AVID PRO TOOLS QUARTET RECORDING INTERFACE

Sound Distribution | (02) 8007 3327 | www.sounddistribution.com.au | RRP: $2350

Although many of you would find that two inputs is suf­fi­cient most of the time, I am sure you all have those moments when you know you could make bet­ter use of a cou­ple of extra inputs, or even a spare pair of out­puts on your audio inter­face. This is exactly the con­cern that Avid and Apogee have addressed with the Avid Pro Tools Quar­tet. Tak­ing the Apogee Quar­tet inter­face and bundling it with Pro Tools soft­ware is one thing, but mak­ing it avail­able to both Mac and Win­dows users really turns this into a ver­sa­tile tool for home and pro­fes­sional stu­dios alike.

EXTENDED REACH

Like with the Avid Duet, Apogee have pro­duced this inter­face to the same spec­i­fi­ca­tions as their stan­dard Quar­tet, but it bears the Pro Tools brand­ing and works on the Win­dows plat­form as well as Mac. What the Quar­tet offers is the abil­ity to extend your record­ing capa­bil­i­ties when you most need it. Four ana­logue inputs on com­bi­na­tion XLR/TRS con­nec­tors allow you to truly make the most of your inti­mate record­ing ses­sions. But, if that wasn’t enough, you have two opti­cal inputs as well. This means you can use exter­nal pre­amps and run them via light-pipe into the Quar­tet for fur­ther inputs. Depend­ing on the sam­ple rate you are work­ing on, you could run up to 12 simul­ta­ne­ous inputs with both ADAT con­nec­tions giv­ing you four inputs at 96 kHz. That makes for a pretty awe­some input device for its size and price.

THE FLIGHT DECK

Offer­ing more inputs means a big­ger hard­ware device, obvi­ously, so the Quar­tet has a lit­tle more space on the some­what impos­ing case to offer addi­tional con­trol. You get a sin­gle rotary encoder/ but­ton for vol­ume con­trol and data entry but addi­tional func­tion­al­ity is also added with three con­fig­urable touch­pads. You can eas­ily select between speaker and head­phone mon­i­tor­ing too and quickly jump from one input to another with the touch­pads located below the LED mon­i­tor­ing section.

My only real gripe is the lack of a phys­i­cal DIN MIDI con­nec­tion on the device. Although, in this day and age, with most new MIDI devices are head­ing towards a USB inter­face, it is still nice to be able to eas­ily con­nect legacy hard­ware up to your inter­face to keep it all run­ning through one device. That said, it is a minor issue and any­one run­ning seri­ous out­board MIDI gear prob­a­bly has a ded­i­cated I/O device for this pur­pose any­way. So, that aside, this all comes together as a pow­er­ful record­ing sys­tem. With the Pro Tools iLok included so you are ready to go after installing the soft­ware, high qual­ity home record­ing and pro­duc­tion is now so much more of a reality.

Hits and Misses

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Seri­ous home stu­dio front AD/DA

Wide range of I/O includ­ing word clock output

Eas­ily expand­able inputs with two opti­cal ins

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Slightly impos­ing desk­top design

MIDI con­nec­tion by USB only and no DIN connector

Specs

  • Pro Tools acti­va­tion card included
  • AAX plug-in bun­dle
  • 24-bit/192kHz sound res­o­lu­tion
  • Four com­bi­na­tion mic/instrument/line inputs
  • Eight chan­nels of ADAT/SMUX input via Toslink
  • Six 1/4” bal­anced line out­puts for three speaker sets or 5.1 mon­i­tor­ing
  • Stereo head­phone out
  • USB MIDI I/O for MIDI key­board or DJ con­troller
  • Pre­mium Apogee AD/DA con­ver­sion
  • Opti­mized mic pre­amps pro­vide up to 75dB of trans­par­ent gain
  • Soft Limit dis­tor­tion and clip­ping pro­tec­tion
  • OLED display

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