Antelope Audio’s New Edge For Mic Modeling
If you are like me, you have realized the first step of a quality signal chain is the microphone. But some of the classic tried-and-true microphones we all fell in love with during our audio careers can cost as much as a gold Rolex! A reasonable and versatile studio mic locker can cost as much as a small country. You could fill your mic locker with less expensive microphones but that would also lower the quality of your sound and is counter intuitive to everything we are striving for in the studio! Like they say “…garbage in… garbage out…”! Even the best preamps and converters can’t fix a low quality mic in your signal chain! Well, you could go all in on that one quality mic and use it for everything but all your tracks will have the same sonic character which compounds the mics particular audio signature. The folks at Antelope Audio took this challenge head-on and the team came up with a pretty cool solution, the EDGE Modeling Microphone! The Edge is a dual capsule large diaphragm mic in a very sexy black and copper design. My first thought was, can the Edge stand on its own as a premium high quality mic? There was no way is would be able to emulate the “Big 12” recording mics if it was not an amazing microphone in itself!
The Pudding…“The proof is in the pudding..” so I knew my next step was ask Antelope Audio if they would send over an Edge with the modeling preamp for me to play with for couple weeks. They obliged and it arrived from their corporate headquarters about a week later. The mic came with a sweet hard case wich included the shock mount and their proprietary pop filter. This was perfect for taking the mic with me to sessions at other studios that clients or labels send me to do my work. The Edge was solid and felt good in my hand. The copper-colored grill was super cool and gave the Edge its own hallmark look. The solid build made me comfortable that this mic would be in operations for decades. I set the Edge in its mount with the pop filter on a stand in the iso booth and ran it to the Dicrete MP modeling preamp. I set the software controls to neutral (not emulating another mic). I brought the signal from the preamp directly in
to the Orion 32+ interface without any other components in the signal path. I wanted to “hear” the Edge. I asked a background singer I had been working with that day if she would be so kind as to assist me with a little test. She kindly agreed and stood behind the Edge about 3″ off the pop screen. She launched into an R&B style rif full a-cappella and I listened from the control room. The Edge was very pleasing and had a sweet presence in the upper mids. We tried some off axis takes and a variety of distances and intensities. Overall I was quite impressed. I would be very comfortable using the Edge on my artists even without the modeling capabilities.
Model Behavior…The Edge is offered as a stand alone microphone or in a bundle with the Discrete MP (The Edge Strip). Discrete MP is a mic preamp that has been designed to perfectly match the frequency response of the large-diaphragm components of the Edge modeling microphone featuring dual edge-terminated capsules. This combination of the Edge and the Discrete MP is great for both my personal studios in the Miami and Fort Lauder area of Florida, but to bring with me on the road for projects out-of-state or in other countries. Furthermore, the Edge Strip bundle comes complete with a package of microphone emulations so you have a selection of options right from the start. Preamp emulations are also included in the package, together with the smooth Stay-Levin compressor, personally designed by Igor Levin with the team at Antelope Audio. I no longer need to bring an assortment of microphones from my mic locker but only need the Edge for all large diaphragm purposes. I just select the emulation (modeling) of the microphone I feel best suites the singer or instrument in any given set of conditions.
Both the Discrete MP and Edge are analogue, therefore I can use them with any audio interface and A/D converter used in any studio setup anywhere! Discrete MP allows me to explore the full capabilities of the Edge in both Antelope Audio setups or other brands of audio systems. The Discrete MP easily adapts to any studio setup I am working in.
The emulations are great! Having spent the last 20 plus years working in some of the best new and classic studios in the world, I can tell you that the quality of the Edge Mic Modeling is at a level you would be very comfortable using with any project and any artist. Antelope Audio has come up with incredible cutting-edge products over the years at prices that are well below their competitors. With the Edge/Discrete MP they have done it yet again! I have decided to purchase two Edge / Descrete MP’s. One for our Miami studio and one for Fort Lauderdale studio! This way, my South Florida production team can utilize this powerful tool.
Mic Emulations On The Edge…
Diaphragm: 34mm Large Condenser – Double sided with 6μm gold sputtered membranes
Polar Pattern: Multi-pattern
Freq. response: 20HZ – 20KHZ
Sensitivity: -35dB | 18mV/Pa (-1 to +3dB)
Output impedance: 50 Ohms
Power Requirements: 48V DC Phantom Power
Output Connector: 5-pin male XLR
Color: Black matte
Weight (mic body): 1.23 lbs. (560 grams)
Dimensions (mic body): 8.6″ x 2.1″ (219mm x 53mm)
Breakout Cable: 16.4′ (5meters) 5-pin female XLR to dual 3-pin male XLR (High grade OFC Y cable)
Mount: Shock absorber type with detachable pop-filter
Having just moved to a new home this year, my thoughts immediately turned to the construction of my home project studio. I have used every major Miami studio facility, as well as national and international state-of-the-art facilities for producing artists. This including Mor Play Studios in the famous Wynwood arts district area of Miami where I am a partner. At Mor Play Studios we use the Antelope Audio’s Orion as the I/0 for the SSL XL desk. Now, with my youngest daughter tuning five, I wanted to work from home when I could. However, I needed to keep the projects at that high level of the major recording studios that my artists and the labels demand. Having a structure on my property that was ideal for this build, I retained some top studio designers to help me with the construction planning. You would be surprised how much intricate detail goes into planning a high level production room. Plans completed, it was time to figure out the gear I would be installing. When it came to converters and interfaces, all my research and conversations with my fellow producers kept bringing me to the same conclusion. The Orion 32+. The Orion32 + is a successor to the world’s first 32-channel AD/DA. This one rack space unit has a great smorgasbord of interfaces such as ThunderboltTM, MADI, USB, ADAT, and S/PDIF. The Orion32 + creates seamless connectivity to my Pro Tools and any DAW. So… I got one! I find it has low latency even when simultaneous I/O streaming of 32 channels of 24-bit, up to 192 kHz signal resolution. All the analog ins & outs are connected by 8 D-Sub 25 connectors. There are TRS jacks to send audio to my monitors.
One of the things that makes this and other Antelope Audio devices supercool is the color-coded routing matrix with four separate mixers, Orion 32+ has its own DSP effects built-in. Though it sounds like this much connectivity and processing would create latency issues, no worries because the Orion 32+has zero latency monitoring. All this routing, output mixes, and DSP are entirely controlled by a software application right on my mac that can run simultaneously with my DAW. The software is also available on Windows PC systems. I found the Orion32+ control panel to be very user-friendly.
I was also able to eliminate the need to purchase a word clock/ master clock for the studio because the Orien 32+ has a clock with the proven clocking accuracy. It is supported by Antelope’s renowned 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) jitter management technology, the same one you will find in the “Big Daddy” Trinity Master Clock. If you wish you can even use the 10 MHz input, enabling connectivity to Antelope’s famous 10M Atomic Clock or its successor 10MX. This makes the Orion32+ crystal oscillator incredibly precise. There are two word clock outputs make Orion32 + my interface, but my master clock as well.
Antelope Interfaces include a download license for Presonus Studio One Artist
Antelope Orion 32+ AD/DA Converter Specifications
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Satori (sa·to·ri /səˈtôrē/) – From Budism “Sudden Enlitenment”
If you’re a subscriber or regular reader of Back Stage Indie Report, you probably already know that we are fans of Antelope Audio (see Antelope Audio Orion 32+). Here is a company just a few years ago had 19 full-time employees and now has close to 150. In the competitive market of pro studio gear, to have that kind of success you must be doing something right. One key to their success is being able to offer top studio standards but remain at a price point accessible to the project studio Engineer and Producer.
I just got back from NAMM 2018 in Anaheim California. I spent 3 days there and did not get to 75% of the show. MASSIVE!!! As you may have already guessed, the 25% I did see was in the
Pro Audio building.
That alone was bigger than a football feild. Weaving my way through the other industry folk there ( not open to the public) I saw the unmistakable red leaping antelope that is there logo.
I was greeted by everyone’s favorite Bulgarian, Viloleta Nikolova. She is the Brand Manager for Antelope Audio and travels to the NAMM and AES shows to talk recording gear with the who’s-who in music production. We were going through some of the new gear they had on display when she pointed to the Satori and ask if I was familiar with it. Of course! I’ve been using it for a minute now. Veselin “Ves” Lazarov, Regional Manager came by to say “hello” and update me and The Echo Team members on the rapid growth of the company and its fututre product development. Very innovative stuff!
Satori gives you a monitoring controller that keeps its sonic accuracy while moving around your source signals. Antelope Audio has been designing top analog circuitry, highly optimized PCB organization and ultra conditioned power that results in mastering-quality results at a project studio MSRP.
My Secret Sauce Satori is very useful in getting me an attractive stereo image. It does this by allowing me to mix the mids of the image separately from the sides. This results in very clean and distinctive imaging. Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret!!!
Internal Analog Summing
While providing me with top quality monitor control, Satori also functions as a summing mixer with all 8 channels. The analog summing allows me to mix signals in the analog world for a more authentic mix of instruments. The Satori summing mixer maintains the attack, headroom and great dynamics, while providing me the sound quality of a big analog consoles that my clients demand.
Proprietary Attenuator Design Satori’s attenuator is extremely exact. Most mechanical attenuators, sound pretty good but they do create noise in the form of electrical induced artifacts when the level is changed. Satori has a really dope way of reducing these artifacts but not losing the analog sonic beauty.
Why relays? “The greatest advantage of using relays is that they achieve 0.05 dB stereo accuracy and stable L/R balance even at lower listening levels. Satori also boast .5db increments of source and output trim offset control. This pristine, passive attenuator signal path fully preserves audio signal integrity while revealing even the most subtle nuances.” – Antelope Audio Web Site
Not One Or Two, But Four Independent Headphone Amps To Keep the whole Echo Team In The Mix Satori has 4 seperate headphone amps so it can provided everybody their personal feed with individual volume control. Satori’s headphone amps are the same as those used in Antelope’s top line of home audio converters. Plenty of clean volume to your head-gear.
RS4 Controls Satori At Arm’s Reach
If you have a Satori, or are planing to get one, take advantage of the convenience of the RS4. It’s a bus-powered remote that’s as sexy as the Satori itself. The remote duplicates the controls on the face on my Satori. It gives me an easy ability to quickly controlling Satori from where I’m seated at the mix. My R4S allows me talkback to my artists too.
OK… This Is Really Cool! Pay Attention!
Satori also comes with a free mobile app for either iOS or Android devices. The easy to use app makes my smart phone and tablet into a professional remote control for my Satori. I can sit in the back of the room and crank-up the big boy client speakers and still me in control. In control is exactly where I want to be when it comes to my mixes! I know the guys over at Opus Sun love working with their Satori.
I give it my highest 5 star rating!
This post is also published in the backstageindiereport.org. Go check them out for more news.