DiGiGrid | IOS-XL SoundGrid Audio Interface
DiGiGrid | IOS-XL SoundGrid Audio Interface

DiGiGrid | IOS-XL SoundGrid Audio Interface

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“High-Definition I/O with SoundGrid DSP Server…”

Main Features

The DiGiGrid IOS-XL is the most comprehensive all-in-one solution for Native DAW users, ideal for both professional and personal audio production environments.

  • 8 mic/line ins, 8 line outs, 2 headphone outs
  • Built-in SoundGrid DSP server
  • ASIO and Core Audio-compatible audio interface
  • MIDI, S/PDIF, and AES/EBU ins and outs
  • Connects via a single Ethernet cable (Cat 5e/Cat 6)

Quick-view front panel metering and status indicators

DiGiGrid IOS-XL is a comprehensive audio interface with a built-in extreme SoundGrid DSP server that adds more plugin processing power to your system. Ideal for professional and personal production environments alike, the IOS-XL is the all-in-one solution for Studio and Live.

Together with the SoundGrid Studio System, DiGiGrid IOS-XL enables you to mix and monitor in real time using hundreds of SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plugins, with incredibly low latency of only 0.8 milliseconds.


The IOS-XL installer includes the relevant drivers and software for your unit: the SoundGrid ASIO/Core Audio driver, the SoundGrid Studio Application, the eMotion ST mixer, StudioRack, and the IOS-XL Control Panel.

  • SoundGrid Studio System Software

DiGiGrid IOS-XL Comes with the Complete SoundGrid Studio System Software by Waves

The SoundGrid Studio System is the next generation of sound technology. It is a real-time processing and networking platform designed to bring your studio up to light speed. It allows your DAW to offload its plugin processing to a SoundGrid DSP server and enables your devices to communicate with one another and with the devices of the people you work with. The SoundGrid Studio System integrates seamlessly with all DAWs and DiGiGrid (or other SoundGrid-compatible) I/Os, providing endless possibilities for setups of every size—from a single DAW with one DiGiGrid I/O, to an entire network of host computers, I/Os, and SoundGrid DSP servers.

The SoundGrid Studio System Gives You the Power to Do More

  • Real-Time Processing – Run hundreds of plugins simultaneously.
  • Low-Latency Monitoring – Track and rehearse with full-on plugins in near-zero latency.
  • Networking – Connect everything and everyone through a centralized hub.
  • Seamless Integration – Connect multiple DAWs using the SoundGrid ASIO/Core Audio driver.
  • Open Architecture – Compliant with SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plugins.

SoundGrid Studio System Software Components

  • SoundGrid Studio Application – For managing the SoundGrid network on your host computer.
  • eMotion ST Mixer – Low-latency monitoring for tracking and rehearsing.
  • StudioRack – For running plugin chains, saving and loading their presets, and offloading their processing to a SoundGrid DSP server.
  • SoundGrid ASIO/Core Audio – Connects any DAW to the SoundGrid network as a software I/O.
  • SoundGrid Studio Application

The SoundGrid Studio Application is your tool for managing all software and hardware connected to the SoundGrid network. With its dynamic I/O mapping ability, the SoundGrid Studio Application lets you configure your SoundGrid network, manage its various components, and set up any combination of drivers and SoundGrid-compatible devices. It also enables I/O sharing between several computers, allowing you to manage their resources from your host computer.

The SoundGrid Studio Application enables you to:

  • Configure your SoundGrid ASIO/Core Audio driver and DiGiGrid I/Os. (Auto-configuration Wizard available.)
  • Process, mix and monitor in real time (together with StudioRack and the eMotion ST mixer).
  • Connect and patch multiple hardware devices and software I/Os.
  • Stream audio from and to multiple host computers running different DAWs.
  • Create and save your own configuration templates.
  • Control the parameters of your DiGiGrid I/Os (channel input gain, phantom power, etc.).
  • eMotion ST Mixer

eMotion ST is the mixer part of the SoundGrid Studio System. Combined with StudioRack, it lets you run SoundGrid plugins for low-latency monitoring, giving you complex monitor mixing options while recording with your DAW.

eMotion ST is a high-quality mixer with 8 multi-purpose inputs, 64 additional StudioRack input channels, 2 FX busses, 6 mix busses, and a main stereo mix. Since the mixer operates within the SoundGrid network, any DiGiGrid I/O or any available SoundGrid-compatible I/O device, whether hardware or driver-based, can provide it with inputs and outputs.

The eMotion ST mixer can run hundreds of Waves and third-party SoundGrid-compatible plugins in low latency, replacing in this respect the external mixer traditionally used to create monitor mixes for studios and headphones.

  • 8 multi-purpose mono/stereo input channels
  • 2 stereo FX aux buss/returns and 6 stereo aux buss/returns
  • Up to 64 mono channel feeds from StudioRack plugins
  • 8 insert slots per channel for SoundGrid plugins
  • Connects to multiple DiGiGrid I/Os and other SoundGrid-compatible devices and hosts
  • Compliant with SoundGrid-compatible Waves and third-party plugins
  • Fully integrates with StudioRack
  • Enables use of SoundGrid plugins as standalone processors for any purpose
  • Requires at least one DiGiGrid I/O and a SoundGrid DSP server
  • StudioRack

StudioRack is a software rack dedicated to running plugin chains. The processing of each chain can then be directed to your host computer’s CPU or to a SoundGrid DSP server (if present), as you choose. When you process your plugin chains on a SoundGrid server, StudioRack lets you monitor your tracks in extremely low latency via the eMotion ST mixer. StudioRack is compatible with most popular DAWs, with a dedicated component for Pro Tools TDM and HDX systems which enables you to offload your plugin processing to the SoundGrid server if you choose to use one.

  • Compatible with most popular DAWs
  • Plugin chains are processed on local CPU or SoundGrid DSP server
  • Compatible with Pro Tools HD/HDX and HD Native
  • Compatible with Waves and third-party plugins
  • Enables monitoring in super-low latency
  • Up to 8 plugins per rack
  • Fully automatable
  • Plugin chain presets can be loaded on any DAW as well as on MultiRack and eMotion ST
  • Instant access to plugin parameters within each chain
  • Intuitive MIDI control over all plugins
  • Avid Control Surface support
  • DiGiGrid IOS-XL Control Panel
  • Clock settings: source, sample rate, type, status
  • Mic preamp controls: input gains, phantom on/off
  • Optional sample rate conversion on digital inputs
  • Input and output meters
  • Save and load presets of unit settings
  • Save your settings along with your Waves and SoundGrid host application sessions

Expanded Details

Native DAW with a DiGiGrid IOS-XL
Offloading Audio Processing to the IOS-XL’s Built-In SoundGrid Server

This diagram shows a typical studio setup, including a host computer with a Native DAW and a single I/O interface connecting mics, instruments, headphones and monitors.

By adding a DiGiGrid IOS-XL with its built-in SoundGrid DSP server, you can offload your audio processing from the DAW and enjoy much greater processing power (up to 8 plugins per StudioRack insert). You can also use StudioRack together with the eMotion ST mixer, letting you record and monitor with extremely low latency and dramatically increasing the number of plugins you can use simultaneously.

  • DiGiGrid IOS-XL
  • Host computer with a Native DAW

One Computer, One I/O with a DSP Server, One Expansion I/O Unit, One DAW

Want to mix, record, and monitor with a large number of plugins in near-zero latency?

By adding the IOS-XL’s built-in DSP server to your SoundGrid network you can offload your audio processing from your DAW to the server. This dramatically increases the number of plugins you can run simultaneously. In addition, it allows you to use the eMotion mixer, which lets you create personalized monitor mixes from your DAW mix and outside sources, and also allows you to open 64 StudioRacks.

  • DAW (Pro Tools, Nuendo, Cubase, Logic, etc.) with SoundGrid Studio installed
  • Multi-input SoundGrid I/O device with server – DiGiGrid IOS-XL
  • SoundGrid expansion I/O – DiGiGrid IOX

Need more I/Os? Just connect a DiGiGrid IOX expansion unit to your DiGiGrid IOS-XL via a single Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable, and now you have 12 more top-quality input preamps, 6 line outs, and 4 more individual headphone outputs.

Running Various DAWs Simultaneously Using a Single DiGiGrid IOS-XL

Use this configuration for running audio signals from multiple DAWs simultaneously and mixing them in real time.

  • DiGiGrid IOS-XL
  • Host computer with Native DAW
  • Computer 2-4 – Native DAWs
  • 1 GB network switch

In this setup, a single Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable connects each of the four computers to the DiGiGrid IOS-XL’s Ethernet switch.

Each computer that is part of a SoundGrid network uses the SoundGrid driver to stream audio into the network. In the above configuration, the main host computer running the SoundGrid Studio Application patches between all host computers within the network and configures their ASIO/Core Audio driver inputs and outputs.

DiGiGrid IOS-XL has a built-in SoundGrid DSP server that provides unequaled offload capabilities.

The table below indicates the number of plugins that can be inserted into StudioRacks and loaded to DiGiGrid IOS-XL before the system reaches DSP overload (85%) or fails to play audio fluently (clicks, dropouts, corruption).

Plugin Component 44.1 kHz 96 kHz
API 2500 mono 512 414
API 550 mono 512 512
API 560 mono 115 95
AudioTrack mono 512 512
C6 Multiband Compressor mono 173 85
CLA-2A Compressor / Limiter mono 448 218
CLA-3A Compressor / Limiter mono 512 221
CLA-76 Compressor / Limiter mono 512 464
dbx® 160 Compressor / Limiter mono 74 100
DeEsser mono 512 512
Dorrough Stereo stereo 512 512
H-Comp Hybrid Compressor mono 512 384
H-Delay Hybrid Delay mono 512 256
H-EQ Hybrid Equalizer mono 197 204
H-Reverb Hybrid Reverb* stereo 16 11
IR1 Convolution Reverb* stereo 61 25
IR-Live Convolution Reverb* stereo 90 33
InPhase** mono 184 184
J37 Tape mono 104 116
Kramer HLS Channel mono 290 104
Kramer Master Tape mono 113 54
L2 Ultramaximizer mono 512 400
LoAir mono 512 376
MaxxVolume mono 512 512
NLS Non-Linear Summer mono 512 230
PuigChild Compressor mono 512 220
PuigTec EQP1A mono 200 136
REDD 17 mono 272 69
Renaissance Bass mono 512 404
Renaissance Channel mono 512 358
Renaissance Compressor mono 512 512
Renaissance Equalizer (REQ6) mono 512 512
Renaissance Reverb stereo 210 114
Renaissance Vox mono 512 512
Scheps 73 mono 272 238
SSL E-Channel mono 512 405
SSL G-Channel mono 512 405
SSL G-Equalizer mono 512 512
SSL G-Master Buss Comp mono 512 405
TG 12345 mono 62 75
TransX Multi mono 512 294
TransX Wide mono 512 512
Vitamin Sonic Enhancer mono 240 144

The maximum number of plugins that can be tested given system limitations is 512 mono and 256 stereo (64 and 32 StudioRacks, respectively).

Plugin benchmark results may vary slightly from one system setup to another.

While most plugins perform most efficiently at 44.1 kHz, a few perform as or even more efficiently at 96 kHz thanks to their upsampling or to non-sample-rate-dependent algorithms.

* Plugin’s peak DSP usage level is much higher than its average level. Make sure to monitor peak levels on the DSP meter in the eMotion ST mixer.

** Plugin introduces high latency.

Comparison with Avid HDX

The benchmarks below illustrate the processing power of the IOS-XL’s built-in SoundGrid DSP server compared with Avid HDX.

Plugin DiGiGrid IOS-XL Avid HDX
Waves SSL G-Channel mono instances @ 44.1 kHz/td> Over 500 Less than 160
Waves SSL G-Channel mono instances @ 96 kHz Over 400 Less than 70

Comparison with UAD Apollo

The benchmarks below illustrate the processing power of DiGiGrid IOS-XL’s built-in SoundGrid DSP server, compared with Universal Audio’s UAD-2 quad core DSP card. UAD benchmarks are taken from UAD’s website. The numbers in the chart refer to mono instances @ 44.1 kHz.

Waves Plugin DiGiGrid IOS-XL UAD Plugin Apollo (UAD-2 QUAD)
API 550 512 API 550A EQ 52
API 560 115 API 560 EQ 40
CLA-2A Compressor / Limiter 448 Teletronix LA-2A Gray/Silver 24
CLA-76 Compressor / Limiter 512 UA 1176 Rev A/Rev E/AE 28-32
InPhase 184 Little Labs IBP Phase Alignment Tool 116
Kramer Master Tape 113 Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder 20
PuigTec EQP1A 200 Pultec EQP-1A (Passive EQ Collection) 52
Scheps 73 272 Neve 1073 (Preamp and EQ) 8
SSL E-Channel 512 SSL E Channel Strip 68
SSL G-Master Buss Comp 512 SSL G Bus Compressor 140

DiGiGrid IOS-XL features 8 mic/line inputs with broadcast/studio-quality preamps; 8 line outputs; 2 headphone outputs; and MIDI I/O, S/PDIF, and AES ins and outs.

IOS-XL also features a built-in network switch. To connect more SoundGrid-compatible components to your system, all you need is a single Cat 5e/Cat 6 Ethernet cable.

General Specifications 

  • Internal SoundGrid DSP Server (SoundGrid Extreme V3 Server equivalent)
  • 8 channel mic/line ins (XLR/TRS combo)
  • 8 channel line outs (TRS or 25-pin D-con)
  • 4 SoundGrid RJ45 Ethernet ports
  • AES/EBU or S/PDIF I/O (switchable)
  • Optional sample rate conversion on AES / SPDIF inputs
  • 2 headphone outputs with front panel analog level controls
  • 1 AC input
  • 1 USB port (for software upgrades/support only.)
  • 2U rack-mounted
  • Supported sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz (176.4 and 192 kHz will be supported in the future)
  • Word clock I/O
  • Clock synchronization via Word Clock input, AES/EBU, SPDIF, SoundGrid (Sync over Ethernet)), Internal
  • MIDI I/O
  • Reset switch

Analog Inputs

  • Input Impedance: Mic: 2K5 / Line: 8K0 Ohms
  • Gain Range: Mic: 0 dB to +52.5 dB in 7.5-dB steps / Line: -10 dB to +42.5 dB in 7.5-dB steps
  • Fine control provides an additional 0dB to 7dB in 0.5-dB steps
  • Maximum Input Level: Mic: +26 dBu / Line: +36 dBu
  • Mic Equivalent Input Noise: > -126 dB (150 Ohm source, gain +59.5 dB)
  • Harmonic Distortion: Typically < 0.01% @ unity gain, -10dB input @ 1 kHz
  • Frequency Response: +/-0.5 dB (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Channel Separation: Better than 90 dB (40 Hz to 15 kHz)

Analog Outputs

  • Maximum Output Level: +22 dBu
  • Residual Output Noise: <90 dB (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Frequency Response: +/-0.5 dB (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
  • Channel Separation: Better than 90 dB (40 Hz to 15 kHz)
  • Harmonic Distortion: Typically < 0.01% @ unity gain, -10dB input @ 1 kHz

Weight and Dimensions

Height Width Depth Weight
2U / 88.1mm 19″ / 482.60 mm 356 6Kg

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