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What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

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Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Apogee Symphony Desktop...Finally a Pro iOS interface?

I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect pro interface and this looks to be the one!!! I was a long time Symphony I/O user in the desktop studio world and always wished iOS could get the same quality. Looks like that day has arrived!!!

Price: $1299




Link: https://apogeedigital.com/products/symphony-desktop

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Comments

  • Love these advertising things. 10x14 ... huh?

    That thing looks nice and seems extra pricey. Phew.

    I have a Duet (firewire) and that thing is excellent.

  • Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

  • Nah, you're not the only one.

    The noise floor should be beneath infinity at that price.
    Where's the 10x14 part of the interface?

    Personally I've been looking into the SSL2+ and Finegear's modular mixer.
    When I need to multitrack I've got access to a couple of really good studios.

  • edited March 4

    The MIDI over USB will be your issue. The USB over MIDI is not a passthrough. For example, on my Yamaha Montage, I can plug it into the ipad and it is recognized, but if I go through an Apogee device with the same USB MIDI, it will not be recognized, because the MIDI that it is expecting is probably not a MIDI compliant device. So you will quickly find that your trusty USB MIDI controllers may render useless when going through the device.

    This is from a dev who went back and fourth for weeks with Apogee on this issue.

  • Sure, for top-end professional use. Everybody else would be well advised to steer clear, unless they are Bill gates.

  • @Gravitas said:
    Nah, you're not the only one.

    The noise floor should be beneath infinity at that price.
    Where's the 10x14 part of the interface?

    They usually include all the ports offered via digital interfaces in the specs: S/PDIF metal and optical and ADAT. Of course this means buying more gear at quality studio price levels so you’re still not done. So only count the ones you could use in your caveat emptor assessments. Personally I covet the UAD with DSP downloads. But that’s 2 channel as well. Focusrite might be the ticket I think for a lot of XLR’s in/out. or maybe a digital mixer? Anyone have a multi-channel recommendation?

  • edited March 4

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

  • @Nubus said:
    Sure, for top-end professional use. Everybody else would be well advised to steer clear, unless they are Bill gates.

    Pretty much. The beautiful thing though is at this level you’re set for probably the next 10 years (so long as usb-c is here to stay). If you’ve got a nice mic collection you’ll be all set also. And the D/A on these things for monitoring and mixing isn’t 2nd to much out there, especially not at the price point. It’s the kind of thing that makes u change your room around because u can ‘hear’ what's wrong with it.

  • edited March 4

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    I couldn't detect any reference (except the claim of 'using the same channels') to the original 19" Symphony device on their site.
    Considering the time passed between both Symphonies it's even very unlikely they are identical. Improved ? Who knows... Atm it's plain marketing. ;)

  • @McD

    UAD is a good way to go.
    I've heard good things about them over the
    years and their plugins are a doddle to use.

    Seriously, noise floor to infinity aside, if I where still offering my
    services as a recording engineer then Apogee would be the way to go.

    I don't anymore.

    Read the specs.
    The extra 8 inputs is via ADAT?
    That's seriously limiting as the ADAT format will only provide
    all eight channels of audio at either 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
    Recording at 96kHz halves that to 4 channels.

    So recording at 96kHz will only give 6 channels all in all.
    If you need more than that, unless the units can be cascaded
    then you're limited straight out of the box if you're running
    a pro studio that records bands and ensembles.
    If you're on your own and working with individual instrumentalists and vocalists
    then it has more than sufficient ins and outs even if you like processing signals,
    'out of the box', into valve preamps and compressors which I love doing.

  • @Telefunky said:

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    I couldn't detect any reference (except the claim of 'using the same channels') to the original 19" Symphony device on their site.
    Considering the time passed between both Symphonies it's even very unlikely they are identical. Improved ? Who knows... Atm it's plain marketing. ;)

    I chatted with them and they claim it is on par with the Symphony I/O MK2. It’s probably been optimized in some fashion, especially due to this new Alloy feature (which allows you make the preamp, sound like multiple preamps types Neve etc with hardware circuitry and the on board dsp chip) but I don’t see them not being true to their word on it.

  • @Gravitas said:
    @McD

    UAD is a good way to go.
    I've heard good things about them over the
    years and their plugins are a doddle to use.

    Seriously, noise floor to infinity aside, if I where still offering my
    services as a recording engineer then Apogee would be the way to go.

    I don't anymore.

    Read the specs.
    The extra 8 inputs is via ADAT?
    That's seriously limiting as the ADAT format will only provide
    all eight channels of audio at either 44.1kHz or 48kHz.
    Recording at 96kHz halves that to 4 channels.

    So recording at 96kHz will only give 6 channels all in all.
    If you need more than that, unless the units can be cascaded
    then you're limited straight out of the box if you're running
    a pro studio that records bands and ensembles.
    If you're on your own and working with individual instrumentalists and vocalists
    then it has more than sufficient ins and outs even if you like processing signals,
    'out of the box', into valve preamps and compressors which I love doing.

    I hate when companies play this game of multiple Ins and outs. Technically it’s true but you’re right... for all intents and purposes it is a 2x6 box (2 inputs and 2 stereo headphones (4) & 2 mono L/R monitor outputs). Rme used to kill me with this ‘56 Ins/outs’ lol 😂

  • @ipadbeatmaking

    Yeah, I totally get you.

    I still have my old RME Hammerfall on principle. 😂

  • edited March 4

    Looks nice. But in that price range there’s quite a bit of competition. Not to mention to take full advantage of the interface I’m going to need an additional ADAT converter. No doubt the Apogee Symphony sounds really good though.

  • I'm a big Adat fan...
    If the iCA4+ only had 2 Adat ports (16in, 16out) ... I could connect 2 iPads, Pro Tools TDM and my Creamware Scope DSP system to it and make AUM sweat it's ass off in routing between them B)

  • @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    Dude, $200 is a steal for me for high-end interfaces. I might as well get a Macbook at that price.

    (I'm only saying this because I'm a college student lol)

  • @Telefunky said:
    I'm a big Adat fan...
    If the iCA4+ only had 2 Adat ports (16in, 16out) ... I could connect 2 iPads, Pro Tools TDM and my Creamware Scope DSP system to it and make AUM sweat it's ass off in routing between them B)

    I also in regards to ADAT.
    I still have an original ADAT machine for my archives.

    It's a good format.

    You have a Creamware Scope system???

    Awesome.

    If the iCA4+ were to have ADAT ins and outs?
    I would get one straight away.

    That certainly would make AUM sweat.

  • @ipadbeatmaking said:
    I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect pro interface and this looks to be the one!!! I was a long time Symphony I/O user in the desktop studio world and always wished iOS could get the same quality. Looks like that day has arrived!!!

    Price: $1299

    Do you know if there is going to be an IOS app for this? I’ve had the Apogee Duet since 2016 and have never been real happy with it for IOS use. So I’ve been kinda shopping interfaces too recently to replace it. I was thinking maybe the RME UFX+ at $2800.00 since I really dig their Babyface Pro which I have on my other iPad .. so $1299.00 is a bargain lol.

  • Spend over a grand on an interface, then run the audio through “saturation” au’s to get “grit”... 😂

  • @Samflash3 said:

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    Dude, $200 is a steal for me for high-end interfaces. I might as well get a Macbook at that price.

    (I'm only saying this because I'm a college student lol)

    Your new 2012 mini will have a FireWire port and you can get a Duet Firewire and you’d be set. If you need an interface, that is.

  • @kinkujin said:

    @Samflash3 said:

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    Dude, $200 is a steal for me for high-end interfaces. I might as well get a Macbook at that price.

    (I'm only saying this because I'm a college student lol)

    Your new 2012 mini will have a FireWire port and you can get a Duet Firewire and you’d be set. If you need an interface, that is.

    My duet FireWire died, while still alive. The Mac updates killed it. I’m still clueless as to why. Tread with caution. I’d go duet 2 usb (not necessarily the iOS compatible one) at the oldest personally.

  • @cloudswimmer said:

    @ipadbeatmaking said:
    I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect pro interface and this looks to be the one!!! I was a long time Symphony I/O user in the desktop studio world and always wished iOS could get the same quality. Looks like that day has arrived!!!

    Price: $1299

    Do you know if there is going to be an IOS app for this? I’ve had the Apogee Duet since 2016 and have never been real happy with it for IOS use. So I’ve been kinda shopping interfaces too recently to replace it. I was thinking maybe the RME UFX+ at $2800.00 since I really dig their Babyface Pro which I have on my other iPad .. so $1299.00 is a bargain lol.

    They’ve been tightlipped about the depth of iOS compatibility so far. If I had to guess I’d speculate that there will be some version of maestro or whatever it’ll be called this time to control the levels. The bundled Plugin(s) (for desktop) will not be on iOS at launch, and maybe never. The person I spoke with wasn’t even enlightened on the fact that AUv3 exists....(scary right?)

    They say that because the alloy (preamp sound change) feature is a mix between hardware circuitry and firmware (software) that it should work on iOS no problem.

    Obviously as iOS users we are 3rd to 4th in line of priority. First would be logic. Then Mac. Then PC. Then us.

  • What makes it compatible with the ipad pro vs other ipads?is it just that is has the usbC connector or is it capable or higher USB3.0 speeds? And how much gain on the two preamps? +72dB ? What’s the dynamic range of the converters?

  • edited March 5

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    I love you @ipadbeatmaking but I'll have to agree to disagree. Dude, I can make a cheaper, lower quality one but is more iOS friendly using already available parts.

    Matter of fact, challenge accepted. Gonna modify my MIDI controller project into this.

  • @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @kinkujin said:

    @Samflash3 said:

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @Samflash3 said:
    Ehhhhh? Am I the only one looking at the price?

    I spent nearly $5000 on my symphony I/O, with mic pres back in the day. And I did not need 8x8 but it was the only way in. This price, is a steal for the quality on offer, trust me.

    Dude, $200 is a steal for me for high-end interfaces. I might as well get a Macbook at that price.

    (I'm only saying this because I'm a college student lol)

    Your new 2012 mini will have a FireWire port and you can get a Duet Firewire and you’d be set. If you need an interface, that is.

    My duet FireWire died, while still alive. The Mac updates killed it. I’m still clueless as to why. Tread with caution. I’d go duet 2 usb (not necessarily the iOS compatible one) at the oldest personally.

    It is possible that you can still get that to run- I got a firewire ensemble to work in mojave. The trick is to use the terminal and type “sudo killall coreaudiod” (coreaudio -d maybe?) if I remember correctly, our something to that effect- you’re stopping the core audio daemon, then it restarts when you plug in the interface. If you do a google search you should be able to find it.

  • edited March 5

    @nerVe said:
    What makes it compatible with the ipad pro vs other ipads?is it just that is has the usbC connector or is it capable or higher USB3.0 speeds? And how much gain on the two preamps? +72dB ? What’s the dynamic range of the converters?

    It's USB-2 in USB-c shape. USB-3 speed doesn't matter for digital audio. ;)
    Dynamic range of quality converters always exceeds the noise floor of preamps.
    Today your main concern is electronic pollution of the environment.
    (I remember the light dimmer of previous neighbours leaking into my preamps, or the transformers of a specific AD/DA converter inducing magnetic hum into dynamic mics in 8 ft distance)

  • What are people’s thoughts on this vs Iconnect audio 4? I own the latter but have always been curious, without knowing much about this stuff how much difference it makes in terms of sound quality etc and whether there’s a big difference between the two. I don’t care about multiple inputs, I just record on my own, one part at a time, maximum two.

  • @wingwizard said:
    What are people’s thoughts on this vs Iconnect audio 4? I own the latter but have always been curious, without knowing much about this stuff how much difference it makes in terms of sound quality etc and whether there’s a big difference between the two. I don’t care about multiple inputs, I just record on my own, one part at a time, maximum two.

    There’s a big difference. First of all when having high quality pres and converters all of a sudden the weakest link in your recording situation shows itself (performer, mic, environment) Which is actually a lot of times the recording environment you’re in. I remember having to build a freestanding vocal booth because my space wasn’t adequate for the higher tier stuff. Also the D/A (i.e monitoring/speakers/headphones etc) is gonna be much much better. You’ll hear new things in songs you’ve known your whole life when you play them (assuming you have got good monitors/headphones).

    It’s hard to describe just what kind of differences it makes, but for me it was like I had something in my ears (lint, wool?) and when I used the apogee symphony it was finally removed.

    It might be comparable to how you see HDTV vs standard def now. A good show is a always a good show, but all things being equal in content, hd is just better.

  • edited March 5

    @ipadbeatmaking said:

    @wingwizard said:
    What are people’s thoughts on this vs Iconnect audio 4? I own the latter but have always been curious, without knowing much about this stuff how much difference it makes in terms of sound quality etc and whether there’s a big difference between the two. I don’t care about multiple inputs, I just record on my own, one part at a time, maximum two.

    There’s a big difference. First of all when having high quality pres and converters all of a sudden the weakest link in your recording situation shows itself (performer, mic, environment) Which is actually a lot of times the recording environment you’re in. I remember having to build a freestanding vocal booth because my space wasn’t adequate for the higher tier stuff. Also the D/A (i.e monitoring/speakers/headphones etc) is gonna be much much better. You’ll hear new things in songs you’ve known your whole life when you play them (assuming you have got good monitors/headphones).

    It’s hard to describe just what kind of differences it makes, but for me it was like I had something in my ears (lint, wool?) and when I used the apogee symphony it was finally removed.

    It might be comparable to how you see HDTV vs standard def now. A good show is a always a good show, but all things being equal in content, hd is just better.

    Thank you. Hmm, fidelity. MYBE I’ll hav eto do some listening on YouTube if that’s possible as I know in the past I’ve found the sound on warmer equipment preferable to the ultra clean high end stuff in some cases - difficult to know. I suspect the price tag will be te defining factor in terms of where my money is best put and te quality of the results.

    I find the weakest link thing you describe to be true but I can easily hear it on low quality mics and equipment when it’s my environment etc, the hardness of walls. It’s this huge confusing tangle of factors in sound quality that makes it difficult to work out te value of stuff like pre amps as so many other things seem to have a greater effect to me... and if that translates to it being worth it financially for me, ie how good the iconnect is vs that vs the other audio stuff I could chuck money at. But then I am aghast at some digital pianos etc that non touch pianists think are practically the same as the one I own, and it might be the case for people more into the production side of things with pre amps.

    I’m not meaning to talk down the pre amp factor by te way just my experience and thoughts without being an expert on the hardware side for production equipment.

    Do you have any opinion on the quality of the pres on the iconnectAUDIO? I remember them being recommended by a lovely studio guy who occasionally came on here.

  • I’m real curious to hear how this sounds next to the Apogee Duet, I have the Duet for IOS/ Mac and it sounds great, but I wouldn’t mind getting this with the plugin bundle for just another $100 especially since the plugins can run off the interface and give my MBP cpu a break.

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