The Aphex USB 500 Rack ($949 MSRP) is a four-slot API 500 Series rack that can function as a USB interface, allowing users to connect 500 Series modules to a digital audio workstation via USB. It can also function as a conventional analog rack. In either mode, users can chain the modules into a channel strip or link adjacent modules for stereo operation.
As one example, the USB 500 could be loaded with up to four mic preamps, with signals sent to the DAW via USB, and played back through the monitor section of the rack, which features volume, mono/stereo and dim controls, as well as headphone output using the Aphex HeadPod 4 technology. Any configuration of processors installed in the rack can be applied as inserts into a DAW via USB.
Additionally, a user can load the rack with a combination of, for instance, compressors and EQs, and connect them through USB into DAW channel inserts. This flexibility allows the Aphex USB 500 Rack to act as a computer audio interface, or as a set of inserts into a DAW, always monitoring the DAW from the monitor section of the rack.
Aphex states that its USB 500 will be available Q2 2013.