Noise and Hiss from Apogee Duet

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Thomas2222, May 4, 2009.

  1. Thomas2222 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2009
    This interface is constantly being raved about. At $500 for a two channel interface, one might expect it to be worthy of rave reviews.

    But I, and many other people, have experienced lots of HISS and NOISE when recording with this device. Here's my story (google "Apogee Duet and Hiss" to find hundreds more):

    I am getting a tremendous amount of noise and hiss from an Apogee Duet I purchased last November.

    I just recorded with it for the first time last night. I'm using a Rode NT2 mic plugged into Input 1 on the Duet. The Input setting is for XLR Mic (so please don't bother mentioning the +4 or -10dB settings, thank you).

    I brought the levels up to where I got a proper level for my acoustic guitar (no amp). I noticed a HUGE amount of hiss.

    I also tried what another poster said in another thread ( and also, as well as numerous other posts in different audio forums on the net - just gooegle "apogee duet and Noise), and disconnected the mic from the input, then turned the level all the way up, and I found the source of the hiss: It had nothing to do with my room noise (which is almost non-existent), the hiss came from the Apogee.

    I'm really disappointed with this. Everyone is always raving about how quiet this thing is supposed to be, but I've never heard an interface so noisy before.

    Anyone who says their Duet is quiet, please perform the following test before responding: Disconnect the mic from the input; turn on phantom power, and put the level of the input all the way up, and listen with headphones. Do you hear hiss and static? I hear a lot, and this is obviously the source of the hiss on my recording.

    I can record with an acceptable level of hiss with the input level set to 43 or below. Above that, the hiss is very very noticeable. Unfortunately, 43 is too low to get a proper level for a quiet acoustic instrument.

    Also getting very buggy behavior with the Maestro software (version 1.7.1).

    I'm very disappointed with all the problems I've had with the Apogee Duet. This is obviously a very widespread problem, and ridiculous to have in what a very expensive two channel interface.
  2. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    Gotta love a product that doesn't publish it's technical (audio) specs.
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    to be fair, every mic pre will generate a good deal of self-noise when turned all the way up.

    assuming that's 43 dB, self-noise should not be obvious at that level.

    sorry for your troubles. do get a hold of Apogee support and give them a chance to rectify it.
  4. Benguitar Guest


    Jan 30, 2009
    I have an Apogee Duet and I don't have any hissing noises coming from it.

    I know these statements are blunt and are probably considered stupid but-

    Do you have a cell phone near the device?

    What kind of cables do you use / Have you been rough on your Apogee breakout cable? It is possible there are some lose/exposed wires that are causing that hiss. I have seen and heard lose/exposed/broken wires so that is why I think that could possibly be the problem.

    If it is still under warranty try calling/emailing Apogee about the problem and see what they say.


    I hope everything gets fixed/solved.
  5. lancew macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2010
    I coud have written that myself

    I have had exactly the same experience and I'm spewing. I'm trying to record vocals and acoustic guitar with a Rode microphone and there is heaps of hiss. I tried it sitting at 45dB and there is too much hiss. It's exactly the same if the microphone isn't plugged in so it must be coming from the duet. It basically renders the duet useless for recording with a microphone because I need atleast 45 to get a decent level.

    I woud love to be told I'm doing something wrong so I too can have the experience I've read about in all the 5 star duet reviews. As it stands though, I'm really disappointed.
  6. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    No problems w/ the Duet at my end whatsoever, super clean!

    I would guess your problem is either w/ the mic or more likely the breakout cable.
  7. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    Update on hiss. A friend of mine had a major problem w/ hiss on his Rode going through an Apogee One....took them back to the shop and turned out it was a faulty breakout cable. Had it replaced and now his mic recordings are super quiet. Sounds like a great Mic/audio interface combo.
  8. spencer elliott macrumors member

    spencer elliott

    May 29, 2010
    St. Louis
    if i were using a Duet (and i will be because im ordering one soon) i would never use the stock breakout cables. they arent of great quality and will not last.

    this is the solution:
    [​IMG] DUET BREAOUT.html

    they make a balanced and un-balanced versions.

    this would surely cure any hiss issues.
  9. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    I'm going to be getting the Break Out as well; here's a tip: I did some research and spoke w/ Apogee directly. Don't bother paying extra for the balanced version, it won't improve sound quality whatsoever. Some people criticize them for having unbalanced outputs but according to them it was deliberate. I looked into the theory behind balanced vs unbalanced and its only a factor in situations where you're running long cables such as w/ live sound for example.

    Save the money, get the base model.
  10. MacMojo1 macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Old thread revival

    Added a subwoofer into the chain and that eliminated the problem.

    I connected the Duet and One to my new sub, KRK 10S, and the sub does not play back any hiss at 44 or 48 nor 60Hz noise due to bad ground.

    While I was not in the market for a sub, KRK was very helpful in assisting in tackling the problem and they got an additional sale out of it too.

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