Following hot on the heels of Zen Go Synergy Core, the company's first bus-powered, truly portable (4 x 8 USB-C) audio interface, Antelope Audio has announced the upcoming availability of its Zen Q Synergy Core bigger brother. They say that it effectively empowers small- to mid-sized studio setups with high-end technology to take the next step in their creative quest for high-definition audio. Antelope Audio describes it as a 14 x 10 desktop bus-powered audio interface with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, combining their acclaimed AD/DA converters, Discrete ultra-linear mic pre-amps, and 64-bit AFCTM (Acoustically Focused Clocking) technology with impressive I/O capabilities and an accomplished collection of real-time-processed analog-modeled effects. Here's the full details in their own words...
Realising recording, mixing, and playback at up to 24-bit/192kHz, Zen Q Synergy Core clearly combines all the core performance qualities for which Antelope Audio's acclaimed audio interfaces are known -- class-leading AD/DA converter chips granting (up to) 127dB of headroom with undeniable definition; two ultra-linear pre-amps featuring true console-grade circuitry imparting warmth and capturing the natural details of any recorded instrument or voice; and proprietary 64-bit AFCTM and jitter management algorithm enabling efficient AD/DA conversion with increased sound width, separation, and detail -- to achieve a sonically-precise studio sound while reaping the benefits of seamless workflow from any desktop-based setup.
Signature Auraverb (reverb) included, Zen Q Synergy Core comes complete with a virtual library of 37 free effects for its onboard Synergy Core proprietary platform, with real-time effects processing powered by dual DSP (Digital Signal Processing) chips and a single FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) chip to deliver direct hardware monitoring with imperceptible latency. An abundance of analog-modeled compressors, equalizers, and mic pre-amps, as well as guitar cabs and amps for dialing in the perfect guitar tone -- everything needed to capture and process audibly rich and dynamic sound -- are always available as a result. It is perfectly possible to expand that creative collection courtesy of 50 optional effects -- encompassing emulations of classic gear and third-party specialist effects (including Antares' Auto-Tune Synergy, Grove Hill's Liverpool, Gyratec's esteemed EQs, and Inertia Sound Systems' Instinct Synergy) -- from Antelope Audio's well-stocked Software Store (https://en.antelopeaudio.com/software-store/), starting from only $55.00 USD/€55.00 EUR. Above and beyond that, Zen Q Synergy Core's modeling engine also allows for pairing with Antelope Audio's Edge range of microphones for real-time use of vintage microphone emulations.
Equally impressive is Zen Q Synergy Core's comprehensive connectivity belying its diminutive desktop-friendly footprint. The two Discrete ultra-linear pre- amps with 65dB of gain for studio-quality recordings both work as microphone/line/Hi-Z inputs on rear panel-positioned combo XLR jacks (marked MIC- XLR and LINE / HiZ 1/4" JACK), and supply 48V of phantom power -- perfect for those Edge microphones. Moreover, there are two DC-coupled line outputs over TRS (labelled LINE OUT 1 and LINE OUT 2), also allowing the audio interface to transmit CV (Control Voltage) to an analog synthesizer should adventurous users wish to do so. Stereo monitoring comes courtesy of another two TRS outputs (marked MONITOR 1 and MONITOR 2). It is possible to take advantage of (up to) eight additional channels, digitally, thanks to the ADAT IN connection, with further digital connectivity provided by the two- channel S/PDIF IN and OUT connections. Ultimately, ultra-low latency and utmost stability comes courtesy of a bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 port providing up to 16 input and 16 output channels for any popular DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with custom macOS and Windows drivers duly installed. Readily record from any location with no need for a dedicated power source since the audio interface itself is powered by that Thunderbolt 3 connection -- and all without the user ever having to question Zen Q Synergy Core's rock-solid reliability. And as if that was not enough to be getting on with, there are also two (front panel-positioned) line/Hi-Z inputs, ideally suited for recording (lower than line level) guitars -- hence being labelled G1 and G2 (with an associated guitar icon), alongside two stereo headphone outputs (HP1 and HP1) with independent gain control over TRS.
An advanced software control panel for macOS and Windows facilitates further enhancing workflow -- with features including I/O routing that is simplified with pre-configured settings to allow for immediate recording and playback; customizable presets with signal routing, level adjustments, mixer, and effects settings; customizable monitoring mixes with adjustable volume, pan, and reverb; loopback capabilities to stream and record playback and interface inputs simultaneously for a convenient online broadcasting setup -- while Zen Q Synergy Core's front panel provides easily accessible controls over input and output levels, plus other settings, bolstered by a multifunctional IPS (In-Plane Switching) display.
Squeezing such an awe-inspiring array of connectivity and operational flexibility out of such a compact-sized audio interface is an appreciable achievement, allowing Zen Q Synergy Core to be easily integrated into any setup or style of workflow. Indeed, its portability effectively enables users to take their studio wherever they need to go, whether recording on location or performing an onstage live set... stream or record and mix with low latency -- and no power supply required!
Pricing and Availability:
Zen Q Synergy Core will be shipping in Q2 2021 -- at a projected price of $899.00 USD/€899.00 EUR -- and available through Antelope Audio's global network of authorised dealers or online directly from Antelope Audio
50 Questions, many answers
Trends, predictions and concept albums
Zoom MS70-CDR and BCR-2000
Have they really improved a classic?