From left: Arne Akselberg, Simon Kiln and Jonathan Allen in Abbey Road's Studio 1 control room.
Abbey Road Studios in London reports that the facility has taken delivery of four NTP DAD AX24 8-channel AD/DA converters. All four will be deployed for recording sessions as microphone preamplifiers and analog-to-MADI interfaces, and operated in conjunction with Abbey Road's Pyramix digital audio workstations. Two of the units are additionally fitted with the IO192-PHD interface card, which allows them to work with Avid Pro Tools systems.
"The AX24 units have been purchased primarily for use by our mobile recording unit," says Simon Kiln, Head of Editing at Abbey Road and a producer of recordings both in the studios and on location. "They give us the benefit of exceptionally low-noise analog signal preamplification, high quality digitizing and considerably shorter setup and dismantling times. We have been trying to build affordable recording packages for many styles of music. Key to this was the ability to set up quickly without compromising the quality people expect from Abbey Road Studios.
"Our equipment is transported in flight cases to wherever it is needed and then set up with an on-site control room. Putting [a] kit in place to record a medium-size orchestral production can easily take three hours and includes running as many as 30 microphone cables out to the control room. The four AX24 converters allow up to 32 microphones to be combined into a single MADI channel and routed to the control room as just two cables: the MADI feed itself plus word clock timing reference. They also give us the ability to adjust the level of each preamplifier channel from a laptop PC or digital audio workstation in the control room."
"Having one box that performs preamplification, analog-to-digital conversion and MADI integration has greatly improved operational efficiency," adds Abbey Road Senior Recording Engineer Jonathan Allen. "We also wanted the option of working at higher sampling rates and, after comparing it to other converters, I found the AX24 made one of the best cases for working at 96 kHz and above."
"The DAD AX24 has the quietest front-end amplifier we have ever tried," says Arne Akselberg, Abbey Road Studios' Senior Classical Engineer. "Comparing the AX24 with other brands, the difference was astonishing. And it is one of the few such devices that sounds really good at 96 kHz."
The four AX24 signal converters were supplied via NTP Technology's UK distributor, eMerging, which also supplied the Pyramix digital audio workstation used by Abbey Road Studios as a mobile recording and editing system.
Visit NTP Technology's U.S. distributor, Vintage King Audio.
Visit Abbey Road Studios at www.abbeyroad.com.