Cranborne Audio 500R8 - Analogue/Digital Hybrid USB Audio Interface, Summing Mixer, Monitoring Controller and 500 Series Rack
A complete studio-in-a-box. 500R8 is a 28in/30out USB audio interface with high-performance conversion and low-jitter internal clock, comprehensive monitor controller, analogue summing mixer, zero-latency artist mixer, and 8-slot high current 500 series rack of 5A.
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Availability date: 2019-04-08
Cranborne Audio 500R8 is the centrepiece to the modern studio. It's an analogue/digital hybrid USB audio interface that combines our favourite analogue characters with digital precision by offering a completely customisable 500 series analogue front-end as well as an abundance of high-performance AD/DA conversion that is required for the modern DAW-based workflow.
It also features all of the studio essentials you need such as a comprehensive monitor controller with talkback facility, 16 channel ADAT interface, Zero-latency artist mixer, and 8-into-2 analogue summing mixer.
The Best Of Analogue Character - Thanks To 500 Series
500R8 puts performance capture back at the heart of your recordings and back into the hands of the audio engineer. By capitalising on the vast and ever growing 500 series market, 500R8 allows you to configure your own custom analogue front-end directly into your DAW for recording. Fill 500R8 full of vintage preamps for recording drums, clean and pristine preamps for recording strings, or even create you own Preamp/EQ/Compressor channel strips and commit those to your recording; the possibilities are endless.
500 series integration doesn't stop once the performance has been captured... Dedicated USB source-select switches for each 500 series slot allows you to send your recorded stems/VSTs back through your 500 series EQs/Compressors and print their effects back into your DAW for hands-on, all-analogue processing. 500R8 also features an 8-into-2 high-headroom analogue summing mixer that you can use to sum your instrument stems into a stereo track to be recorded back into your DAW using a dedicated stereo ADC.
Having a near-limitless selection of analogue preamps to pick from would be pointless if 500R8's conversion applied its own colour and effects. In order to capture every subtle nuance of your analogue signal, 500R8 features reference-class analogue-to-digital conversion with 121dB (unweighted) signal-to-noise ratio and a master-reference grade internal digital clock with ultra-low jitter (<0.5 picoseconds). The combination of highly-accurate, low-jitter clocking and high-performance, low-latency digital conversion ensures that every ounce of analogue character is captured with the utmost detail - free of unwanted digital artefacts from the conversion process and with a wide dynamic range thanks to 500R8's high-headroom and low-noise floor analogue design.
USB 2.0 Audio Interface
Cranborne Audio's USB 2.0 audio interface implementation provides the high channel-count requirement at the lowest possible latency whilst still being accepted by all major recording devices with unparalleled stability and longevity. 500R8 is core audio compliant for Mac and features a lightweight control panel for Windows machines that absorbs as little resources as possible to leave you with more power for plug-ins in your DAW.
In the interest of being compatible with the widest range of devices, 500R8 also includes a full compliment of 5-pin MIDI I/O, Word Clock I/O via BNC, and S/PDIF I/O at sample rates up to 192kHz.
Hearing how your mix translates on a wide range of reproduction mediums is a crucial part of a modern studio environment. To facilitate this, 500R8 features a comprehensive monitor controller with a ultra high-headroom (26.5dBu) balanced speaker A Output, a discrete speaker B output, and seamless speaker switching between the two. There's also a Mono button that sums L-R channels to check for mono compatibility, a DIM switch that drops the control room output for relaxed discussions during recordings, and a speaker mute switch for when you are tracking in the control room with headphones.
500R8 also features a comprehensive Talkback section with XLR input, 48v phantom power, push-to-talk operation, and automatic signal routing to all CAST and headphones outputs connected to the system.
Zero-Latency Artist Mixer
500R8 moves away from clunky "virtual" mixers and gets your hands back onto the mix by using a high-headroom analogue summing mixer to create zero-latency, all-analogue artist mixes that can be blended with the one of two discrete DAW playback paths and sent to your musicians via CAST or the local headphone outputs.
Analogue summing can give your mix the final bit of analogue character required to achieve professional and polished sonic results. What makes 500R8's 8-into-2 channel summing mixer so special is that it is positioned after the 8 500 series slots - allowing you to insert saturation or subtle 'bus-compression' modules and create a stereo mix using dedicated analogue level and pan controls. 500R8's summing mixer also has a dedicated ADC which can be used to send your stereo mix into your DAW with a massive 26.5dBu of headroom.
CAST stands for Cat5 Analogue Snake Transport and enables cost effective and organised cable management around your studio by repurposing off-the-shelf shielded Cat5 Networking cables to transport 4 channels of balanced analogue audio (mic, Line, or Instrument level) over a single cable.
500R8 has 4 CAST In ports that allow you to connect any of our breakout boxes (to be announced soon) and place analogue I/O where you need it - whether it's in the live room, vocal booth, or the bedroom next door.
Our clever impedance matching means that the signal quality can exceed that of a mic cable for a fraction of the price and over a distance of up to 100m. CAST is 100% analogue and requires ZERO setup. Plug one end of the cable in one box, and the other end into 500R8 and it just works. No setup. No latency. No fuss. And it sounds great.
Manufactured In The UK
To ensure that every product bearing the Cranborne Audio name is worthy of studio environments big or small, all 500R8's are manufactured in the UK under the company's founders and their watchful eye's. 500R8 is carefully assembled by a skilled workforce with immense attention to detail and each and every product is tested thoroughly by a skilled engineer before shipping to destinations around the world.
28in/30out USB 2.0 audio interface
• Ultra low-latency USB 2.0 interface with high-stability and compatibility with a wide range of devices.
• 16in/16out ADAT Interface
• 2in/2out S/PDIF Coaxial Interface
• MIDI I/O
High-performance AD/DA conversion
• ADCs = 121dB (unweighted) signal-to-noise ratio and - 112dB THD+N.
• DACs = 127dB (unweighted) signal-to-noise and -115dB THD+N.
• 0dBFs = 26.5dBu for huge headroom when recording and the ability to drive modules for a wider range of effects.
Master reference-quality internal clock
• Capable of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, and 192kHz operation.
• Sub 0.5 picoseconds of jitter.
• Dedicated Word Clock Input and Output via BNC.
• External sync options using Word Clock BNC, S/PDIF, or ADAT.
Monitor controller with talkback
• Speaker A/B switching, Mono check, Dim, mute, and 28-segment output meter.
• Dedicated talkback input with phantom power, push-to-talk activation, and automatic routing to all headphone and CAST facilities.
• Easy-access illuminated front panel controls for all monitor controller functions.
Analogue summing mixer
• 8-into-2 analogue summing mixer with 26.5dBu of headroom, dedicated ADC, and balanced 1/4" jack outputs.
• CAST link port for increasing summing mixer to 16-into-2 using Cranborne Audio 500ADAT (sold separately).
Zero-latency artist mixer
• Zero-latency analogue artist mixer with physical level/pan controls per channel and DAW return blend controls.
• 2 high-power headphone outputs with independent blend and level controls
High-current 8-slot 500 series rack
• <250mA current per-slot with headroom.
• XLR inputs, XLR line outputs, TRS Inserts (pre-ADC) per 500 series slot.
• Module source switching options to send Analogue, USB or external CAST signals through your favourite 500 series modules.
• Module bypass switches per-slot allowing 500R8 to be used without 500 series modules inserted.
• CAST ports per channel for relocating analogue I/O around studio using passive or active CAST breakout boxes via standard shielded Cat 5 (boxes coming soon).
24,5V amp external locking power supply
• External power supply for improved analogue audio performance and heat dissipation.
Designed, Engineered, and Manufactured In The UK
• Each and every 500R8 is extensively tested by a team of dedicated engineers to ensure reliability and consistency.
|Type||Studio all in one|
|Application||Tracking & Mixing|
|Channels||28 In / 30 Out|
The 21st century studio can be anywhere - a bedroom, a basement, a warehouse, even a tour bus - thanks to DAWs and plugins that so many producers, engineers, and musicians use today. But whilst we can manipulate sound once it’s in the digital realm, sound capture and conversion occurs in the acoustic and analogue domain and still requires hardware. And unfortunately, this hardware often times limits the results one can achieve.
If money and physical space are of no concern, there are plenty of fantastic audio capture products (microphone preamps, DI boxes, A/D converters) that can deliver great results. But Cranborne Audio offers the modern producer, engineer, and musician with more limited price and space constraints to achieve great results as well, perhaps even better results…
All of our designs are highly-engineered and are tuned for high-performance analogue and digital applications. Our discrete analogue mic preamps and summing busses give your sound more dynamics, more headroom, and less noise. Our high-quality A/D-D/A conversion and digital clocking allows for better accuracy, more dynamics, and less jitter - the cause of the “gritiness” that so many budget USB audio interfaces are plagued with.
Cranborne Audio products are designed and engineered in the UK. But to achieve the quality and control of every design going out to the world - we also make all our products in the UK. This adds to the already curious question - “How did you do it for this price?” The answer is that all of our designs are highly cost-engineered and optimised. We have considered every component and function to find a better, and often cheaper, way of achieving a desired result. However, if something would sacrifice the performance we wanted to achieve, we would not compromise and only use the best components where needed.
Cranborne Audio, for us, means so much more than metal boxes with components in them. These are our labours of love that embody and demonstrate our demand for excellence. By distilling what matters and putting our soul into these tools, we hope to help other people make magic and express themselves, and in some way, become part of our Cranborne Audio family.
So join our family. We care for our family. And we care about making your tracks, albums, scores sound as good as they should.