April 2011 Ian Chiu
While the new Apogee Duet 2 is not what you would call “cheap” at $595, this upcoming 24-bit / 192kHz audio interface device for budding artist may just make you consider it a must have item. Unlike its predecessor the all new and redesigned Duet 2 comes with very beefy specifications including two all new 75dB gain microphone preamps, dual touch pad control interface (with color OLED screen) as well as the slickest way to get the music you and your band create onto your computer. Best of all it ditches the older Duet’s Firewire interface for the ubiquitous USB 2.0 port.
Add in a not only a slick software suite – which has also been upgraded – in the form of the Apogee’s Maestro 2 software which allows you fine grain control over mixing the various audio inputs – but also compatibility with 7 other mainstream programs (including GarageBand) and this all aluminum clad recording studio in miniature form just may allow you to make you and your band sound better! It really is a cheap way to record, mix and master your bands music without the need of an expensive recording studio as you literally plug your instruments (and or mic) into it and the Duet 2 in turn turns it into data which your computer not only recognizes but can work with. Heck with an optional breakout box for even more input options this really does look like one slick piece of hardware. Sadly, while it does seem to have the chops all serious budding musicians will want, it is designed solely for Apple computers so “WinTel” users need not aply.