Genex GX9000 and GX9048 DSD Recorder

Two new hard disk-based machines from Genex, the GX9000 and the GX9048, extend high-resolution digital audio capabilities far beyond the more usual archiving and mastering applications to also encompass multitrack recording and postproduction.

Genex has claimed a number of firsts during their 10 years in business. Introducing the world’s first 96 kHz instant access recorder, the first 192 kHz-capable recorder, and the first commercially available DSD recorder, the company now adds three more notches to their belt with their new GX9000 series. Both the GX9000 and the GX9048 represent the first instant-access DSD recorders to be capable of seamless punch-in and out, and to be capable of single-wire 192 kHz PCM recording. And, with the GX9048, Genex has delivered a recorder capable of processing up to 48 channels of DSD data.

,img src=”../../../../2003/mar-apr/GX9000F.jpg” align=”left”>Reportedly the first and only devices to be capable of single-wire 24-bit/192 kHz PCM recording, the feature allows a single GX9000 to record and playback eight channels of 24/192 PCM and a GX9048 to record and playback an astonishing 48 channels of 24/192 PCM data. Additionally, both machines can be used in DSD mode, with the GX9000 recording up to eight channels of DSD and the GX9048 recording up to 48 channels.

With the recorders clocking at 192 kHz in PCM mode, there is no need for interleaving of data across channels. Designed to replace existing digital multitrack tape recorders, in either mode the GX9048 supports punch-in across all 48 channels — an impressive 96 simultaneous tracks.

Both recorders offer built-in sample-rate conversion as a standard feature, operating at rates up to and including 192 kHz. It’s also possible to convert from PCM to DSD and back again, enabling archived material to be reviewed at 24-bit/192 kHz and compared in DSD.

Both the GX9000 and GX9048 can read and write data in a choice of industry-standard file formats, ensuring instant interchange with popular workstations. In PCM mode, implementation of the AES31 standard allows instant interchange with the majority of available DAWs and recorders. Two methods are used in DSD mode: the interleaved DSD IFF is used for low track counts and a modified version of AES31 for higher track counts. As a third alternative, a proprietary Genex linear format provides added data security, ultra-fast write speeds, and, according to the company, guaranteed data recovery even when the disk directory is lost or the disk is otherwise corrupted.

A wide choice of optional I/O cards ensure easy integration into any setup. The PCM I/O card has AES3 and AES3id inputs and outputs and operates in PCM only. The DSD I/O card can operate in PCM and DSD modes and has SDIF2, SDIF3, AES3, and AES3id inputs and outputs. The Analog I/O card can convert analog data to and from PCM or DSD and has balanced analog, SDIF2, SDIF3, AES3, and AES3id inputs and outputs.

The AES3 standard specifies a balanced interface using shielded twisted pair terminated in 3-pin XLR connectors. AES3id specifies an unbalanced coax interface terminated in BNC connectors.
The rear panels of both units are identical, providing space for eight cards, including up to six DSP-I/O card “sandwiches.” Additionally, up to two optical MADI cards can be fitted, with each card capable of carrying up to 24 channels of 96 kHz PCM or 24 channels of DSD data. An optional discrete BNC transition panel is also available. An optional Firewire card supports the mLan protocol, and allows audio, metadata, and control data to be transferred between supported devices.

Scalability is the watchword with the GX9048. The chassis is factory fitted with a single 8-channel DSP module, and additional 8-channel DSP and I/O cards may be added as required. This allows the device to be easily configured in groups of eight channels and upgraded as needed.

The GX9000 and the GX9048 both offer front-loading, twin removable drive bays. High-speed SCSI and Firewire storage interfaces are supported, allowing the addition of external drives. Each device is also capable of live disk mirroring — recording to two drives simultaneously, where bandwidth permits, eliminating the need for post-session duplication.

External control is offered through the company’s optional GXR take-logging and editing software. Using the USB 2.0 port connected to a PC running the software, details of a recording can be annotated and text stored on disk as part of a project. The GUI also supports simple editing, including cut, copy, and paste functionality. Up to 48 channels of data can be edited through manipulation of the audio clips on the 24-hour timeline, and the text-based ADL (Audio Decision List) can also be audited.

Through the remote or the GXR software, users can select the number of tracks to be recorded to each drive. Although the 40 to 50 MB/second transfer rate permits recording 48 tracks to a single drive, it may be more expedient to split them equally across two drives.

Each machine offers a number of additional, model-specific features. The GX9000 includes an internal 8/2 mixer with AES/EBU output and additionally features a headphone output. An optional 48-channel meter bridge is available for the GX9048, which also includes software-selectable low-pass filtering in DSD mode.

Pro-user prices for the GX9000 start at $4050. For the modular GX9048, pro-user price of a 48-track system with analog I/O is from $19,000. A similarly specified 24-track version sells for $10,750.

For more information, contact Genex at 310-828-6667, or visit

Surround Professional Magazine