Sunday, October 08, 2006

t.c. electronic Konnekt 24D

t.c. electronic's Konnekt 24D is an amazing audio interface priced at half of what they should be charging.

It's a FireWire bus-powered box that converts with a bit depth of 24 and sample rates of up to 192kHz.

The Konnekt 24D offers 2 front-panel XLR/TRS combo jacks for inputs. The mic preamps sound great and offer phantom power, while the Hi-Z ins are dedicated circuits optimized for guitar and bass. On the back, you have a total of 4 line-level TRS ins, two of which are redundant with the ones on the front. Use these to plug in a keyboard, mixer, etc.

Monitoring is easy with four analog line outs on the rear, as well as two headphone jacks on the front. A great feature is that one of the headphones will automatically mute your speakers, giving you the benefit of headphone mixing without the extra step of turning your monitors down manually.

Connectivity is also available through 8 ADAT optical, 2 S/PDIF coaxial ins and outs, and MIDI in and out.

Unlike the popular standard Digidesign M-Box, the Konnekt 24D has onboard effects. t.c. electronic's Fabrik C channel strip and Fabrik R reverb have been integrated right into the box. The quality of these effects is superb, and their computer interfaces are unique.

The Fabrik C is both and EQ and Compressor/Limiter. The EQ portion has four parametric bands with notch, parametric, shelving, and cut filter types. It also has a de-esser and high/low-pass filters, also of various types. The compressor can be full-band or 3-band, and there are plenty of intuitive presets like male vocal, snare, speak, etc.

The Fabrik R is a reverb with four types: plate, hall, club, and live. Each can be tweaked with reverb decay and predelay, color (diffusion), modulation rate and depth, and distance.

Both of these effects utilize a triangular interface that is so out of the ordinary, it will throw some people off at first. But as soon as you grab one of those circles and move it around, everything will make sense. You see, sound is all about listening, not about setting numbers in a little field. Move the circles around the triangle, and listen. You'll soon wish all of your effects and plug-ins were this easy.

The Konnekt 24D can also operate in stand-alone mode, completely separate from your computer. With all of the in and out options and built-in effects, you can use it as a little mixing board for something like a coffee house gig. Setting that up may not be altogether intuitive, but the 63-page manual is well-written and and provides a diagram of how this would be set up.

Lastly, this baby is networkable. Up to four of these units can be networked via FireWire to give even more ins and outs!

If you're looking for lots of audio interface "bang for the buck" (and you're not expecting to use this with ProTools), this box is definitely worth a look.

It retails for only $625, and streets for just $500. Frankly, they should have priced this thing at $1,200.