Thoughts on the Apogee Duet

Apogee Duet FireWire Interface

My Apogee Duet Firewire audio interface arrived.


  • It looks great. It’s bigger than I thought it would be, but still a nice size. With it’s simple controls and silver, rounded body, it looks right at home with my MacBook Pro.
  • Ease of set up. No problems. Downloaded the latest software package from Apogee’s site, installed it, rebooted, and then plugged in the Duet. A dialog came right up asking whether to use it as the default audio device and Logic Express found it with no problems either.
  • Ease of use. I worried about it only having one knob, but it seems like that’s all I need. Pressing the knob toggle between the two inputs and the outputs which is quick and easy. Having meters and clip indicators on the unit is really nice when adjusting levels. Another nice feature is that adjustments on the unit are mirrored in a transparent popup on the Mac display, which is a nice touch.
  • Sound. Very pleased. Being the pessimist that I am and not being a person with “golden ears”, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything really noticeable, but I was pleasantly surprised. The most noticeable thing was the lack of apparent noise when there’s no signal and listening with headphones. It’s so dead quiet that I wondered several times if it was still in the signal path. And music played through it sounds great too.
  • Crashes. Unfortunately, OS X did crash once when I plugged it in, but in fairness, this is almost certainly Apple’s fault, since it also happened with a PreSonus Firebox (see this post) (and I’ve seen reports of it happening with the Inspire 1394 as well). C’mon Apple – fix this. This is OS X; not Windows. This reminds me of Windows 98 crashing on Bill Gates when he plugged in a scanner at Comdex 1998.