Quartet: Setup

Using Quartet with Ensemble

Quartet’s optical connections offer 8 additional ADAT/SMUX digital inputs. With Apogee’s Ensemble interface connected via optical, it’s possible to record up to 12 mics at a time with sample rates of 44.1/48 kHz (4 inputs on Quartet + 8 inputs on Ensemble). At sample rates of 88.2/96 kHz, you can record up to 8 mics at a time (4 inputs on Quartet + 4 inputs on Ensemble).

 

 

To setup Quartet and Ensemble (or any ADAT/SMUX equipped 8 channel interface) for this application:

 

1. Connect optical Toslink cables between the interface’s ADAT/SMUX outputs and Quartet’s Optical inputs. At sample rates of 44.1-48kHz, all eight channels are transmitted over one Toslink cable – one cable between the interface and the Optical IN 1 is sufficient. At sample rates of 88.2-96kHz, channels 1-4 are transmitted over one cable (connected to Optical IN 1) and channels 5-8 are transmitted over a second cable (connected to Optical IN 2). Please note that Ensemble only offers 1 Toslink connection for Optical OUT, so therefore you can only transmit a maximum of 4 inputs at 88.2-96kHz.

 

2. Connect a BNC cable between Quartet’s WC Out and the Ensemble’s word clock input.
3. Setup Ensemble in standalone mode:

  • Connect Ensemble and to your Mac’s Firewire ports. Once Ensemble’s settings are made in Maestro, you’ll remove the Ensemble firewire connection.
  • Open Maestro 2 and make sure Ensemble is the selected device from the devices sidebar.
  • In the System Setup tab window, set Clock Source to Word Clock
  • In the Device Settings tab, ensure that Optical In and Optical Out are set to ADAT/SMUX
  • In the Standalone Routing tab window, route analog inputs to ADAT outputs
  • Make other desired Maestro settings, such as configuring inputs 1-4 as Mic inputs.
  • Once Maestro settings are complete, remove Ensemble’s Firewire connection. Ensemble’s front panel Status LED will turn green to indicate that the unit is now in Standalone mode.

The gain of each mic pre may be controlled from the front panel by pressing the left hand encoder to select a pre and turning the encoder to the desired setting. The analog and headphone outputs may be controlled with the right hand encoder in a similar fashion.

 

4. To check input levels for Quartet, open Maestro, click the Input tab and check the ADAT (SMUX) meters.

 

Using Quartet with Duet 2 – Aggregate Device Setup

Setup

Before you get started, make sure that you have updated the firmware on both the Duet2 and the Quartet to their most recent versions. After the firmware has been updated, run the most recent Duet2 software installer first and then run the most recent Quartet software installer.

1) After you have run both software installers, open up “Audio MIDI Setup”, found in Applications > Utilities.

2) Make sure both Duet2 and Quartet are set to the same sample-rate by selecting each device and choosing the correct sample-rate from the drop-down menu.

3) Create an Aggregate Device in Audio MIDI Setup by clicking on the “+” icon at the bottom left side of the device column and selecting “Create Aggregate Device”.

4) In the right side of Audio MIDI Setup, select the checkbox to use Quartet first and then select Duet USB. The Clock Source drop-down menu should say “Quartet”. 

5) With “Aggregate Device” still selected, go back to the bottom of the device column and click on the “gear” icon. Choose “Use This Device For Sound Input” and “Use This Device For Sound Output” to set your Aggregate Device as the default input & output. The Aggregate Device should now show the speaker and mic icons next to it.

 

Using Logic

1) Launch Logic and go to the Audio Preferences (Logic Pro > Preferences > Audio). Click on the drop-down menu for the Output Device and select “Aggregate Device”. It should automatically select Aggregate Device for your Input Device as well. Click the “Apply Changes” button at the bottom of the window.

2) To set up the I/O labels in Logic for your Aggregate Device, go to the Options menu, select “Audio” and then “I/O Labels”. The I/O Labels window will appear. Click anywhere in the window and then press Command-A to select all. Now click on one of the circles in the “Provided by Driver” column. This will select all of the i/o labels for your Aggregate Device. Close the I/O Labels window.

3) Now you’re ready to record with your Aggregate Device! Create a track and assign your input and output. The Quartet’s input and output will start from the top of the list since it was the first device you chose when creating an Aggregate Device, followed by Duet2’s input and output.

Hotplugging devices or sleep/wake while Logic is open isn’t recommended while using an Aggregate Device. If you hotplug or sleep/wake, you may have to quit and relaunch Logic.

 

Using ProTools

1) Launch ProTools and before creating or opening a session, select “Playback Engine” by clicking on the Setup menu. Select “Aggregate Device” in the top drop-down menu for the Playback Engine and then click “OK”. ProTools may have to quit and relaunch after this.

2) After you’ve relaunched ProTools, go to the “I/O Setup” by clicking on the Setup menu and selecting “I/O”. After the I/O Setup window opens, click “Default” in both the input and output tabs.

3) You can customize the i/o labels by double-clicking on an entry and entering a label of your choice. Keep in mind Quartet’s inputs and outputs will start at the top of the list since it was the first device you chose when creating an Aggregate Device, followed by Duet2’s input and output.

Hotplugging devices or sleep/wake while ProTools is open isn’t recommended while using an Aggregate Device. If you hotplug or sleep/wake, you may have to quit and relaunch ProTools.

 

Troubleshooting

If you ever run into “choppy” audio or clicks and pops while using an Aggregate Device, here is a list of troubleshooting tips:

– Make sure both devices are set to the same sample-rate in Audio MIDI Setup

– Quit and relaunch Logic or ProTools.

– Reload the driver in Logic by going to the Audio Preferences, toggling the I/O Buffer Size back & forth and then clicking “Apply Changes”.

– Try raising the I/O Buffer Size in Logic’s Audio Preferences or ProTools’ Playback Engine.

– Open Audio MIDI Setup, delete Aggregate Device and create a new Aggregate Device using the steps above.

Can Quartet lock to an ADAT/SMUX optical clock source?

No.

Though the Quartet can receive signal from an ADAT/SMUX source, it can only do so if the ADAT/SMUX device is clocked to the Quartet via the BNC connection. This is because the Quartet must be the master clock.

For information on clocking external device to Quartet, consult the Quartet’s User’s Guide.

Quartet User’s Guide

How do I use the custom I/O labels in Logic?

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

How do I set my software’s I/O buffer?

The I/O Buffer setting found in most audio software is one of the most crucial, but often ignored, settings in a Mac-based recording system. When choosing a buffer setting, a compromise between the latency through the application and the amount of computer processor power accessible to the application must be made.Latency– the slight delay between the moment you play a note and hear it in your headphones after conversion and processing.

A lower buffer setting results in lower latency but less available processing power. If the application can’t access enough processor power, processor overruns may occur, resulting in audible clicks and pops or error messages that interrupt playback and recording. A higher buffer setting, on the other hand, results in greater amount of accessible processor power (i.e. less chance of overruns) but increases the latency. Determining the best setting requires some trial-and-error in order to find the best compromise.

Keep in mind that as tracks and plug-ins are added to a software session, processor requirements increase. Thus, the buffer setting that works during the early stages of a session might result in processor overruns during later stages. The best strategy is to set the buffer to a lower setting during recording and accept certain limitations on plug-in usage, and then raise the buffer during mixing to utilize the computer’s full processor power when latency isn’t an issue. With the processing power of today’s Macs, you may find that adjustment of the buffer isn’t necessary, and you can leave it at a setting for low latency and still access a sufficient amount of processing power when adding tracks and plug-ins. If you do encounter clicks, pops or software errors, don’t hesitate to experiment with the buffer setting. Please consult the section on Working with GarageBand, Logic and Mainstage to determine how to se the I/O buffer setting is found in your audio application.