Prism Sound Lyra 2 USB Audio Interface

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The Prism Sound Lyra 2 is a USB audio interface designed to deliver reliable precision and high-resolution audio I/O for musicians, vocalists, songwriters, and audio engineers in home, project, and mobile studios. Its stable clock allows operation at up to 24-bit / 192 kHz resolution with high jitter rejection. With latency as low as 0.08 ms, it is well suited for recording, overdubbing, and even send-and-return routing.

Line, instrument, or microphone sources can be connected via the stereo 1/4″ TRS inputs, two 1/4″ instrument inputs, and two XLR 3-pin inputs. Phantom power is selectable as are the input pads and built-in limiters. The four 1/4″ line outputs are ideal for connecting to speakers and power amps, while the front-panel 1/4″ jack offers dedicated level and mix controls for independent headphone monitoring. Additionally, digital connectivity includes RCA coaxial for S/PDIF or AES3, TOSLINK optical for S/PDIF or ADAT, and BNC for word clock. An RJ45 port is present for future AVB integration.

The Lyra 2 is compatible with Mac OS X and Windows systems via its class-compliant USB 2.0 connectivity. An IEC power cable, USB cable, and XLR to RCA adapters are included.

Signal Path

Analog and digital input channels are available as inputs for your audio workstation software through the host computer’s audio driver. Similarly, analog and digital outputs, and stereo headphone outputs can be played independently. For low-latency monitoring to headphone or main outputs, each output pair can optionally be driven from the built-in DSP mixer with an individual local mix of any selection of inputs through the controller applet. All analog inputs are electronically balanced with automatic unbalanced operation. Analog outputs are electronically balanced with bootstrapping (level is maintained if one leg is grounded).

Verifile Technology

Verifile is a radical new proprietary technology exclusive to Prism Sound, which allows computer audio streams and recorded files to be quickly checked for a wide range of clicks, errors, and dropouts, without any compromise in the audio content or any additional metadata. Verifile is a fragile steganographic process, which embeds derivative data within the dither of the ADC, containing a rolling hash code which allows the audio data to be thoroughly and continuously checked. Recovery of this data from the audio stream or file enables verification that the stream or file contains exactly the audio data that was produced by the ADC at the time of recording. Any incorrect samples, missing or repeated audio segments or any other audio errors in the resulting files can be reliably detected, providing complete confidence that the recorded file is error-free. Processing such as EQ, level changes, additional redithering, or sample-rate conversion done to a Verifile recording will result in a failure to decode the rolling hash code in the dither and hence indicate that the recording is not an original.

Reliable Quality

Prism Sound uses precise software calibration techniques in its converters to avoid the unreliability of pots and tweaks. Minimizing noise, interference, and hum was a priority in the design. All the analog circuits have galvanic isolation, while the unit’s electronically balanced I/O allows it to handle common mode interference sources and trouble-free connection to unbalanced equipment.

USB 2.0 Compatibility

The Lyra 2 is easy to connect to your computer and to your outboard gear. For both Mac and Windows platforms, there is a controller application to configure the unit and control its built-in mixer and various functions. Aside from the monitor and headphone level controls, everything else is operated solely from the Lyra controller application. The controller software opens on-screen as a separate panel alongside your existing editing software. Since the Lyra 2 is UAC2 compliant, it will also work with recent Linux and Android builds, although no control panel is provided.

Flexible I/O

Utilizing the same mic amps as Orpheus, the Lyra offers software-controlled gain in 1 dB steps, switchable phantom power, 20 dB pads, and low noise and distortion. The inputs are auto-sensing with software override. Inputs one and two can be microphone, instrument, or line. Analog inputs have individually-selectable Prism Sound Overkiller peak limiters built in—just as on the ADA-8XR and Orpheus—to catch those fast transients. The Overkiller threshold automatically follows the operating line-level selection (+4 dBu or -10 dBV). Overkillers are ideal for percussive sounds, particularly drums, where headroom can be a problem.

The coaxial digital I/O can be switched in the Lyra 2 controller applet between S/PDIF and AES3 formats. This control changes the operating voltage and the channel status format and is complemented by two supplied adapters that provide external XLR connections for AES3 devices. The optical digital I/O ports on Lyra 2 can also be configured as ADAT I/O. Other connections include word clock sync I/O on BNC connectors.

Low-Latency Digital Mixer

A built-in digital mixer can be configured from the host computer to provide foldback feeds to performers, each with their own stereo mix of workstation playback and any of the inputs. This provides console quality local mixing—each output has its own independent mixer, with channel strips for all inputs and workstation feeds, complete with fader, pan/balance pot, solo and mute buttons, and full metering. Strips can be stereo or mono, and the mixes are dithered with filtered coefficients, just as in a top-end digital mixer. With the Prism Sound DSP mixer, the latency is as low as 0.08 ms at a 192 kHz sampling rate.

Sample Rate Conversion & Noise Shaping

Prism Sound’s renowned synchronous sample-rate conversion allows outputting to various external devices at other sampling rates. The sample rate converter can be used at the outputs as well as the inputs, so as well as dealing with unsynchronised or wrong-rate digital inputs, Lyra can also generate, say, a live 44.1 kHz output from a 96 kHz session. The digital output is equipped with the four Prism Sound SNS noise-shaping curves, allowing you to reduce to 16-bits for CD at mastering-house quality.

Stable Clocking

State-of-the-art clock generation with proprietary hybrid 2-stage DPLL keeps jitter to a minimum. The sample rate can be sourced from the local clock, BNC word clock, or digital input stream.