Antelope announces a big firmware update for the Galaxy 32 Synergy Core audio interface, enabling users to take full control of their monitoring for immersive formats such as Dolby Atmos and others.


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Immersive formats, notably Dolby Atmos, are on the rise. Streaming platforms are offering these as an option, and it’s inevitable that demand for productions in immersive formats increases. In this new world, having an interface that is capable of handling multichannel configurations with all the necessary speaker management tools is a must. We not only need all the required outputs but also a proper software solution to take care of routing and distribution. Enter the Antelope Galaxy 32 Synergy Core.


Antelope Galaxy 32 Synergy Core


The Galaxy Synergy Core line, comprised of the Galaxy 32 and 64 Synergy Core are Antelope Audio’s flagships and the Galaxy 32 Synergy Core is the first to receive a firmware update to handle immersive multichannel formats. With this update, users are now able to handle monitoring control and speaker calibration functionality on a deep level, introducing features that are crucial for Dolby Atmos, surround and immersive sound productions. Before we dive in to check out the latest firmware version, let’s have a closer look at the hardware.


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Galaxy 32 Synergy Core is a 64-channel Thunderbolt 3 interface with an input and output count that leaves no stone unturned, with 32 analog inputs and 32 outputs on four handy DC-coupled D-SUB connectors, 64 channels over MADI, 8 inputs and 8 outputs on ADAT, stereo S/PDIF input and output. It’s also equipped with two HDX ports for integration with Pro Tools Ultimate systems with up to 64 channels. The Galaxy is also equipped with two wordclock I/O ports and Dante audio-over-IP connectivity is available with a secondary mirrored port to provide redundancy, ensuring total reliability and lossless quality over long cable runs. All on a single 19” unit that won’t clutter your rack - the elegant minimalistic front-panel with gorgeous metering will certainly add a classy touch and sparkle that will catch the eye. On top of that, the Galaxy 32 can operate standalone for computer-less use and it can take the role of a patchbay, allowing for seamless signal distribution, digital or analog. This makes it a superb centrepiece for nearly all scenarios, studio, stage or any location.

As far as sound quality goes, Antelope is known for excellent AD/DA conversion and it’s no different this time around, as the Galaxy is powered by the brand’s proprietary 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking for insanely accurate clocking with minimal jitter. This interface can operate with sample rates up to 192 kHz for pristine audio recording and reproduction as it boasts some of the best numbers in the industry, with a superb headroom of up to 130 dB and extremely low total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) figures.

We also get real time processing for latency-free recording with effects: the Galaxy ships with Antelope’s Synergy Core hardware-accelerated DSP technology, allowing users to deploy EQ, compression, reverb, delays and much more, with the option to either monitor signals with such effects or “print” them directly into the recordings. The Galaxy 32 is equipped with six DSP and two FPGA processors that can handle up to 128 effects instances on 32 virtual racks with 8 insert slots each, and there’s more than plenty to choose from, including many analog-modelled recreations of legendary vintage hardware and also modern classics such as Antares Auto-Tune. You can browse all available options by clicking here.

Ready for the immersion

This latest firmware opens up a whole new set of possibilities for Galaxy 32 owners, offering total support for Dolby Atmos, surround sound and other immersive formats by implementing comprehensive monitor control and speaker calibration features. More than twenty formats are now supported natively on the Galaxy 32 software, greatly increasing the ease of use when it comes to managing multichannel speaker arrays that are required for mixing immersive formats.


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The Galaxy 32 Management Software


Let’s start with signal distribution: now up to 16 channels can be tapped from any source or combination of sources to any output - or any combination of outputs for that matter! First, users need to run a preliminary setup and determine what goes in the Surround In and Surround Out. Surround In can be fed from any input, be it analog, digital or an audio stream from the computer, while the Surround Out can feed any analog and digital output or a combination of both: for instance, a set of signals can go through the analog outputs for feeding a set of analog monitors and simultaneously a digital output can feed an external converter or digital speakers. In order to keep levels in check, there's a colour-coded level metering at the top left corner that allows users to quickly visualise the output stage and ensures that signals are within the desirable limits.

Antelope has packed a number of pre-configured output formats to make life easier, ranging from simple stereo to complex 9.1.6 configuration and everything in between. A handy “Format Selector” function can be accessed with a couple of clicks to easily swap between formats. Common formats such as stereo, stereo plus LFE, quadraphonic, quadraphonic plus LFE, surround from 5.0 to 7.1, Dolby Atmos up to 9.1.6 and many others are conveniently provided here. A Speaker Layout feature is also provided, allowing the user to easily configure the source signal along with the equalization curve for that speaker.

For each speaker we have a full-fledged parametric EQ with eight bands along with LFE crossover settings, and also phase (polarity) invert, delay (in milliseconds) and gain (from -60 to +16dB) adjustments. The EQ also features global and per-channel bypass, allowing for quick comparisons of each desired component. The parametric EQ offered here is quite a powerful one, with options for bell, cut or shelf-type shapes that enable very precise frequency adjustments when they are required, and it enables users to set up a proper Dolby Atmos Music Curve for their monitoring system.

Antelope has also included powerful bass management functionality used for monitoring low-frequency information of the surround channels via the LFE channel instead. For greater ease of use, HP/LP crossover settings can be accessed via a dedicated mixer, along with filter type (Linkwitz-Riley or Butterworth options are available), filter order (2nd, 4th or 8th), to-LFE volume of the low-passed signals, bypass and mute/solo for each speaker channel.


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The Crossover Mixer greatly speeds up the workflow



Applications

The Galaxy 32 Synergy Core has all the qualifications to be “the” studio centrepiece for any immersive audio task, providing plentiful input and output options with top-notch conversion, flexible signal routing and now a robust software package with vast speaker management features. It all ties together beautifully. Here’s a few examples:
  • Its 32 analog outputs allow users to easily set up a Dolby Atmos or any immersive sound monitoring environment without the need for external converters, and if one already has converters that they would like to keep using, the Galaxy 32 provides all the tools necessary for seamless integration.
  • The Dante connectivity makes it a viable choice for facilities with multiple rooms and also an excellent option for locations such as music venues and houses of worship, providing pristine audio quality and all it takes for lossless sound recording, distribution and monitoring.
  • Thanks to its pristine analog inputs, it’s also a superb option for recording studios with plenty of analog gear, and regardless if it's a recording, mixing or mastering facility, the Galaxy 32 is ready for any music, film or media production for years to come.

The Galaxy 32 Synergy Core firmware update is free of charge and is now available for Mac and Windows computers.

For more information on the Galaxy 32 Synergy Core Audio Interface, click here to visit the Antelope Audio website.