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SPL Crimson 3 Madicon

SPL's new Crimson 3 interface pictured with the Madicon Dante to  ·  Source: SPL

SPL Crimson 3 Top Side

SPL's new Crimson 3, announced at Musikmesse 2017  ·  Source: SPL

Germany’s renowned Sound Performance Lab (SPL) introduced its third-generation Crimson audio interface today. The three-in-one device comprises a recording solution, monitor controller, and talkback system. A clean front panel devoted to various Gain and Volume controls, button switches, and LED indicators hides the busy party of I/O options at the back.

The rear panel houses a wide array of inputs and outputs, ready to handle audio recording or your synth enthusiast pal’s complex signal flow. There are 2 mic inputs with discrete preamps, 2 instrument inputs, 4 balanced line inputs, 2 pairs of speaker outputs, 2 headphone amps, SPDIF In/Out, and MIDI In/Out. That’s obviously not enough to record a whole band, or even a drum kit, but you still have plenty of room for manoeuvre.

New additions to the Crimson formula include the Phonitor Matrix and Talkback Mic. Borrowed from SPL’s Phonitor 2 amplifier, the Matrix emulates the loudspeaker listening experience on a pair of headphones with stereo positioning and crossfeed controls. The built-in talkback mic probably works fine for barking orders from the control room.

Other welcome features are real-time analog monitoring, standalone play-along and monitoring without computer or DAW as well as class compliance with Apple iOS devices. The maximum fidelity supported is a pristine 24Bit/192kHz. Not that we’d expect anything less in this day and age.

Prices

The Crimson 3 will sell for 646.13 EUR + VAT in Europe (about US $689), setting the MSRP to around EUR 769. The price seems generous for an interface that looks like it’s built like a tank and belongs in both home and professional studios. Not to mention that SPL’s conversion quality spars with that of big shots like Apogee, UA, and RME. If the drivers are solid, it will be tough to find fault with the Crimson 3.

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