What are the Ins and Outs?
This is arguably one of the most important questions about an interface. We can tell you now that Symphony Desktop has a total of 10 audio inputs & 14 audio outputs.
Firstly, we have the two analogue inputs on the back panel. They are combi-jack inputs (¼" TRS or XLR) that accept mic or line audio sources. These feed the advanced stepped gain mic preamps, which provide up to 75db of transparent gain with ultra-low distortion and noise. The preamps on Symphony Desktop have a brand-new design feature – Alloy Mic Preamp emulation - which we’ll talk about more later...
For guitarists & bassists - there is a FET instrument input on the front of the interface as a direct input for your guitar. This is especially designed to resemble the sound of a tube amp, giving your DI a rich sound full of tone. The instrument input is linked to the second input channel of the interface.
If you're in need of additional inputs, Symphony Desktop has an optical input for ADAT or S/PDIF. For those of you who are unfamiliar with optical, it’s a digital port that can be transformed into 8 analogue inputs by using a digital expander - giving you a total of 10 audio channels with the onboard inputs.
So, if you were wondering if you could record a multi-mic'd drumkit with Symphony Desktop – the answer is yes, with an ADAT expander!
Onto outputs – There are two balanced ¼" Jack outputs for monitors, up to 8 digital outputs via the optical out port. You also get two assignable headphone outputs, which can be assigned their own mixes using the Symphony Control Software. This is ideal when recording other musicians who may need a separate mix from the main output.
Symphony Desktop uses USB-C to connect to your Windows, Mac or iOS device (with lightning adapter). You’ll also notice there’s a USB-Host connection. This can be used for USB peripherals such as MIDI controllers – particularly handy when USB sockets are at a premium!