The USB-Pro ($220 retail) is a high-resolution stereo direct box designed to convert sound files from a laptop computer and transfer them to a pair of balanced audio outputs to feed a PA, recording, or broadcast mixing console.
According to Radial President Peter Janis, “For years, Radial customers have been asking us to get into the digital world. We have hesitated due to lack of clear standards and challenges with respect to interfacing with computers. But with the recent advent of self-configuring USB ports, we feel the time is right to finally get involved and the USB-Pro is the first Radial product to sport digital connectivity.”
Made to be Plug & Play, easy to use, the USB-Pro automatically configures itself for use with all popular operating systems including Mac OSX, Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, eliminating the need to load special drivers. And unlike devices that are limited with 16-bit, 44.1-kHz conversion rates, the USB-Pro elevates the performance with 24-bit, 96-kHz stereo converters to deliver more headroom and greater detail. This eliminates the need for additional sound cards or separate converters when transferring files, further streamlining production in busy work environments.
Connection from the laptop is done via the pro-audio standard USB type-B port. D/A conversion is monitored with the built-in headphone amplifier to ensure the signal is properly downloaded and converted. A monosum switch may be engaged to check for phasing or facilitate signal distribution to two outputs should this be preferred. Just set the output volume control.
Should hum or buzz caused by ground loops be encountered, two set-and-forget side-access switches enable you to insert isolation transformers into the signal path to block stray DC voltage offsets. To further reduce susceptibility to noise, this is augmented with a ground lift switch that lifts pin 1 on the two XLRs.
The Radial USB-Pro is designed to handle the rigors of professional touring with protective zones around the switches, connectors, and controls to keep them out of harm’s way. Inside construction ensures the internal PC board will not torque, which could cause premature part failure. Finally, a full-bottom no-slip pad provides mechanical isolation and electrical insulation.
Radial Engineering, Ltd.