Recording engineers have long held their API lunchbox racks close to their hearts, but Radial Engineering thought they could reinvent the wheel.  What they have come up with looks amazing.  Their new Workhorse 5000 Lunchbox addresses the limitations of the standard lunchbox format and kicks it up a few notches with features like a a mixer section that can be used as an 8 channel analog summer box.  More pictures and Radial’s press release after the jump.

“The Workhorse is a lunchbox frame that incorporates full mixing capabilities to a stereo bus, monitor output and headphones. It features 8 slots that are backward compatible to previous API formats while adding greater I/O connectivity.  According to Radial lead engineer Kevin Burgin: Each slot is equipped with male and female XLR with parallel ¼” TRS for direct to module input and output connections. A new and unique feature called Omniport™ is module-specific whereby a mic preamp may use the 1/4” TRS Omniport for a guitar input or an insert, while a gate or limiter may use the connector as a key. The Workhorse’s open architecture allows other manufacturers to adapt the Omniport into future products so that they in turn, can bring innovative new products to market.  For added convenience, all 8 modules may also be connected via 25-pin D-subs which can also serve as a separate split out for live recording systems.  “While researching this project, we looked at all of the current rack-framelunch-boxes and found that they all fell short: All they do is provide power for the modules and 48V phantom for mic preamps.  We felt that for $1000, it just did not add up to real value.  So we took the initiative to redesign the concept and bring forth features that would better address the desk-top nature of today’s recording environment.”  The Workhorse master section features level and pan control for each module with individual master, monitor and headphone outs.  An expansion bus allows multiple Workhorses to be combined for larger recording systems. And to add icing on the cake, the high performance mixer can also be used as an 8 channel analog summer box for those that prefer to combine tracks in the analogue domain.   Target price is $1299.00 US retail.”

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