Symphony I/O: Compatibility

How do I move to a new computer with my Symphony I/O MKI series?

When considering the move to a new computer there are a number of considerations.

  • What connection, or Audio Interface Mode, are you currently using?
  • How many channels of I/O are in your Symphony I/O MKI?
  • What ports will you have on the new Mac?
  • What OS version will be on the new Mac?

Symphony I/O MKI can be connected to your computer three ways, via USB AIM, Symphony AIM with a Symphony 64 PCIe card or Thunderbridge, or PT HD AIM with a PT HD card like HD Native or HDX.

USB AIM – Direct connection over USB cable

If you currently use the USB AIM the move is simple.  All Macs will have USB ports.  So you only need to confirm the new computer will have macOS 10.15 Catalina or lower.

If you are looking at a newer Mac with macOS 11.0 forward the MKI USB mode is not compatible, so you might consider moving your cards to a Symphony I/O MKII chassis.

Note – Symphony I/O in USB AIM can use a max of 16 inputs and 16 outputs at 96k. You are able to prioritize your i/o by customizing the routing in Maestro.

Please Contact Support if you have questions about moving from a MKI to a MKII chassis, and to check your I/O Modules are compatible.

Symphony AIM – Symphony 64 PCIe/Thunderbridge

If you currently use the Symphony Mode, you will need to consider two factors, ports or PCIe slots on the new computer, and OS compatibility.

Symphony 64 PCIe and Thunderbridge are compatible up to 10.14 so the new computer must be able to run 10.14 Mojave or lower.  Some newer Macs like the 2020 MacPro Tower cannot roll backwards so please check OS version of the new computer to be sure it can run 10.14 Mojave.

Since many newer Macs do not have PCIe slots first check if your new computer has a Thunderbolt port.  The Thunderbridge can connect directly to this port, or if you have the Symphony 64 PCIe card it can be placed in a Thunderbolt housing.  We recommend the Magma ExpressBox single slot housing, but you could look at other larger housings with more slots if you have other PCIe gear you wish to use with your new computer.  Avoid the Sonnet brand single card chassis, as it does not have enough power for Symphony 64 card.  Multi-rail Sonnet chassis are OK.

https://www.onestopsystems.com/product/expressbox-1t

If you wish to use a newer OS version, like 10.15 Catalina or higher, you can not use the Symphony 64 PCIe or Thunderbridge.  Thus you can either use USB mode (note channel count and Sample Rate limitations above) or move to a MKII chassis with direct Thunderbolt connection.

Please Contact Support if you have questions about moving from a MKI to a MKII chassis, and to check your I/O Modules are compatible.

PT HD AIM – Symphony connected to Avid HD card

In this mode the Symphony I/O MKI is only emulating an Avid I/O device, and connecting to your Avid HD card, such as Core, Accel, HD Native, or HDX.  Thus, please check with Avid for the compatibility of that Avid card you have with the new Mac.

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.

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

Can MkII i/o modules be used in the older Symphony I/O?

No. The newer MkII modules are only supported in the Symphony I/O MkII.

 

Supported i/o modules for Symphony I/O (original):

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

 

The only restriction for which i/o modules can be placed in the primary slot or the secondary slot is when using the MicPre module, you must have an 8×8 (original), 16×16 Analog In/Out (original), or 16 Analog In/16 Digital Out module in the primary slot and the MicPre module in the 2nd slot.

 

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

 

 

Is Symphony Mobile still supported with current installers and Mac OS versions?

The Symphony Mobile is no longer supported with our latest Symphony System installers and current Mac OS versions.

The last Symphony Release Installer package that officially supported the Symphony Mobile card was Symphony Release 4.4.

This installer is compatible with the following Mac OS versions: 10.6.8, 10.7.5, and 10.8.5.  Anything after 10.8.5 is not supported.

 

Click here to download Symphony Release 4.4

Connecting 2 Symphony I/Os to a Symphony 64 Thunderbridge or PCIe card

Before going through the setup steps, be sure to confirm that you have the matching software and firmware installed. Both units need to be on the firmware from the same installer release for them to sync properly. Connect both units to your Mac via USB (use a powered hub if your Mac has USB 3.0 ports), launch the Symphony I/O Firmware Updater from your Utilities folder and confirm that the firmware is up to date for each unit. Select ‘Symphony I/O 1‘ in the drop-down menu of the firmware updater app to check the 1st unit’s firmware versions. After confirming the firmware is up to date for the 1st unit, select ‘Symphony I/O 2‘ from the drop-down menu and confirm the firmware is up to date for the 2nd unit as well. When you’re finished, quit the firmware updater and follow the steps below.

 

To connect 2 Symphony I/Os to a Symphony64 Thunderbridge or PCIe card, follow the steps below in the exact order:

 

 

– Connect the Main Port of Unit A  to Port 1 (chs 1-32) of the Thunderbridge, using a PC-32 Symphony cable.

 

– Connect the Main Port of Unit B to Port 2 (chs 33-64) of the Thunderbridge, using a PC-32 Symphony cable.

 

– Use 2 BNC cables to connect the Loop Sync output of Unit A to the Loop Sync input of Unit B and the Loop Sync output of Unit B to the Loop Sync input of Unit A. Make sure you’re using the LOOP SYNC jacks and not the Word Clock jacks.

 

– On Unit A, press in and hold on the front-panel right-side encoder knob until you come to the Audio Mode menu. Scroll until it says ‘Symphony‘ and then push in on the encoder knob again to restart the unit in Symphony mode. Do this to Unit B as well.

 

– Launch Apogee Maestro2 from your Applications folder, go to the ‘System Setup‘ tab and make sure the  “USE LOOP SYNC” check-box is CHECKED. Quit Maestro.

 

– On your Mac, launch ‘Audio MIDI Setup’ (Applications> Utilities> ‘Audio MIDI Setup’). Make sure ‘Symphony64’ is highlighted on the left-side device column. On the right-side, set the ‘Source‘ to ‘Ports 1-2: Chs 1-64‘. Quit Audio MIDI Setup and restart the Mac.

 

– Once the Mac restarts, you need to wait until the units have finished configuring before launching Maestro or ANY other software. This can take a couple minutes. You’ll hear relays clicking back and forth and you’ll see the “!” icon on the front-panels appear and disappear. When this stops after a minute or so and both units are configured, Unit A should say ‘INT‘ and Unit B should say ‘LOOP‘.

 

– As soon as both units appear to be configured and Unit A says ‘INT‘ and Unit B says ‘LOOP‘, launch Maestro and confirm that both units show up as expected.

 

No sound or lower level on Symphony I/O outputs 1/2- how to set outputs 1/2 for Line Level

If the first 2 analog outputs of Symphony I/O are too low in level or are muted, it is important to keep in mind that the first 2 analog outputs on Symphony I/O will default to -20dB and can be muted or dimmed, as many people use Symphony I/O as their monitor controller.

If you do not wish to use Symphony I/O as a monitor controller and want to set analog outputs 1/2 to Line Level like the rest of the analog outputs, follow the steps below.
There are a couple of ways to set them to line level like the rest of the outputs-

 

Using the front-panel encoders

 

Turn the left encoder knob until you see the speaker icon on the front-panel

Turn the right encoder knob to bring the output level up to 0dB

 
Using the Maestro’s output tab


Launch ‘Apogee Maestro 2’ from your Applications folder

Scroll all the way to the right

You will see 3 software encoder knobs- one for the Main Speaker outs and 2 for headphones

You can turn the Speaker output knob up to 0dB or click on the drop-down menu where it says ‘Stereo Out 1/2’ and select ‘Line’. This will set it for 0dB Line Level and disable monitor control so you don’t accidentally mute the main outs or turn them down.

Once you make this setting, it will be remembered until you change it again.

The Symphony I/O firmware update fails or gets stuck

Before attempting to update the Symphony I/O firmware, please follow the instructions in this link:

Updating Symphony I/O Firmware and Software

 

If the firmware update fails or stalls and never completes, quit the firmware updater app, power-cycle the Symphony I/O, and try the update again, using the following steps:

– Try connecting the Symphony I/O to a different USB hub

– Try connecting the Symphony I/O to an Apple keyboard

– Try connecting the Symphony I/O to a different USB port on your Mac

– Try the firmware update on a different Mac if you have access to one

 

You may have to try the firmware update several times before it gets through. It is not recommended to try downgrading back to the older firmware versions, as the issue with the update is not with the firmware, but with the updater app itself.

 

Is Symphony I/O compatible with Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10)?

Yes! Symphony I/O is fully compatible with Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10).  Please be sure to download and install the latest 10.10 compatible software package for Symphony from Apogee’s site.

 

Click to find the latest Symphony Software Installer

Does Symphony I/O work with versions of Pro Tools HD older than version 9?

Depending on what type of i/o modules your Symphony I/O has and what versions of firmware are loaded on it, it can work with older versions of Pro Tools HD, however we recommend using the latest Symphony I/O firmware along with version 8.1.1 or later of Pro Tools HD since the current Symphony I/O firmware is much more stable than the older versions.

If you need to use the older firmware for the Symphony I/O’s modules to emulate a Digi 192, then please read the information below carefully before requesting the older firmware from our Support department. This firmware is not available on our website.

 

The following i/o modules can be recognized as either a Digi 192 or an Avid HD I/O and can be used with versions of Pro Tools HD older than version 8.1.1 and all the way up to the current version:

– 8×8 Analog + AES I/O

– 8×8 Analog + Optical I/O

– 8×8 Analog + AES/Optical I/O

– 16 Analog Input + 16 Optical Output

– 16 Optical Input + 16 Optical Output

 

The following i/o modules can ONLY be recognized as an Avid HD I/O and can NOT be used with any version of Pro Tools HD earlier than version 8.1.1:

– 16×16 Analog In/Out

– 2×6