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Antelope Announces Zen Studio (complete interface solution) now shipping Audio Interfaces
Old 25th November 2014
  #421
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 

Anybody tryed using a Zen Studio with Windows 8.1 and/or Cubase 5.5?
Thanks
Old 25th November 2014
  #422
Here for the gear
 

I did notice that on the Antelope website in one of their setup videos he was using a windows 8 machine. Probably not a lot of help to you but thought I would mention it.

Cheers,

Robert
Old 25th November 2014
  #423
Gear Maniac
 
Sharkus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgmartin View Post
I did notice that on the Antelope website in one of their setup videos he was using a windows 8 machine. Probably not a lot of help to you but thought I would mention it.

Cheers,

Robert


I guess I should create an account on Antelopes website and submit a question to their tech people but just thought I'd ask here in case anyone has used one in that way.

Thanks!
Old 25th November 2014
  #424
Here for the gear
 

Antelope dropped $200 on sweetwaters site... Cool, because I ordered mine a few days ago and it just shipped from sweetwater today... Hope they will take the additional $200 off..........
Old 25th November 2014
  #425
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidiliyn View Post
Antelope dropped $200 on sweetwaters site... Cool, because I ordered mine a few days ago and it just shipped from sweetwater today... Hope they will take the additional $200 off..........
Oh man, the price seems to be dropping similarly everywhere. Ah well.
Old 25th November 2014
  #426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkus View Post
Anybody tryed using a Zen Studio with Windows 8.1 and/or Cubase 5.5?
Thanks
Hi, no need to submit a ticket =)
Zen Studio works fine with Windows 8.1, but regarding Cubase we recommend 7.5 and above. We have not tested on 5.5 and cannot confirm the compatibility.

Cheers,
Georgi
Old 25th November 2014
  #427
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidiliyn View Post
Antelope dropped $200 on sweetwaters site... Cool, because I ordered mine a few days ago and it just shipped from sweetwater today... Hope they will take the additional $200 off..........
Now it's $200 off AND a free rack kit!
Old 25th November 2014
  #428
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ullanta View Post
Now it's $200 off AND a free rack kit!
I lied. After looking at my invoice they did give me the $200 off and rack kit.

High five!!!
Old 25th November 2014
  #429
Quote:
Originally Posted by ullanta View Post
Now it's $200 off AND a free rack kit!
It's a Black Friday Special we're running through Dec 7. $200 off and a free rack kit.

Best Regards,
Marcel
Old 30th November 2014
  #430
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
It's a Black Friday Special we're running through Dec 7. $200 off and a free rack kit.

Best Regards,
Marcel
Hi Marcel , this sounds like its antelopes promo ..., is this available at your international dealers , or just from sweetwater ? thx
Old 4th December 2014
  #431
Thanks to the following great people for their amazing work on this new Antelope Audio video using the Zen Studio's mic preamps and converters. Bryant Siono - Bass, Kenneth Crouch - B3 Organ, Carnell Harrell - Piano, Kendall Lee Gilder - Guitar, Charles Streeter - Drums, Fausto Cuevas - Percussion, Toni Scruggs- Vocal, Brian Vibberts - Recording and Mix Engineer, The Orange Door - Mastering. Steve Oropeza - Video Production.

Sweetwater will be posting the stems for this one soon.

Old 9th December 2014
  #432
Love this Zen user review

And yes his suggestions have been forwarded to our team. :-)

(Zen Studio user review from sweetwater.com
UPDATE: Raises the bar for classical recording!
OK, I've been using the Zen Studio extensively for about a month now, and have a good feeling for its strengths and weaknesses. I will say first and foremost that the strengths are great and set the Zen well above any competitor (for my purposes at least), while the weaknesses I'll discuss are all addressable by firmware or software updates, and Antelope has shown itself to be very responsive to customer feedback, and I've been told by their easily-accessible senior staff members that many of my comments will indeed be addressed in firmware/software updates that will be out soon.

THE SOUND: The Zen is a very transparent interface that doesn't add its own personality - an excellent device for classical work. I can't yet separate the influence of preamps and converters (I will be making more extensive comparisons with other preamps soon), but the combination here is beautifully unobtrusive - no appreciable noise, even at high gains, no frequency emphases, no blurring or high-end harshness. It handles high mic outputs at high vocal frequencies very well... better than anything I've used except my Millennia HV-3Ds. I record a lot of operatic sopranos, and their dynamic range really exercises all aspects of a preamp. I've found that loud soprano passages are where most preamps (and some converters) start to show their weakness, growing harsh or even artifacty; the Zen has been handling these with exquisite smoothness and, again, transparency. Also, in recording live opera, the distance from the singer to the mic varies during the performance from 6 inches to 40 feet. Combining the wide dynamic range of the material at the source and this tremendous variation in distance to the mic, you can see how demanding this is on preamp and converter quality. The Zen has proven itself to really excel here. I'd feel comfortable, finally, using this interface in most location situations without the Millennias in front of it.

FEATURES: The outstanding feature of the Zen is its ability to handle 20 simultaneous analog inputs (12 with the excellent preamps, 8 line-level only). The size and complexity of my portable system is significantly reduced - no more external units connected to the main interface via ADAT! It is common that I need more than the 8 analog ins on most competitive units, and somewhat common that I need more than the 12 that are offered by the highest-analog-count competitors, and rare indeed that I'd need more than 20. So this is basically what I've been waiting for for a long time! The converters are better than I'd find in outboard ADAT units, the pres are excellent, so there's no reason to lug a separate interface and one or two ADAT units for 99.44% of my projects - this little unit will handle them all. It will take up to 16 channels of ADAT input as well if ever its needed - though only a maximum 24 channels can be sent to the computer via USB simultaneously. So, as the main feature and the one that alone makes the Zen worth the price - this and my Millennia HV-3D alone give me 20 analog channels of quality suitable for - really, perfect for - the demands of high-dynamic-range classical recording. Many of the other features are useful as well, especially the recallable settings of the control panel, the on-board mixing, flexible routing, etc. There's a lot of DSP power and flexibility that I'll likely never use, but which will be of great utility to folks working in other genres.

RELIABILITY: The system has been rock-solid reliable in both real-world situations and in "torture testing" where I recorded 20 analog channels at thigh sample rates for a number of 6-12 hour runs. There were one or two issues with the process of early firmware updates on the first day I had the Zen that frighteningly made the Zen seem fried... but a system reset button-combination cured this. So... if this happens, don't be worried until you've gone through the system reset procedure (remove power, apply power while holding the up and down buttons).

IN USE: The biggest change I needed to make to accommodate the Zen has to do with the fact that EVERYTHING is controlled via the computer GUI - preamp gains, phantom power, metering, etc. As in my testing I've generally NOT used the Millennias (which have nice big physical gain knobs), I've felt some frustration with the gain setting. Especially when you have to juggle between DAW windows and the Zen Control Panel GUI. And, even more, because in the current implementation the GUI knobs are hard to control, the gain numbers are near impossible to see. Metering is also difficult to see, both in the GUI and on the device front panel. There's really no reason for this... the GUI just uses tiny, tiny numbers with a lot of space around them, and no resizability. There are also several controls that are dangerously easy to hit by mistake when crowding your screen with Zen Control panel and DAW windows. Metering during recording is not such a problem as I can use the much better meters in the DAW (though it would be nice if the front-panel meters were a bit clearer); but metering of factors in the on-board mixers is a problem, especially metering the main outs of these mixes - there seems to be no meter for this in the mixer views. So - this is a big change, and currently, the implementation makes it more problematic than it should be. However, the folks at Antelope have recognized these issues, and have solutions in the works. Specifically mentioned also has been the addition of the ability to set preamp gains using the big knob on the front panel. And oh, the front panel! The only controls are the big knob (which rotates and clicks), the up and down buttons far away from it on the right, and the "Power/Standby" button right next to the knob on the left. This is a dangerous and counterintuitive button placement - the Power button seems like what you would push to select between the functions of the knob, and indeed can be accidentally pressed when reaching for the knob. While the unit is active via USB, the Power/Standby button doesn't shut the device off, it just stops functionality of the GUI... but in my testing, pushing the button again to get the GUI back (and ALL CONTROL IS VIA THE GUI) always resulted in a glitch in the recording. So... not a button that should be anywhere where it can be accidentally pressed. I hope that Antelope will address this in firmware (I'd love to be able to completely disable the button, or use it for something else since Standby is not clearly useful); until then I've made a physical block to insure its never pushed (gaffers tape and a toothpaste cap!).

CONCLUSION: I am loving the Zen... and importantly, I'm loving it more every day rather than having the common fading of the "new purchase glow." It is truly excellent and beautiful in functionality, which is what counts most. The ergonomics of the controls and metering are serviceable, but need a lot of improvement... but in the short time I've had the Zen, I've seen a lot of updates to address user concerns, and I've gotten personal responses from Antelope folks that make it clear that they are working hard and effectively to address the issues I have. So, that is the beauty of the GUI-based system - it can evolve and improve, and the beauty of Antelope seems to be that they are indeed dedicated to such evolution and improvement. So, for me this is in current form a five-star device with a few issues; but with an update or two (which have been said to be on the way) will be elevated to some higher state beyond the rating system. The Zen really has raised the bar for similar products, and is unmatched in portable utility for classical work. Bravo!
Old 10th December 2014
  #433
Gear Head
 

All I can say is that I am extremely impressed with Antelope's rare integrity, openness, and drive to improve their excellent products. That Clybourne posted the entire review above - as something he loves! - rather than excerpting, demonstrates exactly what sets Antelope apart. They value users' feedback, listen carefully, acknowledge issues, and fix 'em. Openness and respect for the user, rather than defensiveness and stony silence. I think it's the winning path, that few are wise enough to follow!
Old 10th December 2014
  #434
Well Antelope makes great product but their marketing skills is kind of dumb. Well, with the christmas promotion they are selling the zen studio for $200 cheaper plus free carry case. While for us, an existing owner of zen studio we paid more for the zen studio and we have to pay $59 extra for the bag. SMH. Plus the finish on the case of zen studio is extremely fragile, I got a few scratches on it the 1st day I got it while it stays at home, I really don't know if it was manufacturer errors or there's a ghost at my home.
Old 18th December 2014
  #435
Zen Studio dry stems posted

Here's a InSync STORY we've been working together with Sweetwater for the last couple months that includes two recording sessions with the associated dry DRY STEMS of the two projects.
Old 28th February 2015
  #436
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Sabe's Avatar
 

I have been following this thread for quite a long time and decided to try the Zen Studio. My system is a PCAudiolabs Music Workstation custom built in California and tweaked to perfection for Win7 64bit performance. I run Pro Tools 11 with an Avid 003 rack + and it has performed flawlessly, I simply have outgrown the I/O. I have also successfully used my Avid 11 rack flawlessly, but of course the I/O is extremely limited on that unit. Here is my story

Zen Control Panel installed nicely, the drivers installed not so nicely. Couldn't recognize USB device, etc... generic Win7 errors. Finally, after a reboot, and a reset all was installed.

I opened Zen Control Panel, launched Pro Tools. I could see the Zen was the selected interface. Loaded a session I had been working on the day before, one acoustic guitar track, one vocal track. Hit play and this is what happens:

Pro Tools immediately pops up an error box that says: "Pro Tools could not initialize the ZenStudio ASIO Driver. Please make sure the device has been configured correctly." Then Pro Tools hard freezes and forces a reboot! :(

I reboot, all seems okay with my system, so I launch Steinberg Wavelab 7. Select Zen Studio as the sound card device, load a 16bit 44.1k wav file, hit play and boom, Steinberg hard freezes and forces a reboot! No error messages. Clearly the ASIO driver has a conflict.

I have submitted a ticket at Antelope, though it is the weekend. Unless they can do something miraculous and make this ASIO driver work within the 30 day warranty I will be forced to return the Zen and will most likely exchange it for an RME Fireface UFX. Sorry Antelope, I tried, but I am no software technician nor do I wish to be. I will certainly try anything you may suggest in hopes of success, but at this point it appears hopeless.

Thanks for any help forthcoming.
Old 3rd March 2015
  #437
Here for the gear
 
Sabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabe View Post
I have been following this thread for quite a long time and decided to try the Zen Studio. My system is a PCAudiolabs Music Workstation custom built in California and tweaked to perfection for Win7 64bit performance. I run Pro Tools 11 with an Avid 003 rack + and it has performed flawlessly, I simply have outgrown the I/O. I have also successfully used my Avid 11 rack flawlessly, but of course the I/O is extremely limited on that unit. Here is my story

Zen Control Panel installed nicely, the drivers installed not so nicely. Couldn't recognize USB device, etc... generic Win7 errors. Finally, after a reboot, and a reset all was installed.

I opened Zen Control Panel, launched Pro Tools. I could see the Zen was the selected interface. Loaded a session I had been working on the day before, one acoustic guitar track, one vocal track. Hit play and this is what happens:

Pro Tools immediately pops up an error box that says: "Pro Tools could not initialize the ZenStudio ASIO Driver. Please make sure the device has been configured correctly." Then Pro Tools hard freezes and forces a reboot! :(

I reboot, all seems okay with my system, so I launch Steinberg Wavelab 7. Select Zen Studio as the sound card device, load a 16bit 44.1k wav file, hit play and boom, Steinberg hard freezes and forces a reboot! No error messages. Clearly the ASIO driver has a conflict.

I have submitted a ticket at Antelope, though it is the weekend. Unless they can do something miraculous and make this ASIO driver work within the 30 day warranty I will be forced to return the Zen and will most likely exchange it for an RME Fireface UFX. Sorry Antelope, I tried, but I am no software technician nor do I wish to be. I will certainly try anything you may suggest in hopes of success, but at this point it appears hopeless.

Thanks for any help forthcoming.
Solved!

I contacted Sweetwater Sweetcare Tech Support and the fella there knew exactly what to do. Maybe this should be made public knowledge:

In the Zen Studio Control Panel Options Tab the "ASIO USB Streaming Mode" can not be set to the lowest setting "min latency", however it can be set one up from the bottom or any of the other choices. All of the "ASIO Buffer" sample settings can be used. Mine is currently at 64 and working perfectly. The Sweetwater Tech Guy has confirmed this with all Win7 64bit Pro Tools 11 systems that he has encountered.

Thanks,

Daniel Prather
Old 15th May 2015
  #438
Jonathan Davis loves his Zen Studio

Old 30th July 2015
  #439
SEA
Lives for gear
 
SEA's Avatar
 

Hey Marcel! How would you say the sound of the Zen Studio compares to the Pure2?

I haven't read all 15 pages of this thread so forgive if it was already answered!

Best!
SEA
Old 19th August 2015
  #440
Gear Addict
Just Ordered my Zen Studio.. Can't wait to Try it out when it arrives.
Old 15th September 2015
  #441
Gear Head
 
Redoubt9000's Avatar
Unsure, but with the Dsub lineouts I could connect additional active monitors and route, for example, 'USB 1/2' to 'Line Out 1/2' could I not? Would there be any reason to expect lesser DAC versus the dedicated monitor L/R outs? Thanks!

Definitely digging the Zen so far. Currently listening to it exclusively for a couple of weeks before I decide to A/B against my prior interface again. Don't foresee returning the unit, given its routing I/O and preamps being a major step up over what I previously had. So far it's really complimenting my humble little home setup quite well :D
Old 15th September 2015
  #442
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redoubt9000 View Post
Unsure, but with the Dsub lineouts I could connect additional active monitors and route, for example, 'USB 1/2' to 'Line Out 1/2' could I not? Would there be any reason to expect lesser DAC versus the dedicated monitor L/R outs? Thanks!

Definitely digging the Zen so far. Currently listening to it exclusively for a couple of weeks before I decide to A/B against my prior interface again. Don't foresee returning the unit, given its routing I/O and preamps being a major step up over what I previously had. So far it's really complimenting my humble little home setup quite well :D
I can't fully address the issue of DAC quality differences, but I see no reason why there should be any. The main difference would be the ease of level control.

But you are correct about the routing; you can route any USB outputs from the computer to any of the DSUB outs.
Old 16th September 2015
  #443
Gear Head
 
Redoubt9000's Avatar
Curious to know about the UI functions on everyone's unit. To select the additional options accessible on the front panel, one can hold down the standy button for several seconds, in order to access other options such as mic gain, clock source, etc.

However none of the front panel controls allow me to select and further navigate this menu or its options. I can cycle through the top level menu with the jog wheel, but that's about it. Latest firmware. Have I a defective panel button, or has this additional functionality not been implemented just yet, despite being able to navigate to this top-level menu?
Old 21st September 2015
  #444
Gear Addict
(I posted this in the other Zen forum as well but i thought i'll do it here also)

Hi all. I'm trying to use the Main Inserts on the Zen.. There are two inserts and i'm trying to hook up a compressor just to try it out, however, i'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work. I used a TRS "y" cable plugged in Insert 1 and the resulting L&R cable from the "y" goes into the Input/Output of the compressor.... Is this Correct? cause i'm not getting any type of change when i turn the compressor knobs.... Also, I don't really see anywhere in the Zen Control Panel that relates to the inserts.....

So I guess my question is, How do i use theses inserts exactly?
Old 24th September 2015
  #445
Quote:
Originally Posted by mustream View Post
(I posted this in the other Zen forum as well but i thought i'll do it here also)

Hi all. I'm trying to use the Main Inserts on the Zen.. There are two inserts and i'm trying to hook up a compressor just to try it out, however, i'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work. I used a TRS "y" cable plugged in Insert 1 and the resulting L&R cable from the "y" goes into the Input/Output of the compressor.... Is this Correct? cause i'm not getting any type of change when i turn the compressor knobs.... Also, I don't really see anywhere in the Zen Control Panel that relates to the inserts.....

So I guess my question is, How do i use theses inserts exactly?
The Inserts are hardwired into Inputs 1-2, so you'd be using those to put a compressor or eq on something you're tracking, for example.

To create a hw insert on something inside a daw, you'd route two outs to to D/A channels and then come back into two inputs and route those to USB REC channels. Make more sense?

Thanks,
Marcel
Old 24th September 2015
  #446
New Reverb now ready for Zen Studio called AuraVerb.

Old 24th September 2015
  #447
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
The Inserts are hardwired into Inputs 1-2, so you'd be using those to put a compressor or eq on something you're tracking, for example.

To create a hw insert on something inside a daw, you'd route two outs to to D/A channels and then come back into two inputs and route those to USB REC channels. Make more sense?

Thanks,
Marcel
Thanks for responding marcel. I think i got it..... I think..............

(Ps: i'm a bit slow on the uptake here, would be nice to have a short little video to demonstrate a scenario like this)
Old 24th September 2015
  #448
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
New Reverb now ready for Zen Studio called AuraVerb.

Another thing.... Is the reverb available for download? Cause i checked Antelope's web site (under the Zen section) and i don't see any new files for downloading or anything......I'm assuming it would be a control panel update?
Old 24th September 2015
  #449
Lives for gear
 
Solar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustream View Post
Another thing.... Is the reverb available for download? Cause i checked Antelope's web site (under the Zen section) and i don't see any new files for downloading or anything......I'm assuming it would be a control panel update?
Yes it will be a a control panel update
Old 24th September 2015
  #450
Gear Nut
Hoping someone can help...

I'm at a friends trying to use his Zen, but it's not working quite right - a couple problems:

1 - I can route audio to ProTools, record it, and play it back, but I can't hear any audio in input. I have to record it and then play it back to hear whats going on, and I don't hear anything during recording - only on playback. Weird.

2 - When I route a mic input to a mixer, and that mixer's output to the headphones, I see the mic input on the mixer, but hear nothing from the mixer's output. I tried routing the mic directly to the headphone output, but that doesn't work either.

This is the new software version with the reverb included. Any ideas? We're dead in the water...
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