Product Profile: Apogee Digital Duet 3

Apogee Digital has had a solid reputation for pioneering audio interfaces with class leading AD/DA converters for decades. While the company’s range of professional audio interfaces have long been favored by “A-list” producers and iconic recording studios worldwide, their products were, for many aspiring musicians and engineers, prohibitively expensive. When the first version of the Apogee DUET came out back in 2007, it broke the company’s price barrier for its products and allowed a whole new range of customers access to their recording technology. 

Now in its third version, the Apogee DUET 3 has the same eye-catching design as its processors. The Apogee DUET 3 is a two in, four out, bus powered USB C audio interface integrating onboard DSP functionality, and it can generate up to 24 bit/ 192 Khz recordings. Like its predecessors, the Apogee DUET 3’s rugged construction and bus power capability lend itself to portability and make it a perfect solution for capturing high-quality recordings on the go. Apogee Digital has a long-standing working relationship with Apple and the Apogee DUET 3 will look right at home next to your MacBook Pro or iOS device. The Apogee DUET 3 is Mac and PC (Mac OS windows 10) compatible. You can also connect the Apogee DUET 3 to an iPad Pro using the included USB-C to USB-A Cable as well as to an iOS phone via a powered USB Hub / Apple camera connector kit. 

As with previous versions, the Apogee DUET 3’s single operable control is a precision rotary encoder that allows for accessing all of DUET 3’s recording and playback functions. The OLED backlit rotary encoder is milled from a single piece of aluminum and is underlit with an understated, dimmable blue light that adds a touch of class to the DUET 3’s overall minimalist industrial design. 

The rear of the Apogee DUET 3 features two USB 3 ports, both of which are dedicated to powering the interface via an external power supply, if needed, and a mini-D-SUB style connector for attaching the included breakout cable. An optional DUET 3 dock is available as a separate purchase for making the DUET 3’s input and output connections directly to the Apogee DUET 3. The breakout cable does make a lot of sense as a solution for on-the-go recording sessions as it minimizes the amount of connection cables that you will need to take along with you. Both the Apogee DUET 3 and the breakout cable are designed to fit in the included travel case for easy portability. 

Whichever way you choose to connect your Apogee DUET 3’s inputs and outputs, available connections will include two high Z instrument input jacks, two XLR line / microphone inputs and two quarter-inch balance outputs for connecting a pair of studio monitors. A single quarter-inch headphone jack is accessible from the front of the Apogee DUET 3, and it also facilitates the Apogee DUET 3’s other (Stereo) output. A multi-function level meter on the top of the Apogee DUET 3 shows recording and playback levels.

The Apogee DUET 3 is tightly integrated with the Apogee’s generic Control 2 software, which is available as a free download for all registered users, and which provides access to commonly used recording settings, including channel level gain, overall playback levels, phase inversion, 48-volt phantom power, control of headphone output levels and more. 

The Control 2 software functions as a front end for controlling the Apogee DUET 3’s onboard DSP capability. Apogee’s ECS channel strip plugin is included at no charge with your Apogee DUET 3 purchase (it’s a $99 value) and offers flexible EQ and Compression control as well as a number of Bob Clearmountain tuned presets that apply to many commonly used recording settings for tracking and mixing. Other Apogee plugins covering a wide range of recording applications are available on the Apogee website and cover a wide range of Bob Clearmountain’s signature Dynamic, Reverb and modulation effects.

To sum it up, with the Apogee DUET 3, your getting class-leading AD/DA technology and studio grade microphone preamps packed into a highly portable, easy-to-use two in, four out USB C audio interface that’s perfect for on-the-go or desktop recording sessions. In spite of its small size and relative lack of onboard operable controls, the Apogee DUET 3 is a professional grade product designed to be capable of making serious recordings.

The Apogee DUET 3 is available now for $649. The optional DUET 3 Dock is available now for $179. Information about Apogee’s range of Bob Clearmountain tuned plug-ins is available at apogeedigital.com.

Find out more at apogeedigital.com