Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 30x34 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface, 30-in/34-out with 24-bit/192kHz Resolution and 32-bit Playback, 8 Mic Preamps, Soft Limit, OLED Display, 2 Headphone Outputs, and Talkback Mic - Mac
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 30x34 Thunderbolt Audio Interface image 1
Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 30x34 Thunderbolt Audio Interface image 1
Limited-time Offer!
Trade In Your Ensemble Firewire and Save $700!
Trade in your Apogee Ensemble Firewire interface toward this Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt at Sweetwater and enjoy $700 Instant Savings! Effective now through July 31, 2017. Call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer today for details, at 1-800-222-4700.
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Or just $70/month§ for 36 months

0% interest for 36 months**. 36 equal monthly payments required. Valid through 7/6/2017. Learn more

Or make 3 easy payments of $831.67/month!

Plus $10 processing fee. Use any credit card! Sweetwater's Flexible Payment Plan lets you get your gear now and stretch your payments over time. Plus, we won't charge interest! Learn more

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Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt 30x34 Thunderbolt Audio Interface
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A New Standard for Music Creation Technology

Apogee has squeezed every ounce of their digital audio expertise into the newly-rebuilt Ensemble Thunderbolt audio interface, setting yet another standard for sound quality, performance, and functionality. By utilizing blazing-fast, cutting-edge Thunderbolt 2 technology, the Ensemble Thunderbolt gives you ultra-low latency and unmatched CPU efficiency, allowing you to monitor more effectively, record more tracks, and process more plug-ins. Of course, the Ensemble Thunderbolt's eight digitally-controlled mic preamps and premium AD/DA converters give you the phenomenal sound quality you'd expect from Apogee. The original Ensemble was an enormously popular audio interface here at Sweetwater and found its way into many Sales Engineers' personal studios, so we're confident that the new Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt will be our next in-demand audio interface!

New software driver for ultra-low latency and unmatched CPU efficiency

The Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt audio interface's software driver utilizes a Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine that resides on the Ensemble Thunderbolt's hardware logic chip to efficiently read and write data directly to your Mac's memory. Since this happens independent of your Mac's CPU, it doesn't run out of resources, and the driver is able to crunch an enormous amount of data at blazing speeds. Featuring a full 32-bit signal path directly from your DAW's output straight to its D/A converter, the Ensemble Thunderbolt's driver also ensures that your audio doesn't need further data processing before it hits your studio monitors or headphones. What does this mean for you? Well, in the real world, it means that you can monitor straight through your DAW in real time (even with loads of plug-ins) and that you'll no longer have to compromise on speed when you need more power.

Converters provide exceptional-sounding audio, whether going in or coming out

The Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt audio interface's A/D conversion has received a significant upgrade over its predecessor, giving you greater dynamic range, lower distortion, and an almost nonexistent noise level. The icing on the cake; however, is the Ensemble Thunderbolt's inclusion of an ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream D/A converter with a Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, providing you with unbelievably clear, jitter-free audio playback. When compared to older 24-bit technology, the ESS Sabre32 D/A converter's 32-bit filter processing results in an astonishingly low THD+N specification and a large dynamic range, improving upon the audio fidelity and transparency for which Apogee is renowned. While already wildly popular with the audiophile community, Apogee is one of the first manufacturers to utilize the ESS Sabre32 D/A converter for pro audio applications.

Pristine preamps result in detailed, distortion-free recordings

Featuring 8 uniquely-designed mic preamps, the Ensemble Thunderbolt audio interface utilizes Apogee's Advanced Stepped Gain Architecture, which uses a dynamically-optimized circuit to give you superior bandwidth, ultra-low noise, and nonexistent distortion, for up to 75dB of clean, useable gain. Whether you mic up a manic drummer's kit, record a dynamic vocalist, or capture delicate orchestral instruments, these pristine preamps will ensure that your recordings retain all of the focus, intricate detail, and 3-dimensional impact of the original performance.

Ample I/O provides lots of recording and monitoring options

The Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt audio interface gives you so much I/O, you'll never find yourself coming up short, regardless of how you work. Featuring 4 combo inputs and 4 XLR inputs, the Ensemble Thunderbolt lets you connect up to 8 microphones, external mic preamps, or any other pieces of analog gear. You also get 10 highly-configurable balanced line outputs (2 balanced monitor outputs and 8 balanced line outputs) that are designed to accomodate a wide variety of workflows. Whether you mix in-the-box or on an external console, the Ensemble Thunderbolt makes it easy to get to work quickly and efficiently. On top of that, you get 2 independently-controlled headphone outputs, 2 hardware inserts, 18 channels of digital I/O, and a word clock input and output.

Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Interface Features:

  • New software driver and 32-bit signal path for ultra-low latency and unmatched CPU efficiency
  • Converters provide exceptional-sounding audio, whether going in or coming out
  • Pristine preamps result in detailed, distortion-free recordings
  • Soft Limit prevents digital clipping that causes distortion
  • Ample I/O provides lots of recording and monitoring options
  • Class A JFET circuits preserves every drop of your guitar's feel, tone, and harmonic character
  • Hardware/software hybrid approach for a refined user experience

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Interface User Manual

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity Thunderbolt 2
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 30 x 34
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 4 x XLR/TRS Combo, 2 x 1/4" ( Balanced Inserts), 4 x XLR (Mic/Line), 2 x 1/4" (Guitar/Instrument)
Analog Outputs 2 x 1/4" (Monitor), 8 x DB-25, 2 x 1/4" (Headphones), 2 x 1/4" (Guitar/Instrument)
Digital Inputs 2 x ADATF (Optical), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
Digital Outputs 2 x ADAT (Optical), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
Clock I/O 1 x BNC (In), 1 x BNC (Out)
Rack Spaces 1U
Depth 12.125"
Width 19"
Height 1.73"
Weight 11.15 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number Ensemble TB

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 18 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt has better quality sound output, than Apogee Ensemble FireWire.

I traded in my old Apogee Ensemble FireWire, for The Thunderbolt! The Thunderbolt has a much better sound output than the FireWire, in my opinion! It has a much improved user interface, front panel. With more buttons for quicker input selections. This is a serious instrument, for true audiophiles! I highly recommend purchasing this!
5/5

Performance, Reliability, and Quality.

I own a home studio and have spent over 2 decades recording straight-ahead jazz, acoustic folk, and rock artists. After weighing other options in this price range, for me it came down to three things: cleanest possible conversion, uncolored/honest built-in pres, and high performance (low latency). The UA Apollo line seems pretty decent at being both an interface and a DSP plugin engine; the Antelope Zen is an I/O monster. But what sets the Ensemble apart is that it doesn't try to be too many things to too many people. It doesn't have DSP plugins or 5000 inputs, but what it does offer is literally stunning performance and high reliability. This is what I wanted for my home studio. What I got is 8 of the cleanest pres I've ever heard, plus guitar I/O and re-amping that really does add value. I researched THD+N and Dynamic Range, but I don't care much about the science (and the Apogee comes out on top of everything but its expensive cousin, the Symphony, anyway). What really blew me away was my first mic test, recording an acoustic guitar with a U87 into one of the built-in pres. I couldn't believe the headroom, clarity, and honesty of what I heard back in my headphones. And the latency doesn't even exist. I stacked CPU-intensive plugins and ran at 32 samples, and CPU didn't spike above 10%. Bottom line, if you're having a tough time choosing at this price point, go with this one if you want an interface that focuses more on top-quality conversion and performance. If you want more bells and whistles or tons of I/O, Apollo and Zen are an option. Thanks to my sales engineer Paul Lea for all his help as well! Pro: Highest quality A/D and D/A conversion in this price range Clean, uncolored built-in pres guitar DI and re-amping TB2 connectivity reduces latency to near-zero Con: Only 8 pres No DSP plugins Mac-only
Music background: Jazz/folk musician, home recording engineer
5/5

Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt

I have owned many interfaces and convertors, including the AD/DA16X Series, Rosetta 800, as well as the original Ensemble Firewire. This unit is a game changer! 1.1 Ms round trip at 32 samples 24/96 is not hype, it is the real deal. The Convertors sound like the Symphony series to my ears, and this box has ALOT of functionality. I could go on and on, but the reality is that track counts, plugin counts, etc are pretty much a thing of the past with this interface, and a powerful MAC (I am running the new Mac Pro 6 core with this...) I know it is alot of $$$, but worth it. You will not need anything else for a LONG time:)
Music background: Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician, Composer, Beer Drinker
5/5

Sounds Like Heaven!

The Apogee Ensemble sounds amazing! It's incredible how crystal clear it captures sound, the mic preamps are outstanding, love the high resolution OLED display (it shows the levels of analog inputs and outputs, including the headphones), ultra-fast latency in LOGIC thanks to the Thunderbolt connection. The monitor speaker outs and the two headphones sound loud and accurate, yet I haven't had ear fatigue after long sessions. Has tons of expansion possible thanks to two ADAT ports (think 16 more input channels). It's a joy to listen to and records with pristine quality. Love the Apogee Ensemble!
5/5

Marvelous Masterpiece

After five solid years with the old Ensemble I thought I was getting great results. This new Ensemble is the level I thought I'd need pay five digits for. This is a marvelous engineered interface that is musical in its approach to sound. Absolutely breathtaking!
Music background: Recording engineer specializing in classical music and jazz.

Sweetwater Advice

Mitch Gallagher

Looking for a flexible interface to build your Mac-based studio around that offers tons of connectivity, extremely low latency, lots of extra features, and world-class converters? Prefer Thunderbolt connectivity? Then, I'll cut right to the chase: check out the Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt! The original Ensemble garnered a lot of fans for its feature set and great sound quality. But with the Ensemble Thunderbolt, Apogee has pulled out all the stops. You can run up to 30 inputs and 34 outputs simultaneously, with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. The Ensemble Thunderbolt has eight killer mic/line preamps, two with hardware inserts for connecting external compressors, EQs, and other gear during tracking. You get stereo monitor outs, plus eight more balanced analog outs on a D-sub connector. You also get dual ADAT-optical I/O for 16 more ins and outs at standard sample rates that can also operate at high sample rates using S/MUX. S/PDIF and word clock in and out round out the back-panel I/O, along with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. Up front, you have two independently addressable headphone outputs, four assignable multifunction soft buttons (I use them for talkback, monitor mute, etc.), two big control knobs, and 10 switches for controlling the inputs. Then, there are four jacks: two guitar-level DI inputs and two guitar-level outputs. The outs can function either as "thru" jacks that can send the incoming guitar signal on to an amp with no latency, or you can use them for re-amping direct guitar signals you've recorded into your DAW. The front panel also sports a built-in stereo mic that can be used for talkback or to capture lo-fi "crushed" sounds -- the built-in mics even show up as inputs in your DAW. The Ensemble Thunderbolt is easy to configure, and you can control all the necessary functions from the front panel. If you want to dig deeper, you also get Apogee's free Maestro software, which gives you access to every parameter, along with enhanced routing capabilities, advanced metering, and more. Best of all, the Ensemble Thunderbolt is a DMA (direct memory access) device, which means it hooks itself straight into your Mac's brain. This direct connection reduces latency to being essentially non-existent. There's no need to use a software mixer in addition to your DAW to manage latency -- just plug in the Ensemble Thunderbolt, arm a track in your DAW, and go! It doesn't get any simpler or more straightforward than that. This one feature alone sets the Ensemble Thunderbolt apart for me (not that everything else wasn't great) and made a huge difference in how quickly I could get tracks recorded and ideas laid down. If you're looking for an interface for your Mac studio, one that can accept whatever signals you need routed in and out, deliver awesome sound quality, and feature industry-leading latency performance, then look no further. The Ensemble Thunderbolt rocks!
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Mitch Gallagher

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_djSspzPgI HANDS ON: Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt Looking for a flexible interface to build your Mac-based studio around, that offers tons of connectivity, extremely low latency, lots of extra features, and world-class converters? Prefer Thunderbolt connectivity? Then I'll cut right to the chase: check out the Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt! The original Ensemble garnered a lot of fans for its feature set and great sound quality. But with the Ensemble Thunderbolt, Apogee has pulled out all the stops. You can run up to 30 inputs and 34 outputs simultaneously, with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. The Ensemble Thunderbolt has eight killer mic/line preamps, two with hardware inserts for connecting external compressors, EQs, and other gear during tracking. You get stereo monitor outs, plus eight more balanced analogouts on a D-sub connector. You also get dual ADAT-optical I/O for 16 more ins and outs at standard sample rates, that can also operate at high sample rates using S/MUX. S/PDIF and word clock in and out round out the back-panel I/O, along with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. Up front you have two independently addressable headphone outputs, four assignable multi-function soft buttons (I use them for talkback, monitor mute, etc.), two big control knobs, and 10 switches for controlling the inputs. Then there are four jacks: two guitar-level DI inputs and two guitar-level outputs. The outs can function either as "thru" jacks that can send the incoming guitar signal on to an amp with no latency, or you can use them for reamping direct guitar signals you've recorded into your DAW.The front panel also sports a built-in stereo mic that can be used for talkback or to capture lo-fi "crushed" sounds - the mics even show up as inputs in your DAW. The Ensemble Thunderbolt is easy to configure, and you can control all the necessary functions from the front panel. If you want to dig deeper, you also get Apogee's free Maestro software, which gives you access to every parameter, along with enhanced routing capabilities, advanced metering, and more. Best of all, the Ensemble Thunderbolt is a "DMA" (direct memory access) device, which means it hooks itself straight into your computer's brain. This direct connection reduces latency to essentially non-existent. There's no need to use a software mixer in addition to your DAW to manage latency, just plug in the Ensemble Thunderbolt, arm a track in your DAW, and go! It doesn't get any simpler or more straight-forward than that. This one feature alone set the Ensemble Thunderbolt apart for me (not that everything else wasn't great) and made a huge difference in how quickly I could get tracks recorded and ideas laid down. If you're looking for an interface for your Mac studio, one that can accept whatever signals you need routed in and out, deliver awesome sound quality, and that features industry-leading latency performance, then look no further. The Ensemble Thunderbolt rocks! Learn more about the Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/EnsembleTB
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See also: Apogee, Apogee Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces