Each of these has a dedicated quarter-inch output socket, which can be switched to emit either the direct signal from its associated input, or a software return from your DAW. The level of control over the inputs that is available from the front panel is vastly improved over the Firewire Ensemble, as is the amount of visual feedback available. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered. Until you have tasted the new Ensemble. So go Motu AVB series. Or you could use them to route software instruments and the like into guitar pedals, without any of the usual worries about gain and impedance matching. I particularly like the ability to connect so much analog outboard gear. System Requirements. The New Ensemble is not out yet. Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt User … Guitarists will love its built-in re-amping facilities. I'm actually really surprised the Ensemble 2 hasn't gotten any complaints about using the same DA conversion as the Duet 2/Quartet. When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Recording into Pro Tools HD11, I encountered no problems whatsoever (apart from discovering that you can’t plumb a line input in on a quarter-inch jack, as already mentioned). It’s a shame that, like most Apogee products, it’s not supported on Windows computers, but the flip side of Apogee’s close relationship with Apple is evident in its fine low-latency performance on Mac OS and ever-closer integration into Logic Pro. It is also going back though, so take that for whatever it's worth. Seems like the actual conversion is great but the analog stages are built by measurement and not by ear at all. I then experimented with switching to 192kHz, the highest supported sample rate; Studio One reported input and output latencies of 161 and 101 samples, giving a theoretical round-trip latency of only 1.4ms, but I couldn’t actually persuade it to adopt any sample rate other than 44.1kHz. Simply connect both your iPhone/iPad and your Mac running Apogee Con… Most of the Ensemble Thunderbolt’s I/O is found at the rear of the unit, which was obviously quite a logistical challenge, hence the inclusion of a D-sub port for the majority of the analogue outputs.The four buttons to the right of the Output knob, meanwhile, are labelled Assignable, though actually assigning roles to them is something that does have to be done within Apogee’s Maestro utility. Registered Office - Suite 19, Maple Court, Grove Park, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 3LW. Given that Apogee have clearly put a lot of effort into the physical design of the Ensemble itself, I was also surprised at how unappealing — and, frankly, dated — the Maestro software looks. What didn't you like specifically and what do you currently use? Other I/O: built-in talkback mic, word clock in and out. Click here to login, The ability to reply to and create new discussions, Access to members-only giveaways & competitions, Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As, Access to members-only sub forum discussions, Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio, Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free. I'm def curious about the pre-amps and conversion. This arrangement ups the total I/O count, and gives you a possible total of six high-impedance inputs, should you ever encounter six guitarists who wish to DI their instruments simultaneously. Yea I've also been looking into the Motu 1248. Session Notes: Recording Voiceovers At Sea, Distant City Studios - A Drum Room With A Difference, Mastering Essentials Part 6 - Final Delivery: Requirements & Specs. Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Specification. And with no facility to show/hide, re-size or re-order the channels, anyone working on a small screen will quickly tire of scrolling left and right to keep tabs on all their inputs. The Output display itself has a stereo bar-graph for every output pair, topped off by information about clocking and sample rate. Manuals and User Guides for Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt. Neither is the gap in conversion artifacts between the Symphony & Quartet/Duet2. They really set out to raise the bar this time. The best practice amp for recording and why miking amp ... Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice. Can I reduce latency when using Dante Via and Cubase? There are now 10 analogue inputs and 10 line-level outputs, and eight of the inputs have mic preamps on XLR. And it doesn’t stop there. We have 1 Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt manual available for free PDF download: User Manual . I have been using the Apogee Maestro 2 software for quite some time with the Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt by using the Thunderbolt 3 connection on my motherboard (Z170X UD5 TH) connected via Startech Thunderbolt … Analogue inputs: two high-impedance guitar inputs, four combi mic/line/guitar inputs, four XLR mic/line inputs. If its feature set is what you're looking for, Ensemble is an ideal centrepiece for any Mac-based desktop or mobile studio, especially if you're using Logic Pro. Can you elaborate on how it actually. Further tests confirmed my positive impressions of the Ensemble’s audio quality, and I was particularly taken with its versatile input options. Other analogue outputs: two stereo headphone outputs and two guitar outputs for re-amping. Cleaner conversion than Apollo & Ensemble (DC coupled like the Symphony, better converter chips) and you can stick to processing in your daw. It's only one measurement tool and definitely not the best method of analysis. All the line inputs are on XLRs, and most of the line outs on D-Sub. It’s clear enough, but is decked throughout in the utilitarian grey of some long-forgotten Apple control panel from an earlier version of Mac OS X. I mentioned some of these points to Apogee, and they explained that they have been working towards eliminating the need for a control-panel utility. The DACs have some fundamental differences though. The Ensemble 2 is more than D/A converters. The Ensemble uses Apogee’s well-known Maestro software for graphical user interface, networking, and control. Payment & Returns. Lastly, as a guitarist I've never been a huge fan of re-amping but Apogee's Guitar I/O could prove useful especially since its all done through the Ensemble 2, and the amps of course. To test how accurately the guitar output reproduces its input, I plugged a guitar into the first input, set its output to unity gain and cabled it into the second guitar input. They only have a USB-C port. When the Quartet first dropped haters came out the woodworks to bash it and make snide remarks about how it was just two Duets put together lol. Ensemble Thunderbolt Quickstart Guide – October 2014. With vast experience as a producer and artist, Karin has extensive knowledge with recording equipment and what she likes in an audio interface. Code by Port Forward. Turning the Input encoder adjusts the gain, if it’s set to mic or instrument mode, while pushing the encoder switches focus to the next input. The Apogee Ensemble is the first Thunderbolt 2 audio interface to offer superior sound quality, the lowest latency performance and the most comprehensive studio functionality all in one box. However, I think the "forest is being missed for the trees." I would really like to see a comparison between the Quartet and MOTU 1248. That's my guess anyway. The Ensemble 2 has the same DACs as Quartet/Duet 2, but they used a lesser quality ADC in the Duet2/Quartet which they have upgraded this time around. The 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, shown here, do not include a Thunderbolt port. The Ensemble Thunderbolt’s most noteworthy innovation compared with the original Ensemble — and, indeed, with all other audio interfaces that I know of — concerns the two front-panel guitar inputs. AFAIK direct memory access is standard in pcie bus communication, which is basically what thunderbold is about. As low as $67/month with. At 44.1kHz, this equates to a round-trip latency of about 3.6 milliseconds, which is pretty impressive. There is stiff competition in this area of the market, and the Ensemble Thunderbolt currently has a somewhat higher street price than rivals such as the Antelope Zen Studio, RME Fireface UFX and Universal Audio Apollo. Apogee has updated the control software for the Ensemble Thunderbolt audio interface in what could amount to quite the revamp. I'm looking forward to digging into it more when I have time, but what I've seen so far tells me it's at least the next cleanest thing to a Symphony. There is a wide range of audio interfaces available, and in the end, choosing the right one comes down to your personal preference. The first four of these also have the high-impedance option (implemented this time through combi XLR/jacks rather than on independent sockets), but there are also two new inputs and outputs located on the front panel specifically for recording and re-amping guitars. Each input also has its own dedicated select button; pressing and holding this brings up the complete list of parameters that can be adjusted for that input, including input type, polarity, phantom power, high-pass filtering and so on. Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates & SOS. This is a shame; admittedly, once the Ensemble is plumbed into your studio, there are aspects of its configuration that are unlikely to change, but it would be very handy to be able to store things like gain settings, input names and cue-mix setups as starting points for different recording sessions. Audio Interfaces. One claimed advantage of the Thunderbolt protocol is the ability to deliver very low latencies, and the Ensemble’s performance bears this claim out. Thunderbolt 3 is backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 1 devices so any Apogee Thunderbolt device will work through this adapter with no reduction in performance, latency, or sound quality. Flexible complement of inputs and outputs. Excellent low-latency performance and comprehensive hands-on control means many users won’t need the bundled Maestro utility. You can then apply as much preamp gain as you need to get the DI’d signal into your DAW at a healthy level, without changing the level of the signal going to the amp. Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Interface. It also makes possible the Ensemble Thunderbolt’s unique and very effective re-amping provision, as described in the ‘Panel Games’ box. I asked Apogee why they’d implemented things this way, and they explained that they feel that some compromise on audio quality is entailed in employing the same jack socket for both high-impedance and balanced line inputs. NMS is putting a lot of weight behind the DC coupling which the Motu has and Symphony's have but the New Ensemble does not. This always mirrors the current state of the interface, and the last-used settings are remembered on power-up. Superficially, the new Ensemble offers a similar range of I/O to the earlier Firewire Ensemble, but dig deeper and you’ll find some significant changes. Everything that can be done from the front panel is also configurable in Apogee’s Maestro utility. This seller is open to offers. Given that the Ensemble Thunderbolt can operate at latencies comparable with Pro Tools HDX, I think that’s fair enough, and I’m sure most of us would rather handle everything from our DAWs where possible. Things are arranged somewhat differently on its Thunderbolt descendant. Nice upgrade to the ADCs. The Firewire Ensemble had eight analogue inputs and outputs; four of the former were switchable between mic preamps and high-impedance inputs for direct injection of electric guitars, while the other four were line inputs on TRS quarter-inch jacks. On the subject of Thunderbolt, the new Ensemble is not actually supplied with a Thunderbolt cable, despite its £2000$2500 price tag, so you’ll need to provide your own. The Maestro software’s mixer page.As well as various configuration options and input and output routing matrices, Maestro offers four low-latency cue mixers. He did not. Insert send/return on inputs 1/2. If you stated this as your opinion it would be a valid statement but your willingness to state it as fact completely invalidates it. That gap is intentional. OS: 10.9.3 or greater. However, there is a down side, and the cloud behind this particular silver lining concerns the line-level I/O. Sinamex is the exclusive distributor for Apogee … You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address. Apogee Ensemble is the first Thunderbolt 2 audio interface to offer superior sound quality, the lowest latency performance and the most comprehensive studio functionality all in one box. Line outputs: stereo monitor output on quarter-inch jacks plus eight line outputs on D-Sub. The Ensemble Thunderbolt features the Apogee Control software with the Essentials Control Strip window, which offers extensive flexibility to customize your workflow and adapt to your creativity. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The audio quality was excellent, the Maestro cue mixers made it straightforward to route everything I wanted to hear to the headphones, and it proved totally stable under Mac OS 10.9.4 with my ‘early 2014’ MacBook Air. In mentioning it to my gear dealer though he said there'd be no way it would sound nearly as good as an Apogee or Apollo. There’s no longer space on the back panel for eight full-sized output jacks, so they have been shunted onto a D-Sub connector, with only the main Monitor 1/2 available on quarter-inch sockets. It’s an arrangement that is adequate for most real-world purposes, but it feels a little basic compared with what’s possible in current rivals from the likes of RME or MOTU. Watch. Thunderbolt connectivity, 8 mic pres with 75dB of gain, built in talkback and 2 channels of built in instrument inputs with reamping capability. This is an absolutely superb idea, which makes all sorts of re-amping scenarios child’s play to set up. I come from a world of Focusrite Scarlet 2i2's so to hear all this conversion talk is wonderful. All rights reserved. Ensemble Thunderbolt Review „Apogee has upped the ante yet again, with a definitive upgrade from more affordable units such as the Duet and Quartet. Read conclusion . Personally, I see a "problem-solver" of an interface that when combined with a new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro is hard to beat. And on the input side, although the first eight inputs are all capable of accepting line-level signals (and offer switchable +4 or -10 sensitivity options), they will only do so on XLRs. Logic users in particular might find themselves hardly needing Maestro, as Logic 10.10 builds in the ability to control Apogee interface parameters directly. When it came the the test, the focus was on audio quality,, so they set up so that they could record the same audio using both interfaces and then compare the audio quality. I haven't had one in my studio yet to actually listen to. I also like the lack of DSP; I do not want EQ or Reverb coming from my interface. Very good to see. I can make that statement pretty easily for these reasons: Those reasons you speak of are conjecture. Answer: No. Make an Offer. For example, they can dim or mute main or headphone outputs, collapse them to mono, clear the meters, switch the mode of the guitar outputs (see box) and engage alternate monitoring paths. Win! Connect two Ensemble Thunderbolt interfaces or an Ensemble Thunderbolt and an Element Series interface to your Mac and expand your studio. All in all, it’s a very neat and intuitive system, and pretty comprehensive — there’s very little that requires a visit to the software control panel. Show all. I hooked it into the insert points on the mixer using TRS-TS cables and a Creamware A16 Ultra A-D converter, and rigged some extra mics of my own which went straight into the Ensemble’s own preamps. Quote? Karloff has one and commented that it reminded him of the Symphony a lot. The Ensemble brings Apogee's hardware and software technologies to an easy-to-use, high-quality Firewire audio interface. The Ensemble incorporates an ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC with “Time Domain Jitter Eliminator”. However, it is not possible to store and recall Ensemble setups, as there are no Save or Load options in Maestro’s File menu. Do Apogee’s Thunderbolt products (Element 24, Element 46, Element 88, Ensemble Thunderbolt, Symphony I/O MkII Thunderbolt, and Symphony 64 Thunderbridge) work with the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook? For instance, you could treat the outputs of these guitar inputs as dedicated effects loops, allowing you to record wet and dry signals to separate tracks. The Apogee Ensemble is the first Thunderbolt 2 audio interface to offer superior sound quality, the lowest latency performance and the most comprehensive studio functionality all in one box. Apogee Ensemble is the first Thunderbolt 2 audio interface to offer superior sound quality, the lowest latency performance and the most comprehensive studio functionality all in one box. Online Guides. Show all. There’s no way to store and recall multiple configurations (except as part of Logic projects). Digital inputs: stereo coaxial S/PDIF, dual optical S/PDIF or ADAT. It's the result of their design & component choice just like it was back when it was Ensemble vs 16x. Isn't the exactly what their new mavericks driver is?? Austrian Audio OC818 Dual Set Plus microphones. No sir it's you that do understand what conjecture means. And if your own cable trawl draws a blank, all is not quite lost, for the Ensemble Thunderbolt retains its predecessor’s insert points on the first pair of analogue inputs. Message Seller. The Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt is the successor to the very popular Apogee Ensemble audio interface. Dear Pro Audio Tony Mac Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt users! At the lowest 32-sample buffer size, PreSonus’s Studio One reported the input and output latency as 80 and 78 samples respectively, and a loopback test confirmed that the reported latency was correct to within a couple of samples. Ensemble Thunderbolt™ is the best sounding all-in-one audio recording interface for Mac. For example, let’s suppose you want to record a clean DI’d signal alongside the miked output of a guitar amplifier. If you choose the former option, a small tickbox in the Apogee Maestro configuration software offers the choice of mirroring the input at unity gain. 2020. Is the Motu 16 really comparable now or is it just a nice deal for low to mid conversion of 16 channels? Each makes available all of the interface’s audio inputs, along with a single stereo software return, and can be routed to any or all of the Ensemble’s output pairs.