Can I use Ensemble Firewire or Duet Firewire with Apple Silicon (M1 & M2) Macs?


Apple’s Firewire CoreAudio driver has been discontinued on macOS 13 Ventura. This affects any product that connects via Firewire to your Mac. If you depend on a firewire audio interface device then we recommend that you stay on macOS 12 Monterey or earlier, or upgrade to one of our USB devices.

**NOTE: Starting with macOS 13 Ventura, the Apple Firewire CoreAudio driver is discontinued, and Firewire audio devices will no longer work. 

Software development for Firewire devices has ended. The last version of OS X tested with the Ensemble Firewire or Duet Firewire was 10.10 Yosemite.

Though we no longer test or update our Maestro 2 software for newer versions of OS X, our customers tell us this version will install and work for them in most cases on INTEL mac's running macOS 10.11 - macOS 12.x. So you can think of it as "compatible" on those versions because it seems to work (it uses Apple's built-in Firewire driver), but not "supported" because we do not test or guarantee it will work flawlessly. Maestro 2 will not work on Apple Silicon Macs.

Apple Silicon (M1/M2/M3/etc)

On Apple Silicon Macs running macOS 11 Big Sur or macOS 12 Monterey, the Ensemble Firewire or Duet Firewire will be recognized in Mac System Preferences > Sound in the Input and Output tabs due to Apple's Firewire CoreAudio driver**. However the Maestro 2 application does not work on these systems. Therefore you will only be able to control or adjust settings using Apple's Audio MIDI Setup utility, or the physical controls on the interface. You will not be able to access or change other features & settings that require Maestro software controls.

Maestro 2 software is needed for the following functions:

  • Change input type between Mic, Instrument, +4dBu or -10dBV
  • Turn 48V phantom power and Polarity Invert on/off
  • Group inputs together
  • Use the low-latency mixer
  • Change mute behavior when push down on physical knob button
  • Level metering options

Workarounds & Standalone mode for Ensemble Firewire

For those who want to use Ensemble Firewire or Duet Firewire on Macs with Apple Silicon, here are some options:

1) Use Ensemble Firewire as a Standalone converter, and connect via ADAT optical cables to another interface compatible with Apple Silicon (Such as Apogee Symphony Desktop or Symphony I/O mkII). You can use the front panel controls to adjust input gain, and output levels.

- If you need to change a setting that requires Maestro 2, you will need to maintain a separate Intel Mac that can run Maestro 2, and connect Ensemble Firewire to that computer to make settings changes.

- When you disconnect Ensemble Firewire from the Intel mac, it will retain the settings you made for the Standalone Mode.

Workarounds for Duet Firewire

Since Duet Firewire does not have optical in/out ports, and therefore has no standalone mode, Duet Firewire on Apple Silicon Macs can only be controlled using the physical knob and button on the unit, or via the controls available in Audio MIDI Setup utility or Mac System Preferences > Sound.

For controls beyond this, you would need to:

- Maintain a separate computer compatible with Duet Firewire and Maestro 2.

- Connect Duet Firewire to this computer and use Maestro 2 to make settings.

- Disconnect Duet Firewire from this computer, and then connect to the Apple Silicon Mac computer.

- The settings should be carried over so that they can be used on the Apple Silicon Mac.


Other options:

Upgrade your Ensemble Firewire or Duet Firewire to a newer Apogee interface that is compatible with Apple Silicon. Contact Apogee's Sales Team to inquire which Apogee interface would fulfill your needs, and what can be offered if you send your Ensemble Firewire or Duet Firewire to Apogee in exchange. Sales can be contacted by completing this form:

- Be sure to include what Apogee interface you have, your computer model and operating system version, how many channels you need, as well as what Dealer from which you typically purchase your audio recording gear.