Antelope Audio has released the Blonder Tongue Audio Baton and Filtek Mk3 hardware-based software effects for the Discrete 4/Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces, and Edge Go bus-powered modelling microphone

Dating from 1959, the Blonder Tongue Audio Baton is an all-tube graphic equaliser so rare and special that it has an album named after it, and is now an authentic- sounding hardware-based software effect by Antelope Audio. The original Audio Baton boasts seven separate amplifiers tuned to distinct frequencies, followed by high- and low-pass filters running in parallel with their outputs routed to separate level controls. Choices for frequencies correspond to actual notes and octaves on a piano keyboard – hence the graphical representation of one above the nine white vertical stripes with an eye- catching red markers.

Blonder Tongue Audio BatonMore meaningfully, those markers move up and down the white vertical stripes when turning the associated rotary controls to assists with visualizing boosts and cuts over nine frequency bands with a 28dB control range per band. The resultant frequency response curve is graphically overlaid on top of four horizontal stripes where each frequency region is distinctly coloured. Clearly technically proficient for its time, the Audio Baton was actually an inexpensive unit that found its way into audiophile homes and recording studios alike.

Roll-off of either lows or highs due to poor microphones or narrow-range amplifiers or recorders can be corrected easily, and response peaks can be smoothed out as desired,’ it also noted.

Providing further visual feedback as a purely cosmetic enhancement in keeping with this unique equaliser’s late-fifties aesthetic, Antelope Audio added a Magic Eye peak meter to Blonder Tongue Audio Baton. Both the vintage original and contemporary recreation compare favourably to other great EQs of the time.

Harking back to its seventies-vintage origins, Antelope Audio’s emulation of the Filyek Mk3 is a versatile three-band equaliser with modelled transformer-based input and output sections that works in real-time with zero latency. The unit was originally built to standards demanded by the IRT (Institut für Rundfunktechnik) – the research centre of German broadcasters – as a broadcast module, so its initial cost meant that it remained within reach of only the most reputable radio stations.

Filtek Mk3As a versatile EQ that sounds clear and precise, and unusually modern for the time, it handles both broad sweeps and surgically precise applications with equal aplomb. Indeed, its switch and knob combinations encourage experimentation – extreme settings at broad bandwidths turn the high and low bands into respectable shelving filters, for example. Efficient design, employing the best engineering practices and high-quality parts, produced first-class corrective capabilities and also enhancement-friendly frequency ranges.

Results worth highlighting include boosting the high end without introducing harshness and a unique signal path allowing for parallel equalization by mixing the boosted/attenuated signal with unprocessed audio. This time, Antelope Audio modelled the three-band design with high- and low-pass filters – perhaps the most recognisable and arguably most flexible of the Filtek Mk3’s many incarnations. In this case, each band offers a choice of 12 frequencies with boosts and cuts of up to 16dB. The three-way bandwidth (Q) switches for each band allow for bypassing specific bands when in mid-position. Put it this way: with v MK3, users can expect something special – clean and transparent, but packing plenty of punch and character when pushed.

Owners of Antelope Audio’s Blonder Tongue Audio Baton and Filtek Mk3 should simply insert them into their effects chain. Click and turn the rotary controls to correct their specific frequencies while using the bottom-left knob to switch the equalizer itself in or out, and the bottom-right knob to adjust the output level when using the former.

Blonder Tongue Audio Baton is available for Antelope Audio’s Discrete 4 Synergy Core, Discrete 8 Synergy Core, Orion Studio Synergy Core, and Zen Tour Synergy Core audio interfaces and Edge Go bus-powered modelling microphone, priced at US$195/€195.


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