Antelope Audio in Foley. One year of owning. Personal short review.
Well, a long time has passed since we have bought the interface and I think it’s a great time to share personal thoughts about using the products of Antelope Audio in the audio post industry especially in the Foley studio. I am not the audio gear expert and I have no interest to promote this company, I just hope that it helps anyone who is going to buy the products of AA or thinking about changing the gear.
What we have been looking for:
I have been choosing the interface using the main criteria and have expectations like
- Real-time plugs processing on the board
- 2+ high-class HP outs
- High-end conversion
- Well sounding preamps and ADAT in/out for using external converters
- Stable USB drivers on PC (as good as RME)
- The price under 2.5K USD at the local dealer.
As we are the guys who are on PC, the Universal Audio who also have a DSP is not our best friend, unfortunately. But Antelope Audio Zen Tour has been looking like a smart choice for us.
What we have got:
- FPGA DSP sounds and works perfectly! In our studio, it's a necessary thing in the process of Foley recording, not just simply apply low and high pass filters. All the 60+ plugs we have got absolutely for free. EQ's and compression sound fantastic, it helps a lot with the surface's sound modeling on the recording. Many things could be fixed at the place. There's no need to buy additional hardware. And all the EQs has different algorithm even on a simple high cut. That’s cool! I don't really know how much instances could FPGA process, but the people talk that more than 32 in a time and it plays smoothly on ASIO. Very very happy with this real-time processing! No delay and sounds stunning.
- HP outputs are very clean, but not as loud as we have been expecting. With the internal routing matrix, it's easy to manage the sources which you would like to pass through each out.
- Conversion of Antelope Audio devices is brilliant! Personally, I like how the UA devices sound but as for me, this device beat them.
- Onboard preamps on Zen Tour are quiet and clean but a bit "hot". We have been comparing them with Grace Design 101 side-by-side and they sound very close to each other especially on the lows and highs. But on this comparison AA preamps has +2 or +3 dB boost at around 500hz what make the Foley sound a bit boomy. Of course, it's possible to correct that with FPGA. As Antelope says the preamps on Discrete 4 are a bit simpler than on Zen Tour. We also have this interface but have had no chance to listen to his preamps to compare.
- As a big fan of RME drivers and interfaces, I can put up with the Antelope Audio laggy GUI or with the launcher which won't open at the first try on Windows 10, but their USB drivers is a big con... Actually, the last time I have been downloading an update the things were passed smoothly, but it becomes the lottery each time you do it. Nobody of owners on Facebook Antelope Audio's fun group knows what will happen to the interface and will you be able to continue working without critical errors or need to the factory reset right after the drivers update.
Regardless of all, I love Antelope Audio interfaces with their pros and cons and I won't change it. Good investment for the money. Good for Foley.
Yuri, Foley First