Apsis Stories January 24, 2013

NAMM: Apogee updates USB interfaces with iPad support, Mackie launches 8-channel iPad mixer

Today is the first official day of NAMM in Anaheim, and we are already started to see a few Apple-related products pop up. The most interesting is the new lineup of interfaces from Apogee, including updated One, Duet, and Quartet models that all include new features, specs, and iPad compatibility with support for any Core Audio app. iPad compatibility comes thanks to Apogee’s new Maestro app:

Apogee’s new free Maestro app for iOS brings total hardware control to iPad. Designed to create a seamless transition between Mac and iOS, Maestro’s design was customized for each device; iPhone, iPad and Mac, ensuring an intuitive user interface across every platform. The app includes all the same essential functions available on the Mac including low latency monitoring. Maestro can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store on your iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad.

Starting with the One, the refreshed USB interface now features two inputs, the ability charge your iOS device, Apogee’s Maestro control iOS app, optional battery power, and updated mic preamps and AD/DA converters. It also includes a built-in mic and breakout cable to connect a 1/4-inch cable or XLR. One will be available in March for $349.

The new Duet, a four output, two-input USB interface has been given a refresh, and, like the One, it now includes a USB port for device charging and iOS connectivity. It also works with Apogee’s new Maestro iOS app, and it includes a full-color OLED display like previous versions. It will be available in February for $595. It also includes a breakout cable for XLR and 1/4-inch connections.

Lastly, Apogee is updating its 4 IN x 8 Out USB Quartet interface to take advantage of Maestro control software for iOS and Mac and offer full iPad compatibility. The refreshed Quartet will be available in February for $1,295, and a firmware update will bring iOS support to existing users at the same time.

The One, like the other updated Apogee interfaces, comes with a 30-pin cable, so you’ll need an adapter for Lightning devices.

Another iOS-related highlight from NAMM: Mackie’s new DL806 8-channel digital mixer for iPad (pictured below). It is available now for $799:

(Apogee via mi-pro.co.uk)

Apsis Stories September 5, 2012

New audio interfaces for Mac from Apogee and Focusrite

Two of the big names in slick, Mac-compatible audio interfaces have announced new products that OS X gearheads will want to take note of. While these two interfaces from Apogee and Focusrite include different feature sets and price points, both feature a polished, Apple design aesthetic and introduce features not currently available in the companies’ current audio interface lineups.

Starting with the Quartet desktop interface by Apogee (which is widely considered to be the industry leader in digital audio interface technology), this new interface and control center for Mac is the company’s first to feature a USB MIDI connection. Coming in at $1,295 when it ships later this month, the Quartet lands somewhere between the company’s popular $595 Duet 2 and $1,995 Ensemble interfaces. Included is six touchpads for your inputs and outputs, three assignable touchpads, monitor control for up to three sets of monitors, four analog inputs with Apogee’s reference standard mic preamps and eight analog outputs. We look forward to bringing you a full review of the Apogee Quartet ASAP.

A full list of specs is below:

Features and specifications:

  • 4 Analog Inputs: Combination line (balanced +20dBu max), Mic/Instrument (+20dBu/+14dBu max)
  • 4 Microphone preamps with up to 75dB of gain
  • 8 Digital Inputs: ADAT/SMUX Input, 2 Toslink connectors, 44.1kHz to 96kHz
  • 8 Analog Outputs: 6 Balanced line outputs, +20 dBu maximum output level, 1 Independent 1/4” stereo headphone output
  • MIDI I/O (USB-A type connector)
  • Word clock output
  • USB 2.0 High-speed Mac audio interface
  • A/D and D/A conversion: 24 bit/192kHz
  • 2 top panel high resolution OLED displays
  • Controller knob
  • 6 touchpads for direct selection of inputs and outputs
  • 3 assignable touchpads to control:
  • Mute Outputs
  • Dim Outputs
  • Sum to Mono
  • Clear Meters
  • Engage Speaker Set (allows monitoring of up to 3 pairs of speakers)

Also just announced is a new audio interface from Focusrite that comes closer to the price point of Apogee’s $600 Duet 2. Focusrite’s new “Forte” interface is a 2 in, 4 out, USB 2.0, which features two remote-controlled mic preamps, touch sensitive buttons, a large control knob, and an included breakout cable for XLR connections. The Forte can handle A-D and D-A conversion at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, and it will hit stores in October for roughly $600.

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