Mini Review: Tsound Productions Duet Breakout

Apr 28, 2009 4:57 PM, By Kevin Becka

Affordable, Elegant I/O Solution for Apogee’s FireWire Interface

Polls


Mix Regional

The Mix Regional section for Mix's July 2014 issue focuses on Atlanta. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to mixeditorial@nbmedia.com.

photo of Duet Breakout

Tsound Productions Duet Breakout

The Apogee Duet provides a great way to get in and out of Apple's Logic Pro, GarageBand and iTunes software using Apogee’s world-class converters. The only downside to the product is the shoddy, confusing and generally tangled mass of cables provided by the manufacturer (see Mix’s Apogee Duet review in the July 2008 issue).

However, as a potential work-around, Tsound Productions’ new Duet Breakout box offers an easy, affordable solution for getting in and out of the Apogee Duet, letting you bypass the original snake supplied by Apogee. The box comes in two flavors: the unbalanced version ($95) offers separate TS and XLR inputs on top and either TS or RCA outputs on the back. The balanced version ($210) offers TS/XLR combo inputs on top and transformer balanced TRS outputs on the back. On the front, both versions have the multipin connector necessary to interface with the Apogee Duet. For this test, I used the balanced version of the Duet Breakout.

The Duet Breakout’s construction is solid. The inside has a handmade, but well-done look with tie wraps that hold Jensen JT-11 transformers securely in place. The connectors are securely bolted to the box and should offer a lifetime of service even under many repeated ins and outs. I wired the Duet to my laptop’s FireWire port then used the included (and sturdy!) multipin cable to attach the Duet to the Breakout. I then attached the balanced outputs of the Breakout to my Focal CMS 65 speaker’s balanced XLR inputs with a turnaround cable. I had previously installed Apogee’s Maestro software on my laptop, so as soon as I plugged in the Breakout/Duet combo, Maestro instantly opened and I was ready to go. I was quickly able to play back tracks in iTunes or GarageBand through the beautiful sounding Apogee converters. I then plugged in a mic and did a quick voice-over to Logic Pro. It was simple and easy, and there were no ugly cables to contend with!

The Breakout is a great product that any Apogee Duet owner will appreciate. The connectors are sturdy and the box is well laid out. The only downside is that the silk screening on the box is poorly done and comes off with your fingernail. For those wanting different connector options, Tsound offers a free gender change from TS to RCA and an XLR output option; see Tsound's Website for details. The Duet Breakout is a must-buy for any Duet owner looking to simplify their setup and beautify their desktop.

Other than that, this box is a must-buy for any Duet owner looking to simplify their setup and beautify their desktop.

For more information, visit www.duetbreakout.com and watch the video “Apogee Duet Breakout Construction.”

Kevin Becka is Mix magazine’s technical editor.

product summary box for Duet Breakout




Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95

Newsletters

MixLine

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.