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30×34 Thunderbolt™ 2 Audio Interface for Mac

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Apogee Ensemble

Acclaimed Innovations. Groundbreaking New Features.

The all new 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. Ensemble includes 8 Advanced Stepped Gain™ mic preamps, monitor controller functionality including talkback, front panel Guitar I/O, two headphone outputs and digital connectivity for a total of 30 x 34 I/O. Blending acclaimed innovations, groundbreaking new features and an effortless user interface, Ensemble empowers you to capture inspiration
when creative lightning strikes.

*Apogee products are built in the U.S.A. using domestic and foreign parts and components.

Launched in 2007, the first Ensemble re-defined the possibilities of the personal studio interface, setting new standards of quality, simplicity and value. Winning  that year’s TEC Award for Digital Audio Technology, Ensemble went on to become the preferred interface for thousands of hit-making producers, engineers and artists. Now, with 30 years of digital audio expertise and the latest technological innovations, Apogee has re-built Ensemble to introduce the next generation of music creation technology.

The Best of Apogee.
The Power of Thunderbolt.

Blending the best of Apogee’s acclaimed innovations with groundbreaking new features and the power of Thunderbolt technology, the completely redesigned Ensemble sets a new standard for personal studio interfaces.

Ensemble Thunderbolt Front and Back

Highlights

  • 8 Mic preamps with up to 75 dB of gain and Advanced Stepped Gain circuit
  • Thunderbolt connectivity for ultra-low latency (1.1ms round trip with Logic Pro X)
  • Front panel Guitar I/O with Class A JFET inputs, dual mode re-amp outputs
  • Talkback functionality with built-in mic and control button
  • 2 PurePower headphone outputs
  • 10 separately assignable analog inputs
  • 16 analog outputs of premium Apogee conversion
  • Core Audio optimized DMA engine frees up Mac CPU for plugins and software instruments

Product Tour

Ensemble Thunderbolt Back Panel Product Tour

Inputs & Outputs

Guitar I/O

Directly connect your guitars & other instruments to Ensemble using the 2 front panel ¼” inputs.
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8 Analog Inputs

Connect up to 8 microphones or a combination of instruments, external mic preamps, and other analog audio devices.
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10 Analog Outputs

2 balanced monitor outputs on ¼” TRS connectors & 8 balanced line outputs on 1 D-Sub 25-pin connector.
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2 headphone outputs

Drive 2 sets of high impedance headphones louder than you’ll ever need.
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Built-in Microphone + Talkback

Instantly capture your inspirations, keep an audio archive of the session, or record a “crushed room” sound when tracking drums. Most importantly, the built-in mic may be used for talkback.
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2 Analog Inserts

Easily integrate your favorite analog compressor or EQ, in mono or as a stereo pair, into your recording chain with separate ¼”  balanced send and return connector for each channel.
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Digital I/O

Up to 18 channels of digital I/O, in ADAT, SMUX, S/PDIF optical and S/PDIF coaxial formats, to easily integrate expanders, hardware synths and digital effects.
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Word Clock

Use Ensemble as the master clock to take advantage of Apogee’s superior built-in clocking technology.
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True Thunderbolt Performance

Ensemble delivers the full potential of Thunderbolt 2 performance with the lowest latency, unmatched CPU efficiency, 2 ports for expanding your system and a revolutionary 32-bit playback signal path.

The Lowest Latency of any Audio Interface

Ensemble’s proprietary Thunderbolt driver has been written from the ground up for Mac OS X Mavericks, resulting in unmatched performance and efficiency. Latency has been reduced to an astounding 1.1ms round-trip*, allowing you to monitor through your DAW, plug-ins included, simplifying your workflow and leveraging the power of your Mac. Even when your session’s DSP demands require a higher buffer setting, Ensemble’s ultra-low latency means no longer having to choose between power and speed.

To accommodate different workflow preferences, Ensemble features optional direct hardware monitoring through Apogee’s Maestro App with 0.6ms of latency.

* Logic Pro X at 96kHz / 32 buffer setting

Devours Bits, Sips CPU

Ensemble’s custom driver includes two innovative features to maximize the performance of the software-hardware interface: a full 32-bit signal path from the output of your DAW straight to the high-performance ESS DAC, and a revolutionary Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine to more efficiently read and write data directly to Mac memory independent of the Mac CPU.

The DMA engine, running on Ensemble’s hardware logic chip, reads digital audio data directly from your Mac’s memory in a 32-bit format, increasing the driver’s efficiency and providing the highest resolution signal possible to the DAC stage. This implementation allows the driver to crunch an enormous amount of data at an amazing speed, while making a very light demand on your Mac CPU. You benefit with lower latency, more plug-in power, and a transparent and encompassing
listening experience.

Ensemble Thunderbolt Ports

Expanding Your System

Intel’s Thunderbolt™ technology was made for connecting multiple high bandwidth peripherals to your Mac. Ensemble includes two Thunderbolt™ 2 ports for conveniently connecting hard drive arrays, video capture devices and Thunderbolt monitors with up to 4k resolution from a single port.

A Difference You Will Hear

Apogee is an award-winning industry leader in digital recording technology with over 25 years of experience. Preferred by recording pros around the world, Apogee products like Duet, Quartet, the original Ensemble and Symphony I/O have been instrumental in creating countless GRAMMY® and OSCAR® winning recordings and have set the industry standard in professional recording for over two decades. Ensemble is built solidly on this reputation.

TEC Awards

From the mic preamps to the AD/DA converters and the clocking, Ensemble is best-in-class and cutting-edge Apogee technology. With components carefully selected in critical listening tests and a highly efficient circuit design, Ensemble was built by Apogee engineers to make a difference you can hear.

Measurably Superior A/D Conversion

Ensemble’s analog-to-digital conversion stage has been upgraded from previous generations of Apogee products such as Duet and Quartet to provide greater dynamic range, lower distortion and an almost non-existent noise level.

Dynamically Optimized Mic Preamps

Ensemble’s 8 uniquely designed mic preamps feature Apogee’s Advanced Stepped Gain Architecture™, in which the circuit is dynamically optimized to provide superior bandwidth, ultra low noise and nonexistent distortion across the unprecedented gain range of 0-75 dB. Whether recording powerful drums, dynamic vocals or delicate strings, your recordings retain the full impact, intricate detail and lifelike dimension of the original performance.

ESS-Sabre-32

ESS Sabre32 DAC Technology

ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC with Time Domain Jitter Eliminator offers unequalled dynamic range, ultra low distortion, and unmatched audio clarity free from input jitter.

Custom Power Regulation for Ultra-Low
Noise Performance

Ensemble’s mic pre, A/D and D/A circuitry are powered by discrete, Apogee-designed power regulators for ultra-low noise not obtainable with off-the-shelf components. This design was first implemented in Apogee’s flagship Symphony I/O’s 3-Stage Cascaded power supply.

Soft Limit for protection from digital overs

An Apogee technology first introduced in 1992 on Apogee’s AD-500 converter, Soft Limit can be heard on countless platinum selling records around the world. Once a technology exclusively reserved for Apogee’s most advanced audio converters, Soft Limit is included in Ensemble and can be enabled in Apogee Maestro software.

This superior FET-based analog design prevents the digital clipping that causes distortion by instantaneously rounding off transient peaks before they hit the analog-to-digital converter. Soft Limit allows several more decibels of apparent level to be recorded while subtly providing an analog tape-like warmth to the sound.

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