Why do we need clocks?
In order for an analog signal to be digitized, it must be sampled precisely and accurately in repeating intervals. The master clock provides that timing information and allows the waveform to be reconstructed as an analog signal correctly (assuming the sample rate is more than twice the highest frequency component of the audio signal being sampled). The clock identifies when each individual sample should be recorded or re-played (word clock).
If the clock timing varies, the audio samples will possibly be replayed or recorded at the wrong time resulting in sound distortion, jitter and aliasing. Jitter is the erroneous capture of a wave form over time. Although the apparent error to the clarity of the audio this creates there are other artifacts that maybe introduced with bad clocking.
Another type of clock is the ‘bit clock’. This is used in serial data interfaces like AES, S/PDIF and ADAT, where there is basically only one ‘conduit’ over which to pass the audio data. The bit clock ensures that the receiving device does not lose track of when each data bit stops and the next begins, eliminating the potential result in corrupted data values being received.
Santa Monica, CA, June 11, 2013 – Last month, the new Antelope Audio Orion³² multi-channel interface was put to the test during a live recording of blues maestro Ray Fuller at one of the premier blues club destinations in the United States: Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. The recording, which consisted of non-stop 60 and 90-minute sets before a live audience, was captured in its entirety using the Orion³², which recorded 26 tracks of audio in 96k to a MacBook Pro running Pro Tools.
For freelance engineer, Mike Picotte, the benefits of the Orion³² were immediately apparent from the moment he began setting up the remote recording rig — which was situated several flights of stairs above the venue. «I didn’t want to have to carry a lot of gear, and for this particular project, I wanted to keep my set-up lean, yet powerful,» he says. Since the Orion³² is able to handle 32 tracks of 96k audio in a single rack space, Picotte was able to maintain an extremely compact set-up, with zero compromise on sound quality. «I just ran a USB from the Orion³² to my laptop, and recorded the whole show,» he says. In addition to the Orion³², Picotte also had an Antelope Audio 10M Atomic Clock in his rack to maximize the fidelity of his rig even further.
Picotte, whose day job is with audio retailer Sweetwater Sound, acquired the signal by placing a splitter snake onstage, so he could access all of the venue’s microphones, then supplemented the house mics with his own — creating a fully redundant set up with plenty of alternate audio source possibilities. «I wanted to have everything covered and then decide later what I actually needed, so I brought my own mic locker with me just in case,» he recalls. Picotte ran the snake up the stairs into a small room where he was able to record and monitor the performance using a Dangerous D-Box system and a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 closed back headphones.
At the preamplifier stage, Picotte employed two TRUE Precision 8s and an Audient ASP008, which he then connected to the Antelope Audio Orion³². He then recorded the entire performance over USB 2.0 at 96k to the MacBook Pro via the Orion³², without incident or interruption. «Performance-wise, the Orion³² was amazing,» Picotte recalls. «There was no lag time on the screen, and no hiccups at any point during the entire gig. I ran 26 channels at 96k without stoppage and had no issues whatsoever.»
Santa Monica, CA, May 30, 2013 – Leading digital audio manufacturer Antelope Audio will introduce the newest member of its stellar Integrity line of D/A converters – Zodiac Platinum at the T.H.E Show Newport, Hilton hotel, room 402, between May 31 and June 2, 2013. The new Antelope DAC brings audio appreciation to a higher level, offering the audiophile community the widest DSD support, including the unique 256X mode and a sample rate of 768 kHz via a custom-built USB chip.
The extreme DSD256 greatly extends the accuracy and transparency of the audio reproduction as well as the overall system performance. The custom-designed Antelope USB chip compliments high fidelity by reducing clock jitter and pushing the envelope of the USB streaming with sample rates four times higher than those offered by similar devices.
Whereas many top of the line DACs offer PCM upsamplers, the Platinum is the first device to offer a DSD upsampler. This distinctive feature allows the upsampling of DSD64 to DSD256, pushing DSD noise into higher frequencies, vastly improving the quality of the D/A conversion. The Platinum bypasses internal digital filters built into the DAC chip by implementing a custom upsampler with carefully designed high-precision linear phase filters in the FPGA.
The team at Digital Encoding System near Paris, France, is working on a major and long-term job: transferring to high resolution digital, stereo masters and multi-track analog tapes of the greatest French artists since the 50’s such as Georges Brassens, Serge Gainsbourg, Barbara, Jacques Brel, Johnny Hallyday…
Santa Monica, CA, May 15, 2013 – Antelope Audio is pleased to announce the appointment of Audio Chocolate as its new distributor for Australia, for its entire range of products. Antelope looks forward to working closely with Audio Chocolate to support the existing user base and to substantially grow the brand going forward.
Audio Chocolate is a 14 year old distribution company of both Pro Audio and Audiophile product in Australia. The company supplies and supports audiophile, pro audio and turnkey solutions for home users, musicians, recording studio facilities, live, broadcast and education markets.
Santa Monica, CA, May 8, 2013 – Mikkel Heimburger is a sound for picture composer focusing primarily on movies, film and television commercials and advertising. During the last several years, he has successfully repurposed his audio career, having previously been an engineer/producer, focusing on the pop music scene. Recently, Heimburger has been working on several high profile projects. He placed a song in the latest Al Pacino film Stand Up Guys, and composed, performed and mixed the trailer score for the most recent Muppet Movie. Each day he relies on his Antelope Audio Orion32audio interface as the cornerstone of his Los Angeles-based studio.
The mixer, elegantly integrated within the control panel, provides extremely low latency mix and monitoring that can be distributed using the control panel, allowing it to be routed from any output of the Orion32. For example one can drag all 32 USB play channels to the “mix channels” and then the MIX L/R inputs to DAC 1 and 2, providing a stereo bus mix to DAC channels 1 and 2. The Zero Latency Mixer provides the basic functions of a real mixer such as: Solo, Mute, Pan, Volume Level controlled by faders and a Master Fader, so one can easily make a stereo mix.
Santa Monica, CA, April 2, 2013 –Amphion and Antelope Audio are co-exhibiting in room 117 at the National AV Days at the NH Conference Center Koningshof in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, April 6-7, 2013. The two brands will demonstrate a very reasonably priced mastering-quality set up easily fitting any larger or not so spacious room.
The visitors will be able to listen, and experience the clearly articulated pitch and the spectacular soundstage brought by Antelope Audio’s 384 kHz USB D/A converters. As a reminder of high fidelity´s original goal, the public will have the chance to listen to original studio masters, from the same speakers on which they were mastered. Amphion Two15 studio monitors, as well as all other Amphion loudspeakers, use the innovative waveguide technology and controlled dispersion, which allow speakers to work in all acoustic spaces.
Antelope Audio’s Integrity Line of D/A converters, is especially designed to suit the diverse demands of hi-fi enthusiasts, high-end audiophiles and professional sound engineers. Zodiac DACs’ unique transparency, openness, clarity and depth inspire multiple Grammy Award Winners and Nominees like Jim Anderson, Scott Hull, Howie Weinberg and Morten Lindberg to choose them as their favorite reference converters, both for their studios and their homes as well. Together with speakers like Amphion Two15 this allows you to hear the music just as the mastering engineer and musicians intended.
Santa Monica, CA, March 28, 2013 – Following his 30 year career as head mastering engineer at Masterdisk, where he mastered The Ramones, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Public Enemy, The Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Herbie Hancock, Nirvana and so many others, Howie Weinberg has established himself as one of the most in-demand mastering engineers in the world. His success led to him opening his own facility in 2011, appropriately named Howie Weinberg Mastering.
The new facility, located in the Laurel Canyon Hills of Los Angeles, features a selection of the best digital and analog gear available in the world. For his clocking and conversion needs, Weinberg depends on Antelope Audio’s rock solid Isochrone 10M|Trinity combination, in addition to Antelope’s Zodiac+ and Eclipse 384 digital audio converters (DACs).
Предлагаем вашему вниманию интервью с Игорем Левиным, опубликованное в 2012 году в журнале Audio Times. В интервью Игорь отвечает на вопросы о некоторых важных аспектах А/Ц и Ц/А преобразования и разработки устройств синхронизации.
Независимо от частоты дискретизации, какие элементы нужно учитывать при создании хорошего А/Ц- и Ц/А-конвертера?
Примерно двадцать лет назад, когда я создал свой первый Ц/А преобразователь, я захотел сделать для него устройство синхронизации. В то время синхронизатор нельзя было просто пойти и купить в магазине. Поэтому я сделал первые «часы» для своего первого Ц/А преобразователя. Покупателям понравился мой преобразователь, но они особенно высоко отзывались о новом устройстве синхронизации. Именно тогда я осознал важность стабильной синхронизации для цифрового аудио.
Я по-прежнему считаю, что точные «часы» — основной фактор успешного преобразования. На самом деле, с годами чипы становятся лучше, и проблема «артефактов» (местных искажений) отходит на второй план. Сегодня, как никогда раньше, на передний план выходит точность синхронизации. Я бы сказал, что она уже составляет по меньшей мере 75% от общего качества звука. Конечно, есть ряд других важных факторов, таких как правильное расположение элементов, стабильный источник питания, регулятор громкости на базе аналоговых решений и т.д.