly" would be above "barely" and above "noticable". You hear the difference right away.
I would have given it 5 stars "wow!" except I don't really like the breakout-cable. Yes, using a breakout-cable means a smaller box - BUT when you have to attach the breakout cable to the box in order to record, the net size gained is Zero. Plus you have the hassle of a cable with 6 connectors dangling off the end.
Side by side comparison of Apogee PSX-100, RME Fireface 800, and Duet
After reading all of the hype about the Duet, I decided to put it to the test. I took a demo from one of my Roland keyboards and ran it through the following three audio input devices all at 96K:
1) Avalon 2022/Apogee PSX-100
2) RME fireface 800/Input jacks 1&2
3) Apogee Duet Instrument inputs
After monitoring all three recorded audio tracks at identical levels through GENELEC monitors and SONY MDR-7506 headphones, I can not find a single perceivable difference between any of the tracks!
The only strange thing I discovered is that when monitoring the tracks via the headphone jack on the RME unit verses the headphone jack on the apogee Duet, there appears to be about 3 decibels of high frequency gain on the apogee Duet headphone jack! I found it pleasing to the ears to crank some music in the RME headphone mix, but found the Duet headphone mix to be too bright for my liking. So, those of you who believe that you are getting a better audio recording on the Duet because of how it sounds using the headphone jack, think again. The brighter mix on the Duet's headphone jack is deceiving and doesn't appear to reflect what is actually recorded. In my opinion, the apogee Duet sounds equivalent to the other two audio input devices that I mentioned. Take your pick and you will be happy with any of them.
a fantastic piece of gear
The duet is a must have if you want to accomplish great conversions and recordings period. The duet is a simple to use out the box.
The Duet Is the Best Song out there for this price point
I just want to say thanks to Craig Wilson at Sweetwater. I have been building my home studio for a few years now and I've used the Firebox, Motu 828mk II, Traveler, and Ultra Light, Pro Tools LE, But recently switched to Apples Logic Pro 8 and picked up the Apogee Duet. The sound is so clear and uncolored as compared to pro tools interfaces, Firebox, motu fire wire devices. While I dont have all the ins and outs as some of the other gear offers, I am finding that for at home when its just me I dont really need more, my keyboard uses USB and so does my controller. All in all people are saying they like the clarity of the new recordings, I am using the sE Electronics Gemini II Tube Mic, Rode K2, and Shure KSM 44, 141 mics with the Duet, I also have run my Strat and J Bass Frettles into the Duet with wonderful results. All in all this just works wonderfully and with Logic and the Duet you can just create. Looking to getting the Ensemble this month as well.
Just sold my 002 R and PT LE - and have made the switch to the duet and Logic Studio 8. AWESOME. I can't say enough about the sonic quality upgrade. Ease of use is incredible, awesome design - fits right into the apple world.
Do it today.
An OUTSTANDING Product!
If you are in the market for a quality yet budget friendly two channel firewire Interface i'd HIGHLY recommend the Duet by Apogee. Besides the sleek and sexy form factor, the Duet demonstrates the Apogee fidelity and overall quality that most are familiar with. The breakaway cables as well as the multi-function knob add to the ease of use and within no time you'll be making sweet music! The Duet also looks as great as it sounds - i use it with my MacBook Pro and 24" iMac and it almost looks as if Apple designed it to match their products! It's effective, user-friendly, budget-friendly, compact and even looks good! The real question is: Why shouldn't you invest in the Duet?
I just got my Apogee Duet a few weeks ago and I'm already impressed beyond my expectations. My recordings have really been kicked up a few notches. The converters completely live up to Apogee's name in the the pro audio world. The integration of the Duet into Mac OS X and Logic is amazing. My tracks on iTunes really come alive and I'm hearing new things in my favorite songs all the time. I'm absolutely sure that I made the right choice in buying this and that it's the best sound quality short of an Apogee Symphony system. If you're considering this at all..go for it.
Golden ears review
Its fantastic for its value. I bought it as an indecisive buy, thinking that it wouldn't hold to the higher models of apogee (full console series), but it turned out pretty transparent. It is one of those purchases for home studios that competes with the "upper" class studios. The pre's are fairly good as well.
A worthwhile investment!
Let me star by giving kudos to the Sweetwater Team, particularly my rep - Austin Moss. I have had some experience in dealing with Audio interfaces such as the Lexicon Omega and, until recently, the PreSonus Firebox. Austin took the time to explain how such a smaller device could pack such high quality clarity. Knowing that I had been wanting to purchase a legendary Apogee box, he made sure that I had all of the information that I needed to make a good decision.
The verdict was pretty quick! I had no idea the sonic difference was so noticeably cleaner and warm. Definitely not pumped up or colored as I had experienced with some others. The Firebox served me well but I now wish that I had used and Apogee product years ago. No major complaints about the FIrebox, but it is nice to have a portable device that is durable and has less moving parts. Since I travel quite a bit, I look forward to using this with my MacBook Pro. The tight integration of software and smooth shape makes Duet easily addictive.
Having less cables routed to the desk top ensures easy relocating and positioning. Since the connectors are easily marked, you can take your time to actually look at the connections without moving the entire unit and risk pulling another line. The software was also pretty easy to set up and I truly enjoy having the option to set up the muting control so that when I am recording, sound only comes through the headphones while playback plays through the Alesis M1 Active Mk2s. Since all controlling is done through one knob (smart idea), I just click the knob once to mute the headphones and the monitors are already set to go! Now I just have to finish learning about the integration within Logic 8 and working the MIDI control.
Sweetwater has consistently met my needs wherever I have traveled and never missed a beat. Phenomenal tech support and open minds! This is why they have such a loyal customer base! Thank you again!
If you are hesitating as to whether you should purchase this unit for your Mac environment (or Core Audio setup), let me reassure you - stop waiting, shell out the investment, download the software and register the product. I am sure you will thank yourself later.
Perhaps the best piece of gear I have ever owned.
Apogee delivers. Not only is the AD/DA conversion on par with their other offerings, but this is how an audio interface for the 21st century should be designed. They clearly put a great deal of thought into the development of this little gem.
The breakout cable turned out to be a surprise delight for me - I didn't think I would like it. But after having owned numerous audio interfaces, like an MBox, Firepod and Firebox, and Lexicon's Lambda, all of which have fixed connections, it is quite liberating to have just the controls that I need on my desk and the cables OFF my desk. Also, one side benefit is that you can leave your home setup intact (connection wise) simply by purchasing another breakout cable from Apogee and using it for mobile recording. This makes it so you only have to unplug two cables instead of (potentially) seven.
For Mac users, the Duet is fully integrated into the operating system. It is the only audio interface I know of that you can change the output volume with the system volume controls (i.e. the f-keys on the top row of your keyboard). Changes made with the rotary controller to output volume, and even input gains on the two inputs, are reflected on the computer screen much in the same way the system volume is shown in Mac OS X, with a translucent gray square showing volume bars and the relevant icon. Muting is done by holding the dial down for a second, and it can even be programmed to switch between the TS outputs and the headphone output. In short, using this thing is a breeze. The Maestro mixer is the easiest monitoring mixer I have ever used - others from PreSonus, for example, have left me cold. Oh, and don't forget that you can use the rotary encoder to control as much as 4 MIDI continuous controller parameters for controlling your DAW with. AND you can use it as a shuttle wheel to position your song position line.
If I could nitpick, it would be only to allow 48V phantom power switching from the device, and not force you to use software controls. Or as an intermediate, it would be nice if all the preamp settings (gain, phase invert, line/xlr switching, 48 V phantom) were all accessible on a Logic channel strip, since they tout full integration into Logic. But the extent of their integration into Logic is a slightly scaled back set of the Maestro controls in a small window within Logic. It's just as easy to switch to the Maestro application and have more full control.
Other than that, this audio interface is a sheer pleasure to use, and I see myself hanging onto it for a VERY long time!
great piece of gear. it does add its own sonic texture to the mix but i like that sonic texture it adds. it reminds me of of tape. this thing is a bargin hands down. it would be worth it to the HIFI boys to purchase it just for its D/A converters. very pleased with this peice of gear.
Great Sound, Low Price
First off Sweetwater delivered like they said they would.
The duet, it is a great simple piece of gear. I have always wanted to get into computer recording and looked at the MH ULN-2 and others costing 2x the duet. The pres and converters in the duet are great and very clear sounding.
Using garageband or logic and you can produce some great sounding music really fast. It is as good as advertised. If you are a songwriter looking to record some of your work on a Mac, you can't go wrong with the duet. You will get great results even having limited knowledge about producing music.
A friend of mine was listening to some of my sample tracks and the first thing they said was "I can't believe how clear that sounds" and this was using the built in speakers on my Macbook.
Better than my Enemble - Just works!
I've had an Apogee Ensemble for 10 months. I love it, but the drivers and simplicity of the Duet make it irresistable.
It is by far the sleekest interface I have used. Well worth the money.
I'd have paid 2x as much...
One review of the Ensemble (Duet's big brother) said that it produced the closest thing to commercial quality (pre-mastered) the reviewer had ever heard. The same goes for the Duet. I recorded acoustic guitar and vocals (separately)with a Rode K2 mic through the Duet in Logic Pro 8. I was blown away when played back the tracks. Both the voice and the guitar were "up in front" - no hiss, no room noise, no adding effects to get the voice or guitar to be more present or more powerful. Simply put, the Duet produces a warm yet sufficiently crisp, present sound that you can do anything with, or nothing at all cause it just sounds so good raw.
In comparison, I was previously putting my K2 through a Presonus Firebox. The difference is night and day. That's all I need to say about that. But I also have recordings of myself with a Rode K2 through an Avalon 2022, a B.L.U.E. Bottle & Kiwi through Avalon 2022 and other mic pre's (too many things to mention). And believe me when I say, I've never heard anything that sounds better without any treatment or mastering.
Apogee has done a great job. I'll most certainly get the Ensemble when two channels just isn't enough.
One downfall -the only downfall to the Duet (which is something I knew before I bought it) is that there are no insert points. I sing in many different styles, including those styles that always seem to bleed the channel. With no insert points and no "soft-limit" it can be kind of a dance to get just the right level. But there is plenty of headroom and with good mic technique a dynamic singer should still be ok.
The bells and whistles present on other firewire interfaces in the same price range or cheaper that the Duet may not have really won't matter as soon as you hear this thing.