In recent months, the company has been auditioning a number of software packages and soundcards, with a view to improving sonic integrity throughout its entire audio chain. Funktion-One MD Tony Andrews (pictured) and fellow director John Newsham began investigating FireWire DACs some time ago and decided that Prism Sound’s Orpheus was their favourite.
“The Orpheus left everything else standing,” said Andrews. “It delivered exceptional audio quality throughout and was particularly smooth on the higher frequencies without compromising the bass. With Orpheus as part of our audio chain we believe this year’s Glastonbury audiences will enjoy a new level of high frequency presence and clarity.
“The demo rig that we showed at this year’s Frankfurt exhibition and the Ambisonics rig we will be using at Glastonbury both use a FireWire DAC to stream audio from software applications,” he explained. “We are very keen to retain an ‘emergency’ analog volume control in our systems prior to the power amplifiers driving the speakers, as any glitches, crashes and so on in the audio playout software could have serious implications when dealing with systems capable of producing well in excess of 120dB SPL. Even though we have digital inputs on our crossovers, which would allow us to keep the audio in the digital domain right up until the last DAC stage in the crossovers, we prefer to exit the computer using the best FireWire DAC we can. This means that we can use an analogue fader prior to the crossovers’ ADC inputs.
Commenting on Funktion One’s decision to employ an Orpheus interface, Prism Sound’s sales and marketing manager Jody Thorne said: “Funktion One has a real reputation for sound quality in the field of PA/touring rigs and we really value the endorsement Tony and John have given us by choosing to include a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire interface into their pioneering Ambisonics rig. Our design philosophy has always been one of zero-compromise, and although Orpheus was initially targeted at the recording studio market, we recognize that it also offers huge advantages to live sound and playback applications where there is equal need for a high quality audio interface. We are therefore delighted to be associated with a live sound company that strives to put audio quality first and has chosen Orpheus because it best fits their criteria.”