Apogee’s Boom audio interface with DSP works cheap | Engadget

You may know Apogee because it is small in size or . Or maybe her. But ask a bedroom producer and most of them will tell you that they know the company about their audio interfaces and software tools. Today, the company is unveiling a new 24-bit/192kHz desktop audio interface ($300) with both studio and mobile designers in mind.

Like the popular one, Boom includes a dedicated hardware that can run Apogee’s Symphony ECS channel plug-in right on the interface. This can help take the load off your CPU and also help reduce latency. DSP-enabled interfaces are not uncommon, but Boom is much cheaper than most entry-level offerings with similar hardware on board. A copy of the ECS plug-in comes with Boom via the accompanying software. You’ll also be able to get an “original” copy (separate/fitted to the digital audio platform) for a choppy half – $50 – when you register the device.

The Boom has a standard 2-in/2-out configuration with one XLR-combi input and one 1/4″ instrument input. For the outputs, there is a pair of 1/4″ outputs and a headphone jack around the back. The back placement of the headphone connection always seems a little unhelpful when you’re stuck trying to find the port, especially if you’re using the headphones for other things, so you end up doing that a lot. There is a hole in the base of the Boom that you can feed the cable under which makes things neater, but the port on the front seems to be more practical.

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Fortunately, the Boom is powered via USB, so there is no need for a separate power supply. There’s iOS compatibility as well, but since the USB port does double duty for data and power, this is limited to the iPad Pro because the iPhone won’t be able to drive it, even with the camera connection set. Of course, a full-size interface like this doesn’t make much sense for a phone anyway, but in case you were wondering, now you know.

Despite having only one XLR input, the preamplifiers are loud enough and can easily power hungry microphones like the SM7b. Using the EQ and compressor in the Symphony plug-in allows you to adjust this sound (regardless of microphone/instrument). There are a bunch of presets that should cover the most common recording scenarios, but obviously you can equalize and compress things to your personal preference as well.

For musicians, this can really help you master a mix without having to interfere with any plugins that may be running in your audio workstation. But for TV and live broadcast creators in particular, this means that you can control how you sound without playing a DAW or any other host application at all — your microphone delivers an EQ signal as standard output. For now, Apogee’s ECS channel strip will only work with Boom, though the company has confirmed that it’s entirely possible to bring other plugins along with a DSP for things.

Apogee desktop products often feature a sleek design and Boom is no different. The purple-tinted steel casing gives it some reassuring heft while the single turntable is a stylish solution for multi-object control (two gain channels and two effects).

At $300, it’s a hold on some of the most popular fronts like the Scarlett 2i2 and UA Volt—both of which come in at under $200. However, with the DSP Apogee this might be a simpler alternative to what’s also like ($499) from Universal Audio or ($595).

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