DAD Core 256 multi-format digital audio interface

Digital audio interface

CAP2: 0 £3,600.00
£3,000.00 ex VAT
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Compact yet powerful digital audio interface offering a wide range of features, including tons of channels, diverse digital connectivity, built-in SPQ processing, Eucon control compatibility, an internal summing engine, and support for macOS and Windows 10, making it ideal for Dolby Atmos® RMU, post-production, studio, and installed audio applications.

At a glance

  • Compatible with multiple DAWs
  • Versatile D/D converter
  • 19” rack-mountable
  • Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
  • Low-latency performance
  • Robust FPGA-based matrix structure
  • 32-bit floating-point processing
  • Fixed latency routing

The DAD Core 256 multi-format digital audio interface is a compact yet powerful device designed to handle various audio tasks. It is an essential tool for professionals in post-production, studio, and installed audio environments.

Key Features and Applications

The Core 256 may take up little space, but the power you can squeeze out of this little box might make your jaw drop. With many channels, a broad palette of digital connectivity, built-in SPQ processing, Eucon control compatibility, an internal summing engine, and drivers for macOS and Windows 10, it is a pristine digital audio interface for almost any application.

One application should be emphasised in particular: Core 256 is the perfect Dante and MADI interface for Dolby Atmos® RMU. Its size and shape make it ideal for sharing a 1U rack shelf with a Mac Mini running Dolby Atmos® Renderer, Dolby Atmos® Production Suite, or Dolby Atmos® Mastering Suite. This solution streamlines and optimises multichannel workflows for immersive audio post-production facilities.

The Ultimate Digital Bridge

Even though it is a tiny Dolby Atmos® hero, Core 256 is ready to take on many other tasks in the post-production, studio, and installed audio spheres. With Dante, MADI, and ADAT ports onboard and versatile and flexible DADman routing control available, it is also a stellar D/D converter that can grab any digital audio channel, convert it if needed, and route it anywhere.

DAW Compatibility

Another application is a dedicated audio interface for your DAW. Whether you run Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Nuendo, Cubase, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, or any other DAW, Core 256 is your low-latency entrance. You can easily add analogue preamps or insert points with ADAT, MADI, and Dante connectivity.

19” Rack Mount Bracket

Core 256 can be mounted in a 19” rack using the special DAD bracket. This bracket has a shelf and mounting system for an Apple Mac Mini computer, playing right into the immersive Dolby Atmos® application. This mounting system provides a powerful yet compact audio solution, combining the computer and the Core 256 audio interface on a single sleek shelf.

The mini-module slot can be mounted with an optional dual bidirectional MADI module with optical SFP or mini coax connectors.


The Thunder|Core Audio interface is controlled via the DADman software, which connects to the Thunder|Core interface via Ethernet or a communication channel using the Thunderbolt connection. More units can be daisy-chained via the Thunderbolt ports, and each unit will appear in the DADman control software. Using control over Ethernet, the two RJ45 connectors act as a switch for connecting to more units. The Dante/AES67 audio is also passed on to the two RJ45 connectors.

Thunder | Core Technology

The DAD Thunder|Core Technology provides a Thunderbolt 3 connection with near-zero latency for interfacing between audio applications on macOS or Windows computers and the Thunder|Core audio hardware. The interface offers a fast Thunderbolt 3/PCIe connection and data transfer with two samples of latency on the connection and nine samples in the digital interface, including EQ and summing processing within the unit. The channel capacity is up to 256 audio channels at 48 and 96 kHz, and the latency at 96 kHz is 95 microseconds. The total round-trip latency with an audio software application depends on the buffer size set for the application. With a buffer size of 32 samples, the latency is 670 microseconds at 96 kHz.


The Thunder | Core products have a unique router core based on 32-bit floating-point processing and a low-latency, highly reliable FPGA-based matrix structure. A timestamp mechanism provides equal latency for all signals routed through the core. Core 256 has a capacity of 4,096×4,096 non-blocking cross points, providing 1,500×1,500 cross points on the I/O and processing level. The matrix offers fixed latency routing of all inputs to one or more outputs, with a latency of only five audio samples. It supports sample rates from 44.1 to 384 kHz. The channel processor provides signal detection logic for all input and output channels and PPM level measurement and control. All inputs and outputs are processed for level adjustment. Additionally, the core has a summing/mixing processor with 64 output buses and 512 inputs, which can be allocated to sets of input and output signals managed by the Pro|Mon monitor control functionality in DADman. SPQ speaker EQ management is available natively in the core with access to 1,024 filters combined into 64 channels with 16 filters, each with adjustable delay.

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