Focusrite ISA430 MKII Producer Pack Reviews5.0/5.0 based on 3 customer reviews
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May 1, 2013Music Background:
Engineer, Producer, Performer
I love this thing more and more every dayOkay first off, if youíre looking for the ultimate bass channel, this is it. I have NEVER gotten as good of a bass direct sound from anything else Iíve used (Avalon, UA and yes, even API). This should almost be sold as a bass channel strip because it performs so well with it. The compressor is very nice, its actually a lot more subtle sounding than I thought itíd be, which is great for tracking purposes cause you can dial it in without going overboard easily. I will say setting up GR on the VUís is tricky, personally Iíd rather see some LEDs for that but just a slight inconvenience. The eq section is surprisingly useful, and it doesnít have any level indicators on it so you donít know by how much youíre boosting or cutting something. It forces you to use your earsÖ weird huh? haha. Its very musical, I have no clue what curves theyíre using but I really like them. The only thing I really really wish they had on it would be an instrument pass thru. I like recording a clean DI for re-amping and a ďdirtyĒ DI for the tone. This thing is really advanced, Iíve never seen a channel strip with this much functionality. Its like a hardware version of a plugin. Instead of a plugin version of hardware haha. I donít like the ISA pre sound on vocals too much, just a bit bright. But to be fair I donít usually like any transformer based pre for vocals. But I love it on anything with a string. It really helps the snap come through. Also amazing on percussion for obvious reasons. One of the well thought out benefits of this unit is you can basically use it part-and-parcel with other gear you already own. So if youíve got a great pre but need a good eq and compressor, you can create a separate path in your patch bay just for that. You can reroute where the modules sit, so eq-comp-filter or filter-comp-eq, or whatever! This is going to be my only choice for bass for the rest of my career. Honestly, I donít need to try anything else.
from Tacoma, WA
October 1, 2012Music Background:
25 year audio pro, national touring engineer, commercial studio owner, sound company owner
Simply one of the best channel strips available.OK, I have been in the music biz as an audio engineer full time for about 25 years (has it been that long already?) and I have owned a commercial recording studio for about 13 of those years. I currently own SSL Superanalogue channels strips ($3,300 US), LA-610, and a bunch of others as well as the Focusrite ISA430 MKii.
This unit easily has the most versatile mic pre of all of my preamps and with all of the impedance options, as well as the different gain options I can tell you that you will get every tone you are looking for out of the pre. The compressor has a few different modes and I found that the Vintage mode is just fantastic! Almost a LA2 style compressor.
The metering is also some of the best I have seen on any channel strip in this price range and higher. You have full time dedicated input and output meters as well as the standard options for the VU meter.
Avalons have a great sound, but the Focusrite is much more versatile especially when compared to pres like the Avalon and even my SSL. Not matter what you do to the SSL it sound like an SSL (which is killer!) but that Focusrite can just get a crazy variety sounds.
The EQ on this thing is one of the most surgical and musical I have ever used. There is a reason that this box is known for the EQ! WOW!
Any source we have put through it from bass guitar, accoustic guitar, or vocal mics may take a couple of minutes of tweaking but when you find that majic spot for your source it will reach out and grab you instantly.
If you are considering an Avalon, Neve, UA Audio, Daking, or any other mid level to high end channel strip, check this Focusrite out. It is simply the best overall value (bang for the buck) in our inventory.
from Fremont, CA USA
January 2, 2012Music Background:
Recording/Mixing Engineer, Songwriter
Best Channel Strip I've ever owned!!This channel strip blows every other I've ever owned out of the water. Combine the ISA430 with a great mic, and you've got a killer combo for vocals and instruments. It simply warms up anything you put through it. I have an Avalon vt737 sp, and I thought I'd never own another piece of gear that would make vocals shine in a mix without extra processing. Sounds amazing on electric bass guitar, too!!