Steinberg today announced the approaching release of the AXR4 Thunderbolt 2 audio interface, which they say will set a new standard in audio interfaces for discerning engineers, producers, and professional musicians.
The AXR4 features four Neutrik combo inputs and two individual headphone outputs on the front side. On the rear panel are eight TRS line inputs and eight TRS line outputs alongside two pairs of ADAT I/O doubling as S/PDIF, the second of which provides an alternative AES/EBU Sub-D connector. The MIDI input and output next to the word clock I/O featuring advanced SSPLL (Super Suppression Phase Locked Loop) jitter suppression round out the many connectivity options available to the AXR4. Two Thunderbolt 2 connectors provide ample throughput for ultra-low latency recording, connecting to the computer and for daisy-chaining of up to three interfaces.
The design of the AXR4 interface is centered around delivering exceptional audio quality, with a 32-bit integer resolution as well as a maximum sample rate of 384 kHz. Its four studio-grade hybrid microphone preamps deliver a natural sound owing to the refined transformer circuitry and Rupert Neve Designs' SILK processing, accurately modeled by Yamaha's VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) technology.
Another prominent highlight is the inclusion of Yamaha's DSP effects for latency-free monitoring: the VCM 276 compressor, the VCM EQ601, the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip, and the REV-X reverb, a complex reverb algorithm renowned for its superb sound quality.
These effects seamlessly integrate into the included Cubase AI DAW, a dedicated version of Steinberg's Cubase music production system that supports 32-bit integer recording. Any DAW can be used with the AXR4 by harnessing the power of the dspMixFx AXR mixing application, providing easy routing and setup of the 28x24 matrix mixer and monitoring without any latency when using the included effects.
"With its selected components and renowned SILK processing by Rupert Neve Designs, our AXR4 interface considerably raises the bar in audio quality. The comprehensive input and output options make it the perfect choice for ambitious musicians and producers of project studios and larger recording facilities," commented Stefan Schreiber, senior marketing manager at Steinberg.
- 28x24 Thunderbolt 2 audio interface.
- 32-bit integer / 384 kHz recording and playback.
- AXR hybrid mic preamps with Rupert Neve Designs SILK.
- 28x24 full matrix mixer.
- Latency-free DSP-powered monitoring with REV-X reverb, Channel Strip, VCM compressor 276 and EQ 601, including VST 3 plug-in versions.
- Plenty of I/O ports like 2 ADAT, S/PDIF, AES/EBU, MIDI and word clock.
- SSPLL ultra-low jitter reduction.
- Stack support for up to 3 units.
- New custom panel for perfect integration into Cubase.
- Bundled Cubase AI fully supports 32-bit integer format.
Availability and pricing
The expected availability through Steinberg resellers and the Steinberg Online Shop is in the first quarter of 2019. The suggested retail price for the AXR4 audio interface is 2,599 euros, including German VAT. While smooth operation under macOS is ensured through the existing software driver, Windows compatibility is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2019.