Like the popular one, Boom includes dedicated hardware so it can run a Symphony ECS Apogee channel plugin directly on the interface. This can help offload the CPU as well as reduce latency. DSP-capable interfaces are not uncommon, but Boom is significantly cheaper than most entry-level offerings with similar on-board hardware. A copy of the ECS plugin is included with Boom via bundled software. You’ll also be able to pick up a “native” (separate / DAW-friendly) copy for half the discount – $ 50 – after registering your device.
Boom has a fairly standard 2 in / 2 out configuration with one XLR-combi input and one 1/4 inch input for instruments. In the case of the outputs, there are a pair of 1/4 inch outputs and a headphone jack on the rear. The rear placement of the headphone connection always seems a little unhelpful when you’re trying to find a port, especially if you’re using the headphones for other things, so you do it a lot. There is a slot at the base of the boom that you can insert the cable under, which makes things a little neater, but the port on the front feels more practical.
Fortunately, Boom is USB powered, so there’s no need for a separate power adapter. There’s iOS compatibility too, but considering that the USB port has dual functions for data and power, this is limited to the iPad Pro as the iPhone won’t be able to handle it, even with a camera connection kit. Obviously, such a full-blown interface doesn’t make much sense for a phone anyway, but in case you were wondering, now you know.
While there is only one XLR input, the preamps are loud enough and can easily handle hungry microphones like the SM7b. Using the equalizer and compressor of the Symphony plug-in allows you to fine-tune the sound (independent of the microphone / instrument). There are plenty of presets that should cover the most popular recording scenarios, but of course you can also EQ and compress things to your liking.
For musicians, this can really help perfect your mix without having to mess with any plugins you may run on your DAW. But for podcasters and streamers in particular, this means you can control the sound of your voice without running your DAW or other host application – your microphone simply presents the equalizer signal as standard output. For now, only Apogee’s ECS channel will work with Boom, although the company has confirmed that it is entirely possible for other plugins to be transferred to the DSP site.
Apogee’s desktop products often have a sleek design, and Boom is no different. The purple steel casing gives it confidence, while a single knob is a neat solution to controlling a lot of things (two gain channels and two effects).
At $ 300, it’s a shadow over some of the most popular interfaces like the Scarlett 2i2 and UA Volt – both of which cost less than $ 200. However, with this DSP, Apogee may propose it as a simpler alternative to a similar one ($ 499), also from Universal Audio, or ($ 595).
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