SPL Frontliner - AD w/Digital Output

Modular Channel Strip with Hybrid Tube Preamp, De-esser, Compressor/Limiter, EQ/Tube Saturation Modules, and 2-ch A/D Converter
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SPL Frontliner - AD w/Digital Output image 1
SPL Frontliner - AD w/Digital Output image 1
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SPL Frontliner - AD w/Digital Output
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This Modular Channel Strip and A/D is a Studio Workhorse

This version of the SPL Frontliner channel strip boasts the same impressive functionality of the standard Frontliner, and it adds a two-channel A/D converter with 24-bit/192kHz resolution for more connectivity options. Its modular nature, with individual analog ins and outs for the preamp, de-esser, compressor/limiter, and EQ/tube saturation sections, means the Frontliner also represents four outstanding hardware processors in one. The rich, clear sound is ideal for everything from music recording to voiceovers and broadcast. Capture polished recordings on the way in, then take advantage of four world-class analog processors during mixdown with the SPL Frontliner modular channel strip.

SPL Frontliner Channel Strip at a Glance:
  • Top-shelf components and design for outstanding sound
  • Built-in 2-channel A/D converter for more routing options
  • A versatile front end for agile studio performance
  • Easily fits into your studio
Top-shelf components and design for outstanding sound

Time to get geeky: the SPL Frontliner boasts a discrete semiconductor/tube hybrid preamplifier that combines the best characteristics of solid-state and tube preamp technologies. You get the high dynamic range and low-noise operation of semiconductor-based preamps, with the appealing highs and beautiful spatial impression that tubes provide. The preamp and tube saturation stages of the Frontliner operate at 250 volts for ample headroom and excellent transient response. Renowned Burr-Brown op-amps are used to regulate voltage throughout the signal path. Even the wiring follows a central-star grounding scheme that minimizes electrical noise and interference. From input to output, the SPL Frontliner has obviously been designed by engineers who know how world-class sound quality is achieved.

Built-in 2-channel A/D converter for more routing options

This Frontliner is equipped with the optional analog to digital converter right out of the box. This allows you to send the output of the Frontliner digitally into your recording system, and it also effectively turns your Frontliner into a two-input front end: just plug any line-level signal into the AD Input on the back panel. While you may not use it on every session, at some point you will find yourself in a routing situation where the additional A/D capabilities on this Frontliner get you out of a jam. Digital outputs include S/PDIF and optical, with sync available via a dedicated S/PDIF input.

A versatile front end for agile studio performance

We're often asked at Sweetwater to recommend a does-it-all workhorse front end for recording, and the SPL Frontliner is a good example of such a channel strip. The Frontliner's preamp section sets an outstanding foundation for more than recording with microphones. It has a line input in addition to the mic input, ideal for adding some body to virtual instruments or lifeless recordings. It's also the perfect way to optimize the signal level of quieter tracks that you intend to process with the de-esser, compressor, EQ, and tube saturation modules during mixdown. The front-panel instrument input also makes the Frontliner a sweet choice for recording electric bass and guitar direct.

Easily fits into your studio

A great way to employ the SPL Frontliner in your studio is to connect each individual module (preamp, de-esser, comp/limiter, EQ/tube saturation, and main outs) to available inputs and outputs on your audio interface. When you're ready to track a vocalist, just leave the Frontliner's external input switches disengaged. Hook up your mic, then tweak each module to taste until you have a radio-ready sound. When you're mixing, engage the external inputs for the sections you want to use for processing individual tracks from your DAW, then route those tracks to the appropriate outputs on your interface. If you need to record an instrument direct, just plug into the front panel and engage the instrument input to capture vivid guitar or bass tone, with or without extra processing from the other modules. Use the S/PDIF digital output to get back into your DAW with ultra-high quality. The SPL Frontliner will serve you well for virtually any audio task in your studio.

SPL Frontliner Channel Strip Features:
  • Modular channel strip with preamp, de-esser, comp/limiter, and EQ/tube saturation sections
  • Built-in 2-channel A/D converter for digital connectivity (S/PDIF, optical)
  • Excellent dynamic range and low-noise performance from the discrete solid-state/tube hybrid preamp design
  • Individual analog I/O for each section allows you to use processors separately during mixdown
  • Auto-mode on the compressor can still be influenced by the attack/release controls for fine-tuned response
  • Dual outputs allow you to feed 2 destinations simultaneously, for example a front of house mixing board and a monitor mixer for live performance
  • Tube +15dB switch increases the degree of tube amplification for enhanced harmonic richness
  • A great workhorse solution for project studios, pro studios, and broadcast
  • Top-shelf components and circuit design for outstanding sonic quality
Record and mix better tracks with the SPL Frontliner modular channel strip!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Tube/Solid-state hybrid
Number of Channels 1
Frequency Response 10Hz-50kHz
Phantom Power Yes
EQ Yes
Compressor Yes
Other Processing De-Esser, Tube Saturation
Analog Inputs 5 x XLR, 1 x Inst
Analog Outputs 6 x XLR
Digital Outputs 1 x S/PDIF, 1 x optical
Other I/O 1 x Sync (S/PDIF)
Manufacturer Part Number 28000001

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See also: SPL, SPL Channel Strips