Looking for an accessible audio interface

Hardware & Accessories

Hi all,

I have a FocusRight 2X2 USB 2 interface. I use this to connect my bass guitar to the Mac and it has worked reasonably well over the years. However, I would like to step up to USBC or Thunderbolt to be future-proof and lower latency. I was interested in the Apollo Solo; however, I understand the software (which is required) is not accessible. Does anyone have any recommendations for an audio interface?




Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, September 4, 2020

Apogee ensemble. Apogee ensemble.You will need sided help setting it up, but after that, you can use you will need cited help setting it up, but after that, you can use front panel controls, or you can use in iOS app. You will need sided help setting it up, but after that, you can use front panel controls, or you can use in iOS app.You can also use logic Pro X, if that is the you can also use logic Pro X, if that is the You can also use logic Pro X, if that is the app you are using. App you are using.

Submitted by Scott H on Friday, September 4, 2020

In reply to by Bruce Harrell

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for the information. Just curious… I assume the installer is not accessible – the options are not visible to VoiceOVer, is that correct? Are the front panel controls used for controlling input gain etc.? The FocusRight Scarlett I have currently, requires no software and the gain controls work without any additional drivers. The unit uses the Core Audio components of the OS, which it sounds as though the Apogee does not. I am also curious if the Ensemble is visible to Audio Hijack, so will have to reach out to Rogue Amoeba and ask. When I'm practicing, I'll usually hijack the Scarlett and listen to my bass through headphones.


Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, September 4, 2020

Hi Scott,

I used to have a Focusrite 4-pre, which worked great but did not meet my needs when I switched to mixing surround sound, which is why I bought the Apogee Ensemble. The Ensemble is a high end interface for someone with a home studio, and it's about as good as a blind guy can operate, based on my research.

The Ensemble does use core audio but you can turn that off. It is also a thunderbolt 3 interface (no latency issues so far), and you can piggyback additional Apogee interfaces on top of it if you need to expand your system. You should check out the Ensemble specs before you go any farther, though. Just for example, it has 10 monitor outputs. I use 8 of them for a 7.1 surround monitoring set up.

The front panel controls. on the Ensemble are analog. I don't really use them except from time to time. I have a hardware remote right next to my keyboard that gives me everything I need -- 8 programmable on/off controls, 3 function buttons, a volume knob which, when depressed, is the mute.

Apogee products require using their Apogee Control app on your Mac. Unfortunately, that app is not accessible enough to be useful. However, it must be used to program what sort of snapshot or presets you want for your system. You can have as many snapshots/presets as you want, e.g., one for stereo, one for quad, one for 5.1 surround, one for live, one for anything. For getting your snapshots set up, you will need sighted assistance. The tech support people at Apogee are helpful but hard to reach, so I recommend that if you buy any Apogee interface (the Element series is very nice, too -- I used to have an Element 88), buy it from Sweetwater. They've helped me a great deal with my inaccessible purchases. Once they finished with a product, I went happily on my way, using whatever it was I'd bought from them. Sweetwater's tech support is very good.

Back to the Ensemble front panel, yes, you can use it to control in and out levels, phantom power, dim, mute, and about anything else, but it's very much easier to simply use their Apogee IOS app. The thing I like most about their IOS app is that the app indicates the exact setting you're choosing. Want gain at minus 3 db? Not a problem. You can set it on minus 3 db. Want plus 6? Same answer. Want to change routing? Can do. Want to turn off one input and turn another on and then switch phantom power on? Easy.

I hope this answers all your questions. Good luck, and happy recording!


Submitted by DPinWI on Friday, March 12, 2021

I'm using the compact mixer as my patch bay and audio interface. It has knobs for everything, enough inputs that I don't need to do any cable swapping, has a usable FX engine, and it does stereo in and out over USB. I run Reaper with JAWS on my computer. So far, it's been a good solution for me.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Friday, March 12, 2021

Focusrite 2i2 3rd gen does thunderboltd over USB C. It should be better on a Mac since there's only one audio driver. It gave me audio popping issues with NVDA on Windows, but audio on the Microsoft side is a nightmare. I was considering the Steinberg interfaces for my Windows machine since Yamaha tends to have good drivers. The Steinberg UR22C is USB 3.1 gen 1 and has similar inputs compared to the 2i2 plus some midi ports. I ended up buying a Yamaha mg16xu stereo mixer since I'm leaning away from using a DAW for stuff beyond just recording and also I want to do live performances. It's only USB 2.0, but the hardware monitoring has basically no latency, and latency with 44.1Khz rate and 512 buffer gets me 18ms latency with asio on Reaper for Windows.

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Friday, March 12, 2021

Hello. Check out the Evo 4 or Evo 8. Those are good. Also the MOTU M 2 or M4.