There’s nothing discreet about the bombshell Antelope Audio just dropped. The company just announced four new hardware products and a bunch of software to go with it. In all there are two new audio interfaces — Discrete 8 and Discrete 4 — in an entirely new line, and two new microphones — Edge and Verge — to be used as the source for Antelope’s new microphone modelling technology.
The Discrete series apparently has a completely new discrete preamp designed by Antelope founder Igor Levin; departing from the PGA2500 chip most higher end interfaces use these days. You get eight preamps in the Discrete 8 and, four in the Discrete 4. They’re both Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 interfaces. The Discrete 8 has dual ADAT in and out for up to 16 channels of digital expansion. It also has S/PDIF I/O, eight analogue outputs, a pair of monitor outputs, two headphones outputs, and two reamp outputs. As always, there’s Antelope’s 64-bit clocking onboard and lots of word clock I/O. The Discrete 4 has roughly half of everything.
The interfaces look well thought out, taking a bit of the I/O away from what you get with the Orion Studio series, but replacing that faceplate real estate with dedicated preamp gain and headphone level knobs. The specs are also a little lower than the Orion and Goliath series, but altogether very respectable, including 121dB of dynamic range on the analogue I/O and 124dB on the monitor outputs.
The big change is on the front end, with the two new microphones. The Edge is a large dual-diaphragm condenser with a sensitivity of -36dB, and the Verge is a small diaphragm pencil condenser with a max input of 132dB SPL. The two mics are designed to interface with Antelope’s impending microphone modelling technology. There’s no information yet on which models the company will be modelling, for the moment we can assume the Edge will come with a split cable of some sort, as Antelope is promising control over proximity effect, off-axis response and polar pattern, which can only be done with separate capture of each capsule, like the Townsend Labs Sphere model.
Given the success of Antelope’s FPGA real-time modelling that come free of charge with any interface, the addition of mic modelling is another big step forward for the company in its ambition to stock recordists’ coffers for nothing. In keeping with its focus on value, the company is selling the interfaces and mics in bundles — the mic models will no doubt be free of charge. A Discrete 8 with a full complement of mics (one Edge and six Verge) will come in at €2995, while just the interface and one Edge will be €1995. Antelope said the new products are ‘coming soon’, we’ll let you know more when we have information.
More info at www.antelopeaudio.com