Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96  

4 IN/6 OUT Audio Interface with 4 XLR Mic Preamps

Its 4 studio quality XLR mic preamps are quiet, with a THD+N of .002%, and can be used as line inputs for those looking to maximize studio quality and flexibility. Its powerful on-board DSP processor provides real-time, zero latency DSP effects keeping the host computer running lighting fast. The 2496 also has phantom power, dual headphone and line monitor outs, SPDIF, MIDI, a shielded PCI card for noise-free audio and it comes with a full version of Cakewalk's Pro Audio 9.0 recording software.
The 2496 is compatible with almost all audio recording software ... Steinberg Cubase VST/32 and Nuendo, Cakewalk Home Studio and Sonar, Emagic Logic Audio, Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro 2000 and gets ultra low-latency performance with software synths and samplers like Native Instruments, GigaStudio and Propellerheads Reason.
  • 4 In/6 Out Computer Audio Interface
  • 4 Discrete Transistor XLR Mic Preamps
  • 4 *" Balanced Line Inputs
  • 4 *" Balanced Line Outputs
  • 2 RCA Line Outputs
  • 48 Volt Phantom Power
  • 24 Bit, 96 kHz AD/DA
  • S/PDIF Digital I/O
  • MIDI I/O
  • Headphone Out
  • Shielded PCI Card
  • Aardvark Low-Jitter Clock
  • Powerful On-Board DSP Processor
  • Shielded 25-Pin Cable
  • Zero-Latency Monitoring
  • 10 Channel Real-Time DSP Mixing
  • 3-Stage Input Level Gain
  • Snapshot Preset Recall
  • DSP Powered Digital & VU Meters
  • DSP Effects - Reverb, EQ & Compressor
  • Pan/Solo/Mute and Level Faders
  • Drag-n-Drop Digital Patch Bay
  • True Multi-Client Driver
  • Simultaneous ASIO, GSIF, Dir X, MME
  • 4 Color Schemes for the Control Panel
  • Selectable +4dBu/-10dBv
  • Ultra Low Latency
  • ASIO Turbo Mode for Soft Synths
4 Discrete Microphone Preamps
The mic preamps in the 2496 are a discrete transistor design. Most other manufacturers soundcards use standard "mic-pre-on-a-chip" solutions, which are not discrete and can lack the clarity and definition needed for professional use. All 4 have phantom power for condenser microphones. These are shielded in the breakout box and combine with quality converters.
Headphone Output
The 2496 has a headphone out right on the front of the unit to give you all the control over your mixes. The headphone gain is easily adjustable via the DSP software, which also does the real-time mixing of 10 channels to help you create the perfect mix.
The rear-panel of the breakout box features 4 analog main outputs with 24 bit, 96 kHz +4dBu on 1/4" TRS jacks and 2 additional outputs on RCA jacks. All 6 outputs can be used simultaneously to take to a mixer or outboard effects units. These give excellent mix down flexibility and provide plenty of connectivity to the rest of your studio. The 2496 system's 6 outputs are for surround sound mixing.
If you use MIDI instruments in your studio (like synthesizers, drum machines, etc) and want to integrate them with your digital audio system, you can do it via the Direct Pro 24/96 built-in MIDI interface. The Direct Pro 24/96 breakout box features both a MIDI In and MIDI Out jack so you can send MIDI data to and from your favorite synth.
Shielded PCI Card & S/PDIF Digital I/O
Aardvark provides custom shielding on PCI cards. Both the breakout box and the PCI card are designed to be completely noise free. This extra shielding keeps harmful computer noise out of the audio to give a high quality sound.
The 2 RCA connections on the PCI card provide the 24 bit, 96kHz digital In and Out to your computer for digital audio transfers from outboard digital audio gear.
The Direct Pro 24/96 system can be expanded. You can expand up to 4 units into one computer. In fact, all Aardvark audio interfaces can be expanded up to 4 units. No other line of computer interfaces allows as much flexibility and expansion as the Aardvark Direct Pro Series.
2496 Software Features
The 2496 hardware has a fully-DSP software control panel. This control panel is packed with user friendly features, and is laid out just like an analog mixer with stereo monitor outputs.
The hardware and software combination of the 2496 replaces the aspect of having an analog mixer, audio interface, and 3 effects units, so you can monitor in real-time while you record direct to the computer with ZERO-latency. This also frees up power for the native processor so you can record more tracks and use more plug-in effects processors.
2496 Control Panel
The brain of the 2496 is the DSP Control Panel, which is designed to replace the need for an external hardware mixer, while still providing real-time mixing and easy monitoring that you get with an analog mixer. All the features are powered by the DSP processor on the PCI Card. So the mixing, monitoring and metering won't slow down your computer. It works in a similar way as an outboard mixer, and works in combination with the 2496 hardware to provide a total digital mixing solution that includes flexible routing, zero-latency monitoring, snapshot preset recall, input level trim, , +4/-10 selectable I/O and true digital peak metering.
The Direct Pro 2496 Control Panel
The Direct Pro 2496 Control Panel is the DSP software control interface that completely controls the hardware. It has complete mixing capabilities built right into it and is extremely easy to use. The Control Panel is laid out just like a mixer and functions almost exactly as if you had a small mixer sitting next to your computer. It can be seen as a 10 channel mixer with a 2 channel monitor output that can be routed to any of the 6 line outputs or the headphone output for monitoring. 6 of the channels are from the physical 6 inputs of the box (4 analog and 2 digital), and the other channels are from the software application. Any combination of previously recorded audio tracks can be played back, mixed and monitored individually or in subgroups, while simultaneously recording additional audio tracks from the 2496. This control panel comes in 4 colors that you can change as often as you'd like.
Compressor, EQ and Reverb
The Direct Pro 24/96's real-time, on-board DSP effects are also accessed via the software mixer. The 100% DSP generated Reverb/Echo, Compressor/Limiter, and Multi-band EQ allow you to add effects to incoming audio "on-input" while recording in real time with no-latency. You can choose between simply monitoring the effects while recording "dry" to multitrack software, or you may record the DSP effects by hitting the REC FX button. You can also choose to audition the effects individually with the effects bypass feature.
3-Stage Input Gain
The input trim (found at the top of each mixer strip on the 2496 Software Control Panel) provides up to 75dB gain on the mic inputs. This gain is done in the analog stage (pre A/D conversion), just like an analog mixer would do. In contrast, most other audio cards provide a minimal amount of gain after the A/D, which dramatically increases the noise. The 2496 software avoids this by sending commands to the analog circuitry in the breakout box to get the best sound possible. This actually has 3 separate gain stages, which are each optimized for that particular gain range to give you the best possible sound.
ASIO Turbo ModeFbay
The enhanced ASIO 2 driver provides low latency performance. Down to 4ms or less with some applications such as software synths and VST instruments. Good forreal-time performance. ASIO driver has a 31-step ASIO Buffer Slider which lets the user dial in the exact buffer size that is optimal for his compute
Snapshot Preset Recall
Hitting the Presets button on the Control Panel activates the Presets window, which lets you save an unlimited number of screen shots to recall at any time later. This is particularly useful when you need to change the patch bay settings or the input levels for different studio sessions. Saving different preset mixes you can get up and running in no time.
Output Routing Patch Bay
This patch bay allow routing of any input signal (as well as the DSP monitor mix) to any output (including the headphone output) in real time with no latency. The right hand choices are the physical outputs, so just drag the source (on the left) to where you want it to go. Tone and Silence signals can also be routed to any output for calibration purposes and system checks.
Software Bundle: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.0
The 2496 is bundled with a full version of Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.0, a multi-track audio recording and MIDI sequencing software.
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