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AD/DA-16x X-Firewire Firmware Notes

Because the AD-16x and DA-16x can operate in a Standard Routing mode or Advanced Routing mode, a different firmware version is provided for each mode.

http://www.apogeedigital.com/support/legacy-product-support#x-firewire

In Standard Routing mode:
– AD-16x: You will need the firmware labeled AD-16X (Mac or WinXP). This firmware will offer…

  • 16 channels of analog input
  • 2 channels of digital output
  • Sample rates from 44.1 – 96 kHz.

– DA-16x: You will need the firmware labeled DA-16X (Mac or WinXP). This firmware will offer…

  • 2 channels of digital input
  • 16 channels of analog output
  • Sample rates from 44.1 – 96 kHz.

In Advanced Routing mode:
– For both AD-16x & DA-16x, you will need the firmware labeled DD-16X (Mac or WinXP). This firmware provides…

  • 16 channels of input (analog for AD-16x, digital for DA-16x)
  • 16 channels of output (digital for AD-16x, analog for DA-16x)
  • Sample rates limited to 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

On a Mac, the Firmware Updater application is included with the firmware file download. If you have Windows XP, you’ll need to download the updater application separately (download here).

Instructions for performing the update are included in the ReadMe pdf file that comes with the firmware file download.

NOTE: The update can only be installed via a Mac system running OSX 10.6.7 or ealier, or a computer running Windows XP SP2 or ealier. See the X-Firewire FAQ article for more detailed information.

Mic Pre Module Frequently Asked Questions

The Mic Pre module provides your Symphony I/O with up to 8 mic preamps to your system. Here are answers to some common questions our customers have about the Mic Pre module:

 

Q. Does it add 8 additional channels to my system?

A. No. It only provides the option of selecting a mic pre to your existing card in slot 1.

For example: If you have an 8×8 module in slot 1 of your Symphony I/O, this provides you with 8 channels of analog line-level input. If this is the only card you have installed, you’d have to use external mic preamps to connect microphones to this system.

By adding a Mic Pre module in slot 2, this provides those 8 channels with high-quality mic preamps internally instead. Whether to use your 8 analog inputs as line-level or mic preamps is selectable in the Maestro 2 software’s Input screen.

 

Q. Do I plug my mic into one of the four ¼” inputs on the Mic Pre module? What are they for?

A. These ¼” inputs are for connecting high impedance sources such as an electric guitar, bass guitar, or keyboards to the Mic Pre card. It makes it convenient to connect these ¼” sources to the Symphony instead of using an adapter to plug into the XLR input of the card in Slot 1. Enable these in the Maestro 2 software’s Input screen by selecting “Instrument” as the channel’s Analog Source.

 

Q. What are the Inserts Send/Return for? How do you use them? Where is the insert point?

A. This is a hardware insert for the Microphone Preamps. They are used to insert additional equipment such as Compressors and Equalizers to your input path. You turn Inserts On/Off via the Maestro 2 software’s Input screen, and the insert option is only visible on channels that have the source set to “Mic” or “Instrument”. The insert point is after the preamp and high-pass filter but before the A/D conversion stage.

 

Q. Can I use the Mic Pre module with the 2×6 analog card or the 16 Digital In + 16 Analog Out card (sometimes called the 16ch D/A card)?

A. No. The Mic Pre module cannot be used with the 2×6 analog card or the 16 digital in + 16 analog out card because they do not have at least 8 channels of analog input available.

 

Q. Can I use the Mic Pre module with the 16×16 analog I/O card or 16 Analog In + 16 Digital Out card?

A. Yes. The first 8 channels of the 16 input channels can be set as “Mic” via the Maestro 2 software’s Input screen, and the channels 9-16 are limited to line-level.

Can I make phone calls on my iPhone through the Apogee?

No. Though it’s possible to use iOS compatible Apogee interfaces with apps on the iphone, the interfaces cannot be used with the phone call function. The iPhone’s phone call function can only use the built-in iphone microphone, or the microphone on a headset plugged into the iPhone’s headphone jack.

Input Monitoring the Apogee Way

This article explains the two major methods of input monitoring, and why you would use one method over another.

Apogee designs its products in a way that encourages it’s users to record via the simplest, most direct, and therefore best-sounding practices. The idea is to make your work-flow easy uncomplicated. One way we do this:

Monitoring via software

By default, the Apogee interface is set so you do not hear your input signal automatically when you plug it in. This is because it’s best for your recording software to perform the input monitoring – the action of passing your input signal to the output so you can hear it. Which means you will need to open a recording app and make the appropriate settings before you can hear your input signal.

The advantage to this method is you hear exactly what your recording program is doing to your sound. If you apply effects, then you will hear those effects as you record. This is especially important for guitar players who want to use the recording software to apply amp models and effects to their guitar signal.

The downside to this method is the potential for latency (a delay between when you input your signal and when you hear it back). The more you tax the processor in your computer or iOS device (such as adding more tracks and applying effects), the more latency there will be. This is especially true for older computers that don’t have as much processing power in the first place.

If you experience too much latency and cannot reduce the problem with troubleshooting, Apogee provides a low-latency hardware monitor feature in our ONE, Duet, Quartet, Ensemble, and Symphony interfaces to get around the problem. Which brings us to the second major method….

Hardware Monitoring

Hardware monitoring passes the audio signal to the output via an internal signal path built into the interface.

In other words, instead of:
Input of interface > recording app (DAW) > output of interface,
you get:
Input of interface > output of interface.

This bypasses the recording app and eliminates the latency delay it produces. The downside is you do not hear any effects that the app applies. Using a guitar player as an example again, this means you hear the direct unaffected guitar sound in your monitor. So even though you are getting your audio recorded in the app with effects, you are not hearing those effects as you record. You only hear the complete picture after the recording is complete when you play it back.

See this article on how to setup the Maestro Mixer: Read More

Another problem with this method can come up when you also have input monitoring active in your recording app at the same time as hardware monitoring. Because you are monitoring directly via the hardware AND through the recording app, you end up hearing it twice. This can result in audio artifacts ranging from a slight phasing/chorusing sound, to an echo because the direct hardware signal combines with the slightly latent software signal.

Also think about how you would do vocal (or any instrument) punch-recording if hardware monitoring is active. Most singers I know do not like hearing themselves sing with zero effects/reverb applied. This is more difficult to setup and accomplish competently if utilizing hardware monitoring.

The more you think about it, the ideal monitoring method is directly via the recording app. Though hardware monitoring is convenient and useful if you have latency problems, it adds complexity to your setup and work-flow.

How to hear input in Garageband for iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

If you can’t hear your input signal when using the Garageband app on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, then you will need to enable the Monitor feature of the app. This feature is located in the Input Settings menu as shown in this video:

http://youtu.be/eZpFcjjv6u4?t=1m19s

 

This setting is especially important for guitar players as using Garageband’s Monitor feature enables you to hear the guitar effects built into the program. Because of this fact, this method is much preferred over utilizing the hardware monitoring feature of the Maestro app.

For more information on Apogee audio interfaces for iPad/iPhone and tutorials, check out our video page at www.apogeedigital.com/videos