Review: AVID 16 Analog I/O
Positives:Amazing quality converters
Negatives:Very Expensive, a little fan noise
AVID‘s latest offering in their HD line of converters. To my ears, a significant upgrade in conversion quality from the old Blue face / 192’s. Comparable in every way to the newest Apogee converters, this unit is quite amazing, but VERY expensive. Here are the pluses: 16 pristine analog input’s/outputs via DB25, along with ADAT i/o, spdif i/o, AES i/o and MIDI. Solidly built and very easy on the eyes! The unit is VERY heavy for 2u, and might require a hand rack mounting if there is nothing below it. The unit features the latest ProTools connection port in addition to all the IO. 16 (well, really 14 if you’re going to use the unit for monitoring) I/O was perfect for my setup which uses a lot of analog outboard gear.
And now the negatives. Mind you the negatives DO NOT outweigh the positives in any way. The price is high, but thats to be expected with any PTHD or any professional grade conversion for that matter. The Apogee units are in the same ball park for similar features as are other top end manufacturers offering. The unit has some fan noise that I would rather not deal with, (not terrible, but noticable… certainly not as bad as the OMNI I/O from avid which sounds like a power drill). The I/O options are not ALL available ALL the time. For istance, if you want to use the ADAT input, you have to disable channels of analog i/o to use them independently. I say independently because you CAN use the digital outputs as mirrors of the analog outputs which is AWESOME for sending audio to a headphone amp for artist monitoring or another DAC for control room monitoring at the same time.
That being said, my unit is paired with an Avid Native Core for some really spectacular performance in the studio. Since this is the newest incarnation of converters, there is no problem in upgrading to the new 64 bit Pro Tools 11 due out end of May 2013.