Apogee Introduces Symphony I/O Mk II Audio Interface for Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD and SoundGrid platforms

January 25 2016, 03:00

Apogee Electronics introduced a second generation of their flagship audio interface, Symphony I/O Mk II. Symphony I/O Mk II is a multi-channel audio interface featuring Apogee’s latest AD/DA conversion, modular I/O (up to 32 inputs and outputs), intuitive touchscreen display and optional microphone preamps. The new Symphony I/O Mk II comes with direct connectivity to one of three different platforms – Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD or Waves SoundGrid network.

Since its release in 2010, the first generation Symphony I/O continues to be a gold standard for the professional recording industry and utilized by a wide variety of commercial studios, producers, engineers and artists worldwide such as Bob Ludwig, Spike Stent, Bob Clearmountain, Dave Tozer, Nathan Chapman and Studio 606. In fact, Apogee Symphony I/O was used to record many of this year’s Grammy nominated tracks for Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

Apogee engineers have improved their new flagship interface by using the latest components and designing circuitry, including a new intuitive touchscreen display and front panel control. According to the brand, “Symphony I/O Mk II manages to raise the bar on all Apogee flagship products that have come before it, offering even better audio clarity and sonic transparency. When equipped with either the brand new 8×8 or 16×16 Mk II I/O modules, Symphony I/O Mk II outperforms all other multi-channel audio interfaces available for Pro Tools HD or Thunderbolt based systems.”

Highlights for the new Symphony I/O Mk II include up to 32 channels of modular analog I/O with optional 8 mic preamps, compatibility with the original Symphony I/O modules in the new Mk II chassis, and ultra-low latency performance (1.35 ms with Thunderbolt and Logic Pro X). The new interface uses ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC technology with Time Domain Jitter Eliminator for extended dynamic range, ultra low distortion, and audio clarity free from input jitter.

The new Symphony I/O Mk II DAC and headphone amplifier stages also feature Apogee’s Constant Current Drive technology, first introduced in the Apogee Groove. This unique approach to headphone amplification dynamically compensates for the nonlinearities of any connected headphones, providing massive power while maintaining extremely low distortion and linear frequency response.

Compatibility with Waves SoundGrid Network
With the Symphony I/O Mk II, Apogee Electronics and Waves Audio established a partnership that will connect this advanced multi-channel audio recording interface to the powerful SoundGrid DSP enabled audio network. The optional connectivity enables connecting the Symphony I/O Mk II to the Waves SoundGrid System for studio, live and post production audio networking with real-time digital signal processing of Waves and SoundGrid compatible third-party plugins.
“Symphony I/O Mk II is Apogee’s most advanced flagship interface to date and builds on the success of the original with even better sound quality and an intuitive touchscreen user interface,” says Apogee co-founder and CEO Betty Bennett. “And now with SoundGrid compatibility, Symphony becomes the ideal option for professional customers who require the power and flexibility only network audio can provide,” she continues. “We’ve been watching this part of our market for quite some time and Waves SoundGrid is the only system to bring together flexible and intuitive network connectivity with server based DSP processing of Waves’ award-winning plugin library. And now, you can have the best sound quality too with Symphony I/O. There is simply no better network audio system of this kind available. We are very pleased to be able to offer this solution to our customers, and excited to be expanding our partnership with Waves.”
“Waves is honored to join forces with a respected company like Apogee, and we are especially excited to be able to include our SoundGrid technology in the Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II, augmenting it with innovative networking connectivity and extremely low-latency, high-channel-count audio processing” comments Mick Olesh, Waves EVP of Sales & Marketing. Furthermore, incorporating Waves SoundGrid technology into Symphony, provides users with the highest level of sound quality and enables the seamless, low-latency and high-precision use of Waves’ comprehensive line of over 200 audio plugins, and 3rd party SoundGrid compatible plugins.”

SoundGrid provides an extremely low-latency environment for high-precision audio processing in studios, live sound, broadcast, post-production and more. Together with a server, a Mac or PC host computer and Symphony I/O, SoundGrid allows running a multitude of reverbs, equalizers, compressors, and other mixing tools by Waves, as well as any other SoundGrid-compatible third-party plugins, all in real time.

Pricing and availability
The new Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II Thunderbolt is shipping now and all further options and configurations will be available until Q3 2016. 
Confirmed prices are the following:
2x6 Configuration: $2295 USD
8x8 Configuration: $3295 USD
16x16 Configuration: $4295 USD
8x8+8MP Configuration: $4690 USD
Empty Mk II Thunderbolt Chassis (No I/O Modules): $1695 USD
Symphony I/O Mk II HD - Coming Spring 2016
Symphony I/O Mk II SoundGrid - Coming Fall 2016
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