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‘Interfaces and more’ from Antelope

Augmented I/O boxes pack processing punch

Antelope's Discrete 4 Synergy Core adds DSPs and FPGA processing to the original Discrete 4 audio interface.Antelope's Discrete 4 Synergy Core adds DSPs and FPGA processing to the original Discrete 4 audio interface.

Antelope interfaces have always offered lots of features, as our review of the latest version of the Orion 32+ attests (see SOS September 2019 or read the full review here), but their latest releases — two upgraded versions of their Discrete 4 and Discrete 8 Thunderbolt/USB 2 interfaces, plus the new third-generation Goliath HD interface — come with much more than a few extra inputs.

Both the new Discrete 4 and Discrete 8 Synergy Cores pack on‑board FGPA processing and twin ARM DSP chips, so they’re now more like low-latency processing platforms than just I/O boxes, although the interface spec remains impressive. The £910$999 Discrete 4 Synergy Core (above) has four mic preamps and a 24-bit, 192kHz A-D/D-A stage with 121dB of dynamic range, 14 inputs and 16 outputs, while the £1279$1399 Discrete 8 Synergy Core (below) has eight mic preamps, 26 ins and up to 30 outs, and a 24-bit, 192kHz input stage with 130dB of dynamic range. The Cores ship with 36 real-time FPGA‑based plug‑ins, ranging from dynamics processing, reverb and EQs to modelled mic and guitar preamps and guitar cabs. Over two dozen more modelled plug‑ins are available to buy from the company’s website, and Antelope have revealed that third‑party developers will be coming to the platform in the future.

The Discrete 8 Synergy Core interface: more I/O than the Discrete 4 and packed with processing capability.The Discrete 8 Synergy Core interface: more I/O than the Discrete 4 and packed with processing capability.

The third-generation Goliath HD shown below (£5455$5995), which is ostensibly a Thunderbolt/USB 3 interface (with optional twin HDX ports), also has a lot to offer: 24-bit, 192kHz A-D with 124dB of dynamic range, no fewer than 32 analogue inputs (16 with dedicated Accusonic mic preamps), and 36 analogue outputs. Digital I/O is also generously provided via twin ADAT ports (16 channels) S/PDIF (two channels) and MADI (up to 64 channels), and zero-latency monitoring can be carried out via four independent internal mixers. The same 36 plug-ins ship with this mega-interface as with the Synergy Cores, with scope for expansion and all the requisite processing on board. However, the new Goliath also includes enough processing to run the 11 classic mic emulations on an Antelope Edge Duo dual-membrane modelling microphone, which is included in the price — overall, it’s quite a package! All of these ‘augmented interfaces’ are shipping now.

The new generation 3 Goliath HD is another comprehensive interface with copious built-in processing power.The new generation 3 Goliath HD is another comprehensive interface with copious built-in processing power.

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