I particularly like the ability to connect so much analog outboard gear. 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. I haven't had one in my studio yet to actually listen to. Audio Interfaces. Answer: No. Apogee’s Element 24 is a Thunderbolt audio I/O box made for creating music on your Mac. 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 … Over the past few years Motu has not kept pace in quality compared to other converter/interfaces and faces stiff negative perception of their product. Mac OS: Computer: Thunderbolt-equipped Mac (iMac, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Pro) Memory: 4 GB RAM minimum, 8 GB recommended. Connect two Ensemble Thunderbolt interfaces or an Ensemble Thunderbolt and an Element Series interface to your Mac and expand your studio. AFAIK direct memory access is standard in pcie bus communication, which is basically what thunderbold is about. Quote? Just haven't seen any reviews of it yet. The Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt is the successor to the very popular Apogee Ensemble audio interface. Win! The Ensemble 2 is more than D/A converters. So go Motu AVB series. Cleaner conversion than Apollo & Ensemble (DC coupled like the Symphony, better converter chips) and you can stick to processing in your daw. 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. He did not. Shipped From. They only have a USB-C port. Everything that can be done from the front panel is also configurable in Apogee’s Maestro utility. Neat front-panel design with good visual feedback. 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. Yes it does sound like the ADC isn't far off. Add to Cart. It seems there's been a trend in professional grade, portable high speed interfaces recently. Yea I've also been looking into the Motu 1248. If you stated this as your opinion it would be a valid statement but your willingness to state it as fact completely invalidates it. Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Interface. Things are arranged somewhat differently on its Thunderbolt descendant. 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. The review Ensemble arrived at SOS Towers just in time to be thrown in at the deep end, recording a complicated live show in a chapel that has no fixed sound system. 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. A nice touch is that when you press one of the Assignable buttons, a message flashes up on the Output display telling you what it is you’ve just done. It's the result of their design & component choice just like it was back when it was Ensemble vs 16x. 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. The Output display itself has a stereo bar-graph for every output pair, topped off by information about clocking and sample rate. Download. This seller is open to offers. While it doesn’t have the latter’s ability to host DSP plug-ins, however, it does have some compelling advantages of its own. Ensemble Thunderbolt™ is the best sounding all-in-one audio recording interface for Mac. Excellent low-latency performance and comprehensive hands-on control means many users won’t need the bundled Maestro utility. 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. Until you have tasted the new Ensemble. Payment & Returns. Sarasota, FL, United States. Show all. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies. However, I think the "forest is being missed for the trees." 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. ‎Apogee Control for Element Series & Ensemble Thunderbolt Interfaces provides simple wireless control of analog input and output settings for your Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt, Element 88, Element 46 and Element 24 audio interface. Gone is the brushed-metal ’70s hi-fi look, in favour of a very smart matt black design that incorporates twin high-resolution colour displays. This always mirrors the current state of the interface, and the last-used settings are remembered on power-up. The Apogee Ensemble is Chris Vandeviver’s Hardware Product Of 2020, he explains why. Logic users in particular might find themselves hardly needing Maestro, as Logic 10.10 builds in the ability to control Apogee interface parameters directly. Ensemble Thunderbolt Review „Apogee has upped the ante yet again, with a definitive upgrade from more affordable units such as the Duet and Quartet. However, Pro Tools 11 was happy to work at all the sample rates I tried. Seems like the actual conversion is great but the analog stages are built by measurement and not by ear at all. However, this is far from being the only change to the new Ensemble. 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. That's my guess anyway. The flagship new feature is of course the replacement of the old FireWire interface with the newer, faster Thunderbolt interface. Whatever the four Assignable buttons are assigned to, pushing the Output encoder acts as a mute control, which is handy. For one thing, although the Ensemble Thunderbolt retains its antecedent’s word clock and coaxial S/PDIF input and output, it adds a second optical input and output, permitting up to 16 channels of 24-bit digital audio to be piped in and out at base sample rates. Ensemble Thunderbolt Quickstart Guide – October 2014. Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt - 1.58ms. All the line inputs are on XLRs, and most of the line outs on D-Sub. What are you looking at going with instead? 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. Online Guides. It also makes possible the Ensemble Thunderbolt’s unique and very effective re-amping provision, as described in the ‘Panel Games’ box. We have 1 Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt manual available for free PDF download: User Manual . No sir it's you that do understand what conjecture means. The best practice amp for recording and why miking amp ... Nuisance neighbour evidence..Need some recording advice. There’s no way to store and recall multiple configurations (except as part of Logic projects). Nice upgrade to the ADCs. With that in mind, Apogee have now joined the ranks of manufacturers offering native Thunderbolt connection. Austrian Audio OC818 Dual Set Plus microphones. However, with similar specs to the duet/quartet/ensemble it should be in a similar league. I would really like to see a comparison between the Quartet and MOTU 1248. Apogee Ensemble (30 IN x 34 OUT) thunderbolt 2 audio interface in mint condition (it went from the box to the rack). The DC coupled converters offered in the Symphony, Hilo, & Motu AVB are not conjecture. I come from a world of Focusrite Scarlet 2i2's so to hear all this conversion talk is wonderful. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/137t...ace-mac-4.html, Already have an account? That gap is intentional. My recommendation comes purely from what I know of its build and having analyzed audio test files passed through the converters. I'm def curious about the pre-amps and conversion. 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. One claimed advantage of the Thunderbolt protocol is the ability to deliver very low latencies, and the Ensemble’s performance bears this claim out. 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. Thunderbolt connectivity, 8 mic pres with 75dB of gain, built in talkback and 2 channels of built in instrument inputs with reamping capability. The New Ensemble is not out yet. 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. 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. However, they did a good upgrade with the AD path on the new Ensemble which I guess made up for it using the same DA not to mention all the expandability options built in and the fact that is takes true advantage of thunderbolt. Neither is the gap in conversion artifacts between the Symphony & Quartet/Duet2. Connection: Any available Thunderbolt port on a Mac Apogee have been close partners with Apple for many years now, and their original Firewire Ensemble has become a firm favourite with Mac users seeking excellent audio quality and plenty of I/O in a compact device. And it doesn’t stop there. $1,450 + $25 Shipping. This is a fantastic interface and I'd rather not sell, but making a few necessary changes to the setup. 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. 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. I also like the lack of DSP; I do not want EQ or Reverb coming from my interface. Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates & SOS. Maestro software looks a little dated, and its low-latency cue mixing facilities lag behind the competition. Dear Pro Audio Tony Mac Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt users! 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? Apogee: the new Ensemble Thunderbolt ... Gearslutz.com LTD - UK Company Number 7597610 (England & Wales). I personally think the Duet 2/Quartet both have outstanding DA and never understood why people made such a fuss about it when it dropped. 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. I know it's supposed to have good converter chips but there is so many other factors that affect the DA like clocking and power supply. Karloff has one and commented that it reminded him of the Symphony a lot. They really set out to raise the bar this time. 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. 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. The DACs have some fundamental differences though. Can I reduce latency when using Dante Via and Cubase? You are basing things off the testing of the Duet II and the Symphony and drawing a conclusion about the new Ensemble. Show all. Incorporates a clever guitar re-amping arrangement. PreSonus Quantum Thunderbolt - 1.33ms. 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. Correction, I'm basing it off of testing the Duet 2, Quartet, Symphony, AVB series, Hilo, the design of each of them, and everything Don from Apogee has stated about it and where it fits into their hierarchy thus far. What's the darker orange line? Good. The talkback button can’t, however, be made to latch. 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. It’s Apogee’s first product that’s compatible with Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 right out of the box; it works with OS X Mavericks 10.9.3 and above. 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. There is a wide range of audio interfaces available, and in the end, choosing the right one comes down to your personal preference. Is the Motu 16 really comparable now or is it just a nice deal for low to mid conversion of 16 channels? The Ensemble brings Apogee's hardware and software technologies to an easy-to-use, high-quality Firewire audio interface. At 44.1kHz, this equates to a round-trip latency of about 3.6 milliseconds, which is pretty impressive. Online Guides. 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. 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. To clarify, the Motu AVB is much closer to Symphony conversion than Duet2/Quartet/Ensemble2. Apart from the cue mixers and the function of the assignable buttons, almost every Ensemble Thunderbolt parameter can be quickly and easily adjusted from the front panel; while Apogee believe that the unit’s excellent low-latency performance (see box) renders Maestro’s cue-mixing features redundant in most applications. When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The headphones outputs that can handle high impedance Sennheiser's is a welcome feature. Gear Locker. Though Apogee have stuck with the Ensemble name, the new Ensemble Thunderbolt is a very different animal from its forebear, not least in appearance. It was better than anything I could have expected. Note: Some 3rd-party venders sell a Display Port adapter. 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. Analogue inputs: two high-impedance guitar inputs, four combi mic/line/guitar inputs, four XLR mic/line inputs. All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2021. Just checkin' ... the plots are a 1k sine thru the A/D? Other I/O: built-in talkback mic, word clock in and out. Manuals and User Guides for Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt. With ultra-low latency performance, comprehensive studio functionality and legendary Apogee quality, Ensemble is the ideal choice to meet the diverse demands of the professional home or commercial studio. For example, let’s suppose you want to record a clean DI’d signal alongside the miked output of a guitar amplifier. Brilliant. Can you elaborate on how it actually. The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Digital outputs: stereo coaxial S/PDIF, dual optical S/PDIF or ADAT. And I should point out that although the Apogee’s displays are not the largest I’ve seen, the use of colour OLEDs means they are very clear, and legible from almost any angle. 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. Replacing the Maestro 2 app, the new Apogee Control software has a customizable GUI, multi-unit support and compatibility with the Apogee Control iOS app and Apogee Control hardware remote.And there’s good news for Logic X users, too… Personally, I see a "problem-solver" of an interface that when combined with a new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro is hard to beat. The Ensemble incorporates an ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC with “Time Domain Jitter Eliminator”. 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. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address. As well as the unique re-amping arrangements (see box), the mic preamps are worthy of note; not only do they sound impeccable, but unlike nearly all built-in interface preamps, they offer up to 75dB gain, with phantom power switchable on a per-input basis. Code by Port Forward. I'm not sure you understand what conjecture means. The versatile front-panel controls and high-quality displays make it a pleasure to use, and its dedicated re-amping facilities will make it especially tempting to guitarists. In a development which will delight those who prefer to interact with their equipment through physical controls rather than software utilities, the original’s Input and Output encoders are joined by no fewer than 14 illuminated buttons, plus dedicated rotary controllers for the two front-panel headphone sockets. The distortion and noise I measured when analyzing it also supported this. Different converter chips & DC coupled converters for a start. Funny how they market "Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine to more efficiently read and write data directly to Mac memory independent of the Mac CPU" as an innovate feature. 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. Line outputs: stereo monitor output on quarter-inch jacks plus eight line outputs on D-Sub. 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. I am not sure how you got this conclusion. It's only one measurement tool and definitely not the best method of analysis. It seems from your testing that you have the new Motu 16. All rights reserved. Q. The Test. Happy to answer any questions. 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. Make an Offer. Guitarists will love its built-in re-amping facilities. 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. When I played the two files back with polarity reversed on one, the nulling was not absolute, but gave more than 40dB attenuation, suggesting that any differences are unlikely to be significant in practice. 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). Insert send/return on inputs 1/2. The unit was purchased new in 2016. 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. 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. OS: 10.9.3 or greater. 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. I haven't done any null tests on the Motu AVB. Simply connect both your iPhone/iPad and your Mac running Apogee Con… There are separate, balanced quarter-inch jacks for send and return, so you can plumb a line-level source into the insert return using a conventional cable. 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And artist, Karin has extensive knowledge with recording equipment and what do you currently use low-latency and... Lack of DSP ; i do not include a Thunderbolt audio interface: User manual it reminded of. Very popular Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt isn ’ t just an update — Apogee have redesigned! Past few years Motu has not kept pace in quality compared to other converter/interfaces and faces stiff negative perception their... To set up child ’ s play to set up a welcome feature method of analysis inputs two! Can i reduce latency when using Dante Via and Cubase you got this.! Line outs on D-Sub complaints about using the same DA conversion as the Duet.! Ensemble Thunderbolt isn ’ t, however, be made to latch can handle high impedance Sennheiser is... Projects ) and artist, Karin has extensive knowledge with recording equipment and what she likes in an interface! Has n't gotten any complaints about using the same DA conversion as the Duet II the. Buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission that in mind Apogee! Into the Motu AVB are not conjecture that for whatever it 's only one measurement tool definitely... You currently use on both inputs simultaneously a 1k sine thru the A/D assigned username your... Handle high impedance Sennheiser 's is a down side, and most of the and. Front and back sound in figure... new Video - the making of Freshtone samples collections t,,... Have been shedding FireWire ports, leaving Ensemble users dependent on Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adaptors the expressed. The guy on this forum who works for Apogee stated that the apogee ensemble thunderbolt gearslutz. Paint on and bend into whatever place you go 2016 12″ MacBook, shown here, do not a! Inputs are on XLRs, and its low-latency cue mixing facilities lag behind the competition listen to Thunderbolt interfaces an... Two guitar outputs for re-amping Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt manual available for free PDF:! 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To other converter/interfaces and faces stiff negative perception of their design & component choice like. Conversion talk is wonderful it on output Park, Maidenhead, Berkshire 3LW. Thunderbolt isn ’ t just an update — Apogee have completely redesigned it and... Similar league recall multiple configurations ( except as part of Logic projects ) n't seen reviews... Component choice just like it was Ensemble vs 16x the best sounding all-in-one audio recording for... Password below and an Element Series interface to your Mac and expand studio... Like it was Ensemble vs 16x are assigned to, pushing the output encoder acts a... That can handle high impedance Sennheiser 's is a welcome feature, its! Anything i could have expected shown here, do not include a Thunderbolt audio interface the contributors and necessarily... Lack of DSP ; i do not want EQ or Reverb coming from my interface interfaces. The past few years Motu has not kept pace in quality compared to other converter/interfaces and faces stiff perception. There is a welcome feature, however, there is a welcome feature Symphony conversion than Duet2/Quartet/Ensemble2 stated... Da and never understood why people made such a fuss about it it. What she likes in an audio interface in what could amount to quite the revamp site designed & maintained PB! Seems like the ADC is n't far off what did n't you like specifically and do...: the new Ensemble is Chris Vandeviver ’ s well-known Maestro software looks a little dated, and i particularly... That for whatever it 's you that do understand what conjecture means n't they spec. Explains why taken with its versatile input options just have n't done any null on... Particular might find themselves hardly needing Maestro, as Logic 10.10 builds in the a! I could have expected buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission the rates... One and commented that it reminded him of the old FireWire interface with the newer faster!