ThunderBridge

Connecting Apogee Thunderbolt to Macs with USB-C ports

All Apogee Thunderbolt interfaces can be connected to Mac computers with USB-C Thunderbolt 3 using Apple’s adapter:

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMEL2AM/A/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-to-thunderbolt-2-adapter

Thunderbolt 3 is backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 1 devices so any Apogee Thunderbolt device will work through this adapter with no reduction in performance, latency, or sound quality.

Note: Some 3rd-party venders sell a Display Port adapter. Though the plug is the same size and shape as Thunderbolt 2 & 1, these adapters do not support Thunderbolt.

It should be noted that Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly like USB-C ports and their cables also look similar. This can get a little confusing, so here are a few basic rules to help clear up any questions about connectivity:

  • USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 have the same-size port and the same-size connector for their cables. Since USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly the same, you will need to make sure your Mac has Thunderbolt 3 capabilities before using it with an Apogee Thunderbolt device and an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports, such as the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, can use it’s Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect to any Thunderbolt 3 device, USB-C device, and Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 1 device if you use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with only USB-C ports, such as the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, can NOT connect to any Thunderbolt device, even when using adapters. It can connect to USB-C devices and other types of USB devices, using the proper adapters.

Do Apogee Thunderbolt products (Element, Ensemble Thunderbolt, Symphony I/O MkII, Thunderbridge) work with the latest 12″ MacBook?

Question:

Do Apogee’s Thunderbolt products (Element 24, Element 46, Element 88, Ensemble Thunderbolt, Symphony I/O MkII Thunderbolt, and Symphony 64 Thunderbridge) work with the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook?

 

Answer:

No. The 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, shown here, do not include a Thunderbolt port. They only have a USB-C port. The Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapters will not work with these MacBooks, despite using the same-size connectors. Apogee Thunderbolt devices will work with the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, as discussed in this post. It should be noted that Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly like USB-C ports and their cables also look similar. This can get a little confusing, so here are a few basic rules to help clear up any questions about connectivity:

  • USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 have the same-size port and the same-size connector for their cables. Since USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports look exactly the same, you will need to make sure your Mac has Thunderbolt 3 capabilities before using it with an Apogee Thunderbolt device and an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports, such as the 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, can use it’s Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect to any Thunderbolt 3 device, USB-C device, and Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 1 device if you use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  • A Mac with only USB-C ports, such as the 2015 and 2016 12″ MacBook, can NOT connect to any Thunderbolt device, even when using adapters. It can connect to USB-C devices and other types of USB devices, using the proper adapters.

 

Click here for more information on the differences between USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

 

 

 

 

Symphony64 Thunderbridge not showing up correctly after updating to macOS 10.12 Sierra

There is a known issue where the Symphony64 Thunderbridge would show up with the generic ‘Device’ label and wouldn’t work correctly after updating to macOS 10.12 Sierra.

This issue has been fixed in the latest Sierra-compatible Symphony software installer.

If you are updating to macOS 10.12 Sierra and use Symphony64 Thunderbridge, make sure to run the most current Symphony installer that is compatible with Sierra.

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

Why is Mac OSX 10.6.8 not supported with Symphony ThunderBridge

The minimum OSX version supported for ThunderBridge is 10.7.5, During development many unsolvable issues unique to 10.6.8 and ThunderBolt were encountered, it was determined that the vast majority of people purchasing Apple’s new Thunderbolt equipped MacBooks and iMacs would not choose to run 10.6.8.

“Bus Error” when using Symphony64 PCI card or Symphony64|ThunderBridge

Bus Error is a message that will appear in the Apogee Maestro 2 window under the System Status section. This is typically a communication issue between the connected device, and the Symphony64 or Symphony64|Thunderbridge.

This can be caused by several things:

  1. A common cause for this is that the port setting in Audio MIDI Setup (Applications>Utilities) is set to Ports 1-2, when only one port is actually being used.

  2. A bad PC32 cable (DigiLink)

  3. If using a Symphony I/O, the AIM setting could be incorrectly set to “USB Audio”, “Standalone”, or “Pro Tools HD”, instead of the “Symphony” setting.

  4. Connecting a single device to Port 2 (17-32), instead of Port 1 (1-32)

If only one device is connected and you are receiving the Bus Error message in the system status window in Maestro, please revert back to the Port 1 (32 channels) setting in Audio MIDI Setup. You may need to reboot your computer for the new setting to take place. Secondly, ensure by pressing and holding the right-hand encoder knob on the front panel of SymphonyIO, you are in fact in “Symphony” mode.

 

Level jumps when adjusting Symphony I/O’s front-panel output encoder knob

There was a known issue with some Symphony I/Os where the output level could jump by several dB when adjusting the output level with the front-panel output encoder knob.

This issue was resolved with Release 4.8 firmware and software

 

Click here to download the latest Symphony Release and follow the update instructions to ensure a successful firmware update.

 

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.