PRODIGAL Dual Channel Strip & Monitor Station

All the Analog you need

"the Prodigal is the new 'Australian army knife' of the audio world" 
-Greg Walker  (Paul Kelly, C.W. Stoneking)

"a must-have for engineers who take their work seriously"
-Lachlan Mitchell  (Swoop, Motor Ace, Jezabels)

"just press record and shut the fuck up"
-Michael Letho (Rockwiz, Slava Grigoryan, Daryl Braithwaite)

* FACTORY DIRECT PRICE: $4,890 inc gst. (Australian Dollars) *

- UNITS FOR HIRE: $110 per day inc gst. -

Developed in collaboration with Australian multi-award winning Producer/Engineer David Nicholas (US & UK #1s with Pulp, INXS, Elton John, Bryan Adams) the Prodigal Dual Channel Strip & Monitor Station is a world class analog strip for use in pro studio, location, or home recording and mastering.

Hand-made and tested in Melbourne, Australia

  • solid state analog recording chain
  • discrete class A mic, line and instrument pre
  • transformerless for tight and linear bottom end
  • zero latency monitoring
  • stereo/mono switchable
  • for small and large studio use
  • for tracking, mixing and mastering
  • EQ, bandwidth, "mud" and "air" filters
  • FET de-esser
  • FET compressor/limiter
  • simultaneous peak dot and VU bar metering
  • gain-reduction metering
  • powerful headphone amplifier
  • 2 x studio monitor outputs
  • 2 x playback inputs for DAW, tape, CD, etc
  • playback input for smart-phone
  • talk back via smart-phone mic into input 3
  • 3 rack unit enclosure
  • international power supply
  • hand-made in Australia

Prodigal Dual Channel Strip is a professional solid state analog audio input chain. It can be used in stereo, or dual mono, with both channels configured independently. Each channel consists of a bandwidth adjustable discrete transistor preamplifier, equalization, FET de-esser and FET compressor/limiter, with simultaneous peak and VU metering of input and output, as well as selectable gain reduction metering for the de-esser or compressor. The unit also features a fully independent monitor station and powerful headphone amplifier.

With dual channel processing and a built-in monitoring system, the Prodigal is versatile and portable, needing only the addition of a laptop computer, ADC, and some powered speakers to function as the hub of a compact, premium quality, professional recording setup.

Class A mic/line/instrument preamplifier is a low current, low noise discrete transistor design, using hand-matched components. It accepts mic and line signals via the main rear XLR inputs, or high impedance instruments and additional line level devices via the front panel TRS jack inputs. Includes phase reversal and 20dB pad for all inputs, and P48 for microphones. The 20Hz~20kHz bandwidth is sweepable to 200Hz~2kHz, to help suppress undesired outband audio prior to EQ and dynamics processing.

Equalization section provides a single band of sweepable cut or boost, a de-mud filter to attenuate anything muddy and un-musical at 300Hz, and an air filter to accentuate edges and add spaciousness by boosting above 10kHz.

De-esser reduces sibilance in vocals, and high frequency transients such as pick noise on guitars. It applies natural sounding FET limiting to all frequencies above a sweepable crossover point. The Hz control sets that point, and the ess control sets the amplitude threshold above which limiting occurs. This threshold level is varied in response to a sample of the full-bandwidth signal, which helps keep the amount of de-essing consistent regardless of program volume or dynamics. When de-essing occurs, the limit LED glows with proportional intensity. The output meter can be conveniently switched to display de-esser gain reduction. Left and right channel FETs have been hand-matched to preserve stereo imaging.

Compressor/limiter transparently reduces peaks in program material. It applies ultra fast FET soft-knee limiting in sparkling linear phase. The compress control varies ratio and threshold together so that more input results in more compression, with peaks maintained at around -12dBFS. Great for airy vocals, or tight, level bass tracks, the Prodigal compressor loves to be driven hard. When limiting occurs, the limit LED glows with proportional intensity. The output meter can be conveniently switched to display compressor gain reduction. Left and right channel units may be linked, and FETs have been hand-matched to preserve stereo imaging.

LED level meters display input and output levels in –dB Full Scale. Both meters simultaneously display VU as a solid bar, with an instantaneous peak level dot riding above. Peak hold is 3 seconds with a slow decay.

Output meter can be switched to display gain reduction levels for either the de-essers or the compressors. Gain reduction is displayed directly as a solid bar and no additional ballistics have been applied.

Monitor station provides central control of the listening environment. One of its inputs is fed directly from the Prodigal Channel Strip mix bus, but apart from that it may be thought of as an entirely separate device. Its principal function is to mix local audio at zero latency with playback from your DAW or other recording device. The resulting mix is then sent to the headphone output on the front panel, and via the studio master fader to one or two studio monitor outputs on the rear panel. The second studio monitor output might be connected to a sub-woofer or other speakers, an additional headphone amplifier, or used to send a sub-mix to another recorder. A second playback input has been provided for other audio sources, such as a CD player or tape machine. A third mini jack input has been provided on the front panel for playback from your iGadget. In situations where engineer and performer are physically isolated, this third input may also be used as a talk-back input simply by connecting a smart-phone with a mic-to-speaker app installed.

User Manual (Version 5.1. Includes Tech Specs, Patch and Cable Guide). 4.6Mb

Tech Specs and Patch. 2.7Mb

Recall Sheet. 0.5Mb

Glossy Brochure. 1Mb


Elton John

Jimmy Barnes

Jon Stevens

Emu Music

Stone Empire

Stu Hunter feat. Katie Noonan


 Rhinoceros Music & Publishing.  Agent, Professional Sales.
PO Box 275, Avoca Beach, NSW 2251, Australia
 Phone: +61 423 655 838 / 0423 655 838

David Nicholas talks to Dan Booth about the Szikla Prodigal Dual Channel Strip. (2 minutes) Edit taken from a web interview courtesy of Soundbooth Tutorials.  
Independent Product Review by Dan Booth of Soundbooth Tutorials. Dan takes a detailed tour of the Szikla Prodigal Dual Channel Strip, discusses the pros and cons, shows how he integrates it with his DAW, and runs some audio through for a listen. (25 minutes) Web review by Soundbooth Tutorials.  
Prodigal System Alignment for MAC and PC detailed procedure. (7 minutes)  

Basic Leads Pack for connecting between your Prodigal and common IN/OUT devices, such as DAW, Powered Speakers, Smartphone etc. Contains:
2x MXLR - FXLR (3M)
2x 1/4 inch TRS - TRS (2M)
2x 1/4 inch TRS - MXLR (1.5M)
2x 1/4 inch TRS - FXLR (1.5M)

Location recording using 3 Prodigals, Garrison Church Sydney.



"I was really impressed with this unit right from my first look at it. It’s built like a tank and although packed with features, it’s well laid-out. The easy-to-understand front panel makes it simple to plug and play. The large format print, buttons and knobs are a great addition too.

I am amazed by the functionality of the Prodigal: recording, dynamic processing, equalisation, mixing, serious monitoring. So many great ideas rolled into one. I like the way this unit does the little things right. It means the big stuff is usually taken care of (in this case, yes, it is), but also that there are people who care about quality, usability, and getting things right.

The Prodigal is a must-have for engineers and producers who take their work seriously and expect high-quality gear. This high quality unit is raising the bar with operational functions that would humble anything on the market. An engineer is only as good as their weakest link, with The Prodigal there is no weak link."

- Lachlan Mitchell (Swoop, Motor Ace, Jezabels), Sydney

"...You've created a phenomenal piece of gear that has vastly improved my home recording experience. I have nothing but gratitude and praise for you guys!

...What I like about it most is first and foremost the incredible bang-for-ya-buck you get, in terms of being a premium quality stereo channel-strip with added functions such as de-esser, de-mud, air, yet without the premium you would pay for having a Rupert Neve Designs or API or Universal Audio logo on it. In fact I can't think of a stereo strip or single strip that can marginally compete in terms of value for money. Anything that sounds this good is insanely pricey and anything that is as affordable is several leagues down in terms of sonics.

But equally fantastic is the consideration for practical functions that can only come from someone like David Nicholas who has comprehensive experience in the studio and thus an appreciation for the small things that are so helpful. E.g. the fact that I can run all my monitoring through it, the fact that I can switch to mono to check phasing etc, the fact that it is essentially the central hub/brain for my set up.

In general, I don't think I have ever acquired a piece of a gear (excepting perhaps my first laptop!) that has made a bigger difference to the quality of my work. I run virtually everything I can through it and if anything perhaps over-use it because of my trust and faith in it that it will improve the sound of an instrument or group stem. A true game-changer."

- Michael Thomas, Michael Thomas Productions, London

"... amazing Unit. Low male voices sound perfect with the demud and air turned on. With just the air on, female voices sound pristine. Sounds amazing on the snare with the air on. U can really hear the air of the snare's chain. Very musical sounding EQ!

The Hi-Z input on this is a beast. It definitely beefs up guitar and bass! A+ on that.

The headphone out is just a machine! The level it outputs with such low noise floor is just stellar! Well thought out addition!

It is the go to hardware to produce a record where all you have is a laptop and an interface. The ultimate channel strip!!"

- Tony Polimeni, Sound City Studios, Melbourne

"I just love how the unit feels – it’s strong and feels well made. All of the controls allow you to dial in accurately the sound you want to hear and I like the fact that it also puts an emphasis back using your ears for decision making – without getting bogged down in the finer details.

I think the Prodigal does a great job with everything it is designed to do and integrates extremely easily with a typical interface. The sound I cannot really describe - except to say that I felt it gave me an instant vibe. It has a life to it, a kind of randomness or non-linear quality which I like, as it is organic and very musical sounding. I especially noticed a marked difference in how it made the low end feel. I’ve used many plugins, but I think I would struggle to recreate what the Prodigal does to a sound in the digital realm. The bass has a solidity and weight too it, but also a tightness that I’ve simply not been able to achieve with plugins alone.

Conclusion: What Digital & Analog do individually, they do very well and the logical step to take is to incorporate the advantages of each into your workflow. In the ever increasing home studio market, I think the Szikla Prodigal is the first of its kind to package something of great quality and functionality that really pushes the boundaries and that can take home recordings & mixes to a whole new level of professionalism and sophistication."

- Dan Booth, Soundbooth Tutorials
-Product Review Video


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