How to record with an outboard analog compressor using Apogee Ensemble
Apogee Ensemble has 8 incredibly detailed mic pre amps. On the first two channels you will find fully balanced inserts, making it easy to insert your favorite compressor. You can of course insert any piece of outboard gear, but since a compressor is the most common in this situation that is what we will be using here.
This insert point is not for processing tracks that have already been recorded. If that is what you wish to do, click here to watch this video tutorial.
- Connect a 1/4” cable from Insert Send jack to the external hardware’s Input jack.
The Send/Return jacks can accommodate balanced TRS as well as unbalanced TS 1/4” connections.
- Connect another cable from the output of the external gear to Ensemble’s Insert Return jack.
- In Maestro, select the “Input” tab
- Select the Insert “In” button to toggle the insert on/off.
Here is the signal flow when connecting a microphone to Ensemble and inserting a compressor.
As you can see when set to Mic or Instrument the signal goes through the Pre Amp, out of the Insert, through the compressor and then back in to Ensemble. The signal then goes through Soft Limit (if you have it turned on) which is great for further taming any spikes in the audio signal that may cause digital distortion… and finally to the A to D converter and recorded to your DAW.