At the AES Fall 2020 Convention, Prism Sound has launched the new ADA-128, a modular audio conversion system offering up to 128 channels of 32-bit A/D and D/A conversion at sample rates of up to 768 kHz.
Prism Sound Sales Director Mark Evans says, “This is the first product of a new generation of Prism Sound converters and we are confident that it will be well received by audio professionals across many different disciplines, including music recording, post production, broadcast and installation. It builds on everything that is great about Prism Sound conversion but takes it to a new level in terms of power and flexibility. It is also a very cost-effective solution for people who require a high channel count – to put this into perspective, for 128 channels of our flagship ADA-8XR conversion it would cost approximately £25,000 (about $32,270 USD) more and take up a lot more space in a rack.”
Designed for both conversion as well as a networkable audio distribution and processing system, the ADA-128 is built around a 2RU mainframe that can be fitted with up to 16 analog and digital IO modules (each of which nominally provides eight input or output ports, or both). Up to four host modules provide bidirectional multi-channel connections for computers, workstations, networks, etc. The ADA-128 provides free routing between all of these inputs and outputs under detailed user control, as well as a range of processing functions.
“The ADA-128 has a host of exciting features including low-jitter master clocks, flexible routing and synchronization options and a comprehensive store system for fast-access factory and user pre-sets,” Evans adds. “However, one of its key benefits is the ability to independently synchronize the I/O cards to create four different domains, each with its own sample rate and clock. This level of flexibility is unprecedented and will definitely appeal to facilities with more than one control room, as well as projects requiring a large amount of I/O.”
The origins of the ADA-128 stemmed from discussions between Prism Sound Managing Director Jody Thorne and The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, a faculty of Birmingham City University. “The Conservatoire were looking for high quality converters and knew Prism Sound’s reputation in this area, which is why they approached us,” Thorne explains. “Our discussions identified the need for a high channel count conversion system that could be networked across their entire facility. As this didn’t exist, we set about designing it and that project formed the basis of the ADA-128. This has now gone beyond their original specifications and we have ended up with a product that is absolutely perfect for many more customers in the installation market.”
During the development period, The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has installed Prism Sound ADA-8XR converters in its studios but will now take delivery of the first ADA-128 units to roll off the production line. Another early adopter is the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Other facilities are also specifying the unit and awaiting delivery.
An ADA-128 chassis will retail at £5,000 (about $6,455 USD)with host cards from £750 (about $970 USD) and I/O cards from £1,650 (about $2,130 USD). The company states that these prices are approximate and include VAT.