Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

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Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by Stig Ø »

My Apogee Duet 2 is still working properly, but the screen is fading, and considering it's 11 years old or thereabout, I've started thinking about what I would get to replace it. This will probably happen before year's end.

Currently I'm running a late 2014 iMac 27". This will also be replaced by year's end with a new monitor and docking for a 2020 MBP M1. Currently I have two preamps (one four- and one two-channel) going into a line mixer, and from there into the analogue inputs on the Duet. I'm basically using the line mixer as a patchbay. I only need to record two tracks simultaneously. In addition to good sound quality – which I understand is pretty much a solved problem these days - I need to be able to control monitoring. The occasional time when I'm tracking through an amp plugin, I need low latency; most of the time I'm miking stuff up, so low latency is less critical in that scenario.

I really don't need mic preamps in the interface, but as mentioned I need to be able to control monitoring. The new Duet is a possibility, but I don't need and don't want to (ideally) pay for DSP. Another possibility is to get rid of the line mixer and get an interface with 6 inputs, such as the MOTU M6. That seems to be a good option price-wise, but I've read here earlier about driver issues with the M1, and I don't want that, obviously.

Does anyone have any suggestions for an interface that would fit my needs? I've looked at the Duet and M6 as mentioned above, as well as the RME Babyface. I'd really like the Babyface but it's quite expensive, and probably overkill for what I'm doing. Any tips appreciated - thanks in advance.

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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by ef37a »

Hi Stig, both myself and my son in France have been using an M4 for about a year now and we cannot fault it.

No sign of driver problems (although I am on an i7 Win10 laptop if that makes a difference?) and I recently ran a MIDI controller and got Pianoteq to run glitch free at 64 samples. My old i3 HP could not manage that but was perfectly happy at 128 samples and I could not detect any delay.

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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by Drew Stephenson »

I'd say dump the mixer and look for an interface with more inputs unless you really, really need some of the other functionality from the mixer.
If not, I'd have the Audient EVO16 on my shortlist.
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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by Stig Ø »

Thank you both. As for the driver concerns, that came from a discussion on this forum where one member had problems with an M1 machine - but I have no idea whether it’s a going concern still. Thanks for easing my mind, Dave.

Drew, thanks for the Audient suggestion - seems to be just the ticket. The line mixer is a workaround, as my rig has grown over the years, so no real benefit from it. Seems to be reasonably priced and have good performance (the Audient interface).

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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by Wonks »

MOTU M1 issues got sorted back in 2021, though Monterey does need a simple MOTU driver installation package to be run to get things running smoothly.

Happy M4 users in this SOS Forum post

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... hp?t=78675
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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by ef37a »

Thanks for that link Wonks. I had forgotten I was in there!

I would also like to add that MOTU are very helpful people and swiftly cleared up a couple of questions for me. One related to certain "strangenesses" with a Win 7 laptop, not totally the same as W10 but it still works brilliantly.

The 'standalone' function is also noteworthy. The AI will run from a Pound shop 13A USB plug!

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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by resistorman »

I've had great results using a Focusrite 4i4 with my Mac M1 Air and M1 iPad Pro; currently the 18i20 is on sale here in the US for $539 which has plenty of i/o and an internal power supply (!)

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... -interface
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Re: Interface Q yet again - replace old Duet 2

Post by Stig Ø »

ef37 - Dave, Wonks, resistorman - thanks to all for your input. I'm no closer to making a decision, but I see there are several contenders. When I decide, I will come back and post it, just for the sake of completeness.
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