The Liquid Channel transports classic front-end processing into the digital age, removing the need for endless patching and adding fluidity and reliability to the studio environment. Quite simply, The Liquid Channel is every mic pre and compressor combination in history, inside a single 192kHz 2U device.
- 40 mic pres and 40 compressors
- The Liquid Channel comes loaded with forty classic mic-pre and forty classic compressor emulations, with an expanding library online.
Best of both worlds
- The Liquid Channel fuses cutting-edge analogue design with lightning fast SHARC DSP to deliver the finest preamp emulations possible.
Digital head, analogue heart
- The Liquid Channel uses an analogue preamp front-end to match the input impedance and signal path of the device being emulated before applying dynamic convolution for amplification characteristics.
- 100 programme memories allow you to save every parameter, whilst the file format provides easy transfer of these settings to other Liquid Channel users.
- Free software application LiquidControl™ allows comprehensive remote operation and archiving facility of emulations and programme memories.
192kHz ADC/DAC as standard
- The Liquid Channel features the finest conversion paths possible, ensuring the audio is unaffected whilst dynamic convolution is applied in the digital domain.
Not all vintage units are born equal
- So the ‘Harmonics’ dial lets you account for variance in vintage originals, or use levels of 2nd, 3rd and 5th Harmonic distortion creatively.
This is achieved through a unique two-part process. Firstly, the use of dynamic convolution techniques is applied, utilising lightning fast SHARC chips applying unique level-dependent impulse responses to every sample of audio. However, whilst this is more than sufficient to identically re-synthesise a compressor’s sonic behaviour, in order to replicate precisely every subtle nuance, the preamplifier must physically match the way in which the classic unit interacts with a given microphone. The Liquid Channel’s solution to this problem lies in its vast analogue front-end. A preamp with the ability to change its impedance and vary its signal path to either transformer or electronic, perfectly replicating the interaction characteristics of the original, whilst remaining entirely transparent within the signal path.
The Liquid Channel can therefore replicate precisely the sound of any classic mic pre and compressor. With entirely digital front panel controls, all parameters can be saved in one of ninety-nine user memories, meaning that entire session set-ups can all be recalled at the touch of a button. A brand new digital EQ is also available, providing a comprehensive and truly ‘liquid’ channel strip.
A USB connection on the rear panel links to a software application enabling the archiving of both emulations and surplus user memories, as well as providing remote operation of the unit itself. The Liquid Channel comes complete with forty classic mic pre’s and forty classic compressors but is infinitely expandable, since the USB port also facilitates downloads of further emulations.
Finally, to account for variances in amounts of second order harmonic distortion (usually perceived as warmth) from one preamp to the next, a dial is included to permit control over this value. This essential feature ensures hardcore vintage enthusiasts are satisfied, bringing total control over every sonic attribute.
Essentially, The Liquid Channel provides an unlimited supply of vintage sonic performance for the price of one unit, with all the added benefits of digital processing and control.
Robert Jenkins, Focusrite’s Director of Product Strategy comments “Liquid Technology is the final product of two years pure research into what makes an analogue box sound exactly the way it does. The results of this research have enabled us to develop a hybrid system of analogue and digital technology, capable of recreating every sonic attribute of any classic processor. Focusrite has a history of manufacturing high performance equipment, and of making that technology affordable to all those at every level of the recording industry. The Liquid Channel goes further and makes the obsolete, the priceless and the historically significant, available to everybody for the first time.”
We always quote ‘real world’ performance figures (measured to the AES17 standard). Some companies choose to quote chipset performance, which is misleading, and here’s why.
Sample rate: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz
Bit depth: 24-bit
SNR: 120dB measured with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass A-weighted filter
Frequency response: ±0.05dB between 20Hz – 22 kHz
Maximum input level: +22dBu
THD+N: 0.00035% (-109dB)
Dynamic range: 116dB measured with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass A-weighted filter
Frequency response: ±0.05dB between 20Hz / 22kHz
Maximum output level: +22dBu
THD+N: 0.0007% (-103dB)
Internal clock: < 20 pico-seconds
AES digital output: < 200 pico-seconds
External clock: < 1 nano-second
Analogue and digital path
Gain range: +6dB to +80dB, switched in 1dB steps
Frequency response: variable, set by pre-amp chosen
THD+N at analogue out: 0.001% measured with a +4dBu 1kHz input signal with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter
THD+N at AES digital out: 0.0005% measured with a +4dBu 1kHz input signal with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter
Mic noise: EIN = -126dB measured at 80dB of gain with 150 Ohm source impedance and 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter
Noise at analogue out: -92dBu measured at +6dB gain with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass A-weighted filter
Noise at AES digital out: -119dBFS measured at + 6dB gain with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass A-weighted filter
Maximum input level: +16dBu
Input impedance: variable, set by preamp chosen
CMRR: Transformer: 123dB @ 60dB of gain
Electronic: 102dB @ 60dB of gain
Gain range: 10dB to +10dB, switched in 1dB steps
Frequency response: 0dB ±0.1dB between 20Hz and 20kHz
THD+N at analogue out: 0.001% measured with a +18dBu 1kHz input signal with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter
THD+N at AES digital out: 0.0004% measured with a +18dBu 1kHz input signal with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter
Noise at analogue out: -92dBu measured at 0dB gain with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass A-weighted filter
Noise at AES digital out: -120dBfs measured at 0dB gain with 20Hz/22kHz bandpass A-weighted filter
Maximum input level: +22dBu
High pass filter
Roll off frequency: switchable between 75Hz and 120Hz, frequency measured at 6dB down point, 12dB per octave roll-off
Distortion range: 0 to 15 where 15 (maximum) = 10% of 2nd-, 20% of 3rd- and 10% of 5th-order at 0dBFS (level-dependent distortion)
In ‘As Original’ mode the parameter ranges will be the same as on the original unit being emulated. In ‘Free’ mode the parameter ranges are as follows:
Threshold range: -40dB to 20dB switched in 1dB steps
Ratio range: 1:1 to limit
Attack range: 0.1ms to 2.5s
Release range: 0.1ms to 2.5s
Make-up gain: -20dB to +20dB switched in 0.5dB steps
Frequency range: 200Hz to 20kHz
Frequency range: 100Hz to 10kHz
Q: variable between 0.8 and 2.5
Frequency range: 10Hz to 1kHz
484mm (W) x 85mm (H) x 270mm (D)
19″ (W) x 3.5″ (H) x 10.6″ (D)
Very good! It is a shop demo unit.