TC Electronic Impact Twin Firewire Audio Interface – State of the Art Home Studio
If you cast your mind back to the start of the month you may remember my review of TC Electronic’s RH450 and RS210 bass rig that I bought.
I love my new rig and now understand what all the fuss was about.
I’m now fortunate enough to own TC Electronic’s new state of the art audio interface – the Impact Twin.
The Impact Twin promises that it can ensure the music you record sounds as good on the inside of your computer as it does on the outside.
That’s a rather huge claim but knowing that they made their name producing excellent studio gear I’m willing to believe them.
The Impact Twin has two mic preamps that employ TCE’s Impact III Technology which is more than capable of drawing the very best possible performance out of whatever mic you use.
Let’s just take a sec to find out what the III in the preamp stands for:
1. First is the fact that this mic amp operates in either line or mic, and with or without phantom power. The sockets at the front of the Impact Twin are multi-purpose and accept XLR and regular instrument jacks.
2. The Impact Twin interface boasts HD convertors that take in the fact that having great mic amps is pointless unless they lead to the best converters. That thought has resulted in an incredibly tweakable result! These converters allow you to select the conversion rate from 44.1kHz up to a high definition 192kHz.
3. The final stage comprises a huge and usable array of recording channel tools that are all derived from TC Electronic’s long history of development within signal processing.
What all that means is that you can expect to find tools such as onboard EQ, compressor and de-esser that will all go towards to simply and invisibly tame and enhance the signal from whatever instrument or microphone is plugged into the Impact Twin.
This little rubberised marvel has a lot more packed away for you. How about high-impedance guitar optimised inputs; Direct Monitor Reverb, which lets you add reverb at the monitor stage and hear reverb through headphones; iCheck, also known as the Integrity Check feature, which provides a shortcut for revealing artifacts of data reduction; quick compressor access and feedback, JetPLL jitter reduction; and 14 inputs and 14 outputs (4 analog and 10 digital).
All that is shoe-horned rather neatly into a body that only measures 9.28″ x 2.48″ x 9.5″
As a plus, the audio interface comes bundled with lovely plugins: M40 reverb, ResFilter, and Assimilator as well as Ableton Live Lite 8 TC Electronic Edition.
Now all this tech-talk can be a bit daunting (I’m learning as I go) but the real beauty of the Impact Twin is that it’s so easy to use.
I was recording as soon as I’d hooked the Firewire cable up to my laptop and shoved a mic in and a lead from RH450.
I was messing around with reverb settings and compression and I know that there’s more to find and learn from the manuals kept on the TC Electronic site.
What I can’t wait to play with more and actually understand is The Assimilator. What this clever tool does is take the EQ curve of your most favourite mixed and mastered tune, copies it, and then applies that very EQ to your new track. Genius!
Here’s Dweezil Zappa explaining it better than I can:
- Two mic preamps featuring IMPACT IIIâ„¢ Technology â€“ With these two pristine mic preamps you never have to worry about recording quality again.
- Channel Tools â€“ Quickly and easily optimise the tone of your recordings with Impact Twinâ€™s built-in channel tools.
- Hi-Z Guitar optimised inputs â€“ Ensure the tone of your guitars is beautifully preserved with two front-panel mounted Hi-Z guitar-optimised inputs.
- Direct Monitor Reverb â€“ A simple way to add reverb at the monitor stage so the singer can enjoy quality reverb through their headphones.
- iCheck â€“ The iCheck (Integrity Check) feature provides a shortcut for revealing artifacts of data reduction â€“ essential when encoding mp3 or AAC files.
- Included plug-ins (M40 reverb, ResFilter, Assimilator) â€“ Impact Twin comes bundled with pristine TC effects processing. The M40 Studio Reverb is based on an algorithm from our acclaimed Reverb 4000 processor. The multi-purpose ResFilter provides ultra-fat filter sound. The Assimilator EQ curve assimilation tool lets you quickly grab an EQ curve from any sound and apply it to your own.
- Quick compressor access and feedback â€“ Access the crucial compressor setting directly from Impact Twinâ€™s front panel â€“ the light ring instantly shows gain reduction.
- JetPLL jitter reduction â€“ Everybody talks about analog sound quality, but what about digital? With built-in JetPLL jitter reduction technology, Impact Twin ensures superb audio quality all the way through the device.
- 192/24 HD Conversion â€“ Impact Twinâ€™s HD Convertors let you select your conversion rate â€“ all the way from 44.1kHz right up to High Definition 192kHz for the ultimate in pristine audio capture, maintaining the essential transients of your sound.
- 14/14 I/O (4 analog, 10 digital I/O) â€“ 14 ins and 14 outs give the flexibility to record and monitor just about any device you can think of.
For the full tech specs click over to the TC Electronic site