Quartet’s optical connections offer 8 additional ADAT/SMUX digital inputs. With Apogee’s Ensemble Thunderbolt interface connected via optical, it’s possible to record up to 12 mics at a time (4 inputs on Quartet + 8 inputs on Ensemble Thunderbolt).

 

 

To setup Quartet and Ensemble Thunderbolt (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).

 

2. Connect a BNC cable between Quartet’s WC Out and the Ensemble Thunderbolt’s word clock input.
3. Setup Ensemble Thunderbolt’s routing for direct analog to digital routing:

  • First, disconnect your Quartet from the Mac.
  • Connect your Ensemble to your Mac via Thunderbolt and power it on.
  • Launch ‘Apogee Maestro’ from your Applications folder.
  • In the Device Settings tab, ensure that Optical In and Optical Out are set to ADAT/SMUX
  • Go to the Output Routing tab. You are going to route the 4 mixers to different pairs of ADAT/SMUX outputs.
  • Click in the routing grid to move the routing markers so that ‘Mixer 1’ lines up with ‘ADAT 1/2’.
  • Click in the routing grid to move the routing markers so that ‘Mixer 2’ lines up with ‘ADAT 3/4’.
  • Click in the routing grid to move the routing markers so that ‘Mixer 3’ lines up with ‘ADAT 5/6’.
  • Click in the routing grid to move the routing markers so that ‘Mixer 4’ lines up with ‘ADAT 7/8’.
  • Now go to the ‘Mixer’ tab in Maestro and click in the Mixer list in the upper left-hand corner of the Mixer tab to enable all the Mixers so you can see all 4 Mixers in the tab at the same time.
  • In ‘Mixer 1’, option-click the first 2 analog inputs faders to bring their faders up to ‘0’. Hard-pan input 1 all the way to the left and input 2 all the way to the right. Engage the solo buttons (‘S’) for both these inputs.
  • In ‘Mixer 2’, option-click the faders for inputs 3 & 4 to bring
    their faders up to ‘0’. Hard-pan input 3 all the way to the left and
    input 4 all the way to the right. Engage the solo buttons (‘S’) for both
    these inputs.
  • In ‘Mixer 3’, option-click the faders for inputs 5 & 6 to bring
    their faders up to ‘0’. Hard-pan input 5 all the way to the left and
    input 6 all the way to the right. Engage the solo buttons (‘S’) for both
    these inputs.
  • In ‘Mixer 4’, option-click the faders for inputs 7 & 8 to bring
    their faders up to ‘0’. Hard-pan input 7 all the way to the left and
    input 8 all the way to the right. Engage the solo buttons (‘S’) for both
    these inputs.
  • Go to the System Settings tab and set the Ensemble’s sample-rate to what you intend using Quartet at and then set the Clock Source to ‘Word Clock’.
  • Now, quit Maestro and disconnect the Ensemble from your Mac. The Ensemble should remember these settings.
  • Connect your Quartet back to the Mac via USB.
  • Launch your DAW and now the Ensemble’s first 8 analog inputs should be routed through the Ensemble’s first 8 ADAT/SMUX outputs into the Quartet’s ADAT/SMUX inputs.

The gain of the Ensemble’s mic pres may be controlled from the front panel by pressing the appropriate input select button and then adjusting the left-hand input encoder to the desired gain setting. To adjust other input parameters for the Ensemble, press and hold on an input select button to enter the input parameter menu where you can adjust things like engaging 48v phantom power, soft limit, group, insert, hi-pass filter, and polarity reversal.

 

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