Antelope Audio Discrete 8 Premium
The Antelope Discrete 8 is an 8-channel preamp with 26x32 Thunderbolt/USB audio interface, featuring real-time tracking through stunning preamp and mic emulations, and a professional word clock distribution system powered by Antelope’s 4th Generation Acoustically Focused Clocking—comes with the Premium FX Pack.
While the Discrete 8 may sound like a group of ’60’s gentleman revolutionaries who refuse to protest and tell (unlike the Chicago 7), but in this case, the Antelope Discrete 8 is, in fact, a revolutionary device that can give you the sound of the 60s and much more. The Discrete 8 is a Thunderbolt/USB interface with eight discrete Class-A preamps designed for those who want to go big and stay home—or set up a remote recording rig that’s tantamount to traveling with a world-class studio in your backpack. You might argue that such studios have racks of vintage analog gear, and you’d be right, but that’s where Antelope’s real-time FPGA-based Accusonic 3D models of all varieties of classic vintage gear and effects come in. FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) chips can be programmed to take on the physical characteristics and response of gear down to the component level, including tube and transformer saturation. With authentic models of iconic gear from BAE, Lang, Gyraf Audio, and many more, the Discrete 8 truly provides racks of classic and modern gear with stunning accuracy in a single rack space—and all in real time.
Antelope Discrete 8 unique features:
- Eight console-grade Class-A mic preamps with discrete transistor design and precise digital gain controls
- Mic preamp modeling turn the expensive-sounding Discrete 8 mic pres into classic units via Tube, Transformer and FET based circuitry in real-time
- Premier real-time FX including BAE, Grove Hill, Gyraf Audio and Lang classics to use in the Easy Panel or in a DAW
- Includes Premium FX Pack
- Proprietary 4th Generation 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) technology
- Create up to four custom monitoring mixes with FPGA FX included and send them to Headphone or Monitor outs; talkback also included
- Control all Discrete 8 features via its intuitive Easy Panel or download the free iOS and Android mobile apps
Antelope Discrete 8—Under the hood
Eight console-grade, fully discrete preamps and 26 x 32 interface
In the world of pro-audio design, there are certain recording consoles that stand apart from the rest based on their preamps alone. Rather than designing textbook generic preamps as are found in most audio interfaces, Antelope engineers took their inspiration from the circuitry of microphone preamps that have stood the test of time. However, the Discrete 8’s preamps had to do more than stand on their own, they also “get out of the way” for the FPGA preamp models to shine through without any additional hype altering the performance of the models. After extensive research into both classic and modern preamp design, Antelope developed the Accusonic preamp; a Class-A, 6-transistor discrete preamp born of the great console designs. Not only do the Discrete 8’s preamps sound stellar on their own, they can take on the sonic characteristics of a variety of classic preamps via the Antelope Audio FPGA engine—plus, it happens in real-time and with as authentic a response as possible.
Why use discrete transistor circuitry?
As we mentioned, the Discrete 8’s preamps have to “get out of the way” for the FPGA models to work to their maximum capability. In order to achieve that, the best possible noise and distortion performance is essential. Discrete bi-polar transistors can outperform IC op-amps, (integrated circuit chips), particularly with low source resistances. The open-loop gain (for linearity) and load-driving capability provided by op-amps may have less than respectable performance specs, which ties into the second requirement of low distortion. Most op-amps have Class-B or Class–AB output stages, many of which show crossover artifacts on the distortion residual. A discrete op-amp (transistor) can dissipate more power than an IC, and thus can have a Class-A output stage, avoiding the crossover issue completely.
In essence, discrete transistor circuitry offers the lowest noise and distortion specs possible, enabling the FPGA FX preamp models to shine through without any uncharacteristic noise and distortion, which are also modeled to provide the true performance of the modeled preamp. Additional noise and distortion would turn the model into a different preamp, and not necessarily a better one. (Too much information? We at Pro Audio Design think not.)
Antelope AD/DA, clocking, and controls
To get the sound of Accusonic preamps into your DAW, the Discrete 8 features AD/DA conversion with a 121dB dynamic range, plus Antelope’s industry-renowned clocking. A 26-input/32-output audio interface, there are eight analog inputs and outputs on a standard 25-pin D-SUB connector, a pair of monitor outputs, two outputs for reamping, and a pair of headphone outputs. Digital I/O includes S/PDIF in and out, and dual ADAT I/O.
When working in a remote setting, the Discrete 8 features front-panel controls, including a large monitor volume knob and dedicated high-pass knobs for each output. A talkback microphone built into the face of the Discrete 8 can be activated by a front-panel talkback button, assignable rear-panel footswitch jack, or via Antelope’s EasyPanel software or iOS/Android app. Metering is viewable on the front panel display, inside the EasyPanel, and also via the remote app. To make life even easier, various tracking setups can be saved and recalled.
The sound of serious studio gear for your DAW
Now, about that portable world-class recording studio, we were talking about. The Discrete 8’s physical modeling platform offers a complete professional studio experience, including microphones, preamps, conversion, compressors, EQs, and reverb. The secret to Antelope’s real-time physical modeling effects is in their proprietary FPGA platform. To the uninitiated, FPGA or Field-Programmable Gate Array is a chip that allows designers to customize effects processing, with 8 times the processing power of ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) processors. FPGA technology enables Antelope to provide authentic, circuit-level emulations of classic studio hardware.
Rather than "describe" circuitry in abstract DSP code, the chip is dynamically reconfigured to behave exactly like the circuits and components of analog gear. This process can recreate rare vintage equipment on an actual hardware circuit, piece by piece, literally taking on the personality of the same circuitry and components that forged the sounds of classic records. The results are emulations that sound and behave with incredible realism—all happening in real time in the Discrete 8. You can use them within the Discrete 8’s EasyPanel software or in your preferred DAW via the AFX2DAW Plugin. Additionally, the Discrete 8 ReAmp outputs will allow you to use any outboard gear and route the resulting sound back in your DAW of choice.
The Antelope Audio AFX collection
The ever-growing Accusonic FX collection comprises an equalizer, compressor, the PowerGate noise gate, the AuraVerb reverb, 21 vintage EQs, 13 vintage compressors, 10 guitar amps and 10 guitar cabinets. Additionally, the mic emulations currently number 11 models for the Edge large-diaphragm modeling mic and 5 models for the Verge small-diaphragm modeling mic. The number of effects you can apply simultaneously depends on which Discrete 8 bundle you purchased.
Discrete 8 Premium FX Pack (Included)
The Discrete 8 Premium pack allows you to use eight channel strips with four FX instances each and up to 16 channel strips using the AFX2DAW plug-in. The Premium FX library features 50+ Antelope Audio real-time FPGA FX.
The Discrete 8 Basic pack allows you to use two channel strips with four FX instances each. The Basic FX library features 50+ Antelope Audio real-time FPGA FX. With Discrete 8 Basic you can use one guitar amp and cabinet instance.
Transform Edge and Verge microphones into vintage replicas
With the Discrete 8 FPGA Accusonic 3D modeling engine, you can transform both Edge and Verge microphones into vintage replicas. They give you complete control over proximity effect and even allow you to change polar patterns during or after recording. Choose from a collection of pricey vintage microphones and track the results as you monitor live. Now you can find the mic that best complements any singer’s voice without the time-consuming, tedious, and muse-killing process of setting up and tearing down mics until you find the winner.
Proprietary jitter-management technologies
Along with its 8-channel preamp, audio interface, and real-time effects, the Discrete 8 is also professional clocking solution. It comes with Antelope’s proprietary clocking technologies, including their 4th Generation 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) found in Antelope classics, such as the high-end Trinity, OCX HD, LiveClock, and Pure2. On the theoretic side, AFC is not a math-based process, as there are no determined specifications on jitter or universal measurements on sound quality. As its name implies, AFC is based on the actual acoustic properties of sound in the conversion process. On the practical side, Discrete 8 comes with a word clock input that can de-jitter and distribute an external clock signal. Three word-clock outputs allow you to distribute clock to your other digital gear and mic preamps in your setup connected via ADAT and S/PDIF. Discrete 8 will ensure that all your gear is perfectly synced.
Multiple cue mixes and preset management
Monitoring and talkback sections in Discrete 8 are easy to set. Up to four individual monitor mixes can be sent to headphones or monitor outputs, with or without FPGA FX. By including vintage EQs, compressors, and authentic guitar amp emulations, you can provide an inspiring sound as close to the final product as possible—great for enabling vocalists to perform at their best. Discrete 8 can save and load AFX presets and exchange settings with the entire Antelope line of FPGA-equipped pro audio interfaces. Share your personal effects settings with other Antelope users, or see how the pros set up their sessions.
Free iOS and Android mobile apps
If you’re like the typical rogue cop or superhero who prefers to work alone, Antelope offers a free downloadable remote App for the Discrete 8, which allows you to adjust all microphone input levels and talkback levels, as well as monitoring and headphone volumes. Musicians can control their own headphone volume through their phones, while the engineer can check input levels from the tracking room. The device can be accessed from different computers connected to the same network.
Antelope Audio Discrete 8 key features and tech:
- Real-time 3D mic modeling via FPGA engine
- 50+ Premier real-time FX, also accessible in DAW
- Eight console-grade Class-A mic pres with discrete transistor design
- Precise and recallable stepped gain control
- Individual knobs for each discrete mic pre
- 4th Generation 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking
- FPGA FX models of BAE, Grove Hill, and Gyraf Audio classics
- AFX2DAW Plugin for accessing the FPGA FX in your DAW (Coming soon)
- Eight analog inputs on combo XLR connectors (6 Mic / Line; 2 Hi-Z / Mic / Line)
- Eight analog Line outs on DB25 connectors
- Thunderbolt™ 2 & USB connectivity (TB for Windows coming soon)
- A pair of Monitor outs on TRS connectors
- Two stereo headphone outputs
- Dual footswitch (optional)
- Two ReAmp outputs
- Word clock input and three word clock outputs
- Additional digital connectivity via S/PDIF and 2x ADAT
- Up to four individual monitoring mixes with FPGA FX
- Create and share custom presets
- Intuitive EasyPanel software control
- Remote iOS and Android compatible app
- Basic FX pack—use two channel strips with two instances of all FPGA FX
- Premium FX pack—use four channel strips with four instances of all FPGA FX
While discretion may be the better part of valor, the Antelope Discrete 8 offers the best parts of audio recording and mixing. Order yours today, or contact your PAD Studio Specialist for more information.
- 6 x Mic / Line Inputs
- 2 x Mic / Line / Hi-Z Inputs
- 1 x Monitor Out on TRS 1/4 Jacks, +20 dBu max
- 2 x ReAmp Out on TRS 1/4 Jacks
- 1 x Line Outs on DB25, +20 dBu max ( DC coupled )
- 2 x Stereo Headphone Outputs
- EIN: -128 dBu (A-weighted)
- Dynamic Range: -121 dB (A-weighted)
- THD: -106 dB
- Max input: +18 dBu
- Max Gain: 65 dB
D/A monitor converter
- Dynamic Range: 124 dB
- THD + N: -101 dB
- Dynamic Range: 121 dB
- THD + N: -112 dB
- D/A Converters(Line Out)
- Dynamic Range: 121dB
- THD + N: – 100dB
- 2 x ADAT (up to 16 Ch.)
- 1 x S/PDIF
- 2 x ADAT (up to 16 Ch.)
- 1 x S/PDIF
- USB I/O
- USB 2.0 Hi-Speed;
- Data stream up to 480Mbits/192kHz, 24 channels I/O, Type B
- Thunderbolt I/O
- 1 x Thunderbolt, 32 channels I/O
Word clock input
- 1 x Input @ 75 ohm 3Vpp on BNC 32 – 192kHz
Word clock outputs
- 3 x Outputs @ 75 Ohms 3Vpp on BNC 32 – 192kHz
- 4th Generation Acoustically Focused Clocking
- 64-bit DDS
- 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz
- 0-50°C, 32-122°F
- 61 lb. 3.0 kg
- Width: 19" (483 mm)
- Height: 1-45/64" (144 mm)
- Depth: 8-19/32" (220 mm)
- 20 watts
In the Box
- Discrete 8 Interface
- Quick Start Guide
- Wart External Power Supply Unit
- USB Cable
- Warranty Card
- OS: Windows 10
- Disk Space: Minimum 1 GB available disk space
- USB: 1x USB 2.0 Port
- CPU: Intel or AMD equivalent CPU with at least 2GHz operating frequency
- Memory (RAM): 4GB Minimum (8GB or more recommended)
- OS X: 10.11/10.12/10.13 (Sierra recommended)
- Disk Space: Minimum 1GB available disk space
- USB: 1x USB 2.0 Port
- Thunderbolt: 1x Thunderbolt
- Memory(RAM): 4GB Minimum (8GB or more recommended)
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (Minimum) Intel Core i3 or higher (recommended)