Not that long ago, professional audio interfaces used to be big, expensive, and obtuse. Sounding like the pros was too financially and technologically challenging for most hobby producers. Nowadays, audio interfaces like the Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core place the capacity of pro-level hardware on your desktop at a much fairer cost of admission. It’s an exciting time to be serious about music production, even if living off it is possibly harder than it’s ever been for up-and-coming artists.
The Zen Q Synergy Core is an interesting product from every angle. Don’t let its compact size fool you – this interface is up for competent recording action out of the box. Connecting over Thunderbolt 3, it features Antelope Audio’s signature audio quality and proprietary Synergy Core real-time effects processing.
IMAGE: ANTELOPE AUDIO
At 127dB of headroom and up to 24-bit / 192kHz resolution, the AD/DA converters boast best-in-class performance that’s complemented by the manufacturer’s Acoustically Focused Clocking technology. The algorithm masterfully shapes digital conversion errors like jitter into phenomena which actually contribute to (rather than degrade) a remarkably musical, wide, and clear recording and listening experience.
Zen Q Synergy Core also offers dual discrete microphone preamps with 65dB of gain, designed after classic recording consoles, and dual Hi-Z instrument inputs. Output choices include dual line outputs, a stereo monitor output, and dual stereo headphone outputs (for which you can create separate mixes). There’s also S/PDIF for an additional two channels of digital I/O.
What’s more, the interface is able to grow with your skills and projects by virtue of its ADAT input. It lets you connect external digital equipment – such as mic preamps – to expand your recording options. This comes at a quite possibly lesser cost than acquiring a newer, bigger audio interface to accommodate larger sessions.
Antelope Audio’s Synergy Core effects processing platform is built into the Zen Q as well. It employs dual DSP cores and a single FPGA chip to compute highly realistic emulations of classic recording equipment in real-time. This means you can monitor and record using indispensable studio effects at sub-millisecond (imperceptible) latency without tormenting your computer.
There are 37 of them to start off with, and more can be purchased from Antelope Audio. Furthermore, bringing any of the manufacturer’s Edge modeling microphones into the fold lets you tap into 18+ vintage mic emulations. When modern and crisp doesn’t quite cut it, switch mic models around until you find just the right flavor. Talk about being spoiled for choice!
Control over every aspect of the Zen Q Synergy Core production experience is established from physical top panel controls and the Windows/macOS Control Panel application. While the keys and color screen provide immediate access to level monitoring and other functions, the app offers simple, yet powerful signal routing possibilities. There are also custom monitoring mixes and presets with signal routing, level adjustments, and effects chains.
Overall, the Zen Q Synergy Core makes for a capable recording, mixing, and production centerpiece for intermediate and professional users. You can learn more about it from Antelope Audio.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.