Prism Sound Orpheus 8 X 8 DAW Interface
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The Prism Sound Orpheus is a professional DAW FireWire 400 (Thunderbolt w/adapter card) audio interface for any MAC or PC. This one rack space unit excels by virtue of its careful and thoughtful design, easy integration into any system, intuitive operation and, most importantly, its superb sound. Orpheus is capable of a maximum of 18 channels of simultaneous, digitally controlled I/O in any combination of up to four microphones, 8 analog line level ins/outs, and digital S/PDIF stereo up to 192kHz, plus ADAT up to 96kHz.
I tested Orpheus in Pro Tools 10 HD and compared the sound of its microphone pre-amps to my coveted pre-amp costing nearly as much as the Orpheus interface itself! I wanted to see if the Orpheus' mic pre-amps were not just token features--thrown in to "sweeten and sell" the unit but only average sounding. I found them to sound as full and natural as my expensive pre-amp--matching it in every way.
The ancillary-running setup and configuration software that Prism Sound includes to "talk" to the host DAW is elegantly designed. The Orpheus Firewire controller (ver 1.07 tested here) is the easiest to set up and use I've experienced yet! Its digital mixer requires no learning curve at all--within minutes of its installation, I easily configured multiple stereo mixes for headphones, control room mixes, sending out and returning to vintage processing gear etc. This an all-pro system with parameters named and functioning as expected.
I liked that the first 4 analog input channels are auto-sensing--they "figure out" what sources are plugged into them--be they mic or line level sources and switch automatically. All eight analog inputs also have a switchable Overkiller mode--an instantaneous progressive peak limiter that protects the A/D converter from accidental overload.
The front panel's configuration display shows levels, the unit's setup and there are separate controls and jacks for headphones. The front has two input DI jacks, and a configurable rotary controller for setting output level(s) even as master for 5.1 or 7.1 channel stems and much more. All the features of this fantastic, well-designed unit are fully detailed at: www.prismsound.com/music_recording/products_subs/orpheus/orpheus_home.php
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