Merging Technologies Anubis

Audio recording interfaces for computer recording have come a long way in recent years, and Merging Technologies has been making strides with networked audio. Now, the original Horus and Hapi recording interfaces get a little help from Anubis. Networked over AES67/Ravenna, the Anubis becomes a controller for I/O on your Horus or Hapi. Or alone, it is a 4×4 analog I/O for use with your favorite DAW. Anubis included 2 mic preamps, 2 line/instrument inputs, 4 outputs, 2 stereo headphone amps powerful enough to drive demanding loads, and GPI/MIDI input/outputs. 3 Versions are available; Pro, Premium, and now SPS. The Pro version supports up to 192Khz SR, the Premium does DXD and DSD sample rates(352.8, 384, DSD 256), and the SPS version adds another Ethernet switch for redundant AoiP feeds, or direct connection to Horus or Hapi. All versions employ a 32 bit ADC and DAC.

Sonasax was hired to help create the Anubis casework. The extruded aluminum case measures 200x40x128 mm and feature a touch screen, soft touch buttons, and a Rotary knob for levels. Everything here is well weighted on the desktop, the buttons are all touch intensity adjustable, and the Volume knob allows for a smooth rotation with a tactile rubber grip.

Based upon a powerful FPGA, the input signal is converted, processed (polarity, mute, etc.) and routed. The routing is quite robust and can handle up 256 channels of audio on the AoIP network. When connected to a computer the Anubis achieves a round-trip latency of around 30 samples, not bad at all. To get you a whopping 139 dB of DR, a unique 32 bit A/D converters arangement is used for the inputs . By using a dual path topology Merging has created an input stage with the capability of capturing near theoretical 24 bit dynamic range! 2 pre amps and 2 A-to-D converters are used, then combined in DSP to achieve this benchmark dynamic range.

Anubis was designed with different missions in mind. The first (so far) is the “monitoring mission.” The focus of this setup is for listening to sources through monitors. a powerful EQ is also available for speaker correction. Beyond simple monitoring of sources, the routing afforded by this FPGA design allows users to create Q mixes from within the Anubis box. This allows a low latency headphone mix for musicians when overdubbing.

Sonically, I am very impressed with the quality of sound from the Anubis. The input section and microphone amplifier worked extremely well with my Schoeps CMC6 mk4. The transparency of the mic amps allowed the Schoeps microphone signature to be amplified with gobs of headroom and open transparent sound. You get the feeling the microphone’s true sonic signature is on display here. Some transparent microphone preamps can produce a sterile clean room type sound, but Anubis’ amps manage to keep the soul of the microphone signal from falling prey to any such folly.

The DAC has a resolute smoothness to the presentation, and several filters can be selected for preference. Currently, I have been using the Anubis with Pro Tools. I have done several voice recordings, sound design recordings, and used the Anubis for mixing and mastering projects. After using the AES 67 Ravenna network connection for Pro Tools, I am pleased to say I am happy with the reliability Merging Technologies has brought to the audio interface market.

The Merging Anubis is an absolute deal for the flexibility and sonic mastery. Join me as I build a fanless PC workstation for the Pyramix DAW from Merging Technologies. I will update this blog with notes from my Hi end PC build.

Happy Listening,

HIFIQC

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