Product Profile: Audient EVO 16

Audient, headquartered in Herriard, Hampshire, U.K., is a manufacturer of innovative professional grade recording technology. In business for over 20 years, Audient built their reputation on building large format recording consoles and have successfully distilled that technology down into a range of affordable recording interfaces. 

A good example of the kind of creative recording technology Audient comes up with is the new Audient EVO 16, a 24 in X 24 out recording interface. The EVO 16 bring some clever, time saving solutions to what otherwise would possibly be in the way of your creative workflow. These include Audient’s new Smartgain feature, which can automatically set recording levels for multiple tracks in seconds and Motion UI (user interface) which automatically displays all the parameters of your session status on EVO 16’s easy-to-read full color immersive display. 

The Audient EVO 16’s smartgain feature makes it easy to set correct gain levels and record multiple inputs simultaneously. If you’re recording drums or live bands either in studio or on stage, the EVO 16’s Smartgain feature is a game changer. To use the smartgain feature, all you do is enable your input or inputs and hit the green Smartgain button and the EVO 16’s Smartgain technology does the rest. Even if you’re an experienced recording engineer, having the ability to automatically set correct input gain levels for multiple inputs within seconds is a hassle-free way to keep your sessions moving forward. 

EVO 16’s Motion UI offers some useful and intelligent features that will help streamline your session workflow. For example, if you have an instrument plugged into channel one and two and try to activate Phantom power, an icon will advise you it’s not possible to have both active at once. The Instrument DI circuit is switchable from instrument back to line level if you find yourself needing all eight inputs for your tracking session.

The EVO 16 has eight, high-quality console-grade preamps that can handle just about any input you might be using with them. The first two inputs located on the front of the EVO 16 are JFET high impedance DI inputs optimized for guitar and bass. Two headphone jacks are located on the front of EVO 16, each with its own headphone output. 

The EVO 16 has six combination jacks on the back of the unit to facilitate Mic and Line inputs, and also provides eight dedicated line outputs. The back of EVO 16 provides two sets of outputs for connecting both a main and alternate set of monitors. For channel expansion, EVO 16 has two optical I/O’s, making it possible to add channels via ADAT or TOSLINK etc., all at 96 KHz. EVO 16 also has a BNC connector for syncing word clock or slaving EVO 16 to an external device. All inputs can be linked as stereo pairs.

The whole point of the Audient EVO 16 is to work smarter, not harder. The entire user interface on EVO 16 was designed to eliminate the hassle of fumbling through menus and button pushing when you’re in the middle of a tracking session. I’m not saying EVO 16 fully automates the recording process, but it does eliminate several steps you might have to go through on competing interfaces to get the same result. If you’re working under pressure or on the clock, EVO 16’s Smartgain and Motion UI technology can make a huge difference in making your recording sessions stress-free and successful. 

EVO 16 comes with a downloadable software mixer that gives you complete control over your EVO 16. Recording functions such as stereo linking, mute, assigning phantom power, fader levels and master control room functions such as diming, switching in an alternate pair of monitors, assigning cue mixes and playing back your mixes in stereo or mono can all be done from EVO 16’s Motion UI or via the software mixer. EVO 16 has a talkback feature that can be controlled from EVO 16 itself, as well as built-in loopback capability for streaming or recording audio off your computer.

The EVO 16 packs all this technology and advanced feature set into a relatively small footprint—it’s about the size of a typical 15-inch laptop. EVO 16 does not require drivers for Mac computers; drivers for Windows PC’s are downloadable off the Audient website. Once you register your EVO 16 on the Audient ARC website you’re presented with a selection of free plugins, downloads and special offers. Rack ears are available free for the asking. 

The Audient EVO 16 is designed to compete head-to-head with any one-rack unit eight-channel recording interface currently on the market. If you’re recording drums, live bands, ensembles or any format requiring tracking multiple inputs at once on a regular basis, the Smartgain feature alone makes the EVO 16 very likely worth the price of acquiring it. The Audient EVO 16 is packed with some clever features and delivers a next generation user interface that sets it apart from the competition. For what you’re getting, the EVO 16 is a bargain.

 The Audient EVO 16 is available now for $499 US. Find out more at audient.com