$2,495 (HD I/O digital-only option), $3,995 (HD I/O 8 x 8 x 8 analog and digital option), $4,995 (HD I/O 16 x 16 analog option); $495 (HEAT software option for Pro Tools|HD), available for download with a free 30-day trial.
Avid | avid.coF
To read PAR Contributor Russ Long’s in-depth, definitive review of the HD Series Interfaces, click here.
Avid has unveiled its first new hardware and software products developed under the Avid brand — flagship I/O and a new software processing paradigm for Pro Tools|HD dubbed HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology). On the hardware side, the newly “ground-up” designed HD Series of interfaces supplants the various existing Digidesign 192 and 96 models.
The line consists of three HD I/O configurations and the HD Omni and HD MADI. The 2RU HD I/O versions are 16 x 16 analog, 16 x 16 digital and 8 x 8 x 8 analog and digital. Latency is cited as 20 percent lower than with the 192 interfaces: overall latency at 96 kHz sampling for a path from analog through a Pro Tools|HD Core DSP card and back to analog is .5 mS, offers Avid. Both 192 kHz single-wire AES3 and S/PDIF interface is supported, along with S/MUX optical. A/D circuitry includes a new soft-knee analog limiter (“Curv”) as well as the familiar hard limiter. The digital interface supports 16 channels of AES3, TDIF and ADAT Optical interface.
Meanwhile, Crane Song design guru Dave Hill worked with Avid to develop HEAT, which offers tape, tube and transformer emulations that are applied globally with pre- and post-insert options plus bypass on a channel-by-channel basis. HEAT has two simple software knob global controls labeled “Drive” and “Tone.” Hill calls the HEAT process “a giant leap forward in analog modeling.”
Avid’s description of the software claims that HEAT “allows customers to add the realism of vintage analog sound to the Pro Tools mixer via a single global control — eliminating the time-consuming and complex task of managing plug-in changes across multiple tracks and allowing customers to remain focused on the craft of mixing.”