Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Antelope Audio debuts combined master clock, converter, monitor controller
Antelope Audio has officially launched the Eclipse 384, a first-of-its-kind multifunctional audio device. The unit offers 384kHz A/D and D/A conversion clocked by Antelope's renowned 64-bit technology, plus powerful and flexible monitoring control. The Eclipse 384 was unveiled during the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention in October, resulting in “Best of Show” and “Gear of the Year” accolades from two industry publications.
"The philosophy behind Eclipse 384 is Aristotle's dictum: ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,’” said Igor Levin, CEO and founder of Antelope Audio. “The device is a technological fusion of our best and most prominent innovations, such as the 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) and the Oven-controlled oscillator, high resolution USB streaming, and next generation conversion and power supply circuits.”
The Eclipse comprises 384kHz A/D & D/A converters clocked by two independent 64-bit DSP Trinity-level clocks. The fully integrated monitor controller employs 0.05 dB accurate gold-plated relay attenuators and provides speaker switching, bass management and cue mix functions with integrated talkback. The Eclipse also includes two dedicated headphone amplifiers and a custom USB interface, as well as two large peak meters on the front panel. The advanced software control panel, compatible with Mac and PC, allows five nameable presets for easy recall of favorite setups.
The unique, dual-domain clocking system enables analog-based, more natural sounding sample rate conversion. Integrated patching/routing capabilities for easy monitoring of either analog or digital sources without jitter, distortion and cabling noise. This design choice offers an inherently lower noise floor by eliminating multiple input and output stages and power supplies needed in separate devices.
“The 2U-box easily substitutes and outperforms an equivalent combination of five separate high-end products. It is targeted towards audio engineers who crave superb sound quality and maximum efficiency,” Levin said. “By simply pushing a preset button, a user is able to completely reconfigure dozens of settings. This beats running around the studio and turning a gazillion knobs on multiple devices.”
The Eclipse is also well suited to live environments. Master clocks are becoming more and more popular for use with digital consoles and recording equipment at concerts and live events. By using the Eclipse 384, a live sound engineer is able to provide sync reference for up to four different devices, while using the main D/A for backing material, the A/D with multiple digital outs feeding redundant recording systems, and monitor DAC to check the recording post A/D conversion.
Antelope Audio is accepting pre-orders for Eclipse 384, which is expected to ship during the first quarter of 2012. However, the first pre-ordered units will arrive in studios before the end of 2011.