Studio Pro-Audio

Antelope Audio adds compression quadrilogy to vintage hardware-based effects library

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:59

Antelope Audio Grove Hill LIVERPOOL


High-end professional audio equipment manufacturer Antelope Audio recently announced the addition of four new vintage compressors (BA-6A, FET-A78, SMT-100A, and Grove Hill LIVERPOOL) to its ever-expanding library of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) vintage hardware-based effects. This enables owners of its Thunderbolt™ and HDX audio interfaces to access unique hardware models of some of the most desirable vintage effects with real-time performance without relying on DSP (Digital Signal Processing) for native processing while letting loose with the alternative Antelope Audio Routing Matrix view.

Antelope Audio’s acclaimed FPGA effects bring audio realism to a new level. Little wonder, then, that they sound, behave, and feel just like real hardware. Why? Well, why not put it in simple terms? They are real hardware! Helpfully, Antelope Audio’s acclaimed Thunderbolt™ and HDX audio interfaces — including Orion Studio HD, Goliath HD, Orion Studio Rev. 2017, Orion32 HD, Zen Studio+, Orion Studio, Goliath, Orion32+, and Zen Tour — feature this new breed of powerful hardware-based audio effects. Encompassing vintage and the contemporary collaborative guitar amp and cab simulations, alongside Antelope Audio’s augmentations of studio gear, the four new vintage compressors capture the spirit of the company’s commitment to revolutionising the digital audio interface world with its custom FPGA. This not only guarantees the lowest sound latency on the market when creating and streaming multiple mixes but bestows upon those trailblazing and desirable devices huge hardware modelling capabilities — compression-centric or otherwise.

First out of the new compression starting gate is Antelope Audio’s all-new BA-6A, following in the footsteps of a Fifties-vintage legendary limiting amplifier’s design. The hardware unit was originally created for television and radio broadcasting purposes but became a firm favourite with recording engineers as it was so easy to use and sounded so satisfying. Today that not only holds up, but it is still sought after and used in some significant professional studio facilities globally. Generating three-stage amplification with a moderate drive, hard knee compression, fast attack, and medium release, BA-6A brings a balanced, vintage sound to the present-day production table. Tame the most aggressive and peaking instruments or the wildest mixes without loosing sight or sound of any musical punch.

Anyone seeking some seriously punchy, classic-style compression could — and should — consider FET-A78 nothing short of a serious contender. Historically, its superlative sound supports innumerable pop and rock recordings. Remarkable when processing instruments individually, it is incredibly flexible; try treating drums, guitars, or vocals. Versatility continues when also applied to tracked groups — such as backing vocals, overheads, and stacked synths — or even sound design duties - doesn’t disappoint. Use it in stereo mode or pour it over overly dynamic bass lines so that they finally behave themselves in the mix.

Moving on, as an Eighties classic, SMT-100A is one of the easiest compressor effects to get used to working with. Fortunately for all users, its ease of use does not mean sacrificing sound or effectiveness. Attracted to its fast attack times — perfect for vocals, drums, and punchy bass, the original unit has been the preferred choice amongst audio professionals at the top of their game for over 30 years.

Rounding out this quadrilogy of compression, Grove Hill LIVERPOOL is a contemporary fusion of finest American and British compression technologies, making for a familiar yet fresh sound. While its origins can be traced back to the Sixties — a memorable musical era when iconic gear helped shape iconic artists, laying the foundations for unmistakably analogue-flavoured classic rock ’n’ roll records, it is as at home on lush, modern pop productions as it is on classic rock.

Rotary knobs for controlling INPUT gain, THRESHOLD, ATTACK time, RECOVERY time, and OUTPUT ATTENUATOR (dB) gain guarantee gorgeous tube compression sounds that are rich, wide, and thick, thanks to their highly interactive nature. Now users of Antelope Audio’s best- in-class audio interfaces can clearly bring body and soul to acoustic guitars; smooth out the midrange of guitar leads, synths, and vocals; or throw it on bass parts for fat, warm sounds. Pushed harder, Grove Hill LIVERPOOL responds in kind, adding a desirable edge without adversely affecting clarity.

BA-6A, FET-A78, and SMT-100A are already available for Antelope Audio’s Orion 32HD, Goliath HD, Orion Studio Rev. 2017, Orion Studio, and Orion Studio HD audio interfaces (with Goliath, Orion 32+, Zen Tour, and Zen Studio+ coming soon), while Grove Hill LIVERPOOL is already available for Antelope Audio’s HDX audio interfaces — Orion Studio HD, Orion 32HD, and Goliath HD — with the rest coming soon.