Now named Discrete 4 Synergy Core and Discrete 8 Synergy Core — albeit respectively retaining the ThunderboltTM & USB Interface with 4 Discrete Mic Preamps and ThunderboltTM & USB Interface with 8 Discrete Mic Preamps phrasing boldly blazoned across already-familiar front facias, Antelope Audio’s game-changing additions to its acclaimed audio interface lineup literally give the game away. Simply speaking, Synergy Core’s industry-shaking introduction intentionally signals Antelope Audio’s objective of developing a wider range of its own effects and also collaborating with leading software developers in the industry for the benefit of all.
As such, the perfectly portable — 261 mm (W) x 44 mm (H) x 208 mm (D) — Discrete 4 Synergy Core brings best-in-class pristine Antelope Audio AD/DA conversion (capturing and monitoring audio at up to 192 kHz/24-bit resolution with 121dB dynamic range) and phenomenal processing power to the desktop. Dual DSP chips and an FPGA processor work together in perfect harmony to run Antelope Audio’s vast collection of vintage-inspired effects plug-ins plus any third-party effects joining the Synergy Core platform. Put it this way: with Synergy Core audio interfaces hosting additional effects processing via those dedicated DSP chips, computer-based recording rig stability is increased. In other words, adding a Discrete 4 Synergy Core or its Discrete 8 Synergy Core bigger brother to such recording rigs really means that DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) can make more efficient use of available CPU power to host native effects — effectively extending the lifecycle of an existing Mac or PC, so users need not (necessarily) upgrade to the latest and greatest computer specification to run all of their favourite plug-ins anytime.
As implied by that ThunderboltTM & USB Interface with 4 Discrete Mic Preamps phrasing, Discrete 4 Synergy Core offers four console-grade, discrete mic preamps, plus a total of 14 inputs (including four LINE-1/4” JACK | MIC-XLR combi inputs for mic/line/instrument sources) and 16 outputs (including L and R MONITOR outputs and LINE OUT on four TRS connections) — expandable via ADAT IN OUT and S/PDIF IN OUT on TOSlink, and access to Antelope Audio’s unrivalled digital clocking technology through the WC OUT 1 2 connections. Talking to Macs and PCs of course comes naturally to Discrete 4 Synergy Core, courtesy of those ThunderboltTM and USB connections.
But best of all, Discrete 4 Synergy Core comes complete with a compelling library of 36 Real-Time FPGA FX for free from Antelope Audio! Worth well over $3,000.00 USD, all are meticulously modelled after hardware originals! On top of that, 35 optional additions are also available. All are automatable within a DAW without adversely affecting CPU load, thanks to the AFX2DAW bridge (currently available for ThunderboltTM on macOS only), connecting the best of both worlds by effectively amalgamating Antelope Audio’s acclaimed FPGA modeling engine with the advantages of fast and intuitive DAW workflow with near-zero latency. The ThunderboltTM driver for Windows is, however, rated as being the third-fastest audio driver in the world (with the first two only available for PCI devices). With a price-to-performance ratio that more than compares favourably to any rival ThunderboltTM or USB audio interface available anywhere, Discrete 4 Synergy Core is ideal for musicians and producers needing a road-ready recording setup that holds the creative key to unlocking unprecedented power.
Processing power is what the ‘full-size’ (rack-mountable) Discrete 8 Synergy Core is also about. Loaded, likewise, with dual DSP chips and an FPGA processor, it is perfectly positioned for mid-sized studios. Saying that, Discrete 8 Synergy Core is boosted beyond Discrete 4 Synergy Core’s consummate capabilities courtesy of eight console-grade, discrete mic preamps. Indeed, its connectivity count totals 26 inputs (including eight LINE-1/4” JACK | MIC- XLR combi inputs for mic/line/instrument sources) and 30 outputs (including L and R MONITOR outputs and two REAMP outputs on TRS connections, and LINE OUT 1-8 on a D-SUB 25 connector) — expandable via dual ADAT (IN 1 OUT 1 and IN 2 OUT 2) and S/PDIF IN OUT on TOSlink, plus a user-friendly FOOTSWITCH jack to speed up workflow. This time the pristine AD/DA conversion delivers a class-leading 130dB of dynamic range (on the monitor outputs). Of course, those same 36 Real-Time FPGA FX — ranging from classic compressors to studio EQs and must-have reverbs to tube guitar amp models based on iconic vintage gear — are also included for free. So Discrete 8 Synergy Core constitutes a sharp set of tools to take projects from inspiration to final master, making in the box recording more attractive to both the converted and newbies.
Needless to say, the existing (FPGA) effects aboard Antelope Audio’s aptly-named, newly-announced Discrete 4 Synergy Core and Discrete 8 Synergy Core audio interfaces already ensure that recording systems are optimised out of the box by allowing audio buffer sizers to be shortened and clicks and pops to be effectively eliminated; ultimately users will also be able to take advantage of dual DSP processor-hosted effects that will be developed in the future by both Antelope Audio and third parties joining the Synergy Core platform, possibly lightening the load placed on any audio production-purposed host computer, which would be better positioned to run CPU-intensive VST (Virtual Studio Technology) synths, samplers, and native time-based effects as a result.
Fusing FPGA and DSP chips in one audio interface harnessing the parallel processing power of FPGA alongside the latest generation, state-of-the-art ARM DSP chips developed for cloud computing and mobile technology — processors that deliver a faster clock rate than the DSP chips employed elsewhere in the audio interface market — makes for computing power synergies that are unique to Antelope Audio, allowing for direct development of a greater variety of effects, including choruses, flangers, and more. Synergy Core is the answer and Antelope Audio knows that for sure!