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"Steinberg AXR4T 28x24 Thunderbolt Audio Interface with RND Silk Circuitry"

They say 32 bit integer AD/DA conversion (!?!?!?!)
>>> "Bit Depth Up to 32-Bit (AD/DA Conversion)"
>>> "This interface itself is capable of capturing audio at sample rates and resolutions of up to 384 kHz / 32-bit, enabling a highly-detailed reproduction of transients as well as an increase in headroom over 24-bit converters."

IF this is true, it would means that no mic preamps are needed.
If this is true, that's really new.

It seems utterly crazy that it would be only for Mac and not for Windows, and that it is Thunderbolt 2 and not Thunderbolt 3.

Lot of questions...

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29 minutes ago, miroslav said:

Well...that interface comes with preamps...so I'm not sure what you wouldn't need any. I mean, why would they bother including them...?

..."Marketing", maybe (people are not accustomed to the "no mic preamps" idea, before this one there was only one 28 bit integer AD/DA audio interface on the market for years, the Stage Tec True Match , with this idea of "no preamps needed").

Steinberg & Yamaha have choosen to "collaborate with Rupert Neve" for the "Silk processing" (harmonic distortion preamp modelization), this is marketing for a niche where "analog preamps" are desired. Maybe they don't want to complicate things in the minds of "sheep-like consumers". 

Maybe there are no real analog preamps in this audio interface (maybe it is done only by DSP digital modelizations and calculations, this "Rupert Neve Silk Processing"), but they choose to not say so, for marketing purposes.

Maybe when they say there are preamps it's just a kind of "little white lie". I prefer the thruth, but if white lies are required for the business to go on...;)

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you would need mic preamps to match the output impedance of the microphones anyway. Usually the mics are 200 to 600 ohms, whereas the converter boxes are more like 10k. The response of the mic would probably go all over the place.

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4 hours ago, echidna said:

you would need mic preamps to match the output impedance of the microphones anyway. Usually the mics are 200 to 600 ohms, whereas the converter boxes are more like 10k. The response of the mic would probably go all over the place.

Does matching impedances could be considered as mic preamplifications ? I'm not so sure >>> DI boxes are not preamps.

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It looks like a nice package, nice promo videos etc.

That kind of resolution will be interesting to hear with a string ensemble or orchestra with nice mics.

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Well I guess the thing to do is try  plugging a mic into your 24bit converters and see how it works as the  dynamic range of 110db or whatever yours are speced at is more than the noise floor of a mic. I guess that would give you a bit of an idea what to expect. Your right about D.I. boxes but mics usually put out less than say a bass guitar, unless perhaps micing a kick drum. I've tried drum mics into line ins and didn't seem to work that well.

cheers Greg

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What I wanted to say is that matching impedances, to whatever impedances are needed (be them mics, or instruments, or whatever needed impedances), is not preamplification. DI boxes were only given as understandable practical examples.

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Quote

Flagship hybrid microphone preamps with Rupert Neve Designs sound

The microphone preamplifiers at the input stage of every audio interface provide the fundamental character of the overall sound. The AXR4 features extraordinarily natural-sounding hybrid microphone preamps, developed by Yamaha, which are available for use on all front input channels. Developed as part of Yamaha’s “Natural Sound” philosophy, the choice of components, mechanical construction, circuit layout, power supply and grounding were all painstakingly evaluated and refined in the AXR4. Final adjustments were made after extensive aural tests by both Yamaha experts and eminent outside engineers, resulting in a totally new design that is genuinely worthy of “flagship” status.

https://new.steinberg.net/axr4/

Are the so called "hybrid microphone preamps^_^" real analog preamps ?

I guess they are absolutely not : they are matched impedances at the analog inputs + DSP processing on the 32 bit integer audio streams.

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2 hours ago, Bolibolubab said:

https://new.steinberg.net/axr4/

Are the so called "hybrid microphone preamps^_^" real analog preamps ?

I guess they are absolutely not : they are matched impedances at the analog inputs + DSP processing on the 32 bit integer audio streams.

Hi @Bolibolubab!

I believe your guess is wrong, the AXR preamps is based on an analog preamplifier and a digital “hybrid microphone preamp” which use Yamaha’s modeling technology, VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) to model Rupert Neve Design's preamps ...

You still need an analog preamp to set the appropriate gain hitting the AD.

You can read about it in the manual: http://download.steinberg.net/downloads_hardware/AXR4/Manuals/AXR4T_Operation_Manual_en.pdf

Regards, Thomas

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On 1/28/2019 at 4:12 PM, TotteG said:

@Bolibolubab

(...)

You still need an analog preamp to set the appropriate gain hitting the AD.

You can read about it in the manual: http://download.steinberg.net/downloads_hardware/AXR4/Manuals/AXR4T_Operation_Manual_en.pdf

Regards, Thomas

Hi @TotteG,

I see that the "no analog preamp needed with 32 bit integer AD" idea seems to be difficult to grasp and accept, when people are so used to analog preamps and their audio desired "warm" qualities, and when "digital audio" has been for some time associated with "cold and harsh sound".

So this Steinberg marketing is undoubtely smart, from this point of view : not clearly telling people that there is no analog preamps in this audio interface because they are no more needed with 32 bit integer AD conversion.

If you read the manual and go to the Panel Control and Functions (Main Panel) page, page 4, you can see that nowhere are volume controls for some analog preamps. There is only this on page 5 :

Quote
     5) SILK [ON] key
 Turns Silk on and off for the channel selected with the [SEL] key. This lights up white when turned on.
   Silk is an important transformer feature designed by Rupert Neve Designs. We made a faithful recreation of the Silk circuit using digital signal processing based on Yamaha’s proprietary VCM (Virtual Circuitry  Modeling) technology. Silk helps vividly accentuate individual audio parts.
    6) SILK [TEXTURE] knob
   Adjusts the harmonic content of the source audio.
    7) SILK [BLUE/RED] key
  Switches between BLUE acting on low frequency bands, and RED acting on high frequency bands.

Seen ?... Only digital processing on 32 bit integer audio streams. No analog electronical gains, nowhere. The relative volumes are managed by DSP with the 32 bit integer audio streams.

Regards,

Bolibolubab

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Hi @Bolibolubab

But they clearly state in the AXR4 manual that the preamp is based on both an analog part and a digital part:

”This preamp is based on an analog “AXR Preamplifier” perfecting a traditional, natural soundscape attained by the development team, and a digital “hybrid microphone preamp” that further evolves Yamaha’s proprietary modeling technology, VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling).”

The SILK is just an optional feature to turn on to emulate that Rupert Neve Design ...

Regards, Thomas

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