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  #1  
Old 05-07-2012, 11:29 PM
coldwaternights coldwaternights is offline
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Apogee Duet Recording Questions

Hey everyone,


i have the first generation apogee duet running through a macbook pro.

when i'm recording through it, the levels sound great and big and clear and really professional.

i love how it sounds listening back to the playback through my headphones.

However, the problem arises when i unplug everything and go to edit the song in the other room and i just have my headphones plugged straight into my macbook.
Suddenly, the levels are REALLY low and the sound quality is gone.

What am i missing here?

How am i to work on the song and editing and adding effects etc when the track no longer sounds the same as when i listen to it through the duet?

I REALLY hope i'm doing something wrong..............it makes no sense. I need the song to sound the same when i dont have the duet hooked up to it so i can adjust levels and edit accordingly.

Please help, i'm really worried because if i finish a song and it sounds great through the duet and then i send it to my itunes and listen to it later with just my headphones plugged straight into my computer, the song is NOT the same.

What do i do? help!
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:25 AM
iamspartacus iamspartacus is offline
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The difference you are hearing is (1) using the Duet as a sound card, vs (2) using your macbook's sound card. The difference in quality between the two is, indeed, significant. When you plug in your Duet, is becomes the sound card hardware that converts your audio to digital and your digital to audio (often called AD/DA). The quality of your Duet is leaps and bounds higher than what comes with the MacBook.

If you want to mix, mix with the Duet's headphone out jack.

Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2012, 09:54 AM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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The change in level is the cause of the apparent change in quality. Ears are not linear with respect to volume, so a louder playback sounds fuller, richer, bigger, and better.

Figure out how to match the volumes and the problem is solved.

Fran
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:18 PM
coldwaternights coldwaternights is offline
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thanks for the responses, guys.

the problem is, i can mix with the duets headphone jack and think everything sounds great.
but then when i finish the song and send the mp3 to a friend it's not gonna sound the same.
i really don't understand this.
it's misleading almost...............the track will sound great AS LONG as i'm listening to it through the duet. That's crazy. But in reality the track will sound night in day to anyone i'm sharing it with who doesn't have a duet.
How is this a great way to record?
I understand people rave about these duets and it does sound great when you're recording but when i finish the song and listen to it later in itunes with just my headphones into my computer, the song sounds like shit.

how do i match the volumes between the two?
i almost am starting to feel like this duet is worthless and i don't get why people use them.
i'm hoping im just stupid and confused................please somebody help me out!
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2012, 12:48 PM
BobbyFudge BobbyFudge is offline
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What? the Apogee is useless...because it sounds good?

You've got to mix specifically for MP3....try this:http://lame.sourceforge.net/
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2012, 01:03 PM
SkippyD SkippyD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwaternights View Post
i'm hoping im just stupid and confused.
Stupid is kind of a nasty term, I would say ignorant may apply in this case.

Mastering engineers have made entire careers dealing with the problem you mentioned, it's not a new problem either. So don't feel alone. It's not your gear though, it's just part of the learning process.
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2012, 01:14 PM
dass101 dass101 is offline
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The difference between the Apogee and the internal sound card can't account for a big difference in the way you hear the mix. At best you get a little more detail and stereo image through the Duet, but that's it.

have you checked if you hear the same difference when listening to any other itunes song, in both situations?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:52 PM
shredtheater shredtheater is offline
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One thing i can think of is if your running your tracks quiet in the DAW but running the output pretty loud on your duet then your tracks are still gonna be quiet. If you gain stage correctly you should see improvement.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:34 PM
coldwaternights coldwaternights is offline
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please explain to me what gain staging is?


thanks to everyone for their help.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2012, 02:39 PM
coldwaternights coldwaternights is offline
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i guess my question is.......what did i spend $500 on the duet for if when i listen back to the track and it doesn't sound as good as when i listen to it through the duet?
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:19 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Gain staging - setting the levels at the various points in your recording chain to optimize the signal to noise ratio and minimize distortion.

Your gain staging should be simple. Set the preamps on the Apogee so your signals in the DAW average (RMS) around -18 to -24 dBFS, this should leave your peaks between -6 and -12 dBFS.

Adjust your headphone output level on the Apogee so this level of recording sounds right to you.

Fran
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:27 PM
pickaguitar pickaguitar is offline
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The Duet is a great recording tool...I tried headphones but did much better when I got monitors
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:31 PM
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Jahn Jahn is offline
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If you think the Duet's playback sounds good through the Duet's headphone out, you should try it using the Duet's 1/4 mono plugs out, feeding a dedicated headphone amp. The Apogee's D/A converters are no joke, your music will sound far more awesome than anything stock coming out of your Macbook.

However, most of the folks who listen to your music probably will be using an iphone or a macbook, so mix accordingly. When I record, I monitor with the apogee to make sure nothing funny's going on when I'm recording live, but when I mix i unplug the apogee and use the crap macbook headphone out, and even dry run through the macbook speakers. Sad day, but true.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2012, 05:25 PM
coldwaternights coldwaternights is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
Gain staging - setting the levels at the various points in your recording chain to optimize the signal to noise ratio and minimize distortion.

Your gain staging should be simple. Set the preamps on the Apogee so your signals in the DAW average (RMS) around -18 to -24 dBFS, this should leave your peaks between -6 and -12 dBFS.

Adjust your headphone output level on the Apogee so this level of recording sounds right to you.

Fran

I will try this out, thank you Fran. How do i know when it's at -6?

Last edited by coldwaternights; 05-08-2012 at 05:36 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2012, 05:33 PM
coldwaternights coldwaternights is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahn View Post
If you think the Duet's playback sounds good through the Duet's headphone out, you should try it using the Duet's 1/4 mono plugs out, feeding a dedicated headphone amp. The Apogee's D/A converters are no joke, your music will sound far more awesome than anything stock coming out of your Macbook.

However, most of the folks who listen to your music probably will be using an iphone or a macbook, so mix accordingly. When I record, I monitor with the apogee to make sure nothing funny's going on when I'm recording live, but when I mix i unplug the apogee and use the crap macbook headphone out, and even dry run through the macbook speakers. Sad day, but true.

see, this is my problem.
how can i mix it in garageband so that it sounds like when i hear it through the duet???? am i just being naive and clueless and it's not even possible?
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