Apogee Quartet USB Audio Interface for Mac and PC
Apogee Quartet 12 In x 8 Out USB Audio Interface for Mac and PC, ESS Sabre 32 DAC
By DPD On 19th Feb 2019
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The Ultimate Desktop Audio Interface
Apogee Quartet is the ultimate desktop audio interface and studio control center for professional recording. Made for the musician, producer and engineer that wants the ultimate sound quality and studio control in a compact desktop form factor, Quartet features legendary Apogee AD/DA conversion, 4 world-class microphone preamps, USB MIDI I/O, ESS Sabre32 DAC technology and monitor controls.
With Quartet’s 4 Combo inputs you can connect microphones, guitars, keyboards or line level devices such as external mic preamps or a mixing board. Expand your system with 8 additional inputs via Quartets optical (ADAT/SMUX) digital IN. Quartet also includes 8 analog outputs – 6 1/4” balanced outputs for connection to speakers or outboard equipment and a separate, independently controlled 1/4” stereo headphone output. You can control up to 3 pairs of speakers or set Quartet up for 5.1 surround monitoring.
Sound Quality - The Apogee Advantage
A Difference You Will Hear
From the mic preamps to the AD/DA converters and the clocking, Quartet is best-in-class and cutting-edge Apogee technology. With components carefully selected in critical listening tests and a highly efficient circuit design, Quartet was built by Apogee engineers to make a difference you can hear.
Pristine, Next Generation AD/DA Converters
Quartet’s AD/DA converters are designed to deliver the purest recordings and best listening experience possible. Quartet’s efficient circuitry and state-of-the-art components provide a simplified signal path resulting in incredibly transparent recordings.
Smooth, Detailed World-Class Mic Preamps
Much like the AD/DA converters, Quartet’s mic preamps feature the latest components and offer seamless click-free transitions as the gain increases and decreases throughout the incredible range of 0-75dB. This unprecedented feature allows you to dial in the perfect level, either with the controller knob or from within software, while delivering ultra-low noise and smooth, crisp detail. Quartet’s mic pres are suitable for all dynamic, condenser or ribbon microphones, allowing you to capture any sound without compromise.
Soft Limit For Protection From Digital Overs
An Apogee technology first introduced in 1992 on Apogee’s AD-500 converter, Soft Limit can be heard on countless platinum selling records around the world. Once a technology exclusively reserved for Apogee’s most advanced audio converters, Soft Limit is included in Quartet and can be enabled in Apogee Maestro software.
This superior analog design prevents the digital clipping that causes distortion by instantaneously rounding off transient peaks before they hit the analog-to-digital converter. Soft Limit allows several more decibels of apparent level to be recorded while subtly providing an analog-like warmth to the sound.
ESS Sabre32 DAC Technology
ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC with Time Domain Jitter Eliminator offers unequalled dynamic range, ultra low distortion, and unmatched audio clarity free from input jitter.
While ESS Sabre32 DAC has been widely recognized and employed in the audiophile community as the next step in converter technology, Apogee is one of the first pro audio manufacturers to employ this DAC in an interface designed for audio and video professionals. ESS Sabre32 DAC technology, as employed in Duet 2, Duet for iPad & Mac, Quartet and Symphony I/O, is one ingredient in the Apogee Engineering Difference. The benefits of the ESS Sabre32 DAC include:
32-bit DAC Architecture – Compared to older 24-bit technology, the Sabre32 DAC’s 32-bit filter processing results in significantly lower noise and distortion, for a pure listening experience free from artifacts. 32-bit digital attenuation ensures that sonic purity is maintained at any listening level.
Time Domain Jitter Elimination removes clock inconsistencies from the incoming digital data, so the converted analog output preserves the clarity and soundstage detail of the original recording.
Apogee Quartet Product Tour - All the I/O You Need
Quartet is equipped with 4 combination input connectors (XLR and 1/4”) for connecting microphones, guitars and keyboards or your favorite external mic preamps, compressors and EQs.
Quartet also includes 8 channels of digital input via 2 optical connections (ADAT/SMUX) for connecting an additional analog-to-digital converter such as Apogee’s Ensemble.
Quartet’s 6 balanced 1/4” TRS outputs offer an impressive range of possibilities. Listen and compare stereo mixes on up to three sets of speakers.
Quartet provides Word Clock OUT for synching an external A/D converter to Apogee’s superior clocking technology.
Quartet provides a single USB MIDI connection for your CoreMIDI compatible keyboard, synth, or DJ controller.
See your I/O in detail
Dual, high-resolution displays show all input and output details
Quartet features twice the display you came to love with Duet. Two high-resolution OLEDs deliver all the visual feedback critical for recording and monitoring. Without looking at your computer, Quartet lets you see metering, levels, grouping and phase, muting, phantom power and Soft Limit for all inputs and outputs.
Quickly select I/O & functions - QuickTouch pads for input and output selection
Quartet makes it easy to access all important recording and monitoring functions. Simply tap a QuickTouch pad on Quartet’s top panel to select an input or output and easily adjust your level with the controller knob. All input and output touchpads feature an LED highlight ring. The highlight ring of the active touchpad is brighter so you can see at a glance which input or output is selected.
The ABCs of Quartet’s assignable features
Three additional configurable touchpads (labeled A, B, C) allow you to quickly access output functions such as “Mute Outputs”, “Dim Outputs”, “Sum to Mono”, “Clear Meters” or “Engage Speaker Set” selection. Each function can be assigned to a touchpad using a drop-down menu within Apogee’s Maestro application.
The A, B, C selectors above the controller knob can be configured in Apogee’s Maestro software to switch between up to 3 pairs of speakers allowing you to use Quartet just like a standard monitor controller. Simply connect 1, 2 or 3 pairs of studio monitors and tap to select which pair you would like to listen to.
Dial it all in - Quickly adjust input gain and output level with Quartet’s control knob
Apogee’s Duet started an audio interface revolution with its single controller knob design. Quartet continues this tradition. A single machined aluminum knob completes Quartet’s control center. With a tap to the touchpad you can select the desired input or output and precisely dial in your level.
Solid build quality
Built with die-cast aluminum, steel and a scratch-resistant display panel hardened by UV processing, Quartet is solid, compact and perfectly integrated into the desktop studio environment.
Apogee Maestro Software
Application for low latency monitoring and control of Apogee audio interfaces on Mac, PC or iOS
Access all control functions and settings with Maestro, Apogee’s comprehensive software control application. Maestro features a single window interface with quick access to all Apogee device settings. Select your input type, enable Soft Limit on mic and instrument inputs, and use the mixer for low latency monitoring. Maestro lets you easily configure your Apogee interface to fit your workflow.
Maestro is included in the Quartet software installer for Mac/PC. If you’re connecting Quartet to an iPhone or iPad (iOS cable sold separately), Maestro is available for free from the App store.
Logic Pro Integration
Apogee hardware control is integrated directly into Logic Pro X
If you are using an Apogee interface, you can adjust hardware input parameters directly from the Mixer view in Logic Pro X, including mic pre gain, input type selection, 48V phantom power and more. This simplified user experience helps you focus on a single session window when recording, and offers comprehensive visibility and control of input parameters.
Control Apogee hardware and Logic Pro X from an iOS device
Apogee hardware input controls are also accessible through the Logic Remote App on iPhone or iPad, enabling Apogee users to wirelessly adjust their input levels and settings from anywhere in the studio. Drummers can adjust mic pres without having to get up from behind the kit, engineers can do a line check while still setting up mics, and home musicians recording themselves can switch between a microphone and directly connected instrument without having to be in front of their computers.
USB 2.0 - High Speed, High Performance
Faster than FireWire
Quartet features USB 2.0 High-speed connectivity to Mac. Advances in the Mac’s Core Audio driver have made USB faster than FireWire 400 with incredible latency performance. And there’s a USB port on every Mac.
…and as fast as USB 3.0
While USB 3.0 offers approximately 10x the bandwidth of USB 2.0, USB 2.0 far exceeds the bandwidth Quartet requires for its 12 inputs and 8 outputs, delivering exceptional audio performance without compromise.
• 4 analog inputs with world-class mic preamps and selectable 48v phantom power for connecting microphones, instruments or line-level devices.
• 8 analog outputs – 6 balanced 1/4” outs for speakers or outboard gear, 1/4” stereo headphone output.
• 8 digital inputs via 2 optical connections (ADAT/SMUX).
• Monitor control for up to 3 sets of speakers or 5.1 surround.
• USB 2.0 High Speed connection to Mac or PC.
• Direct digital connection with iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. 30-pin cable sold separately).
• Software control of hardware parameters including input selection and low latency monitoring.
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