Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Apogee’s new and old Ones: NAMM 2013
Apogee are famed for the quality of their digital converters. Their Rosetta converters can be found in studios the world over, and their Ensemble interface allowed the more affluent project studio owner to bring the Apogee name into their setup. However, the Ensemble was still a premium-priced product, and offered more inputs and outputs than many people may have required. So, over the last few years, Apogee have released the Duet, Duet 2 and One interfaces that made Apogee quality much more affordable, and also much more portable.
The Special One
At winter NAMM 2013, Apogee announced a major update to the One, which now makes the name something of a misnomer… In addition to now offering compatibility with iOS devices, the new One offers improved metering, an aluminum rather than plastic body, recording at up to 96 kHz, improved AD/DA conversion as well as, and this is the major one for me, the ability to record from the instrument inputs and a microphone -internal or external- at the same time. This really looks like a great new product, which is just typical, given the fact I bought the previous version a short while back…
My few months with the last One
The original Apogee One is, as you might expect a one (mono) input, Mac-only, interface, with one stereo output, in a very sleekly-designed portable box. The output is on the unit itself as a stereo mini-jack, with the input connections, on XLR and 1/4″ jack socket, mounted on a breakout cable. The large knob in the centre of the unit controls playback volume and input gain, toggled by pushing the knob. Usefully, the One also includes an onboard condenser microphone (which is pretty impressive itself!) and can provide phantom power for external condenser mics.
The One has been available for a few years now, but I only picked one up about six months ago as I wanted an interface for mobile production -or even in a different room of the house without having to remove my studio interface from the rack. So far, I have been incredibly impressed. Installation was a breeze, the Maestro 2 software does a great job of not getting in the way of anything, and makes it quick and easy to adjust any settings and change the choice of input.
I’ve gigged this interface a few times now, using it for my guitar input into Guitar Rig, and sending the output of Ableton Live to the PA, all at a very small buffer size for incredible low latency. I’ve also used the One together with my Native Instruments Traktor Audio 2 as an aggregate audio device to give me additional outputs without any problems.
In general then, I think this is a great little interface. Yes, it may seem expensive for the amount of I/O, but this is a premium product and, if you’ve been wondering whether the quality of your digital conversion was compromising your productions, you won’t have to worry about that anymore with this interface.
Do you want One?
The new form factor, improved metering and AD/DA conversion is impressive enough, but the major improvements that make this a very desirable piece of kit are the fact you can now record from the instrument and mic inputs simultaneously, and the iOS compatibility. If you are a singer/songwriter, the fact that you can now just through this interface in your gig bag with your iPhone and record with Apogee’s renowned studio-quality anywhere should put this firmly on your wishlist…