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Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby niallharp » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:13 pm

Thinking of one of these to use with a metric halo 2882 via aes. For extrac channels with more gain..
apogee : well, apogee quality.
Comp/limiters
Only records to 48 via usb..
A/D only. Rudimentary monitoring.

Mico. : modern interface.
Vari phase
29/96 full duplex

Can get either for same price.
Is the Apogee pre or converter any likely to be significantly better, for a unit made in 2003?
Thoughts anybody?
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:48 pm

Just like Audient, Apogee do have a reputation for their 'sound', but all I can say is that I still love my Audient Mico

It ticked all my boxes functionally, and sounds great 8-)


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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:23 pm

+1 for the Mico.

Excellent ergonomics, plenty of quiet gain, fine sound, (HMX can be useful sometimes, too).

Audient are also a very nice firm to deal with: they very kindly sent me a free replacement pack of feet when some of mine fell off. (My Mico goes mobile with me).
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby The_BPP » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:20 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:+1 for the Mico.

Excellent ergonomics, plenty of quiet gain, fine sound, (HMX can be useful sometimes, too).

Audient are also a very nice firm to deal with: they very kindly sent me a free replacement pack of feet when some of mine fell off. (My Mico goes mobile with me).

I lost a silver knob from the front of my Mico (my fault). I emailed Audient, and I had a free replacement the very next day. Brilliant customer service.

As for quality, it's the cleanest pre I've used, and with the built-in digital option, it's good value.
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:19 am

niallharp wrote:Is the Apogee pre or converter any likely to be significantly better, for a unit made in 2003?


Personally, I'd go with the Mico for all the reasons others have already said.

However, these two products have such different facilities that they aren't really directly comparable. Perhaps it would help if you identified what you actually want to do and what facilities you really need, and move forward from there.

BTW, if you think you're likely to need limiters when recording anything in a studio situation you're doing something wrong! Try tracking with more headroom... ;)

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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:17 pm

Sorry if I am jumping in a bit late here, but did you consider the DAV BG 1? I have a few preamps, including the Audient Mico, but the first preamp I reach for is always the BG 1.

It is reviewed here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec03/a ... icsbg1.htm
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby fifahome » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:13 am

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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby The_BPP » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:49 am

That was almost a sentence. That's some quality spamming you've got going on there.
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:17 pm

"Full duplex" - the Mico has analogue to digital conversion only (24 bit at 44.1/48/96 Khz).

Are Mico (2009) or Apogee Mini-Me (2003) A-D converters better? Almost irrespective of the answer, the Mico is current so will come with a warranty, and given Audient's excellent customer service, probably easier to fix if a fault arises.

For the first 18 months I ran the Mico as an A-D converter and used a separate D-A converter: this is a very workable solution.
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby niallharp » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:14 am

Thanks Hugh! I track with shed loads of headroom! But for location work with almost no rehearsal/prep dem limmiturrs might save your ass some day... As I say I've a metric halo 2882, but the pres are only 43db, of which the last 5 Dbs are scratchy. Fine for rock. Had a DVD bg1. Fab. Sold it. Have a Midas Venice in the studio so have enough pres. Am thinking of a portable battery power able pre/ad to run thru aes and monitor through the 2882's monitoring facilities. May be able to swing a mico/mini me second hand for under 400 euro. Neither under warrantee. Was hoping someone might say "the apogee is the best thing ever.." And make it nice and easy. Everyone's recommending the mico, but no one seems to have(used) both..
Another interesting thing about the apogee.. You can run it on an iPad... I'd have two mobile rigs. One super portable. And potential clients don't get exited when they hear "audient" (even tho audient are great).
Can anyone tell me, how good is the mini me?...
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby niallharp » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:22 am

I might be recording a baroque duo in a church, trad in a pub, a skiffle band in a barn, soundscape of Berlin from the top of a tower, or any old shite at home in the studio. I've an old motu 828 as well but another 2 channels of good conversion in the studio, and a/d and pres for the road would be nice.
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:51 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:For the first 18 months I ran the Mico as an A-D converter and used a separate D-A converter: this is a very workable solution.

Hi Trevor!

I'm still doing that now, with a Lavry DA10 as separate D/A converter, so all I need in my computer is a basic audio interface offering bit-accurate S/PDIF in and out (in my case an ancient but still most useful Echo Mia) 8-)


Sorry niallharp - I've auditioned Apogee D/A, but not any of their A/D range :beamup:


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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:10 am

niallharp wrote:Can anyone tell me, how good is the mini me?...

You want the Mini-me, so buy the Mini-me. It was a good quality device when it came out 11 or 12 years ago. As I've said before, it has such a different feature set from the Mico that comparing the two is a bit silly... If you want a full interface with native operation on an iPad, the Mico isn't the tool for that job. If you think your customers are going to be swayed more by the Apoggee name than the Audient name, you have your answer.

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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby niallharp » Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:48 pm

Actually I don't want the Mini Me. I want a Metric Halo ULN 2, but I won't get one for 300 euros...These are both two channel preamps with a/d. Either the apple or the orange will do. Doesn't seem silly to make sure there isn't a world of difference in sonic quality between an old box that originally cost over a 1000, and a new one that costs 400. Converters are now so much better and cheaper, a good clean pre is a good clean pre. . And the 'Mico, unlike the Mini me, has word clock in. , Thanks Trevor for pointing out the audient was a/d only... Had got it into my head it was an interface... But I can record directly to the mac via spdif..
Hmmm....
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Jeraldo » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:47 am

Would it be correct to assume using different AES/EBU pairs on two or more different devices would be OK with the Audient, devices would be clocked from the Audient output?
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:40 am

Should be fine, but you'll always get better audio performance if the devices that are being clocked have inbuilt jitter suppression, since running anything from an external clock almost inevitably increases jitter.

Have a read here: www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb07/articles ... ing.htm#11


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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:11 pm

I'm still doing that now, with a Lavry DA10 as separate D/A converter, so all I need in my computer is a basic audio interface offering bit-accurate S/PDIF in and out (in my case an ancient but still most useful Echo Mia)

Hi Martin, that's interesting, I did something similar using an EMU 1212M PCI card which worked fine in the PQ5 Pro/Q9550/8 Gb setup, but when I built a new x79 Sabretooth/i3930k/ 32 Gb PC, the 1212M didn't really like the PCI implementation, so I bought an audio USB interface.

However, I gave the Q9550 setup a new lease of life in a Fractal 3 case, better CPU cooler and a Samsung EVO boot drive with the 1212M re-installed and S/PDIF in from the Mico. Incidentally, the Q9550 still runs all my audio fine: the i3930K build was for a different reason.
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Jeraldo » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:18 pm

Thanks for the link, Martin, that was all a much needed refresher and your mention came at the perfect time (for me). ;)
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby R W » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:33 pm

The Mini-Me is an amazing piece of kit and production was stopped on it (if I remember correctly) as it was not cost effective for Apogee to make them; the standard of the innards was first class.

The Mini-Me pre's are amazing, so clean and pristine, the compressor is very transparent and can be driven very very hard to great effect. The A/D conversion is also amazing and of course, it can be used as a master clock.

Do not let the age of the unit put you off, there's not much in the price range that can get close, all IMO...
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Trevor Johnson » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:37 pm

Amazing x 3: I am looking forwards to a little litotes. :)
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby niallharp » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:56 pm

Thanks Martin for the link. Clocking will be an issue. My mh2882 has the 2d upgrade card, which has superior clocking. I'd really prefer to use it as a master clock, so Maybe the Mini Me is out..
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:36 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:
I'm still doing that now, with a Lavry DA10 as separate D/A converter, so all I need in my computer is a basic audio interface offering bit-accurate S/PDIF in and out (in my case an ancient but still most useful Echo Mia)

Hi Martin, that's interesting, I did something similar using an EMU 1212M PCI card which worked fine in the PQ5 Pro/Q9550/8 Gb setup, but when I built a new x79 Sabretooth/i3930k/ 32 Gb PC, the 1212M didn't really like the PCI implementation, so I bought an audio USB interface.

However, I gave the Q9550 setup a new lease of life in a Fractal 3 case, better CPU cooler and a Samsung EVO boot drive with the 1212M re-installed and S/PDIF in from the Mico. Incidentally, the Q9550 still runs all my audio fine: the i3930K build was for a different reason.

Hi Trevor!

Sadly this is not an ideal way of doing things - the reason my setup works so nicely is that at the recording end I'm relying on the clock of the Mico, which offers fairly low jitter, and then the inevitable increase in jitter that happens when you clock an audio interface (in my case the Echo Mia) from an external clock such as that of my Mico is then eradicated by the jitter reduction circuitry of my Lavry DA10 D/A converter before I listen to it in analogue form.

The Emu range does sound good, but like a lot of interfaces, its jitter levels increase greatly when clocked externally.

So, the best solution in your particular case would be to record using the Mico external clock, but then switch back to Internal clock on the Emu 1212M for serious playback listening.

Hope this helps!


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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:04 am

Martin Walker wrote:... and then the inevitable increase in jitter that happens when you clock an audio interface (in my case the Echo Mia) from an external clock such as that of my Mico is then eradicated by the jitter reduction circuitry of my Lavry DA10 D/A converter before I listen to it in analogue form.


If you are transferring the audio from the Mico to the computer via the Mia card digitally over S/PDIF, there is no jitter to worry about. The interface cable will introduce some jitter, but the computer won't care and it makes no difference to the audio quality at all. It's just data at that point.

Jitter is only relevant when it affects the conversion process between the analogue and digital domains (in either direction. Cable or interface jitter between digital storage or processing devices has no impact on audio quality whatsoever (unless it is ludicrously extreme and causes a failure to lock up to the data stream).

So there are two crucial elements here: 1. the stability of the Mico's clock in converting the analogue signal to digital in the first place. Like most converters, this is very good when working as a master from its own internal crystal. As you say, most devices suffer much greater conversion jitter when slaved to an external clock, so it's always best to use your primary A-D as the clock master whenever possible.

And 2. the ability of the Lavry to reject any jitter produced by the Mia card output and the interface cable. A lot of D-As rely on extracting the clock signal embedded within the datastream to perform the digital-analogue conversion, so any jitter on that data stream will degrade the conversion quality unless it is removed. This is something Lavry pride themselves about, of course, as of many other converter manufacturers, and there are many different ways of minimising the effect of jitter.

But fundamentally, A-D jitter and D-A jitter are two separate and unrelated things if there is a digital storage element in between!

So, the best solution in your particular case would be to record using the Mico external clock, but then switch back to Internal clock on the Emu 1212M for serious playback listening.


Not sure if that's a typo or just a little unclear, but perhaps it should read: record using the Mico on its internal clock (as clock master, with the EMU slaved to the corresponding digital input), but then switch back to Internal clock on the Emu 1212M for serious playback listening.

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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Billum » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:51 am

Mini-Me is amazingly good quality for the mic pre and A-D, and my first call for vocal/acoustic input in my studio. It's also a great master clock.

However, I've never found the limiter to be very usable (sorry RW!), and the gain knobs are a bit weird in that they don't go to zero, but instead leap from about 12dB of gain to a clicked-in 'preset' level at full CCW (the preset level is set by a recessed trimmer pot). I find I have to use a 10dB pad most of the time.

But even after 10 years I don't think the quality of results will disappoint!
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:53 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:... and then the inevitable increase in jitter that happens when you clock an audio interface (in my case the Echo Mia) from an external clock such as that of my Mico is then eradicated by the jitter reduction circuitry of my Lavry DA10 D/A converter before I listen to it in analogue form.


If you are transferring the audio from the Mico to the computer via the Mia card digitally over S/PDIF, there is no jitter to worry about. The interface cable will introduce some jitter, but the computer won't care and it makes no difference to the audio quality at all. It's just data at that point.

Jitter is only relevant when it affects the conversion process between the analogue and digital domains (in either direction. Cable or interface jitter between digital storage or processing devices has no impact on audio quality whatsoever (unless it is ludicrously extreme and causes a failure to lock up to the data stream).


Agreed - I'm afraid my wording wasn't very clear - I was referring to the increase in Emu playback jitter when you're recording using the Mico using its internal clock, and therefore running the Emu on this external clock.


Hugh Robjohns wrote:
So, the best solution in your particular case would be to record using the Mico external clock, but then switch back to Internal clock on the Emu 1212M for serious playback listening.


Not sure if that's a typo or just a little unclear, but perhaps it should read: record using the Mico on its internal clock (as clock master, with the EMU slaved to the corresponding digital input), but then switch back to Internal clock on the Emu 1212M for serious playback listening


Yes, that's exactly what I meant Hugh - thanks for the extra clarification :headbang:


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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:12 pm

8-)

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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby R W » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:46 am

Billum wrote:Mini-Me is amazingly good quality for the mic pre and A-D, and my first call for vocal/acoustic input in my studio. It's also a great master clock.

However, I've never found the limiter to be very usable (sorry RW!), and the gain knobs are a bit weird in that they don't go to zero, but instead leap from about 12dB of gain to a clicked-in 'preset' level at full CCW (the preset level is set by a recessed trimmer pot). I find I have to use a 10dB pad most of the time.

But even after 10 years I don't think the quality of results will disappoint!


Hmmmm... you know that you can move a jumper inside to change the level: you'd not need a pad then; it's a design feature and you are supposed to choose to change either / and / or both channels if need be. I remember first buying it many many years ago; and couldn't understand why there was so much gain... so I changed one channel so that I'd have one of each and hey presto!
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Re: Apogee mini me or audient mico?

Postby Billum » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:00 am

R W wrote:Hmmmm... you know that you can move a jumper inside to change the level: you'd not need a pad then; it's a design feature and you are supposed to choose to change either / and / or both channels if need be...

Ooh no I'd not noticed that (must RTFM in future...) I'll give it a try, thanks for the tip!
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