Apogee have announced a brand new flagship audio converter and interface aimed squarely at the professional market. The Symphony I/O is capable of up to 32 channels of I/O and is a fully modular unit, giving the user a choice of five I/O modules to fit into the chassis.
The chassis itself features a pair of built-in Pro Tools HD interface connection ports , as well as USB 2.0, Ethernet, wordclock and loop sync connections. The ports can also be used for connection to Apogee’s own Symphony and Symphony Mobile PCIe cards for users of native DAWs such as Logic, DP and Nuendo.
The standard Symphony I/O includes one module pre-installed which offers eight channels of analogue and eight channels of ADAT I/O. This configuration can be added to or swapped with four other available modules. These feature:
Eight channels of analogue + eight channels of AES/EBU I/O.
– 16 channels of analogue input and 16 channels of ADAT output.
– 16 channels of ADAT input and 16 channels of analogue output.
– 8-channel mic preamp module with four instrument inputs and eight insert points. (This module works in conjunction with the standard 8-channel analogue input module to add a digitally controlled, 85dB microphone preamp to each input).
We’ve seen no shortage of high-end analogue converters emerge in the last few years, but this release from Apogee puts them very much at the head of the pack again. It’s a huge step forward for those looking for a real professional solution.
Apogee clearly know their market and the inclusion of the sockets that allow connection directly to Pro Tools core cards (previously an option for the Rosetta series of converters) is very welcome. Particularly in this case, as the interface can be switched from Pro Tools mode to Symphony mode for those using Apogee’s own card.
I must admit, for me this came as no surprise given that both formats use the same ‘proprietary’ connection format, but it’s still good news nonetheless. And with such a wealth of I/O options available, it’s going to be a tough customer that can’t find a way to configure it to meet his or her needs.
Apogee also claim the redesigned circuitry now uses fewer components and higher quality ones to minimise the signal path even further. This results in a flatter frequency response and improved phase error performance, which should mean that Symphony I/O sounds even better than their previous converters.