We have just learnt that Avid has quietly discontinued the Pro Tools Duet and Quartet interfaces by updating their end of life list yesterday and listing the Duet and Quartet as end-of-life retrospectively, with effect from December 31st, 2016. Does this move make way for a new 004 range of Pro Tools audio interfaces?
Avid announced the Pro Tools versions of the Apogee Duet and Quartet interfaces at IBC in September 2014, but it wasn't until June 2015 that the Pro Tools Duet and Quartet were available to buy. So with Avid discontinuing them at the end of 2016, they were an Avid product for less than 18 months!
However, if you own a Pro Tools Duet or Quartet Avid will continue supporting them until the end of 2021, so you shouldn't need to worry about your Duet or Quartet interfaces becoming bricks anytime soon.
Why Were They Discontinued?
It seems really strange that Avid has discontinued these two rebadged interfaces so soon, especially after they made them supported for Mac and Windows, unlike the Apogee originals, which were Mac only. In addition, Avid made the Pro Tools Duet and Quartet interfaces. Eucon supported with Eucon-enabled Pro Tools I/O Control software so that you could control the Pro Tools Duet and Quartet over Eucon.
Looking back at when Avid announced the Duet and Quartet, we ran a poll asking if these Pro Tools versions were a hit or a miss and the results were not overwhelming with 59% voting them a hit and 41% voting them a miss, so maybe they never really took off?
This move does leave a number of unanswered questions, including why they were discontinued so quickly? Has the partnership between Avid and Apogee broken down or just expired?
Is Avid Producing Interfaces Of Their Own?
One possible outcome is that Avid is looking at producing their own interfaces for this sector of the market. In our article Pro Tools Product Road Map - Are Avid Giving Us Some Clues Here? Avid asked about a new low-cost hardware Pro Tools audio interface with network capabilities and sync, that would retail under $1K US and include DANTE and up to 16 I/O.
Could it be that Avid is getting ready to own this sector of the market again with a 004 and 004R range of Avid interfaces? Let's see what comes out of NAB 2017?