500 series racks are becoming one of the most popular hardware formats for the modern studio, with the obvious nod to the nostalgia of a vintage studio era. However Aphex have brought a new and interesting innovative twist to the 500 series rack by offering it as a USB interface. In their words;
The USB 500 Rack bridges the gap between the traditionally analog 500 Series workflows and modern DAW workflows by providing a solution for the customer to use 500 Series modules directly with their DAW. Use your favorite mic preamps as inputs directly to your DAW or use your favorite analog compressors & EQs as hardware inserts in your DAW. All while monitoring though the pristine monitor section of the USB 500 Rack, that includes Mono and Dim functions along with two high performance, independent headphone amplifiers.
For even more flexibility, modules can be chained in the analog domain for channel strip operation or linked for stereo compression.
The USB 500 Rack also provides balanced XLR connections for use as a standard analog 500 series rack.
- 6 x 8 Computer Audio Interface @ up to 96k.
- Input to computer from 4 modules and stereo S/PDIF
- Output from computer to 4 modules, stereo analog and stereo S/PDIF
- Functions as a standard 500 Series rack
- Modules can be configured in series
- Empty slots can be used as line inputs to the computer (or hardwire bypass of an installed module)
- Two headphone outputs (HeadPod 4 technology)
- Volume, Mono and Dim for stereo analog output
- MIDI I/O
- 220mA of power per slot available when evenly distributed
James has been reviewing some of their 500 series modules here and here, but we like this modern twist on a vintage favourite, especially for those wishing to get into 500 series and needing an interface too.