Welcome to the new home of the Ark console.

The original Ark console was designed and built by Malcolm Toft.
Last year, Malcolm decided to retire from pro audio manufacturing, and is no longer designing or building professional audio products.
As a result, the original Ark is no longer available.

While the original Ark was a good concept, there was definitely a lot of room for improvement.
A whole group of people has been working on a new version of the Ark for over 12 months, with the ultimate goal to deliver a fully modular and configurable analogue console suited for todays workflows and setups, with quality and features unheard of in this price range.
We are now more than happy to announce the all new
Ark8

The
Ark8 is an extremely high-quality analogue console which offers a large amount of new and exciting features and functions.
We listed some of theses features below.


Ark8
High Voltage - Discrete - Class-A - Modular - Configurable - Analogue - Console

Priced as a small-to-medium format analogue recording and mixing console, the Ark8 has the features and attitude of a large-format console.

The concept and design of the Ark8 has taken almost 12 months, and is the sum of the input from professionals from all over the world and from all parts of the audio industry.
The
Ark 8 has been designed - from the ground up - by this international team of audio professionals.

Every function, every feature, every switch and every knob has been questioned and discussed, with full respect for decades of recording technology, but also constantly keeping in mind that the best way to use an analogue console today may not necessarily be the way it was used in the past.

* To allow for different workflows and setups, the Ark8 is fully modular, fully configurable and fully expandable.
* For signal amplification and control, all new, high-voltage, discrete op-amp cards have been developed that eliminate crossover distortion while offering extended headroom, dynamic range, and improved frequency response.
* To allow full flexibility, the console has been split-up in 8-channel buckets, each bucket has been split-up in channels, and each channel has been split-up in separate sections. Each of these channel sections is available in different versions.
* The
Ark8 is designed and hand-built in the EU and the UK

Short overview:
* Fully discrete, Class-A design
* High Voltage (48V)
* Fully symmetrically balanced discrete summing bus system
* Fully modular, configurable and expandable
* Independent frames of 8 channels.
* Independent frame with master section
* Independent, 19” wide frame with space for rack mount units or patch bay (producer desk)
* Multiple frames can be combined to build any size console
* 8 to 64 mono, inline or stereo channels
* 8 to 128 mono or stereo inputs to the mix busses
* Up to sixteen 500-series slots per block of 8 channels
* Middle section with 500-series slots or Ark8-specific modules (EQ’s, compressors) per block of 8 channels
* 8 subgroups
* 8 to 16 auxes
* 5.1 and 7.1 monitoring
* External inputs to Master busses, group busses and aux busses for “side-car” or direct connection
* Optional Transport Control and Fader Automation
* Designed in the EU and the UK.
* Hand-built in the EU.

The
Ark8 is currently in production, and available for ordering.

More info is added to this website a couple of times per week.
Last update of this page: 31 March 2017




Ark8

Ark8 - Concept (or how combining channel buckets builds any size console)
To offer maximum flexibility, the Ark8 has been split-up in:
  • independent modular frames consisting of Single, Inline or Stereo channels
  • input channels split-up in separate modules / sections
  • input channel section modules of which different versions are available

The
Ark8 is constructed using buckets of 8-channel frames. Each bucket is fully modular, and has either of the following:
  • 8 Single Input Channels
  • 8 Inline Input Channels
  • 8 Stereo Input Channels
  • Master section
Stacks Image 32361
The 8-channel buckets can be put right next to each other, or spread out in a wing format. You decide how you want the Ark8 to be configured when you place your order, but you can also add additional buckets at a later stage. Adding buckets to an existing (installed) Ark8 is easier than assembling an Ikea cabinet.

The
Ark8 is fully modular, but to offer extended configurability, each channel has been split up in separate modules / sections. Different versions of each of the channel section modules are available.

  • The upper section of the channels holds input and routing modules.
  • The middle section of the channels can hold 500-series modules, or can hold modules which have been specially designed for the Ark8.
  • The lower module section of the channels holds sends and faders.

Ark8 - Quality (or the sound of high-voltage, fully discrete, class-A circuitry)
When designing the Ark8, we did not want to cut any corners, and took every single detail into consideration.
The
Ark8 has been designed from the ground up, evaluating every single knob, switch, connection and function.
Even placement of the circuit boards, screws, and cable paths took hours of discussion and evaluation.
Not only to make sure she looks as good on the inside as on the outside, but mostly to make sure that the absolute best signal quality and the absolute best user experience are achieved.

We don’t want to publish technical specifications before we do final measurements, but the Ark8's performance is expected to be “off the charts” in terms of headroom, distortion and dynamic range.
 
This is being achieved by using high-voltage, fully discrete, class-A circuitry throughout the console, in combination with fully balanced master mix busses. In order to keep the audio as clean as possible, active circuitry is kept to a minimum, passive circuits are used where possible and there are no electrolytic capacitors anywhere in the signal path.

For signal amplification and control, we designed high-voltage, discrete op-amp cards that eliminate crossover distortion while offering extended headroom, dynamic range and improved frequency response. These discrete op-amp cards are used throughout the console.
 
Fully balanced mix busses are more work and more expensive to implement, so most manufacturers (even the “famous” ones) use semi-balanced busses, at the expense of dynamic range. But because our aim is to offer you simply the best analogue console ever built, we have chosen not to take the easy way and in the Ark8 all Group and Mix busses are fully balanced.
 
Even so, and despite using only top quality components, painstaking design of both the electronics and the mechanical construction means we can offer the Ark8 at extremely attractive prices.

In doubt? Check our
Configuration and Pricing page.


Ark8 - Frame sizes (or why this is called a small-to-medium-to-large-format console)
The Ark8 is available in 3 frame sizes, which are the same width but differ in length (depth).
Each of the frames has the Upper Channel section and the Lower Channel section.
The difference between the frames is in the Middle Channel section.

You combine multiple 8-channel buckets (of L, M or S frames) to construct one large console.
Technically, the different frame sizes can be combined to construct one large console, but aesthetically this may not be the best option.

The L-frame has 3 sections:
- Upper Channel with inputs and routing
- Lower Channel with aux sends and faders
- Middle Channel with room for 16 slots for 500-series,
or eight Ark 8 specific modules


Stacks Image 33096

The S-frame has 2 sections:
- Upper Channel (same as L and M-frame)
- Lower Channel (same as L and M-frame)
- The S-frame has no Middle Channel Section



Stacks Image 32331

The M-frame has 3 sections:
- Upper Channel (same as the L-frame)
- Lower Channel (same as the L-frame)
- Middle Channel with room for 8 slots for 500-series



Stacks Image 32329
Why different frame sizes ?

* The
L-frame offers all options. You can get a Mic input with full routing, an aux and fader module and still have room to install slots for 500-series modules. EQ and compressor come to mind.
Or you could get the
Ark8 with line inputs and use your own (500-series) Mic pre and EQ.
We’re also planning middle channel strips for the L-frame, which come instead of the 500 slots. Each of these channel strips will have the length of two 500 modules. This means enough space for a very nice middle channel strip (think multiple EQ’s, or EQ / compressor, or …)

* The
M-frame only has room for one row of 500-series modules. This is intended for the studio who already has a nice collection of 500 modules. These modules can be inserted in the Ark8, and can be connected to any channel. Since the Ark8 has Mic pre on board, the M-frame is ideal to create a standard console with a great mic pre but with different EQ’s per channel. You decide on the colour you want. The Ark8 brings it all together.

* The
S-frame does not have any 500-series modules, and is mostly useful for studio’s who already own a lot of outboard gear.
You could consider this a large summing mixer, and the centre of your studio where you connect all outboard. With the optional transport control and optional fader automation you really get all the options.
Ark8 - Input Channels and routing (or how the Ark8 can be fully configured to your needs)
Ark8 - L-frame input bucket

Click image to enlarge


While the Ark8 has been designed as an inline console from the start, we also offer non-inline input channels, stereo input channels and split-console functionality.

Each channel is build by combining different channel sections:
  • VU meter section
  • upper input channel section
  • middle input channel section
  • lower input channel section
  • fader section

This is not to confuse you, but to offer maximum flexibility so you can configure the Ark8 the way you want.

As mentioned before, the channel sections are different, depending on the frame size.
The L-frame offers all options, and allows 500-series modules or Ark8-specific modules to be installed.
The M-frame is limited to one row of 500-series modules.
The S-frame does not have a middle channel section, and is mostly useful for studio’s who already have a lot of outboard gear.


Routing:
- Our upper input channel section controls all inputs and outputs for each channel
- the 500-series modules in the middle channel section have independent I/O connectors and are not “tied” to the channels
- the lower input channel section offers extensive auxiliary send controls

VU meter section
IPVU - input VU meters 
Stacks Image 32657
Each bucket of 8 channels has it’s own VU meters, which can read :
* Mic / Line input * DAW input * Direct output

Selection is done globally (for all meters) from the master section.

Meter sensitivity can be globally changed from the master section.
As standard, the meters read 0VU = +4dB
But to avoid the needle parking itself in the right-hand corner when working with “hot” signal levels, the meters can be switched to 0VU = +10dB
This global selection can be found on the master section.
Upper Input Section
Four different upper input modules are available.
Two inline modules, one standard (non-inline) and one stereo module.

These modules are the basis of the
Ark8 channel.
Following your selection of upper input modules, the related lower input modules will be installed.

For practical reasons, all modules in an 8-channel bucket need to be of the same kind.
But you can of course have more than one 8-channel bucket. Each 8-channel bucket has it’s own, specific modules (standard, inline or stereo)

IP111 - inline Mic/Line/DAW 
Stacks Image 32480
The IP111 is our inline input / routing module, situated in the upper section of the Ark8, and a little over 4U high.
Like the rest of the
Ark8, it is a fully discrete, class-A design and offers exceptional sound quality.
It’s designed to effectively handle multiple sources, and to offer extended routing options for each of these sources.

The IP111 has 3 inputs, each controlled with their own independent trim pot.

Mic input
For pure sonic clarity, the
Ark8’s transformerless, universal, solid-state Mic amp can accept signals from any type of microphone whatsoever.
Even older Ribbon microphones or synths can be directly connected to the Mic input without a problem (so yes, you can also use this mic input as a line input).
With an extraordinarily low Equivalent Input Noise of -138dBu, our Mic pre will not add any noise over and above that coming from the microphone itself.
The Mic trim pot gain range has been limited from 0dB to +40dB to allow fine level control.
To allow for larger input level boost, we added a 20dB
[Range] switch, so the range can be changed to be +20dB to +60dB, keeping the same fine control of the input signal.

If you like extra warmth and character, the IP111 can be supplied with a “classic” microphone transformer, giving the
Ark8 the “best of both worlds”.

Line input
The Line input can be trimmed from -20dB to +20dB, and has centre detent.

[Mic/Line] switch selects between either Mic or Line input.

[Phase Reverse] switch is situated after the Mic/Line selection, also allowing the Line input signal to be phase reversed.
(to us this makes complete sense, but a lot of other manufacturers seem to forget this)

DAW input
The DAW input has it’s own trim pot with centre detent, and has a gain range of -20dB to +20dB.
Note that the DAW input is actually another line input, and can be used for any line level source or for analogue tape returns.

Signal Path
Standard, the Mic/Line input is routed through the Small Fader (SF) path, while the DAW input is routed through the Large Fader (LF) path.

IP Rev
The
[IP Rev] switch reverses the signal path of Mic/Line and DAW.
When
[IP Rev] is active, the Mic/Line input is routed through the Large Fader (LF) path, and the DAW input is routed through the Small Fader (SF) path.

Routing
Both the SF (small fader) and LF (large fader) path have their own independent routing. This routing comes from the respective fader and pan on the lower input section. Each of the paths can be independently send to pairs of subgroups and to 2 stereo master outputs.

Dual Inserts
Each path has it’s own insert send and return, standard just behind the input trim.
The
[Insert Post] switch moves the insert points just before the fader, post anything which may be in the middle input section (see middle input section).
The
[Insert On] switch activates the insert return.
Note that both Insert Sends are always active and can be used as additional pre-fader / pre- or post-eq outs or sends.

Direct Out
The IP111 has one Direct Out available. The Direct Out signal comes from the small fader, but can be changed to come from the large fader, using the
[Direct Out LF] switch.


To wrap up: With the IP111 input and routing module, you can route each of the 3 inputs to the LF or SF path. The outputs of the faders can each be routed to 14 outputs. (subgroup 1 to 8, stereo master 1 and 2, insert send and direct out).

Scroll back up to check out the other input modules


IP101 - standard Mic/Line/DAW 
Stacks Image 32486
The IP101 is the non-inline version of the IP111 input / routing module.
The functionality is exactly the same as the IP111, apart from the fact that there is no small fader routing.

The IP101 has 3 inputs, each controlled with their own independent trim pot.

Mic input
For pure sonic clarity, the
Ark8’s transformerless, universal, solid-state, Mic amp can accept signals from any type of microphone whatsoever.
Even older Ribbon microphones or synths can be directly connected to the Mic input without a problem (so yes, you can also use this mic input as a line input).
With an extraordinarily low Equivalent Input Noise of -138dBu, our Mic pre will not add any noise over and above that coming from the microphone itself.
The Mic trim pot gain range has been limited from 0dB to +40dB to allow much finer level control.
To allow for larger input level boost, we added a 20dB [Range] switch, so the range can be switched to be +20dB to +60dB, but keeping the same fine control of the input signal.
If you like extra warmth and character, the IP101 can be supplied with a “classic” microphone transformer, giving the
Ark8 the “best of both worlds”.

Line input
The Line input can be trimmed from -20dB to +20dB, and has centre detent.

[Mic/Line] switch selects between either Mic or Line input.

[Phase Reverse] switch is situated after the Mic/Line selection, also allowing the Line input signal to be phase reversed.
(to us this makes complete sense, but a lot of other manufacturers seem to forget this)

DAW input
The DAW input has it’s own trim pot with centre detent and a gain range of -20dB to +20dB.
Note that the DAW input is actually another line input, and can be used for any line level source or for analogue tape returns.

Signal Path
Standard, the DAW input is routed through the Fader path.

IP Rev
On the IP111, the
[IP Rev] switch reverses the signal path of Mic/Line and DAW. But since the IP101 does not have a Small Fader path, this switch functions as input selection. As standard the DAW input is routed through the fader path. When [IP Rev] is active, the Mic/Line input is routed through the fader path.

Routing
The output of the fader on the lower input section can be routed to pairs of subgroups and to 2 stereo master outputs.

Inserts
Insert send and return is standard just behind the input trim.
The
[Insert Post] switch moves the insert points just before the fader, post anything which may be in the middle input section (see middle input section).
The
[Insert On] switch activates the insert return.
Note that Insert Send is always active and can be used as additional pre-fader / pre- or post-eq out or send.

Direct Out
The IP101 has one Direct Out available. The Direct Out signal comes from the fader.


To wrap up: With the IP101 input and routing module, you can route each of the 3 inputs to the fader. The output of the fader can be routed to 14 outputs. (subgroup 1 to 8, stereo master 1 and 2, insert send and direct out).

Scroll back up to check out the other input modules

IP115 - inline Line/Group/DAW 
Stacks Image 32661
The IP115 is an inline input / routing module, very similar to the IP111.
But the Mic input of the IP111 has been replaced by a Line/Group input.

The IP115 is a dual Line and DAW input module.
Additionally, the IP115 can turn any channel into a group master channel.
This allows you to use the full channel functionality - including inserts, routing and auxes - on the group signal.


Line 1 / Group input
This pot controls the gain of Line 1 or Group input. Gain is from complete “off” to 0dB.

[Group] switch selects between Line 1 and Group input.

Line 2 input
This is a standard Line input which can be trimmed -20dB to +20dB, and has centre detent.

[Line 2] switch selects between Line 1/Group or Line 2 input.

[Phase Reverse] switch is situated after the Line 1/Group/Line 2 selections, allowing any of these signals to be phase reversed.


DAW input
The DAW input has it’s own trim pot with centre detent, and gain range of -20dB to +20dB.
Note that the DAW input is actually another line input, and can be used for any line level source or for analogue tape returns.

Signal Path
Standard, the Line/Group input is routed through the Small Fader (SF) path, while the DAW input is routed through the Large Fader (LF) path.

IP Rev
The
[IP Rev] switch reverses the signal path of Line/Group and DAW. When [IP Rev] is active, the Line/Group input is routed through the Large Fader (LF) path, and the DAW input is routed through the Small Fader (SF) path.

Routing
Both the SF (small fader) and LF (large fader) path have their own independent routing. This routing comes from the respective fader and pan on the lower input section. Each of the paths can be independently routed to pairs of subgroups and to 2 stereo master outputs.

Inserts
Each path has it’s own insert send and return, which are standard just behind the input trim.
The
[Insert Post] switch moves the insert points just before the fader, post anything which may be in the middle input section (see middle input section).
The
[Insert On] switch activates the insert return.
Note that both Insert Sends are always active and can be used as additional pre-fader / pre- or post-eq outs or sends.

Direct Out
The IP115 has one Direct Out. The Direct Out signal comes from the small fader, but can be changed to come from the large fader, using the
[Direct Out LF] switch.


To wrap up: With the IP115 input and routing module, you can route each of the 4 inputs to the LF or SF path. The outputs of the faders can each be routed to 14 outputs. (subgroup 1 to 8, stereo master 1 and 2, insert send and direct out). The IP115 can be used as a dual line input, or can be used as group master for any of the subgroup busses.

Use as group master: Configuration of this module as group master is done when we assemble the console. While you can have as much of these input modules as you want, only 8 of them can be configured as group master. When this module functions as group master, you can effectively use the complete channel and all it’s functions to control the master group signal.

Scroll back up to check out the other input modules
IP125 - dual stereo 
Stacks Image 32642
The IP125 is our dual stereo line input module.

Like the rest of the
Ark8, it is a fully discrete, class-A design and offers exceptional sound quality.
The IP125 has 2 stereo inputs for increased input count.

Stereo A offers full routing and control, Stereo B is directly routed to the master mix busses.


Stereo A has independent gain control of the Left and Right input.
The
[Mono L] switch cuts the right input signal, and feeds the left signal to both left and right module paths
The
[Mono R] switch cuts the left input signal, and feeds the right signal to both left and right module paths
If both
[Mono L] and [Mono R] are selected at the same time, the sum of left and right inputs is fed to both paths of the module.

The
[L Phase] switch inverses the Left signal phase

The output of the stereo fader on the lower stereo input section can be routed to pairs of subgroups and to 2 stereo master outputs.

Insert send and return are standard immediately after the input trim.
The
[Insert Post] switch moves the insert points just before the fader, post anything which may be in the middle input section (see middle input section).
The
[Insert On] switch activates the insert return.
Note that the Insert Send is always active and can be used as additional pre-fader out or send.



———————————————————————————



The
IP125 features a second stereo line input which is directly routed to Master 1 and / or Master 2 mix bus.

While the Stereo B input can be used for any line source, effect returns seem the obvious first choice.


Scroll back up to check out the other input modules


Middle Input Section
A number of different Middle Channel Sections are available, depending on the frame:

  • The S-frame does not have a Middle Channel Section
  • The M-frame can have one row of 8 slots for 500-series
  • The L-frame can have two rows of 8 slots for 500-series or modules which are specially designed for the Ark8.

The Middle modules for the L-frame will be released early 2017, and include a number different EQ’s, and combinations of EQ and compressor.
These modules will replace the two 500-series slots per channel, and turn the
Ark8 in a typical analogue console with complete channel strips.
Configuration is done on a per-8-channel basis.
So a configuration with 16 channels of complete channel strips and 8 channels with 500-slots is perfectly possible (or any other combination you can think of).

IP500 - middle input section 
The Middle Input section of the L-frame can have two rows of 8 slots for 500-series modules (for a total of 16 slots per block of 8 channels).
The Middle Input section of the M-frame can have one row of 8 slots for 500-series modules (for a total of 8 slots per block of 8 channels).

Note that none of the 500 slots are “tied” to the channels.
Actually the 500 slots are totally independent from the rest of the console.
They have their own I/O connectors on the back panel, and even have their own power supply.

Consider it one or two 8-slot racks which are installed in the
Ark8.

This allows full flexibility, since you can use any 500 module (or chain of 500 modules) on any channel.

L-frame - middle input section  
We’re working on Ark8 specific modules for the Middle Input section.
These modules will be released early 2017, and include a number different EQ’s, and combinations of EQ and compressor.
These modules are to be installed in place of the two 500-series slots per channel, and turn the
Ark8 in a classic analogue console with complete channel strips.
Configuration is done on a per-8-channel basis.

Lower Input Section
Three different lower input sections are available.
One inline version, one standard (non-inline version) and one stereo version.

Together with the upper input modules, the lower input modules form the
Ark8 input channel.
As a result, the installed lower input follows the version of the installed upper input.
* Standard upper input module (IP101) needs to be combined with the standard lower input module (IP301)
* Inline upper input module (IP111 or IP115) needs to be combined with the inline lower input module (IP311).
* Stereo upper input module (IP125) needs to be combined with the stereo lower input module (IP321)

Note that for practical reasons, configuration needs to be per block of 8 channels.
IP311 - inline lower input module 
Stacks Image 32613
The IP311 is our inline lower input module.

It’s designed to offer extended auxiliary send options for the Large Fader and Small Fader.
The IP311 can send the LF and SF signals to a total of 16 auxes.

On the master section of the
Ark 8, you’ll find a total of 16 aux master outputs.
Two sets of eight, named Aux master “A” 1 to 8, and Aux master “B” 1 to 8.

At any time, 8 of these 16 auxes can be accessed from any channel.

There are 8 Aux Sends on the IP311 lower input.
Aux sends 1 to 4 are mono. Aux sends 5 to 8 are stereo pairs.

Each of the mono aux sends can be independently switched On/Off.
The stereo aux sends are switched per pair.

Each pair of auxes can be:
    • Switched Pre or Post fader.
    • Moved to the Small Fader or Large Fader path.
    • Send to Aux master “A” or Aux master “B” output.


Please read the above again.
There is absolutely no other analogue console which offers all this.

It means you can have up to 16 auxes, of which 8 can be accessed at the same time on a per-channel basis.
It means all these auxes can be switched pre or post fader, and can be used on either the small or large fader signal path. And it means each of these auxes can be independently turned on/off.



The rest of the IP311 lower input channel is pretty much standard.
There is the small (60mm) fader with pan, solo and mute.
And there is the large fader pan, solo and solo safe switch.
(the large fader and large fader mute switch are below the IP311, and are not pictured here)

All the solo switches can act as PFL, AFL and even as destructive SIP.
Solo functionality is globally controlled from the master section.

The
[Safe] switches for small fader and large fader act as “Solo Safe”, effectively making sure that the selected channels will not be muted when other channels are solo-ed.

All switches are illuminated, but the LED intensity can be globally controlled.


Scroll back up to check out the other input modules

IP301 - standard lower input module 
Stacks Image 32619
The IP301 is the non-inline lower input module.

It’s designed to offer extended auxiliary send options for the Large Fader path. The IP301 can send the LF signal to a total of 16 auxes.

On the master section of the
Ark8, you can find a total of 16 aux master outputs.
Two sets of eight, named Aux master “A” 1 to 8, and Aux master “B” 1 to 8.

At any time, 8 of these 16 auxes can be accessed from any channel.

There are 8 Aux Sends on the IP301 lower input.
Aux sends 1 to 4 are mono. Aux sends 5 to 8 are stereo pairs.

Each of the mono aux sends can be independently switched On/Off.
The stereo aux sends are switched per pair.

Each pair of auxes can be:
    • Switched Pre or Post fader.
    • Send to Aux master “A” or Aux master “B” output.



It means you can have up to 16 auxes, of which 8 can be accessed at the same time on a per-channel basis.
It means all these auxes can be switched pre or post fader. And it means each of these auxes can be independently turned on/off.


The rest of the IP301 lower input channel is pretty standard.
There is the large fader pan, solo and solo safe switch.
(the large fader and large fader mute switch are below the IP301)

Solo functionality is globally controlled from the master section.
All the solo switches can act as PFL, AFL and even as destructive SIP.

The large fader
[Safe] switch acts as “Solo Safe”, effectively making sure that the selected channels will not be muted when other channels are solo-ed.

All switches are illuminated, but the LED intensity can be globally controlled.



Scroll back up to check out the other input modules
IP321 - stereo lower input 
Stacks Image 32648
The IP321 is the stereo lower input module.

It’s designed to offer extended auxiliary send options for the stereo channels. The IP321 can send the stereo signal to a total of 16 auxes.

On the master section of the
Ark8, you can find a total of 16 aux master outputs.
Two sets of eight, named Aux master “A” 1 to 8, and Aux master “B” 1 to 8.

At any time, 8 of these 16 auxes can be accessed from any channel.

There are 8 Aux Sends on the IP321 lower input.
Aux sends 1 to 4 are mono. Aux sends 5 to 8 are stereo pairs.

Each of the mono aux sends can be independently switched On/Off.
The stereo aux sends are switched per pair.

Each pair of auxes can be:
    • Switched Pre or Post fader.
    • Send to Aux master “A” or Aux master “B” output.


It means you can have up to 16 auxes, of which 8 can be accessed at the same time on a per-channel basis.
It means all these auxes can be switched pre or post fader. And it means each of these auxes can be independently turned on/off.


The rest of the IP321 lower input channel is pretty standard.
There are the pan, solo and solo safe switch.
(the stereo fader and stereo mute switch are below the IP321, and are not pictured here)
Left and Right signal can be Muted and Panned independently.

Solo functionality is globally controlled from the master section.
All the solo switches can act as PFL, AFL and even as destructive SIP.

The
[Safe] switch acts as “Solo Safe”, effectively making sure that the selected channels will not be muted when other channels are solo-ed.

All switches are illuminated, but the LED intensity can be globally controlled.



Scroll back up to check out the other input modules



Fader section
IP401 - Large Fader section 
Stacks Image 32296
As standard, the Ark8 comes with high-quality 100mm ALPS faders.
Optionally, Penny & Gilles faders can be installed.

Like all other switches on the
Ark8, the large [Mute] switch is illuminated, with light intensity controlled from the master section.





Ark8 - Master Section (or how the Ark8 becomes the centre of your universe)
Stacks Image 32991
Like the input channels, the Ark8 master section is 8 channels wide.

It contains the following (depending on the frame size):

  • Master VU meter section
  • upper master section with master controls for Aux 1-8, Aux 9-16 and Group 1-8
  • middle master section: 16 slots for 500-series modules, or blank panels with room for an iPad (or similar)
  • lower master section offering full control of speakers, talkback, etc
  • optional transport control
  • producer desk with space for keyboard and/or trackpad

Master VU meter section
IPVU - Master VU meters 
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The master section has 6 VU meters, which read Left and Right of each of the master outputs, and Left and Right of the Solo bus.

The meter sensitivity can be globally adjusted from the master section.
As standard, the meters read 0VU = +4dB
But to avoid the needle parking itself in the right-hand corner when working with “hot” signal levels, the meters can be switched to 0VU = +10dB
Upper Master Section
The Upper Master Section contains :
* Group master 1-8
* Aux master A 1-8
* Aux master B 1-8

The rest of the upper master section is blank, but who knows, we may find some good use for this space.
IP60x - Upper Master 
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There are 3 upper master modules, which are actually all the same.
IP601 is the master for groups 1-8
IP602 is the master for auxes A 1-8
IP603 is the master for auxes B 1-8

Each of them has 8 master output controls, and AFL selection for each of the group/aux master outputs.

Routing
Each of the master bus outputs is routed to it’s respective output on the rear panel.


IP601 Group Master
Note that the IP601 is removed, when the IP115 upper input is installed and configured as Group Master.


Logo
You can have your logo printed on the blank space next to the upper master modules, if you like.

We use a very special and rather unique technology for the front-panels of the console.
The full-colour print is actually IN the anodised aluminium.
Meaning that it will not wear off, you can’t scratch it off, it will not fade and it will stay like this for the next decades. So you will actually still be able to read all the markings in 20 or 30 years from now.
As an extra bonus, we can produce these faceplates in rather small quantities, meaning any colour scheme is possible. So if you don’t like our suggested front-panels and rather prefer some funky purple background with green markings, we can do that.
But it also means that it is rather easy for us to do a blank panel with your logo, or with any picture you would like to have printed on the upper master blank space.

Middle Master Section
A number of different Middle Master Sections are available, depending on the frame:

  • The S-frame does not have a Middle Master Section
  • The M-frame has room for one row of 8 slots for 500-series
  • The L-frame has room for two rows of 8 slots for 500-series, or room for 8 Ark8-specific modules.

If nothing is installed in the middle section of the L-frame, you get blank space which can nicely hold an iPad or similar, or some effect pedals if you like.


The Middle Master section of the L-frame has room for two rows of 8 slots for 500-series modules (for a total of 16 slots for the master section).
The Middle Master section of the M-frame has room for one row of 8 slots for 500-series modules (for a total of 8 slots for the master section).

Note that none of the 500 slots are “tied” to anything in the master section.
Actually the 500 slots are totally independent from the rest of the console.
They have their own I/O connectors on the back panel, and even have their own power supply.

Consider it one or two 8-slot racks which are installed in the
Ark8.
This allows full flexibility, since you can use any 500 module (or chain of 500 modules) anywhere.

Lower Master Section
IP701 - Master module 

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The main master module of the Ark8 is nothing but amazing. We worked really hard on this, to make sure there is an incredible amount of functionality at your fingertips.

It features:
* Global functions including global lights dim
* Communications with Talkback and Listen Mic input, and automated functionality
* Two independent Cue mixes
* Two Master output faders with switchable inserts
* Four stereo external inputs
* One 7.1 (or 5.1) external input
* Four stereo Control Room Monitor outputs
* One 7.1 (or 5.1) Control Room Monitor out
* Independent Trim control for each of the speaker sets
* Talkback to Comms or Cues, with selectable Talkback Latch
* One large Master Volume Control in wood
* External inputs to L/R masters, master busses and master auxes

Global 

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The Global section of the main master module of the Ark8 has the following controls:

* Global Meter Select switches
all input channel meters to read either the Mic/Line input, the DAW input or the Direct Out.
* 0VU +6 switches
all VU meters to 0VU = +10dB (instead of +4dB) to avoid the meter parking itself in the right corner. (This includes the master meters)
* Global Solo Select determines the functionality of
all Solo switches on the console. This can be either PFL, AFL or (destructive) SIP
* Global Lights Dim controls the light intensity of
all switch LED’s. Turn it up if you work in a bright room, turn it down if you work in a darkened room.
Comms 

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The Comms section of the main master module of the Ark8 has the following controls:

* Listen Mic Trim and Talkback Mic Trim set the external Listen Mic level and the internal Talkback Mic level.
*
[Talk To] sets the destination for the talkback Mic
*
[Listen] activates the external listen mic, and routes this to the selected CRM

*
[Auto Comm] The Auto Comm switch and function are used in conjunction with the transport control. When the Auto Comm function is engaged:
- Listen Mic becomes active when transport is stopped (if Listen Mic switch is in)
- Talkback becomes active when transport is stopped (if Talkback Latch is in) (see Talkback section).


Cues 

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There are 2 Cue systems available.
Cues can be used for anything, going from headphone mixes to speakers in the main studio, the bar or at the swimming pool. Or just a separate feed for whatever you need.

Both Cue mixes are identical, but independent, and offer the following:
*
Cue Trim controls the level of the respective Cue output.
*
[Aux 1-8] and [Master 1-2] select the signal which is send to the Cue mix. You can use all of them at the same time if you want.
*
[CRM] can also be added to the Cue mix. This sends whatever is in the CRM speakers to the Cue mix (excluding Solo). We think this is mainly useful to send one of the External inputs to the Cue mix.
(you can send a full mix with “extra me” by using Master 1 or 2 and one or more of the auxes)



Talkback 

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There are 3 talkback buttons on the Ark8.
These allow direct communication to :
- Aux 1 to 8, depending on the selection made in the Comms section.
- Cue 1
- Cue 2

Standard, the Talkback buttons are momentary, so they are only active as long as you press and hold them.
Each of the Talkback buttons can be changed to be latching, by means of the
[Latch] switch.
(We suggest to be careful with the Talkback Latch function. Bands have split and divorces have happened because of talkback which was left on by accident.)

The Talkback Latch function is effected by the Auto Comm function (see Comms)

[Auto Comm] The Auto Comm switch and function are used in conjunction with our transport control. When the Auto Comm function is engaged:
- Listen Mic becomes active when transport is stopped (if Listen Mic switch is in)
- Talkback becomes active when transport is stopped (if Talkback Latch is in).

Master Faders 

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There are two high-quality stereo master faders on the Ark 8.

Master 1 controls the level of the Stereo Master 1 output on the rear panel.
Master 2 controls the level of the Stereo Master 2 output on the rear panel.

Each of the master outputs has post-fader insert send and return, which can be activated by means of the
[Insert On] switch.
When this switch is not active, the insert is bypassed.
Insert Send is always active and can be used as additional master output.



Master Inputs
Signals from the external Master Inputs are added to the respective master bus outputs before the Insert Send.
This allows the master outputs of another console or side-car to be directly connected to the Master bus of the
Ark8.



Control Room 

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Click the 7.1 tab for more about 7.1 functions
There is a wide selection of inputs, outputs and controls on the Control Room section of the main master module of the Ark8.


Control Room Source Select
Master 1 or 2, External 1 to 4, or External 7.1 input can be selected here. Only one of these inputs can be active at any time. The selected source is send to the CRM speakers.
There is an additional Ext 4 input on the front panel which is in parallel with the Ext 4 input on the rear panel. (this may come in handy to temporarily connect a smartphone)

Control Room Speaker Select
There are 5 sets of Control Room Monitor speakers. All of them are controlled through the main, big CRM knob.

- CRM 1 to 4 are stereo speaker sets. Each stereo speaker set has it’s own independent trim pot.
- CRM 7.1 can be used to connect any surround speaker configuration up to 7.1 The 7.1 speaker set has it’s own trim control.

CRM 1, 2 or 3 : only one set of these speakers can be active at any time.

CRM 4 can be added to any other speaker selection, or can be used by itself by switching CRM 1-3 off.
This means you can have one of speaker sets CRM 1-3 active
and CRM 4

CRM 7.1 can be used in addition to the CRM stereo speakers which are selected.
See the 7.1 tab for more info on 7.1 sources and routing

The large
CRM Vol knob controls the main level of CRM 1 to 4, and CRM 7.1. The actual volume depends on the respective trim pots.

[Mute] with independent mute of Left and Right signal is available for the stereo CRM signal.

[Dim] is available for the stereo CRM signal. The Dim level is controlled by the Dim trim pot.

A global
[Solo Clear] switch has been added to clear all solo switches which may have remained active on the console. The level of the Solo signal is controlled by the Solo trim.
7.1 

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The Ark8 was not designed as a surround console. But we wanted to offer basic surround monitoring and functionality. Our goal was to keep this as simple as possible, but at the same time as usable as possible. We opted for 7.1 functionality, since this can also be used for 5.1

Ext 7.1 Source Select
The Ext 7.1 input is a separate connector on the rear panel. The 7.1 input is routed to the selected CRM monitors. If a stereo monitor pair is selected (CRM 1-4), you’ll only hear front L/R of the surround signal.

CRM 7.1
CRM 7.1 is a separate monitor output, independent from (or actually parallel to) the stereo CRM monitors.
CRM 7.1 can be used in addition to any stereo CRM speaker set. CRM 7.1 gets it’s signal from the 7.1 master bus, or from the Ext 7.1 input.

7.1 routing and configuration
The 7.1 master bus gets it’s signal as follows:
Master 1 -> Front L/R (for 5.1 and 7.1 use)
Master 2 -> Rear L/R (for 5.1 and 7.1 use)
Aux 1 -> Front centre (for 5.1 and 7.1 use)
Aux 2 -> Sub (for 5.1, 7.1 or Sub only use)
Aux 5/6 -> Middle L/R (7.1 use only)

This routing is always active.
The 7.1 master output is paralleled with the respective individual outputs.

You can use some are all of the 7.1 channels.
If you don’t need all of them, then do not connect the respective speakers to the 7.1 output.

Full 7.1 configuration
Connect all speakers of the 7.1 set to the 7.1 output

7.1 configuration with front L/R coming from CRM 1-4
Since CRM 1-4 and CRM 7.1 can be active at the same time, you can use your main stereo speakers as part of the 7.1 set-up.
In this case, you would not connect front L/R of the 7.1 CRM output, but would use your main stereo speaker set for front L/R

5.1 configuration
Connect all speakers to the 7.1 output, apart from middle L/R

5.1 configuration with front L/R coming from CRM 1-4
Since CRM 1-4 and CRM 7.1 can be active at the same time, you can use your main stereo speakers as part of the 5.1 set-up.
In this case, you would not connect front L/R of the 7.1 CRM output, but would use your main stereo speaker set for front L/R

2.1 configuration
Connect only the subwoofer to the 7.1 output.
The CRM 7.1 switch becomes “subwoofer on/off” (with sub signal controlled from aux 2)

Ark8 - Bus and Master Inputs (or how you can easily connect a side-car to the Ark8)
Bus Inputs 

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The Ark8 master rear panel holds all master connections.

But apart from all the inputs and outputs you may expect from the descriptions above, we also added direct inputs to the master busses.

Inputs to the master busses? Why would you do that?
Well, in our opinion, these inputs to the master busses can be put to very good use.
Here are a couple of scenarios we have in mind.

Connect an additional console or a sidecar
If you happen to own this exclusive sidecar, or have this extra console lying around (maybe one for all your synths), you can connect this directly to the
Ark8.
- Connect the master outputs of the other console to the master bus inputs of the
Ark8
- Connect the aux outputs of the other console to the aux bus inputs of the
Ark8
- Connect subgroup outputs of the other console to the group bus inputs of the
Ark8
You get full access to auxes, subgroups and masters from both the
Ark8 and from your additional console or sidecar. It’s like both consoles become one.

Connect automated aux outputs from your DAW
Maybe you like to automate the aux sends in your DAW, but don’t really feel like using up input channels for this?
- Send the aux masters from your DAW to separate outputs on your audio interface
- Connect these outputs to the aux bus inputs of the
Ark8
You get full access to the connected (aux) effects from both the
Ark8 and from your DAW.

Connect mix outputs from your DAW
Maybe you have grouped and automated channels in your DAW, but don’t really feel like using up input channels for this?
- Send these grouped master outputs from your DAW to separate outputs on your audio interface
- Connect these outputs to the master bus inputs or group bus inputs of the
Ark8
You get full access to two Master mixes or Group busses from both the
Ark8 and from your DAW.



We can’t wait to find out what other uses you may come up with.

Ark8 - Transport Control (or how you can stay in the sweet spot while controlling your DAW)

Our team is working on this option.
We prefer not to share information before we are ready, so will have more info shortly.
Ark8 - FaderMate (or how Fader Automation becomes affordable)

Our team is working on this option.
We prefer not to share information before we are ready, so will have more info shortly.
Ark8 - Customisation (or how the Ark8 can look almost anyway you want)

The Ark8 offers different configuration options, but we can customise a lot more things.

* The Ark8 is fully modular, so you can get any size console (from the start, or build it step-by-step)
* We offer different frame sizes, so we can surely build a frame which fits your studio
* We designed standard metal parts which hold both side profiles together, and which hold the modules and motherboards. We can change the side profiles to have different angles or dimensions. (so yes, we can build an upright console if you like)
* Our faceplates are done in small quantities using unique technology. The print is actually IN the anodising of the aluminium. We can change the faceplate background colour, or print any marking you want.
* We can print your logo (or any full colour picture) on any of the blank panels on the console.
* We use custom black aluminium knobs, but also have these available in silver.
* Our Solo and Mute buttons have custom inlays, which are done in house. These inlays can have any logo or picture.


Ark8 - Pricing (or how a top-class console can be within your reach)
The Ark8 is currently in production.

We added a preliminary pricing page, valid for all pre-orders.
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