Symphony I/O: Setup

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


Symphony I/O instructions to record with the Maestro low latency mixer

Step by Step instructions to record with the Maestro low latency mixer
1. Configure your software application for use with an external low latency mixer. For example , in Logic Pro uncheck the Software Monitoring box (Logic Pro > Preferences > Audio) so that when a track is in record, audio output is muted from Logic. Thus, only audio through the low latency mixer is heard.


1. Set the software application’s mixer output to Out 1-2.
2. In the Maestro Output Routing tab window, assign Mixer 1 to hardware output Line 1/2, Mixer 2 to hardware output Line 3/4.


3. In the Output tab window, assign Headphone 1 to Line 1-2, Headphone 2 to Line 3-4

4. In the Mixer tab window, set the Software Return drop down menu to 1-2 and set both the Software Return and Mixer Master faders to 0.
5. In your software application, play back the session. You should hear playback in headphones connected to Symphony I/O’s HP 1 and HP 2 outputs. Next, create a suitable mix of playback tracks. In this example, both Mixer 1 and 2 are in use, but under many circumstances only one mixer is necessary.
6. Connect the signal to be recorded to Symphony I/O’s Line In 1 – the signal level will appear in the Mixers’ Line 1 meter.
7. Raise the Line 1 fader to create a monitor mix of the input and playback signals.
8. Record!

Symphony I/O Rack Ear Holes Don’t Line Up Correctly

Sometimes those screws don’t align correctly, but it can be corrected without returning the unit by loosening the chassis so the screw holes can be manipulated into alignment. Here’s how:

  1. Remove all the screws from the back and sides of the Symphony chassis. There are six screws on the bottom, 5 screws on the back, and three on each side where the rack ears would go.
  2. Install the rack ears. You may need to twist the chassis a bit to get the screw holes to align.
  3. Only screw in the rack-ear screws half-way.
  4. Reinstall the other screws, again only screwing them in half-way. This makes it so you can twist the chassis again to insert into other screw holes that may not line-up perfectly.
  5. Once all screws are inserted, you can now tighten them so they are in all the way.

Assigning Symphony I/O MicPre to an input channel in Maestro

Assigning Symphony I/O MicPre to an Input Channel in Maestro


Use the following instructions for setting up an input channel in Maestro for use with the SymphonyI/O MicPre module:

1.  Plug in an input.

If you have a microphone, it must connect to an XLR input of the module in card slot 1. If the module in card slot 1 only has inputs via a 25-pin D-sub connector, you will need an XLR breakout cable.

If you are plugging in a guitar or bass via 1/4″ cable, you can plug directly into one of the four 1/4″ inputs of the Mic Pre module in card slot 2.

2. Launch the Apogee Maestro and select the input tab.

Select the Analog Level drop-down menu and choose Mic or Instrument

Quick Tip: Option-click your Analog Level selection to turn all the available channels to Mic or the 1st four channels to Instrument.


After selecting Mic in the input channel’s Analog Level drop-down, you will see the following controls:

1. Level Trim – Use this knob to adjust the gain of the mic pre.

2. Group – Use this drop down to choose a Level Trim group, for controlling the Level Trim of multiple inputs simultaneously. Any level offset that exists before inputs are grouped will be preserved after a group is chosen.

3. Insert Select – Use this drop down to insert one of the eight rear panel send/return pairs into the input signal path. Insert labels may be customized in the Device Settings tab window. The insert point occurs after the mic pre and high pass filter and before the A/D conversion stage.

4. Insert In – Use this button to enable the Insert Return. The Insert Sent is always active once an insert is selected. Thus, the Insert Send may be used as an analog direct out when an insert is selected but the In button isn’t depressed.

5. Polarity – Use this button to invert the polarity of the input signal.

6. 48 – Use this button to enable 48 volt phantom power on the corresponding Analog IN channel. Condenser mics require 48 volt phantom power to operate.

7. High Pass – Use this button to engage an 80Hz high-pass filter on the input.

Keyboard Volume Control: Selecting Speaker or Headphone

Use the following procedure to select whether the Mac keyboard volume buttons control the level of your Apogee interface’s headphone level, or speaker level:

  1.  Launch Maestro 2 and go to the System Setup tab.
  2. Under Keyboard Volume Control, select your desired output in the drop-down menu- Speaker, Headphone
Symphony I/O
Duet iOS, Duet II, Quartet

Gain Staging – How to set proper levels with your Apogee product and recording software

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.

Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge not recognizing Symphony I/O

Symptom: Symphony I/O does not show up in Maestro or properly function when connected to Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge

Solution: There are a number of logical and easily correctable causes for this.  Please examine the following steps:

  1. Confirm that you have both the latest firmware and software installed.
  2. Verify that the PC-32 cable is properly connected from the main port on the back of Symphony I/O to the first port on Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge.
  3. Confirm that the Symphony I/O is set to “Symphony” AIM mode.  To verify, push in and hold on the right-side front-panel encoder. This will bring you to the AIM selection menu. If its not already selected, scroll to Symphony and then push in on the right-side encoder to select and the unit will restart.
  4. Make sure you have selected the correct “Source” setting in Audio MIDI Setup.
    1. Open “Audio MIDI Setup” (Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup) and select Symphony64 on the left-side device column.
    2. Go to the “Source” drop-down menu in the main part of the Audio MIDI Setup window and set it for the appropriate port selection. If you’re using only 1 Symphony I/O, set it for “PCI Card 1, Port 1 (Chs 1-32)”. If you’re using 2 SymI/O’s, set it for “PCI Card 1, Port 1-2 (Chs 1-64)”. After changing Source selection, quit Audio MIDI Setup and restart the computer.

How do I know what version of Maestro is installed on my Mac?

To find out what version of Maestro you have installed:
  • 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)