Symphony I/O Mk II

Mac Audio Optimization Guide

When streaming audio through an interface connected to your Mac, there are many factors that can cause the audio to have artifacts such as pops or clicks, stutters, or dropouts as you play or record. Use this guide to optimize your Mac computer to reduce the chances of this from happening.
  • In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver set Computer Sleep to Never. Make sure “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” is NOT checked.

  • In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Network and make sure to remove any unused Network Adapters.  For example remove “Bluetooth PAN” “Thunderbolt Bridge” “Firewire” et al.  Having a port that shares a Bus with your Audio Hardware here can limit its bandwidth.

  • In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall make sure Firewall is Off.

  • In Apple Menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Admin Account > Login Items and remove any Startup items.

  • In Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility select Macintosh HD and click Repair Disk Permissions. Repeat this for any other Hard Drives you have connected.

  • If you are using a USB Audio Interface, such as Duet, try all the USB ports as one may work better than another due to how the internal ports are hubbed.

  • Be sure you have tried another USB, Thunderbolt or Firewire Cable.

  • In System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Tab > Analytics (could say Diagnostics and Usage), un-check the boxes for Share Mac Analytics, Share with App Developers, and Share iCloud Analytics. You may also want to disable Locations services found in this same Privacy Tab to further reduce background network traffic.
After these steps please RESTART the Computer.

While you are recording:

  • Check that any Virus Scanners or Backup software (i.e. Hightail or Carbonite) that run in the background are disabled.  High background activity especially over the Network can cause glitches.

  • Close any unnecessary applications while recording (i.e. Skype or Browsers you are not actively using.)

  • Be sure that you record to a separate Hard Drive from your System/OS drive.

SoundGrid FAQ for Symphony I/O Mk II when equipped with Waves SoundGrid option card

Q: Which Symphony I/O Modules may be installed in the Symphony I/O MkII SoundGrid?
A: The 8×8 MkII, 16×16 MkII, and 8 Mic Pre IO Modules may be installed. The 2x6SE, as well as previously released MkI IO Modules, are not currently compatible with Symphony I/O MkII SoundGrid.

Q: Can the Pro Tools HD Option card or Thunderbolt card be installed in a Symphony I/O MkII SoundGrid?
A: No. Because the Symphony I/O Mk II Soundgrid requires different internal firmware to communicate with Waves software and drivers, the Symphony I/O MkII SoundGrid only works with the Waves SoundGrid option card. The Pro Tools HD and Thunderbolt cards aren’t supported.

Q: What Ethernet cables are required when connecting SoundGrid system elements like Symphony I/O MkII SoundGrid?
A: You must use Cat 5e  ( not 5 ) STP,  6 STP , or 7 STP Ethernet cables.
https://www.waves.com/support/ethernet-cables-for-soundgrid-systems

Q: What is the maximum length between the various SoundGrid system elements and a network switch?

A: 

Q: What ethernet switches can I use for a multiple unit, server, or computer configuration?
A: There are 3 Waves-approved ethernet switches:
– Netgear JGS516 V2 16-port switch
– Netgear GS108 V4 8-port Switch
– DiGiGrid S
An updated list of switches is maintained at:
https://www.waves.com/hardware/soundgrid-switches#sort:path~type~order=.default-order~number~asc|views:view=grid-view|paging:currentPage=0|paging:number=20

Q: What is the maximum number of channels supported in a SoundGrid system?
A: The SoundGrid host computer (the main computer that SoundGrid Studio is running on) is capable of sending and receiving up to 128 channels of audio at any supported sample rate. When routing audio between devices, up to 512 channels are supported on a 1 Gb network. For example,  it’s possible to route 128 channels of your DAW out to 4 destinations simultaneously – for example, 128 audio interface channels, a backup recording, a broadcast truck and a second control room.

Q: What sample rates are supported by the SoundGrid system?
A: Supported sample rates are 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz. Varispeed sample rates are not supported.

Q: How do I sync transport between DAWs in a SoundGrid system?
A: Please consult the following document to learn about network sync using OS X Core MIDI.
https://www.waves.com/1lib/pdf/soundgrid/sync-transport-in-soundgrid-network.pdf
If you’re using a Windows computer, we suggest using rtpMIDI, an application that’s freely available online and closely duplicates OS X Core MIDI Network functionality.

Q: Can I use an Apple USB C to USB A adapter to connect an Apple USB A Ethernet adapter to a new MacBook Touchbar ?
A: From our experience the USB A adapters cause multiple units to periodically go off line, we suggest just using a USB C Ethernet adapter or a USB C to Thunderbolt, to Ethernet configuration.

Q: After installing the Symphony I/O Waves driver and restarting the unit shows up red / offline in SoundGrid Studio even after rescanning.
A: Reset the Symphony from its front panel in the configuration page and restart the computer

Q: The Symphony I/O is not showing up in SoundGrid studio
A: Check that all Ethernet cables are clicked into their sockets, Ensure the Ethernet cables are Cat 5e STP or 6 or 7  standard cables. , Cat 5 is not supported just 5e. Reset the Symphony from its front panel in the configuration page and restart the computer

Q: Where can the Users Guide / Manual be found after installation?
A:  On the Mac it is installed at :  Applications / Waves / SoundGrid / Documents ,   on the PC it is at :  C Drive / Program Files ( X86) /  Waves  / SoundGrid /  Documents
it can also be found online on the Apogee Support page

Q: If using a Waves server , in what order should I power on the system ?
A: Power on the server and wait a few seconds, verify Blue front LED, then power on the Symphony I/O and let it boot to the main screen, then finally power up the Computer

Q: The Waves server does not show up in the Inventory
A: Try rescanning, or connecting manually via a drop down in the Server Inventory slots. If that fails try restarting the Computer and launching Studio again.

HDX or HD Native is not showing up in Pro Tools HD Playback Engine

If you have an Apogee Symphony I/O or Symphony I/O MkII (or a Rosetta/16x with X-HD card) and you’re using it in Pro Tools HD mode with an HDX card, HD Native card, or HD Native Thunderbolt and you’re not able to see HDX/HD Native as a possible selection in the Pro Tools Playback Engine, there are a few things to check:

 

  • If you’re using a Symphony I/O (mkI or mkII), confirm it is properly connected to the HD card/box and that the unit is in ‘Pro Tools HD’ mode.
  • Confirm that you have installed the ‘HD Driver’ for the version of Pro Tools you’re using (this is a separate install from the Pro Tools software). The installer is included in a separate folder in the Pro Tools installer package.
  • If you are using a current (12.6 and above) version or Pro Tools HD, you will need a ‘Digilink IO’ license to use 3rd-party hardware with your system. Click here for more information.

How to set up Symphony I/O MkII for Surround Monitoring (5.1, 7.1, 9.1, 11.1)

How to connect and configure a Surround Speaker Setup

 

When using Symphony with a surround speaker setup, the first set of outputs can be configured as speaker outputs suitable for connection to a 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, or 11.1 speaker system, depending on the analog outputs you have available. With this configuration, turning the Output Controller knob (or adjusting output from the keyboard, Symphony Control software, or optional Apogee Control Hardware Remote) will adjust all applicable line-outputs simultaneously.

 

Connect your speakers to Symphony’s analog outputs. A standard 5.1 surround setup is routed as follows:

  • Output 1: Front Left
  • Output 2: Front Right
  • Output 3: Center
  • Output 4: Sub-woofer
  • Output 5: Left Surround
  • Output 6: Right Surround

 

Open the Symphony Control app and click the Device button to reveal the Device Sidebar. The button looks like this:

 

From the Main Output Format drop-down box in the Device Sidebar, select your desired surround configuration:

 

Note:

  • Requires at least 8 analog outputs for the 7.1 option to become available
  • Requires at least 10 analog outputs for the 9.1 option to become available
  • Requires at least 12 analog outputs for the 11.1 option to become available

Setting up the different audio modes of Symphony I/O MkII

Audio Modes of Symphony I/O MkII

 

Symphony I/O MkII in THUNDERBOLT mode
•    Download the installer package (www.apogeedigital.com/support/symphony-io-mk-ii) and run the Symphony I/O MkII installer. After connecting unit to Mac and powering up, update the firmware if prompted.
•    The Symphony I/O MkII’s parameters can be controlled from the front-panel touchscreen, the Symphony Control app that gets installed in your Applications folder, and the optional Apogee Control hardware remote.
•    If your unit has both a Thunderbolt card and a Pro Tools HD option card installed, read the Symphony I/O MkII in PRO TOOLS HD mode section below.

 

Using 2 units together in Thunderbolt mode:

Make sure you are using the Symphony I/O Release 3.0 (or greater) software/firmware. Multi-unit functionality will not work in older releases. Download the latest installer here: www.apogeedigital.com/support/symphony-io-mk-ii

•    Connect a Thunderbolt cable from the Mac to either Thunderbolt port of the unit intended to be the Master Unit A. Using a 2nd cable, connect from the remaining TB port on Unit A, to either of the Unit B’s TB ports.
•    Connect a BNC Word Clock cable from the Master unit’s (Unit A) Word Clock output port to the second unit’s (Unit B) Word Clock in port.
Symphony I/O MkII in PRO TOOLS HD mode

•    A unit with only a Pro Tools HD option card installed will startup, by default, in Pro Tools HD mode. Parameters will be controlled from Pro Tools HD software and from the Symphony I/O MkII’s front-panel. There is no need to install any Apogee software. The Symphony Control software and optional Apogee Control hardware remote can not be used when a unit is in Pro Tools HD mode.
•    When using multiple Symphony I/O MkII units in Pro Tools HD mode, the unit connected to Port 1 of an HD Native PCIe card or HD Native Thunderbolt box will need to have 2 i/o modules installed for the system to function properly.
•    If the unit has both a Pro Tools HD option card and a Thunderbolt card installed, go to the Configuration tab of the Settings page on the front-panel and confirm the Audio Interface Mode is set for Pro Tools HD. If the Audio Interface Mode button says Thunderbolt, tap the button and then tap Yes in the dialog to change modes. To go back to Thunderbolt mode, follow these steps again.

 

 

 

Symphony I/O MkII in STANDALONE mode

Make sure you are using the Symphony I/O Release 3.0 (or greater) software/firmware. Standalone functionality will not work in older releases. Download the latest installer here: www.apogeedigital.com/support/symphony-io-mk-ii
•    You can use the Symphony I/O MkII as a Standalone converter out of the box without installing any software (keep in mind that you will need to install the software before connecting it to your Mac). When the Symphony I/O MkII is not connected to a Mac, it functions in Standalone mode. Standalone mode is only accessible when the unit is in Thunderbolt mode and disconnected from the Mac.
•    You will need to engage the Standalone routing by going to the Configuration tab of the Settings page on the front-panel and tapping the Engage button and making the routing selection(s):