Symphony I/O Mk II: Compatibility

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.

Do Apogee Thunderbolt products (Element, Ensemble Thunderbolt, Symphony I/O MkII, Thunderbridge) work with the 2016 MacBook Pro?

Question:

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 2016 MacBook Pro?

 

Answer:

Yes. The 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, shown here, includes Thunderbolt 3 ports. You will need to use an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter to connect a current Apogee Thunderbolt device. As discussed in this post, you can NOT connect Apogee Thunderbolt devices to the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook because it only has USB-C and does not support Thunderbolt. It should be noted that Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly like USB-C ports and their cables also look similar. This can get a little confusing, so here are a few basic rules to help clear up any questions about connectivity:

  • USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 have the same-size port and the same-size connector for their cables. Since USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly the same, you will need to make sure your Mac has Thunderbolt 3 capabilities before using it with an Apogee Thunderbolt device and an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports, such as the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, can use it’s Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect to any Thunderbolt 3 device, USB-C device, and Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 1 device if you use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with only USB-C ports, such as the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, can NOT connect to any Thunderbolt device, even when using adapters. It can connect to USB-C devices and other types of USB devices, using the proper adapters.

 

Click here for more information on the differences between USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

 

 

 

 

Do Apogee Thunderbolt products (Element, Ensemble Thunderbolt, Symphony I/O MkII, Thunderbridge) work with the latest 12″ MacBook?

Question:

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?

 

Answer:

No. The 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, shown here, do not include a Thunderbolt port. They only have a USB-C port. The Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapters will not work with these MacBooks, despite using the same-size connectors. Apogee Thunderbolt devices will work with the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, as discussed in this post. It should be noted that Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly like USB-C ports and their cables also look similar. This can get a little confusing, so here are a few basic rules to help clear up any questions about connectivity:

  • USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 have the same-size port and the same-size connector for their cables. Since USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly the same, you will need to make sure your Mac has Thunderbolt 3 capabilities before using it with an Apogee Thunderbolt device and an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports, such as the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, can use it’s Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect to any Thunderbolt 3 device, USB-C device, and Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 1 device if you use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with only USB-C ports, such as the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, can NOT connect to any Thunderbolt device, even when using adapters. It can connect to USB-C devices and other types of USB devices, using the proper adapters.

 

Click here for more information on the differences between USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

 

 

 

 

Are Apogee products compatible with Pro Tools 12?

Yes!  The following products have been tested and are fully compatible with Pro Tools 12 (every version of 12):

  • JAM
  • JAM 96k
  • MiC
  • MiC 96k
  • Groove
  • GiO
  • ONE for Mac (old and new versions)
  • ONE for iPad & Mac
  • Duet FireWire
  • Duet 2
  • Duet for iPad & Mac
  • Quartet for iPad & Mac
  • Ensemble FireWire
  • Ensemble Thunderbolt
  • Symphony I/O (USB, Symphony, and Pro Tools HD modes)
  • Symphony I/O MkII (Thunderbolt and Pro Tools HD)
  • Symphony 64 PCIe
  • Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge
  • X-Symphony equipped X-Series and Rosetta Series Converters
  • X-HD equipped X-Series and Rosetta Series Converters

Ensemble Thunderbolt acting weird when connected to Mac- audio not showing up, Maestro slow

There is a known issue where having the Symphony I/O MkII software and the Ensemble Thunderbolt software installed on the same partition will result in multiple issues, such as audio not showing up on any inputs or outputs, Maestro performing sluggish, or one or both of the devices not being recognized in Maestro and/or the firmware updater app. This will be addressed in a software update. Until then, you would need to run each installer on a separate partition for both devices to be recognized properly. If you have already ran both software installers on the same partition and you’re currently experiencing this issue, follow the instructions below:

 

  • Disconnect both devices from your Mac.
  • Run the Ensemble Thunderbolt Uninstaller and restart the Mac.
  • Run the Symphony I/O MkII Uninstaller and restart the Mac.
  • If you have only one partition and you can’t create another one, you will need to choose which device you want to use and run it’s software installer. Restart the Mac.
  • If you have a separate partition available, restart the Mac on this partition and run the installer for the other device on it. Restart the Mac.
  • Reconnect device(s).

 

Setting up and configuring Symphony I/O MkII with Pro Tools HD

A Symphony I/O MkII that has a Pro Tools HD Option card installed is compatible with the following:

  • HDX
  • HD Native PCIe
  • HD Native Thunderbolt
  • HD Core/Accel/Process PCIe

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.

For the rest of the instructions, we will refer to whichever HD card(s) or HD Native Thunderbolt box you’re using as “the HD card”.

 

1.  Confirm that you have Pro Tools HD v8.1.1 or higher installed on your Mac or PC, along with the applicable HD driver (a separate install) and a connected iLok with HD license.

 

2.  If you’re using more than one Symphony I/O MkII, make sure the unit that’s going to be connected to Port 1 has two I/O modules installed, as explained in greater detail here.

 

3.  If you’re using a 2×6 I/O module in a unit with two I/O modules, make sure the 2×6 module is installed in the secondary slot of the unit, as explained in greater detail here.

 

4.  Power up the Symphony I/O MkII and go to the ‘Setup’ page on the touchscreen by tapping on the icon that looks like a gear at the bottom right-hand corner of the touchscreen. Once you’re on the ‘Setup’ page, tap on the ‘Configuration’ tab and confirm that it says ‘Pro Tools HD’ under ‘Audio Interface Mode’. If it says ‘Thunderbolt’ instead, tap on the button to restart unit in ‘Pro Tools HD’ mode. If you’re not able to tap on the button to change modes, you may need to confirm your firmware is up to date. Follow these steps for every unit you’re going to use with Pro Tools HD.

 

5.  You can not daisy-chain Symphony I/Os off of Avid interfaces or other Symphony I/Os. Since the Symphony I/O can contain 32 channels of I/O in one unit, it needs a dedicated port on the HD card. Connect the first Symphony I/O MkII to Port 1 of the HD card (if you’re using an Avid or Digi interface and you already have it connected to Port 1, you can connect the Symphony to Port 2 of the HD card). Connect any additional Symphony I/Os to the next port on the HD card(s). Keep in mind that each Symphony I/O will need its own port on any HD card.

 

6.  If you are using only one Symphony I/O and no other Avid or Digi interfaces, you can skip to the next step. If you’re using multiple interfaces, you will need to connect them all via Loop Sync, using BNC cables. Connect the Loop Sync output of the 1st interface to the Loop Sync input of the 2nd interface.  Connect the Loop Sync output of the 2nd interface to the Loop Sync input of the 3rd interface and so on.  Once you come to the last interface in the chain, send its Loop Sync output to the Loop Sync input of the 1st interface.  If you’re using a Digi Sync I/O or an Avid Sync HD, you would do the same thing, except you would treat the Sync I/O  or Sync HD as the 1st interface and start by sending its Loop Sync output to the Loop Sync input of the 2nd unit and so on until you bring the Loop Sync output of the last unit in the chain to the Loop Sync input of the Sync I/O or Sync HD. Your Sync I/O or Sync HD must be connected to your HD card using the serial cable that was included with it to use it.

 

7.  Make sure all Symphony I/Os and any other HD interfaces are connected properly and powered up and then launch Pro Tools HD.

 

8.  After Pro Tools HD has launched, click on the ‘Setup’ menu in Pro Tools and select ‘Playback Engine’. Confirm that HD, HDX, or HD Native is selected as the ‘Current Engine’.  If it’s not, select it and click ‘OK’.  If it wasn’t already selected in the Playback Engine and you had to select it, you will need to quit/relaunch Pro Tools after doing so.

 

9.  Click on the ‘Setup’ menu in Pro Tools and select ‘Hardware’.  Confirm that the expected interfaces show up in the correct order under the ‘Peripherals’ column in the upper left-side corner.  Keep in mind that each I/O module in a Symphony I/O will show up as one Avid HD I/O.  Once you have verified this, click ‘OK’ to exit.

 

10.  If you are not using a Sync I/O or Sync HD, you can skip to the next step.  If you are using a Sync I/O or Sync HD, click on the ‘Setup’ menu in Pro Tools and select ‘Peripherals’ and go to the ‘Synchronization’ tab.  Under ‘Synchronization Device’, select ‘Enable Sync HD’.

 

11.  Click on the ‘Setup’ menu in Pro Tools and select ‘I/O’.

 

12.  Once the I/O Setup opens, select all of the channels in the left-hand column and hit ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.  After you’ve deleted them, click the ‘Default’ button in the lower part of the screen and confirm that the “Compensate for delays…” checkbox is checked. Follow the same steps for the input, output, bus, and insert tabs in I/O Setup. Once you have gone through these steps in each tab, click the ‘OK’ button to confirm changes and exit.

 

13.  You are now ready to use Symphony I/O MkII with Pro Tools HD.

*  Keep in mind that the first 2 analog outputs of Symphony I/O will default to a -20dB level for using the Symphony I/O as a monitor controller. If you are using an external monitor controller and would like all of the Symphony I/O’s outputs to be at 0dB line level, first make sure your external monitor controller is turned down all the way and then go to the ‘Monitor’ page on the front-panel touchscreen (tap on the speaker icon at the bottom of the touchscreen), tap on the box below the speaker graphic that is most likely set to ‘Stereo’, scroll down the menu until you see ‘Line’, select ‘Line’ and then tap the ‘OK’ button at the top of the menu to confirm.

*  If you would like to change the headphone routing on the Symphony I/O MkII, simply go to the ‘Monitor’ page on the front-panel touchscreen (tap on the speaker icon at the bottom of the touchscreen) and tap on the box under the headphone icon and it will open up list of available output channels to route to the headphone output.

 

 

How do I find the firmware versions for my Symphony I/O MkII?

Go to the ‘Setup’ page on the touchscreen by tapping on the icon that looks like a gear at the bottom right-hand corner of the touchscreen. Once you’re on the ‘Setup’ page, tap the ‘About’ tab.  All the firmware versions for the Main board, I/O modules, and any Option card you may have installed will be displayed in this tab.

To find out if you need to update firmware, power up the unit and connect it via Thunderbolt to a Mac with Symphony I/O MkII software already installed. A firmware mismatch dialog that directs you to the firmware updater app will appear if you need to update your firmware.

Note: A Symphony I/O MkII that has a Pro Tools HD Option card installed in it can only update firmware via the USB port on the back of the HD Option card.

 

 

Do I need to install Apogee software to use Symphony I/O MkII with Pro Tools HD?

A Symphony I/O MkII with a Pro Tools HD Option card installed requires no Apogee software to use it as an HD interface with Pro Tools HD. All of the Symphony’s parameters can be adjusted from the front-panel touchscreen and things like routing, sample-rate, and clock source are adjusted from Pro Tools HD software.

If you’re using the Symphony I/O MkII as a Thunderbolt interface, you will need to make sure the Symphony I/O MkII software is installed and the firmware is up to date.

Input routing incorrect in ProTools HD when 2×6 module installed in primary slot

There is a known issue with the input routing in ProTools HD if you install a 2×6 module in the primary slot of a Symphony I/O MkII and any other I/O module in the secondary slot and use it in ProTools HD mode.

 

Solution:

If you are using a 2×6 module in combination with another I/O module in a Symphony I/O MkII in ProTools HD mode, make sure you install the 2×6 module in the secondary slot and the other module in the primary slot.

 

Supported 2×6 configurations for Symphony I/O MkII in ProTools HD mode:

Primary: 2×6
Secondary: none

Primary: 8×8 (any old or MkII 8×8)
Secondary: 2×6

Primary: 16×16 Analog In/Out (original or MkII)
Secondary: 2×6

 

2×6 configurations not supported for Symphony I/O MkII in ProTools HD mode:

Primary: 2×6
Secondary: 2×6

Primary: 2×6
Secondary: 8×8 (any old or MkII 8×8)

Primary: 2×6
Secondary: 16×16 Analog In/Out (original or MkII)

Note: the older 16 Analog In/Digital Out and 16 Digital In/Analog Out modules are not supported in Symphony I/O MkII regardless of what mode you’re using the unit in.

 

 

What I/O modules are supported in Symphony I/O MkII and are there restrictions?

The following I/O modules are supported in Symphony I/O MkII:

– 8×8 MkII
– 16×16 MkII
– 8×8 AES/OPT
– 8×8 AES
– 8×8 OPT
– 16×16 Analog In/Out (original)
– 2×6
– MicPre

 

There are no restrictions on which module can go in the primary slot or the secondary slot when using Thunderbolt mode*, with the exception that when using the MicPre module, you must have an 8×8 (any version) or a 16×16 Analog In/Out (original or MkII) installed in the primary slot and the MicPre module installed in the secondary slot.

*When using the Symphony I/O MkII in ProTools HD mode, 2×6 modules must be installed in the secondary slot when using 2×6 modules with any other modules. Example: if you have an 8×8 module and a 2×6 module, the 2×6 module must be installed in the secondary slot when using the Symphony I/O MkII in ProTools HD mode.

 

The following I/O modules are not supported in Symphony I/O MkII:

– 16 Analog In/Digital Out
– 16 Digital In/Analog Out

 

To see i/o module compatibility for the older original Symphony I/O, click here.