Duet 2 (USB): Troubleshooting

My Duet 2 shows up as a Duet 1 in Apogee Firmware Updater

The Apogee Firmware Updater application For Duet 2 and Duet for iOS & Mac  assigns a numerical value to each Duet 2 connected to the Mac. I you have only a single Duet 2 connected it assigns the number 1 to it, so you see Duet 1 in the Device Select drop down menu. If you had 3 Duet 2 units connected to the same Mac you would see Duet 1, Duet 2, Duet 3 in the Device Select drop down Menu. We realize this is confusing and plan to change this to be clearer in a future update. For now just go ahead and Update it will be for the Duet 2 not the old Duet 1 Firewire version.

How do I reset the Duet 2 or Duet for iPad & Mac?

A hardware reset can be a useful way of calibrating your unit to its factory default settings.

  • A reset can be accomplished by disconnecting the USB cable from the unit and then reconnecting it while pressing and holding down the encoder knob. Do not let go of the knob until the Apogee logo clears and shows the level-meter screen.

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.

Grounding Noise

The direct-coupled design of USB and Firewire audio interfaces can be susceptible to grounding anomalies that are difficult to discern. This can manifest in a variety of audible ways including hum, artifacts, and noises which can modulate with activity from the mouse, hard drive, wireless network, printer activity, or other functions of the computer.

One way to begin troubleshooting is to monitor the outputs of the audio interface with headphones. If the noise isn’t audible then it’s likely that a grounding issue exists.

If you look at the components of a computer based recording system, grounding noise can emanate from a multitude of sources. A few examples of these sources include:

  • Input (Instrument, line-level device, etc.)
  • Audio cables
  • Audio interface power supply (if applicable)
  • USB/Firewire cable
  • Computer’s AC
  • Attached peripherals/devices
  • Powered monitors or amp

A grounding problem could also be caused by the power, AC circuits, and power plugs of the room, or even the building you are in.

To troubleshoot the issue you’ll want to systematically remove, add or replace components in the system until the device (or devices) introducing the grounding issue has been discovered.

  • Because variables can exist within the same space from one circuit or AC outlet to another. Experiment moving devices around to different AC outlets. The preferred setup in a audio/computer system is for the power to be provided from the same AC circuit/outlet.
  • If a MacBook is being utilized, typically the AC power adapter (Magsafe) includes a  3-prong power cable and 2-prong adapter. Try utilizing the 2-prong adapter (North America). Does running the MacBook on batteries (=floating) solve the problem?
  • Utilize balanced cables (1/4″ TRS or XLR) when possible particularly when the audio interface is equipped with balanced inputs or outputs. Balanced circuitry is less prone to ground loops as the ground does not carry signal.
  • When unbalanced cables (RCA, 1/8″ or 1/4″ TS) are utilized keep the length of the cable to a minimum, under 10 feet (3 m). Longer lengths can amplify and exacerbate grounding noise.
  • Separate AC power wiring from audio cables.
  • Ground lifting the AC of a device may resolve the problem. This should be done with extreme CAUTION, as grounding exists for safety. You’ll want to consult with the manufacturer of the device about the implications of configuring the power in this manner. In North America this can be accomplished cheaply with a 3-prong to 2-prong ground lift adapter attached to the AC plug. In other countries a power strip without a ground may suffice.
  • Depending upon the severity of the issue another product may have to be implemented to resolve it. This could be a DI with a ground lift option (for input sources like a keyboard, guitar, etc.), a transformer based solution like those offered by Jensen and EBTECH, power conditioning or regulating device.

If you have questions, are unable to resolve this or any issue contact Apogee Support for assistance.

http://www.apogeedigital.com/contact-support.php

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)

When using Apogee interface with Cubase, Sonarworks, output volume level goes to max.

Symptom: When opening a session or selecting Apogee as the audio device, the output goes to full volume every time.

Solution: 

  • In Cubase, go to Devices > Device Setup > Control Panel > Core Audio Device Settings. Under Options, verify that set device attenuation to 0 dB is unchecked.

NOTE: In Cubase 10 and up, this setting is in Studio Setup > Control Panel

  • In Sonarworks, go to Systemwide settings and deselect the “Adjust output device gain checkbox.

How is this possible? All modern Apogee interfaces have input gain and output volume that are digitally controlled rather than an analog potentiometer that must be physically turned. The advantages of digital control are many:

  • Improved Sound Quality (turning the gain doesn’t cause a “scratchy” sound, and enables the advantages of our Step-Gain preamp technology)
  • Settings can be saved to presets that can be recalled later.
  • You can also control the output volume directly from the Mac’s Keyboard, Touchbar, or Volume icon in the Task Bar.

Cubase:  In Cubase this is called “Device Attenuation.”  The intent of this setting is to attenuate, or lower your volume, so you don’t get blasted.  When selecting any audio device with this setting turned on Cubase sets the device’s output volume to 0, since most simple sound cards have 0 as the lowest value.  Since your Apogee is rating the Outputs in digital decibels, where 0dBFS is the highest value, this setting will have the unfortunate opposite result, maxing out the volume.  Be sure to disable this setting to prevent getting blasted.

Sonarworks Reference 4:  This is a sound calibration software that many customers may have and forget is even running.  It has a setting to Auto adjust output device gain, or volume.

Please remember, many other softwares not listed here have these types of settings so be sure to check all the softwares on your computer!

Duet 2 (USB) Maestro Error “No Apogee Systems Found”

Symptom: Apogee Maestro will not properly recognize Duet 2 (USB) if Mac user is logged into a Guest Account.  Maestro simply says “No Apogee Systems Found”.

 

Resolution: Confirm you have latest Duet software installed (you can download here), go to Apple Menu>System Preferences>Show All>System Accounts>My Account view>Set User Name to Admin, restart the Mac and Maestro will now launch successfully.

I hear a delay between what I play and what I hear in my monitors. Can I do anything about this?

This delay is called latency, and is caused by your computer and/or recording software.

Using the low latency mixer found in the Apogee Maestro 2 application may help. Click on the mixer tab to configure it to your desired settings. Be sure to set your desired output to “mixer” on the output page.

For more on using the Maestro Mixer: Read More