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Cranborne Audio unveil Carnaby HE2

Company expand Harmonic EQ family

Cranborne Audio Carnaby HE2 Harmonic EQ dual mono stereo mid-side analogue outboard saturation hardware EQ

Released in 2023, Cranborne Audio’s Carnaby 500 takes an interesting approach to EQ, employing what the company describe as the “first new analogue audio circuit in 40 years”. The new Carnaby HE2 makes that same circuitry available as a two-channel rackmount unit, and adds some additional features including stereo or mid-side operation, channel inserts and digital control and recall via a DAW plug-in.

As with the Carnaby 500, HE2 offers three bands of equalisation based on Cranborne’s saturation-core technology, which each introduce variable amounts of frequency-specific harmonic saturation. Gain and frequency controls are present for each band along with input and output level controls, and the unit has also been kitted out with variable low- and high-pass filters for each channel as well as per-band bypass switches.

Cranborne Audio Carnaby HE2 analogue outboard plug-in control The Carnaby HE2's analogue circuitry is controlled digitally, and can be paired with a DAW plug-in that offers remote operation and setting recall.The unit can operate as a dual mono or stereo processor, and the company have also included mid-side encoding and decoding, allowing the HE2 to process the mid and sides elements of a stereo signal in addition to its standard left/right configuration.

Insert points are available on each of the channels, too, allowing users to patch in additional outboard gear, if desired. Using either a USB or network connection, it is possible to control the unit remotely via a DAW plug-in (VST, AU and AAX), with LED rings around the front-panel encoders reflecting any changes. This also means that settings can be saved and recalled easily as part of a DAW session.

In terms of connectivity, the HE2’s main channel inputs and outputs are provided on XLR connectors, whilst quarter-inch TRS sockets take care of the channel insert point connections. USB-C and RJ45 ports provide a connection to a computer for integration with the DAW plug-in, with the former also facilitating software updates (no USB audio functionality is provided). Mains power is delivered to an internal PSU via a standard IEC C14 inlet.

"Carnaby HE2 maintains the exquisite harmonic saturation of Carnaby 500's ground-breaking Harmonic EQ design, the first truly new analogue signal processing technology in four decades. Building upon this innovation, Carnaby HE2 brings hybrid mixing even closer to your fingertips. Featuring USB and Network Control through our included plug-in, Carnaby HE2 provides enhanced control for your recording and mixing sessions." - Sean Karpowicz, MD, Cranborne Audio

We were impressed with the original 500-series module when we reviewed it in SOS May 2023. To find out more, take a look at our in-depth review.

Pricing & Availability

The Carnaby HE2 will be priced at $1799£1799 including VAT, with exact shipping dates yet to be confirmed.

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