Cranborne Audio 500R8 500-Series Rack
The Cranborne Audio 500R8 500-Series Rack is an all-in-one audio recording solution, featuring a 28-in/30-out USB audio interface with high-performance conversion and low-jitter internal clock, comprehensive monitor controller, analogue summing mixer, zero-latency artist mixer, and 8-slot high-current 500 series rack.
The Cranborne Audio 500R8 is the centrepiece to the modern studio. It's a 28-in/30-out USB audio interface that combines a 500 series rack and high-performance AD/DA conversion with all of the connectivity required in the modern professional or home studio. The Cranborne Audio 500R8 features the studio essentials that you need to build your dream studio such as an 8-into-2 high-headroom analogue summing mixer, comprehensive monitor controller with talkback facility, 16-in/16-out ADAT interface, as well as a zero-latency analogue artist mixer with reference-quality, high-powered headphone outputs.
The Best Of Analogue Character - Thanks To 500 Series
By capitalising on the vast and ever growing 500 series market, you can configure your 500R8 to suit your tastes of analogue flavour. By installing your favourite 500 series modules into the 8 available 500 series slots, you can create your ultimate analogue front-end/preamp stage that can be multi-track recorded directly into your DAW. Fill the 500R8 full of vintage preamps for recording drums. Fill the 500R8 full of clean and pristine preamps for recording strings. Fill the 500R8 full of Preamp, EQ, and Compressor modules to create your own custom, analogue channel strips. The possibilities are endless and every 500R8 is unique to your sound. Integrating 500 series modules into your workflow doesn't stop after the recording. Dedicated module source switches for each 500 series slot allow you to send USB channels from your DAW, into the 500R8, through the 8 installed 500 series modules, and back into your DAW for recording (with that analogue ‘mojo’ applied). Think of the 500R8 as a bank of 8 external Analogue Plug-ins. For a more hands-on, all-analogue approach to mixing, the 500R8 also features an 8-into-2 high-headroom analogue summing mixer with dedicated level and pan controls that you can use to create your own high-headroom analogue mix before recording it back into your DAW using dedicated USB inputs 9/10.
In order to capture every subtle nuance of your analogue signal, the 500R8 features reference-class AD/DA conversion with 121dB dynamic range all governed by ’s master-reference grade internal clock. The combination of highly-accurate, low-jitter clocking and high-performance digital conversion ensures that every ounce of analogue character is captured with the utmost detail - free of unwanted digital artefacts from the conversion process and with a wide dynamic range thanks to the 500R8's high-headroom analogue design and low noise floor.
USB Audio Interface
Cranborne Audio's USB 2.0 audio interface provides high channel-count and low-latency performance whilst being accepted by all PC/macOS devices with unparalleled stability and longevity. 500R8 is core audio compliant for macOS or features a lightweight control panel for Windows machines that absorbs as little CPU resources as possible to leave you with more power for plug-ins within your DAW session. Plug the Cranborne Audio 500R8 into your PC/macOS device and your DAW will see a full 28-in, 30-out USB audio interface. 500R8 also includes a full complement of 5-pin MIDI I/O, ADAT I/O, Word Clock I/O via BNC, and S/PDIF I/O to ensure that all of your digital studio connectivity is covered.
The Cranborne Audio 500R8 features a comprehensive monitor controller with connectivity for two sets of studio monitors. As well as seamless speaker switching between both sets of studio monitors, there’s a Mono button that sums L-R channels to check for mono compatibility, a DIM switch that drops the speaker volume by 12dB for relaxed discussions during recordings, and a speaker mute switch for when you are tracking with headphones. The Cranborne Audio 500R8 also features a comprehensive Talkback section with XLR input, 48v phantom power, push-to-talk operation, and automatic signal routing to all C.A.S.T. and headphones outputs connected to the system.
Analogue summing can give your mix the final bit of analogue character required to achieve professional and polished sonic results. What makes the 500R8's 8-into-2 channel summing mixer so special is that it is positioned after the 8 500 series slots - allowing you to insert saturation or subtle 'bus-compression' modules and create a stereo mix using 500R8’s dedicated analogue level and pan controls beneath each module. The 500R8's summing mixer also has a dedicated converter which can be used to record your stereo mix into your DAW on USB inputs 9/10 with a massive +24dBu of headroom.
Zero-Latency Artist Mixer
The Cranborne Audio 500R8 moves away from clunky "virtual" software mixers and gets your hands back onto the mix. By using the 500R8’s high-headroom analogue summing mixer, you can create zero-latency, all-analogue mixes of live sources that can be blended with discrete USB playback paths and sent directly to the recording musicians via C.A.S.T. or the local headphone outputs.
C.A.S.T. stands for Cat 5 Analogue Snake Transport and enables cost effective and organised cable management around your studio. C.A.S.T. repurposes off-the-shelf, shielded Cat5 Networking cables to transport 4 channels of balanced analogue audio over a single cable. The 500R8 has 4 C.A.S.T. IN ports that allow you to connect C.A.S.T. enabled breakout boxes (such as the Cranborne Audio N22 and N22H) to the 500R8 and relocate analogue I/O wherever it is needed around the studio. Connect mic/line sources into the C.A.S.T. breakout box and that signal travels through the Cat 5 cable and directly into the modules installed into the 500R8. At the same time, the analogue mix created on 500R8 is sent through the same cable and into the connected breakout box. This allows for seamless analogue audio connectivity between the control room, live room, vocal booth, or the bedroom next door! C.A.S.T. is 100% analogue and requires no setup in order to operate. It can easily work at distances up to 100m when Cat 6e or Cat 7 cable is used and a complete cat 5 studio cabling infrastructure costs a fraction of what analogue multi core would cost. No setup. No latency. No fuss. And it sounds great.
Manufactured In The UK
To ensure that every product bearing the Cranborne Audio name is worthy of studio environments big or small, all 500R8's are manufactured in the UK under the company's watchful eye. The 500R8 is carefully assembled by a skilled workforce with immense attention to detail and every product is tested thoroughly by a skilled engineer before shipping to destinations around the world.
Cranborne Audio 500R8 500-Series Rack Features
- 28-in/30-out USB 2.0 audio interface
- Low-latency USB 2.0 interface with high-stability and compatibility with a wide range of PC/macOS devices.
- ADAT I/O (16/16 channels @ 44.1/48kHz, 8/8 channels @ 88.2/96kHz)
- S/PDIF I/O
- 5-pin MIDI I/O
- High-performance A/D conversion
- Dynamic Range: 121dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
- Frequency Response: -1dB, 2.2Hz to >80kHz
- THD+N: <0.00032% (-110dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
- Max Input Level: +24dBu
- High-performance D/A conversion
- Dynamic Range: 121dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
- Frequency Response: -1dB, 61kHz
- THD+N: <0.0003% (-110.5dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
- Max Output Level: +24dBu
- Master reference-quality internal clock
- Capable of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz operation
- Dedicated Word Clock Input and Output via BNC
- External sync options using Word Clock BNC, S/PDIF, or ADAT
- Monitor controller with talkback
- Speaker A/B switching, Mono check, Dim, Mute, and 28-segment peak meter
- Dedicated talkback input with phantom power, push-to-talk activation, and automatic routing to all headphone and C.A.S.T. facilities
- Easy-access illuminated front panel controls for all monitor controller functions.
- Analogue summing mixer
- 8-into-2 analogue summing mixer with +26.5dBu of headroom, dedicated ADC, and balanced 1/4" jack outputs
- C.A.S.T. link port for increasing summing mixer to 16-into-2 using Cranborne Audio 500ADAT
- Zero-latency artist mixer
- Zero-latency analogue artist mixer with physical level/pan controls per channel and DAW return blend controls
- 2 high-power headphone outputs with independent blend and level controls
- Reference-Quality Headphone Outputs
- THD+N: <0.0006% (-104.4dB) @ 20dBu, 1kHz, A-weighted, 300ohm load
- Output Wattage (1kHz): 250mW x 2 @ 600 ohms, 650mW x 2 @ 220 ohms, 1.21W x 2 @ 100 ohms, 500mW x 2 @ 32 ohms
- Frequency Response: 1dB, 70kHz
- High-current 8-slot 500 series rack
- 250mA current per-slot with 2A total for all slots
- XLR inputs, XLR line outputs, and TRS Inserts (pre-ADC) per 500 series slot
- Module source switching options to send Analogue, USB or external C.A.S.T. signals through your favourite 500 series modules
- Module bypass switches per-slot allowing 500R8 to be used without 500 series modules inserted.
Cranborne Audio 500R8 500-Series Rack Includes
- 500R8 500-Series Rack
- External power adapter
- IEC cable
- 16 module fixing screws (crosshead, 4-40 thread size)
- Allen key (2.5mm)
- Quickstart Guide
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At first I bought this for the functionality. Being able to run my previously recorded audio through my 500 series equipment and back into the DAW is a breeze. I'm also very impressed with the audio quality. I did a converter shootout with two dedicated converters and one other highly respected interface. I picked the Cranborne over the others as the favorite. It is very detailed in the low mid range while retaining the airy presence of the original material. Seems like the other converters did one or the other. The Cranborne does both. The headphone amp is stunning as well. I can't wait to afford the ADAT500 to add more channels.
The specs on this thing are crazy & I'm happy to say that the sound definitely lives up to the spec. I'm hearing things I never heard on my old interfaces. Highly recommended!