German manufacturer Marian has announced the latest generation of its 16-channel Seraph PCIe professional audio cards. The Seraph 8 MkII and Seraph AD8 MkII are based on high-end converter chips from ESS, which work in tandem with a refined analogue section to claim ‘accurate, reference-class studio sound’.

With eight analogue inputs and outputs each on a PCIe card, Marian Seraph systems offer high-quality A/D and D/A conversion of many channels in the smallest possible space. Their highly accurate clock, longevity and reliability suit the cards to demanding professional applications in sound studios and installations.

Marian Seraph 8 MkII/Seraph AD8 MkII The new generation of Seraph 8 MkII and Seraph AD8 MkII has been reworked from the ground up and now relies on high-end converter chips from ESS, which support sample rates of up to 192kHz at 24-bit resolution in conjunction with improved analogue electronics.

The Seraph 8 MkII and Seraph AD8 MkII each offer eight balanced analogue input and output channels, which are presented on XLR or TRS connections. The Seraph AD8 MkII also provides eight additional digital inputs and outputs in AES/EBU format as well as Word Clock input. A switchable real-time sample rate conversion offers flexibility, and particularly easy and flexible integration into complex digital audio systems.

The Seraph AD8 MkII contains additional functionality that would otherwise have to be implemented through expensive external peripherals. The additional digital connections are integrated into the computer via a separate card slot. The two new Seraph cards also feature the proprietary TDM Syncbus connection and can therefore exchange eight bidirectional digital audio channels with other Marian cards.

The latest generation of Marian audio systems is also available as MWX versions, which allow easy integration into complex installations. Seraph 8 MkII MWX and Seraph AD8 MkII MWX feature Word Clock inputs and outputs for synchronisation with external clock signals. The MWX versions can also provide their ultra-precise internal Marian clock as a synchronisation source for larger systems. The MWX option also adds two Midi ports to the Seraph cards, making them a flexible control centre for computer-based music production systems.

The Seraph 8 MkII and Seraph AD8 MkII feature internal DSP that provides enough processing power for a flexible, latency-free mixing console system. Depending on the system, the Beast digital mixing console by Marian offers up to 64 audio channels and can manage signals from all installed Marian cards as well as DAW feeds simultaneously. All channels are equipped with fully parametric four-band equalisers, whose sound characteristics were modelled on the best analogue mixing consoles. Eight busses with a dynamic range of 52 bits are available for summing, which also allows latency-free real-time monitoring for several musicians to be realised quickly and easily.

If several Seraph 8 MkII or Seraph AD8 MkII cards are installed in a computer system, they behave as a single device within the ASIO application. Depending on the computing power, expansive production environments with up to 128 refence-class analogue ports can be configured. The Beast digital mixer also allows the integration of eight additional audio channels from other Marian cards such as Clara D. In addition to flexibility, stability is also one of the virtues of Marian: the developers place particular emphasis on absolutely reliable drivers. In the current version, they support Windows 7 to 8.1 as well as Windows 10 and Windows 11. They offer multi-client support for ASIO 2.2 as well as WDM Audio/WASAPI and ensure lowest latencies with all host programmes.

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