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How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together? Audio Interfaces
Old 17th October 2009
  #61
Gear Head
 

hey, are there some news about that? i need 16 out to route in my MCI mixer for a better mixing work and i've an ensemble...buying another ensemble means work at 48?
Old 10th December 2009
  #62
Deleted User
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Hello,

Next week I am planning to record with 2 ensembles using the following instructions:

http://ameliecousineau.com/RICK/THE%...%20CONNECT.pdf

But I'm not sure about how to synchronize everything.

If I use my macbook with Cubase and the master ensemble is set as master clock, is it possible to sync Cubase via firewire by selecting the master ensemble as master clock?

And the second ensemble is then synced via optical cable, but how does this work, I mean: wouldn't I loose a channel? Can anyone tell me how sync via optical works?

Thank you in advance!
Old 10th December 2009
  #63
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infiniteposse's Avatar
 

Master Ensemble = Clock
Slave Ensemble = syncs through optical cable - no channels lost. You do need 2 optical cables to go from one Ensemble to the other.
Cubase = clocks from the master Ensemble

See the docs for how to set everything up in the control panels. Good luck!
Old 10th December 2009
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infiniteposse View Post
Master Ensemble = Clock
Slave Ensemble = syncs through optical cable - no channels lost. You do need 2 optical cables to go from one Ensemble to the other.
Cubase = clocks from the master Ensemble

See the docs for how to set everything up in the control panels. Good luck!
Thank you!

This has helped me alot.thumbsup
Old 21st April 2010
  #65
Gear Addict
 
MatzeMillion's Avatar
 

I want to add that I'm just doing a recording session with 2 Ensembles and a RME octapre in logic pro 9, os 10.6.3, macpro with dedicated firewire card.

The Ensembles are set up as an aggregate device, synced via wordclock/bnc and I record 24 tracks simultaneously at 44k/24bit, using the 2x4 Ensemble pres, a lunchbox with 8 pres and the octapre connected via adat optical (+wc) to the master Ensemble.

There were some small problems.
The two Ensembles sometimes "forget" some of their routings if I switch between the mixers of the different ensembles in Maestro. And the Maestro software sometimes kind of mixes up settings if I reload a saved state. Maybe the problems are somehow connected.

It is the third day of a four days recording sessions and I was able to work around the bugs. The audio quality and the mic pres are superb and i had one digital dropout so far but that was not neccessarily from the ensemble.
Old 22nd April 2010
  #66
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DanRock101's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatzeMillion View Post
I want to add that I'm just doing a recording session with 2 Ensembles and a RME octapre in logic pro 9, os 10.6.3, macpro with dedicated firewire card.

The Ensembles are set up as an aggregate device, synced via wordclock/bnc and I record 24 tracks simultaneously at 44k/24bit, using the 2x4 Ensemble pres, a lunchbox with 8 pres and the octapre connected via adat optical (+wc) to the master Ensemble.

There were some small problems.
The two Ensembles sometimes "forget" some of their routings if I switch between the mixers of the different ensembles in Maestro. And the Maestro software sometimes kind of mixes up settings if I reload a saved state. Maybe the problems are somehow connected.

It is the third day of a four days recording sessions and I was able to work around the bugs. The audio quality and the mic pres are superb and i had one digital dropout so far but that was not neccessarily from the ensemble.
Have you tried connecting the 2 Ensemble's via ADAT & the RME via SPDif?
That would/should give you 18 Channels I/O with no prob....I agree the Ensembles pres are sweet. Have you tried the Send/Return of the Ensemble pres? LA2a's love them!
Old 24th April 2010
  #67
Gear Maniac
 

Interested in the outcome here...
Old 4th June 2010
  #68
roc
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roc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatzeMillion View Post
I want to add that I'm just doing a recording session with 2 Ensembles and a RME octapre in logic pro 9, os 10.6.3, macpro with dedicated firewire card.

The Ensembles are set up as an aggregate device, synced via wordclock/bnc and I record 24 tracks simultaneously at 44k/24bit, using the 2x4 Ensemble pres, a lunchbox with 8 pres and the octapre connected via adat optical (+wc) to the master Ensemble.

There were some small problems.
The two Ensembles sometimes "forget" some of their routings if I switch between the mixers of the different ensembles in Maestro. And the Maestro software sometimes kind of mixes up settings if I reload a saved state. Maybe the problems are somehow connected.

It is the third day of a four days recording sessions and I was able to work around the bugs. The audio quality and the mic pres are superb and i had one digital dropout so far but that was not neccessarily from the ensemble.
Seems it would be a simple software update to get the 2 ensembles to work together properly. That would be a true symphony (pun inteended lol) but maybe that's the problem, it would be so sweet having 16 ch Apogee converters for less than 4 grand. Maybe Apogee don't want us to be able to do this hoping we will buy more expensive Rosseta or AD/DA 16. There must be a solution to get 2 ensembles to work together with
Maestro. I hope someone figures this out.
Old 9th July 2010
  #69
Here for the gear
 

Info from Apogee on how to do this. Thought it might useful for anyone like myself trying to achieve this > Setting up Ensemble for Standalone Mode
Old 26th November 2010
  #70
Here for the gear
 

I know this is an old post but I was wondering if anyone has full functionality in maestro of both ensembles connected via lightpipe? If not how are you working around this as you have limited controls on the interface itself?
Old 18th September 2011
  #71
Gear Maniac
 
Synchronia's Avatar
 

Resuming this old thread, I was just curious if someone found the solution to connect 2 ensembles via firewire..
Old 10th October 2011
  #72
Gear Head
 

Hey DanRock, do you use the 2882 mic PREs, or you just use the analog INs as line and use external mic PREs?

I'm asking because I'm just in the opposite position compared to yours...you passed from ensemble to 2882, I'm really thinking of passing from a 2882 to an ensemble!

Why? Because it's the second time that I get issues with the phantom power of the mic pres, issues that bring up noise that also makes it through the recording, and which is really loud. And it's the second time it happens, with 2 different units,both new units, which makes me think that it was not a casualty, it might just not work well the concept. Also, the pres of the ensemble, as overall quality, headroom and sound are ages ahead MH2882's. Maybe the ULN-8 pres beat ensemble's ones night and day, but I do not have 5.000 euros right now!!! Anyway, I'm waiting an answer from MH support abotu this.
Anyway, the AD/DA conversion is not an issue on both boxes, and the same applies for stability. One pro for 2882 over ensemble, except the whole subject of this thread, is its software, MIO console is many times more powerful than maestro.
Anyway, I just sent an email to Apogee to see if Maestro 2 did introduce something new related to the subject of this thread. Bye
Old 11th October 2011
  #73
Gear Head
 

Nothing new, 2 or more ensemble cannot be connected through firewire, that's what apogee answer was.
Old 12th July 2013
  #74
Here for the gear
 

Not an ideal solution, but a working setup.

Hi,

I had this same issue on joining a studio in setup and have got 2 stable working versions.

You can get either 12 (using SMUX) channels or 16 + 2 at up to 48khz with lower bandwith ADAT: The only issue is you need a second mac, or a similar alternative for Maestro V2 and up. On older versions of maestro and OSX, you can do it with a FW hub.

Lion +

with two machines (check ebay as older mini's are cheap and only need to run a stable connection with one computer, ensuring the ram is enough, you can use any version of OSX that will run maestro v1.9.15. A pc running the second machine is possible, there are various ways of doing this.)

Using screen sharing you can couple the two machines to a single desktop having 2 Maestro panels for full control. and all channels on a single driver.

I had spare parts lying around, so actual cost was minimal for me.

Running on lion + this is the only alternative as the new maestro panel software is completely limited.

Snow leopard

Run the two ensembles through a firewire hub/router and then duplicate the older maestro app in finder, rename it so you can run two instances together. With this option it is possible to run stably for about 4 hours at a time.

The only issue I found is that after a while there was sometimes a hiss that developed on the inputs from secondary device, but only noticeable on the primary unit.? Seriously.

This works best for some reason on a firewire 800 socket with an adapter cable in the setup we used for a while.

switch on your primary unit first (the one set to 18x18). Then switch the next unit on every time (set this to 10x10 or 8x8) - wait for the first unit to initialize.

Build an aggregate driver with your primary device first to be put in, I never really worked out if drift correcting the second unit matterred, but your secondary unit should be represented as that in the aggregate driver too.

.
It's querky/convoluted, but both setups have been run stably (for v1.9.15 enough for half a day normally - and with v2+ for long days) in a working environment.

Now I am running an RME FF800 & 2 ensembles on lion, running through the FF800, purely due to adat channels available and using only the RME driver in my DAWs. It's nice as we get 16 appogee converters, 10 RME converters and 12 controllable pres (four of which with a differrent character).

I hope this is of help.
Old 10th November 2013
  #75
I just scored a second used Ensemble with which I plan to upgrade my 8-channel OTB summing setup to 16 channels. None of the advice above seemed to work but I finally sorted it out. I'm getting 8-channels out on both Ensembles at up to 48k. The master Ensemble is connected to the Mac via Firewire and the slave Ensemble is running in standalone mode, connected to the master via optical and sync'd via BNC Word Clock.

Here is how I set it up for 16 channel OTB summing:

Maestro Setup (refer to screenshots):

Firewire connect the slave Ensemble (master Ensemble unplugged).

On the Level tab in the Control Window, make sure that Output is set to "Line Out". All other settings are optional.

On the Settings tab in the Control Window, make sure Clock Source Select is "Word Clock", Optical In is "ADAT/SMUX", SRC Select is "Off", Optical Out is "ADAT/SMUX", Meter Display is "Output", UV22HR is "None", Word Clock out is "WC x 1". Set I/O Allocation to "18x18". Finally set Output Settings to all "+4" or "-10" depending on your summing box's recommendations (the Master and Slave units should be set the same to insure even levels).

Select the Tools->Reset Mixer menu command and Tools->Reset Routing menu command (just to clean up any previous configuration). On the Output tab in the Mixer Window, re-route all of the ADAT 1-8 Direct channels to the Analog Out 1-8 destinations. Leave SPDIF as-is. And route all the Analog 1-8 Direct channels to the Optical Out 1-8 destinations. Refer to screenshots. This insures the 8 channels that will be coming over optical from the master Ensemble will be feed over to the slave Ensemble's 8 Analog Out TRS connections on the back panel. NOTE: Theoretically this also routes the slave Ensemble's inputs back over to the master Ensemble so you can use the slave Ensemble's pres, but I haven't tested that.

Unplug the slave Ensemble and Firewire connect the Master Ensemble.

On the Level tab in the Control Window, make sure that Output is set to "Line Out". All other settings are optional.

On the Settings Tab in the Control Window, make sure Clock Source Select is "Internal", Optical In is "ADAT/SMUX", SRC Select is "Off", Optical Out is "ADAT/SMUX", Meter Display is "Output", UV22HR is "None", Word Clock out is "WC x 1". Set I/O Allocation to "18x18". Finally set Output Settings to all "+4" or "-10" depending on your summing box's recommendations (the Master and Slave units should be set the same to insure even levels).

Select the Tools->Reset Mixer menu command and Tools->Reset Routing menu command. You will be using default settings here, so in the Output tab in the Mixer Window, confirm that all Analog, SPDIF and ADAT channels are set to their default stereo assignments. Refer to screenshots. This insures that the first 8 channels feed out the Master Ensemble's Analog Out connections on the back panel and the second 8 channels feed over optical to the slave Ensemble. NOTE: SPDIF will be unused.

Cable Setup:

Connect the master Ensemble's BNC Word Clock OUT to the slave Ensemble's BNC Word Clock In with a BNC cable.
Connect the master Ensemble's Optical Out to the slave Ensemble's Optical In
Connect the master Ensemble's Optical In to the slave Ensemble's Optical Out (not sure this is required for my OTB summing purposes but is useful later if you want to take advantage of the slave Ensemble's 4 pres, and all my output testing included both connections, in case you run into problems without).

Probably a good idea at this point to power down the slave Ensemble and power it up again to insure a good sync.

DAW Setup:

With this setup, using Logic, Outputs 1/2, 3/5, 5/6 and 7/8 are routing out the master Ensemble's Analog Out back panel TRS connections. Outputs 9/10 (SPDIF) are unused. And outputs 11/12, 13/14, 15/16 and 17/18 are routing out the slave Ensemble's Analog Out back panel TRS connections.

NOTE: Setting the Meter Display to Output above is recommended to help when you're testing. if you're not hearing anything out of the slave Ensemble, first check the master Ensemble's meters. The first 8 level meters indicate signal on analog channels 1-8. The 9th meter indicates signal on SPDIF. The last meter on the right indicates signal on channels 11-18 (the optical feed). Make sure you see signal on the last meter when you expect to hear audio on the slave Ensemble.

OK, off to find a nice 16-channel OTB summing box

Cheers,
..ant

Slave Ensemble Level Tab in Control Window



Slave Ensemble Settings Tab in Control Window



Slave Ensemble Output Tab in Mixer Window (Routing)



Master Ensemble Level Tab in Control Window



Master Ensemble Settings Tab in Control Window



Master Ensemble Output Tab in Mixer Window (Routing)

Attached Thumbnails
How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together?-slave-ensemble-levels.png   How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together?-slave-ensemble-settings.png   How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together?-slave-ensemble-routing.png   How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together?-master-ensemble-settings.png   How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together?-master-ensemble-levels.png  

How do I connect TWO Apogee Ensembles together?-master-ensemble-routing.png  
Old 30th December 2013
  #76
Here for the gear
 

ensemble x 2

hi I use ensemble with AI3 through lightpipe works fine but I am thinking about a rosetta 800 anybody used this combination
Old 12th October 2014
  #77
I have two Apogee Ensembles working together in a master/slave setup. It's working almost perfectly, with 16 channels of analog out, except that I have some latency between the two Ensembles. I have a test project with the same drum track on each track. If I flip phase on any tracks 1-8, they will perfectly cancel with any other tracks on 1-8. Same on 9-16. However, if I flip phase on a 1-8 track it will not perfectly cancel with tracks 9-16.

I've tried compensating using a plugin (Voxengo Latency Delay). The problem I have is that I can't dial in the exact latency - 3 samples is too little, 5 samples is too much. 4 samples sounds best but not exact, there's still some sound.

Has anyone gotten two Ensembles to work together with zero latency between them, or come up with a way to accurately compensate for the latency? See my detailed setup two posts back. Thanks.

..ant
Old 31st March 2015
  #78
Here for the gear
 

Hello everyone, I have a question too. I am new to the optical in's and out's so here goes. Is it possible to connect the Ensemble to the Scarlett 18i6 and use them at the same time? I am new to the gearslutz, although I am constantly here reading about gear and pre's, hope to become more interactive with everyone here, thanks.
Old 31st March 2015
  #79
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifijunkie View Post
Hello everyone, I have a question too. I am new to the optical in's and out's so here goes. Is it possible to connect the Ensemble to the Scarlett 18i6 and use them at the same time? I am new to the gearslutz, although I am constantly here reading about gear and pre's, hope to become more interactive with everyone here, thanks.
I'm not familiar with the Scarlett unit, But from the pics online it seems to only have an optical input....Meaning you could connect the ensembles ADAT (optical) output to the scarlett and use the ensemble A/D conversion (inputs and preamps) but you wouldn't be able to send audio to the ensemble D/A converters.
Old 18th October 2016
  #80
Gear Nut
 
J. Mattheiszen's Avatar
 

I know it's an old thread, but any updates here? I've got and Ensemble FW and an ADA8000 for 16 i/o on my Macbook and it works fine, but now I need 32. Is using two Ensembles as an aggregate device for 32 i/o still a no-go?
Old 18th October 2016
  #81
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Mattheiszen View Post
I know it's an old thread, but any updates here? I've got and Ensemble FW and an ADA8000 for 16 i/o on my Macbook and it works fine, but now I need 32. Is using two Ensembles as an aggregate device for 32 i/o still a no-go?
Do you honestly expect apogee to make this happen? They have new interfaces they want to sell you instead!
Old 18th October 2016
  #82
Gear Nut
 
J. Mattheiszen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Algorhythmic View Post
Do you honestly expect apogee to make this happen? They have new interfaces they want to sell you instead!
Just asking in case anyone has had any success in aggregating them
Old 18th October 2016
  #83
Gear Nut
 
J. Mattheiszen's Avatar
 

Oh, and just to be clear, I'd be happy with 44.1/24 and not having software control over the second Ensemble. I'd just like to have 16 analog I/O and 16 ADAT I/O at once without a completely new setup, as I already have an Ensemble and ADA8000 for 16 analog I/O.
Old 9th February 2017
  #84
I recently purchased 2 Ensemble FW units, very happy indeed )... I firstly connected them via adat to achieve 16 analogue outputs, 14 i am using. Also hooked up with BNC as i don't quite trust clocking through adat.. I am running the latest OSX Sierra which is not officially supported but it runs perfect, no issues. I then decided to experiment with an aggregate device..I created an aggregate, connected the first to computer with firewire and the second chained via firewire. This is something which is also not supported . It works as good as the adat if not better in my biased opinion against adat, however after a couple of mixes using the 14 analogue outputs together and returning from a desk into the master ensemble, there began to be audible pops, 1 every few minutes so not often but still apparent and they definitely printed to the audio with an obvious visual bump in amplitude... I messed with the buffer sizes on my DAW for a while as this happened at 256 buffers, i went up to 512 and 1024 then back down and it went away for a while and then returned... So far from what i have read online this can be a number of things, commonly clocking issues.

I wonder if this is useful to anyone else experimenting with their ensembles ).. perhaps someone has a suggestion about the cause of the popping, other than the nature of firewire protocol and i shouldn't be chaining them via firewire! Also to mention that both ensembles are now recognised when chained by Maestro..They appear as 'ensemble A and ensemble B' and the settings for both can be accessed at once.

Next steps will be to check Firewire cable for dropouts and possibly return to adat.. I run no higher than 48kHz so it poses no major problems..

Anyone else chained successfully with only Firewire and BNC Clock?

Last edited by Ricky3278; 9th February 2017 at 08:26 PM.. Reason: spell check
Old 10th February 2017
  #85
This is a problem with the unsupported aggregate function. See my post above for my setup. I was using two Ensembles connected via BNC and optical, aggregated with an Apogee Duet. I found it worked well but after a period of time - ranging from 20 minutes to a few hours - I'd start to hear clicks/pops. I just got used to resetting Core Audio. Open the Audio Preferences panel, uncheck and recheck the Enable Core Audio box and close the panel. I assigned a hot key to open the audio prefs panel since I had to use it so often. Another thing I seemed to help is to launch Logic with no project open, do the reset core audio operation, then open your project. Usually I had no problem after that.

..ant
Old 10th February 2017
  #86
One unit connected by FW with second unit setup in standalone with optical ADAT is the best way, I have found.
Old 14th February 2017
  #87
I now have one connected direct with FW, the other connected by adat and synced with BNC
Runs solid! Best its been. Bought a fresh adat cable and a van damme BNC cable to be entirely sure of a good connection. Going to buy a syba PCI card next with a TI chipset see if that further improves the stability andnperformance. Any body used these? Discovered improvements? Are they 'better' than Macs onboard FW?
Old 10th September 2017
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky3278 View Post
I now have one connected direct with FW, the other connected by adat and synced with BNC
Runs solid! Best its been. Bought a fresh adat cable and a van damme BNC cable to be entirely sure of a good connection. Going to buy a syba PCI card next with a TI chipset see if that further improves the stability andnperformance. Any body used these? Discovered improvements? Are they 'better' than Macs onboard FW?
I'm sorry I can't answer your questions but I'm hoping you can answer mine.

I'm going to buy a second ensemble so I can record 16 tracks - they are going so cheap now the bang for the buck seems impossible to resist.

Can you access the mic pres on both your ensembles simultaneously using them the way you do? i.e. 8 mic pres?

Thanks for your help.

Cheers
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