I wanted to see if I could give this brushed-aluminum brick with a big knob a new lease on life using Linux. While the initial setup was relatively straightforward a CLI tool hinawa-utils was needed to fine-tune the device. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous snd-firewire-ctl-services can be used to control the Duet directly from alsamixer.
Apogee Duet tech specs:
- Two channels of professional-quality 24-bit/96kHz audio input and output
- Two balanced XLR inputs, with selectable 48V phantom power on each input
- Maximum input – +4 dBu setting: 20 dBu; -10 dBV setting: +8 dBV
- Mic Pre-amp gain: 10 to 75 dB
- Two unbalanced high impedance instrument inputs
- One high-level stereo headphone output
- Two unbalanced -10 dBV line outputs for powered speakers
- Multi-function controller knob for volume and input gain control and assignable MIDI control
- Multi-segment LED meters to display input or output levels
Jackbox: Testing setup
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 1700|
|RAM||Corsair LPX 16GB|
|Motherboard||MSI B350 Tomahawk|
|GPU||Nvidia Quadro 4000|
|PSU:||EVGA 600 B1|
ALSA / Pulseaudio: Plugging the Apogee Duet in causes it to be immediately recognized by ALSA and Pulseaudio.
Jack: Configuring the Apogee Duet with Jack is equally straightforward.
Hinawa Utils: This is the CLI tool used to control mic/line settings, phantom power, and mixer sources.
Disable ALSA firewire drivers: If you don’t want ALSA or Pulseaudio to see the device you can disable it with the following.
Create the file alsa-nope.conf in /etc/modprobe.d/ and add the following.
Apogee Duet: Round-trip latency @44100 HZ
Apogee Duet: Round-trip latency @48000 HZ
Apogee Duet: Round-trip latency @96000 HZ
I’ll put it like this. If you are looking for a high quality preamp to drive your SM7B, PR40, RE20 or D2 it’s a no brainer. The line level inputs are more than good enough for recording the occasional track.
However, if you need to record more than two tracks simultaneously, have a condenser mic, need to connect MIDI devices, or the idea of using the command line to change settings both angers and confuses you, run.