Live Saver. Problem Solver.
The A32 is a worldwide unique solution to convert and route all important PRO-Audio formats with the highest possible I/O density in a single HU rack device: Analog, MADI and ADAT – all formats with up to 192 kHz.
The incredible flexible converter provides 32 x 32 balanced analog I/Os in D-Sub25 format with pro studio levels up to +20dBu – adjustable in 1 dB steps.
The A32 is using the recent high-performance low-latency converter generation from Cirrus Logic. Combined with a temperature-compensated high-precision clock and an active jitter reduction hardware design, the tightly packed 258-channel device delivers an exceptional detailed sound.
On the digital side, the A32 is primarily designed for MADI – the 64 channel professional audio format. Additionally 2 x 4 ADAT ports (= 32 I/O) can convert all 32 analog I/Os with up to 48 kHz.
The A32 incorporates a Word Clock I/O and a classic MIDI I/O for embedding signals and remote control. On top of it: intuitive one-knob control, Preset Management, Panel Lock and a powerful cross-format routing matrix (see below).
All in all the fan-less, small footprint Smart Converter & Routing system delivers three pro audio formats in an ultra flexible package – for the most attractive per-channnel-price on the market.
If you want to add 64×64 Dante channels, please have look on the A32 Dante.
258 tightly integrated, german engineered channels in one HU rack space.
No doubt! The A32 is the most affordable, High Density Multi-Format Converter.
Redundant MADI I/O
The MADI I/O of the A32 is provided as optical fiber ports (SC Multimode connector) and coaxial BNC. The I/O support MADI delay compensation, 64- and 56-channel formats and port redundancy. MADI streams can be used to send and receive embedded MIDI messages.
4 x TFT Display with Smart Control
Four high-resolution pin-sharp TFT displays provide detailed level information for all 2 x 32 analog signals – allowing the overview of the signal flow in and out of the unit. The innovative on-board contextual help allows it to use the high-tech device, without reaching for the manual.
Internal Routing Matrix
The A32 provides a sophisticated internal matrix for the free routing and splitting of all 128 Ins to all 128 Outs in blocks of 8 channels. The headphone output allows it to monitor every mono or stereo I/O plus one of 7 submixes directly from the front of the unit.
High Performance DSP
The high quality analogue circuit is accompanied by two powerful DSPs. A high-performance 400 MHz Sharc-DSP with floating point calculation and 80 bit wide accumulator processes all 258 channels with unmatched accuracy.
Redundant Power Supply
The A32 provides two automatically switch-over power supplies for worldwide operation. Both external power supplies can be replaced in seconds and even switched during operation without interruption. This way the A32 does not need to be sent in for repair if a power supply fails.
Flexible Remote Control
The A32 can be remotely controlled via MIDI, MIDI-over-MADI and USB from a host computer via software.
The A32 provides a unique flexible level setup for all analog inputs and outputs.
Every I/O can be set to a different sensitivity in a mixer like screen, directly on the display. The level setup ranges from -8 dBu up to +20 dBu in single steps of 1dB. When the fader is set to 20, the output of a digital signal with 0dBFS will be +20dBu on the analog input or output. -8 dBu on the lower end is close to the level of analog consumer gear (-10dBV = -7.78dBu).
The A32 features 2 x 4 ADAT I/O ports (white doors: outputs, black doors: inputs). Each port can transfer eight channels at a sample rate of 48 kHz (= 32 In + 32 Out channels).
With the reduction to four channels per port at 96 kHz (SMUX/2), it is still possible, to convert 16 I/O to ADAT. With 192kHz (SMUX/4) it is still possible, to transfer 8 input and 8 output channels in total, using all four interface pairs. Additionally it is possible, to route 32 channels of ADAT from/to MADI at 48 kHz. Port 4 can be switched to S/PDIF format and provides a built-in samplerate converter.
Word Clock I/O
The A32 can generate its own high precision clock. It can send this clock or receive a master clock via the BNC I/O using a coaxial cable with 75 Ohm.
Wether the device runs in Master or Slave mode or termination on/off can be set via the display.
The integrated 5pin standard MIDI I/O can be used for controlling the unit over a MIDI cable from a host computer. An advantage of the MIDI connection is the galvanic isolation, thanks to the opto coupler.
It is possible, to embedd or de-embedd MIDI signals into the MADI stream (MIDI-over-MADI ).
The front panel control – except the headphone screen – can be locked with a PIN number. To lock the A32, simply enter the PIN in the display.
Every device has a fixed number (printed on the downside of the unit).
What People Are Saying
The sound is very clean and natural, which you would expect from a device that might be a ‘set and forget’ unit as part of a larger installation. Regarding the installation aspect, one feature I don’t think Ferrofish make a big enough splash about is how quiet the unit is – as the A32 doesn’t have a fan, the whole time I used it there wasn’t even a whisper. We need products like the A32. It’s an answer to a solution that some might not be aware even exists. If you’re trying to find an efficient way to handle high channel counts, in particular bridging digital and analogue domains, then the A32 might be the most efficient answer. The usability of the unit is refreshingly simple in a world where we all need an IT degree to just load a project
Simon Allen, Technology Review
Ferrofish has crammed an astounding amount of connectivity in 1U of rack space … Perhaps more importantly in a device like this, the digital filter latency at base sample rates is extremely low. the delay from an analogue input, through the A-D and D-A, to an analogue output measures below 0.5 ms, which is very good.
The Ferrofish A32 offers a huge amount of connectivity for the money, in a much smaller unit than might be expected. The user interface is clear and easy to navigate, especially if regular configurations and monitor mixes are saved as presets for instant recall. … it promises a lot more connectivity and future processing power, and boosts some very useful redundancy options.
Hugh Robjohns, Sound On Sound
Convincing to the last detail.
Quality of Sound.
High Quality AD & DA
The A32 uses the most recent low-latency AD & DA generation from Cirrus Logic. The high performance converters capture and restore audio signals with all details, a highly neutral frequency response and low distortion. All analog inputs and output are using D-Sub connectors, and can be set independently to levels between -8dBu and +20dBu.
High Resolution Sound
The A32 converts 32 analog I/O with sample rates of up to 192 kHz from/to MADI and ADAT (= 16 / 8 Channels at 192 kHz – SMUX/4).
The pristine sound quality is perfectly suited for high-quality recording and playback of critical material with high dynamics, like classical music or jazz.
High Precision Clock
The A32 is driven by a high-accurate, internal low jitter clock. The sophisticated design combines an advanced jitter reduction circuit with a stable, temperature compensated oscillator. All digital data from the MADI, ADAT and BNC ports are automatically processed, resulting in the an ultra-low output jitter on all digital channels of 50 to 100 ps.
2 x 4 Lightpipes.
Thanks to an impressive array of 8 ‘Lightpipe’ connections, the Ferrofish A32 integrates a wide variety of studio devices or a loaded stage. The A32 can convert and split up to 32 incoming signals to and from ADAT (16 with 96 kHz / 8 with 192 kHz). This way the converter can add a complete room with audio equipment to a MADI and Analog setup.
Thanks to the optical connection, ADAT-linked equipment avoids ground-loops and will not transfer harmful electrical spikes from one device to the next.
The optical ADAT ‘Lightpipe’ interface is still the most affordable way to transfer a variety of audio channels. Originally designed for the Alesis Digital Audio Tape machine – hence the name – in 1991 ADAT is reliable, standardized and still everywhere. Nearly all of todays computer audio interfaces, hardware synthesizers, samplers and even mixing consoles include at least an ADAT port.
Like AES/EBU and SPDIF, the ADAT Lightpipe system is self-clocking — it carries an embedded clock from the source device.
Thanks to the optical connection, ADAT-linked equipment avoids ground-loops and will not transfer harmful electrical spikes from one device to the next.
The ADAT format built-into the The A32 provides the common bit-splitting technique to utilize higher sample rates, than the originally defined 48 kHz. The so-called S/MUX (= ‘sample multiplexing’) decreaes the number to of available channels per cable to reach up to 192 kHz.
Single Port up to
MADI is the industry standard for multi-channel audio at modern concert tours around the globe, classical music recordings, theatres and music studios. Setups with several hundred channels in a complex setup, including recording interfaces, mixing consoles and converters to all existing audio formats, are easy to realize. Thanks to the internal routing matrix with it´s submix capability, MADI signals can be freely merged from channels of all other formats (Analog, ADAT) – and even from the MADI inputs.
Ferrofish consequently supports MADI and offers industry-leading products, like the high-density A32 series, with seamless integration to other formats. 56- and 64-channel MADI formats are supported.
MADI, Made by Ferrofish provides a set of advanced MADI features – integrated into the A32:
Multichannel Audio Digital Interface
A keystone not only in the Era of Global Live Tours.
FOH mixing, Stage Equipment, Virtual Soundchecks rely on it.
The AES10 standard - or it’s common designation MADI - is today’s unchallenged Pro Audio Industry standard for the digital point-to-point transmission of multiple audio channels.
The MADI format is no mystery. It is based on the common digital AES/EBU standard (AES3). Up to 32 AES/EBU signals (= 64 channels) are transmitted within one cable, using the multiplex method. Like all digital audio standards (SPDIF, ADAT, TDIF), MADI is uni-directional, providing a ‘point-to-point’ connection between source and destination.
Originally documented in 1991 and updated in 2003 MADI is still the most important industry standard for studio, live and broadcast applications. It is supported by all pro audio manufacturers. Countless devices are available. It will not completely replaced by network solutions, as both are complementary technologies and for a time being the necessary extension to each other. Experienced users will chose the tools and solutions, which will fit to their task.
Thanks to it´s straight concept, MADI is a convenient audio technology. It provides a simple method of transmitting a high number of audio channels sample-accurate with lowest latency over long distances. The balance between operating distances, installation costs and overall maintenance is exemplary.
MADI setups with a complex network-like routing structure, including mixing consoles and converters to all existing audio formats can be realized. Routers for several hundred or even thousands of channels are available. Computer interfaces from our partner RME provide internal channel routing capabilities and can work as router and patchbay.
MADI signals are usually transmitted by two cable types: Coaxial Copper Cables with BNC connector over max. 100 m or Optical Fiber Cables with SC connector over max. 2000 m (Multimode format). MADI Singlemode setups allow distances of up to 40 km (Ferrofish singlemode devices/SFP modules are available at request).
Transmission over direct connections of two devices via CAT5/6 cables ("Twisted Pair") is standardized, but still lacks real-life support from important manufacturers.
ADVANTAGES OF MADI
High Flexibility & Low Costs
Compared to analog multi-core cables, MADI has significant advantages: It provides the same basic functionality with improved flexibility. Much smaller and lighter cables result in cost savings, lower maintenance and easier error management.
MADI is a sample accurate, lossless digital audio format and provides 24 Bit and up to 192 kHz. An extension to 384 kHz samplerate is supported by some manufacturers and will probably get standardized.
Multi Channel Cascading
A key advantage of MADI is the possibility to easily cascade external devices. Analog converters, Mic preamps and converters to/from AES/EBU or Analog can be combined in a single MADI connection. The rack-devices on the stage itself can be connected in series with short MADI cables.
With a transmission latency of max. 60 μs at 48 kHz MADI provides unmatched realtime capabilities for all timing-critical applications (e.g. live FOH mixing).
Long Transmission Distances
Distances of 100 m (coaxial) or 400-2000 m (optical) are perfect for production facilities with several recording suites, classical orchestra recordings or broadcast audio setups of large outdoor sports and other live events. Even in small music studios, where the distances from the main DAW to the recording room or the equipment room can easily reach more than 15 m, MADI exceeds the limits of AES/EBU and ADAT cabling.
The MADI standard is supported by nearly all pro audio manufacturers, e. g.: AMS/Neve, DIGICO/Soundtracks, DirectOut, Euphonix, Merging, Lawo, Fairlight, Marian, Otari, Publison, RME, Roland, Soundscape, Sony, Stagetec, Studer, SSL, YAMAHA and others.
MADI is still the most important industry standard for studio, live and broadcast applications. It is supported by all pro audio manufacturers. Countless devices are available. It will not be completely replaced by network solutions. Both are complementary technologies and for a time being a useful extension to each other. Experienced users will chose the tools and solutions, which will fit to their task.
1 / 5
Routing Matrix & SubMixes
The internal matrix allows the free routing and splitting of all 128 Ins to all 128 Outs in blocks of 8 channels. All features are available via the TFT display and easy to control with the Ferrofish Smart Guide System.
Additonally to the routing of all inputs, the A32 provides the creation of up to 7 custom mixes of all analog and digital I/O’s which can then be sent to the stereo headphones output.
The matrix is shown as a I/O grid inside the ROUTING menu. The inputs are shown in the columns, while the rows represent the outputs. A solid square between these lines indicates a connection.
The matrix and the submixes are saved within the device presets and can be recalled at any time.
2 / 5
The A32 Dante can be remote controlled with MIDI-based commands. The remote software on a host computer can use various connections to the device:
MIDI: The device can be controlled via a MIDI cable from the host computer to the integrated MIDI I/O.
Multiple A32 Dante – at a stage or in the equipment rack – can be controlled via daisy chaining.
The MIDI connection can also be used, to control non-Ferrofish MIDI equipment in the studio rack or on stage. The MIDI routing can be adjusted via the display.
MIDI over MADI: The A32 Dante responds to MIDI remote control, embedded in the received MADI stream. To use this feature, it needs a MADI audio interface. e. g. from our partner RME, which is capable of embedding MIDI data in the MADI stream.
USB: The integrated USB port can be used to remote control the device. When connecting to the PC, the A32 Dante will appear as a USB-MIDI device.
3 / 5
Smart. Guided. Control.
Four high-resolution TFT displays provide complete control of all features:
- Detailed level information for all 2 x 32 analog signals at a glance
- Analog Gains
- Routing matrix, MIDI Routing, Submixes
- Headphone control, including source selection.
- Settings (e. g. Clock, Termination, TFT Brightness, Device Lock)
- Preset control (Save, Load)
The innovative on-board contextual help, much loved by Ferrofish users, allows it to use this high-tech device, without reaching for the manual.
4 / 5
Direct Headphone Monitoring
The headphone output on the front allows it to monitor every mono or stereo I/O directly from the unit – no additional device or DAW interface is necessary. This way it doesn´t need another monitoring device in the bag to tap directly into a pair of Analog, MADI or ADAT channels.
The headphones signal can be easily selected via a dedicated source control on the TFT display. Its possible to choose from ANALOG IN/OUT, MADI IN/OUT, ADAT IN/OUT and Submix 1-7.