Symphony I/O

When using Apogee interface with Cubase, Sonarworks, output volume level goes to max.

Symptom: When opening a session or selecting Apogee as the audio device, the output goes to full volume every time.

Solution: 

  • In Cubase, go to Devices > Device Setup > Control Panel > Core Audio Device Settings. Under Options, verify that set device attenuation to 0 dB is unchecked.

NOTE: In Cubase 10 and up, this setting is in Studio Setup > Control Panel

  • In Sonarworks, go to Systemwide settings and deselect the “Adjust output device gain checkbox.

How is this possible? All modern Apogee interfaces have input gain and output volume that are digitally controlled rather than an analog potentiometer that must be physically turned. The advantages of digital control are many:

  • Improved Sound Quality (turning the gain doesn’t cause a “scratchy” sound, and enables the advantages of our Step-Gain preamp technology)
  • Settings can be saved to presets that can be recalled later.
  • You can also control the output volume directly from the Mac’s Keyboard, Touchbar, or Volume icon in the Task Bar.

Cubase:  In Cubase this is called “Device Attenuation.”  The intent of this setting is to attenuate, or lower your volume, so you don’t get blasted.  When selecting any audio device with this setting turned on Cubase sets the device’s output volume to 0, since most simple sound cards have 0 as the lowest value.  Since your Apogee is rating the Outputs in digital decibels, where 0dBFS is the highest value, this setting will have the unfortunate opposite result, maxing out the volume.  Be sure to disable this setting to prevent getting blasted.

Sonarworks Reference 4:  This is a sound calibration software that many customers may have and forget is even running.  It has a setting to Auto adjust output device gain, or volume.

Please remember, many other softwares not listed here have these types of settings so be sure to check all the softwares on your computer!

Symphony I/O Release 5 System Requirements

Symphony I/O Release 5 Requirements

 

 Click here to download Symphony I/O Release 5

Symphony Audio Interface Mode

Requirements to connect Symphony I/O to Apogee Symphony 64 or Mobile PCI cards:

  • Apogee Symphony 64 Thunderbridge or Symphony 64 PCIe card (sold separately)
  • OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.5, and 10.10 and higher (64-bit and 32-bit kernel modes)
  • 2GB memory required, 4 GB recommended

 

Pro Tools HD Audio Interface Mode

A Symphony I/O based Pro Tools system consists of two independent computer connections: audio (to a Pro Tools HD PCI card) and software control (via USB to an Intel Mac running Maestro 2). In the case where PCI cards are installed in a PowerPC Mac or Windows computer, it’s possible to run Maestro from a separate Intel Mac, such as Mac Mini or MacBook.

Note:

Running Symphony I/O in Pro Tools HD mode on a PowerPC Mac requires an older firmware version. You can request this older firmware by emailing: betafeedback@apogeedigital.com. Only the 8×8, 16 Analog In/Digital Out, and 16 Digital In/Analog Out modules are compatible with versions of Pro Tools HD older than version 9. The 16×16 Analog In/Out and 2×6 modules are only compatible with Pro Tools HD versions 9 and above.

 

Requirements to connect Symphony I/O to Avid Pro Tools PCI Cards:

  • Avid Pro Tools HDX, HD Native or HD Core/Accel/Process card installed in a computer in accordance with the Pro Tools HD Compatibility Grids, available at www.avid.com
  • Pro Tools 8.1 (requires older Symphony I/O firmware), 9.0 or greater, 10.0 or greater, 11.0 or greater

Requirements to run Apogee Maestro software, to control Symphony I/O via USB:

  • OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.5, and 10.10 and higher (64-bit and 32-bit kernel modes)
  • Apple Intel Mac

USB Audio Interface Mode

 

Requirements to connect Symphony I/O as a USB audio interface:

  • OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.5, and 10.10 and higher (64-bit and 32-bit kernel modes)
  • Apple Intel Mac – 2GB memory required, 4 GB recommended

 

Standalone Audio Interface Mode

In Standalone audio interface mode, all audio connections are made using the standard analog and digital i/o found on the I/O Module(s). For software control, connects Symphony I/O’s USB port to a Mac.

 

Requirements to run Apogee Maestro software, to control Symphony I/O via USB:

  • OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.5, and 10.10 and higher (64-bit and 32-bit kernel modes)
  • Apple Intel Mac

Symphony I/O Firmware and Software Installer Release 5

 

Download Release 5 here.

 

16x and Rosetta series users, please consult the Legacy Interface Release Notes.

 

Who should update?

Users running or upgrading to OSX 10.10 Yosemite
New Users setting up their Symphony system for the first time
Users on 10.8.5 or 10.9.5 who would like the new Features and bug fixes
NOTE: Symphony Users who are currently running 10.8.4 or lower and don’t plan to update their OSX should not update to Release 5
New Features
Compatibility with Mac OS X Yosemite and Mavericks (10.10 and 10.9)
with continued support back to OSX 10.8.5
Up to 3 Selectable Speaker Sets can be toggled and controlled from Maestro
Command-click lets you enable multiple speaker sets at the same time
Dim functionality for Main Outputs and Headphone outputs
Sum To Mono functionality for Main Outputs and Headphone outputs
Various bug fixes

 

Before you update

  • Please note critical Maestro settings such as Trim levels before performing a firmware update.Parameters will be reset after installing new software.
  • Unplug headphones and mute speaker volume before updating firmware.

 

To update

 

After updating – After updating, verify the following settings;

  • Audio Interface Mode – press and hold the right hand encoder to verify that Symphony I/O is set to the desired audio interface mode.
  • If using the Symphony 64 card, verify that the Symphony Source setting (found in the Maestro 2 > System Setup tab and Audio MIDI Setup) is set to the appropriate Symphony 64 Port setting:

! ! If interfaces are connected only to Port 1, set Source to Port 1: 32ch.
! ! If interfaces are connected to both Ports 1-2, set Source to Port 1-2: 64ch.

  • Check that Output settings such as Speaker setting and level and headphone level and mute are set as expected.

 

 

 

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.

When recording, the input is delayed in my headphones

Decrease the I/O buffer size in your audio application. See “How do I set my software’s I/O buffer?” for more information.

 

What is the maximum current capacity of the 48V phantom power? Will it handle any microphone?

Any Apogee product that includes microphone inputs with 48v phantom power is designed to handle loads up to a complete short, or 14.1 mA. This will properly power any microphone.