Apogee Duet 2

PRPS

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 21, 2011
74
0
Philadelphia, PA
Apogee DUET 2





Completely redesigned mic preamps and converters
4 outputs, Independent speaker and headphone outs
Balanced speaker outputs
USB 2.0 high speed connectivity
24-bit/192kHz recording
Full color OLED display
Configurable touch pads
Maestro 2 software
Breakout box (sold separately)
Redesigned Breakout Cable
Soft Limit



Breakout Box Accessory
Available as a separate accessory for Duet 2 is a solidly built, aluminum breakout box with 2 1/4” instrument inputs, 2 XLR microphone inputs and 2 balanced XLR outputs. The breakout box features studio-quality I/O connectors and includes a 2 meter cable for connection to and from Duet 2
 

Jolly Jimmy

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
1,357
3
Wow, looks very nice. I wonder how the USB 2 interface stands up to the old firewire Duet.
 

mark28

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2010
1,632
2
And still not a build-in mic? :confused:

How come One has a build-in mic and the Duet hasn't? It's just much more portable not being forced to carry additional mics.

And it's USB 2.0 now? I have bad experience with USB 2.0 imo, alot of latency.

I'm not buying it anyway with Thunderbolt and Light peak on the way which will probably reduce latency further.
 
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firestarter

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2002
5,498
117
Green and pleasant land
This looks really good. I'm glad they've designed a breakout box - the old 'octopus' of wires was a mess.

And still not a build-in mic? :confused:

How come One has a build-in mic and the Duet hasn't? It's just much more portable not being forced to carry additional mics..
Buy a One then?

This is a higher end product. You can't get the best audio quality by putting a microphone behind a small hole in a plastic box. Either get the cheaper One, or get the Duet and a proper microphone.

And it's USB 2.0 now? I have bad experience with USB 2.0 imo, alot of latency.

I'm not buying it anyway with Thunderbolt and Light peak on the way which will probably reduce latency further.
Wow, looks very nice. I wonder how the USB 2 interface stands up to the old firewire Duet.
This has lower latency compared to the Firewire version - 3.6ms roundtrip.

3.6ms is the time it takes sound to travel 1.2m in air - so as a delay it's really not something you'll notice.

It's really Apple's fault that Firewire is dying when it comes to portable audio interfaces. First they dropped it from the MacBook, then they never implemented it on the MBA. It doesn't make sense for a manufacturer to target Firewire for portable use.
 

MowingDevil

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2008
1,588
7
Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
I've gotta admit I thought they'd make it FW800 or even Thunderbolt compatible. Appears they've been listening to the users though as two of the biggest complaints I heard were the breakout cable (one company made a box as a solution) and the unbalanced outputs (I contacted Apogee abo this and they said there wasn't really a point unless you were going out to a PA w/ lengthy cables...however they addressed the issue most likely to just silence it).
They've brought the unit more in line w/ the One in terms of design, the screen looks nice.
 

firestarter

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2002
5,498
117
Green and pleasant land
Interesting that it's bus powered, but they also package a power supply that can be used 'optionally'.

I wonder if it's iPad compatible with the PSU connected?

I've got a MOTU ultralite at the moment, but I'm definitely interested in this. I like the idea of being able to plug the breakout into my monitors and stuff, and then just disconnect that if I want to use it with my laptop.
 

John.B

macrumors 601
Jan 15, 2008
4,138
647
Holocene Epoch
This looks really good. I'm glad they've designed a breakout box - the old 'octopus' of wires was a mess.
I bought the breakout box for the original Duet from these guys who found a gap and filled it. Much better than that 'octopus'. Spendy for what you get, but I've been very happy with it.

This has lower latency compared to the Firewire version - 3.6ms roundtrip.

3.6ms is the time it takes sound to travel 1.2m in air - so as a delay it's really not something you'll notice.
The problem with USB is that it relies on the CPU to move data around, so if the CPU is busy at that moment you'll get the Rice Krispy triplets (snap, crackle, and pop) in whatever you were recording.

It's really Apple's fault that Firewire is dying when it comes to portable audio interfaces. First they dropped it from the MacBook, then they never implemented it on the MBA. It doesn't make sense for a manufacturer to target Firewire for portable use.
I'm hopeful we'll see Apogee make use of the new Thunderbird port instead... But I'm sure not going to buy this while I'm waiting for that.

I'm about to return my Apogee Duet that i purchased last month
I have the original Duet (which I love for vocals and acoustic guitar) and there is no way in hell that I'd trade it for a USB-based Duet 2. YMMV.
 
Last edited:

M87

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2009
1,231
235
This is a nice surprise for a MBA user. Definitely selling my One and getting this.
 

apogeeguy

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2009
3
0
Official answers from Apogee

Macrumors users, thank you very much for your interest in Duet 2. I wanted to chime in and answer some of your questions.

Why is Duet 2 USB and not FireWire?
Compatibility: Every new and recent Mac has a USB port. So interfacing with USB makes Duet 2 an option for everyone on an Intel based Mac. This was actually a request from our customers for the next generation Duet.. "USB please" and a goal of the design team. Performance: Since Apple's release of OS 10.6.4, USB 2.0 tests with better latency performance than FireWire 400. See our the Duet/Duet 2 comparison chart for latency specs:
http://apogeedigital.com/products/duet2.php#chart
So, let's review, compatibility and performance are better with USB.

Why isn't Duet 2 a Thunderbolt interface?
You might ask, why don't you have a jet engine on your car? Thunderbolt is an incredible technology. We are working on Thunderbolt implementation for our multi-channel recording platform, Symphony I/O, which is capable of up to 128 simultaneous channels of audio recording and playback. Thunderbolt makes perfect sense for this system but it is simply overkill for a 2x4 channel, personal studio. The recent Apple OS implementation of USB is more than adequate for Duet 2 and will be a viable format on Macs for years to come.

Note "John.B" we have experienced nothing that supports your statement about the "snap crackle pop" of USB audio recording. Our extensive tests show USB 2.0 is stable and solid… more so than FireWire.

Why no internal mic in Duet 2?
"Firestarter" who is also very clearheaded about about USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt, makes a good point. Apogee ONE is an all in ONE interface with superior sound quality for its class but Duet 2 is a step up and is designed for users who have a microphone or collection of mics they prefer for recording. They don't need an internal microphone.

The most important question... how does Duet 2 sound?
Duet 2 benefits from the development of Symphony I/O our flagship product.
Who is using Symphony I/O: http://apogeedigital.com/products/symphony-io-artists.php
From its design approach to key components, Duet 2 is a blood relative of Symphony I/O and delivers the best of Apogee everything in a personal, portable package.
If you are in the market for a new interface, we encourage you to hear it for yourself. Set up a listening test at an Apogee dealer near you. And stay tuned to our website, we are working on a variety of recorded samples that demonstrate how incredible Duet 2 sounds.

Again, thanks to all for highlighting Duet 2 here on macrumors.


Sean McArthur
Apogee Electronics
 

skiltrip

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2010
2,813
213
New York
I plan on replacing my ProFire 610 with one of these. Getting a little tired of the M-Audio drivers (flaky, often stops outputting audio altogether). Also looking forward to going USB and leaving my FireWire 800 dedicated to my audio drive. I'll be using this with both Logic Pro 9 and Pro Tools 9.
Just wish it had MIDI I/O on it. Cause it means I'll have to pick up an M-Audio UNO or something similar.
 

VoicOfReason

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2008
11
0
CPU usage and port choice

Macrumors users, thank you very much for your interest in Duet 2. I wanted to chime in and answer some of your questions.

Why is Duet 2 USB and not FireWire?
Compatibility: Every new and recent Mac has a USB port. So interfacing with USB makes Duet 2 an option for everyone on an Intel based Mac. This was actually a request from our customers for the next generation Duet.. "USB please" and a goal of the design team. Performance: Since Apple's release of OS 10.6.4, USB 2.0 tests with better latency performance than FireWire 400. See our the Duet/Duet 2 comparison chart for latency specs:
http://apogeedigital.com/products/duet2.php#chart
So, let's review, compatibility and performance are better with USB.

Why isn't Duet 2 a Thunderbolt interface?
You might ask, why don't you have a jet engine on your car? Thunderbolt is an incredible technology. We are working on Thunderbolt implementation for our multi-channel recording platform, Symphony I/O, which is capable of up to 128 simultaneous channels of audio recording and playback. Thunderbolt makes perfect sense for this system but it is simply overkill for a 2x4 channel, personal studio. The recent Apple OS implementation of USB is more than adequate for Duet 2 and will be a viable format on Macs for years to come.

Note "John.B" we have experienced nothing that supports your statement about the "snap crackle pop" of USB audio recording. Our extensive tests show USB 2.0 is stable and solid… more so than FireWire.

Why no internal mic in Duet 2?
"Firestarter" who is also very clearheaded about about USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt, makes a good point. Apogee ONE is an all in ONE interface with superior sound quality for its class but Duet 2 is a step up and is designed for users who have a microphone or collection of mics they prefer for recording. They don't need an internal microphone.

The most important question... how does Duet 2 sound?
Duet 2 benefits from the development of Symphony I/O our flagship product.
Who is using Symphony I/O: http://apogeedigital.com/products/symphony-io-artists.php
From its design approach to key components, Duet 2 is a blood relative of Symphony I/O and delivers the best of Apogee everything in a personal, portable package.
If you are in the market for a new interface, we encourage you to hear it for yourself. Set up a listening test at an Apogee dealer near you. And stay tuned to our website, we are working on a variety of recorded samples that demonstrate how incredible Duet 2 sounds.

Again, thanks to all for highlighting Duet 2 here on macrumors.


Sean McArthur
Apogee Electronics
Sean, could address two issues? I just bought the original Duet and I am about to return it and wait for the Duet 2, but I am concerned about CPU usage through the USB port, and if there is a specific USB port on the 2011 Macbook 13" Pro that is going to work better than the other. I can't imagine Duet 2 would suffer from performance issues if it is an Apogee product, but is my Macbook Pro going to take any kind of CPU/performance hit from USB 2.0 that it wouldn't with firewire? If so, what kind?

Also, I've read online about one of the two USB ports on Macbook pro's being faster than the other. Is this true for the Duet 2 or is there going to be a recommendation to use 1 port over the other?

Both of these issues matter to me as I want to optimize CPU performance and port use.

Thank you!
VoicOfReason
 

ryanhaver

macrumors member
Dec 12, 2009
60
0
USA
Allready Pre-Ordered Mine on Sweetwater!!

I pre-ordered the Duet 2 last week from SweetWater. It comes with a 2 year warranty and free shipping. I've never bought from them before but it seems like a great deal. I put my Original Duet up for sale on CraigsList. It sold for $350 within 24 hours of posting it. Sure I lost a little money, but I'd had my Duet for a few months already. I'm pretty excited for the new one though.
 

TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
2,725
1,548
No spdif?
No midi?
A sketch mike like the 'one'

Looks good but come on Apogee...why not include these for making us wait 4 years?
 

firestarter

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2002
5,498
117
Green and pleasant land
No spdif?
No midi?
A sketch mike like the 'one'

Looks good but come on Apogee...why not include these for making us wait 4 years?
There's a load of manufacturers who throw multiple ins/outs, midi, digital etc. into a box and sell for less than this... why not get one of them?

The attraction of this unit is the high quality preamps and quality A/D.

Midi and SP/DIF are low speed commodity ports... most new midi devices have midi over USB anyway, and if you NEED midi you can get really cheap USB/midi adapter cables (as with SP/DIF). Why dilute this particular device with cheap commodity stuff?
 

skiltrip

macrumors 68030
May 6, 2010
2,813
213
New York
Might be cheap commodities to you, but for some of us those options are essential.

I'm currently deciding between the Duet 2 and the new Focusrite Scarlett. I realize I might be losing some conversion quality, and possibly preamps too (though many people really like and prefer the sound of the Focusrite pres). And the Scarlett has the MIDI I/O I need.

My only concern is driver stability. I have an m-audio ProFire now and it's a pain in the arse. I don't want a replay of that thing.
 

einmusiker

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2010
2,974
286
Location: Location: Location:
Might be cheap commodities to you, but for some of us those options are essential.

I'm currently deciding between the Duet 2 and the new Focusrite Scarlett. I realize I might be losing some conversion quality, and possibly preamps too (though many people really like and prefer the sound of the Focusrite pres). And the Scarlett has the MIDI I/O I need.

My only concern is driver stability. I have an m-audio ProFire now and it's a pain in the arse. I don't want a replay of that thing.
Focus rite pres are very good, I know they used to be the industry standard. Where u might be losing is just on build quality and ease of use with a Mac
 

firestarter

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2002
5,498
117
Green and pleasant land
Might be cheap commodities to you, but for some of us those options are essential.

I'm currently deciding between the Duet 2 and the new Focusrite Scarlett. I realize I might be losing some conversion quality, and possibly preamps too (though many people really like and prefer the sound of the Focusrite pres). And the Scarlett has the MIDI I/O I need.

My only concern is driver stability. I have an m-audio ProFire now and it's a pain in the arse. I don't want a replay of that thing.
What I'm saying, is that interfaces like this are cheap commodities. Class compliant - one end plugs into the computer, the other end into the midi device. No drivers needed. Done.
 

illbeback

macrumors newbie
Apr 5, 2011
19
0
Sean, is my Macbook Pro going to take any kind of CPU/performance hit from USB 2.0 that it wouldn't with firewire? If so, what kind?
Bro... It's a STEREO I/O!
You can only track TWO channels of audio at once! How is that going to put a strain on an INTEL box?
This thing has two channels of high end conversion from their flagship converters....
SOLD!
 

VoicOfReason

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2008
11
0
Bro... It's a STEREO I/O!
You can only track TWO channels of audio at once! How is that going to put a strain on an INTEL box?
This thing has two channels of high end conversion from their flagship converters....
SOLD!
I have read online that USB taxes CPU while firewire does not. I just to know if that is true, and how much taxing are we talking about. I'm sure you're right that it will be awesome. I just want to know if there are any real drawbacks to USB2.0 over firewire as it just isn't common to find a good USB2.0 audio interface.
 
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