All user reviews for the Antelope Audio Discrete 4 Synergy Core
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Antelope Discrete 4 Synergy Core review - When Antelope goes for greater Synergy
About a year and a half ago, Antelope released the Discrete, a new range of Thunderbolt & USB interfaces including discrete preamps, their famous FPGA module as well as the stack of audio effects that would usually come with it. Now back in June 2019, Antelope releases a new version of its Discrete 4, this time providing dual DSP chips in addition to the FPGA. Marketing ploy or real step forward?
Keydro's review"Great Value and professional features"
the interface is compact and robust, arrives well packed. I found it simple to set up and connect it, it's also easy to record to get the effects of the bundle. Moreover, those who buy it by December 31st will get the edge microphone solo as a gift, but I have not yet received it, so I can not review it. (this is not a sponsored review).
the discrete 4 SC is an AD/DA interface equipped with 4 quality preamplifiers (discrete design) capable of modeling. it handles 4 analog inputs and 6 outputs, 2 of which are dedicated to monitoring. It allows the routing of the audio stream on 16 logical channels, up to 8 digital (on ADAT ports). it has internal clock and a powerful processor that performs the real time FXs.
The bundle I purchased also contains 4 real-time effects (very nice ones) as well as dozens of useful effects provided (even guitar amplifier emulationcwith zero latency), a full license to install BITWIG STUDIO (an abletonish powerful DAW) I tested the discrete 4 on both Mac and Windows with latency results of less than 10 ms (even with a high buffer). preamps work with even high gain (in addition to those that can be added via FX) and ensure the right cleanliness and definition. To be honest, those who have, like me, quality outboards (as a preamp OR compressors) should prefer them connected in the rear line inputs to work with optimal gain staging... but it depends on the tastes and microphones or instruments you want to record.
The Discrete 4 allows you to record microphone, line or intrument sources, get 8 channels from a digital source (via ADAT), process audio/digital material in real time and almost every combination of that channels.
What I loved right away is the great flexibility of routing. I don't want to go into too much details, but you can connect virtually any channel, DAW or physical to as many analog or digital channels to perform reamping, double takes, wet and dry signal recordings, send the signal to an external chain, send to a second monitor controller, etc...
I'm a big fan of reamping and external outboards so i like the real time FXs included in the interface and the cabability to assign DAW and logical channels as I want, without any latency or issue.
everything can be managed through the control panel which seems clear and exhaustive. there are 4 scenes for headphones to be configured independently. you can listen with the reverb inserted in the monitoring. That feature didn't impress me too much, but it's just an extra.
the effects (not all) are convincing and really work at zero latency, giving the tracks that analog flavor. There are not bunches of knobs in the fx interfaces, so you have just essential parameters.
Maybe you will be not able to get huge differences soon, in terms of preamps or conversion quality (if you come from a decent product) but once you start to experiment any routing option and effect capability you will get how the discrete 4 sc is a great upgrade for a small studio e for anyone who wants to go at the pro level in the music production.
on the other hand, I would have liked some more physical control, such as volume headphones and mute, mono switches accessible on the unit, but you can't ask for everything at this price (also considering the value of the included products). I wasn't used to managing everything with mouse so at first I struggled a bit, but using two displays, it's not a big limit. there is the possibility to use an app to manage the Discrete 4 remotely via smartphone, but I have not experienced it .... il looks cool.
many users complain of the flaw that you cannot use FX as a plugin in the DAW (in windows) or that, only using the thunderbolt connection, to use them in DAW on MAC osx you need to buy an extra plugin costing 200 dollars. I don't know what was the Antelope strategy on that, but, for me, it is not a big miss since I have tons of plugins and I do not use, for now, the thunderbolt connection, but here Antelope Audio could optimize the standard equipment better or be more consistent.
I was a little disappointed because recording the same channel in double can create phase issues when trying to sum them (DRY/WET) in the daw... anyway, there are many options to get the sound you like with the DISCRETE 4 S.C., you can't go wrong.
then...I had few e-mail exchange with the Antelope Customer care and it was simply flawless.
IN THE END
- great construction
- great flexibility and routing capabilities
- discrete preamps, quality converters, internal clock and real time FX and digital IN/OUT give you a complete setup in a small, portable format
- the bundle is a pure bargain
- there are really cool fx you could insert in your tracking process
- one has a chance to achieve a great sound without struggling with infinite menus or cables.
- you get the feeling of using a really powerful interface
- in this price (and quality) range there are very few competitors
- poor physical control on the interface
- not all the real time effects sound convincing
- the "in The Box" users will not be fully satisfied by the potential of synergy core