Duet 2 (USB): Setup

Gain Staging – How to set proper levels with your Apogee product and recording software

Use the following steps to set input and output levels on your Apogee interface. 

Before launching your recording software:

1. Turn down the speaker/headphone output level of your Apogee interface.

2. Connect your audio source to your Apogee interface. Make sure to use the proper inputs.

• If you’re using a microphone, plug the microphone into the XLR input.

• If you’re using a guitar, bass, or other high impedance instruments, plug them into the 1/4″ instrument input.

• If you’re using an external mic-pre or another piece of line-level gear, use the XLR inputs.

Quick Tip: Some keyboards and synths can be plugged into either the Instrument or XLR inputs. You might have to experiment with what sounds better.
 

3. Launch Apogee Maestro and go to the input tab. Make the appropriate selection in the Analog Level drop-down menu for the input channel you are using.

• Microphone (Mic) – depending on the Apogee interface you are using, you would choose Ext Mic/Ext Mic 48v (ONE) or Mic (Duet, Quartet, Ensemble, SymphonyI/O with MicPre module). You will need to engage the 48v button for if you’re using a mic that requires phantom power.

• Instrument (Inst) – Guitar/Bass/some keyboards

• Line Level (+4dBu/-10dBV for balanced/unbalanced connections) – This setting is used when connecting external microphone preamps and other line-level gear.

NOTE: If you have the ONE, a line-input is accommodated by choosing Ext Mic and turning the input gain all the way down.
 

4. Set the input gain of your Apogee interface.

There are two ways you can adjust your input gain:

• By adjusting the input software encoder in Maestro

• By turning the physical knob (encoder) on your Apogee interface (make sure you’ve set the knob to control the input channel and not the output level. See your User’s Guide for more information on setting this).

Quick Tip: Ideally, the level in the input meter should be as high as you can get it without hitting an “over”. If you see red in the meter, you know you need to turn the input gain down. In some cases you may need to adjust the output of the audio source you are using. You may need to move your microphone closer to the sound source or further away. You may need to turn the level of your guitar or keyboard up or down.
 

Launch your recording software, create an audio track, and put the track into input or record mode. It is a good idea to leave the fader of the track you are recording and any Master Fader for the mix set at their default setting.

5. Adjust the output level of your Apogee interface.

• Gradually increase the output level of your Apogee interface so you can hear what your input source sounds like in the speakers or headphones.

• After you get the output set to a comfortable listening level, listen for any distortion in the input audio.

• If the audio sounds bad, you may have something set wrong. Go through steps 2, 3, and 4 to trouble-shoot the problem.

Note: Two common issues are that the sound is too quiet or that it’s distorted. It may be a simple case of needing to turn the input gain up and the output level down or the input gain down and the output level up.

Is Duet compatible with Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9)?

Yes! Duet FireWire, Duet 2 and Duet for iPad/Mac are all fully compatible with Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9 to 10.9.5).  Please be sure to download and install the latest Mavericks compatible software package for your product from Apogee’s site.

 

Click to find the latest Duet FireWire Software Installer

Click to find the latest Duet 2 Software Installer

Click to find the latest Duet for iPad/Mac Software Installer

 

How do I know what version of Maestro is installed on my Mac?

To find out what version of Maestro you have installed:
  • Open Maestro 2 (found in your Mac’s application folder) and click on the “Apogee Maestro 2″ menu in the upper left-hand corner of the desktop menu bar
  • select “About Maestro 2″. This will bring up a window showing you which version you have installed (see example below)

Can I record my session on the the startup hard drive?

It’s an accepted “best pactice” of most audio software providers that audio files should be recorded on a hard drive other than the Mac’s Startup drive (i.e. the drive on which the operating system is installed). You can probably get away with recording a few tracks to your computer’s Startup disk, but for the best performance of your Apogee recording system, record onto a separate ATA/IDE, SATA, or FireWire drive whose spindle speed is at least 7200 RPM.

Using Duet with Apple Logic

 

Go to the Logic Pro or Logic Express menu and choose Preferences > Audio.

 

duet2-logic-prefs

In the Core Audio pane of the Device tab, select Duet 2 for Output Device and Input Device.

 

duet2-logic-prefs2

 

 

Set the I/O Buffer Size to 128.

Click Apply Changes at the bottom of the Preferences window.

 

By selecting Duet 2 input and output labels in Logic, the labels you see in Logic’s Channel Strip input and output slots correspond exactly to Duet 2’s hardware inputs and outputs, making I/O assignment much easier.

1. In Logic, choose Options > Audio > I/O Labels.
2. Select the labels in the Provided by Driver column.
3. Close the IO Labels window.

duet2-logic-iolabels

 

 

Now close the Logic Pro Preferences window and select
New > Collection > Empty Project from the Trackmenu.

 

duet2-logic-emptyproject

 

If you are recording a single microphone or instrument, make the following selections in the New Tracks dialog box:

Number: 1
Type: Audio
Format: Mono
Input: Input 1
Output: 1-2
Check the Input Monitoring checkbox
Check the Record Enable checkbox

duet2-logic-template

 

Logic will now ask you to name the project and save in on your hard drive.

 

duet2-logic-saveproject

 

Click the Record button in the transport control at the bottom of the Logic window.

duet2-logic-record

You’re now recording with Duet 2!

Can I bypass the preamps in Duet 2 (USB)?

YES!  Duet 2’s preamps can be bypassed if you’d like to connect a line level input source such as an external microphone preamp or mixer.  Here are the two things you’ll need to do:

1) Connect the devices line level output to Duet’s combination input jack using an XLR cable.

2) Go to the input tab in Maestro (found in your Applications folder) and change the input selection from “Mic” or “Inst” to “+4 dBu” or “-10 dBV”.  The line level selectionwill depend on the type of gear you’re connecting.  Professional audio equipment most often uses +4 dBu, while consumer audio gear is set to -10 dBV.