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Synth studio peripherals

Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core Audio Interface



You’re very welcome, Zen Q too

With apologies for the dadjoke, Antelope Audio’s latest is billed as a 14 x 10 audio interface. At 800 $ or € it would seem to fit the middle ground of audio interfaces, appropriate for musicians looking for high-quality sound without buying more analog ins and outs than they need.

In this case 14×10 means two mic preamps, two line/instrument/mic inputs, two line outs, plus stereo headphones. The balance of the ins and outs consists of 8×8 ADAT lightpipe and S/PDIF digital connections, which means you can expand the analog I/O with other devices.

The interface also features direct monitoring through the included – and interesting-looking – Synergy Core effects, so there’s no computer latency. 

Among other applications, this would work well for synth users with an analog mixer, i.e. who only need stereo input to a computer – but who also record a couple of mics.

Click here for the product page, or read the official bumph below, cut and paste:

Diverse I/O with room to grow

Zen Q Synergy Core’s connectivity centers around two Combo XLR jacks with switchable modes to toggle between the discrete console-grade preamps, LINE level, or HiZ, while the front panel provides two switchable line/Hi-Z inputs — G1 an d G2 — for added flexibility. For monitoring, there is a stereo MONITOR output and a separate LINE OUT pairing to connect another set of studio monitors or external outboard gear, both backed by a mastering-grade D/A converter. There is also a separate DAC for the HP1 and HP2 (independent headphone) outputs. A simple desktop setup can easily be transformed into a multichannel configuration thanks to the SPDIF IN/OUT and ADAT IN connections:

• 2x discrete ultra-linear preamps with 65 dB of gain for studio-quality recordings, both working as MIC/LINE/HiZ inputs on Combo XLR jacks, with 48V of phantom power and independent preamp gain for each input
• 2x Hi-Z/line instrument inputs over TRS ¼” jacks
• 2x signal-balanced, DC-coupled LINE OUT (outputs) over TRS ¼” jacks (+20 dBu max)
• USB-C port carrying up to 16 input and 16 output channels in any popular DAW with custom macOS and Windows drivers
• Digitally expandable over SPDIF IN/OUT, with two channels available
• Digitally expandable over ADAT IN, with eight channels available (at 44.1/48kHz)
• 1x stereo signal-balanced, DC-coupled MONITOR output on TRS ¼” jacks (+20 dBu max)
• 2x stereo headphone outputs with separate volume control

Fast and efficient workflow

Users of Zen Q Synergy Core can reap the benefits of a USB-C interface with an optimized audio driver for low-latency playback, streaming, and recording paired with onboard software. It allows for seamless control over essential parameters such as signal routing, sub-mixes, and monitoring, while applying Synergy Core effects without overburdening their system — all integral to enhancing workflow at every stage of the production process:

• Bus-powered, compact (W: 198 mm/7.8”, D: 137 mm/5.4”, H: 57.5 mm/2.3”) interface without the need for a dedicated power source
• Direct monitoring with Synergy Core effects, processed in real-time with imperceptible latency
• Simplified I/O routing with preconfigured settings, allowing immediate recording and playback
• Easily accessible front panel-positioned controls for input and output levels, as well as other settings
• Customizable presets with settings for signal routing, level adjustments, mixer, and effects
• Customizable monitoring mixes with adjustable volume, pan, and reverb

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