Installing the digital card is pretty straightforward: you remove the top cover of the unit, take off the rear-panel blanking plate, mount the card using four screws, plus two more to secure it to the back panel, and then you only need to connect a single ribbon cable to complete the job. The DI function just gets on with the job in hand, delivering a clean, quiet version of whatever you plug into it. I used the same microphone, in the same setup, with the singer at the same distance, but the ISA One recording sounded far better focused — solid and clear, but in no way harsh or thin. Being able to route the DI signal via the main channel is also a nice touch, as is being able to monitor a stereo cue feed such as your DAW output via the phones. It also provides enhanced DI facilities, but doesn't give you the EQ. A rotary trimmer allows the main VU meter to be calibrated to suit the user's system, and a similar trimmer can be used to calibrate the peak LED meters. The ISA preamp design, which has long been one of the jewels in the Focusrite crown, can be traced back to the original Rupert Neve circuit developed for the ISA module. Previous article Next article.
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