Antelope Audio has announced availability of Blonder Tongue Audio Baton and Filtek Mk3, two new hardware-based software effects emulating EQ classics. They tell us that they are capable of running in real-time using Antelope Audio's Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modeling microphone, all of which, when processing proprietary effects with their inbuilt Synergy Core DSP (Digital Signal Processing) acceleration engines, enable monitoring and recording without latency and mixing and mastering without adding CPU load to a DAW host computer. Here's the details in their own words...
Effectively entering a music technology time machine to take a trip back to 1959, Antelope Audio proudly presents an authentic emulation of the Blonder- Tongue Audio Baton. An all-tube graphic equalizer so rare and special that it has an actual album named after it, now it is immortalised as an authentic- sounding hardware-based software effect by Antelope Audio. Time-appropriate looks aside, the original Audio Baton boasts seven separate amplifiers tuned to distinct frequencies, followed by high- and low-pass filters running in parallel with their outputs routed to separate level controls. Choices for frequencies correspond to actual notes and octaves on a piano keyboard -- hence the graphical representation of one above the nine white vertical stripes with an eye- catching red markers. More meaningfully, those markers move up and down the white vertical stripes when turning the associated rotary controls to assists with visualizing boosts and cuts over nine frequency bands with a 28dB control range per band. Better still, the resultant frequency response curve is graphically overlaid on top of four horizontal stripes where each frequency region is distinctly colored. Clearly technically proficient for its time, the Audio Baton was actually an inexpensive unit that found its way into audiophile homes and recording studios alike. As such, AUDIO magazine qualified it as "...indispensable to anyone interested in dubbing from old records..." while strongly recommending it "...to anyone who does much recording..." when covering it in February 1959. "Rolloff of either lows or highs due to poor microphones or narrow-range amplifiers or recorders can be corrected easily, and response peaks can be smoothed out as desired," it also noted. Needless to say, Antelope Audio's talented team of DSP and electrical engineers recreated the Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton in its entirety, exclusively for the Synergy Core real-time effects processing platform. Providing further visual feedback as a purely cosmetic enhancement entirely in keeping with this unique equalizer's late-Fifties aesthetic, Antelope Audio added a Magic Eye peak meter to Blonder Tongue Audio Baton. Both the vintage original and contemporary recreation compare favorably to other great equalizers of the time -- think Altec 9073A 'Motown' graphic equalizer curiosity crossed with pre-eminent Pultec tube-amplified make-up gain stage... Synergy Core has gained another must-have hardware-based software EQ effects emulation. End users can look forward to running it in real-time on the Synergy Core effects module built into Antelope Audio's aptly-named Discrete 4 Synergy Core and Discrete 8 Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go, the world's first bus-powered modeling microphone, where it can correct frequency response errors, such as excessive bass or shrill high-end, as well as improving the clarity of instruments, vocals, and speech.
Fast-forwarding back to a highly-successful Seventies-vintage design, Antelope Audio's emulation of the FILTEK MK3 is a versatile three-band equalizer with modeled transformer-based input and output sections that works in real-time with zero latency -- just like using the notable namesake original hardware. Having said that, the FILTEK MK3 was originally built to the rigorous standards demanded by the IRT (Institut fur Rundfunktechnik) as a broadcasting module, so its initial cost meant that it remained within reach of only the most reputable radio stations. Saying that, though, it eventually ended up in receptive recording studios around the world when racked accordingly. As a versatile equalizer that sounds clear and precise -- unusually modern for the time, it handles both broad sweeps and surgically-precise applications with equal aplomb. Indeed, its switch and knob combinations encourage experimentation -- extreme settings at broad bandwidths turn the high and low bands into respectable shelving filters, for example. Efficient design, employing the best engineering practices and high-quality parts, produced first-class corrective capabilities and also enhancement-friendly frequency ranges. Results worth highlighting include boosting the high end without introducing harshness and a unique signal path allowing for parallel equalization by mixing the boosted/attenuated signal with unprocessed audio. This time, Antelope Audio's talented team of DSP and electrical engineers meticulously modeled the three-band design with high- and low-pass filters -- perhaps the most recognizable and arguably most flexible of the FILTER MK3's many incarnations. In this case, each band offers a choice of 12 frequencies with boosts and cuts of up to 16dB. The three-way bandwidth (Q) switches for each band allow for bypassing specific bands when in mid-position. Put it this way: with FILTEK MK3, users can expect something special -- clean and transparent, but packing plenty of punch and character when pushed. It is certainly an amazing-sounding addition to the frequency adjustment toolbox!
Owners of Antelope Audio's Blonder Tongue Audio Baton and Filtek Mk3 should simply insert them into their effects chain. Click and turn the rotary controls to correct their specific frequencies while using the bottom-left knob to switch the equalizer itself IN or OUT and the bottom-right knob to adjust the output VOLUME when using the former. Feel free to push the input signal -- within reasonable limits -- to obtain meticulously-modeled transformer saturation with the latter. So step back in time with Antelope Audio and take time to treasure two classic EQ emulations brought back to the future, thanks to the next-generation Synergy Core effects processing platform.
Pricing and Availability:
Blonder Tongue Audio Baton is available for Antelope Audio's Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modeling microphone, priced at $195.00 USD/€195.00 EUR directly from here.
Filtek Mk3 is available for Antelope Audio's Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modeling microphone, priced at $195.00 USD/€195.00 EUR directly from here.
Deep look at the new generation interface