Recording - March 2017 - 63

than force everyone to share floor monitors. Whatever the reason,
when you need more than one person to be able to hear a mix
on headphones, a headphone amp is a studio problem-solver that
you're glad you have handy.
No matter what problem you buy a headphone amp to solve,
you'll soon find other uses for it. Maybe it gives you a better-sounding
signal off your desktop mixer's control room outputs than the
mixer's built-in headphone output, or there are studio monitoring
issues it helps to solve. These other solutions suggest ways in
which the headphone amp could be more useful... by adding a
mute function, for example, or letting you check a mix in mono
to make sure you don't lose anything in translation.
Eventually, you might want to graduate to a fancy monitor
controller with talkback, dim control, routing, and so forth, but for a lot
of small studios, a simple headphone amp is perfectly handy just as
it is. Samson's new QH4 falls into that category, giving you a couple
more features than you might expect at a very reasonable price.
The QH4 is a small and very light enclosure that turns a stereo
input into four headphone mixes on 1/4" jacks. Controls include
four separate headphone mix levels, Mute and Mono buttons, and
a Master level control. The rear panel has left and right 1/4" balanced inputs and a pair of minijacks for an Aux signal: an input
to add a smartphone or MP3 player's signal to the mix, and an

iConnectivity
iConnectAUDIO2+
Review by Mike Metlay

$199.99; www.iconnectivity.com
In my June and August 2015 reviews of iConnectivity's
iConnectMIDI4+ and iConnectAUDIO4+, I explained how they
could connect anything and everything together in all sorts of ways
and let you route, share, filter, network, and mix/merge your various
MIDI signals and audio channels. I have to wonder if all that
complexity scared some folks, though... so for this little followup
review of the iConnectAUDIO2+, I'm going to keep it a lot simpler.
The iConnectAUDIO2+ is a compact metal box in the familiar
iConnectivity half-rack format. It's a 2-in/6-out interface with two
front-panel XLR/TRS combination jacks, five rear panel TRS jacks
(four outputs and one stereo headphone connection), MIDI In and
Out, and USB. A push-click encoder and a tiny touchpanel let you
control input level and 48V phantom power for each of the two

$69.99; www.samsontech.com
output to pass it along to another headphone amp. The QH4 is
powered from an external 15V supply.
In use, the QH4 provides a loud, clear signal to all four headphones, with the Mute and Mono functions working as advertised
and adding value to an already quite affordable amplifier. It does
what it needs to, sounds great, and won't break the bank... there's
no excuse for not having it handy, the next time you run into a
studio problem that needs a headphone amp as a solution.-MM

inputs, or set output levels for the two pairs of outputs and the headphones. An LED bar graph acts as a level meter for the chosen
inputs/outputs when their selector is green, and indicates where those
levels are currently set when the selector is red. Simple enough, right?
It is, in fact, and it sounds great-the A/D and D/A conversion
are excellent, especially for an interface that's this affordable,
and the iConfig app for Mac, PC, and iOS does a dandy job of
letting you route and mix audio, as well as doing MIDI tricks like
routing, merging, and filtering certain types of data (for example,
restricting a given box from seeing certain MIDI messages that
might confuse it). Also very straightforward.
You could use the iConnectAUDIO2+ as a basic USB audio/
MIDI interface with your computer or iOS device and never
need anything more, thanks to its great feature set. Here's where
things get cool, though: there's a second USB port on the back
(with two available jacks, a B connector for computers and an
A connector for iOS devices). The first USB B port powers the
interface and connects it to your computer... but the second port
lets you connect a second computer or an iOS device and use
the iConnectAUDIO2+ as its interface, too.
The two computers share the interface, which tricks each computer into thinking that the other computer is just an attached
peripheral. Multitrack audio and MIDI from one computer can be
routed to the other at very low latency, right over the USB cables.
Imagine your iPad's virtual instruments and effects plug-ins being
available seamlessly inside your Mac's DAW, or your Windows PC
being able to talk directly to a Mac and use it as an external plug-in
engine! It's simple to set up and works like a charm... and the first time
you see it work, you're sold... after you're done staring in disbelief.
Bottom line: if you ever wondered what it would be like to
integrate a second computer into your DAW setup without
having everything crash on you... now you can find out!
RECORDING MARCH 2017

63


http://www.samsontech.com http://www.iconnectivity.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - March 2017

Contents
Recording - March 2017 - Intro
Recording - March 2017 - Cover1
Recording - March 2017 - Cover2
Recording - March 2017 - 1
Recording - March 2017 - 2
Recording - March 2017 - 3
Recording - March 2017 - 4
Recording - March 2017 - 5
Recording - March 2017 - Contents
Recording - March 2017 - 7
Recording - March 2017 - 8
Recording - March 2017 - 9
Recording - March 2017 - 10
Recording - March 2017 - 11
Recording - March 2017 - 12
Recording - March 2017 - 13
Recording - March 2017 - 14
Recording - March 2017 - 15
Recording - March 2017 - 16
Recording - March 2017 - 17
Recording - March 2017 - 18
Recording - March 2017 - 19
Recording - March 2017 - 20
Recording - March 2017 - 21
Recording - March 2017 - 22
Recording - March 2017 - 23
Recording - March 2017 - 24
Recording - March 2017 - 25
Recording - March 2017 - 26
Recording - March 2017 - 27
Recording - March 2017 - 28
Recording - March 2017 - 29
Recording - March 2017 - 30
Recording - March 2017 - 31
Recording - March 2017 - 32
Recording - March 2017 - 33
Recording - March 2017 - 34
Recording - March 2017 - 35
Recording - March 2017 - 36
Recording - March 2017 - 37
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Recording - March 2017 - 40
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Recording - March 2017 - Cover3
Recording - March 2017 - Cover4
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