Antelope Discrete 4 Synergy Core

77

Thunderbolt / USB Audio Interface with 36 DSP and FPGA real-time effects

  • 2 DSP and 1 FPGA to process Antelope FX
  • 24 Bits / 192 kHz
  • Up to 121dB dynamic range
  • <1ms latency for monitoring, effects and microphone simulations
  • Antelope 64 bit acoustically focused clocking
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 261 x 208 x 44 mm
  • Weight: 1.7 kg
  • System requirements: Windows 10, OS X: 10.11 / 10.12 / 10.13
  • Incl. power supply and USB cable

Connections:

  • 2 Microphone / line / instrument inputs (XLR / TRS combo socket)
  • 2 Microphone / line inputs (XLR / TRS combo socket)
  • 4 Line outputs (6.3mm TRS jack)
  • 2 Monitor outputs (6.3mm TRS jack)
  • 4 Stereo headphone outputs (6.3mm TRS jack), each with its own volume control
  • ADAT input / output
  • S / P-Dif input / output (RCA)
  • 2 Wordclock outputs (BNC)
  • Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 port

Includes 36 real-time synergy core effects, modelled preamps, dynamics and equaliser:

  • Gyraf Gyratec IX (Tube Mic Preamp)
  • BA-31 (Mic Preamp)
  • VCA160 (Compressor)
  • Stay-Levin (Compressor)
  • FET-A76 (FET Compressor)
  • FeedForward Antelope Compressor (Compressor)
  • X903 (Compressor/Limiter)
  • Power EX (Expander)
  • VEQ-1A (Tube EQ)
  • VEQ-HLF (Passive High/Low Filter)
  • VMEQ (Tube EQ)
  • Clear Q (Parametric EQ)

Modelled guitar amplifiers and speakers:

  • Plexi 59 (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Bass SuperTube VR (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Darkface 65 (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Top30 Bright (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Tweed Deluxe (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Overange 120 (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • BurnSphere Lead (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Marcus II Lead (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Modern CH3 (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Rock 75 (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Rock 22.10 (Tube Guitar Amp)
  • Darkface 65 2x12 (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Bass SuperTube VR (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Darkface 65 (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Top30 Bright (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Tweed Deluxe (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Overange 120 (Guitar Cabinet)
  • BurnSphere Lead (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Marcus II Lead (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Modern CH3 (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Rock 75 (Guitar Cabinet)
  • Rock 22.10 (Guitar Cabinet)

Additional effects:

  • Aura verb (reverb)
  • Power Gate
Recording / Playback Channels 14x16
Number of Mic Inputs 4
Number of Line Inputs 4
Number of Instrument Inputs 2
Number of Line Outs 6
Headphone Outs 4
Phantom power Yes
Number of S/PDIF Connectors 1
Number of ADAT Connectors 1
Numer of AES/EBU Connectors 0
Number of MADI Connectors 0
Ethernet 0
Other Connectors No
MIDI interface No
Word Clock 2xOut
Max. sample rate (kHz) 192 kHz
Max. resolution in bit 24 bit
USB Bus-Powered No
Incl. power supply Yes
USB Version 2.0
Width in mm 261 mm
Depth in mm 208 mm
Height in mm 44 mm
available since June 2019
Item number 468505
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Number of Line Outputs 6
Phantom Power 1
AES/EBU Connectors 0
Max. Samplerate 192 kHz
Max. Resolution in Bit 24 bit
Incl. Power Supply 1
Windows Thunderbolt driver 1
Thunderbolt Version 2
Included in delivery Power Supply, USB cable
Zero latency monitoring 1
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£925
Free shipping incl. VAT
In stock
In stock

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
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71 Customer Reviews

R
Less Is More
RedVikingHood 17.08.2021
The backstory: I bought the Discrete 4 Synergy Core to replace an Audient iD14, dbx 286s and Behringer ADA8200. My main uses are recording narration and voice over, live streaming (hence the dbx), and electronic music production with hardware and software synths.

The iD14 had served me well but I was never completely happy with the headphone output; I have Sennheiser HD600s (300 Ω) and HD 25-1s (70 Ω). I felt that I could get more from the HD600s and wanted a little more output for tracking low-level sources. The dbx 286s enabled me to get a decent sound for live streaming with a Shure SM57 and Shure A81WS wind screen (similar tone to an SM7B). However, I needed an active inline preamp (sE Electronics DM1) in order to hit the processing chain at an appropriate level for correct gain staging (I am softly spoken). The ADA8200 was for a couple of hardware synths, although I did not need all the inputs and could not use the outputs with the iD14. Interestingly, there was no noticeable difference to the Audient. Although, the dbx and Audient mic preamps were clearly better on voice.

The Discrete 4 was simply superior in every way. There was an immediately noticeable difference with both headphones as well as monitoring through a hyper-budget pair of Samson’s in an untreated room (temporary situation, but they are positioned correctly and have been decoupled from the desk). That was the real surprise, hearing so much more detail and space around every instrument in a song or mix. The bass confused me at first. The Audient is warmer, but you soon realise that the Discrete 4 has enough bass, it is just incredibly precise. Transient accuracy of this order takes a moment for your mind to adjust to. But it is worth it. The resolution of harmonic content in the bass is stunning.

Imagine being able to zoom in on a particular instrument to hear it in more detail without having to use the solo button. That is the best I can do to describe the difference. I never expected it to be this significant as I subscribe to the classic theory of room>monitors>DAC or room>microphone>preamp>ADC. Then there are the preamps. They have more gain than the dbx and eliminated the need for inline preamps. They sound exceptionally clean and detailed - neither warm nor aggressive. Unexpectedly, I prefer them to the Audient’s and when coupled with the DSP preamps, more options are available to you.

Perhaps the real magic is with the DSP. Within 20 minutes, I had set up an FX chain that trumped the dbx in every way while not having to concern myself with latency. Technically there is ‘some’ latency but it’s too low to be perceivable. It must be less than the Audient’s onboard monitoring latency which is enough to throw you off a little. I can only presume that the Discrete is sub 1ms; The Audient is around 1.5ms at 48kHz. The Thunderbolt latency speeds are next level too. I am currently only using USB so I haven’t had the opportunity to try this yet; however, if you have been doing your homework, you will know that there are corners of the internet where the latency has been tested and confirmed as legitimate.

On the front of the unit, you have 2 mic/line inputs which also include a DI (switchable from the software – you hear a click from the unit so I can only assume that they have discrete circuits). I tracked an analogue drum machine to compare the line inputs with the DIs. There was a subtle but useful difference. The former being extremely transparent and the latter warmer with a slightly smoother top end. A useful ‘colour’ to add to your palette.

The software is quite intuitive and super flexible. My only complaint is that the reverb return labels could have been named more appropriately. For example, return 1 goes to headphone output 1, return 2 to headphone output 2 etc. They could have been labelled to directly correspond. It would also have been great to have more comprehensive main monitoring options like mono summing and polarity inversion; however, the dim and mute options are most welcome.

Are there any cons?

Hardware: the headphone outputs are too close to the ‘level controller’ for bigger hands, the monitoring is not ‘one-knob-one-function’, and the metering is very basic.

Software: the bypass all function in the FX racks does not work correctly. It does bypass but when you press it again to switch bypass off it does nothing.

Support: It is slow, and you may need to chase them up several times. On the surface, it appears to be the classic departmental schism that grows as a company grows; however, in their defence, they resolved everything.

With all things considered, the Discrete 4 has been priced very competitively. Add the DSP plugins and the proposition is unbeatable. They are ‘top of the food chain’ level of quality. And when coupled with the Antelope ecosystem, they give you the power to provide high-quality headphone mixes, track with FX (both wet and dry), and bring them into your DAW for mixing. This is huge – for some, it will be a game changer.
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S
very versatile and high quality machine
SanPeric 16.02.2020
I've been using synergy core for little more than a month and so far everything worked flawlessly including their customer service too ...

After quite a lot of exploring and researching I was between UAD's apollo and this little beast , I honestly think that antelope is one the biggest real competitors to uad when it comes to quality/value/price offer , the thing is that uad has been much longer in the game , trusted by thousands (for a reason) , so probably that's why they still on the top of the game and will be for a while, but antelope is right behind ...

I had a chance to work and record with both , apollo and synergy core , didn't get a chance to compare them back to back yet but i can def say that the plug ins , conversion , and general workflow are equally good and easy from what i can feel and remember , so i will write this review in that light ....

sound/conversion quality : I just love how open and pristine they sound, it feels like the details come out more , like that 3D picture and depth engineers work hard for actually comes through , I had the same feeling with apollo.. the only little difference is that apollo converters sound tad bit warmer , or in other words synergy sounds a little more clear... now , that might and might not be a good thing , in some situations you actually want that pristine clarity synergy core offers , in some other you might want little more of that warmth uad is known for .... however , given the price difference , i gotta say , I dont regret a single penny when it comes to sound quality of synergy core ...

plug ins and DSP : ok , so I mean , there are tons of plug ins antelope offers , some of them are included some of them you can buy later some of them you get to choose as a gift ... from what I tried , they all sounded great, clear and they do what it says they should ... i am not gonna go into compering them to any other plugin manufacture company as that's pointless , it's all about ears and the track...let's just say that 2 fairchilds or 2 neves or any 2 of vintage equipment outboards dont sound exactly the same so why would 2 plug ins ... all I can say is that they sound great and I would use them as well as i would any other plug in I like and know well and that includes waves , fabfilter, softube,soundtoys and so on .. One I'm really impressed by is Impresser (distressor) ... kicking ass plug in ... it is a shame you can not use them inside your DAW without their bridge plugin that you have to pay for, but again , you can't have it all ,right ? .. they already giving you pretty good deal for the price ...

I/O : i personally find all i need for what i use synergy core with 4 inputs and 6 outputs plus ability to expand whenever you need ... and honestly that was the biggest selling point for me .. i mix hybrid and i record hybrid and i personally believe that's the present and future of audio recording and mixing so I def think antelope is heading towards the top of the game with their products ...

for the end , gotta say that after working with interfaces like focusrite , presonus , motu , apogee ... i def consider this an upgrade in quality and versatility ...
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Very big step of improvement
Aj-Seres 21.11.2021
A perfect step to upgrade your old interface, home studio or even real studio. Sound is great, lots of inputs, amazing dsp effects. Especially I am glad for headphones outs, many years I used only one, now I have 4 :). With edge solo emulations and mic, I can forget for a while about any buy of new mic. With saved presets inside, I can save my time on my real-time record and post-mixing. It is very good deal and investment to your future creativity!
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Gv
Great sound, pity about the issues.
Gideon van Oel 16.07.2021
Finally delved into my savings and upon reading rave reviews about this unit decided to take the plunge and buy a 4 Synergy core.
Well built, registration and setup quite straightforward.
Technical stuff:
1. first use with Cubase 10.5 on a fine DAW computer, after installing the mic modeling module [a VST3]: no more Cubase! Had to revert to complete system restore. Tried everything else, and I am not a newbie [survived Vista!].
2. when using any of the dsp effects on an incoming source I lost the monitoring of incoming signal everytime I disabled or changed any of these effects. In order to hear the connected source again the Antelope Launcher had to be restarted. A pain.
So, although sonically vastly superior to my faithfull Focusrite Pre 24, these issues made me decide to return the unit.
A pity.
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