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M-Audio announced the new FireWire 18/14 recording interface, the company's first FireWire interface with ADAT Lightpipe connectivity.

The FireWire 18/14 is an 18-in, 14-out audio interface complete with MIDI, word clock, and a host of other features. The unit features 8 x 4 analog I/O (1/4" TS) at up to 24-bit/96kHz. It also boasts 192kHz on the first two analog inputs and all four analog outputs. Channels 1 and 2 also include mic/instrument preamps with front-panel Neutrik jacks, gain controls, phantom power and pads. S/PDIF coaxial/optical digital I/O provides 2-channel PCM, as well as pass-through of surround-encoded AC-3 and DTS material. 8 x 8 ADAT Lightpipe I/O rounds out the 18 x 14 design. The Lightpipe connectivity can be used as either eight channels at 48kHz or four channels at 96kHz utilizing S/MUX support.

The unit's internal mixer allows virtually any input to route to any output, including software routing to an aux send channel that can be used as either an effects send or as a monitor mix. It features a front-panel momentary switch with LED status indicator for direct monitoring on/off or A/B DJ-style pre-cueing. The FireWire 18/14 also sports two headphone amplifiers with individually assigned sources from software and independent level controls, providing a great deal of monitoring flexibility for collaborative work. A front-panel rotary knob also affords real-time control of software-assignable outputs, inputs, software returns or aux send.

The rear panel of the FireWire 18/14 also features two FireWire ports for easy connectivity, as well as a 15-pin connector for a breakout cable. This cable presents 1 x 1 MIDI I/O, coaxial S/PDIF, and BNC word clock connectors for synchronization with other digital devices such as M-Audio's new Octane preamp.

The FireWire 18/14 is expected to be available from M-Audio dealers in March at an MSRP of $699.95.

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