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Monthly Archives: November 2014

  • Zen Studio- a brief overview

    We had a new box turn up a few days ago that we’ve been really excited to have for demonstration… the Zen Studio by Antelope Audio. If you've not heard about it yet, its a new audio interface from a very forward-thinking company. We did an unboxing video here:


    Zen Studio Here's our Zen Studio running with all kinds of nice 500 series outboard
    Every Connection Possible
    Zen Studio Front Inputs These are the 4 inputs for the Zen Studio that are microphone/line level/instrument

    The Zen Studio features 20 analogue inputs; 12 microphone inputs- 4 on the front panel and another 8 on the back.  All 12 microphone inputs will accept line level signals, and the front four will also accept high impedance instrument inputs. The remaining 8 are line level on  a single DSUB connection.

    Zen Studio Rear Microphone Inputs

    There are two ADAT inputs to add up to 16 channels digitally, then another 2 channels which are digital on SPDIFF.

    Zen Studio ADAT Connections The ADAT connections are located on the right hand side

    The output section is similarly well spec’d. There are 8 line outputs on a DSUB, the main monitor outputs along with two headphone outputs. On the digital front, there are the corresponding two ADAT connections and the SPDIF.

    Zen Studio DSUB InputsThere are two BNC connections for the wordclock in and out for synchronising other digital equipment.

    Lastly, there’s the USB. Antelope are one of a handful of companies that actually develop their own drivers. TheThe latencies on USB are comparable with the best out there.

    DSP Mixing

    There’s a very comprehensive routing panel for when you’ve got signals into the Zen Studio. You can send inputs to any of the hardware outputs, the USB recording channels, the onboard effects, or any of the four internal mixers. You can also route any of the USB playback channels, the effects outputs and the internal mixer outputs to any of the hardware outputs.

    Whilst this sounds pretty complicated, it’s actually fairly straight forwards. Antelope have made it easier to follow what’s going on by colour coding the different types of channels. When you’re looking at either the routing panel, the effects pages, or the mixers, those colours come up and you get a very quick idea of what is going on.

    Zen Studio Routing Page

    We were very quickly able to build different monitor mixes for a vocalist and a guitarist, combining inputs from the microphone along with what was already recorded on the computer. You can also save presets for all the different work flows that you use.


    Zen Studio Mixer Page

    The internal effects are also controlled from the software. You have access to 16 channels of high quality compression and 5 bands of equalisation that can be used on any of the channels and used either for monitoring or recording.

    Zen Studio Internal Effects

    In addition to the software control, the Zen's front screen gives very quick visual information as to what is happening. The rotary control and buttons let you alter monitor and headphone levels quickly.

    Zen Studio Front Display

    There are also a couple of extra menus that let you alter input levels, synchronisation settings and which outputs the rotary control affects meaning that you can change some key settings without having to fire up the software every time.

    Mobile Recording. Studio Anywhere

    Add all this together and you've got an interface really designed to appeal if you're out and about recording and want a compact interface, need a high input count, but also want the option of connecting other outboard gear. And all without compromising your sound quality.

    We've got ours on full time demonstration- you can contact us if you want to come and see if or if you've any other questions that you want to ask.

    Antelope Zen Studio Product Information


  • Ableton Winter Offers!


    Been thinking about getting into Ableton? Maybe you've seen Push in action and want to get going with one? Maybe you've a loved one that you know wants to get into music production?   To help make that a bit easier, we've got 20% off Ableton Intro, Live, Suite and Push - just in time for Christmas!

    Don't forget- we've got the latest Suite 9 on full time demonstration at the store here, along with Push, which if you're using Ableton and you've not seen yet, you should!

    We've got these offers going on until January 15th, so if Santa does decide to miss you out, you can always come and see us yourself in the new year!


  • More on the Meris 440...

    You hear all the time people talking about "analogue warmth" and how recordings "back in the day" were better- most of that is due to how analogue electronics deals with signals. The op amps, valves and the transformers that these things are built from all affect the sound, changing it, making it rounder; adding character.

    The preamp is an interesting little box that is often over-looked when it comes to home and project studio set ups. They're built into your audio card and you can plug your guitar or microphone straight in, so why worry about it?  The integrated circuit chips that make up most modern microphone preamps do the job ok- they will amplify the signal to level that the rest of the electronics can deal with- but they don't add soul...  if you've found that your recordings are lacking compared with the classics, it could be part of what you're missing.


    The Meris 440 is based on the API312- this was a classic preamp that was in the consoles of the studios around LA in the 1970s and part of what became known as the "west coast" sound. It's been a favourite of engineers the world over ever since because of its warmth and tone.

    If you can make it to our event, you'll hear first hand the difference a good preamp like this makes to your recordings. We'll be demonstrating how it can be used on both guitars and vocals, and how it will work with your current recording set up, improving your sound whether you're running a professional studio or recording yourself at home.

    You can check out our unboxing video here and book a place at the event to come and see it in action 

  • Meris 440 Demonstration Event

    Here's one for your diaries- On Tuesday 25th November, we've got Sound Network, the UK distributor for Meris, joining us for a demo event of their new Meris 440 preamp.



    We'll be giving you a chance to get hands on with the 440, learn about this 500-series mic pre's unique features and hear how its 100% analogue signal path and Cinemag transformers deliver that classic "West Coast" tone.

    We'll be kicking off at 4:00pm. Book your place here


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