Choosing your Antelope Audio Interface
As a company, our goal with our interfaces is to find the best solution and alternative for every single situation. We have options that cover a range of needs, whether you're a bedroom producer just starting out, an intermediate level producer, or a professional Dolby Atmos engineer.
When it comes to the selling points of an interface, the number and types of inputs/outputs, the quality of conversion, connectivity options, and dedicated software capabilities are the most important factors. Our aim is to create a variety of different product lines that fulfill those requirements to varying extents.
For smaller names, upcoming producers, bedroom producers, singers, and musicians, we've introduced 2 different products from our Zen Series. The Zen Go Synergy Core and the Zen Q Synergy Core are two small desktop interfaces that provide incredible power and unmatched audio quality at a relatively small price tag. The Zen Q provides 2 preamps and 2 hi-Z inputs, a total of 4 line outs for 2 pairs of speakers, as well as digital SPDIF and ADAT connectors, allowing you to expand to up to 10 more channels. The Zen Go is not far behind, with 2 preamps that can be configured to work in hi-Z mode, 1 set of TRS line outs, a set of RCA outs, and a set of 2 additional channels through SPDIF. Both of them have 2 headphone outs, just enough to power a set of mics in order to record an instrument or vocal without compromising quality or having an inability to monitor properly.
Back in our bedroom studio days, we were always searching for a small, reliable machine that wouldn't be pricey, but would still allow us to hear everything that was going on without having to sacrifice quality. If those devices had been available back then, we would have seriously considered copping one of them. They would be ideal for any scenario where not a lot of musicians are involved. They could also be used as standalone I/Os for live sound too, which allows you to use all the Antelope AFX Live and achieve an unrivaled sound, no matter if you're in the studio or in the club.
If you'd like to go one step higher, we offer the Zen Tour Synergy Core and the Discrete PRO Series. The Discrete 8 Pro is a rack-mountable unit, while the smaller Zen Tour SC and Discrete 4 Pro are also desktop interfaces. These 3 interfaces are, in our opinion, the best of both worlds. They are beasts for entry-level producers/musicians and a great reliable solution for high-level engineers and artists.
The Zen Tour Synergy Core and Discrete 4 Pro come with 4 mic preamps, with the Zen Tour having 4 additional guitar (Hi-Z) inputs on the front, while the Discrete 8 Pro has 8 preamps. The DSub output is available in the Zen Tour and Discrete 8 Pro, allowing you to send 8 analog channels of audio through a single connector. Unfortunately, the Discrete 4 Pro does not have the same DSub Out. However, it compensates with 3 sets of line outputs for up to 3 pairs of monitors, and it also provides not 2, but 4 headphone outputs. All three devices have the ADAT and SPDIF connectors, which allow you to expand with up to 10 more inputs/outputs. The Discrete 8 Pro even has 2 ADAT ins/outs, allowing for a total of 18 digital channels (16 through ADAT and 2 through SPDIF) expansion.
Overall, those specifications are more than enough to handle a bigger project, like recording a whole band through a single device. We recommend one of those 3 interfaces to any musicians that work together in groups/bands, or people who have a couple of hardware devices that they'd like to use in a digital system. At a relatively low cost, you can record and monitor a set of different instruments/vocalists without compromising with quality, or monitoring capabilities. This brings a whole new level of creativity in the room, as you're not being stopped by a low channel count or routing capabilities. Coupled with the amazing AD/DA converters and effects, those interfaces are great for any studio environment, as well as live audio. The opportunity to bring a large count of inputs/outputs, without compromising with quality, in your backpack wherever you go, would enable you to become far more versatile in your work and wouldn't limit you to just a single work scenario. We have the Discrete 4 Pro in our studio and are planning on upgrading to the Zen Tour Synergy Core soon for the additional inputs and slightly better conversion.
If you'd like to go all out, the Orion and Galaxy Series are the best for your case - a huge variety of both digital and analog inputs/outputs, unprecedented conversion, a routing which allows you to send basically anything anywhere, topped with a huge DSP/FPGA power for effect processing.
If you're mainly producing, but in a solid, high-level studio environment, we'd go for the Orion Studio Synergy Core. It has a whole lot of analog inputs - 12 in total, for all your favorite synths (using the direct in option, you would be bypassing the whole preamp section and hit the ADs directly, allowing for virtually zero coloration of the sound. It's also got 16 ADAT, 2 SPDIF input/output channels, 2 sets of monitor outs, and a 16-channel DSub line out, separated between 2 DB25 ports. It even has a talkback button. We would use it to record external synths, bands, and in other situations which require multiple preamps. We'd then use the 16 DSub outs to go to an analog console or a summing mixer to finalize our work in there, then print it back through the Orion Studio. It comes with a total of 51 effects and has 2 DSP + 6 FPGA processors - a never-ending source of power for all your AFX.
The other beast from the Orion Series which we currently offer is the Orion 32+ Gen 3. As its name suggests, it has 32 analog inputs and outputs through DSub, 16 ADAT ins/outs, 2 SPDIF ins/outs, and an astonishing 64 ins and outs through a single MADI connector. We have designed it to be the ideal solution for individuals with larger configurations, numerous outboard gear, and mixing consoles. It can seamlessly fit in as the Main Interface of your system while still allowing you to use all your External Gear without compromising its quality or channel count. Our Software Routing Matrix enables you to route any signal anywhere, which is particularly beneficial if you dislike large quantities of cables in confined spaces. In a Bigger Studio Environment, I would use the Orion as a Main Interface or as an I/O and Effect Processor during live events. The MADI Integration is a significant selling point, as it enables you to more than Double the Inputs/Outputs you have, making it challenging to run out of channels on this device.
If you go one step higher, there are not many steps left on the staircase. The only direction you can look is down, with your Galaxy 32 or Galaxy 64 beside you. These two are truly exceptional. They possess everything you could envision, including an abundance of Analog I/O, MADI, Dante, HDX for using your beloved Pro Tools, ADAT, SPDIF, and more. At a higher price point, these interfaces are designed to cater to the needs of large studio setups, involving multiple rooms, extensive external connectivity, and overall vast setups. The Galaxy 32 even features the Dolby Atmos Monitoring Panel, which allows you to use it for any Film Audio Project you have. Our Galaxies are designed to be All-In-One machines, allowing you to integrate them with larger mixing consoles, multiple effect racks, or any device that transmits Digital Audio while Clocking Everything on top and colouring it with our Software Effects. We would not recommend the Galaxy series to users with smaller configurations as it may not be as beneficial, and the lack of preamps would necessitate dedicated preamps or another interface connected to the Galaxy.