Antelope Discrete 8 Synergy Core

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

  • 2 DSP and 1 FPGA to process Antelope FX
  • 24 Bit / 192kHz
  • Up to 130 dB dynamic range (D / A)
  • <1ms latency for monitoring
  • Effects and microphone simulations
  • Antelope 64 bit acoustically focused clocking
  • Integrated talkback microphone with push button
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 483 x 229 x 44 mm
  • Weight: 3.1 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)
  • 6 Microphone / line inputs (XLR / TRS combo socket)
  • 8 Line outputs (D-Sub 25)
  • 2 Monitor outputs (6.3mm TRS jack)
  • 2 ReAmp outputs (6.3mm jack)
  • 2 Stereo headphone outputs (6.3mm TRS jack), each with its own volume control
  • Assignable foot switch input (6.3mm jack)
  • 2 x ADAT input / output
  • S / P-Dif input / output (RCA)
  • 1 x Wordclock input and 3x Wordclock output (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:

  • Auraverb (Reverb)
  • Power Gate (Gate)

Further Information

Recording / Playback Channels 26x32
Number of Mic Inputs 8
Number of Line Inputs 8
Number of Instrument Inputs 2
Number of Line Outputs 10
Headphone Outs 2
Phantom Power Yes
Number of S/PDIF Connectors 1
Number of ADAT Connectors 2
AES/EBU Connectors 0
Number of MADI Connectors 0
Ethernet 0
Other Connectors No
MIDI Connectors No
Word Clock 1xIn, 3xOut
Max. Samplerate 192 kHz
Max. Resolution in Bit 24 bit
Bus-Powered No
Incl. Power Supply Yes
Windows Thunderbolt driver Yes
Thunderbolt Version 2
Width in mm 483 mm
Height in mm 44 mm

Come up with your own creative bundle and save

If you order this product together with others as part of a bundle, you can save up to 5 % additionally!
Antelope Discrete 8 Synergy Core + Steinberg Cubase Artist 11 +
7 more
Configure bundle now
starting from $1,719

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Our most popular USB Audio Interfaces
55 Customer Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.6 /5
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
handling
features
sound
quality
Superb interface for a decent price (especially with promotion!)
Tielemat, 07.07.2021
Until my new discrete 8 arrived, I used a combination of a Antelope Zodiac Gold DAC for monitoring and an Iconnectivity Audio4+ for inputs. I was used to the pristine sound of the Zodiac, which was important in my choice. Since I was ready to upgrade my synth-based homestudio, I was lurking towards the UAD Apollo offering. Having previous pleasant experience with Antelope though, I took the time to explore what they had in store. What an excellent decision !

When I read about the deal with the Edge Solo Microphone and a free FX bundle, the choice became quite easy.

The interface was of course a enormous update compared to the Audio4+, which apart from offering IOS connectivity , wasn't such a great tool.

Pro's:
+ I had to dig into the authorisation process of all things included, but with the fast response of the helpdesk, everything went smoothly.
+ The internal processing coupled with excellent plugs will extend the lifetime of my Mac mini 2012 (quad core i7) for a couple of years
+ User interface and routing seem to be transparent. I still have to explore further
+ Latency reduction is impressive, and there seems to be a significant CPU offload , even with CPU-intensive plugs such as the Roland Cloud Synths.
+ The AFX2DAW is an elegant solution to use plugs in standard DAWs

Cons:
+ It would have been nice to include a Thunderbolt cable.
+ Having to buy and use an Ilok key just for the mic emulations is a bit overkill.
+ There's still no AFX Reverb available. I hope it will come one day

Overall and till further notice, I'm very happy with my purchase. A studio-grade interface for half the price of the competition with pristine sound and transparent user interface. What more could you want ?
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MB202, 18.12.2020
I rarely write reviews but since I spent hours on finding relevant information on this card, this might help future buyers out.

This card has simply a beautiful sound, not harsh but somewhat “rounded”, like using analog gear. The dynamic headroom is phenomenal. Antelope is known for its clocks, not for its sound cards, but so far I have not encountered one problem. Tested and tried— and it works flawlessly on both Mac and PC.

I was also worried about the customer service as Antelope does not have a good name in the field, but I tested it and they always replied to me within a day or so with the correct answer. Antelope just has a real problem with marketing: it is difficult to find the right information and the promotional videos are just terrible. I’m sure that if they would spent more time on providing their costumers with information, they would boost their sales enormously.

Since with these DSP cards, you basically buy into the software system, it is important to say something about the hardware emulations. The emulations are knockoffs of famous gear (with some bizarre names, I guess so that Antelope doesn’t get sued for IP violations). They are of course not the same as the original but they just sound very good and that is what it is all about. The prices for buying additional software are correct (contrary to the prices of the main competitor). As I said, this is the main thing, as you basically are locked into a software system when using DSP cards. I like the idea of buying stuff from a company that makes good products without spending enormous amounts of money on marketing, the “correct” endorsements, etc. In terms of sound, this Antelope is surely as good as the competitors in this price range (1000-2500). For me, the big selling point was that you have 8 AFX channels available on this card (4 on the Discrete4) so you can mix “into” the compressors. Competitors had 4 channels max (I’m talking about the internal routing from your DAW to the Card, and possibly back).

So, is there nothing to criticise? There is:
- The sound is sometimes perhaps a bit too boomy, using particular compressors, but you can dial that down (it is somewhat exaggerated, the UA ones are calmer).
- It’s a matter of personal taste, but I think that the control panel as well as the emulations don’t look very good (like a FL interface from 10 years ago). But the sound is great and that is what it is all about. There is nothing to be automated (unfortunately) and there are no presets (thank god!).
- Compressors, EQ, Pre-amps, are all great, but the guitar amp simulations are nothing special; they might work for some rock guitar but it is difficult to get a open clean sound (the solution perhaps: add an EQ). The one bass amp simulator is very usable.

You will end up with a hybrid solution: using a DSP card means that some stuff is running from there, and other plugins still run from the DAW. You have to select what you like and what is technically possible, but with this card you will certainly find enough of your liking. The AD converters are, to my ears, the best in this price range.

And so I’m very happy with the purchase of this card that I can recommend to anyone without reservations!
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Awesome upgrade and options
G-T-R, 08.05.2020
Outstanding unit on all fronts. The unit provides you with all the connections needed whether the sources are analogue or digital. Personally I didn't think I would be using all 8 mic preamps as I rarely record more than two sources at the same time. However, having 8 preamps at this price point is such a huge plus for your workflow. It allows you to connect all your sources at once even if you don’t need to record them simultaneously and that way avoiding switching cables or using patch-bays. With this unit available at this price point I did not see a valid enough reason to choose a different audio interface with only two mic preamps and which could have cost me more. I have switched to this unit from a competitor brand/unit and I can say this was an upgrade in terms of audio quality and clarity. In terms of options the Antelope provides a lot of good amps, cabs and effects to choose from. What can I say… it is certainly great to have outboard gear in your setup but the effects and options that come with this unit make this a possibility within everyone’s reach with very little to no compromise in my opinion. The real time effects are very good quality and I was very impressed. The guitar amps sound and feel very good so they are definitely very usable as are the cabs, so this unit will serve me very well in recording and monitoring. I personally found the unit was very easy to set up and get running and the re-amp options are very easy to use and very good/useful. This allows you to record a dry signal from your guitar as well as a live signal direct from your amp at the same time. I can say that this unit was a great addition to my setup and one that will certainly speed up my workflow, connection solution as well as creative options both for recording and mixing. The only thing to take note of is that if you are using a Thunderbold 3 computer (example one of the more recent MacBook pros) you will need an adapter since the Discrete 8 Synergy Core unit uses a Thunderbolt 2 connection so watch out for this as you will ideally need a Thunderbolt cable and adapter to make the most of the unit. Other than that, delivery was fast although the box of the Antelope unit had been opened/torn and taped back together on one side, even though the packing was in very good condition and the contents had not been impacted in any way.
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A sonic step up
Parapete, 06.07.2021
I'd been debating upping my digital conversion for a while. I've got a small project studio and mainly do overdubs and mixing. Recently I've had more and more tracking work. Both at base and on location. I knew of antelope for clocking and after A/B ing several units I went for this.
I've not been disappointed. Firstly, the mic pres are stellar. And the conversation, is to my ears, some of the best I've heard. And I started 30 odd years ago on Otari and 8 track Scilly's. The on board DSP is outstanding.
I would say that the matrix does have a bit of a learning curve and initially I haven't found it that intuitive. My only other gripe is a lack of PC thunderbolt support for AFX2DAW, although the Antelope home page has had an under development notice for a while.
So in short if you want 8 amazing pres, top notch conversion and great DSP. For what is, in my, a very good price, get this.
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