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Analogue/Digital Hybrid USB Audio Interface, Summing Mixer, and 500 Series Rack

SRP £1,332.50 + VAT

500R8 is the centrepiece to the modern studio. It's a 28-in/30-out USB audio interface that combines a 500 series rack and high-performance A/D-D/A conversion with all of the connectivity required in the modern professional or home studio.

500R8 features the studio essentials that you need to build your dream studio such as an 8-into-2 high-headroom analogue summing mixer, comprehensive monitor controller with talkback facilities, 16-in/16-out ADAT interface, as well as a zero-latency analogue artist mixer with reference-quality, high-powered headphone outputs.

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The Best Of Analogue
By capitalising on the vast and ever growing 500 series market, you can configure your 500R8 to suit your tastes of analogue flavour. By installing your favourite 500 series modules into the 8 available 500 series slots, you can create your ultimate analogue front-end/preamp stage that can be multi-track recorded directly into your DAW.

Fill 500R8 full of vintage preamps for recording drums. Fill 500R8 full of clean and pristine preamps for recording strings. Fill 500R8 full of Preamp, EQ, and Compressor modules to create your own custom, analogue channel strips. The possibilities are endless and every 500R8 is unique to your sound.

Integrating 500 series modules into your workflow doesn't stop after the recording. Dedicated module source switches for each 500 series slot allow you to send USB channels from your DAW, into 500R8, through the 8 installed 500 series modules, and back into your DAW for recording (with that analogue ‘mojo’ applied). Think of 500R8 as a bank of 8 external Analogue Plug-ins.

For a more hands-on, all-analogue approach to mixing, 500R8 also features an 8-into-2 high-headroom analogue summing mixer with dedicated level and pan controls that you can use to create your own high-headroom analogue mix before recording it back into your DAW using dedicated USB inputs 9/10.

The Best Of Digital
In order to capture every subtle nuance of your analogue signal, 500R8 features reference-class A/D-D/A conversion with 121dB (A-wtd) dynamic range and THD+N of
The combination of highly-accurate, low-jitter clocking and high-performance digital conversion ensures that every ounce of analogue character is captured with the utmost detail - free of unwanted digital artefacts from the conversion process and with a wide dynamic range thanks to 500R8's high-headroom analogue design and low noise floor.

USB Audio Interface
Cranborne Audio's USB 2.0 audio interface provides high channel-count and low-latency performance whilst being accepted by all PC/macOS devices with unparalleled stability and longevity. 500R8 is core audio compliant for macOS or features a lightweight control panel for Windows machines that absorbs as little CPU resources as possible to leave you with more power for plug-ins within your DAW session.

Plug 500R8 into your PC/macOS device and your DAW will see a full 28-in/30-out USB audio interface. 500R8 also includes a full complement of 5-pin MIDI I/O, ADAT I/O, Word Clock I/O via BNC, and S/PDIF I/O to ensure that all of your digital studio connectivity is covered.

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Monitor Controller
500R8 features a comprehensive monitor controller with connectivity for two sets of studio monitors. As well as seamless speaker switching between both sets of studio monitors, there’s a Mono button that sums L-R channels to check for mono compatibility, a DIM switch that drops the speaker volume by 12dB for relaxed discussions during recordings, and a speaker mute switch for when you are tracking with headphones.

500R8 also features a comprehensive Talkback section with XLR input, 48v phantom power, push-to-talk operation, and automatic signal routing to all C.A.S.T. and headphones outputs connected to the system.

Summing Mixer
Analogue summing can give your mix the final bit of analogue character required to achieve professional and polished sonic results. What makes 500R8's 8-into-2 channel summing mixer so special is that it is positioned after the 8 500 series slots - allowing you to insert saturation or subtle 'bus-compression' modules and create a stereo mix using 500R8’s dedicated analogue level and pan controls beneath each module. 500R8's summing mixer also has a dedicated converter which can be used to record your stereo mix into your DAW on USB inputs 9/10 with a massive +24dBu of headroom.

Zero-Latency Artist Mixer
500R8 moves away from clunky "virtual" software mixers and gets your hands back onto the mix. By using 500R8’s high-headroom analogue summing mixer, you can create zero-latency, all-analogue mixes of live sources that can be blended with discrete USB playback paths and sent directly to the recording musicians via C.A.S.T. or the local headphone outputs.

C.A.S.T. Equipped
C.A.S.T. stands for Cat 5 Analogue Snake Transport and enables cost effective and organised cable management around your studio. C.A.S.T. repurposes off-the-shelf, shielded Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 7 networking cables to transport 4 channels of balanced analogue audio over a single cable.

500R8 has 4 C.A.S.T. IN ports that allow you to connect C.A.S.T. enabled devices (such as the Cranborne Audio N22 and N22H) and relocate I/O wherever it is needed around the studio.

Connect mic/line sources into the C.A.S.T. breakout box and that signal travels through the Cat 5 cable and directly into the modules installed into 500R8. At the same time, the analogue mix created on 500R8 is sent through the same cable and into the connected breakout box. This allows for seamless analogue audio connectivity between the control room, live room, vocal booth, or the bedroom next door!

C.A.S.T. is 100% analogue and requires no setup in order to operate. It can easily work at distances up to 100m when Cat 6 or Cat 7 cable is used and the complete studio cabling infrastructure costs a fraction of what an analogue multi core would cost. No setup. No latency. No fuss. And it sounds great.

  • 28-in/30-out USB 2.0 audio interface
    Low-latency USB 2.0 interface with high-stability and compatibility with a wide range of PC/macOS devices.
    ADAT I/O (16/16 channels @ 44.1/48kHz, 8/8 channels @ 88.2/96kHz)
    S/PDIF I/O
    5-pin MIDI I/O

  • High-performance A/D-D/A conversion
    Dynamic Range: 121dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
    Frequency Response: -1dB, 2.2Hz to >80kHz
    THD+N: Max I/O Level: +24dBu

  • Master reference-quality internal clock
    Capable of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz operation
    Dedicated Word Clock Input and Output via BNC
    External sync options using Word Clock BNC, S/PDIF, or ADAT

  • Monitor controller with talkback
    Speaker A/B switching, Mono check, Dim, Mute, and 28-segment peak meter
    Dedicated talkback input with phantom power, push-to-talk activation, and automatic routing to all headphones and C.A.S.T. facilities
    Easy-access illuminated front panel controls for all monitor controller functions.

  • Analogue summing mixer
    8-into-2 analogue summing mixer with +26.5dBu of headroom, dedicated ADC, and balanced 1/4" jack outputs
    C.A.S.T. link port for increasing summing mixer to 16-into-2 using Cranborne Audio 500ADAT

  • Zero-latency artist mixer
    Zero-latency analogue artist mixer with physical level/pan controls per channel and DAW return blend controls
    2 high-power headphone outputs with independent blend and level controls

  • Reference-Quality Headphone Outputs
    THD+N: Output Wattage (1kHz): 250mW x 2 @ 600 ohms, 650mW x 2 @ 220 ohms, 1.21W x 2 @ 100 ohms, 500mW x 2 @ 32 ohms
    Frequency Response: 1dB, 70kHz

  • High-current 8-slot 500 series rack
    250mA current per-slot with 2A total for all slots
    XLR inputs, XLR line outputs, and TRS Inserts (pre-ADC) per 500 series slot
    Module source switching options to send Analogue, USB or external C.A.S.T. signals through your favourite 500 series modules
    Module bypass switches per-slot allowing 500R8 to be used without 500 series modules inserted.

  • C.A.S.T. Compatible
    C.A.S.T. ports per channel for relocating analogue I/O around the studio using passive or active C.A.S.T. breakout boxes via standard shielded Cat 5e, Cat 6, or Cat 7 cables.
    Compatible with all Cranbore Audio C.A.S.T.-equipped devices including N22, N22H, Camden EC1, and Camden EC2.

  • 24v, 5a external locking power supply
    External power supply for improved analogue audio performance and heat dissipation.

500R8 and 500ADAT are two revolutionary 500 series racks featuring elite-quality AD/DA conversion, ultra low-jitter clocking, summing mixers, and reference headphone amplifiers built-in to their 4U frames. Both are designed to integrate all the benefits of 500 Series modules into brilliant hybrid studio workflows not previously possible. But whilst on the outside their differences look minimal, these two racks are designed for completely different users - integrating into your studio in completely different ways.

Deep dive into the physical and applicational differences between the two units to help you decide which one would work best in your studio in this dedicated blog

"The 500R8 could easily be the centrepiece of any serious recording/mixing setup: it's a top-notch audio interface, a capable 500-series host chassis, an expandable analogue summing mixer, and more besides." - Read the full review from Sound on Sound here

The 500 series format is the most cost-effective, and flexible way to add a variety of analogue gear into your studio, but it’s never been the easiest system to integrate into your studio setup. Until now.

1. Goodbye To Cable Spaghetti

500ADAT seamlessly integrates the 500 series format into your studio without running multiple analogue cables to and from your audio interface’s I/O. D-subs, XLRs, and TRS jacks cost money, take up space, and look unsightly. 500ADAT exchanges all of that copper for 2 optical cables. With 500ADAT, there are less physical electrical contacts to go wrong and less margin for error during patching. Spend more time making music and less time patching.

2. Get More Recording And Playback Channels From Your Audio Interface

Moving 500 series connectivity away from analogue lines to ADAT means that all of your interface’s analogue I/O is freed up and available for use elsewhere. ADAT is often left unused on audio interfaces whilst precious analogue I/O is permanently plumbed into your 500 series rack or patch bay. Move your 500 series modules to those dusty ADAT ports, free up those Line Ins and outs, and utilise more of your audio interface’s available I/O.

3. Upgrade Your Conversion

With converters and digital clocking built-in that exceeds the technical performance of the best audio interfaces on the market, 500ADAT not only gives you more channels during recording and mix down, but also elevates your sonic capture capabilities to the next level with huge dynamic range, inaudible THD+N, and less than 0.5 picoseconds of clock jitter.

4. Simplify Your Hybrid Studio Workflow

Remove the complexities of analogue I/O levels, re-patching, and patch bays by moving towards a simpler, yet more advanced integration of 500 series and other analogue equipment. 500ADAT’s module source switches allow for Analogue XLR or ADAT sources to be routed through the 500 series modules at a flick of a switch. 500ADAT is a completely optimised and fool proof way of using 500 series during recording and mixing.

5. 500 Series Made Easy, and Made Better

Not only does 500ADAT sit in the same place as your current 500 seres rack and analogue cabling, but it also brings much, much more to your studio capabilities. It also features a reference-class headphone amplifier and a high-headroom analogue summing mixer in one integrated, high-performance, and streamlined package.

Read more here 

Digital Performance
A/D Conversion
Test Signal PathXLR Input - 500 Series A/D Converter - APx555 (ASIO)
Frequency Response-1dB, 2.2Hz to >80kHz--0.05dB, 20Hz to 20kHz
THD+N<0.00032% (-110dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted-<0.00065% (-104dB) @ -1dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
THD<0.00014% (-117.5dB) @ -8dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted-<0.00023% (-113dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted-<0.0006% (-105dB) @ -1dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
Dynamic Range121dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
Max Input Level+24dBu
D/A Conversion
Test Signal Path500 Series D/A Converter - Insert Send - APx555 (ASIO)
Frequency Response-1dB, <1Hz to >61kHz--0.05dB, 20Hz to 20kHz
THD+N<0.0003% (-110.5dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted-<0.0004% (-108dB) @ -1dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
THD<0.00014% (-117.5dB) @ -8dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted-<0.00018% (-115dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted-<0.00036% (-109dB) @ -1dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
Dynamic Range121dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
Max Output Level+24dBu
Test Signal PathDAW 2 D/A Converter - Line Outputs - APx555 (Line In)
Connection Type1/4" Jack, Impedance Balanced
Output Impedance150ohm balanced, 75ohm unbalanced
Max Output Level<+22dBu
Freq Response-1dB, 1.4Hz to >80kHz
THD+N<0.003% @ +18dBu, 1kHz
Dynamic Range105dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
Noise Floor<-93dBu A-weighted, 20Hz - 20kHz, (Unity Gain)
Speaker A Output
Test Signal PathDAW 2 D/A Converter - Speaker A Line Output - APx555 (Line In)
Connection TypeXLR, Balanced, non-floating
Output Impedance150ohm balanced, 75ohm unbalanced (pin 3 unconnected)
Max Output Level<+26dBu
Freq Response-1dB, <1Hz to 70kHz
THD+N<0.0016% @ +24dBu, 1kHz
Dynamic Range109dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
Noise Floor<-92.5dBu A-weighted, 20Hz - 20kHz, (Unity Gain)
Talkback Input
Gain30dB Fixed Gain Preamp, +20dB Analogue Trim
Phantom PowerAlways On
Summing Mixer
Test Signal PathXLR Input - Summing Mixer Bus (Unity) - A/D Converter 9/10 - APx555 (ASIO)
Freq Response-1dB, 2.25Hz to >80kHz--3dB, 1.2Hz-0.5dB, 3Hz
THD+N<0.0007% @ +23dBu (-1dBFS), 1kHz
THD<0.0003% @ +14dBu (-10dBFS), 1kHz-<0.0004% @ +20dBu (-4dBFS), 1kHz-<0.00055% @ +23dBu (-1dBFS), 1kHz
Dynamic Range108dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
Noise Floor (A/D 9-10)-108dBFS A-weighted, 20Hz - 20kHz
Max Contribution Level+28dBu
Pan Law-4dB
Noise Floor (Mix Output)-90dBu, A-weighted, No channels routed
Headphone Amp
Test Signal PathDAW 2 D/A Converter - Headphone Output - APx555 (Line In)
Frequency Response-1dB, <1Hz to >70kHz
THD<0.0006% (-104.4dB) @ 20dBu, 1kHz, A-weighted, 300ohm load
THD+N<0.00085% (-101.4dB) @ 20dBu, 1kHz, A-weighted, 300ohm load
Output Impedance0.33 Ohms
Output Wattage250mW x 2 @ 600 ohms, 1kHz-650mW x 2 @ 220 ohms, 1kHz-1.21W x 2 @ 100 ohms, 1kHz-500mW x 2 @ 32 ohms, 1kHz
Dynamic Range114.5dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz, 300ohm load
Noise Floor-93.5dBu A-weighted, 20Hz - 20kHz, 300ohm load
System Performance
Analogue Path Phase Performance
Test Signal PathXLR Input - Empty 500 Series Slot - Summing Mixer Bus (unity) - Monitor Bus - Speaker A Output - APx555 (Line In)
Phase<3.6° @ 20Hz, <22° @ 20kHz
Test Signal PathXLR Input - Empty 500 Series Slot - Summing Mixer Bus (unity) - Mix Output - APx555 (Line In)
Phase<1.5° @ 20Hz, <11° @ 20kHz
Test Signal PathXLR Input - Camden 500 Preamp (Mic Mode, 6dB Gain) - Summing Mixer Bus (unity) - Speaker A Output - APx555 (Line In)
Phase<3° @ 20Hz, <13.5° @ 20kHz (Preamp mic mode, 6dB Gain)
Digital Round-trip Performance
Test Condition500 Series D/A Converter - 500 Series A/D Converter - APx555 (ASIO)
Dynamic Range118dB A-weighted, AES17 method, 20Hz - 20kHz
THD+N<0.0004% (-108dB) @ -4dBFS, 20Hz - 40kHz, 1kHz, A-weighted
AC Requirements100V – 240V AC, 50 – 60 Hz
Total Power Consumption24v, 5A DC, 120w
500 Series Slot Current250mA per rail
Total Available 500 Series Slot Current2A
Operating Temperature+1 to 30 degrees Celsius
Storage Conditions-20 to 50 degrees Celsius
Width481mm(19"), Rackmount
Height185mm(7"), 4u
Unit Weight7kg