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Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Interface

With 8 mic preamps, front-panel guitar inputs with inserts, built-in talkback, monitor control and much more, the Ensemble is the heart of your Mac studio. Rate and review this product
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Apogee Ensemble Interface
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Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Interface

The Apogee Ensemble is the first Thunderbolt 2 audio interface to offer superior sound quality, the lowest latency performance and the most comprehensive studio functionality all in one box. Ensemble includes 8 Advanced Stepped Gain(TM) mic preamps, monitor controller functionality including talkback, front panel Guitar I/O, two headphone outputs and digital connectivity for a total of 30 x 34 I/O. Blending acclaimed innovations, groundbreaking new features and an effortless user interface, Ensemble empowers you to capture inspiration when creative lightning strikes.

Get a 90-second overview of the Ensemble's features in this video from Apogee:


Guitar I/O

Directly connect your guitars and other instruments to Ensemble using the two front panel 1/4" inputs. The inputs' Class A JFET circuits reproduce the feel and tone of a vintage tube amp for more realistic modeling and add harmonic character to keyboards and other electronic instruments. A "bootstrapping" circuit design provides an ultra-high impedance load to the connected instrument to preserve its tone and high frequency response.

Connect your amp to either 1/4" output for effortless re-amping. Dual mode switching allows you to easily record your direct guitar signal while listening through your amp, then play the recorded signal back through your amp to refine amp settings and mic placement.

You can also use the Guitar I/O inputs & outputs to insert stomp boxes into your session as an alternative to software plugins. Impedance or level mismatches are not a concern - these connections were made for any guitar gear.

Analog Inputs

Ensemble features 4 Combo inputs (XLR or 1/4") and 4 XLR inputs for connecting up to 8 microphones or a combination of instruments, external mic preamps, and other analog audio devices. Ensemble's analog inputs now include a line level bypass relay for the purest unity gain signal path to the analog-to-digital converter when the input source is set to line level.

Analog Outputs

Ensemble includes 2 balanced monitor outputs on 1/4" TRS connectors and 8 balanced line outputs on 1 D-Sub 25-pin connector. These outputs can be configured for a wide variety of workflows, whether you're integrating Ensemble with an external console, mixing in the box, or any hybrid of the two.

Headphone Outputs

With the kind of discrete transistor output stage found on power amps, Ensemble's two independently controlled front panel headphone outputs offer more pristine power than ever before. Drive high impedance headphones louder than you'll ever need while maintaining ultra low distortion throughout the level range.

Built-in Microphone

Ensemble features the same high quality built-in mic capsule found in Apogee's ONE for iPad & Mac. Instantly capture your inspirations, keep an audio archive of the session, or record a "crushed room" sound when tracking drums. Most importantly, the built-in mic may be used for talkback.

Analog Inserts

Analog inputs 1 and 2 feature the ability to add a hardware insert between Ensemble's built-in mic preamp and analog-to-digital converter stage. Easily integrate your favorite analog compressor or EQ, in mono or as a stereo pair, into your recording chain with separate balanced send and return connector for each channel.

Digital I/O

As the centerpiece of your creative setup, Ensemble provides up to 18 channels of digital I/O, in ADAT, SMUX, S/PDIF optical and S/PDIF coaxial formats, to easily integrate expanders, hardware synths and digital effects. Thanks to Thunderbolt's high bandwidth, all of Ensemble's analog and digital I/O are available in your DAW simultaneously.

Word Clock

Ensemble provides Word Clock IN and OUT for syncing with other digital audio gear. Use Ensemble as the master clock to take advantage of Apogee's superior built-in clocking technology.

Hybrid of Software and Hardware

Apogee pioneered a simplified user interface that has inspired countless other competitors. This is a hybrid approach - essential hardware control complemented by comprehensive software control. Ensemble's front panel represents the next level of refinement, offering the perfect balance of dedicated control and flexibility.

Input control with selection buttons and controller knob

Ensemble makes it easy to access all important recording and monitoring functions. Simply press an input selection button on Ensemble's front panel to select a desired input and easily adjust your level with the input controller knob. All input selection buttons feature an LED highlight ring. The highlight ring of the selected input is brighter so you can see at a glance which channel is in focus. Press and hold the input select button to select and adjust different parameters for each channel such as input type, +48v phantom power, Soft Limit, grouping, polarity invert and hi-pass filter.

Dual, high-resolution displays show all input and output details

Two high-resolution OLED displays deliver all the visual feedback critical for recording and monitoring. Without looking at your computer, Ensemble lets you see metering, levels, grouping and polarity, muting, phantom power and Soft Limit for all inputs and outputs.

Monitor/Output Controls

Ensemble's Monitor control provides everything you need to master your listening environment, without additional devices. Choose between the two 1/4" monitor outputs, one of three stereo speaker sets (depending on which is selected) or a 5.1 surround sound system. Set your speaker and headphone levels with dedicated front panel controller knobs, Maestro level controls or your Mac volume controls.

2 Independently Controlled Front Panel Headphone Outputs and Controls

With the kind of discrete transistor output stage found on power amps, Ensemble's two independently controlled front panel headphone outputs offer more pristine power than ever before. Drive high impedance headphones louder than you'll ever need while maintaining ultra low distortion throughout the level range.

Assignable Buttons

Four configurable buttons (labeled A, B, C, D) allow you to quickly access functions such as "Engage Talkback", "Mute Outputs", "Dim Outputs", "Sum to Mono", "Clear Meters" or "Engage Speaker Set". Each function can be assigned to a button using a drop-down menu within Apogee's Maestro application.

Talkback

When asked to identify his favorite microphone, one savvy producer answered "the talkback mic!" Effortless communication enhances the flow of your session, so Ensemble includes flexible and convenient talkback functionality. Use either Ensemble's Built-in microphone or an external mic to communicate directly with the recording performers through both headphone and line outputs. Engage talkback from Maestro or from the front panel Assignable buttons. No other audio interface offers such a comprehensive talkback system.

Speaker Set Selection

Ensemble's assignable buttons can be configured in Apogee's Maestro software to switch between up to 3 pairs of speakers, allowing you to use Ensemble just like a standard monitor controller. Simply connect 1, 2 or 3 pairs of studio monitors and press the corresponding assignable button (A, B, C or D) to select which pair you would like to listen to.

Features:

- Thunderbolt 2 Mac audio interface
- 8 Mic preamps with up to 75 dB of gain and Advanced Stepped Gain circuit.
- Thunderbolt connectivity for ultra-low latency (1.1ms round trip with Logic Pro X).
- Front panel Guitar I/O with Class A JFET inputs, dual mode re-amp outputs.
- Analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) for recording up to 24-bit/192kHz
- Proprietary Thunderbolt audio driver and ESS Sabre32 DAC offer full 32-bit playback
- Groundbreaking low latency performance
- Core Audio-optimized hardware engine frees your Mac CPU
- 2 high-resolution OLED displays show levels and settings
- Input select buttons and controller knob for convenient selection of parameters and settings
- 4 assignable buttons to control:
- Talkback mic (built-in or external)
- Output settings such as speaker set selection, mute, dim, sum to mono Complete input/output control with Apogee's Maestro software
- Works with Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton and any Core Audio compliant app on Mac
- Designed in California - Assembled in the U.S.A.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Apogee products.

System Requirements - Mac OS:


- Computer: Thunderbolt-equipped Mac (iMac, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Pro)
- Memory: 4 GB RAM minimum, 8 GB recommended
- OS: 10.9.3 or greater
- Connection: Any available Thunderbolt port on a Mac
- Compatible Software: Any Mac Core Audio compatible application
- Recommended apps: Logic Pro, Pro Tools, GarageBand, MainStage, Final Cut, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Studio One, Cubase, and Nuendo

In the box:Ensemble, 3-pin IEC power cable, Rubber feet, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Booklet

- Analog Inputs:
- 4 Combi mic/line/instrument inputs
- 2 1/4 balanced analog inserts
- 4 XLR mic/line inputs
- 2 1/4 hi-z guitar/instrument inputs with Class-A JFET input stage

- Digital Inputs:
- Optical IN: Supports ADAT, SMUX & S/PDIF
- ADAT: 16 channels 44.1-48 kHz on 2 Toslink connectors
- SMUX: 8 channels 88.2-96 kHz on 2 Toslink connectors
- S/PDIF: 4 channels, up to 96 kHz on 2 Toslink connectors
- Coax IN: 2 channels of S/PDIF, up to 192 kHz on 1 RCA connector
- Word clock input on BNC connector

- Built-in Microphone: Mono omnidirectional condenser capsule on front panel

- Mic Preamps:
- 8 Mic preamps
- Gain: Up to 75 dB and advanced stepped gain circuit design
- Selectable 48v phantom power, hi-pass filter, Soft Limit and polarity invert
- EIN: 129dB (un-weighted) @ 60dB, 150Ohm input
- Max input level: +20dBu
- Input impedance: 3K Ohm

- Hi-Z:
- Max input level 14 dBu
- Input impedance: >2MOhm

- Analog Outputs:
- 2 1/4 balanced monitor outputs
- 8 balanced outputs on 1 DSUB 25-pin connector
- 2 independent 1/4 stereo headphone outputs
- 2 1/4 dual-mode guitar/instrument outputs

- Digital Outputs:
- Optical OUT: Supports ADAT, SMUX & S/PDIF
- ADAT: 16 channels 44.1-48 kHz on 2 Toslink connectors
- SMUX: 8 channels 88.2-96 kHz on 2 Toslink connectors
- S/PDIF: 4 channels, up to 96 kHz on 2 Toslink connectors
- Coax OUT: 2 channels of S/PDIF, up to 192 kHz on 1 RCA connector
- Word clock output on BNC connector

- A/D conversion:
- Max input level (+4dBu ref/Mic): +20dBu
- Max input level (-10dBV ref): +6dBV
- Input impedance: 5KOhm
- Freq resp 10 Hz -20Khz: > +/-0.2dB (@44.1Khz)
- Rel. THD + N: -110dB (@ 96Khz)
- Dyn. Range: 119dB (A-weighted)

- D/A conversion:
- Max output level (+4dBu ref): +20dBu
- Max output level (-10dBV ref): +6dBV
- Line output impedance: 90 Ohm
- Freq resp 10Hz -20 Khz: > +/- 0.05dB (@44.1Khz)
- Rel. THD+N : -114dB (@96Khz)
- Dyn Range: 123dB (A-weighted)
- Front panel Guitar Output: impedance balanced/max level 14 dBu
- Headphone Max output level: 19dBu
- Headphone Rel THD + N into 600 Ohm: -109dB
- Headphone Dyn Range: 120dB (A-weighted)
Weight, Dimensions, and Manufacturer Part Numbers
Shipping Weight: 14 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 7 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): ENSEMBLE THUNDERBOLT
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 310-584-9394
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