The flagship channel strip.
The Frontliner has all tools on board to record vocals and instruments in perfect quality: it merges a preamp, a de-esser, an EQ, a compressor and tube saturation.
Thanks to its individual analog I/Os, all these powerful, high-end analog processors can be used not only while recording but also during mixing. The Frontliner is therefore not reduced to a front-end device. Especially DAW based studios can integrate high-grade analog processing at any stage of the audio production process.
The Frontliner features three separate, individually optimized inputs for microphones, line signals and instruments.
- The microphone input features 48V phantom power, phase reverse function and a subsonic filter.
- The low-impedance Line input has a precise balancing stage for connecting studio equipment.
- The low-noise, high-impedance instrument input is easily accessible on the front panel.
There are two tubes (ECC83 or 12AX7) used in the Frontliner. One tube drives the final gain stage after the preamplifiers and can be switched from 6dB to 15dB tube boost. The second tube is used for the tube saturation.
The renowned SPL De-Esser subtly yet effectively removes offending sibilants by reliably eliminating only the “S” frequencies with its unique phase-cancelling processing technology.
Auto-Threshold ensures constant processing even with varying microphone distances. All you need do is to turn the knob until the sibilants are gone.
The Insert (Send/Return) allows for insertion of external processors like reverb or delay or can be used to record the pure preamplifier signal.
This section is based on SPL’s Double-VCA-Drive® circuitry for outstanding noise and distortion characteristics. The compressor module is based upon the Kultube providing a full set of classic controls. We integrated Kultube’s highlight, the signal-dependent automation of attack and release parameters which can still be influenced manually – with this option, manual and automatic control can be merged to always get the most effectively compression results.
3-band EQ with Air Band
The EQ section provides two semi-parametric filters for low and mid band as well as an Air-Band filter delivering a silky and smooth top end. The EQ especially optimized to process vocals, acoustic and electronic instruments allowing for both corrective adjustments and sound design.
A tube does not clip but approaches its limits by increasingly producing harmonic distortions. The sound effects from saturating a tube can be used to fatten an audio signal or make it better cut through the mix. The sound results resemble tape saturation effects and increase the density and perceived energy in a very pleasant way.
Each Frontliner module has its own balanced inputs and outputs. Sophisticated switching options allow to integrate Frontliner’s modules into a studio environment as if they were stand-alone devices. You can also group modules in any combination and you can determine inserts at each module’s input.
If you imagine the Frontliner modules as analog plugins, the additional value suddenly becomes apparent: this channel strip also is a versatile analog processing station. With one single unit, especially DAW based studios benefit from a first-class recording front-end and have access to high end analog processors.
Central star ground wiring scheme minimizes influences that could affect the ground paths. The audio ground is separated from the ground of the remaining equipment. This leads, in the truest sense of the word ”clean”, to considerably improved tonal quality.
The power supply is built around two toroidal transformers, one for the audio voltages and one for the other supply voltages (tube heating, LEDs, micro controller etc.) Mutual interferences are excluded and lavishly over-dimensioned capacitors ensure absolutely stable supplies for all audio circuitries.
Lundahl I/O transformers.
Options include a 24/192 AD Converter.