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Ferrofish Pulse 16 DX

A-D/D-A & Digital Format Converter
By Hugh Robjohns

Ferrofish Pulse 16 DX

With ADAT, MADI and Dante connectivity on board, this affordable converter can add 16 channels of analogue I/O to almost any setup.

The German manufacturers Ferrofish have, in less than a decade, acquired an enviable reputation for their cost-effective range of analogue-digital and format converters, several of which have been featured in the pages of SOS over the years, including my own reviews of the (discontinued) A16 Ultra MkII (SOS October 2012) and the A32 (SOS March 2017). These devices have become very popular as analogue I/O expanders for DAW interfaces hooked up via ADAT, but also serve as excellent integrators of MADI and, more recently, Dante interfacing in more complex systems. The company also manufacture the Verto range, which omits the analogue I/O and converts directly between Dante and ADAT, or between Dante, ADAT, and MADI.

First shown at the Prolight + Sound ('Messe') exhibition in 2017, the Pulse 16 range is effectively the replacement for the old A16 series, but it has recently gained a new sibling in the form of the Dante-equipped Pulse 16 DX model. The range line-up starts with the basic Pulse 16 version, which accommodates 16 channels in and out, converting in both directions between line-level balanced analogue and ADAT at sample rates up to 96kHz (using S/MUX2). Two colour TFT screens display input and output metering for all channels, as well as the various configuration and operating menus — it's all controlled from the front panel via a couple of buttons and an encoder knob, very much like the A32, actually. The unit can also be controlled remotely via MIDI.

Next up is the Pulse 16 MX, which adds optical MADI interfacing. The base model can be user-upgraded to the MX version if desired, simply by installing a plug-in optical interface module and a firmware upgrade. In addition to the MADI connectivity, the MX model can also operate at sample rates up to 192kHz, although only eight channels can be passed over the ADAT connections at this rate (using S/MUX4). The MADI interface also supports MIDI-over-MADI, both for remote control of the Pulse 16 MX itself, and to pass control information to other connected devices.

Audio channels can be routed between the MADI, ADAT, and analogue I/O ports as desired, but always in eight–channel blocks. Since MADI can carry up to 64 channels, a MADI signal can be daisy-chained through four Pulse 16 MX units to create a complete A-D/D-A...

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Published September 2019