Whirlwind is widely known as an audio interface and snake purveyor of high-end quality. They now introduce two new items to their line, the PCDI and the Direct2.
Product PointsApplications: PCDI for computer and CD player interface; Direct2 for stereo keyboards, stereo guitar rigs.
Key Features: PCDI has 1/8-inch and RCA inputs; Direct2 has dual XLR connectors, color-coded I/O.
Price: PCDI – $199, Direct2 – $199.
Contact: Whirlwind at 716-663-8820, Web Site
The PCDI ($199) and the Direct2 ($199) are both housed in a very stout aluminum enclosure approximately 5 and 1/2 inches long by 3 inches wide and 1 and 1/2 inches tall. The PCDI is a gold-colored unit, featuring two XLR style recessed outputs, that are color coded as channel one being white and channel two being red. Located directly between the two XLR connectors are two similarly color-coded, recessed signal ground lift rocker switches. On the opposing side of the computer interface, are located the input connectors, which offer a single stereo (TRS)
A 1/8-inch connector serves as input for computer or CD player. Directly next to the 1/8-inch connector reside two stereo sets of RCA connectors, one set being input and the other set being a signal link, or pass through.
The Direct2 is a black box of identical material and size, but has matching black XLR style connectors and a handy silkscreened legend to define the signal ground lift switches. The opposing side of the Direct2 offers two pairs of 1/4-inch connectors, also allowing for signal input and pass through on two channels, with a 20 dB pad on each input.
I used the PCDI on numerous occasions as a CD player, cassette deck and computer interface to my Soundcraft Series Five FOH console (which has only XLR in). All the connectors were of excellent quality and made positive contact each time. I connected the Direct2 to several stereo keyboard rigs on quite a few shows, and again, found the connections to be solid and clean.
The two devices from Whirlwind are very reliable, solid units. They are constructed with the highest quality parts and the housing is virtually indestructible. They are both well made, well-thought-out interface devices, and both earn my highest recommendation.
Soundcraft Series Five 48-channel FOH console; Korg 01W keyboard; Sony portable CD player; Macintosh G4 Powerbook computer; Rapco RoadHog mic and 1/4-inch patch cables.