Vancouver, BC, May 5, 2020 – Radial Engineering is pleased to announce that the HDI, a high definition studio-grade direct box and preamp for studio recording or live touring applications, is now shipping. The HDI is Radial’s flagship direct box, featuring a striking design aesthetic along with a unique and powerful feature set that will provide outstanding results with any instrument.
The cornerstone of the HDI’s capabilities is the Color control, which allows blending of the signal from ultra-clean operation on one side to amp-like distortion and warm transformer saturation on the other. The results are both musical and versatile, allowing the HDI to shine when used on bass, acoustic guitar, and even keyboards.
The Color control is complemented by Level and Presence controls, each featuring extra-large chrome knobs for precise adjustment. The Level control allows the HDI to accommodate a wide range of input sources, while also providing the means to drive the internal circuitry harder for more exaggerated coloration. The Presence control provides an emphasis on the high and high-mid frequencies, to dial in just enough bite for the signal to cut through a mix.
Created by legendary design engineer “Hutch” Hutchison, the HDI utilizes guitar amp topology and industry-leading Jensen transformers to elicit vintage warmth and richness. Four parallel circuits are employed within the HDI, yet this complexity is balanced by a streamlined and elegant feature set that produces immediate results.
On the design philosophy behind the product, Hutch explains “The HDI goes beyond the basic utility and functionality of a direct box, while maintaining the essence of a DI. I wanted to create something that was more creative, fun, inspiring and musical.”
Aside from the three main controls, the HDI also includes a Hi-Z switch that approximates the Hi and Lo inputs on a vintage amplifier, and a single-control Opto compressor which allows for smooth and natural peak reduction of the input signal. A 3-position high-pass filter rolls off any excessive low end created when pushing the HDI into distortion, and a ground lift switch rounds out the front panel controls and helps eliminate any hum and buzz that might be present.
Inputs for the HDI are provided on front and rear panel ¼” jacks along with a Thru connection for an amplifier. A 3.5mm mono Synth Input is included for easy connection to modular synthesizers. Transformer-isolated mic and line-level XLR outputs are provided for direct connection to mic preamps and recording interfaces, along with a ¼” Processed Output for feeding the affected signal to a guitar amp or instrument effects units.
The HDI features a ¼” milled gunmetal-anodized faceplate that will turn heads in any studio as a standalone piece. The unit also ships with an included rack mounting kit for installation in a 2RU rack space, and can be mounted side-by-side with a second HDI for stereo applications.