Use the following steps to set input and output levels on your Apogee interface.
Before launching your recording software:
1. Turn down the speaker/headphone output level of your Apogee interface.
2. Connect your audio source to your Apogee interface. Make sure to use the proper inputs.
• If you’re using a microphone, plug the microphone into the XLR input.
• If you’re using a guitar, bass, or other high impedance instruments, plug them into the 1/4″ instrument input.
• If you’re using an external mic-pre or another piece of line-level gear, use the XLR inputs.Quick Tip: Some keyboards and synths can be plugged into either the Instrument or XLR inputs. You might have to experiment with what sounds better.
3. Launch Apogee Maestro and go to the input tab. Make the appropriate selection in the Analog Level drop-down menu for the input channel you are using.
• Microphone (Mic) – depending on the Apogee interface you are using, you would choose Ext Mic/Ext Mic 48v (ONE) or Mic (Duet, Quartet, Ensemble, SymphonyI/O with MicPre module). You will need to engage the 48v button for if you’re using a mic that requires phantom power.
• Instrument (Inst) – Guitar/Bass/some keyboards
• Line Level (+4dBu/-10dBV for balanced/unbalanced connections) – This setting is used when connecting external microphone preamps and other line-level gear.NOTE: If you have the ONE, a line-input is accommodated by choosing Ext Mic and turning the input gain all the way down.
4. Set the input gain of your Apogee interface.
There are two ways you can adjust your input gain:
• By adjusting the input software encoder in Maestro
• By turning the physical knob (encoder) on your Apogee interface (make sure you’ve set the knob to control the input channel and not the output level. See your User’s Guide for more information on setting this).Quick Tip: Ideally, the level in the input meter should be as high as you can get it without hitting an “over”. If you see red in the meter, you know you need to turn the input gain down. In some cases you may need to adjust the output of the audio source you are using. You may need to move your microphone closer to the sound source or further away. You may need to turn the level of your guitar or keyboard up or down.
Launch your recording software, create an audio track, and put the track into input or record mode. It is a good idea to leave the fader of the track you are recording and any Master Fader for the mix set at their default setting.
5. Adjust the output level of your Apogee interface.
• Gradually increase the output level of your Apogee interface so you can hear what your input source sounds like in the speakers or headphones.
• After you get the output set to a comfortable listening level, listen for any distortion in the input audio.
• If the audio sounds bad, you may have something set wrong. Go through steps 2, 3, and 4 to trouble-shoot the problem.
Note: Two common issues are that the sound is too quiet or that it’s distorted. It may be a simple case of needing to turn the input gain up and the output level down or the input gain down and the output level up.
- Open Maestro 2 (found in your Mac’s application folder) and click on the “Apogee Maestro 2″ menu in the upper left-hand corner of the desktop menu bar
- select “About Maestro 2″. This will bring up a window showing you which version you have installed (see example below)
When attempting to use the built-in microphone of your Mac as an input for the Dictation software and the Duet FireWire for output, you must create an Aggregate Device in the Audio MIDI Setup Application and select that Aggregate Device to be your audio device in System Preferences > Sound.
To create an aggregate device and use multiple interfaces simultaneously:
- Open Audio Midi Setup (Located in Applications/Utilities/ on your Mac)
- Click the + from the button left of the window
- Select “Create Aggregate device”
- Double-click the newly created device’s name “Aggregate Device” and rename it if desired
- In the right side of the window, select the devices you wish to aggregate. For example ONE, Built-in Input, Built-in Output.
- For best results, be sure Apogee device is selected as the Master Clock
- In your recording application, select the device name you’ve just created.
- To select this device to be your default for Mac sound, Right click (or control click) the device in Audio MIDI Setup and select “Use this device for sound input/output”
- Select the Output speaker channels by clicking “Configure Speakers”, selecting the stereo tab and assigning destinations for left and right channels
- Select “Done” button and you’re all set.
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
Here’s a video showing this process: https://apogeedigital.com/blog/apogee-element-tutorial-enable-logics-io-labels