Field Report: Digigram Cancun 222-Mic

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The Digigram Cancun 222-Mic USB audio interface is lightweight, has plenty of professional functionality, and its thin, sleek design makes it perfect for desktop reachability and it fits nicely into a laptop bag.

Digigram Cancun 222-Mic

Functionality, productivity and usability are three words we use to describe the design and practicality of broadcast and recording equipment. Does it work? Will it help workflow? Is it user friendly? Sometimes however, we tend to leave out the creature-comfort consideration when getting new stuff. Ergonomics can be lost in a "we need it yesterday" environment. Since factory soundcards introduce many a problem for professional recording and playback, laptop users are forced to carry outboard interface equipment if they are to hook up to pro-level gear. Even a quality USB audio card with unbalanced ins and outs can still be a compromise. Digigram introduced the Cancun 222-Mic USB audio interface at the 2012 NAB Show. It is lightweight and has plenty of professional functionality. More importantly, its thin, sleek design makes it perfect for desktop reachability and it fits nicely into a laptop bag.

At arm's reach

Atop the Cancun's control surface are two rotary buttons and a host of LED backlighted control buttons. The backlighted buttons are responsive to a light touch, allowing for quick and accurate settings changes of phantom power, 30dB pad, rotary button assignment, and several others. The top rotary button adjusts input and output levels, while the bottom rotary button is for headphone volume control. In the case of a clumsy-handed user, a top sliding button locks the control surface. The minimalist design features, thin profile and the proximity of the audio connectors put all necessities close by.

The interface is designed for portable or permanent use. Either way, it is home with a keyboard and mouse in a non-linear suite or in the grass on a remote recording job. It has a 25-pin Sub-D connector that fans out to a group of Neutrik XLR plugs. The fanout includes two-channel analog input and output, and an AES digital I/O. The top of the Cancun makes room for an optical ADAT input and output, 1/4" headphone jack and one panel-mounted XLR for single microphone use. The headphone amp packs plenty of headroom for all impedances. Each female XLR accepts line-level outputs as well as dynamic or condenser mics.

Performance at a glance
■ XLR fanout interface for professional I/O
■ Backlighted LED and rotary buttons
■ Quiet mic preamps and beefy headphone amp
■ USB 2.0 powered
■ Slim, lightweight design

Inset in the back is a connector for USB 2.0 interfacing with PC or Mac. Digigram implements a special Y configuration on the Cancun USB cord. The extra connector allows for plugging the Cancun into two USB ports, providing extra current. Depending on phantom power and other microphone uses, the Cancun could over-draw the current capability of a typical USB port.

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