Antelope Audio has introduced Zen Tour Synergy Core which they say pushes portable audio interface design further forward as a cross-platform (TB3/USB2 for Mac/Win) 18x24 offering that can process up to 256 effects over 32 channels with ultra-low latency and zero CPU drain. Here’s their press release with the details…
Owners of Zen Tour Synergy Core can choose from a wider variety of DSP-based effects that are available exclusively from Antelope Audio, such as a custom- designed plug-in that leverages the next-generation hardware acceleration of the Synergy Core platform to deliver the legendary Auto-Tune® pitch correction and vocal effects with ultra-low latency (Auto-Tune Synergy); a fresh and versatile take on vintage tremolos (Vari-Speed Tremolo); phases, sweeps, and swooshes that sound truly out of this world (Space Flanger); and much more besides. Better still, users can creatively process up to 32 mono DAW channels via Zen Tour Synergy Core as hardware inserts or place 32 Synergy Core-powered effects racks as plug-ins via Antelope Audio’s AFX2DAW bridge, bringing DSP- and FPGA-based effects modelling to any DAW!
Duly shipping with a free starter pack of 36 emulations of classic studio gear and creative effects (worth $2,120.00 USD if bought individually), Zen Tour Synergy Core comes complete with two mic preamps (Gyraf Gyratec IX); four EQs (VEQ-1, VMEQ-5, VEQ-HLF, and Clear Q); five compressors and limiters (FET-A76, Stay- Levin, VCA160, X903, and PowerFFC); 11 tube guitar amps (Plexi 59 (UK), Bass SuperTube VR, Darkface 65 (US), Top30 (UK) Bright, Tweed Deluxe (US), Overange 120 (UK), BurnSphere (DE) Lead, Marcus II (US) Lead, Modern (US) CH3, Rock 75 (UK), and Rock 22.10 (UK)); 11 guitar cabinets (Darkface 65 2x12, Top30 2x12, Modern 4x12, Green 2x12, Vintage 4x12, Green 4x12, Caliper 50 1x10, Bluelux 1x12, Clst 1x12, England 4x12, and Bass Tube 1x15); two special processing effects (PowerEX and PowerGate); and one reverb (Auraverb). Additional expansions from Antelope Audio’s ever-expanding library of DSP/FPGA effects of course can be bought by Zen Tour Synergy Core owners at any time to further future-proof their studio workflow with the greatest of ease.
As a portable desktop device that can comfortably fit into a backpack, Zen Tour Synergy Core’s comprehensive I/O is impressive. In terms of its 8x14 analog I/O implementation, it can record four acoustic sources using microphones (via four mic/line inputs on TRS/XLR Combo jacks) and four electric guitars or eight mono/ four stereo synthesizers simultaneously (by also utilising four instrument/line inputs on TRS). Ultimately, users can process up to eight mono channels through outboard gear (via a standard 25-pin D-SUB connector) and record them back into DAW projects.
Connectivity continues with two monitor outs on TRS, two headphone outs on TRS, and two re-amp outs on TRS. The 10x10 implementation of digital I/O via ADAT and SPDIF allows for extending that already-impressive analogue I/O implementation with external line/mic convertors for plugging into external digital processing units without AD/DA conversion. Correspondingly, ADAT (SMUX) supported channel count varies — between eight inputs and outputs at 44.1/48 kHz, four inputs and outputs at 88.2/96 kHz, and two inputs and outputs at 176.4/192 kHz — while the SPDIF-supported channel count totals two inputs and two outputs at 44.1-192 kHz.
Antelope Audio’s signature selection and implementation of ADC/DAC components provides for transparent, artefact-free audio capture when recording and detailed playback with wide soundstage and low noise for critical listening when mixing while operating at 24dBu reference levels using Zen Tour Synergy Core. Competitive specs speak volumes with those line inputs achieving 124dB (-110THD+N) AD, line outputs achieving 127dB (-107THD+N) DA, and monitor outs achieving 130dB (-115THD+N) DA.
Zen Tour Synergy Core adopts the latest generation of Antelope Audio’s acclaimed 4th Gen 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology to eliminate jitter and provide artefact-free AD/DA, and it can clock external devices connected via ADAT or SPDIF.
As a Thunderbolt 3- and USB 2-equipped cross-platform audio interface that is compatible with both macOS — Catalina included — and Windows, Zen Tour Synergy Core really represents a sound investment for any audio engineer, even if subsequently choosing to change their computer system. Since it utilises high-performance, custom-built drivers, Zen Tour Synergy Core can achieve ultra-low round trip latency for direct monitoring with effects.
So, simply speaking, Zen Tour Synergy Core comes up trumps when it comes to duly delivering enhanced effects processing capabilities and improved AD/DA as a perfect portable fit for project studio owners as well as on-the-move producers and audio engineers who use audio effects to process recording and mixing sessions while seeking extensive analogue connectivity in a compact form factor.
For those seeking to musically meditate on pushing portable audio interface innovation, why not experience all that Zen Tour Synergy Core has to offer when it is introduced by Antelope Audio on Booth 15912 at The 2020 NAMM Show, January 16-19, Anaheim, CA, USA? Ultimately, visitors welcomed will surely be impressed with what they see and hear there!
Pricing and Availability:
Zen Tour Synergy Core will be shipping in Q1 2020 — at a projected price of $1995.00 USD/€1995.00 EUR — and available through Antelope Audio’s network of authorised dealers or online directly from Antelope Audio.