Ensemble: Setup

Ensemble: Making Settings with Ensemble’s Front Panel Encoder Knobs

Making Settings with Ensemble’s Front Panel Encoder Knobs

Ensemble’s front panel encoders provide simple and immediate access to Mic Pre gain settings and Output levels.

To use the left encoder to control mic pre gain:

Select the mic pre gain to set by clicking the left encoder knob until the desired PRE LED is lit. Turn the encoder clockwise to increase gain or counter–clockwise to decrease gain. The LEDs encircling the encoder indicate its “position”, providing a quick visual indication of level in the same fashion as a traditional knob.

To use the right encoder to control output levels:

Select the output to set by clicking the left encoder knob until the desired LED is lit, and turn the knob as described above; by selecting MAIN, rear panel analog output levels may be set; by selecting either headphone 1 or headphone 2, the corresponding front panel headphone output level may be set.

By pressing and holding the right encoder button for a few seconds, all analog outputs are muted. The

selected output LED flashes to indicate muting.

Ensemble: Setting Sample Rate

Setting Sample Rate

To set Ensemble’s sample rate, choose the desired rate in your Core Audio compatible software application; Ensemble will set itself to this rate.

If the application has no sample rate setting, open the OSX utility Audio Midi Setup.

  • Select Ensemble in the column on the left
  • In the details on the right, change the Format field to the desired sample rate

Using 176.4–192 kHz Sampling Rates

To operate Ensemble at a sample rate of 176.4-192k, a change must be made to the I/O Allocation setting:

  • If using Apogee Maestro 2, select the Device Settings tab
  • Change “I/O Allocation” to either 10×10 or 8×8.
    • NOTE: As Optical I/O is not supported at these sample rates, their associated Firewire paths are disabled to conserve CPU bandwidth.
  • After changing I/O Allocation, it’s strongly suggested to re-boot the computer and power the Ensemble off and then on.


  • If using Apogee Maestro 1, go to the Tools menu at the top of the display and select “Maestro Control”.
  • In the Control window, select the Setting tab
  • Change “I/O Allocation” to either 10×10 or 8×8
    • NOTE: As Optical I/O is not supported at these sample rates, their associated Firewire paths are disabled to conserve CPU bandwidth.
  • After changing I/O Allocation, it’s strongly suggested to re-boot the computer and power the Ensemble off and then on.

Ensemble’s status LED

The Ensemble’s status LED should be solid blue if you are using it in standard mode and solid green if you are using it in standalone mode.


The possible status LED indications are as follows:

• A solid blue LED indicates that Ensemble is locked to the clock source chosen in software control and that the Firewire connection is valid.

• A green LED indicates that no Firewire connection is present, and that Ensemble is operating in Stand-Alone mode.

• A flashing LED indicates that Ensemble is not locked to the selected clock source.

• A red Status LED indicates that Ensemble has not achieved a valid Firewire connection. After a few moments Ensemble will switch to Stand-Alone mode.

• A flashing red LED indicates that both error conditions are present.

Using Ensemble in StandAlone Mode with Digi 002/003

Here are the steps to interface an Apogee Ensemble in Standalone mode to an Avid 002 or 003. Please be aware that, starting with Pro Tools 9.0, it’s possible to interface Ensemble with Pro Tools without any Avid hardware at all.

Hardware Connections:

  1. Using two Toslink optical cables, connect Ensemble’s optical output to the 003’s optical input and the 003’s optical output to Ensemble’s optical input.
  2. Connect Ensemble and the 003 to your Mac’s Firewire ports. If you’re using a Mac with only 1 Firewire port, connect Ensemble to the 003, the 003 to the Mac. Once Ensemble’s settings are made in Maestro, you’ll remove the Ensemble firewire connection.

Software Settings – Maestro 2

  1. Open Maestro 2
  2. In the System Setup tab window, set Clock Source to Internal and set the sample rate to the rate at which you usually run Pro Tools. Keep in mind that the 003’s ADAT inputs and outputs only support 44.1 or 48 kilohertz sample rates.
  3. In the Device Settings tab window, ensure that Optical In  and Optical Out are set to ADAT/SMUX
  4. In the Standalone Routing tab window, route analog inputs to ADAT outputs and ADAT inputs to analog outputs. See the diagram below.
  1. Make other desired Maestro settings, such as configuring inputs 1-4 as Mic inputs.

Software Settings – Pro Tools

  1. Open Pro Tools and choose Setup > Hardware.
  2. Set Optical Format to ADAT.
  3. Set Clock Source to Optical.

Ensemble Standalone mode

  1. Once Maestro settings are complete, remove Ensemble’s Firewire connection. Ensemble’s front panel Status LED will turn  green to indicate that the unit is now in Standalone mode.
  2. The gain of each mic pre may be controlled from the front panel by pressing the left hand encoder to select a pre and turning the encoder to the desired setting. The analog and headphone outputs may be controlled with the right hand encoder in a similar fashion.

How do I use the low latency mixer in Maestro 2 with Ensemble?

Step by Step instructions to record with the low latency mixer

  1. Set your software application’s mixer output to Out 1-2 (Stereo Output).
  2. In the Maestro Output Routing tab window, assign Mixer 1 to hardware output Line 1/2, Mixer 2 to hardware output Line 3/4.
  3. In the Mixer tab window, set the Software Return drop down menu, on both Mixer 1 and Mixer 2 (if desired), to Analog 1-2. Set both the Software Return and Mixer Master faders to 0dB.
  4. Play the session in your DAW. You should hear playback in headphones connected to Ensemble’s HP 1 and HP 2 outputs.
  5. Ensure the desired tracks are in “record ready” in your DAW.
  6. Connect the signal(s) to be recorded to Ensemble’s hardware inputs – the signal levels will appear on the Maestro Mixers’ meters.
  7. Raise the faders to create a suitable monitor mix of the input and playback signals. Record!


For more details and diagrams, please see the Ensemble Users Guide – Mac OSX Lion


Can I bypass the preamps in Ensemble?

YES!  Ensemble’s preamps (found on channels 1-4) can be bypassed if you’d like to connect a line level input source such as an external microphone preamp or mixer.  Here are the two things you’ll need to do:

1) Connect the devices line level output to Ensemble’s XLR input jack.

2) Go to the input tab in Maestro 2 (found in your Applications folder) and change the input selection from “Mic” to “+4 dBu” or “-10 dBV”.  The line level selection will depend on the type of gear you’re connecting.  Professional audio equipment most often uses +4 dBu, while consumer audio gear is set to -10 dBV.

How do I use the custom I/O labels in Logic?

For Logic 9 and lower:

With your Apogee devive selected as the input/output in Logic’s Audio Preferences, go to the “Options” menu and select “Audio” and then “I/O Labels”. Now you can select the custom Apogee labels for your device.

For Logic X and higher:

  • Go to Logic’s Mix menu at the top of the screen and select “I/O Labels…”
  • There are several columns: Channel, Provided by Driver, User, Long, & Short.
  • To use the labels provided by the Ensemble:
    • Click the button in the Provided by Driver column.
  • To enter your own custom label:
    • Click the button in the User column.
    • Double click the “-” in the Long column, type in a new name, then press Return on your Apple keyboard