Well the Apogee Duet interface arrived from Jigsaw24.com at the appointed time, as usual – if you’re a Mac user I’d thoroughly recommend this company. The installation was a breeze with one CD disc that contained the Maestro software that is used to set up the device. Once installed I was asked if I wanted to use the Duet as my main output and input audio, so I clicked yes, and it was set up!

The first thing I did was open iTunes and play a little AC/DC – Back in Black. The sound was immediately noticeably clearer. The M Audio Firewire Solo device was always good, and has done me well over the years, but the difference between the £130 M Audio and the £390 Duet was real, there, and pouring into my ears.

The next job was to get it integrated into Logic Studio. So I opened the program, set it as the main driver, then just followed the instructions in the booklet that comes with the Duet, clicked about 4 buttons, and I was done, according the book anyway.

Sure enough the signal was getting into the program beautifully, so I recorded some clicks along with the metronome – no latency at all. Wonderful! I recorded some guitar, then came to record the second track, and had to then go into Maestro and push a few buttons until I got the sound of the new monitored instrument coming through my headphones. It was clear and strong and easily mixable with the already recorded first track. Bliss!

So the device was set up and working in about 30 minutes. I spent the next 3 hours recording a song, the classic folk song Hal an Tow, and I’m really pleased with the result, and can’t wait to get back in the studio later and record the next one!!

The M Audio Firewire Solo is a great interface, and it did me proud whilst I was recording The Cauldron Born, but it never sat well with my new iMac with Leopard. Maybe the driver just wasn’t quite right, but anyway, it’s found a loving new home with my Bardic pal Paul Newman, who is going to continue to entertain its digital ears with his new songs.

If you are considering a portable audio interface, and particularly if you use a Mac, don’t spend ages pondering like I did, just go and get the Apogee Duet. It’s not cheap, but the results are worth every penny.