At NAMM 2019 Antelope Audio announced the Edge Go, a USB microphone which features internal FPGA chips, which allows the Edge Go to process it’s own microphone emulations of many popular vintage mics. But does it work and is it any good? Let’s find out.
What Is Edge Go?
The Antelope Audio Edge Go is, as far as I can tell, the world’s first dual large diaphragm bus-powered USB microphone to feature microphone modelling technology. We all love the idea of recording through rare and expensive classic microphones, which can often be heard on records made by our hero’s but this is usually cost prohibitive.
With the Edge Go those classic mics are now within our reach. The mic modelling technology within the Edge Go is real-time, enabling you to monitor and record with the mic models without the hassle of latency and as it’s a USB mic, you don’t need a preamp.
The Antelope Audio advanced FPGA effects platform is fully integrated into the Edge Go. You can use a large collection of microphones as well and vintage and modern effects running from the FPGA chips inside the mic while you record, so no slamming your computer for extra processing.
Having all the power of an entire studio is next to useless if you can’t use it easily. Antelope have made the Edge Go a very easy and intuitive mic to use and they have built a kit that contains everything you need to start recording right away including the mic, a table top stand, pop filter and long USB-C to USB-A cable and a case to keep it all in. All you have to do is plug it in, download the software and get creative and no matter what you audio art form, the Edge Go is going to help you out with great quality recordings in the studio or on the road.
What You Get For Your Money
The Edge Go USB Microphone
11 Vintage and modern microphone emulations to use when recording or just monitoring.
22 Vintage effects including EQ’s, Compressors, Limiters, Mic preamps, Reverb, Gates and plenty more.
Solid metal table top mic stand
3m USB cable
Flight case to keep it all in
Using The Antelope Audio Edge Go USB Mic
Working with the Edge Go is very easy. Plug it in, fire up the Edge Go control panel from the ever improving Antelope Launcher and start your DAW of choice. Edge Go appears as a 4 in and 4 out device. When recording on input channels 1 and 2 you are recording the front and back diaphragms when processed through the mic emulations and effects, including the reverb. Channels 3 and 4 are unprocessed. Monitoring is done from the inbuilt headphone mini jack which if required can be turned up nice and loud. The 2 stereo pairs are routed from the DAW back to the Edge Go control panel and adjusted and muted as required.
The complication comes when you want to overdub another track.
The right side of the Edge Go control panel has 3 volume sliders. The first marked Edge Go controls the output to both the monitor stage (the headphones) but also to the DAW. This can also be muted. When muted the mic is effectively switched off. No signal passes, not even to the DAW. Meaning that if you have already recorded a track using Edge Go and you want to overdub a second, third and so on, to avoid a dual monitor path phasing issue, you have to keep swapping the outputs of your recorded tracks to the other pair which are muted in the Edge Go control panel. In short there is no easy way to monitor what is coming back from your DAW using just one pair of returns. You have to keep swapping the output of your recording channels in order to be able to hear these as you record another track via the Edge Go. It would be much easier if the MUTE on the Edge Go channel in the control panel simply muted the sound to the headphones (direct monitoring) and NOT to the DAW. This way you could simply monitor everything back from your DAW as the latency of the Edge Go driver is so low as not to be noticeable even at a buffer size of 128 samples. It’s not a deal breaker but the rest of the package is so good it’s a shame to not fix something that in my opinion is a bit of a bodge. Now I’m sure not everyone wants to work like this but a preference that can make the Edge Go MUTE not mute the DAW send would be a very neat fix and I’m sure not to tricky to implement.
For The VO On The Go!
The Antelope Audio Edge Go is a well built, great sounding and very useable USB microphone and anyone who is moaning that USB mics are not to be taken seriously should take a look at this thing. It ticks a great many boxes for audio professionals who need great sound in a small package. It has to be said it’s not cheap with a street price of around £1250 it is not going to appeal to the day 1 week 1 podcaster. But if you need top quality recordings and you only have a airline approved carry-on bag to travel with, this package is going to be your answer.
The monitoring “issue” is a little niggle, as I said it’s not a deal breaker but with the rest of the hardware/software integration is so good that the routing/monitoring issue does spoil it a little bit for me.
What We Think About The Antelope Edge Go USB Mic
The question that everyone is going to ask is “Are the mic and hardware emulations any good and do they sound like the originals?”. Well to my ears yes they are. Does the U87 or C12 model sound like the real thing? I don’t know and I don’t really care. What Edge Go gives are portable, great sounding tonal options and really accurate control of those options and that has to be a good thing.
Happily the story does not end there. Having spoken to, and emailed the team at Antelope Audio to discussed my “issue” with the Edge Go not being able to monitor through the DAW, they are going to update their software to enable the mute button on the Edge Go channel of the control panel to mute the signal to the headphone output but not the DAW, and thus enable monitoring through the DAW which is a fantastic result. This is planned to come in the next software update with will be available from within the Antelope Launcher software. This is a sign of a very positive, agile company who listen to their users and can turn something around this quickly. Great work Antelope, top marks.
If you want to find out more about the Antelope Audio Edge Go take a look at the website.