Avid HD Omni review (Thunderbolt Audio Interface)


AVID’s PCIe connection solution

PCIe Connection SETUPSuperb compatibility with Avid’s flagship DAW Protools…

It’s everything you might ever need when it comes to buying an audio interface!

Super tight integration with Thunderbolt connection or via PCIe…

The Magical Answer To Portable Problems

If you’ve owned Pro-Tools during the early 2010 era, you probably understand the pains of not being able to make your gear portable. It’s a big trouble bringing along huge and heavy gear to record your audio. During that time, there were several solutions but not all of them promised a great amount of high-definition audio.

Luckily, Avid, who created Pro-Tools, have listened to their consumer base. Hence, the Pro Tools HD Native and Omni Thunderbolt were born.


Features of this top notch audio system

HD NATIVE THUNDERBOLT

NATIVE THUNDERBOLT

Both the Pro Tools HD Native and Omni Thunderbolt are PCIe-based cards that allowed the processing for Pro Tools using your own Mac.

This makes it more portable as you could do away with DSP-based HD or HDX units.

While you might say that’s computer-heavy processing, it’s a sweet trade-off if you want to get your Pro-Tools rig portable.

Now, using Thunderbolt technology, HD capability for portable laptops is no longer a wet dream.


Checking out the Hardware

FRONT AND BACK

The Omni just looks like a small box. But the metal extrusion box acts as a heat-sink that helps remove heat from the unit. This enables you to do away with a fan…

The Rear Panel has a Thunderbolt port, 2 Digilink Ports with 32 channels of audio on each, a DigiSerial port for synchronising devices, an FPGA switch and a power connector, which you wouldn’t need much in this case.

It comes with a DigiLink cable, Thunderbolt cable and an install disc with its drivers.


IN THE STUDIO

The Avid Omni comes with its own Pro Tools 10.2.1 free, included with the install disc (I only noticed this later after installing all the drivers). Plugging the Thunderbolt cable to my Macbook.

It can handle some average-sized projects flawlessly. But I had one project where I had numerous string arrangements and band arrangements. Opening this up, the project still played flawlessly.

I tested it with the USB and FireWire, and there I felt the failure as the speeds failed to measure up. Using the Thunderbolt, keeping the buffers low and treating it as a real HD system, and I was amazed I had to say that whoever made this really knew what they were doing.

My processors might be at 85 percent, but I couldn’t feel any kind of lag.

IN THE RACK UNITI even pushed the envelope going to 256 samples. Still no delay. Good job Avid!

According to Avid, the FPGA does the magic with the low latency at high samples.

Well, if you were going to sell a portable card with 64 channels, it better be low latency!

HD FAMILY

HD Family


Final Words for this outstanding piece!

As I often travel when I go to my clients in creating some fine music, this little box is a magical answer to my needs. I want to thank Avid for finally coming up with a solution for often-travelling engineers. As a bonus, its design is quite easy to understand

It’s just so awesome to say that I can finally go around anywhere I want and record music. It’s about as close as playing a good gig with a virtual amplifier if I had a guitar.

Totally sweet sound and good mechanics, I recommend this product highly.

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