If you've been shopping around for an affordable computer audio interface, you may think it's all about sacrifices. You want good sound quality, you give up available inputs. You want the inputs, you settle for substandard software. The best compromise leaves everyone unhappy, right? Lexicon would beg to differ. The makers of the industry's premier digital reverbs developed a USB audio interface that offers four simultaneous streams of audio input, top-notch preamps and converters, and professional recording software in one package: the Lexicon Omega Studio. Even better, they priced the whole thing for well under $200!
Four Simultaneous Inputs, And More
Most audio interfaces in this price range give you only two simultaneous inputs, turning your computer into not much more than a stereo hard disk recorder. With the Lexicon Omega USB interface, however, you get four simultaneous input streams, taking your recording process into true multitracking territory. For example, four inputs is enough for tracking guitar, bass, and stereo-mixed drums for making some pretty advanced demo recordings. But available inputs are just the beginning. The Omega sports eight total inputs with internal mixing, so you can hook a whole range of studio equipment up to it. You get 1/4-inch line-level inputs, a dedicated instrument input for guitar and bass, digital S/PDIF for recording from ADAT and additional digital mixers, and MIDI I/O for syncing with external sequencers, drum machines and control surfaces. Stereo outputs can be mixed between your computer's output and input signal for direct, latency-free monitoring -- a huge advantage when layering your symphony of guitar overdubs and five-part vocal harmonies! The Omega Studio has enough routing capability to become the center of your home or project studio.
dbx Preamps, and More
With all this functionality, the Lexicon Omega doesn't skimp on quality hardware. Lexicon makes use of its partnership with dbx by incorporating a pair of dbx preamps--culled from the dbx 386 mic pre--into the Omega's front-end for crystal-clear audio and tons of clean headroom. To make sure you don't get too hot going into the Omega, a full compliment of LED meters gives you instant feedback on signal strength, and making it easy to avoid the preamp and digital clipping that has ruined countless home recordings. The two microphone inputs also feature inserts for incorporating outboard effects processing units into your signal path between the preamp and the mixing bus, the same routing technique that high-end, large format studio mixing consoles use. The Omega also sports some excellent analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion, courtesy of specially designed converters capable of up to 24-bit, 48k resolution for better than CD fidelity. Amazingly enough, this low-cost, high-quality box is made right here in the U.S.
World-Class Lexicon Reverb, and More
A computer recording studio isn't complete without recording software, and the Lexicon Omega Studio comes brings some heavy-hitting titles to bear on your projects. For starters, the Omega is packaged with the stunning Lexicon Pantheon Reverb plugin. Digital reverb is how Lexicon originally staked its claim in the recording industry, and the Pantheon plugin lives up to its esteemed lineage. With Pantheon, you'll have control over every aspect of a reverb algorithm so lush, you'll think Phil Spector has lent you his Wall of Sound! And of course, there's top-notch multitrack recording software to get you started right away. Cubase LE is included with your new USB Interface, so you'll be able to make full use of the four-channel simultaneous inputs, accurate dbx preamps, and lush Lexicon reverb on your very next session.
Looking for your first USB audio interface? Don't sweat it! With the Lexicon Omega Studio you'll be netting a high-quality, full-fledged production suite at a price that can only be called "sweet."
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- Pentium III 500 MHz (1.2 GHz recommended)
- Windows XP
- 128 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
- 100 MB of available hard disk space
- EIDE/Ultra DMA 7200RPM hard disk type or better
- Available USB port (1.1 or higher)Macintosh
- Power PC, G4 Processor (450 MHz or faster)
- Mac OS X version 10.2.8 or later
- 128 MB RAM minimum (512MB recommended)
- 20 MB available hard disk space
- 18 ms hard drive (average speed time) or faster
- QuickTime 3.0 or later
- Available USB port (1.1 or higher)
- Notes about OSX 10.4 (Tiger)
- Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
- Shipping Weight: 6 lbs
The recording professionals at Lexicon Pro know a thing or 2 about great audio -- that famed Lexicon reverb 'sound' has been on just about every hit recording since Lexicon invented digital reverb more than 30 years ago. So when they set out to bring that sound home -- they got truly inspired.
The Complete System
Nothing is more frustrating than buying a 'recording system,' only to find out that you need a gaggle of extras just to make it all work. Omega Studio is a completely integrated computer recording system that includes the Omega 8x4x2 USB I/O Mixer, Steinberg's Cubase LE 4 audio and MIDI recording software, and Lexicon's world-class Pantheon VST Reverb plug-in. The Omega Desktop Recording Studio quite literally contains all the necessary components to transform your computer into a professional 24-bit recording studio - all in one box.
A Real Mixer
Unlike standard computer I/O boxes based on a patch bay concept, the Lexicon Omega Studio is designed and built around the same paradigm as large-format recording consoles. An 8-input, 4-Bus, 2-output USB I/O mixer with inserts, instrument input, MIDI I/O and complete metering and monitoring functions gives you the freedom to record up to 4 tracks at once and mix without the need for additional mixing hardware.
Two dbx Silver Series mic preamps with 48V phantom power provide a pristine front end for high-end condenser or more common dynamic microphones, insuring premium sound quality from the first take to the last. TRS insert points allow you to plug in your favorite dynamic processors before the signal reaches 1 of the 4 busses, where 24-bit converters transform the analog signal into a digital masterpiece.
Four servo-balanced TRS line inputs with up to +22dBu input levels let you hook up everything from keyboards to guitar preamps, including high-output professional gear. Stereo digital inputs are available via SPDIF jacks, and an additional high-impedance instrument input is included on the front panel for easy access to guitars and basses.
Finally, a fully opto-isolated MIDI input to ensures that there is no annoying ground loop hum or MIDI talk-through noise common with many I/O boxes and sound cards; MIDI output has rock-solid synchronization to USB frame rate to support applications requiring critical sync.
The Omega I/O mixer also features channel peak indicators for each analog input as well as an assignable bargraph meter for the 4 busses. By monitoring the signal before the A/D converters, clipping and distortion can be averted, unlike software-only level monitoring that can miss 'overs', ruining the track.
All these gazintas and getoutzas are put together just like a big recording console, with input gain controls, four recording busses, and full monitoring features, in one attractive, portable I/O Mixer. Just plug it into your Mac or PC computer with the included USB cable, and you're instantly ready to capture the moment.
Steinberg Cubase LE
Steinberg is a leader in computer-based recording. From the first idea to complete compositions, Cubase is the virtual studio for all musicians and producers looking for a creative way to realize their projects. Cubase LE integrates seamlessly with the Omega I/O Mixer to achieve an easy-to-use, 48-track complete recording solution that includes all of the modules that you need to track, edit and mix your masterpiece.
Cubase LE Features:
- 48 audio and 64 MIDI tracks
- Professional audio editing and processing features
- Full automation of volume, pan, mute and effects
- MIDI score editor with advanced quantization and logical presets
- Supports up to 8 VST instruments
- 2 insert and 4 effect sends per channel
- VST system link and ReWire 2 compatible
Lexicon Pantheon VST Reverb Plug-In
The Lexicon name is synonymous with 'the world's best reverb.' Pantheon continues this legacy and delivers that 'Lexicon Sound used on most of today's recorded music and movies.
- Gives recordings that legendary 'Lexicon Sound
- 35 factory presets
- 6 reverb types
- 16 editable parameters per reverb type
- Mono and stereo operation
- Advanced yet easy-to-use interface
- Floating point DSP processing
- 16 and 24-bit compatible
- Efficient CPU utilization