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Apogee Goes NativeTwo new audio interfaces can be controlled by Macs, one natively through Core Audio
|Ensemble units with Logic Pro 7 at Apogee's NAMM booth|
Called Ensemble and Symphony, they can be controlled directly through software on the Mac, Ensemble natively from within Logic Pro 7.2. Together, they bring exciting new possibilities for self-contained audio production on the Mac, including professional sessions with extremely high-track counts. Both products debuted at the Winter NAMM convention, and are scheduled to be available in February.
Ensemble ($1,995 list) is an external rackmountable unit offering eight channels of 24-bit/192k AD/DA conversion, while Symphony ($795 list), is a 24-bit/192k PCI Express card that provides 32 channels of digital I/O. Ensemble can be controlled both natively from within Logic Pro 7, or in the box with any CoreAudio application using Apogees included Maestro application -- a software interface between OS X applications (OS 10.4 and above) and Apogee hardware. Most user interactions with Ensemble and Logic will be from directly in Logic's Apogee Control Panel, a feature in the coming Logic Pro 7.2 Universal Crossgrade. The Apogee Control Panel has all the same functionality as Maestro with the exception of the low-latency mixer. Users will need to run Maestro for controlling Ensemble in other CoreAudio-compatible software (Apple or third-party). And Symphony can be controlled only with Maestro.
As a digitally controlled interface with built-in mic pres for under $2,000, Ensemble doesnt compare directly to the other straight converters in Apogees line, which start at $2,995 for a comparable number of channels with the Rosetta 800, says Apogee Marketing Manager Sean McArthur. ?Ensemble is designed to be best-in-class in the digital interface category and will compare favorably to any multi-channel box within $1,000 of its price point, he says. ?The Rosetta series is a step up converter-wise. And the AD/DA-16X is a step up from that.
Each Symphony card is capable of 32 inputs and 32 outputs simultaneously, and up to three Symphony cards can be installed in one Mac. This makes it possible to have an incredible 192 total channels of I/O natively in a single PowerMac (96 simultaneous inputs and outputs).
A 192-channel I/O setup would require a corresponding number of converter channels -- six each of Apogees 16-channel AD16X and DA16X interfaces, or 12 of the eight-channel Rosetta 800 AD/DA interfaces. Each converter unit would need to have one of the new optional X-Symphony cards ($195 list) installed. Unified control of the entire setup is provided by Apogees Maestro software, including routing and patchbay functions. Maestro's flexibility will also allow it to control an AD and DA-16X connected to a Symphony card and an Ensemble connected via FireWire.
|Optional X-Symphony card|
For those with more modest needs, a variety of configurations are possible that would still provide Symphonys control of outboard converters. One Symphony card and a Rosetta 800 would enable eight channels of simultaneous I/O, which is fine if no more than eight tracks need to be recorded at once, with outputs submixed to eight busses. Another Rosetta 800 or an AD16X and a DA16X could be added for more simultaneous tracks, still without exceeding the Symphonys 32-channel capacity.The other option, of course, is an Ensemble. Apogees covered all the bases, and in the process it has created radical new possibilities for native Mac audio production with Logic Pro 7, Soundtrack Pro, Final Cut Pro or other CoreAudio applications.
Related Keywords:Apogee, NAMM , Ensemble, Symphony, Logic Pro, Apple, PowerMac, CoreAudio, Intel-Macs