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Microphone Month

Hands On Review: Aphex Channel

For great tracks, the first thing you need is the right microphone. Then you need a great front end to get that microphone’s signal onto hard disk, memory card, or tape. That’s where the new Aphex Channel comes in. It provides everything you need to optimize and process the signal coming from your microphone.

The Aphex Channel is a single-rackspace unit. It combines an RPA (reflected plate amplifier) tube preamp stage (with 48V phantom power, a 75Hz filter, and a 20dB pad), a parametric EQ, an Aural Exciter, and a Big Bottom bass processor, along with an EasyRider Class A compressor, a logic-assisted gate, and a split-band de-esser. It has an onboard analog-to-digital converter with AES/EBU (on XLR), S/PDIF (on RCA), and S/PDIF optical (on TOSlink) outputs, so you can route your signals straight from mic to Channel to DAW, with no additional digital/analog conversions. Word clock I/O is provided for locking digital signals together at sample rates up to 96kHz – you can use the Channel’s internal clock, or you can lock to an external clock source. Both high-impedance (guitar or bass) and microphone-level inputs are supported.

Even with all of those functions, the Channel’s front panel is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. Metering is provided for both input and compressor gain reduction.

In use, the Channel sounds great with both microphones and instruments. With the compressor and the Big Bottom/Aural Exciter, you can get outstanding bass sounds running direct (the parametric EQ helps to fine-tune the mids). Microphones are clear and present, and you have tons of options for optimizing the sound as you lay it down to tracks.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one front-end solution, the Aphex Channel delivers – it’s astounding how much power and flexibility you get in a single rack space! And the price is a fraction of what it would cost to purchase the equivalent units separately. Call your Sales Engineer to learn more!

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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