I’ve been a longtime Apogee user and currently use the company’s excellent Quartet as my main audio interface for my Mac and home studio. Today Apogee introduces its latest line of audio interfaces, the Element Series, introducing Thunderbolt connectivity and a new design somewhere between its more expensive pro line and its popular prosumer products like the Quartet and Duet.
The Element Series is more of a traditional rack mounted-style design compared to the Duet and Quartet that are both made to be desktop audio interfaces. That means the Element products don’t have a touch panel and large knob, but instead offer better connectivity options compared to Duet and Quartet for the price.
The new Element Series includes the 2 IN x 2 OUT Element 24 ($595), 4 IN x 2 OUT Element 46 ($895), and the 8 IN x 4 OUT Element 88 ($1495). All of which include Optical ADAT/SMUX/SPIDF in/out support for additional connectivity, and the Element 46 and Element 88 include two stereo headphone jacks as opposed to one on the Element 24.
You can, however, optionally buy a $195 Element Control Remote accessory that brings a Duet/Quartet-style hardware controller with a large control knob, 8 buttons, and metering (pictured below). The Element Series also has companion iOS and Mac apps that let you control the interfaces that way:
The company noted the Thunderbolt connection to Mac– its other products in this price range connect over USB– means super low-latency with Logic Pro X:
The Element Series Thunderbolt driver offers incredible low-latency performance (1.41 ms round-trip) and rock-solid stability. Apogee’s custom driver uses less of your computer’s CPU power with the help of Direct Memory Access (DMA) technology. This allows you to run more plugins and monitor through your DAW at a low buffer setting. Element’s low latency driver means you don’t have to choose between power and speed.
You can also connect any two of the new Element audio interfaces to your Mac over Thunderbolt at the same time.
The Element 46 and 88 are available now from Sweetwater, everything else is coming in November. You can also find Apogee stuff at Apple Stores, Guitar Center and elsewhere.