Audient have announced the release of the EVO SP8, an eight-channel microphone preamp with built-in A-D and D-A conversion which the company say will make the perfect expander for ADAT-equipped audio interfaces.
The unit is almost identical in appearance to the EVO 16 audio interface, and features the same channel selection and function switches, colour LCD screen, and large rotary control. All of the inputs are provided on XLR/TRS combo sockets and will accept both microphone and line-level sources (the first two inputs will also accept instrument level signals, and are placed on the front panel), whilst eight line-level outputs are provided on TRS sockets on the device’s rear panel.
The SP8’s ADAT I/O is then provided by four Toslink connectors, allowing the unit to transfer all eight input and output channels at sample rates of up to 96kHz (via S/MUX). A word-clock input is available from the BNC connector. A USB-C port is also present, although due to the device’s purpose as an expander rather than an interface, is reserved for firmware update duties only. Despite the unit's 24-bit operation, the converters themselves utilise an internal 32-bit architecture, a move which Audient say helps to avoid the loss of resolution through the filters.
As with the rest of the EVO range, the SP8 benefits from Audient’s Smartgain functionality, allowing the device to automatically set each of its channels to the optimum gain setting based on the incoming signal. The function can be engaged by the user with the press of a single button, and is capable of configuring all eight channels at once.
“If you’re expanding your current non-EVO audio interface, you get up to eight channels of simultaneous Smartgain with SP8, which not only takes the guesswork out of setting your levels, but also saves you time. If you are pairing two SP8s with your EVO 16 then you have Smartgain on all 24 channels! Soundcheck an entire band in less than 20 seconds. Imagine how that could transform a session and allow producers to stay focused on what’s important - making music.” Andy Allen, Audient/EVO Marketing Director
- Gain Range: 58dB
- Frequency Response: ± 0.5dB from 10Hz to 40kHz
- THD+N measured at 0dBu (1kHz): < 0.0015%
- EIN: < -127.5dBu
- Gain Range: 58dB
- Input Impedance: 500kΩ
- THD+N measured at 0dBu (1kHz): < 0.1%
- Frequency Response: ± 0.5dB from 10Hz to 20kHz
- THD+N measured at 0dBu (1kHz): < 0.001%
- Dynamic Range: 112.5dB (A-Weighted)
- THD+N measured at 0dBu (1kHz): < 0.006%
- Dynamic Range: 117dB (A-Weighted)
The SP8 is housed in a rugged steel chassis with non-slip rubber feet, and rack ears are also available as an optional extra. An internal power supply is provided, which is fed by a standard IEC mains inlet connector.
Pricing & Availability
The EVO SP8 is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2023, and is priced at $499£399 including VAT / €449.