Apogee Track 2?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Terabyte, Dec 23, 2004.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    Its an analog to digital convert apparently
    Its a decent mic preamp apparently.

    Question is...
    Is it the best analog to digital converter?
    Is it the best mic preamp?

    (Individually.. not combined... please treat it's functions as seperate.. obviously i dont want to be stuck with somthing great at converting but aboslute trash when it comes to micpre or visa versa.)

    If not.. what is the best A/D out there. What is the best MicPre

    Just vetting out whether there is anything better than those.

    Any help much appreciated.

    Thanks alot :D:D
  2. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    Hey Terabyte,

    I can tell you that Apogee has been known for years at making
    amazing A to D converters. Are they the best in the world?
    Who knows . . . mastering labs tend to use A to D made by
    super high end companies like Prism (mind blowingly expensive).
    When Bob Clearmountain does a mix, he uses the Apogee Trak 2
    because he loves the sound. He makes that statement on
    Apogee's website and on his personal website.
    The Trak 2 has 2 channels of killer mic pre's that have never
    sounded bad on anything I've used it on.

    As far as your question about mic pre's . . .
    It's not possible to
    answer the question of "what's the best mic pre in the world?"
    A mic pre is like choosing a color to paint with. Just like choosing a
    microphone is like choosing a color to paint with. They all sound
    different in different applications. The Trak 2 tend to be acurate
    yet with a subtle very musical warmth to it IMO.

    If it's helpful, here's some statements from a couple of top
    engineers . . .

    "We were in London working with Victoria Beckham – Posh Spice. We had the Trak2 and other well-known mic preamps, including some tube models, and held a shootout right there. The Trak2 won hands down,"he says enthusiastically. . . . Steve Kipner

    "From the moment the Track 2 was in service in my studio, my recordings have taken on an extraordinary quality. I've used it with vocals, acoustic guitars, bass guitar, and my Yamaha grand piano. Some of the projects have included Avril Lavigne's new album, Kelly Clarkson, The Calling, and Clay Aiken. The overall sonic result is smooth, airy, & more realistic, it’s just as if I was in the room with the band and the vocalist." . . . Clif Magness - Writer/Producer
    Recent Projects: Avril Lavigne, Cherie Amore ,Jessica Simpson,

    Not that these guys know everything . . . I just thought you might
    be interested.

    The thing that has really helped my studio is that it functions as my
    master clock (super acurate) and it has an 8 channel routing matrix
    that is very handy if you get the optional card that gives you ADAT
    optical ports. 8 channels of digital ins and outs.

    Here's a link if you want to read all about it:
  3. Terabyte

    Terabyte Guest

    Thanks :D Very helpfull :) :cool:
    Nice to know where about these "apogee" rank in the industry :)
  4. jimmymio

    jimmymio Member

    Dec 25, 2004
    Ditto what Pete has said. What is the "best" of anything is impossible to state definitively. Sports car? Merlot? Actress? Audio gear is no different.
    In an ideal situation we would have several high end mic pres to choose from. Being that I have only one, I'm glad that it is a Trak 2 because it is neutral sounding. I wouldn't want a tube pre if it was the only one I had. When I want a tube vibe i use the FX loop in the Trak 2 and use a tube compressor. When I want a real transparent sound, it's ready to go.
    My question to Pete would be, in what capacity Bob Clearmountain use it in mixing. Do you mean the D/A for monitoring?
  5. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    Hey jimmymio . . .

    According to what Bob Clearmountain has said on the Apogee
    website . . . He apparently prints his final mixes running analog
    into the Apogee Trak 2 using the Soft Limit feature (which is an
    analog process within the Trak 2) which he says allows him to squeeze
    "a couple more db of volume onto the tape" . . . I assume he's
    then printing onto a digital tape.

    As far as whether he uses it for D to A to listen back (which I do)
    I'm not sure.
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    That must be an old web page because the newer Apogee products [Like the Rosetta 200] totally blow the Trac 2 out of the water.

    Frankly, even when it was new I thought the pre's in the Trac 2 sucked [sterile, cold and boring... like a Millennia unit] and that the A/D conversion wasn't all that stellar sounding.

    If you hook a Trac 2 to one of the Big Ben clocks [or a Lucid GenX6-96 for that matter] it'll sound a hell of a lot better but all in all, for the money, I'd rather have a set of Lavry Blue's every day of the week... as always, YMMV.
  7. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Ok this may be a fairly easy question to answer but currently I have an ART Gold MPA preamp I am using in conjunction with the preamps on my mackie mixer. I am only an intermediate level engineer but have since acquired some more projects and thus some more cash. Are the preamps in either the Apogee MINI MP or the Trak 2 noticeably better in general or just on certain instruments or applications. Or I guess what I am really trying to say is do they warrant me spending the extra cash? Are they really as much better as the price differential between them and my Gold MPA? I read that the MINI MP preamps are better than the Trak 2's and since the MINI is more affordable for me I was wondering if it would be a good purchase. I only would want the unit for the pre's unless someone can offer me a better dual channel mic pre for around the same price. I want to hear what everyone's thoughts are. I can spend about 1,000 max right now. Thanks to all who offer their advice.
  8. Pete_Weaver

    Pete_Weaver Guest

    Ultimately it all comes down to opinion . . .

    I will respectfully disagree with Fletcher on this one . . .
    I'm very suprised at anyone using the word "cold" to describe the
    mic pres in an Apogee Trak 2 . . .
    They're some of the warmest, sweetest mic pres I've heard.
    Then again it's a matter of opinion.
    However . . .

    I post the following mixes as evidence, in which every instrument
    in the mix (except drum OH's and toms) were tracked through the
    Apogee Trak 2 and straight into Pro Tools. This includes vocals.


    Concerning the mini mp . . . I dont think any A to D converter
    Apogee has ever made has "sucked" . . . even dating back to the
    really old stuff . . .
    but there's no way I'll believe that the mini mp's A to D
    is better than the Trak 2 unless I hear it from an Apogee rep.
    OR unless I had the chance to A / B the two units myself.
    Also, the crystal clock in the Trak 2 is STELLAR and there in no need
    for Big Ben . . . I know this from personal experience A / B-ing the
    quality of the audio using each clock. In my opinion, if a person
    owns a Trak 2, they can VERY confidentally use it as their master
    clock for their whole system. I think where Big Ben would come in
    handy is when doing post for video and syncing to video.
    Having said that . . . I'm sure the new Rosetta 200 is great too.

    My two cents worth.
  9. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I'm sure that Bob wouldn't use them if he didn't like them, but at the same time, his opionion isn't exactly unbiased...his wife owns the company...

    It is a matter of opinion, but I'm not at all surprised that people woul use those words to describe the Trak 2's preamps. A few years back I listened to it in comparison to a few other preamp, among which were models from Grace and Avalon (an M5, not a 737) which are known for being relatively clean. To my ears, the Apogee was the most accurate of all of them. I wouldn't describe it as being "warm" or "sweet" in any way. I liked it more than the Grace, and probably would prefer the character the Avalon added in most cases.

    I would always recommend the latter...but you'll never hear an Apogee rep say that the Mini MP's A/D converters are better than the Trak 2's as it has no converters, it's just an analog preamp. You may be thinking of the MiniMe, which is a preamp/converter combination. I know Apogee was touting it as a stripped-down version of the Trak 2, so I doubt you'll find them saying that its converters are better (and they certainly don't spec out as well), but I know there are quite a few people who prefer the sound of the MiniMe. I haven't had the chance to A/B them myself so I can't speak from experience in this case.

    The Apogee reps would disagree you there. They've said that the Big Ben (or the C777 clock in the Big Ben) is the only clock that can improve the sound of their converters that don't have the C777. Not that their "regular" clock isn't a good one as well.


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