Thunderbolt® Speed In A Portable Package
The Resident Audio T2 Thunderbolt interface is perfect for performers using a laptop computer onstage or for anyone doing recording at home or on the road. The T2 provides two channels of I/O with near-zero latency in a lightweight, portable package, with support for high-resolution audio, all the way up to 24-bit/96kHz.
The T2 is fully bus-powered—no AC connection or batteries required—so it can easily be integrated into any live rig, or portable/home studio. Dual combo XLR/TRS input connectors allow you to plug in microphones, line-level sources, and even instruments. The T2 can also serve as an ultra-stable MIDI interface, ensuring precise synchronization between your audio and MIDI tracks.
Developed by Intel Labs in collaboration with Apple, Thunderbolt is the most advanced input/output (I/O) protocol available today. Twice as fast as USB 3.0, twenty times faster than USB 2.0 and twelve times faster than Firewire 800, it provides unparalleled audio performance with near-zero latency. For more information about Thunderbolt,
The T2 provides two combo XLR/¼" inputs with switchable phantom power for the connection of microphones, instruments and line-level devices, as well as dual balanced TRS outputs and a dedicated headphone output.
Tactile gain controls with three-color wraparound LEDs allow optimum levels to be set quickly and easily, even in low-light onstage environments. MIDI In and Out allow the T2 to be used as a MIDI interface with superb clocking accuracy.
A Big Knob volume control sets the level of connected headphones as well as overall monitor level. The T2 also has a Smart Monitoring feature, which allows you to easily switch between stereo and mono monitoring.
The T2 provides crisp, clear sound. It allows you to record and play back audio with full 24-bit resolution, at sampling rates up to 96 kHz. And because Thunderbolt technology allows increased power capacity, we're able to equip the T2 with high-end electronic components that would be unusable with USB.
The software drivers for the T2 have been programmed by some of the best engineers in the industry. They've been specifically designed to ensure rock-solid performance and minimal CPU overhead, allowing your computer to focus on things like effects processing and monitoring. All T-Series interfaces support ASIO, CoreAudio, and Windows Audio Session API, allowing them to be used with most Macintosh and Windows computers* that provide a Thunderbolt port.
* Select Windows systems only.
Ready For The Road
If you're a performing artist using a laptop computer onstage, you won't find a more perfect interface than the lightweight, compact T2. It provides combo input connectors that can accept both XLR and ¼" jacks and is fully bus-powered—no AC cord or batteries required—allowing the T2 to easily be integrated into any live performance rig.
What's more, it's housed in a sturdy aluminum/acrylic 1/3 U rack mountable chassis that can stand up to the wear and tear of an artist on the go. (Mounting hardware not included).
Inputs and Outputs
The T2 offers dual combination XLR/¼" inputs, switchable between Mic, Line, or Instrument level. Each T2 input has its own dedicated trim control. In addition, a global Phantom Power switch allows you to use the T2 with condenser microphones.
The T2 sports a dedicated stereo headphone output and two TRS balanced line-level outputs. When using the T2 in the studio, simply plug it directly into your monitors; onstage, connect it straight into the soundboard. In addition, MIDI In and Out connectors allow you to use your T2 as a MIDI interface with an ultra-stable clock that keeps all your sequencers and drum machines perfectly locked to audio playback.
We've put a lot of thought into the ergonomic design of the T2. Its knobs not only glide smoothly, but also face slightly upwards, making them easy to access in low-light onstage environments. Three-color wraparound LED signal indicators allow you to easily adjust and set optimal input levels, and a dedicated INST/LINE switch allows you to instantly change between instrument-level or line-level input. (This versatile switch has another function, too: See "Smart Monitoring" below.)
There's also an Input Mix control, with its own three-color wraparound LED, so that you can blend of live input signal with the playback coming from your computer. And a handy "can't-miss" Big Knob volume control allows you to quickly adjust the level of connected headphones along with the overall monitoring level.
With the dual-function Instrument/Line control, the T2 can switch the headphone output from stereo to mono—a convenience that makes life a little easier. Monitoring in mono allows you to remove one set of cans and still be able to hear the sound of everything in one ear—especially handy for vocalists and DJs. Smart Monitoring works even when only microphones are connected to the T2.
Performing electronic music live used to be a crap shoot. With the T2, it's just a matter of hitting the space bar. Simply connect your controllers, sequencers, drum machines and sound modules to its MIDI In and Out connectors, and prepare to be blown away. The speed of Thunderbolt, combined with the rock-solid T2 driver, ensures that your audio and MIDI tracks always line up perfectly: everything plays back exactly the way you played it in, with no “slop” or delay.
Faster = Better.
Thunderbolt™ is the wave of the future—the kind of game-changing technology that only comes along once a decade. Developed by Intel Labs in collaboration with Apple, it’s a brand new input/output (I/O) protocol which combines incredible speed with dual bi-directional data paths, each of which are capable of handling eight 24-bit 96 kHz audio channels. The end result is the finest audio you’ve ever heard.
There are many reasons why Thunderbolt is becoming the interface of choice for musicians, producers and engineers everywhere—anyone, in fact, who is interested in great-sounding audio.
Thunderbolt operates at 10 Gbps (10 billion bits per second). That’s twenty times faster than USB 2.0 and twelve times faster than Firewire 800.
Impressive, to be sure, but why exactly is speed so important? Simple: Speed equals quality. Today’s computer audio interfaces utilize converters that operate with 24-bit resolution at sampling rates of 96 kHz or higher.
But the downside is that these extended bit resolutions and sampling rates result in huge amounts of data being generated. Recording just one minute of a single channel of 24/96 audio results in the creation of more than 17 million bits of digital data. What’s more, all those ones and zeroes have to be streamed to and from the converters in real time for the sound to be recorded and played back with full fidelity. Multiply that by two, four, eight or even more channels and you start to see the magnitude of the problem. If the audio interface you’re using can’t send and receive data fast enough, latency creeps in and your audio suffers. In effect, using outdated technology to transfer digital audio is like trying to sip an extra-thick milkshake through a straw the size of a toothpick.
Unlike “old school” USB devices, which can only carry a maximum of 2.5 watts / 5 volts of bus power, Thunderbolt allows for a whopping 10 watts / 18 volts of power to be carried over the same wire as the audio signal. This allows higher quality electronic components (such as preamps and A/D/A converters) to be incorporated into our audio interfaces, resulting in much greater sonic detail and extended frequency range.
Thunderbolt technology combines multiple I/O protocols with traffic routing management, supporting hot-plugging and daisy chaining of almost any kind of digital device. This allows off-the-shelf connectivity of not only audio interfaces, but also hard drives, printers, scanners, etc.—even multiple video monitors.
With Thunderbolt, one cable does it all. Being able to connect all your computer peripherals to a single port makes life easier and also eliminates tangles of wire. That much is obvious. But what may be less obvious is that a multi-purpose interface such as Thunderbolt enables the usage of thinner and lighter laptops without sacrificing I/O performance. That makes it more convenient to create and edit audio when you’re on the road, as well as having more desk space when working in a home studio and less clutter onstage during live performance.
Since February, 2011, every new Mac (including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac models) has been outfitted with a Thunderbolt port. But the protocol is no longer the exclusive province of the Mac world:
A number of Thunderbolt-equipped Windows-based laptops have been released since then, and leading portable hard drive manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon too.
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