Slate Digital VRS-8 + ML-2 Microphone 5-Pack
8-channel VRS-8 Virtual Analog interface and 5 ML-2 small-diaphragm condenser mics
Slate Digital VRS-8 + ML-2 5-Pack — Eight channels of incredibly linear preamps meet mastering quality conversion and virtual vintage mic and preamp models to turn your home studio into a world-class facility—bundle includes five ML-2 small-diaphragm condenser mics
The Slate Digital VRS-8 is more than an audio interface. It’s a virtual recording studio that gives you eight channels of mastering quality conversion, eight channels of Slate’s ultra low-noise, ultra linear VMS-One preamps, which, when used with Slate Digital’s ML-1 and ML-2 microphones plus a free year’s subscription to the Everything Bundle, gives you the sonic capabilities of a world-class recording facility. With a Slate Digital VRS-8 in your rack, imagine the possibilities for recording multiple channels with Slate’s astonishingly realistic models of recording’s most used and desired preamps and vintage mics. And with Slate’s ML-1 and ML-2 microphones, you can literally and realistically change the sonic characteristics of the mics from vintage to modern and anything in between—without re-tracking! Watch the video above to hear the Slate Digital VRS-8 Virtual Analog interface in action.
Slate Digital VRS-8 + ML-2 Mic 5-Pack in one take:
- Eight Ultra Linear VMS-One mic preamps
- Mastering-quality conversion with Slate’s Low-latency Native™, custom hard-wired converter chipset
- Five highly versatile, ML-2 ultra flat and linear small-diaphragm condenser mics
- Free one-year subscription Slate Everything Bundle
INSIDE THE BOX—Slate Digital VRS-8
Aware that they were “late to the party” when in came to introducing an audio interface to the marketplace, Slate Digital knew that the VRS-8 couldn’t be just another “me too” product—it had to be something special—so they loaded it with more pro features and technical advancements than any other interface in its class, and at a far lower cost. The VRS-8 features eight VMS ultra linear microphone preamps; mastering grade, AK5578 converters, the most transparent chips currently available with 124dB dynamic range on all inputs; high-end circuit design featuring boutique OPA1612 op-amps on all inputs and outputs; WIMA capacitors; two high-quality, discrete headphone amplifiers, and last but by no means least, the lowest latency of any native solution (down to 0.7 ms at 96kHz!). The VRS-8 also features built-in monitor switching, native MIDI IO, for accurate MIDI timing that doesn’t use the USB bus, and is compatible with Thunderbolt (for Mac) and PCIe (for PC).
Eight Ultra Linear VMS-One mic preamps
The key to unlocking the true sonic capabilities of the VRS-8 virtual studio are its eight ultra Linear microphone preamps. Designed by audio legend Paul Wolff of API and Tonelux fame, who gave us the 550B EQ, 512A and 3124 preamps, the VMS-One preamps are the flattest and most linear preamps available, as proven by the Audio Precision analyzer, the gold standard for evaluating electronics. The VMS-One is as close to a straight wire with gain as you’ll get, which gives you a blank canvas to emulate microphones and preamps via the Slate plug-ins, since they introduce no coloration of their own—allowing the plug-ins to work their magic without obstruction.
Mastering-quality conversion with custom hard-wired chipset
To give you performance rivaling ADA converters costing exponentially more, Slate Digital created the proprietary, LLN™ (Low Latency Native) hard-wired custom converter chipset that reduces managed components in the signal path, eliminating latency from firmware and software, making a direct path from driver to audio. The result is an incredible 0.7 millisecond latency at 96kHz (with a 32 sample buffer)—allowing you to monitor through mic and preamp emulations while tracking—both obviating and outperforming expensive outboard DSP.
On the component level, Slate chose the flagship AKM AK5578 converters, which are the most transparent chips available, offering an industry-best 124dB dynamic range on all inputs. For ultra-stable audio performance, the VRS-8 uses XTC satellite-grade clocking technology, with four temperature-compensated crystal oscillators.
The highly versatile ML-2 small-diaphragm condenser
The Slate Digital ML-2 small-diaphragm condenser microphone brings a level of versatility unprecedented in the history of recording. Along with the ultra flat and linear performance necessary to give you astonishingly accurate microphone models, the ML-2 can also mimic the physical behavior of dynamic mics and large-diaphragm condensers. To enable you to use the ML-2 on high SPL sources, a side-mounted switch pads the input circuit and re-polarizes the capsule to increase headroom, thus maintaining the linear response of the capsule, where other mics would saturate. If that weren’t enough, the ML-2 can also mimic the sound of large-diaphragm condenser mics as well. And when you factor in its small size, it enables you to place it in locations difficult or impossible for a larger mic.
Imagine miking a drum kit with a U47 on the kick, U67s on the toms, a vintage SM57 on the snare and a C451 on the hi-hat for a classic sound. Want to add a second mic to the snare Just copy the clean snare track and put another mic modeling plug-in on the track. Want to change the sound to a more aggressive rock sound? No need to move or change the mics. Just switch the plug-ins to put MD421s on the toms or a D112 on the kick, and so on. Not just versatile for drum miking, you can use the ML-2 on guitar cabinets, and have an SM57 and R121 or MD421 combination—whatever you want. The only thing that will slow you down is the number of sonic options you’ll have.
One Free year of the Everything Bundle from Slate
To let you take full advantage of its sonic capabilities right out of the box, the VRS-8 comes with a free one-year subscription to the Slate Digital Everything Bundle. For a ridiculously low yearly subscription fee, the Everything Bundle opens up a sonic palette that previously was only accessible to a very select few who were capable of the million-dollar entry fee to world-class recording equipment. From tape emulation without the noise (unless you want it) to emulations of industry-defining consoles, EQs, compressors, delays, and more, the EB plug-ins respond dynamically, the way you expect their analog counterparts to behave.
The Everything Bundle hands you the keys to a virtual museum of classic and modern gear. if you listen to the audio examples in the video above, you’ll hear that Slate puts his money where his modeling is. Not only do the Everything Bundle plug-ins give you stunningly accurate reproductions of the most used hit-making gear, they add a three-dimensional quality that previously was only attainable in analog equipment. Complete your virtual recording studio with the perfect software pairing to the VRS-8, Virtual Microphone System, or Raven control surfaces.
OUTSIDE THE BOX—Slate Digital VRS-8
Of Mice and Menus—Until we can interface our brains directly to a DAW, trying to control preamps on the fly in software is tedious and clumsy at best. It’s simply easier to reach for a knob, which is why the VRS-8 has eight front-panel preamp level controls with Pad switch. The front panel also has phantom power toggles for channels 1-4 and 5-8, two convenient 1/4″ inputs, with line/instrument switches, two headphone outputs with independent level controls, a rotary monitor level control, and power switch.
The rear panel of the VRS-8 has dual Thunderbolt ports, PCIe connector, Mix Link I/O for cascading VRS-8s for more channels, standard MIDI I/O, Word Clock I/O, eight 1/4″ line outputs, eight XLR/1/4″ combo jacks, and receptacle for the external power supply.
Slate Digital VRS-8 key features:
- Eight Ultra-Linear VMS-One mic preamps, ideal for Slate’s microphone and preamp emulations
- Professional-quality conversion technology that incorporates the most current converters from AKM, providing an impressive, industry-leading dynamic range of 124dB per channel
- Satellite-grade XTC clocking technology that utilizes four temperature-controlled crystal oscillators to keep your audio ultra-stable
- Two headphone amplifiers
- Built-in monitor switching
- Custom Low Latency Native hard-wired converter chipset that reduces audio path components for an incredible 0.7 millisecond latency, even while tracking
- Native MIDI IO provides accurate MIDI timing without using a USB bus
- Compatible with both Mac (via Thunderbolt) and PC (via PCIe)
If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a world-class studio but didn’t have the requisite million dollars for equipment, it’s Christmas and Steven Slate is Santa Claus—put a VRS-8 + ML-2 5-Pack in your toy sack or studio rack. For more information, call or chat with your Westlake Pro sales consultant today.
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