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Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
Here for the gear
I sincerely hope Apogee folks reading this. Consider this an open letter to you Apogee.

During this screwed up Covid year where we are all basically in quarantine, I decided to use all the extra time to update and refresh my whole recording setup. The first big change was to migrate from Pro Tools to Logic. I was kinda pushed into this because Avid obsoleted PT 11 when Mac iOS changed last year end. My options were to go to PT 12 for $600 with a one year renewal plan or buy a subscription for $25 per month (for life!).

On the other hand, I could switch to Logic for a flat $200 for life. Kinda of a no brainer. Another reason I decided to make this momentous change (‘cuz as we all know, learning a new DAW is a pain in the ass and time consuming) is the fact that for 15 years of using PTs, they forever lagged Mac iOS changes. I figured that since Logic was an Apple-owned product, they would make sure to keep it up to date with new iOS introductions (and wonderfully, that has proven to be the case).

Then I turned my attention to my gear. I was intent on three things: better sound, simpler (less wires, less equipment), and tight integration with the DAW.

The clear cut winner was Apogee.

With their DSP, I could do compression “in the box” and get rid of my compressors and all the attendant cabling. Moreover, you can run their stuff from within Logic.

Originally, I bought the Apogee Symphony Desktop (”ASD”) which would even have allowed me to print compression from within Logic using the “PrintFX” feature, but I ended up returning the ASD as I got tired of waiting for the software to come out to actually do PrintFX.

So, I ended up with the Element 88. The Element Control software is so simple, I could live with that.

Another reason I chose Apogee was based upon my impression that their management worked closely with the Apple Logic team and would also be timely in releasing drivers to keep their gear up to date with Mac iOS changes. Man has that turned out to be a bust. But, at least I could expect them to be forthright as Avid has always been and be manifestly clear about incompatibility.

Nope. Not so. Their language:

“Element Series

macOS Big Sur: Compatible*”

Their footnote:

“Element Series

Logic 10.5.1 channel strip not fully functional can’t select Inst, -10 and high shelf is grayed out
Clock source is not properly indicated in Apogee Control
Intermittent detection issues”

“Compatible” to me means compatible. But to them, the caveat of “intermittent detection issues” apparently means the following:

* Clicking and ticking sounds on tracks are audible and get recorded.
* While monitoring, sometimes one hears something like an airplane taking off smothering the tracks.
* Sometimes the audio just stops being audible all together.

Or at least that’s what I got on both my Element 88 and Element 24 ( I tested both to make sure it was not a unit issue. And yes, the Apogee driver updater indicated that the firmware on both units was up to date).

After the arduous process of creating a boot system for my 2018 Mac mini with Mac iOS Catalina, thus migrating backwards from Big Sur, all of these “intermittent detection issues” disappeared.

So, my message to Apogee: You make (to quote Steve Jobs) insanely great products. Why do you find the need to lie about them?

If the Apogee Symphony Desktop rollout is going to be all but indefinitely delayed in 2020, tell us and tell us why.

And don’t then ship the hardware without shipping the software.

And for god sakes, don’t tell us stuff is compatible with a new Mac OS when it is not remotely so. Rather, a responsible company (like Avid) would warn us specifically: DO NOT INSTALL THE NEW MAC OS!!!