Along with their software offerings, SKnote produce a versatile range of hardware units, many of which manage to squeeze in a significant amount of features whilst being available at a relatively modest price point. Their latest unit, Etna-Q, houses eight stereo channels of analogue dynamic EQ along with motorised pots and recall via an external interface and editor software application.
The device occupies 4U of rack space, and has been designed with a simple and intuitive interface despite offering an extensive feature set. Each of the eight stereo channels are equipped with three parametric bands that feature a mixture of active and passive stages, along with a variable high-pass filter and additional Air (high-frequency) band. Eight display screens provide a visual indication for EQ and dynamics parameter values for each band, with control over the parameters taken care of by a set of eight multi-function motorised pots placed along the bottom of the front panel.
In their default state, the pots control the gain, frequency and Q of each band, as well as the values of the high-pass filter and Air bands. A row of buttons to the right of the front panel then allow them to be assigned to other parameters, where they can take control of settings such as threshold, attack, release and ratio values for the built-in per-band compression, limiting and expansion processing. As the control is taken care of digitally, the unit’s settings can be controlled and recalled from a software application via a USB connection, although it is not necessary for operation — the Etna-Q can be used as a completely standalone hardware unit, if desired.
The device’s line-level inputs are transformer-balanced, whilst the outputs are electronically balanced. Due to its large channel count (16 inputs and 16 outputs) all of the I/O is taken care of by DB25 connectors wired to the Tascam standard.
Pricing & Availability
The Etna-Q is available to order now, priced at $€2500.