Following a quick tease on Tuesday, today Avid dropped a new audio interface – its second for 2020, following the MTRX Studio which it announced at NAMM. The Pro Tools | Carbon is another 1U rack unit and a 25 x 34 interface targeted at “solo artists, bands, and producers.”
Pro Tools | Carbon – the new AVID workhorse
Carbon is a serious piece of kit with a price tag to match. The macOS-only interface numbers 25 inputs x 34 inputs, spread out as follows:
- 8 mic/line/instrument inputs on combo jacks with Variable Z (impedance adjustment) available for inputs 5 to 8.
- 2 instrument inputs with Variable Z impedance adjustment
- 8 line inputs and 8 line outputs on DB25 connectors
- 16 ADAT inputs and 16 ADAT outputs on 4 optical connectors
- 4 headphone outputs
- Stereo monitor outputs
- Word Clock input and Word Clock output on BNC connectors
- Dual Ethernet connectors
- Footswitch input
- Integrated Talkback microphone
Computer connection is facilitated via the Ethernet ports, using the AVB protocol and Core Audio driver. This way, other DAWs can access the interface in place of Pro Tools. Note that it is possible to connect Carbon to a Thunderbolt 3 port as well, using an Ethernet-to-Thunderbolt adapter.
Through a combination of fast Ethernet connectivity and 8 on-board HDX DSP units, AVID claims sub-millisecond latency monitoring and real-time processing of AAX DSP plug-ins. AD/DA conversion is capped at 192kHz / 32-bit.
The front panel provides comprehensive metering and quick access to volume adjustments, as well as a Dim button for quick volume attenuation.
Price and availability
Shipments are scheduled for November with a price tag of EUR 4099.00. While the price is indeed steep, the scope of delivery is extensive. It includes a 1-year license for Pro Tools Standard, which automatically changes to a permanent license without an active update plan. Users who already have a Pro Tools Standard or Ultimate license with an active support plan can use the provided license as a one-year extension.
Adding to that, Carbon ships with the following plug-ins by AVID partners (perpetual licenses):
- McDSP 6050 Ultimate Channel Strip HD (DSP & Native)
- Brainworx bx_console N (DSP & Native)
- Brainworx bx_rockrack (DSP & Native)
- Brainworx bx_masterdesk (DSP & Native)
- Brainworx bx_Purple Audio MC77 (DSP & Native)
- Arturia Rev PLATE-140
- Embody Immerse Virtual Studio
- Native Instruments Vintage Organs
- UVI Model D
As mentioned, Carbon is a macOS-only audio interface since the AVB protocol is not natively compatible with Windows. Avid says it’s working on Windows compatibility without an estimated release date.
Operating Carbon requires macOS Catalina 10.15.6 or later and Pro Tools 2020.11 or later. Note that neither are yet qualified to run under macOS Big Sur.
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