Sonifex PC-AD2 2 Stereo Analogue I/O & 2 Stereo AES-3 I/O PCIe Half Height Sound Card

Vendor: Sonifex
Sonifex PC-AD2 2 Stereo Analogue I/O & 2 Stereo AES-3 I/O PCIe Half Height Sound Card The PC-AD2 is a dual stereo analogue input/output and dual stereo AES-3 digital input/output sound card designed...

Sonifex PC-AD2 2 Stereo Analogue I/O & 2 Stereo AES-3 I/O PCIe Half Height Sound Card

The PC-AD2 is a dual stereo analogue input/output and dual stereo AES-3 digital input/output sound card designed in the PCIe half height format. With one of the analogue inputs capable of serving as a mic input, it also features a dedicated AES-11 sync input and two GPIOs. This professional-quality card is fully compatible with Windows™ Wave, DirectSound, DirectShow, MCI, and Core Audio APIs, supporting audio up to 24-bit, 192kHz. Offering both analogue and AES-3 stereo inputs and outputs, the PC-AD2 is a versatile half-height PCIe audio input-output card. It comes with a Windows WDM driver, ensuring full sound card functionality on various Windows platforms. Engineered to fit into modern smaller PC systems that only accommodate half-height PCIe cards, the PC-AD2 maximizes channel count in a compact card. Featuring two stereo analogue inputs (with the first adaptable as a dual mono or stereo microphone input) and two stereo analogue outputs, along with two stereo AES-3 inputs and outputs, a dedicated AES-11 sync input, and two general-purpose (GPIO) inputs and outputs, the PC-AD2 offers comprehensive connectivity options. When utilized as a microphone input, the PC-AD2 can apply phantom power at +48V to the microphone input connection, automatically removing it if Line Input 1 becomes active. Additionally, an audio limiter on the mic input adjusts the microphone gain if the recording level nears clipping. The peak analogue level determines the clipping threshold for the analogue inputs, with options ranging from +15 to +24dBu. When the Windows endpoint faders are at maximum, these levels correspond to full scale on the software audio streams. For synchronization, the card's core sampling rate can be synced to an external source chosen from either of the AES-3 inputs, the dedicated AES-11 sync input, or via the inter-card cable (PC-AD2SY) for synchronization with another PC-AD2.

The PC-AD2 Properties/Configuration Page

The PC-AD2 features independent asynchronous sampling rate conversion on the inputs, supporting rates ranging from 32kHz to 192kHz. Meanwhile, the output rate can be configured as 192kHz, 96kHz, 88.2kHz, 48kHz, 44.1kHz, or 32kHz, either free-running or locked to an AES11 reference on any of the digital inputs. Software sampling rate conversion is automatically inserted by Windows when the application rate does not match the hardware rate, ensuring compatibility with files of any sample rate for playback and recording. Extended software bit depths of 32 and 24 bits are supported, as well as 16 and 8 bits for playback and recording. For each AES-3 input, the received sampling rate, frame lock, and sampling rate converter status are displayed. The playback and recording topology are virtualized, with Windows treating each input source as its own ‘endpoint’. Each physical line input of the PC-AD2 card is represented by an endpoint device. As the hardware has separate A/D converters or AES-3 receivers for each input, they can be used simultaneously. Additionally, a Microphone endpoint is created, shared with the analogue Line Input 1 endpoint. The Windows mixer API is virtualized for each application, providing mute and volume control for each endpoint, affecting only the audio going to and from that application.

The PC-AD2 Line Output 1 Properties Page

The PC-AD2 features two optically-isolated general-purpose inputs and outputs, accessible through a programming API provided with the driver package. A demo program is included to demonstrate the operation of the GPIO API and quickly test GPIO functionality. All standard Windows audio APIs are available, including the Core Audio API, Wave, DirectSound, DirectShow, MCI, and MIDI playback. Additionally, various audio compression modes are supported via the Windows Audio Compression Manager or other software compression systems. Multiple cards can be installed in a single PC for enhanced functionality. An optional 44-pin high-density D-type connector to XLRs & 9-pin D-type breakout lead, the PC-AD2BC, is available for expanded connectivity options.

Key Features

  • 2 independent transformer-coupled AES-3 inputs and outputs.
  • 2 independent high level balanced stereo inputs and outputs.
  • One of the stereo line inputs can act as a dual mono or stereo mic input with +48V phantom power and limiter.
  • 1 AES-11 synchronisation input.
  • 2 opto isolated GPIOs.
  • 24-bit audio resolution.
  • Sampling rates up to 192kHz.
  • Asynchronous sampling rate converters on each input.
  • Card synchronisation to any input, AES-11 input or other PC-AD2 card.
  • 32 and 64 bit drivers for Windows7/8/10, Windows Server 2008/R2, 2012/R2.
  • WDM-compliant supporting Wave, DirectSound, DirectShow and Core Audio APIs.
  • Simultaneous record/play per channel.

Operating Systems Supported

Platform: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 (32-bit and 64-bit versions Server 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2, Windows Server 2019

PCIe Specification

Card Interface: Single lane PCIe 1.1

Audio Specification

Analogue Sampling Rate: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz or 192kHz
Analogue Resolution: 24 bits
Dynamic Range: >100dB typical (unweighted)
Analogue THD+N: < 0.0015% (-96dB)
Analogue Input Interface: 2 x stereo balanced analogue line (1 can be switched to dual mono or stereo microphone)
Analogue Input Impedance: 20kΩ (balanced line), 2.5kΩ (microphone)
Analogue Output Impedance: 120Ω (balanced)
Analogue Maximum Signal: +15dBu, +18dBu, +20dBu, +22dBu, +24 dBu (software settable)
Microphone Sensitivity: -58dBu to +2dBu for full scale input
Microphone E.I.N.: -119dBu (unweighted) (Sample rate 48kHz, max gain, 200Ω source)
Microphone CMRR: 77dB @ 1kHz, 77dB @ 10kHz
Microphone Phantom Power: +48V (software enabled)
Frequency Response: Input – 1Hz to 88kHz
Output – 1Hz to 88kHz
(192kHz hardware sampling rate)
Digital Audio Interface: 2 x AES-3 (formerly known as AES/EBU) inputs/outputs
Digital Input Impedance: 110Ω transformer coupled
Synchronisation Input: 1 x AES-11 input synchronisation:
Output Sampling Rates: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz
Input Sampling Rates: 32kHz to 192kHz
Software Sampling Rates: Any rate from 10Hz to 384kHz
Software Resolution: 32, 24, 16 or 8 bits
GPIO Inputs: Optically isolated, 2.5 to 50V on (2.5 to 50mA).
GPIO Outputs: Optically isolated, 5mA max on, 80V max off.
Connector: 44-pin high-density D-type female

Equipment Type

PC-AD2 2 Stereo analogue I/O & 2 stereo AES-3 I/O PCIe half height sound card

Physical Specification

Dimensions (Raw): 18cm (L) x 7.0cm (H) x 2cm (D)
7.1” (L) x 2.8” (H) x 0.8” (D)
Dimensions (Boxed): 27cm (L) x 22.5cm (H) x 6cm (D)
10.6” (L) x 8.9” (H) x 2.4” (D)
Weight: Nett: 0.10kg Gross: 0.20kg
Nett: 0.2lbs Gross: 0.4lbs


PC-AD2BC PC-AD2 full XLR & 9 pin D-type breakout cable
PC-AD2SY Cable to sync 2 x PC-AD2 cards