Antelope Audio has announced that it is issuing a significant software update for its Zen Studio portable audio interface. The update brings five new Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based vintage EQ models to the Zen Studio to supplement its existing parametric EQ, including the VEQ-1A, VEQ-55A, Helios 69, NEU-PEV and the Lang PEQ2.
The software update, which will be available by the end of this month, also includes tweaks to the Zen Studio’s Windows and OSX desktop application — optimizing its overall flexibility and user responsiveness.
“When we released the Zen Studio over two years ago, we knew that it was far more advanced than other portable interfaces on the market in terms of sound quality, I/O, and features,” says Marcel James, director of U.S. Sales for Antelope Audio. “We are proud to say that Zen Studio is retaining its pole position by expanding the capabilities of its desktop software and taking advantage of Antelope’s advanced FPGA capabilities with these fourfive new EQ models.”
As a result of the update, users are now able to select among the fivefour new models in addition to the currently available parametric EQ in any of the 16 FX stacks in the Zen’s desktop application and combine it with the Zen Studio’s built-in FPGA compressor and AuraVerb reverb. The update will also allow users more flexibility in adjusting the size and display in the application, and also includes workflow improvements such as enabling users to separate the view into multiple shards and save the names of channels in the routing tables.
The Zen Studio will now feature the following EQ models:
VEQ-1A: This EQ breathes new life into a classic — a 60 year old passive tube EQ that became an integral part of every top-tier professional studio in the world. Unlike the original hardware version, the VEQ-1A can be used in stereo link mode to reproduce a tight stereo image. Also, the ability to simultaneously cut and boost the same frequency imparts a unique sound unattainable with any other EQ. By adjusting the virtual knobs, users can realize massive bass and gentle highs — with all the richness of real hardware.
VEQ-55A: This EQ is able to bring out the details your mix is missing, adding body and sheen to instruments like guitar, bass or drums. Applying it across multiple channels, your tracks fit together like a puzzle and the mix jumps out of your loudspeakers.
Helios 69: Modeled on a classic British console EQ used in recordings by well-known artists of the 60s and 70s ranging from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin, the Helios 69 adds analog detail to your audio; it it allows Antelope Audio users to achieve depth and texture formerly the sole territory of standalone hardware. The bass band is a stepped 50 Hz shelf filter or frequency selectable peak EQ, the treble band is a fixed 10 kHz shelf EQ, and the mid section sports a frequency-selectable peak or notch EQ with 8 frequencies available. The control panel is rounded out with a level knob and EQ bypass. This EQ is notable for its ability to preserve transparency while adding space and presence, and Antelope Audio’s model of this highly coveted circuit delivers unprecedented authenticity.
NEU-PEV – The NEU-PEV EQ is modeled on a rare German passive equalizer designed in the 60s. Its simple interface belies the complex tonal possibilities achievable with its four main knobs. A low shelving filter is fixed at 60Hz and can apply a boost or cut. The “Presence” section offers up to 8 dB of boost for one of 7 selectable frequencies between 700 Hz and 5.6 kHz, while a 10kHz high shelf allows boost or cut at the top end of the frequency spectrum. An on-off switch and output gain control provide users with even more utility. Notable for its warmth and spacious midrange, the NEU-PEV makes some of the most compelling sounds of both yesterday and today achievable without a massive rack of aging vintage gear.
Lang PEQ2 – The PEQ2, which is an addition to the mix bus or on individual channels, is a solid-state parametric EQ model based on a vintage EQ from the 1960s. Featuring controls similar to the VEQ-1A tube EQ, the PEQ2 really stands apart from the pack thanks to its frequency control, allowing users to set different and separate LF boost and LF cut frequencies. The PEQ provides plenty of width in the midrange while retaining tightness on the high end and low end and its high end bands excel at giving tracks that extra shine, making it an all-star on vocals and drum overheads.