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Audio conversion manufacturer Apogee Electronics, of Santa Monica, CA , has announced a new conversion system that promises to bring new levels of quality to both digital and analog recording techniques.

The new Trak2 is a two-channel A/D converter with a built-in microphone preamplifier designed to such high standards that the company is marketing it as a preamp with a converter, rather than vice-versa.

At the front of the Trak2 is a discrete microphone preamplifier with ±90 dB gain, which stacks up favorably against the best-known mic pres available. Accessible via rear panel XLRs or the front-panel universal XLR/14 in connectors, the preamp also accepts hi-Z instrument inputs at the front panel, selecting the input automatically when connected. An insert point is included to provide an analog output or to allow the insertion of analog processors into the Trak2 signal path.

From the analog stage, the signal passes to a 2-channel, 24-bit A/D operating at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz with a dynamic range in excess of 117 dB and an overall level of quality exceeding that of systems costing several times the price.

The A/D also includes Apogee’s renowned Soft Limit process, which maximizes recording level without overs; and the return of Apogee’s unique Soft Saturate system, which simulates analog tape compression. Either feature can be switched in and out on one or both channels.

Two Apogee Multimedia Bus (AMBus) slots are provided in addition to the built-in AES-S/PDIF output, enabling the Trak2 to connect to a wide variety of industry standard interfaces including Digidesign’s Pro Tools, ADAT, TDIF, SDIF-II, SSL HiWay, and others, with new cards being added all the time. Many cards support Apogee Bit-Splitting, which facilitates the use of standard 44,1/48, 16-bit recorders to store 20-, 24-bit, and even 96 kHz signals.

The Trak2 features the latest version of the Apogee Ultra-Low Jitter Clock, used to lock the unit to incoming digital or video signals and virtually remove jitter. Also included is the latest incarnation of Apogee’s industry-standard UV22 system for digital word-length reduction, UV22 HR(High Resolution), which takes a high-resolution digital signal and reduces the word-length to 16 or 20 bits for CD or DVD-V mastering and Internet applications while maintaining 24-bit detail.

The Trak2 includes a special slot for an optional 2-channel or 8-channel D/A card with specifications matching those of the A/D section, turning the Trak2 into a complete digital audio conversion system with two A/D channels and up to 8 D/A.

A brochure on the Trak2 is available on request and electronically from the Apogee web site.

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