Focusrite ISA One

Portable Preamp Based on Focusrite Forte Technology
Focusrite ISA One image 1
Focusrite ISA One image 1
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Focusrite ISA One
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A Forte Console in a Portable Unit

The Focusrite ISA One is an excellent way to tap into the legacy of the Forte console in an ultra-portable format. The ISA One is built on the topology of the original ISA 110, including the Lundahl L1538 transformer and Zobel network. Inputs for microphone-, line-, and instrument-level sources cover all of the bases. A variable impedance selector also lets you dial in the response you need. Plus, the ISA One's instrument- and microphone-level inputs run in parallel, so you can blend the direct signals.

Focusrite ISA One Microphone Preamp at a Glance:
  • ISA preamp in a portable metal chassis
  • Selectable impedance, perfect for matching with any microphone
  • Mic, line, and direct instrument inputs offer great tracking options
ISA preamp in a portable metal chassis

Focusrite's ISA preamps are designed to give you the same classic performance and sound as the legendary Forte console, which is often thought of as the pinnacle of analog recording. The ISA One gives you this preamp design in a portable desktop form factor. You no longer have to go through the hassle of un-racking and re-racking your gear when you have to track elsewhere. And forget hiring a team and truck to move a Forte! Now you can just grab your ISA One and go.

Selectable impedance, perfect for matching with any microphone

The microphone input on the ISA One offers the awesome addition of impedance matching. Since so many mics like to see a different impedance at the preamp, one size doesn't necessarily fit all. With the ISA One, you come prepared. You can select between four different levels to match with the mic you're using. Or break the rules and find an "incorrect" sound that works for your needs! No matter the mic you choose, you'll be covered by the ISA One.

Mic, line, and direct instrument inputs offer great tracking options

One of the best features of the ISA One is all of the tracking options you get in such a compact package. You get mic-, line-, and instrument-level inputs - you can actually blend an instrument input and a mic input at the same time. Then you can listen back to your mix through the headphones out, while the sounds you need get on your track.

Focusrite ISA One Microphone Preamp Features:
  • Mic and instrument preamplifier based on the Forte console
  • Portable design for getting great sounds wherever you are
  • Mix and match your mics with the impedance selector
  • Mic, line, and instrument inputs
  • Classic VU meter and ladder LEDs
  • Cue mix stereo inputs
  • Certificate of origin signed by Phil Dudderidge
  • An optional 24-bit/192kHz A-to-D converter is available
Get a piece of the Forte legacy with the Focusrite ISA One!

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State
Number of Channels 1
Frequency Response 10Hz-125kHz
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x XLR (Line), 1 x 1/4" (Line), 1 x 1/4" (DI), 1 x 1/4" (Amp)
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR (Main), 1 x XLR (DI), 2 x 1/4" (Cue Mic R/L), 1 x 1/4" (Headphone)
Height 4.1""
Depth 11.4"
Width 8.66"
Weight 8.6 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number ISA ONE ANALOG

Customer Reviews

Based on 43 reviews
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This preamp is super transparent and clear. I paired it with my AKG C214 and it has taken my recording to a whole other level. Sadly, I sold it, but I will be getting another one real soon. Recommend it others!
Music background: Hip Hop Recording Artist

Isa one with akg 414 vox

I thought I'd share my experience with my isa one and maybe it will help someone else. I have a projectmix io as my interface which annoyingly doesn't have a pad on the inputs. Mix that with the fact that the isa one doesn't have an outPut volume control it means the Main out of the isa one is too hot for the ins. It is impossible to not clip. Even pushing main out to balanced line in (without the gain boost on the mic input). To correct this, I go from the headphone out on the Isa one to a line input. This allows you to control output volume. However, doing this without also plugging in the output on the isa one into a mic input created an unusable amount of noise. I'm sure this is simply my inexperience, however with this all hooked up it sounds clean and amazingly quiet. I should mention that I have a DBX compresser / de-Esser / gate -expander plugged into the insert of the isa one. The DBX 286s specifically. This combo is fantastic for me and my ear. For the price, the Isa one is just awesome! Hope this helps someone else :)
Music background: Hobbyist

Audio Swiss Army Knife - get two, seriously

The ISA One is, first of all, a very good and a very transparaent, mic pre and DI. The ability to blend both at once is tremendous (rather like the RND 5017, but much handier, as you'll see). I find myself usng it just to monitor other, less equipped, mic pres, just to use the excellent built-in headphone amp (don't underestimate this utility), when I'm looking for a different flavor. Despite the use of top-line Lundahl transformers and its designer (yes, a guy named Rupert) heritage, this isn't a 'color' pre, but it isn't quite the "straight wire with gain", either, as it seems to impart a nice harmonic sheen to every signal that passes through, while leaving it intact enough to stack tracks without issues. Always sounds right. I liked it so much, that I bought two, and then three, although the third is a gift for a talented nephew who just graduated from music school, and is recording... the first gift I thought of for him, since mine are so useful to me. OK - the icing on the cake here is, by using the digital option card, which I have in one of my pair of ISA Ones, I can use the "Ext I/P" jack as input from the other, to have two channels of matched ISA bliss going out over a variety of digital formats: AES/EBU, ADAT, or SPDIF (using their breakout cable). The converters are high-spec and go up to any sample rate you'd care about, and sound great (transparent). This is usually how I use my ISA Ones, as a pair. While I have a variety of great mic preamps to use, and I do, these are always involved. I don't leave home without them. Oh - I didn't even mention the switchable input impedance - so useful, you don't want to use anything without it, ever agan. Helps you match up and get the best out of not just condenser mics, but ribbons (like an AEA R84 or FatHead or Royer) and dynamics (Shure SM7b, RE20). It'll make all your mics sound great. Very, very highly recommended audio tool. Start with one if your budget dictates, but eventually get a pair, and get one digital card.
Music background: Old school musician, engineer, producer, owner

Dont think about it, just get it!

The pre is well worth the price. If you are looking for big phat mojo vocals, look elsewhere, but if you want clean, smooth transparent vocals you cant go wrong. It adds this "sheen" to the top end that makes the vocals sound "glossy" (if that makes any sense lol) but really nice i love it, and by the way, im using it with a blue blueberry mic. great combo!
Music background: Recording engineer

This is a great unit

I learned a lot after buying this unit. One thing is that besides monitors, a preamp is the most important buy one can make for a home studio. This amp is not one to color your sound with any character. What I found is that it is crystal clear. I was able to change the sounds of my recording by changing mics, adjusting mic positions, etc, to get the sound I wanted. It picks up the full spectrum of sound that is fed into it and leaves you with plenty of room to eq what you don't want. . My recordings were immediatley improved and I can now hear the individual tracks more clearly and more pronounced.. The impedance matching feature is an amazing feature that will get the best sound out of your mic. Spend your money where it counts. This is an amazing preamp and you won't regret buying it.
Music background: 20 yr Song writer, performer, home studio hobbyist
See also: Focusrite, Focusrite Preamps