DAD AX Center Thunder|Core Audio Interface

DAD AX Center Thunder|Core Audio Interface

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AX Center is a compact Thunderbolt 3 audio interface with dual Mic & Instrument in, dual Headphones & Monitors outputs, built-in Pro | Mon monitor control with speaker EQ and two slots for DAD expansion cards.


The DAD AX Core Thunder|Core Audio Interface is your all-in-one solution for superior sound quality in a compact package. Whether you're in the studio, on-the-go, or at your desktop, AX Center delivers pristine Digital Audio Denmark AD & DA conversion and transparent mic preamps to capture your source truthfully and get it into any DAW exactly as you intended.

With AX Center, you don't need to compromise on sound quality. The legendary audio quality of  DAD's converters and preamps has been loved by many of the world's most acclaimed audio engineers and producers, and now you can access it right out of the box. AX Center comes with 2 channels of A/D conversion (with preamps) and 8 channels of D/A conversion, plus two expansion slots so you can add the I/o you neeed, making it the audio interface that dreams are made of.

BIn addition to the excellent sound quality - AX Center also includes monitor control and SPQ speaker processing from mono to immersive audio / Dolby Atmos, so you can easily connect two sets of studio monitors on balanced jack connectors, or use the two independent headphone outputs for co-producing. And with two XLR / 1/4" Jack combo inputs right on the front plate, connecting your microphones and instruments is a breeze.

AX Center is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, compact, and versatile audio interface. With its superior sound quality and easy-to-use features, it's the perfect solution for producers, musicians, podcasters, and anyone else who demands the best. Get yours today and experience the DAD difference!


DAD AX Core Highlights:

  • Unmatched Sound Quality in Any Thunderbolt Audio Interface
  • Tried & Trusted PRO|MON Monitor Control from Mono to Immersive
  • SPQ Speaker Processing: 128 Channels with a Total of 1024 EQ Bands and Individual Channel Delay
  • 256 Thunderbolt & 256 Dante Channels
  • Tailor to Fit Any Need with Expandable & Customisable I/O


DAD AX Core Features

  • Thunderbolt 3 interface, with 256 Bidirectional Channels at 48 & 96 kHz, 128 channels at 192 kHz and 64 channels at 384 kHz.

  • Main and expansion Thunderbolt 3 Port w. 15W Power Source Each. Both of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports can function as main and expansion port. 

  • Audio Drivers for macOS and  Windows.

  • MADI interface on BNC connectors with 64 Bidirectional Channels at 48kHz, 32 channels at 96kHz, 16 channels at 192 kHz and 8 channels at 384 kHz.

  • Dual ADAT interface on TosLink Light pipes with 16 Bidirectional Channels at 48kHz, 8 channels at 96kHz, and 4 channels at 192 kHz. Configurable also as 2 Ch. S/PDIF input.

  • DANTE AoIP interface via Ethernet with 256 Bidirectional Channels at 48 and 96kHz, 128 channels at 192 kHz.

  • Module Slot for optional dual Madi module via 2 x SFP (LC Fiber or HD/BNC Coax) connectors with 128 Bidirectional Channels at 48kHz, 64 channels at 96kHz, 32 channels at 192 kHz and 16 channels at 384 kHz. 

  • Two card slots available for DAD I/O Expansion Cards.

  • Word Clock I/O, and Video Black and Burst input on BNC connectors.

  • 128 channels speaker processing with a total of 1024 filters and delay.

  • Summing Processor 64 Output / 512 Input Busses.

  • Internal Router: 4096 x 4096.

  • 32bit Floating Point Processing.

  • DADman control software for macOS and Windows connecting via Ethernet or Thunderbolt. 

  • Pro|Mon monitor control functionality and integration for Avid Eucon Enabled Devices via DADman.

  • 19” Rack Unit 1U Height.


Thunder|Core Near-Zero Latency

The DAD Thunder|Core Technology provides a Thunderbolt 3 connection with near-zero latency for interfacing between audio applications on macOS or Windows computers and the Thunder|Core audio hardware.

The interface provides a fast Thunderbolt 3/PCIe connection and data transfer with 2 samples latency on the connection and a total of 9 samples in the digital  interface, as total also includes EQ and summing processing within the unit. 

The channel capacity is up to 256 audio channels at 48 and 96 kHz, and the latency at 96kHz is 95 microseconds. The total round-trip latency with an audio software application will depend on the buffer size set for the application. With a  buffer size of 32 samples, the latency is 670 microseconds at 96 kHz.

Onboard Monitor Control

Also right-out-of-the-box, AX Center comes with the world-renowned PRO|MON monitor controller that is being used in thousands of music studios and post-production facilities worldwide, which provides ultimate flexibility for any speaker configuration from mono to full 64-channel Dolby Atmos, with speaker processing, delay and configurable monitor groups.. 

This is simply a tried, tested and trusted monitor control solution that has been put through its paces in real-world studios for years and years. 

And of course, PRO|MON can be controlled remotely and hands-on from our MOM hardware monitor controller, as well as Eucon-enabled control surfaces such as Avid's Dock, S1, S4, S6, and even the free Avid Control app. 

You can set the listening levels, Dim and Cut for your main speakers, as well as two alternate pairs of studio monitors. Further, you can control level and cut on up to four additional speaker sets. 

You can define the signal output configuration for each speaker and monitor set to any format you'd like: Mono, Stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 9.1.6, and multi channel up to 64 channels, using any of the audio outputs on your DAD interfaces in any combination. 

The sources for monitoring can be selected from any of the configured signal sources. Then you can route to a monitor output as switched, or more sources can be summed to a control room speaker or monitor output providing Stem summing functionality. 

Talk back functionality is available for any of the control room speakers and monitor outputs, and the talk back can activate Cut or Dim on any output as well.

You can also apply a folddown function on each of the control room speaker and monitor outputs. The Folddown can handle any of these formats: Mono, Stereo, Left-Center-Right, Left-Center-Right-Sub, 5.1, 7.1 and 9.1.6 surround formats. On the sources, as well as the speaker and monitor outputs.


SPQ EQ Filter Processing

The SPQ feature can be configured to various different filter characteristics and channel layouts via the DADman control software and is all integrated and easily managed by the PRO|MON monitor control section in DADman. 

SPQ supports all the system sample rates and will reconfigure automatically and fast when sample rates are changed, with equal filters and delay independent of the sample rate. Delay can be set individually per channel as well as generally for a whole set of speakers to also accommodate lip-sync applications.

The SPQ setting is stored in the Pro|Mon monitor profile in DADman, and speaker settings can be recalled separately from stored monitor profiles for fast change of parameters. Measurement of the speaker curves and frequency responses have to be done using a separate measurement program, as this is not a part of the SPQ functionality.

Also, importantly, you can easily save and recall all configurations in the DADman monitor profile.

Speaker / Cue channel filters:

  • Parametric EQ
  • Low Shelving
  • High Shelving
  • Low Pass Butterworth
  • Low Pass Linkwitz-Riley
  • High Pass Butterworth
  • High Pass Linkwitz-Riley


Bass Management Filters"

  • Low Pass Butterworth
  • Low Pass Linkwitz-Riley
  • High Pass Butterworth
  • High Pass Linkwitz-Riley

A Wealth of Channels. A World of Flexibility.

Included on the rear panel are a host of connectivity, covering Thunderbolt, Dante AoIP, MADI, ADAT, S/PDIF and Word Clock. In total - and fully expanded - you can max out AX Center with a staggering 984 input and output channels.

With AX Center, we're proud to introduce, as a world-first, a compact audio interface with a staggering 256 Dante IP Audio channels on board by default. The expansion capability is unlimited, as you can add any Dante device of your liking to your setup, whether that should be additional A/D-D/A converters, microphone preamps, headphone amps, mixing consoles, speakers or whatever you'd imagine. 

And if 256 channels should not be enough, you can simply add up to two of our Dante expansion cards, which also supports samplerate conversion, that would add 2 x 128 extra Dante channels to your AX Center for a total of 512 channels! 

Also on the Thunderbolt side of things, you get a massive 256 Thunderbolt 3 channels for virtually unlimited interfacing capabilities. And not only does it support an impressive amount of channels, it also boasts near-zero latency and 32-bit floating point processing. 

The Core Audio driver supports both Apple Silicon and Intel hardware platforms so you get a future-proof solution. And if you prefer to work on Windows, AX Center also comes with an ASIO driver. 

Since the Core Audio driver for macOS can be shared across several different software applications, your AX Center could be shared between e.g. Logic Pro, Ableton, Cubase and/or Nuendo simultaneously. And with 256 Thunderbolt channels under the hood, there would be plenty of channels available for each application.  

Expandability Galore: DAD I/O Card Options

Right out of the box, AX Center comes with a Thunderbolt 3 interface, 2 x 8 analogue interface, 256 ch. Dante I/O, 64 ch. MADI I/O and 2 x ADAT/SPDIF. However the following I/O expansion cards to choose from when you consider what to add to the two expansion slots of your AX Center: 

  • 8 Channel Balanced Line A/D
  • 8 Channel Balanced Line & Mic Preamp A/D 
  • 8 Channel Balanced Line D/A 
  • 8 Channel AES 
  • Dual MADI (128 Channels)
  • Dante w built-in SRC (128 Channels) 
  • Dual SDI embedder/de-embedder 

Further, you can also add 2 x 64 channels of MADI to the base unit as SFP modules. This does not occupy any of the two available expansion card  slots. 

The expansion cards for the AX Center, AX32, AX64 and NTP Penta 720 and 721s are fully inter-changeable between the products.

However, future cards developed for the AX Center and AX64 will not be backwards compatible. 


DADman Control

The Thunder|Core Audio interface is controlled via the DADman software. DADman can connect to the Thunder|Core interface either via Ethernet or via a communication channel in the Thunderbolt connection. 

More units can be daisy chained via the Thunderbolt ports, and each  unit will appear in DADman control software. 

Using control over Ethernet the two RJ45 connectors acts as a switch for connection to  more units. The Dante /AES67 audio is also passed on the two  RJ45 connectors.

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