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Antelope Announces Zen Studio (complete interface solution) now shipping Audio Interfaces
Old 28th March 2014
  #241
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andrewj's Avatar
Probably one of the most interesting units (at least for my needs) from the exhibitions.

I wonder if what real low latency means and if they will offer something like direct monitoring!? Then it could replace my Steinberg interface. Or it could be integrated in my system via ADAT!

Oh and I agree the price would be really interesting!
Old 28th March 2014
  #242
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Immersion's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
Guys, I am here to help in any way I can and I'll do my best. I looked over the previous few posts and the only question I saw was "How is that hard to understand?"

So, if the main question is why is the Eclipse $7000 and the Orion is $3000, the answer is mostly due to the fact Eclipse was engineered and built with 70 relays. The Eclipse also has higher spec converter chips. The reason I don't claim that one piece of gear has better sound than another, is because it turns out our clocking, power technology and overall design approach of our circuits outweigh the importance of a particular chip's specs when it comes to building a unit that sounds great.

The Eclipse384 is a much different animal than Orion32. Sound quality isn't it's only virtue. You just cannot cram all the I/O it has, which are largely XLR's, into a 1U chassis. The power supply is much larger to power all those relays, as well.

The Orion32 is a very interesting feat of engineering. No relays, small power draw, all DB25's for it's analog I/O. It still sounds great, but you don't have speaker outs, volume control, XLR's, multiple clock rates. All the things we've pointed out. We also sell WAY more Orions, which helps us sell them at lower margins thanks to the economies of scale.

Setting the price of Zen Studio is also about more than just components. We have to look at our competition, we have to consider what our sales goals are and we have to cover our significant investment in R&D of things like DSP development.

I hope you'll all get the opportunity to listen to these products, see them up close and choose the one that best suits your needs, budget and particular goals for your audio systems.

Best,
Marcel
I think you should be careful making statements like the clock is more important then the rest of the chain, of course I understand that you represent a "clocking company", but this feels like PR talk to me. Converter and circuits etc.. of course the clock is important atleast if it use the AFC technology which basically analogize the sound..it is more then just a clock.

But if you or your company stand buy this philosophy then you could have a mediocre product but then "boost" it with your magic clock and everything will sound awesome.

The fact that you use Relays in the monitor controller shows also the importance of relays and its benefits in a monitor controller... I bought Eclipse mainly because it was relay based which is quite unique.

The monitor controller can be the most critical part of a chain in a studio chain since the monitor controller represent the "final" product" into an analogue language, in the case of all in one products, the product is only as good as it's weakest link.

I was earlier informed that it had the same Monitor controller as in Eclipse, this means 70 relays, I realize now, since it is 1U chassis, it has no chance to fit with all these 70 relays, so I guess it is a compromised version, I am waiting for Antelope to confirm number for relays or if the Zen have relays at all, the information I did get before from Antelope support was that the only difference was more "silent relays", but since I seem to get different answer on chat support and email support I better ask again..so they get more time to look into the questions.. I also had to ask about the headphone amp...

I do not claim to be any converter/pre amp expert, but regarding the Power supply, I know even if it has the same converters their properties can differ with different power supply and especially with multi channel converters the power supply gets more important, for instance Phoenix audio released their MKII version with improved power supply... to get better noise floor and performance.

I assume the Power supply is one more thing that is better in Eclipse, since it is most likely demanding more power but also lack of space will force the power supply to have a smaller coil.

I would love to see an inside picture of the Zen studio, if some one have it please show us would be very interesting to see...

Since I am an Eclipse owner I find it important to know the differences since I have paid the price of 4 Zen Studios for the Eclipse.

Anway I will return when I have got a new reply from Antelope Audio regarding the monitor controller and headphone amp.
Old 28th March 2014
  #243
Just send back your ecplise and deal with your beef offline. This is disrupting a thread about the Zen product. Off topic.
Old 28th March 2014
  #244
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Immersion's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuene View Post
Just send back your ecplise and deal with your beef offline. This is disrupting a thread about the Zen product. Off topic.
Why should I send back when my Eclipse when I am perfectly happy with the product ? It is more like a nail in the eye of current Eclipse users because of the price.

Anyway I have got a reply from Antelope now regarding the monitor controller/headphone amp

Quote:
This is not yet defined as the product is still ongoing in its devleopment before release. However it will be most likely that it wont be a relay stepped attentuator but just a stepped attenutator for volume control and main out.

Antelope Support
I guess Clybourne have some kind of "prototype" since they do not even know or have decided if they are going to use a stepped attenuator for volume control... it seem reasonable if you ask me.. a 70 relay monitor controller for that price would be insane.

Old 28th March 2014
  #245
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Strange Leaf's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
It's the furthest possible thing to a "kid's toy".
Read my post again, and maybe you get what I was saying.
Old 28th March 2014
  #246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Man View Post
Will the Zen Studio have a lower latency mode as found in the Orion? And will it be suitable for tracking VSTi Synths etc?

Thanks.
The driver(s) are the same as for Orion. Again, I'm a Mac user, so I never comment myself on PC performance, but I know it's also great on most PC's and there are a few modes to adapt to the computer's performance. I'll ask someone from our Support team to chime in with more details here, because one of the great things about Zen is it's cross-platform compatibility.

Thanks,
Marcel
Old 28th March 2014
  #247
Administrator
 
Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

If somebody has an issue with Antelope, for whatever reason, they are more than welcome to contact them directly.

They have great Customer Support, just submit a ticket here!

It will not be resolved here!

Thanks
Old 28th March 2014
  #248
Thanks Graham. But, keep the Zen Studio questions coming. I appreciate those and this is the place to do that. Many in our team are following this thread. We can't fill every request, but we listen and absolute care about what you have to say. :-)

Best,
Marcel
Old 28th March 2014
  #249
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Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

Of course, keep the discussion going.
Old 29th March 2014
  #252
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Oroz's Avatar
 

This interface looks very interesting but can someone clarify the USB 2.0 please? Is it reliable? Can it really handle all the power it offers through a USB 2.0 connection? It looked really promising but as other guys are saying: why not thunderbolt or at least USB 3.0. I really don't get it and it's a turn off to me too.
Old 29th March 2014
  #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oroz View Post
This interface looks very interesting but can someone clarify the USB 2.0 please? Is it reliable? Can it really handle all the power it offers through a USB 2.0 connection? It looked really promising but as other guys are saying: why not thunderbolt or at least USB 3.0. I really don't get it and it's a turn off to me too.
What, so you think they're releasing this product knowing that USB 2 is too slow for its features?

USB2 is fine, especially for interfaces that use DSP for direct monitoring.
Old 29th March 2014
  #254
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Strange Leaf's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oroz View Post
This interface looks very interesting but can someone clarify the USB 2.0 please? Is it reliable? Can it really handle all the power it offers through a USB 2.0 connection? It looked really promising but as other guys are saying: why not thunderbolt or at least USB 3.0. I really don't get it and it's a turn off to me too.
If it doesn't need USB3.0 or TB then why would you want it?

Like it was stated in the RME thread, USB2 is fine. Thunderbolt can move more bulk data but the speed of USB2.0 is fast enough for low latency. With no traffic stock in sight, your car does not move faster if there are more lanes on the highway. Also, USB2.0 way outperforms USB3 and TB when it comes to compability.
Old 29th March 2014
  #255
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Oroz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
What, so you think they're releasing this product knowing that USB 2 is too slow for its features?

USB2 is fine, especially for interfaces that use DSP for direct monitoring.
I don't know, that's why I'm asking. I really like it, I'm just a little bit scared about reading USB 2. If it works, I'm in.
Old 29th March 2014
  #256
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Oroz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Leaf View Post
If it doesn't need USB3.0 or TB then why would you want it?

Like it was stated in the RME thread, USB2 is fine. Thunderbolt can move more bulk data but the speed of USB2.0 is fast enough for low latency. With no traffic stock in sight, your car does not move faster if there are more lanes on the highway. Also, USB2.0 way outperforms USB3 and TB when it comes to compability.
Great. I just want to make clear that I'm not against it or anything like that. I just need more information on the subject to really be sure.

Looking very promising so far.

Thanks for your posts.
Old 29th March 2014
  #257
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Immersion's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
What, so you think they're releasing this product knowing that USB 2 is too slow for its features?

USB2 is fine, especially for interfaces that use DSP for direct monitoring.
Antelope have a special designed USB chip which take FULL advantage of the bandwidth.. unlike most other interfaces...
Old 29th March 2014
  #258
Here for the gear
 

Hey, Marcel!
Thanks for starting and maintaining this thread! I'm plotting some upgrades to my project studio and Zen Studio is on a very short list of contenders (along with UAD Apollo Quad and Metric Halo LIO8). Will definitely keep up with this thread as the release nears. Any chance of doing a demo in LA?
A couple preferences I thought I'd air since you invited commentary and since it seems like some final decisions about the product are still being made:

1) I'd concur with the preference others have stated for a 1U format. How it's accomplished (1U chassis, custom shelf, rack ears) doesn't matter much to me. What I'd add is that while I (like some others probably) am most likely to keep this racked up in one place, I'd prefer it be 1U even for portable use, as I'd want to put it in a small rack with a few favorite pres.

2) While I'm sure space in the chassis is a limiting factor for this, I'd much prefer a standard IEC jack and internal supply to an external adaptor. In my experience, external adaptors fail a bit more often, and I also think an IEC connection is far friendlier for portable use: IEC cables are ubiquitous, while forgetting a specific external supply at home can be a real headache. Hoping Antelope can find a way to squeeze in an IEC jack like they did on the Orion!

Anyway, neither of these would be a deal breaker for me - just preferences. Looking forward to learning more as the release gets closer!

Thanks,
Andrew
Old 29th March 2014
  #259
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Cheech's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by antithesist View Post
Yeah... and it has a handle!

Seriously though, I'd be all over this if there was more input to output parity.

I know, Orion... don't need that many.

Anyway, it's still a contender for one of our upgrades.

The frustrating thing is that there's nothing that's "just right."

That's not to fault this or other boxes, though.

Did I mention the handle?
So funny!


Bottom line I think this product is number one on my radar, as the very next audio purchase I make. It fits my process so stinking well!

Funky handle and all, I LOVE IT!

I can not wait for this thing to be available. I stumbled across this product yesterday, with a friend who is purchasing an Orion. I couldn't find much info, until I found this thread.

Marcell, thanks for all of the info!!
Old 30th March 2014
  #260
Here for the gear
 

This looks a great product!

I have to voice one big "but" though:

If I want to record my band live we need 12 preamps, so this unit is perfect in that regard. Until now the only other interface with 12 was the Roland Studio Capture, or some solution involving a full size mixing desk or two interfaces connected via adat.

So this in 1u size is awesome. BUT it's a bit more expensive than RME Fireface UFX here in UK... and the UFX can record direct to USB drive. For DIY live recording, not needing a laptop on stage is a massive feature.

It seems a big oversight not to include this, especially on a unit that seems designed for portable recording (carry handle, no rack ears... and surely most studios prefer separate preamps).
Old 30th March 2014
  #261
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueskiwi View Post
This looks a great product!

I have to voice one big "but" though:

If I want to record my band live we need 12 preamps, so this unit is perfect in that regard. Until now the only other interface with 12 was the Roland Studio Capture, or some solution involving a full size mixing desk or two interfaces connected via adat.

So this in 1u size is awesome. BUT it's a bit more expensive than RME Fireface UFX here in UK... and the UFX can record direct to USB drive. For DIY live recording, not needing a laptop on stage is a massive feature.

It seems a big oversight not to include this, especially on a unit that seems designed for portable recording (carry handle, no rack ears... and surely most studios prefer separate preamps).
Well said.
Old 31st March 2014
  #262
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Hello @Marcel!

I'm writing here concerning Zen Studio & Orion because I've pm'ed you & I sent you an email (after you gave me your email address) and I never got an answer back and I'm interested trying & on purchasing Zen Studio but as i've been reading this thread, i'm kind of leaning towards the Orion because I'm very interested on the 23 channels In & outs.

But I'd like to know if the Orion has like the Zen Studio, built-in DSP? If not, are you guys planning or on the work on a new Orion32 (Second Gen) that will have integrated DSP? Because the first reason I wanted to get the Zen is mostly for the high audio uality i've been reading around about Antelope products but also about the built-in DSP and how the clock is rock solid. I've been an RME users and still am but when I look at the new RME 802 compare to the features offered in the ZEN, for 200$ more, you guys are offering the best value. And I'm also wondering how the Antelope drivers are for Window OS? Because it's a fact when it comes to RME & their drivers, it's not even a question to ask.

But I also love the fact that the Orion has the capacity of allowing 32 Ins & Outs rom the start that is appealing to me for summing out when mixing.

Looking forward to hear from you here, Pm or directly & really looking forward to give your product a spin soon I hope.

Best & congrats on this beautiful product

MY
Old 1st April 2014
  #263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post
Hello @Marcel!

I'm writing here concerning Zen Studio & Orion because I've pm'ed you & I sent you an email (after you gave me your email address) and I never got an answer back and I'm interested trying & on purchasing Zen Studio but as i've been reading this thread, i'm kind of leaning towards the Orion because I'm very interested on the 23 channels In & outs.

But I'd like to know if the Orion has like the Zen Studio, built-in DSP? If not, are you guys planning or on the work on a new Orion32 (Second Gen) that will have integrated DSP? Because the first reason I wanted to get the Zen is mostly for the high audio uality i've been reading around about Antelope products but also about the built-in DSP and how the clock is rock solid. I've been an RME users and still am but when I look at the new RME 802 compare to the features offered in the ZEN, for 200$ more, you guys are offering the best value. And I'm also wondering how the Antelope drivers are for Window OS? Because it's a fact when it comes to RME & their drivers, it's not even a question to ask.

But I also love the fact that the Orion has the capacity of allowing 32 Ins & Outs rom the start that is appealing to me for summing out when mixing.

Looking forward to hear from you here, Pm or directly & really looking forward to give your product a spin soon I hope.

Best & congrats on this beautiful product

MY
The Orion32 has a Control Panel and Mixer combination that was developed to suit it's built-in DSP. As the design of the Zen Studio is nearly 2 full years of development newer, it has some more advanced capabilities in that the chip we now use is able to have more mixers and DSP effects, as well. We're not able to update all those features on the chip inside the Orion32. The Orion32 has other strengths, though, such as more channels of conversion, MADI integration, 10M input and more WC outputs.

Sorry to be slow to reply, I was traveling last week and did my best to keep up.

Thanks,
Marcel
Old 1st April 2014
  #264
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueskiwi View Post
This looks a great product!

I have to voice one big "but" though:

If I want to record my band live we need 12 preamps, so this unit is perfect in that regard. Until now the only other interface with 12 was the Roland Studio Capture, or some solution involving a full size mixing desk or two interfaces connected via adat.

So this in 1u size is awesome. BUT it's a bit more expensive than RME Fireface UFX here in UK... and the UFX can record direct to USB drive. For DIY live recording, not needing a laptop on stage is a massive feature.

It seems a big oversight not to include this, especially on a unit that seems designed for portable recording (carry handle, no rack ears... and surely most studios prefer separate preamps).
Indeed, the Zen Studio does have 12 mic pres compared to 4 on the UFX. We also offer an additional 8 channels of inputs on our DSUB, for a total of 20 inputs. So, it's hard to compare directly to the RME as we have more analog IO.

Recording direct to a drive is quite difficult to do w/o the control of mic preamps and doing that w/o a computer interface is not so convenient. We just chose a route we felt is more conducive to the way our customers work. I know there are some stand-alone recording converters out there, but in the majority of cases, bringing along a laptop isn't an issue for most users, especially considering the trade-off of accessing and controlling our powerful DSP features. I should also add that the Zen is so light weight, it makes bringing both it and a laptop out for mobile gigs a very simple proposition, as they both easily fit into most backpacks or various other bags and cases.

Just my 2 cents. :-)

Regards,
Marcel
Old 1st April 2014
  #265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheech View Post
So funny!


Bottom line I think this product is number one on my radar, as the very next audio purchase I make. It fits my process so stinking well!

Funky handle and all, I LOVE IT!

I can not wait for this thing to be available. I stumbled across this product yesterday, with a friend who is purchasing an Orion. I couldn't find much info, until I found this thread.

Marcell, thanks for all of the info!!
Thanks Cheech. Glad you like it. There are absolutely more and more of us attracted to using such a small and light-weight device on various gigs on the go. I've really fallen hard for this product and many of my close friends have, as well.

I'm astonished on how well it holds up in the mastering room too, btw. It kind of defies logic, actually.

Regards,
marcel
Old 4th April 2014
  #266
Close up look

Sharing an interview and close up look at Zen Studio.

Old 4th April 2014
  #267
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
Sharing an interview and close up look at Zen Studio.

Mitch is such a cool dude and very knowledgeable, which make his presentations a pleasure to watch. What is he like in real life?
Old 4th April 2014
  #268
Gear Nut
 

Interesting video, I think this is going on my wish list.
Old 4th April 2014
  #269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Man View Post
Mitch is such a cool dude and very knowledgeable, which make his presentations a pleasure to watch. What is he like in real life?
I've been getting to know Mitch the past couple years better. He's a great guitarist, plays in a few bands. He's got a HUGE music collection, really lives and breaths all things audio. Very easy to get on with. I love all his interviews. Sweetwater's lucky to have him.
Old 16th April 2014
  #270
Here for the gear
 

6 mixes maybe?

Hi Clybourne,

Is there any chance that devs can squeeze in 2 more mixes to the software?
We are a 5 man band and would be great to do the 5 stereo monitor mixes + the 1 main out in one place.
(I know we could create additional mixes in the DAW and route them to any output pair, but it is not that nice.)

Thank you.

Kind regards,
Louper
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