NTP Company and Customer Stories
Penta & DAD
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Digital Audio Denmark’s new AX Center is a dedicated Thunderbolt modular audio interface with dual mic and instrument inputs, dual headphone and monitor outputs, built-in PRO|MON monitor control with speaker EQ and two slots for DAD expansion cards. It comes with 256 Thunderbolt 3 channels, 256 Dante I/O channels, up to 192 MADI I/O channels and 16 ADAT channels, as well as onboard summing and processing.
“AX Center was born to sit in a rack right next to you in the studio – maybe even on your desktop – or in your portable recording rig,” says Mikael Vest, Sales Director, DAD. “Basically, it unites the distinguished audio quality of our AD & DA conversion with the transparency and musicality of our mic preamps and our flexible digital audio I/O infrastructure.
“I’m truly excited that we have united all of the sonic qualities and the versatile interface technologies that we have been developing and refining over the past decades in a compact unit that – while expandable – is extremely powerful and great-sounding right out of the box.
“The sheer audio quality of our AD/DA converters and transparency of our preamps originated back in the days of high-res DXD audio recording for SACD. That made the audio file community embrace us years ago. And in parallel, the complex audio infrastructure facilities in post production and broadcast saw the benefits of our flexible audio-routing and digital format conversion. Now, with AX Center we take the best from both worlds, offering a compact 1U interface with built-in DAD AD/DA conversion and mic preamps, as well as flexible DADman routing, monitor control, DSP-processing and the option to add even more I/O flexibility via two expansion slots.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about capturing the source truthfully and getting it exactly as it is into whatever DAW you may be using. The high-res and near-zero latency technology of our Thunder|Core implementation provides just that. We see a demand for this in many production environments, in the studio or on the road.”
AX Center is equipped with two key elements that allows it to be not only the centerpiece for audio conversion but also the central point for monitor control. The first component is the PRO|MON section of the complementary DADman control software which gives access to a 512 x 64 channel summing processor. The second component is the built-in SPQ processing that offers 128 channels with a total of 1024 EQ filters, as well as delay, making it the ideal solution for accurate speaker correction in the studio.
The internal routing matrix of the DADman software spans 984 x 984 channels, allowing any input to be routed to any output, or even duplicating and routing to several different destinations simultaneously.
Finally, the Thunder|Core connection has a hardware latency of only 9 samples, 32 bit floating point resolution, and is capable of handling up to 256 bidirectional channels at 48 and 96 kHz, 128 at 192 kHz, and 64 channels at 384 kHz. It also supports Apple Silicon processors, macOS Big Sur and forward with a Core Audio driver, as well as Windows 10 and forward with an ASIO Thunder|Core driver.
Availability: Q4 2023