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Focusrite ISA 220
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Focusrite ISA 220

Solid-State Pre-amp from Focusrite belonging to the ISA series.

6 reviews
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Average Score:
( 4.4/5 based on 6 reviews )
3 reviews
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"A good piece of gear with many features"

Focusrite ISA 220Published on 01/11/11 at 21:51
This is a microphone pre-amp channel, which includes the pre-amp as well as compression, de-essing, and EQ. It's got a lot more features than your average mic preamp. The pre-amp itself has a phantom power switch as well as a phase reverse which is important. This is then followed by an EQ, which has several parameters to control. Then comes the compression and de-essing, followed by a master output. If you wanted to have your track as perfect as possible coming into a session this is a great tool to have.

UTILIZATION

This is definitely a little trickier to use than your average mic pre, unless you want to bypass the EQ and the compression as well as the De-eser. Otherwise you'll have......
Read more
This is a microphone pre-amp channel, which includes the pre-amp as well as compression, de-essing, and EQ. It's got a lot more features than your average mic preamp. The pre-amp itself has a phantom power switch as well as a phase reverse which is important. This is then followed by an EQ, which has several parameters to control. Then comes the compression and de-essing, followed by a master output. If you wanted to have your track as perfect as possible coming into a session this is a great tool to have.

UTILIZATION

This is definitely a little trickier to use than your average mic pre, unless you want to bypass the EQ and the compression as well as the De-eser. Otherwise you'll have to deal with an input gain knob as well as a six-knob Parametric EQ, a four-knob Shelving EQ, a five knob compressor, a two-knob de-esser, and a master output. There's a ton of options here and they all require time and attention. This is good news for people who aren't getting the sound they want immediately. However I will say that in general, getting EQs and compression down perfect is going to be tough to do right from the get-go.

SOUND QUALITY

This is a pretty transparent pre-amp in general. Like the other Focusrite pre-amps that I've tried, it's not incredible, but it's certainly very good. The extra features do a lot to help bring out the best of it too. I really like the way that the two EQs work, they help breath life into this piece of gear pretty well. I don't think the compression sounds the best I've used but the fact that it's right there on the pre-amp goes a long way. I rarely ever do de-essing on anything but vocals, and I don't usually do it right away. So basically I would say that it's a great sounding piece of gear that I can't always use, but when I do use it it's great.

OVERALL OPINION

I like the array of controls on this thing a lot. The sound of the pre itself is nothing to die for but the EQs and effects are all better than using plug-ins most likely. For that reason it comes close to justifying it's price, but not really. It's still really expensive. Even though it's a great piece of gear it doesn't get five starts mainly because of the price. There's better sounding things out there that don't need their own eq and compression to sound good.
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Focusrite ISA 220Published on 08/24/10 at 23:50
The Focusrite ISA 220 'Session Pack' is a mono channel strip that consists of a microphone preamp, an equalizer, a compressor, a limiter, and a de-esser. It is an analog piece of gear and has mostly XLR connections for mic and line input, as well as for your output. It has a Hi-Z 1/4" input on both the front panel and in the back. It also has digital connection options for AES/EBU, S/PDIF, optical, and word clock. It is rack mountable and will take up two rack spaces in a traditional casing.

UTILIZATION

Using the Focusrite ISA 220 isn't too difficult, but since there are a lot of components you're definitely going to have to break it down section by section when you first sit down......
Read more
The Focusrite ISA 220 'Session Pack' is a mono channel strip that consists of a microphone preamp, an equalizer, a compressor, a limiter, and a de-esser. It is an analog piece of gear and has mostly XLR connections for mic and line input, as well as for your output. It has a Hi-Z 1/4" input on both the front panel and in the back. It also has digital connection options for AES/EBU, S/PDIF, optical, and word clock. It is rack mountable and will take up two rack spaces in a traditional casing.

UTILIZATION

Using the Focusrite ISA 220 isn't too difficult, but since there are a lot of components you're definitely going to have to break it down section by section when you first sit down with it. I haven't used the digital features on here, as I've just used the analog inputs and outputs, so that's a section of the channel strip that I don't have much experience. However, the rest of the ISA 220 is pretty straight forward if you have basic knowledge of mic pres, compressors, and EQ. A manual shouldn't be necessary, but if you're a beginner it's probably worth having around.

SOUND QUALITY

The Focusrite ISA 220 is a very clean sounding piece of gear in general, with a very transparent sound. I find that the sound usually comes in quite clear and it seems true to the original source sound. It doesn't seem to have too much bottom end magic happening as you'll find on tube gear or older channel strips, but it still sounds quite good. I've used a pair of them for recording drum overheads, using the on board compression and EQ during tracking. The result was a nice and vibrant sound, with a lot of detail. I probably wouldn't use this for recording everything, but when used in the right situation it's a great sounding channel strip.

OVERALL OPINION

I can't say that the Focusrite ISA 220 would be my first choice for a front end channel strip, but it's still a very powerful piece of gear and is extremely flexible in what it can do. If you're working in the box in a digital environment, you might want to add something with a bit more warmth if you're looking for a channel strip for your front end, but the 220 is probably the most worth looking at from Focusrite, or at least amongst the gear that I've used from them. The price is reasonable depending on which way you look at it, but personally there are other channel strips in this price range that I'd rather have...
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Focusrite ISA 220Published on 04/15/10 at 00:52
(This content has been automatically translated from French)
»

" very good"

Focusrite ISA 220Published on 03/26/12 at 12:41
(This content has been automatically translated from French)
transistor amplifiers is very fine and detailed
I would say it is neutral with a good character
the compressor well do his taf

UTILIZATION

yes just the equation is rather tedious

SOUND QUALITY

yes but very transparent with the English character

OVERALL OPINION

yes but it was a lamp
therefore the same comparisons
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Tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Focusrite
  • Model: ISA 220
  • Series: ISA
  • Category: Solid-State Pre-amps
  • Added in our database on: 02/04/2003

We have no technical specifications for this product
but your help will be much welcomed

»

Other categories in Microphone preamplifiers

Other names: isa 220, isa220

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