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Apogee Digital Symphony 8x8 Analog/AES/Optical I/O+8 Mic Pre  From Apogee

Symphony Converter System with 8 Analog I/O setups and 8 Optical/AES I/O setups, 2 channels S/PDIF I/O, and an 8 channel microphone preamp. The ultimate high-quality all-in-one recording unit!

Apogee Digital

What We Think

With their continually innovative designs and constant push for higher quality audio conversion, Apogee Digital has firmly cemented itself as one of the most recognized and industry-leading companies within the audio conversion world. Their newest flagship converter system, the Symphony I/O, continues their trend of introducing next generation converter technology with a smart and future proof modular design, plus an enhanced level of detail when compared to previous models. The result is a state-of-the-art converter system that is extremely customizable in terms of channel count, offers an very practical feature set, and provides an incredibly open and exciting sound that no other multichannel converter offers.
As mentioned, this is a modular converter system, meaning you have two available module/card slots where you can insert one of six available I/O modules. To ease any option paralysis, Apogee offers the Symphony in four different “out of the box” configurations: a 2 in 6 out setup (overdub studios/mastering suites), an 8 in 8 out mid-level setup, a larger 16 in 16 out setup, and an 8 in 8 out setup with 8 high quality mic preamps (this config fills both card slots). Every configuration also includes some form of digital I/O, though the amount of channels and connection type varies from module to module.
On top of those configurations you can pick up additional I/O modules for the second slot. In addition to the four different I/O cards just mentioned, there is also a 16 analog in with 16 digital out and a 16 analog out with 16 digital in. So essentially between those 6 different modules, you can customize and build any type of system to fit your needs - be them more tracking oriented, mixing or mastering oriented, or even location oriented. Unsure of what the best I/O configuration for you is? Give us a call! We frequently custom build Symphony systems and would be happy to assist with constructing a system that’ll best cover your channel count needs. 
The tone of the Symphony continues Apogee’s tradition of adding a subtle amount of color, excitement, and polish to anything run through it. While it is incredibly subtle, I noticed while tracking an entire session through the Symphony, all of the tracks and instruments started to glue together very slightly since they all contained a similar ‘uniform tone.’ I can’t say it’s effect is identical to tracking to tape or mixing through a great sounding console as the texture is not nearly as defined, but the concept of “glueing” by applying a specific tone/color to all of your tracks is the same. Practically speaking, tracking and mixing through the Symphony system will remove the need for that one additional glue/polish processor you throw on your mix buss.
In addition to it’s great tone, the new technology and the quality of components found within the Symphony provides an enhanced level of openness and detail in the signal that, when compared to previous models, allows you to hear more information and experience a more defined stereo image. This ultimately results in a clearer and more defined mix since nothing is being hidden from you (you can’t mix what you can’t hear!). One thing worth noting if you’re using the Symphony as your monitoring D/A, there is a final stage of conversion color being added to what you’re hearing that’s not actually in the audio you’re playing back. As mentioned multiple times, this coloration is very subtle so by no means does this rule out it’s ability to be an excellent monitoring D/A, however it is something to be aware of. 
All Symphony systems are ready to go out of the box with USB 2 connectivity as well as HD connectivity if you’re working on a Pro Tools HD system, be it HDX, HD Native, older HD2/3, or even a computer equipped with a Symphony 64 PCIe card. On top of that though is the option to pick up a Thunderbridge adaptor for true thunderbolt transfer speeds, not just Firewire or close to Firewire speeds running through a Thunderbolt connector like some other interfaces. This enhanced transfer speed gives you the ability to daisy chain multiple systems together and still obtain incredibly low latency on a very stable single platform. 
In summary the Symphony system in one of the only pro level multi-channel converters that offers the customization, monitor control and headphone amps, high-quality preamps, and incredible conversion all in one chassis. It’s modular design is smart, future proof, and also gives you the option of building your setup and channel count over time. 

Apogee Symphony I/O - Recording Jazz with new Mic Preamp module

Symphony I/O has already set a new standard for sound quality, features, and expandability in the professional audio world. Right out of the box you are ready to connect to Pro Tools HD. You can also connect Symphony I/O to your laptop's USB port giving you 16 channels to record anywhere you like. Connect to a Symphony 64 card for incredibly low latency native recording in Logic, Cubase, Abelton, or the native version of Pro Tools. You can also connect to light pipe or AES in Symphony I/O's stand alone mode. So when it was time to design a Mic Preamp module for Symphony I/O, the Apogee engineers really pushed the limits to design a Mic Pre Amp that was good enough to be a Symphony I/O module. In this video you will hear The Symphony I/O Mic Preamp and converter capture the true tone of Vibes, B3, Guitar, and Drums.

Manufacturer's Description from Apogee

The best sounding Apogee converters and mic preamps ever

  • The culmination of 25 years of Apogee's design excellence and experience
  • Next generation converter quality
  • Refined and updated circuitry with fewer, more advanced components:
    • Fewer components means a shorter audio path and more recording clarity and transparency
    • Lower converter latency
    • More efficient power distribution
    • Big Ben built-in with enhanced C777 clocking performance
  • Optional mic preamp module
    • 8 Mic Preamps
    • 4 Hi-Z instrument inputs
    • 8 digitally assignable inserts
    • 85 dB of gain
  • Front panel control of headphone and output levels, and mic preamp gain (mic preamps optional)
Symphony I/O builds upon the award-winning design approaches of Apogee’s X-Series* and Rosetta Series converters*, the Big Ben master clock and the Trak2 mic preamps. It also refines and updates these proven designs with fewer but more advanced components while optimizing their performance with efficient power distribution. These enhancements allow audio to travel through less circuitry, offering lower converter latency, more accurate clocking and even more transparency and clarity in your recordings.
Apogee's engineers do not merely rely on specs and data sheets when selecting converter components, they listen. Each component is auditioned and carefully selected to best reflect the characteristics of the Apogee sound. Symphony I/O’s audio path design is elegant and efficient, incorporating the most advanced opamps that offer better performance than multiple parts used in previous designs.
This design improvement minimizes the audio path circuitry and maximizes sound quality. And in the tradition of the X-Series and Rosetta series, the entire audio path is DC coupled, resulting in ultra flat frequency response and extremely low phase error.
Apogee Digital

About Manufacturer

Apogee was founded in 1985 and initially made its name designing filters. Later, Apogee's complete conversion systems pushed the envelope of digital audio quality and solved many of the early problems with digital audio technology. Apogee converters have become regarded as the reference standard for digital audio conversion. Products such as the award-winning Rosetta 800, AD16x and DA16x  have become the modern benchmark by which digital audio conversion is judged. A new generation of Apogee products including the revolutionary Symphony I/O, with its modular design and flexible connectivity,  promise to extend the Apogee legacy and further advance the art of digital audio.



Symphony I/O Chassis

  • Two I/O module slots capable of up to 32 channels combined
  • Ethernet connector
  • USB 2.0 connector
  • 2 Symphony PC-32 ports for direct connection to Symphony 64 PCI card and Pro Tools core card
  • Word clock I/O and LoopSync I/O
  • Word clock termination switch
  • 16, 10 segment meters
  • 2 multi-function encoder knobs




8x8 Analog I/O + 8x8 AES/Optical I/O Module

  • Analog IN: 8 balanced inputs on 1 DSUB 25-pin connector
  • *AES-EBU IN: 8 inputs on 1 DSUB 25-pin connector 
    • (192k single wide compatible)
  • *Optical IN: Supports ADAT, SMUX & S/PDIF
    • ADAT: 8 channels 44.1-48 kHz
    • SMUX: 8 channels 88.2-96 kHz
    • S/PDIF: 2 channels, up to 96 kHz
  • Coax IN: 2 channels of S/PDIF, up to 192 kHz
 *Dig I/O hardware switch selects AES or Optical digital I/O format


  • 8 digitally controlled, 85dB microphone preamps

  • Upgrades functionality of Analog I/O Module by adding mic preamps to the existing line inputs

  • Creates a direct connection between the Mic Preamp Module and the Analog I/O Module by inserting a mic preamp stage before the line inputs


    • Function selection and function adjustment
    • Audio Interface Mode (AIM) selection
  • 2, 1/4” headphone outputs
  • 7 segment sample rate display
  • Clock source display
  • Meter source display
  • "UV22HR" for superior dither of high resolution audio to 16-bit (can be applied to a channel pair or all channels)
  • Clocking technology featuring Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS)


  • Analog OUT: 8 balanced outputs on 1 DSUB 25-pin connector
  • *AES-EBU OUT: 8 outputs on 1 DSUB 25-pin connector 
    • (192k single wide compatible)
  • *Optical OUT: Supports ADAT, SMUX & S/PDIF
    • ADAT: 8 channels 44.1-48 kHz
    • SMUX: 8 channels 88.2-96 kHz
    • S/PDIF: 2 channels, up to 96 kHz
  • Coax OUT: 2 channels of S/PDIF, up to 192 kHz







  • 4 Hi-Z 1/4” instrument inputs capable of handling high level instruments



  • 8 fully balanced insert points

  • Send 1-8 and Return 1-8 on 2 DSUB 25-pin connector