I was fortunate enough to get an Apogee Duet 2 recently. This device hooks up to your computer's USB port (and is powered from there) and allows you to monitor audio. I'm not gonna go into all the details, see our review of the original Duet. At first I thought I'd never really need it, but after a few rounds of stem mixing and editing in Pro Tools on my laptop via the headphone jack it became obvious that something had to give. I set it up on my desk and hooked up my tiny Tascam VL-M3 monitors. Even my wife noticed the change in sound when we put on music in the background. And the nice big volume knob made turning listening levels up and down much nicer than buttons on a laptop. But this week the Duet 2 hit its stride. During a recent mix sesion my laptop became the "nitpicky editing suite" on the producer's desk, and man, did the Duet make this job a lot easier. And this weekend I'm taking it, along with a tube mic and headphones, to a client's house to retrack some vocals (it even has built in mic pres!) as my studio is booked up. I love my Dangerous D-Box, but it's currently in another state, sitting in a rack and doesn't feature the handy remote like its big brother the Dangerous Monitor ST. Having the small Duet on the desk with excellent sounding converters and headphone jack and a big volume knob saved my ass. An excellent tool... Good job Apogee.
by Larry Crane
I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I say this all the time. Drop by Jim Powers' Music Shrink website and read his articulate post on the subject.