The Crane Song Solaris Quantum DAC is a 2 channel Digital-to-Analog Converter, designed by Dave Hill. It is centred around a 32-bit converter and 32 bit ASRC (Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter) that up-samples to 211kHz in order to reduce jitter. The reference clock of the Solaris has less than 1ps (picosecond) jitter and employs a proprietary re-construction filter for accurate time domain response.
The jitter measured for the clock, between our auditory spectrum of 10Hz – 20kHz, is typically around 0.045ps (44fs, femtoseconds)!
Be prepared for your ears to be amazed. Crane Song’s 5th generation Quantum DAC will deliver a solid stereo image with defined low frequencies and a crystal clear high end.
On the back of the DAC you’ll find the inputs and outputs. The input options are AES, S/PDIF, Optical and USB. The AES input connects over XLR, S/PDIF via RCA Phono, Optical goes in on Toslink.
USB allows you to connect the Solaris directly to your computer and use it as a dual-channel/stand-alone output only interface. The USB drivers are built into MAC. For PC Windows 7 and later, you can download the Windows driver from our website (www.cranesong.com) Solaris has two sets of balanced analog outputs.
The Main output has discrete output amplifiers with a stepped attenuator (GAIN). Their maximum output is +24dBu. The secondary output Left and Right outputs (OUT 2) have a max. fixed output of +18dBu. And finally there’s the front panel headphone, balanced jack, output with its own stepped attenuator (HEADPHONE LEVEL).
In addition to how you will put the Crane Song Solaris to use within your audio setup, here are some suggestions on implementing the unit.
- DAW setup monitor controller. If you’re working completely in the box, you will still benefit from top notch D-A and ultra-low jitter Conversion. You can hook up the Solaris to your DAW via USB. Therefore you’re using the unit as your interface. The Solaris will convert your mix from the digital domain to analog to feed your monitors, giving you monitor level control with the Gain knob, Monitor Mute and separate Headphone Level control.
- On-The-Go Conversion and Monitor control. There will be situations where you find yourself away from your studio set up and you still need to work on mixes. For example, you may be on tour and you’re working on edits and mixes on the road. Or you find you need to tweak balances for live performance backing tracks. Whatever the case, Solaris gives you that clear image you’ve been working with in the studio. Just plug up via USB and you’ve got your Crane Song sound feeding your portable rig. You can take it a step further and feed the backing track mix to Front Of House and deliver the pristine Crane Song sound to be part of the live performance.
- Digital Source Switcher. You may have a few digital sources in your studio, DAW on USB, a playback device on AES, another one on S/PDIF and a third unit outputting Optical. The Solaris easily switches between these various formats.
- Output Extender. Assuming you’re already set up with an interface, the Solaris can perform several tasks. You can use it as your master output from the DAW and it can provide an extra set of analog outs fed from your interface’s digital outputs. You can make the Solaris your DAC for analog processing. So if you’re running a bunch of analog outboard to process mix components you can feed them to the Solaris to convert them, process them and then record them back in through your A-D Converter, like the Crane Song HEDD.
- That NY Compression Trick. You’ve probably heard of NY or parallel compression, where you take a parallel feed of your drums and maybe the bass, EQ and compress them together and then blend that signal back into the mix. Of course you can approach this old school trick within your DAW, but there’s nothing like doing this the analog way. Solaris’ dual output architecture allows you to do that. You buss your rhythm parts to the Solaris so you have level control on one set of outputs and then you can route the secondary outputs to your analog parallel processing.
- A Mastering DAC