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I need your ears! I just set-up the new Antelope Orion32 in my studio.

Orion 32 is a 32-channel A/D & D/A converter and audio master clock, supporting both MADI and USB interfaces, clocked by Antelope’s renowned 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) technology.

Orion 32 allows 192 kHz I/O streaming of 32-channel digital audio via USB, providing seamless connectivity to any USB-enabled DAW, computer or iPad. The converter also provides 32 channels of 96 kHz audio through its Fiber Optic MADI I/O connections, which can be used to connect with any suitably equipped MADI device.

Orion 32 also supports ADAT protocol by offering 16 I/O channels, for even greater compatibility with a large number of audio devices. The multi-channel converter inputs and outputs pass the analog signal through 8 D-SUB 25 I/O connectors

The tests begin. Trust your ears.

I have a beautiful piano track recorded by John Dutton which I mixed through my hybrid rig. I'm using some very expensive converters vs the New Orion32.

I've done my best to match these both. There is a HUGE dollar difference between the two converter systems.
Which track do you prefer or can you tell the difference between these two converters?

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Thanks for playing


audiokid Sat, 04/13/2013 - 14:33

Kurt, you are missing the test here. Both are the same source and both through my system. This isn't a test about summing or my work. This is a test to see what converters you like more coming from an identical source without any SRC.
DA sum AD . .
One is $2995 for 32 channels and the the other is $12,000.00 for 24 channels!

One is USB and the other is PCIe.

Both were @ 88.2

TheJackAttack Sat, 04/13/2013 - 16:00

My ears are not as good as they once were, and I have tuned a piano and been through a youth orchestra rehearsal today so they are not rested, but my first reaction is the second version is more clear in the treble and mid range. Neither sounds "bad".

A slight clarification: the original files were 88.2k and Chris has summed them via analog and then done ADC of the sum with a second computer creating the 44.1k files and effectively no sample rate conversion.

djmukilteo Wed, 05/29/2013 - 13:19

To my ears, I think you could get away with either of those, so considering the price I'd say the Orion would be my choice and I wouldn't be looking back!
Track 1 was very clear and clean, even the background noise (hammer thumps, cough and sheet music movement).
Lots of bright tone and good dynamic range to it....but that seemed to be just as good on the Orion Track 2.
Maybe a hint of a little less "brittle" sound off the Orion....perhaps a slightly subdued HF content which made it actually sound more pleasing to my ears...

audiokid Wed, 05/29/2013 - 18:33

Hi Don,

In case you wondered, I had to remove your last Orion comparison comment only because I removed the actual files. Glad to see you listened to these and took the time to post again!

For the money, the Orion s m o k e s anything I've used so far. For MIDI, I still need my RME HDSP PCIe interface though.

Zafrius Fri, 06/07/2013 - 00:00

# 2 is better.Nice piecethumb.What mics did you use? It's hard to hear what you hear in your studio, b/c of the internet player.#2 sounds fatter.Took me a few listens.I would have to be in the studio.If this was a professional decision,I couldn't or wouldn't say what is better.When it comes to the web, its all about the loud war. btw, Thought I heard Jethro Tull, Locamotive Breathe for a sec. Thats a good thing.smoke

TheJackAttack Fri, 06/07/2013 - 11:13

The "spot" mic was a Royer SF12in Blumlein and the stereo pair in the audience was a pair of C414XLS in wide cardioid-loosely ORTF in spread. This was a live recital performance of a retired 80yo professional. If you want more details I can dig out my notes and give distances and heights etc. Chris did a great job on the tracks no doubt in part to growing up with a pro opera singer for a mother.

Zafrius Mon, 06/10/2013 - 02:37

Nice mics.I love AKG....Mic placement....An art in itself..I haven't been in a real studio since the 90s.I am stuck in the analog days.But that is all gone for hobbyists,like me, thanks to the market destroying the beauty of tape.The smell of fresh burning tape in the morning.:tongue:
Growing up around someone that practices daily would give a person, absolute ear.If it was not for mine, I would never be a musician.I get bashed for not knowing how to read music.I create from the hip.duh

audiokid Fri, 06/21/2013 - 00:18

Sorry for the delay Kurt,

I'm going to be doing more testing with mine now . Its really a remarkable ADC. The sound quality is excellent as we all hear and the CP for this is the best I've used. Its so logical and quick to switch between routing and SR. Hooking this up was a snap. Plug-in and go. It works excellent on Win 7 for me. At this price point, there is nothing on the market right now that will touch this thing. Single rack, super clean setup gives me 32 ADDA at 192 with one USB cable, Crazy. . Only thing missing is a MIDI interface which isn't even a big deal for most now because USB is taking that over too.

Mitch and James have a great chat over it. Marcel BTW is one of the coolest guys around. His interviews with people in this business are the coolest!

Check this video out:

audiokid Sat, 06/22/2013 - 21:12

Kurt, and the interested.

I’ve finally been able to do some extensive tests with the Orion, comparisons with my other brands here and its excellent! Its also been running flawlessly mixing 16 tracks.
I also did null tests between versions and although I heard remainder, I cannot honestly tell them apart enough once I'm at soundcloud to favor one over the other side by side. The Orion is excellent and 32 channels ADDA... its a no brainer. This is the deal of 2013..

I've read people are all over the map with issues on this unit but its really looking to me like people are running systems that are goofy or something. And who knows what all the other conflicting things people are doing. As a stand alone for me, I've experienced nothing but smooth.

Update: I'm now on 24 channels DA and no different. Very smooth.

audiokid Sun, 09/01/2013 - 21:47


I'm currently using the USB which is working well however, I've heard the MADI PCIe card from RME is better. A lot of people are happy with USB interfacing but if you require more stability and larger track counts, USB seems to have bugs or issues.
You know my opinion on why I think we have bugs and problems which is due to compatibility issues with third party plug-ins. You going hybrid, I don't think you'll have a problem but best to audition one if you can. Hope that helps.

Call or email Marcel in LA. He is the USA Antelope Rep . I have a contact number for you if or went your need that. Tell him you are a past Mod on RO and wondering about it! He will be really helpful.

audiokid Wed, 04/02/2014 - 14:11

Kurt Foster, post: 413239, member: 7836 wrote: RE: MADIE

which type of connections are you using Chris? optical or the BNC? also you installed a pci card to get the MADIE connection for your computer? so no MADI for a laptop, right? also are the optical cables the same as a regular tosliknk adat cable?

Hey Kurt,

No laptop. I have less expectations with laptops but who knows. RME has a sweet looking card for them but its not cheap.

For the O32, I'm using RME PCIe MADI with 50/125 (BNC isn't an interface option with it)
AES10 specifies 62.5/125, or OM1, fiber for use with MADI. However, 50/125 fibers has advantages in bandwidth and distance and is now much more standard than the past. Its working awesome for me.

toslink fools you because it fits (sort of) but doesn't work. It has to be
SC-Duplex Jack to SC-Duplex Jack

Now, an important memo for the general public (not you Kurt).

My MADI length to the interface is 10ft. As everything in this business, what works great for me may be very different for the next guy.
We need to be extra careful who we trust, especially when products are endorsed by shills or the dated. Shills get gear from manufacturers and spend the next month or more spreading a bunch of oil around just plain annoys me.

A famous engineer raves about the Orion / 10M to me and others on a popular forum. I notice he is coming from a clearly dated RADAR system and old school concepts which are problematic to my requirements and workflow.
He discovers "USB" and higher quality sound , then is all over the web shilling this like sugar for this company. Yet, USB fell short for me, even with the 10M, why? In all honestly, I would have sold the O32 had I not tried MADI. I'm not saying USB didn't work, it did work great up to a point.

I rely heavily on MIDI/Audio dead lock and am crazy fast at working when I'm at my game. I have no time for pause or glitches. USB fell short , especially when using a MIDI interface like the world class RME AES 32 PCIe. The O32 doesn't have midi. When MIDI was combined with the Orion USB and 10M, or and a PCIe clock, it was so obvious what interface was boss. As I've been told by people I trust, Internal clocking is the only way, and I am a believer. USB wasn't even close when it was put to the test in my studio.

On a very related side note: The was ZERO improvement with the 10M connected so don't be mislead here. There is some serious misinformation spreading around that this is necessary or will improve your sound. An external clock is a patch for a broken or problematic clock that is falling out. I did null tests with and without and every test nulled so close in A/B comparisons, it was clear where I needed to go and what to stop raving about. The 10M and USB is what radiant heating is to forced air and leaky windows.
MADI didn't improve any audible improvement so be clear on that. MADI however made a HUGE improvement to the the stability of audio/midi dead lock. I noticed this especially as track count increased. After 32 tracks VSTi and audio, I noticed USB getting sloppier. And there was never a time I could loop a 64th note on a 1/4 beat for a minute at 165 bpm and not loose control of the session.
MADI, not a problem.

NOTE: I tried the 10M for 6 months ( not just over a weekend) , it cost $6500 in comparison to a used MADI PCIe cost $850. :) My hybrid system is the most stable its been in 16 years. I love the Orion 32 with MADI, its all I need. Its a keeper.

Is cable important? some say no. My average cable length to everything in my control room is 6ft. I never round trip where people doing the round trip seem to be more problematic to clocking issues and phase.

Its nice to get something this cool and still be smiling 12 months later..

Davedog Wed, 04/02/2014 - 14:19

Well, it appears from many of the sources I have read that ProTools and the Orion do not get along as well as they should at this juncture. Since its release I'm hoping they have the drivers sorted out but the latency problem seems to be an issue and probably one that is part and partial Avids problem. They don't really like other converters and outboard to be all that useful with their stuff. Building a low latency headphone stack is crucial to me and the Orion doesn't have that capability with ProTools. PT11 allows for two sets of for recording and one for mixing, so the aspect of having all your plugs in place even when you are sweetening and retracking or bumping tracks around works for me but I have to move up with the conversion as well as the monitor controller.

So my search continues. I still havent decided on PT HD Native or simply PT11 with new conversion. New conversion for sure but which way to jump.

Design for the for the need....etc etc........New Mantra.

Davedog Wed, 04/02/2014 - 14:25

To follow up...I don't have the same needs as Chris. Nor do I have the same set-up as that unnamed ex Radar user mentioned....But I do have a need for this room. I don't think the Orion is going to do it for me and mostly because I'm moving my monitoring out of the console and using PT. I don't contend in any way that the Orion isn't an excellent unit and I have never heard it has a problem with sound....Quite the opposite. Except for another unnamed DIY specialty engineer who has a different opinion entirely.

audiokid Wed, 04/02/2014 - 15:07

Hi Dave, my requirement are far from over the top though, I just happen to put gear to the test. I get a mix here and do what everyone else is doing. I load tracks in, mix tracks OUT and save it to 44.1.

If I was doing what you do though, and what most studios do for recording real music, something like this is all I would buy.
And, it also wouldn't be another pro tools rig.
Why don't you get a console, an Orion 32 or something with a min of 16 ADDA, a (PC or a Mac) and get back to making music the easy way. KISS?

Man, that is so simple and do able for mass compared to the money sucking Avid arena that can't get along with code because they are trying to be everyone's host in a every changing world.

I think we have come to a time in digital audio that you can't build a system that will accept third party software like Avid without glitches.
Look at Magix now, they were going to build Samplitude for Apple and stopped after a year into it. What a brilliant move. What a testimonial of confidence I have with them now. They couldn't keep the same level of standard under a multi platform product so they stand firm and say, we can't do it with loosing. Kudo's to this way of thinking.

Get a Dangerous Monitor ST control system or similar, Little Red Cue Box(s) and you are rolling. They work excellent. You don't even need to worry about latency. Latency occurs when you are trying to hear the plug-in processing while tracking through code.. Its a nightmare that I don't think will ever change to par because everyone is using as much DSP as possible to make better plugs. Its never ending.

tbone Wed, 04/02/2014 - 17:51

excellent info! thanx, i'm leaning toward the orion, I have a nahlahem 8 core macpro, i was seriously considering a native core pcie, 2-digi 192's and being stuck at PT10HD(i currently use pt10), Orion seems like a better and cheaper option even if i need to spring for a madi card, especially considering you didn't hear much of a diff, if any, between the M10! and the internal clock. btw, i'm hybrid, using minimal plugs, a console w/primarily outboard everything.

Davedog Wed, 04/02/2014 - 18:16

Yep. I get ya! The more the manufacturers say that their systems are able to integrate with others the more it becomes apparent that they don't really. Its not just Avid, but they are the most proprietary of them all.

I do have a console. Its small but I could do 32X2 to sum without a problem. And it does sound really good. I am mixing ITB presently but I was hoping for an interface that would allow a hybrid situation in the future and the Orion looked to be that solution....but the work arounds associated with getting PT and it to play together really well have all but soured me on this solution. A 16X16 interface/conversion is a good solution as all I can REALLY do at one time here is 16 due to space limitations but it means a duplicate piece for summing out of the box to 32 and thus my budget gets whacked for some other things I had in mind with this upgrade. I am going to change the patchbays one more time....going TT with DB25's and fanouts for all the goesintas/goesouttas. I like my ADC punchdowns but trouble shooting them even with the neatness of wiring harnesses that I possess as a skill (ELECTRCIAN!!!!) its still a hunt and peck thing that I'd be happier with simply working from a quality connector. So this has to be considered in the upgrade budget as well.
I get you about the latency when tracking with plugs. This is a fix in PT11 and certainly in PTHD and PTHD Native. !! allows the two buffer settings so you can track with plugs in place and build your headphone monitoring to occur through the PT mixer pre-fader and roundtrip. The Dangerous D box looks great as well several other boxes. I'm not too interested in prosumer level at this time. I want to hear what I need to hear and will exchange my monitors (Genelecs/ Tannoys) if they dont cut it anymore after this upgrade. I would probably lean towards the Neumanns or even a pair of NOS Digi's that sound exceptional! PMC designed and only marketed by Digi for a short while. Digi being more concerned about other products gave up on these and never worked hard to get the word out. I've heard both RM1 and RM2 and they are very very good. They also have a digital input with onboard DSP so direct from the converter for output or the analog input for mixing OTB. A high-end monitor controller gets me what I need for this scenario. As you can attest, Chris, HEARING is 4/5ths the need.

anonymous Thu, 05/08/2014 - 01:56

Davedog, post: 413250, member: 4495 wrote: Yep. I get ya! The more the manufacturers say that their systems are able to integrate with others the more it becomes apparent that they don't really. Its not just Avid, but they are the most proprietary of them all.

I do have a console. Its small but I could do 32X2 to sum without a problem. And it does sound really good. .

What console are you using, Dave?

Davedog Thu, 05/08/2014 - 22:45

Hey Donny. I have a small ATB8 Toft V.3. I also monitor through it in real time now and I'm not a big fan of its monitor controller circuit. Its a little wooly for my needs. Its nice to listen to records on but not to mix with. At least for me. The rest of it is pretty good despite some things out there about it. Pres can take a lot of signal without collapsing, the EQ is good enough to track through, routing is excellent.

If I had my way and the money I would probably do the Harrison 950. Or a reconditioned recapped Amek Angela.

anonymous Fri, 05/09/2014 - 02:35

I've heard both good and not so good things about Toft, the main bad thing I'd heard was that they went through a period where they got sloppy with their build, but I'd also heard that this had been resolved. So if you aren't happy mixing through it, what do you like about it? Is it that you like what it does on the way in to your DAW?

Davedog Fri, 05/09/2014 - 08:49

Donny. My personal use of it is mostly drums into PT. It gives me 8 channel of usable preamps with very very good EQ. The sound is tight and punchy. At this point I'm still ITB except on some particular tracks where I want to get something special. Then I'll come out and run the signal through things in my rack or reamp. I like the reamp thing a lot for thickening a guitar track if it needs it. I'm not sure what kind of mixer for stems in a hybrid system it would be but I think it would do the job as a summing box in a decent way as long as the tracks or the stems are already well prepared. I don't think its going to impart some magical sheen to things. Just a clear representation of whats already there plus a trip through analog land. My intent by listing other mixers is not to belittle the one I already have it was just to point to my ideal set-up.

Mdb Audio Wed, 07/30/2014 - 05:42

I have several products of Anetelope Audio, Eclipse Orion and 10M... I think they are excelent converters they sound really well Speacially Eclipse. Orion for what it packs and price possible is the best converter i recorded with... the where in the first drivers usb versions some problems but they are all cleared out with new firware versions. Eclipse in streaming with mac g5 osx gives some clicks pronlems but they improved a lot that... in Recording and using has a monitor they are Ok, eclipse packs an outstanding versatility and off course sound... it packs OCX clock already and i think orion too...

pcrecord Wed, 07/30/2014 - 09:54

audiokid, post: 413241, member: 1 wrote:
I would have sold the O32 had I not tried MADI. I'm not saying USB didn't work, it did work great up to a point.

Many units (including computer peripherals) fail or see there performance degrade when passing 15ft on a USB cable.
Some USB extenders exist to translate the USB signal on an Ethernet cable but some units won't go well on those either !
Just a little IT info ;)

audiokid Wed, 07/30/2014 - 12:11

USB is good, better , best under separate AD or DA processes. But, when you push USB into a more complicated ( pristine) ADDA application, like some might use it in a hybrid round trip per-say, (even though I never round trip process), a USB interface lacks and lags, becomes very problematic.
The DAW USB bus throws everything tied to USB into chaos which becomes a domino effect. The Chaos may or may not be noticeable to some, so, its subjective but definitely there. These problems can falsely lead you into thinking you need to fix something that really isn't the problem.
A big one is fooling you to believe your clocking is weak (re: mixerman public claim to huge improvements if you buy the $6500 10M for this). I had a 10M here for 6 months. Go MADI, learn about clocking and hybrid optimization and save $6500 on investing in a useless external master clock like that.

Just a guess.... USD interfaces with this many channels crammed into a single rack /psu/contribute to random stuttering , glitches and clicks to drops and lock-ups. No one could convince me that this USB converters is stable under 32 channel ADDA. It is however, excellent as a USB interface for the simple one way ticket at a time (AD or DA).
MADI or AES EBU is by far more stable than USB if you are requiring superior clocking, low latency that works. I like MADI with the O32. Shorter cable and the best computer on the planet wouldn't convince me to change my mind. Maybe in a few years.

Being said, I just added the Prism Atlas (USB interface) to my chain and it is superior to the Orion for both sound and stability but it is also 8 channels apposed to 32.
Prism knows where to stop, but it also costs $28,000 USD for 32 channels compared to $3000 USD.
O32 is a great deal, especially if you use it with MADI!!

Mdb Audio Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:20

Yup if you use many external HD and many usb Chains usb Is not an option to record more then 16 tracks or 8.... off course made or dante or Ethernet is the way to go... i changed to rednet!!! the converters are really good maybe the best ones and i compared in blind with several others from company´s that i don´t want to mention here because of some noises that can do... but they are unbelievable, and the latency only shit faster then AVID HDX way faster... the versatility for a studio is fantastic!!! good work Focus....

Mdb Audio Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:31

HHUMMM at 2 years ago, i sold 2 prism sound orpheus, last year and tested orion with prism sound orpheus they are both good, but with 10 M the orion sounded better for me!!! so buy buy prism.... by the way Why tested flagship converters form prism against focusrednet and i could not believe man without the 10m they sounded better for mixing classical rock etc .... Prism for me is becomming outdated man!!! and i used it but in past!!!

you can Clock Madi with 10 M what´s the problem!!! you are saying that if you use an internal clock, example alphalink clock with a 10 M you don´t feel any diference!!!

if you say a rednet i can say ok it sounds better with 10 M clock but almost you don´t ear a diference if you don´t get proper conditions to lesson it!!!