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Avid HD io
4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 1 Review

awesome next generation converter

19th October 2013

Avid Pro Tools | HD I/O by psmworld

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Avid HD io

did you already have the experience of buying gear with a "wow-factor"?

here you have it.

some years back, when i started to get into pro-tools-world, i had an HD1 Core Card in combo with a Digidesign 96 io. while the software was a huge step forward from my previous love nuendo, the conversion was lacking quality big time.

i had most of the "usual" converters with nuendo. first the ESI Wamirack, which had a theoretical superior converter-chip but some designing flaws. and after some short-loves the glorious RME Fireface 800, which was a big step up.

moving to Pro Tools and the 96 io, i soon began to search for converter alternatives. 192 io weren´t cheap and also limited to 16x8/8x16 io, so after a year i bought the Lynx Aurora 16. massive io and a conversion quality at least on par with the Fireface.

after some months getting comfortable with the lynx and optimizing my studio-acoustics i realized that it had a bump in the lows/lower mids, which was hard to handle for quick reference mixes.

well, soon Avid had a gear-show not far away and i went there to check out the new HD io converters. they did a shootout with most of the HD-compatible converters. the hearing situation was excellent and i was not the only one that got blown away by the difference, especially in the bass-area. no matter if there was a thin acoustic bass, a standard e-bass or a fat bass-synth, you could hear each instrument, nothing was overemphasized.

no question, i had to order a demo-unit. just "wow". i opened older projects and most of the time i could instantly hear the issues that i had when i re-checked the mixes outside of the studio back then.

the D-A translation is extra-ordinary imho. no harsh highs, no bumped mids, no undefined lows.

the A-D translation might sound a bit flat, but brutally honest, and that´s what counts for me in the end.

after all, i got 2 "8x8x8" units and 3 "16x16 Analog" units.

the key features:

Pristine audio clarity and ultra low latency through state-of-the- art A/D and D/A conversion

premium analog circuitry, and meticulous attention to design Adapt the interface for your needs

choose from three configurations:

Get a balance of analog and digital I/O with HD I/O 8x8x8

Maximize your analog I/O with HD I/O 16x16 Analog

Go all digital with HD I/O 16x16 Digital

Versatile digital I/O on all interfaces, with built-in sample rate conversion

Expand or customize the I/O with analog or digital option cards

Completely integrates with Pro Tools|HD family system for full input, output, and routing control

Track hotter signals and smooth out sounds with Curv, a new built-in soft-knee limiter

Keep things in sync with dedicated Word Clock and Loop Sync I/O

Keep an eye on your levels easily through 32 4-segment metering LEDs

Robust 2U rack-mountable chassis

Connects to Pro Tools|HD family system through a DigiLink Mini connection (cable and adaptor included)

the only three concerns i have are:

  • the fans, that can get pretty loud (they can be changed to quiet ones)
  • the lack of an "8x8 Analog" version
  • digital ports on the "16x16 Analog" can only be used instead of Analog io, not at the same time


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