Slate Digital VRS8 Interface with 5 ML-2 Microphones - Virtual Recording Studio with Included Software

Slate Digital VRS8 Interface with 5 ML-2 Microphones - Virtual Recording Studio with Included Software

Slate Digital VRS8 Interface with 5 ML-2 Microphones - Virtual Recording Studio with Included Software

B&H # SLSDVRS8103 MFR # SDVRS8103
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Expected availability: 7-14 business days

Product Highlights

  • 8-Channel Interface with Linear Response
  • 124 dB Dynamic Range
  • Five ML-2 Microphones
  • Mics Model Various Instrument Mics
  • Flat & Linear Response
  • Preamp & Microphone Emulations
  • Latency of 0.7 ms Across Platforms
  • Included 1-Year Everything Bundle
  • Software Compatible with Mac & Windows
  • Operates in VST, AU, & AAX Formats
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Slate Digital VRS8 overview

  • 1Description

The Slate Digital VRS—which stands for Virtual Recording Studio—comes in a few different configurations, and this one comprises an eight-channel interface, five small diaphragm microphones geared primarily toward instruments, and a bundle of corresponding software. Using all of these elements, the VRS aims to put heretofore cost-prohibitive, holy-grail mic/pre-combinations at your fingertips.

Each element in the chain contributes to this goal, starting with the ML-2 microphones, which take on the characteristics of various instrument microphones, including 57s, 421s, 121s in cardioid, and more. With five ML-2s at your disposal, you can close-mic an entire drum kit, elicit vintage tones from a full horn section, secure a vintage ribbon sound on your favorite guitar cab, or access esoteric, vintage vocal sounds.

These microphones are designed to pair with the interface's flat and linear preamps—eight in total, all of which feed a low-latency converter boasting a satellite-grade clocking system and AKM AK5578 converter chips. This system, taken as a whole, delivers 124 dB of dynamic range across all eight inputs, doing so at latencies of only 0.7 ms at 96 kHz.

Now, we come to the software. Slate Digital is a company famous for its modelling technologies, and that comes into play with the VRS in a significant way. Using this software, you can mic your guitar cab through the tones of a classic 121 microphone feeding a classic British-style 73 preamp. Conversely, you can access an entirely different timbre, making use of a 112 on a kick drum and using this mic model to feed a 76-style preamp.

Indeed, many microphone and preamp models are included in the bundle—but there's also something to whet the beak of mixing engineers: a complimentary one-year subscription to the Slate Everything Bundle. This package of software is a continuously updated suite of emulations, including well-regarded compressors, equalizers, tube-circuit modules, tape machines, consoles, mastering processors and more. Everything from 'stressors to vintage, modern, and all-buttons-in 76s are represented, as are channel strips from venerated boards and a few proprietary designs, such as an Air EQ by way of Eiosis and a harmonic enhancer by way of the Revival module.

Using the VRS in conjunction with the Everything Bundle, you can run a classic 67 emulation through a preamp, a compressor, a channel strip, a de-esser, and a tape machine emulation—all in real time. This software is compatible with Mac and Windows platforms, operating in AU, VST and AAX formats.

VRS8 Interface

8 Linear Preamps
The start of any signal chain is extremely important, which is why the VRS8 features eight high-bandwidth Ultra Linear microphone preamps. These are the same blank canvas design as the VMS-One preamp, enabling you to use the modeling software to recreate the authentic sound of famous microphones and preamps. Each preamp has its own high-quality metal knob, so you can easily set levels like a regular analog preamp.
High-Quality Converters
The next step in the signal chain is the converter itself. The VRS8 offers AKM AK5578 converter chips that provide 124 dB of dynamic range.
LLN Technology
In order to achieve low-latency across multiple platforms, Slate developed LLN technology, which stands for Low Latency Native. LLN utilizes a custom hardwired converter chipset, which reduces managed components in the audio path and allows  0.7 ms of latency at 96 kHz (with a 32-sample buffer). This latency spec allows you to monitor through mic and preamp emulations while tracking, giving you the ability to hear your audio in context while still allowing you to change your mind later.
XTC Audio Clock
The audio clock is the heart of any recording interface, and the VRS8 is no exception with its XTC clocking technology. This clock is satellite-grade, utilizing four temperature-compensated crystal oscillators for stability, keeping your audio jitter and distortion free.
Discrete Headphone Amplifiers
Most engineers listen to music on headphones when working in the studio, so Slate has implemented discrete amplifiers to ensure that your headphones sound robust and clear. Not only that, Slate also added two separate monitor mixes and the ability to use the VRS8 as a speaker switcher.
Cross Platform Low-Latency Performance
The world of audio interfaces is rarely cross-platform when it comes to performance, meaning that Mac devices (using Thunderbolt) usually far outperform Windows interfaces (using USB). While USB can be effective for two-channel designs, it requires more CPU overhead to manage, resulting in higher CPU usage and longer latency values than Thunderbolt. Thus, the VRS8 offers both Thunderbolt and PCIe connectivity for maximum cross-platform compatibility. The PCIe performance is the same as Thunderbolt, so you can decide for yourself which connection to use. You can also link up to 6 VRS8's via Thunderbolt to achieve 48 inputs and outputs.
Native MIDI I/O
Unlike USB MIDI interfaces (where MIDI information has to fight with your mouse, keyboard, and other USB traffic), MIDI I/O on the VRS8 never touches the USB bus, so you can count on accurate MIDI timing.
Included Preamp Models
More preamp models will be released, but at the very least, you get the following:

  • FG-73: The FG-73 preamp module is modelled after a famous, discrete solid-state preamp made in Britain and used on countless recordings from the 70s onwards. It has a bold, present and warm sound that works great on any audio source, even full mixes.
  • FG-76: The FG-76 preamp module is modelled after a vintage German tube preamp that has been used on many classic recordings. It has a thick, colorful tone that can help enliven tracks and mixes. The bottom-end saturates in a musical way, making it a great module for bass guitar.

ML-2 Modeling Microphone

Microphone Models Dynamics, LDCs, SDCs & Ribbons
The ML-2 is a small diaphragm microphone capable of recreating the tone of an entire mic locker of instrument mics, including dynamics like the 57 and 421, cardioid models of classic ribbons like the 121, other famous small diaphragm mics like the 451 and 222, and even large diaphragm mics like the famous 414 and tube 67.
Included Mic Models
More mic models are released sporadically, but at the very least, you get the following:

  • S-47F: This model recreates a German FET mic known for rounded highs, hefty mids, and a massive bottom end. Try it on kick drums, bass cabinets, and toms.
  • S-67: Emulating a large-diaphragm tube condenser, the S-67 has smooth, muted highs, a thick midrange, and a big low-end. Try this emulation on everything from guitars and basses to snares and overheads.
  • S-7: This model creates a microphone typically used in broadcasting platforms, one that emphasizes the midrange. Try it on your voice, but expect to elicit suitable tones for kick, toms, snares, basses, guitars, and more.
  • S-E20: Sporting an even frequency response, yet still boasting a pleasantly rounded tone, the S-E20 models a mic made famous in the 1970s and found on the vocals of singers like Thom Yorke and Stevie Wonder. Drums, guitars, and vocals can all benefit from this model.
  • S-57 Vintage: This model recreates an early 1980s dynamic 57, known for its punchy midrange and smooth treble response.
  • S-Custom Snare: A modified variety of the S-57, this emulation has been tuned to enhance the sound of snare drums.
  • S-57 Modern: This model is similar to the S-57 Vintage, but features a smoother midrange and more present highs.
  • S-112: For a classic kick sound, try this microphone emulation, which provides a rounded midrange for kick presence as well as a fat bottom end.
  • S-421: This emulation recreates a classic dynamic microphone often used on toms, guitar cabinets, and even horns. It provides a hefty midrange and a punchy bass response.
  • S-Custom Tom: A modified variant of the S-421, this model adds top-end and bass to the sound, scooping out some of the midrange to give you a more polished rack- and floor-tom timbre right at the source.
  • S-414 Normal: This emulation models a classic FET large diaphragm condenser microphone, one with clear and present mids, extended highs, and a fat low end. Try it on overheads, guitars, bass cabinets, toms, and horns.
  • S-414 Dynamic: Similar to the S-414 normal, this emulation makes use of the ML-2’s Dynamic mode for exceedingly loud sources.
  • S-12: For a vintage kick drum sound, try this microphone emulation, which provides crisp highs and warm lows.
  • S-Custom Kick: If you’re craving a little more attack and punch on your kick drum, as well as a modern, more defined low-end, try this model over the S-12.
  • S-121 Normal: This emulation seeks to recreate one of the most venerated ribbon microphones of all time, giving you fat lows and muted highs. Try this on horns, strings, guitar cabs, overheads, drum rooms, and even vocals.
  • S-121 Dynamic: For exceedingly loud sources that deserve the ribbon treatment nonetheless, try this model, which makes use of the ML-2’s Dynamic mode.
  • S-222: Emulating a small diaphragm tube microphone, this microphone is suitable for drum overheads and acoustic instruments, as it’s bright but not harsh, present yet smooth, and fairly flat in the low end.
  • S-451: Modeling a notable small diaphragm condenser, this emulation provides a smooth and clear sound that complements overheads, snares, hi-hats, toms, and more. 

Everything Bundle

Included Software
The Everything Bundle is constantly updating with new products, but at its core are the following:

  • Audified U73b
  • FG-Stress
  • Classic Tubes 1
  • Classic Tubes 2
  • Classic Tubes 3
  • Virtual Tube Collection
  • Virtual Console Collection
  • Virtual Preamp Collection
  • FG-116 FET Blue Series
  • FG-Bomber
  • Custom Series
  • Air & Earth Modules
  • Mix Bundle (FG-N, FG-S, FG-401, FG-116)
  • The Monster
  • Revival
  • Trimmer
  • Virtual Buss Compressors 
  • Virtual Tape Machine
  • FG-X Mastering Processor 
In the Box
Slate Digital VRS8 Interface with 5 ML-2 Microphones - Virtual Recording Studio with Included Software
  • 5 x ML 2 Microphones
  • VRS8 Interface
  • PCIe Card
  • 1-Year Subscription to the Slate Digital Everything Bundle (Software)
  • Perpetual License to Virtual Preamp Collection
  • Single License for VMC Classic Instruments
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty on Hardware
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Slate Digital VRS8 specs

    Interface
    Preamps 8 x VMS-One preamplifiers
    Connections XLR
    1/4": Switchable between line and instrument
    Chipset AKM AK5578
    Dynamic Range 124 dB across 8 inputs
    Latency 0.7 ms at 96 kHz with a 32-sample buffer via LLN technology
    Clock XTC clock with four compensated crystal oscillators
    Headphone Outputs 2 x 1/4" TRS outputs, phone type
    Digital I/O PCIe, USB, Thunderbolt
    MIDI Connectors 5-pin DIN MIDI input
    5-pin DIN MIDI output
    Dimensions Not specified by manufacturer
    Weight Not specified by manufacturer
    Microphone
    Output 1 x XLR male, 3-pin
    Length 4.0" / 10.2 cm
    System Requirements
    Mac macOS 10.7 or later (32 and 64-bit)
    Mac Quad Core i5 Intel Processor
    4 GB RAM
    Plug-In Formats: VST2, VST3, AU, AAX
    Windows Windows 7 or later (32 and 64-bit)
    Quad Core i5
    4 GB RAM
    Plug-In Formats: VST2, VST3, AAX

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