Ferrofish’s flagship 16-channel AD/DA (with modified DC-coupled outputs) gets a review from Pro Tools Expert.
Ferrofish expanded their range of multi-channel AD/DA converters earlier this year with the introduction of three new modified versions of the 16-channel Ferrofish Pulse 16.
All three modified ‘CV Series’ feature DC-coupling on their outputs, enabling control voltages to be sent to other studio hardware such as analogue and modular synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines and effects pedals.
Alongside its 16 channels of analogue I/O, the flagship Ferrofish Pulse 16 DX CV model features a range of digital connectivity (ADAT / MADI / Dante), providing maximum flexibility and compatibility for expanding recording studio or live performance setups.
For his review on Pro Tools Expert, reviewer James Richmond took the opportunity to pair the Pulse 16 DX CV with an RME Digiface Dante (reviewed separately – see here), noting the current lack of options when it comes to Dante-enabled audio interfaces with DC-coupled outputs.
“So imagine how pleased I was to receive the Ferrofish Pulse 16 DX CV,” James writes, “as it not only supports 64 channels of Dante (due to the presence of the excellent Brooklyn II module rom Audinate); 64 channels of optical MADI; and 32 channels of ADAT I/O; but also its 16 channels of analogue I/O are all DC coupled, allowing me to fully integrate the modular synthesiser into my Pro Tools HDX, Ableton Live and Max-based workflows.”
“A great audio converter is one where you largely don’t think about it…
…and allows you to concentrate on the music. The Pulse 16 DX CV does this in spades.”
Summarising his thoughts on the Pulse 16 DX CV, James continues “A great audio converter is one where you largely don’t think about it – it just gets on doing what it does, sounds good and allows you to concentrate on the music. The Pulse DX-CV does this in spades.”
Oh, and he liked it so much he bought one! Many thanks to Production Expert / Pro Tools Expert for the review. Read it in full for yourself here, or for more music and audio production news, tips and tricks, head to the Production Expert homepage.
See the full range of Ferrofish AD/DA converters
Ferrofish Pulse 16 CV Series Overview: 16 Channel AD/DA with DC-Coupled Outputs
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The Pulse 16 CV Series provides musicians and producers the ability to send control voltages from a computer, when connected to an ADAT, MADI or Dante-equipped audio interface, and used alongside a supported DAW or other audio software (such as Bitwig Studio, Ableton Live’s CV Tools, Native Instrument Reaktor or Cycling ’74 Max/MSP).
What are DC-coupled outputs?
Most audio interfaces are designed to filter out Direct Current (DC), as it’s generally seen as undesirable for audio applications – introducing distortion and pops/clicks into the audio signal, creating DC offsets, eating into headroom, and in some cases even causing damage to other equipment (such as microphones, speakers and headphones).
Before the days of MIDI however, synthesizer manufacturers would often use DC to provide musicians with a means of controlling (and applying modulation to) their analogue synths.
What are control voltages?
Control Voltage (often abbreviated to ‘CV’) is the name given to these DC electrical signals, used to control the various parameters of an analogue synthesizer. Unlike AC (alternating current), DC moves in a single direction and provides a constant, unchanging voltage, making it ideal for control over common synth parameters like level, pitch and note on/off, as well as ADSR envelopes and filter sweeps.
For analogue purists and modular aficionados, CV remains the preferred method of choice when creating huge evolving patches and sequences, and as such it continues to be offered by manufacturers as an alternative to digital control (e.g. MIDI).
And with modular synths having something of a resurgence in recent years – formats like Eurorack and Moog’s 5U now offer hundreds of different modules to choose from – having some sort of DC-coupled equipment at your disposal is vital for musicians who want to combine the endless sound design possibilities of modular synthesis, with the recording and editing power of software.
With that in mind, the new Ferrofish Pulse 16 CV Series is the perfect addition to any serious modular synth setup, with 16 CV-capable outputs offering a serious amount of control voltages to be sent simultaneously from a DAW.
At the same time, another 16 high-quality input channels allow you to record your creations back into back into your Mac or PC (via any ADAT, MADI or Dante-equipped audio interface), all in only 1U of rack-space.