The ISA 828 MkII incorporates eight of Focusrite's classic mic preamps, with Lundahl LL1538 transformers on every input. Each channel has the option of mic or line inputs, while inputs 1-4 also feature instrument inputs on the front panel. Each mic pre has variable input impedance, to provide a range of subtly different sonic options when using microphones, including an 'ISA 110' setting, which replicates the impedance of the original Focusrite mic pre.
Up to 60dB of gain is available, with a further +20dB of continuously variable trim, providing a huge 80dB gain range. The high-pass filter has a fixed 75Hz frequency and 18dB / octave roll-off for minimising rumble, stand-borne noise and other low-frequency sounds. The ISA 828 MkII also features per-channel, six-segment LED meters, and switchable rear-panel insert points, which allow the use of inline processors such as compressors or EQs.
Dedicated connectors for mic and line-level inputs allow all sources to be connected simultaneously, making ISA 828 MkII perfect for permanent installation in a rack. A switching power supply allows for efficient, cool operation, without sacrificing sound quality or performance, and increasing reliability over its predecessor. The optional ISA ADN8 analogue-to-digital expansion card provides eight Dante, ADAT and AES3 outputs at sampling rates of up to 24-bit / 192kHz.And as with all Focusrite Pro products, wherever you happen to be in the world, you can rely on a three-year warranty if any Focusrite Pro hardware needs repairing or replacing due to a manufacturing fault.
Focusrite ISA 828—Just the Facts:
- Classic ISA mic preamp design featuring Lundahl LL1538 input transformer
- Front-panel instrument inputs to the first four channels
- Line inputs with dedicated input connectors and front-panel switch
- Switchable input impedance including classic ISA 110 setting
- High-pass filters
- Switchable insert points when used with A-D card
- Per-channel six-segment LED peak-level meters
- Optional A-D card with up to 24-bit/192kHz sampling via ADAT or AES3
Focusrite ISA 828—Under the Hood
Each mic pre has the option of mic, line or the front-panel instrument input, with variable input impedance to ensure you are getting the best performance from the source. Up to 60dB of gain is available on the four-position rotary and gain range switches, with a further +20dB of continuously variable trim, meaning a huge 80dB of gain is available should it be required. The high-pass filter features variable cut-off frequency between 16 and 420Hz. An array of 6-segment LED meters show peak signal level for the four mic pres, in addition to the four direct inputs to the optional A-D card. Switchable rear-panel insert points allow the use of inline processors such as compression.
ISA 828 I/O
The ISA preamps are complemented by eight line inputs, eight line outputs and an optional eight-channel 192kHz A-D converter boasting a dynamic range of 122dB. Thanks to its convenient 25-pin D-Type connectors, the ISA 828 also integrates quickly and seamlessly with Pro Tools | HD, as well as other popular hard disc recorders and mixing desks.
Variable input impedance
The microphone input stage additionally includes a variable impedance circuit, allowing the user to switch between four carefully selected input impedance settings. The original ISA 110 setting is supplemented by three further impedance settings to either perfectly match the preamp with any microphone, thus maximizing level, or to use different settings creatively to shape the sound of the microphone being used.
The four front-panel instrument inputs also feature high- and low-impedance options to provide a comprehensive and accessible DI solution. Insert switches are also featured on every channel, should the need arise to place extra processing between the preamp and converter. Vintage design 75Hz/18dB per octave high-pass filters are also provided on every channel, ensuring unwanted low frequencies are effectively eliminated.
LED input meters
Finally, every channel features a six-LED input meter, complete with precise global meter trim. Metering has been designed to use the same reference points as Avid’s Pro Tools HD™ system and provides clear and accurate input metering, independent of the DAW.
PAD—For the Record: Prior to founding Focusrite Ltd., Rupert Neve was contracted by George Martin to build 16 additional input channels for the Neve console at AIR Studios. With a directive to spare no expense, the ISA 110/130 modules were the result, and later formed the basis for Focusrite Ltd.’s products. In 1988, after unrelenting customer demand for Neve to build full consoles, the company built two no-compromise ISA-based consoles, named the Focusrite Forte (still considered by many the best sounding console ever made). The idea was to build the highest-possible quality console sparing no expense. One was delivered to Master Rock Studios in London, the other to Electric Lady Studios in New York. However, building the consoles put the company in financial jeopardy. In 1989, Phil Dudderidge, founder of Soundcraft, bought Focusrite and inherited the designs. Using the same ISA 110/130 signal path as the Forte, Dudderidge found a way to streamline the console and reduce costs. Dudderidge released 10 Focusrite Studio consoles before they nearly bankrupted Focusrite a second time.
If you’ve been wanting to get the sound of Rupert Neve into your racks, but couldn’t afford the price of admission, the Focusrite ISA 828 makes it possible. Order yours today. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Consultant.