Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio interface for Mac
Superior Sound Quality. Powerful Plugin Performance. Lowest Latency.
Ensemble Thunderbolt™ is the best sounding all-in-one audio recording interface for Mac. With ultra-low latency performance, comprehensive studio functionality and legendary Apogee quality, Ensemble is the ideal choice to meet the diverse demands of the professional home or commercial studio. Ensemble features premium Apogee AD/DA conversion, 8 Advanced Stepped Gain™ 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.
Ensemble Thunderbolt Highlights
- 8 Mic preamps with up to 75 dB of gain and Advanced Stepped Gain circuit
- Legendary Apogee AD/DA conversion
- 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
- Talkback functionality with built-in mic and control button
- 2 PurePower headphone outputs
- 10 separately assignable analog inputs
- 16 analog outputs of premium Apogee conversion
- Core Audio optimized DMA engine frees up Mac CPU for plugins and software instruments
- Apogee Control software offers highly customizable workflow and Essentials Control Strip window
- Compatible with Apogee Control hardware remote studio controller
- Connect two Ensembles to your Mac and double your analog inputs and outputs
- Connect any Apogee Element series interface to Ensemble for additional Ensemble quality inputs and outputs
Inputs & Outputs
Directly connect your guitars & other instruments to Ensemble using the 2 front panel ¼” inputs.
8 Analog Inputs
Connect up to 8 microphones or a combination of instruments, external mic preamps, and other analog audio devices.
10 Analog Outputs
2 balanced monitor outputs on ¼” TRS connectors & 8 balanced line outputs on 1 D-Sub 25-pin connector.
2 headphone outputs
Drive 2 sets of high impedance headphones louder than you’ll ever need.
Built-in Microphone + Talkback
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.
Easily integrate your favorite analog compressor or EQ, in mono or as a stereo pair, into your recording chain with separate ¼” balanced send and return connector for each channel.
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.
Use Ensemble as the master clock to take advantage of Apogee’s superior built-in clocking technology.
The Best of Apogee.
The Power of Thunderbolt.
Blending the best of Apogee’s acclaimed innovations with groundbreaking new features and the power of Thunderbolt technology, the completely redesigned Ensemble sets a new standard for personal studio interfaces.
True Thunderbolt Performance
Ensemble delivers the full potential of Thunderbolt 2 performance with the lowest latency, unmatched CPU efficiency, 2 ports for expanding your system and a revolutionary 32-bit playback signal path.
The Lowest Latency of any Audio Interface
Ensemble’s proprietary Thunderbolt driver has been written from the ground up for Mac OS X Mavericks, resulting in unmatched performance and efficiency. Latency has been reduced to an astounding 1.1ms round-trip*, allowing you to monitor through your DAW, plug-ins included, simplifying your workflow and leveraging the power of your Mac. Even when your session’s DSP demands require a higher buffer setting, Ensemble’s ultra-low latency means no longer having to choose between power and speed.
To accommodate different workflow preferences, Ensemble features optional direct hardware monitoring through Apogee’s Control Software with 0.6ms of latency.
* Logic Pro X at 96kHz / 32 buffer setting
Devours Bits, Sips CPU
Ensemble’s custom driver includes two innovative features to maximize the performance of the software-hardware interface: a full 32-bit signal path from the output of your DAW straight to the high-performance ESS DAC, and a revolutionary Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine to more efficiently read and write data directly to Mac memory independent of the Mac CPU.
The DMA engine, running on Ensemble’s hardware logic chip, reads digital audio data directly from your Mac’s memory in a 32-bit format, increasing the driver’s efficiency and providing the highest resolution signal possible to the DAC stage. This implementation allows the driver to crunch an enormous amount of data at an amazing speed, while making a very light demand on your Mac CPU. You benefit with lower latency, more plug-in power, and a transparent and encompassing
Multi-unit Support for Ensemble and Element Series
Expand your studio with two Ensembles or connect any Apogee Element Series interface to an Ensemble
Intel’s Thunderbolt™ technology was made for connecting multiple high bandwidth peripherals to your Mac. Ensemble includes two Thunderbolt™ 2 ports, allowing you to connect hard drive arrays, video capture devices, Thunderbolt monitors with up to 4k resolution, a second Ensemble or an Apogee Element.
Connect a second Ensemble Thunderbolt or an Element Series interface to your Ensemble Thunderbolt and expand your studio. Element series interfaces feature Ensemble sound quality at unprecedented prices.
A Difference You Will Hear
Apogee is an award-winning industry leader in digital recording technology with over 25 years of experience. Preferred by recording pros around the world, Apogee products like Duet, Quartet, the original Ensemble and Symphony I/O have been instrumental in creating countless GRAMMY® and OSCAR® winning recordings and have set the industry standard in professional recording for over two decades. Ensemble is built solidly on this reputation.
From the mic preamps to the AD/DA converters and the clocking, Ensemble is best-in-class and cutting-edge Apogee technology. With components carefully selected in critical listening tests and a highly efficient circuit design, Ensemble was built by Apogee engineers to make a difference you can hear.
Measurably Superior A/D Conversion
Ensemble’s analog-to-digital conversion stage has been upgraded from previous generations of Apogee products such as Duet and Quartet to provide greater dynamic range, lower distortion and an almost non-existent noise level.
Dynamically Optimized Mic Preamps
Ensemble’s 8 uniquely designed mic preamps feature Apogee’s Advanced Stepped Gain Architecture™, in which the circuit is dynamically optimized to provide superior bandwidth, ultra low noise and nonexistent distortion across the unprecedented gain range of 0-75 dB. Whether recording powerful drums, dynamic vocals or delicate strings, your recordings retain the full impact, intricate detail and lifelike dimension of the original performance.
ESS Sabre32 DAC Technology
ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC with Time Domain Jitter Eliminator offers unequalled dynamic range, ultra low distortion, and unmatched audio clarity free from input jitter.
Custom Power Regulation for Ultra-Low
Ensemble’s mic pre, A/D and D/A circuitry are powered by discrete, Apogee-designed power regulators for ultra-low noise not obtainable with off-the-shelf components. This design was first implemented in Apogee’s flagship Symphony I/O’s 3-Stage Cascaded power supply.
Soft Limit for protection from digital overs
An Apogee technology first introduced in 1992 on Apogee’s AD-500 converter, Soft Limit can be heard on countless platinum selling records around the world. Once a technology exclusively reserved for Apogee’s most advanced audio converters, Soft Limit is included in Ensemble and can be enabled in Apogee Control software or from the front panel.
This superior FET-based analog design prevents the digital clipping that causes distortion by instantaneously rounding off transient peaks before they hit the analog-to-digital converter. Soft Limit allows several more decibels of apparent level to be recorded while subtly providing an analog tape-like warmth to the sound.