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Apogee Duet gain and hiss

14039 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Oct 21, 2009 9:30 AM by edva RSS
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ClayG Level 4 Level 4 (1,415 points)
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Mar 28, 2009 8:48 AM
I have an Apogee Duet and was testing it out with Shure SM-58 and SM-81 mics. I have noticed that I can only turn the input gain up about 30% before I get some hiss in the headphones. Is this pretty much to be expected with these particular mics, or should be able to get more clean gain?

My Duet is new and I guess I'm not quite sure what to expect. I'm trying to determine whether my unit is functioning properly and is up to spec.

I would really appreciate any help. If you happen to have a Duet and SM58 and are willing to try it out, that would be a huge help for me. Thanks!
MacBook Pro late 2008, Mac OS X (10.5.6), iPhone 3g, Time Capsule
  • Jorge Costa Level 4 Level 4 (1,480 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 28, 2009 12:23 PM (in response to ClayG)
    Hi Clay,

    sorry about the question;

    Where did you plugged the mics?

    Instrument, XLR mic, XLR line -10db or +4 db?

    I don't have a 58 near now, made a simple test with an AT cardioid, With XLR mic In:
    dead quiet until 60%, but my voice was on red (clipping since 50%)
    About 65% starts some noise floor (and I can ear my wife dealing with papers on the next room:)
    input on 30% is dead quite, like it has a gate on.
    Tells us how you're progressing.
    Peace,

    Jorge
    iMac 3.06 & PowerBook G4 15, Mac OS X (10.5.4), LE 7.2.3 / Logic Studio, Apogee Duet - MBox Protools Le 7.3
  • thomas2222 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 1:27 PM (in response to ClayG)
    I am also having the same problem with a Duet I purchased last November.

    I just recorded with it for the first time last night. I'm using a Rode NT2 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 ClayG said in another thread, 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.
    G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • One Ohm Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
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    May 4, 2009 1:39 PM (in response to ClayG)
    I can't turn the input passed 3-bars with a Gibson plugged directly to the instrument in. So, I ordered a DI and plan to plug that directly to the XLR line in. This will bypass the units gain stage to access the AD...I think for $500 the unit does a decent job...
    MBP C2D 15": 2.4GHz / LogicPro 8, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Sharing knowledge is the key to immortality
  • thomas2222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 4, 2009 1:42 PM (in response to One Ohm)
    What is a DI, and how much does it cost?

    For $500, I think the Apogee Duet is a piece of crap. I've never heard so much noise from what is supposedly a "high end" interface. This thing is a joke.
    G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • One Ohm Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 2:32 PM (in response to thomas2222)
    This is the DI I ordered:

    http://www.mercenaryaudio.com/tadiprv7.html

    and who ever told you the DUET was highend does not know was highend means...
    MBP C2D 15": 2.4GHz / LogicPro 8, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Sharing knowledge is the key to immortality
  • thomas2222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 4, 2009 2:46 PM (in response to One Ohm)
    Thanks for the info.

    Could you name a two-channel interface that is more expensive than the Duet?
    G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Pancenter Level 5 Level 5 (7,510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 2:48 PM (in response to thomas2222)
    thomas2222 wrote:
    What is a DI, and how much does it cost?

    For $500, I think the Apogee Duet is a piece of crap. I've never heard so much noise from what is supposedly a "high end" interface. This thing is a joke.


    I think you need to check with Apogee... there were some bad/noisy units that went out.

    It might be worth your while!

    pancenter-
    Power Mac G5 1.8GHz Dual, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.5), RME Audio - MOTU MIDI, Mac (Logic 8.02), Intel/XP-Pro Quad Core PC
  • thomas2222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 4, 2009 2:49 PM (in response to One Ohm)
    Oh, so it will only be another $750 to get a decent recording out of the Apogee Duet?

    Great.
    G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • thomas2222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 2:52 PM (in response to Pancenter)
    I did email them a few hours ago. Still no response (i.e.,not even an auto-generated one).

    I think this box is vastly over-hyped. I'll bet that if most users actually test this, by removing the mic from the input, turning on phantom power, and jacking the level all the way up, they will hear the same hiss and noise that I am hearing.

    Most people have likely never tested it, and they don't mind the hiss because they are playing loud instruments.
    G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • thomas2222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 2:55 PM (in response to Pancenter)
    And I'm not looking forward to shipping this (at my expense) to get another defective unit, as has happened to other users multiple times. I just want my money back, which is, I'm sure, the last thing that Apogee will be giving me. I don't have months to ship, at my expense, back and forth only to waste my time with another identically defective unit. I'm really irked because the recording I wanted to do last night was critical, and the Apogee Duet made that impossible.
    Lots of downtime this thing is costing me, and now I will have to pay to ship yet more defective units back and forth to this company. I had much better performance from my $250 Echo Gina. If it worked on my current machine, I wouldn't be wasting my time with Apogee. Definitely the last purchase I make from them.
    G5 Quad, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • marceldada Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 3:00 PM (in response to thomas2222)
    I think you have a faulty unit. My Duet sounds great and is very quiet, no hum, no noise, nothin' but sweetness and if i turn the phantom power on with no mic plugged in and crank the gain all the way up there's no noise at all.
    Celeron 300A o/c 450 SBLive, Windows 98
  • John Alcock Level 5 Level 5 (5,025 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 3:39 PM (in response to thomas2222)
    I did email them a few hours ago. Still no response (i.e.,not even an auto-generated one).


    Thomas: sorry to hear of your Duet problems, but for every report of a 'bad' Duet there're probably 50+ happy users - very few users post 'happy' reports.

    Apogee is a very good company for tech. support - why not pick up a phone and call them at 310 584-9394. Chances are you'll get this resolved very quickly.
    2.5 Dual PMac 8GB - Raptor HDs Apogee AD/DA 16X, Mac OS X (10.4.11), MacPro 3.0 GHz 8GB 10.5+
  • clawson_apogee Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2009 4:22 PM (in response to thomas2222)
    Sorry to hear you are both having trouble with your Duet. It does sound like you both have defective units, please contact tech support 310-584-9394 and they will be happy to take care of this for you.

    Chris Lawson
    Apogee Electronics

    Message was edited by: clawson_apogee

    Message was edited by: clawson_apogee
    Mac Book Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.5), Symphony mobile, AD-16X, Mini-DAC, Duet
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