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Meet the audio interface upgrade you really need

Cranborne Audio EC1
(Image credit: Cranborne Audio)

Struggling to get your home studio recordings to compete with big-budget commercial studios? Cranborne Audio is here to help!

Most home studios are built around an assumption: a computer + a DAW + an interface will be enough to produce radio-ready recordings. Invest in a quality mic or two and a load of plugins and you should be able to make records, right?

It’s true… to a point. While there’s a great deal you can accomplish in the box, if you’re producing music with vocals and instruments such as guitars, violins or drums, even a more expensive interface may not be enough to compete.

Cranborne Audio’s Camden EC1 actually gives you three upgrades in one. It’s a high-quality, mic preamp/DI; it’s a reference-grade headphone amplifier for mixing and mastering; and, it has ‘Mojo’ to hype your sound with some vintage colour and analogue saturation.

So, why does Camden EC1 make such a big difference to your recording setup? 

Cranborne Audio EC1

(Image credit: Cranborne Audio)

Get back to the source 

It can get lost in the techno-jargon, but there’s no substitution for clean source audio recordings. The better your source recordings sound, the better your final master will sound. 

That’s why commercial studios invest so much money in their facilities. They know the key to great-sounding records is getting pristine source recordings. 

The gents at Cranborne Audio know how to get ‘that sound’ and they designed the Camden EC1 to deliver clean gain while easily fitting into your home studio budget. 

Clean it up

Have you noticed that certain microphones, particularly dynamics and ribbons, and even some condensers, require you to max out your interface to get enough gain on the track and hear yourself in your headphones? 

This creates a real challenge, especially on softer vocals or instruments where nuance is required. 

Sometimes, people try to solve this problem by using an in-line mic booster, but these devices also introduce unwanted noise into your source. 

Using a Camden EC1 in front of your interface will eliminate unwanted noise and other artifacts, so you can run your interface at a proper gain level. 

Recording clean audio with total transparency and no added noise will make a big difference in your final production quality.

Get some analogue colour

Once you’ve got loads of clean gain available for your tracks, you may want to introduce saturation using the Camden EC1’s Mojo circuit for a more vintage sound reminiscent of your favourite classic recordings.

Mojo gives you the sound of a vintage transformer or valve-based preamp with two types of processing. Thump is perfect for adding to low-end tracks in particular, while Cream delivers that vintage smoothness. 

Putting some old-school studio magic into your home setup is available at the flick of a switch on an EC1.

Cranborne Audio EC1

(Image credit: Cranborne Audio)

Flexibility matters

All the best guitar amps are designed with classic tubes. You may have noticed that you need to run the amp at a high gain level to get the best sound when recording. That’s not always possible with a home studio. 

No worries there. The Camden EC1 gives you the ability to re-amp. This gives you maximum flexibility to track a clean take at an acceptable volume at 2:30 AM and come back later to experiment with additional tone options, effects, and the like.

If you have an acoustic guitar with a pickup built-in, maybe you’ve noticed that using the DI option only leaves the guitar sounding flat in your mix.

With the Camden EC1, you could double-track using the Hi-Z signal and the Link Output to record both the DI and a condenser mic at the same time, adding body and depth to the recording while keeping the signal path clean.

EC1’s front panel also enables you to create a custom headphone mix that blends the preamp and DAW playback signals. This is great for zero-latency tracking, and it can all be done without complicated software routing.

Listen up

Finally, there’s the EC1’s reference-grade headphone amp. If you feel your headphone performance isn’t all that, you might be tempted to upgrade your cans. However, often times a better headphone amplifier will result in better performance with your existing headphones. Using Camden EC1’s reference-grade headphones amplifier, you can give those old headphones new life!

You can also take advantage of the headphone amp’s superior performance by routing the output of your audio interface into the EC1 to monitor your DAW’s playback directly. This can help you make the right mixing and mastering decisions later in the workflow.

Cranborne Audio EC1

(Image credit: Cranborne Audio)

Upgrade your interface with a Camden EC1

Tempting as it is to get that new interface (or a new microphone or headphones), what will really upgrade your sound is the Camden EC1 on the front-end of all your recordings.

So, whether it’s vocals, guitars, bass, drums, or any other acoustic instrument that you want to record, the Camden EC1 is not just the upgrade you need, it’s the upgrade you deserve. 

Find out more on the Cranborne Audio website.