Apogee New Ensemble: A Powerful 30x34 Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface

October 9 2014, 09:00
Apogee Electronics is introducing the all new Ensemble at the 137th Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in Los Angeles, CA. The Ensemble is now a 30x34 Thunderbolt 2 audio interface for the next generation of home, project, and professional Mac-based studios. Blending the best of Apogee’s acclaimed innovations from products like Symphony I/O, Duet, Quartet and JAM with groundbreaking new features and the power of Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, Ensemble provides everything needed to record, edit, mix and master professional quality audio on a Mac using Logic Pro, Pro Tools or any Core Audio based DAW.

Apogee says that, at 1.1 ms, Ensemble offers “the lowest round-trip latency performance available in any all-in-one audio interface.” The unit also has eight microphone preamps featuring Apogee’s Advanced Stepped Gain circuitry, front panel Guitar I/O, built-in talkback functionality, and “the most comprehensive user interface of any Apogee product.” Ensemble’s proprietary Thunderbolt audio driver and full 32-bit playback path provide incredible CPU efficiency, enabling leverage the power of any Mac to monitor through a DAW with native plug-ins and simplify the workflow.

“Launched in 2007, the first Ensemble redefined the possibilities of the personal studio interface and set new standards of quality, simplicity and value. Ensemble quickly became a preferred product for hit-making producers, artists and engineers and won numerous awards and industry accolades. With 30 years of digital audio expertise, Apogee has completely redesigned Ensemble to provide customers with every advantage necessary to elevate their creativity and sound quality of their projects,” states the release.

The new Ensemble is now a Thunderbolt 2 Mac audio interface—with all the implications of the fastest technology currently available, at 20 Gbps, bidirectional—enabling direct control of the built-in eight microphone preamps with up to 75 dB of gain and Apogee’s Advanced Stepped Gain circuit. The front-panel features two Guitar I/O channels with Class A JFET inputs and dual mode re-amp outputs, while the connectivity in the back panel provides 16 analog outputs with the renown Apogee converters. AD/DA conversion in the new Ensemble enable recording up to 24-bit/192 kHz.

Apogee highlights the new proprietary Thunderbolt audio driver and ESS Sabre32 DAC offering full 32-bit playback with groundbreaking low latency (1.1 ms round trip at 96 kHz/32 buffer) in a Core Audio-optimized hardware DMA Engine that will free the CPU of the Mac running the DAW software. The unit also features two high-resolution OLED displays to show levels and settings, while input select buttons and a controller knob allow for selection of parameters and settings, together with four assignable buttons to control functions such as the Talkback mic (built-in or external) and output settings such as speaker set selection, mute, dim, sum to mono.

Control of the new Ensemble Thunderbolt 2 is once again done through Apogee’s Maestro software, allowing complete configurations of inputs/outputs and the new interface will work directly with Apple’s Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton or any Core Audio compliant app on Mac.
Price for the new “assembled in the U.S.A.” interface is $2495, now available.
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