Focusrite ISA428

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by sinigual, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. sinigual

    sinigual Guest

    Hi, what a great group! I'm considering a focusrite 428 Pre pack because it looks like the most useful front end preamp to bypass my digi001 preamp and converters. (via adat) I like the focusrite sound tho I don't have too much to compare it to. At about 2K is there something else I ought to be looking at? This is my first "bigger" preamp purchase so i want to invest. :w:
  2. I haven't heard the newer ISA stuff (like the 428), but the original ISA gear was terrific. It seems like a great deal as well, but I would (as always) try before you buy. There are plenty of great preamps, and having four channels of the same thing may not be as useful as having a couple of different types of pres for various situations. My place has a Universal Audio 2-610 (2 channels of high quality tube preamp)($1600), an RNP (2 channels of clean, transparent pre)($475), and a Studio Projects VTB-1 (inexpensive solid state pre with variable starved-plate tube stage) ($129). It's a combo that I highly recommend, and that is very versatile. David
  3. sinigual

    sinigual Guest

    Hello Doc, thanks for the input. My dillema is that I'm exploring a mixer free environment, I have a Mackie that I could use the buses on for different pre-amps, but then I'm back to using the converters in the Digi 001. Can someone enlighten me on chaining preamps via adat or spdif?
  4. You can get an outboard box of converters that connects with the ADAT inputs via fiber optic line to the back of the 001 soundcard. Same thing with the SPDIF input on the box. How many inputs do you need? ADAT will give you 8 ins and/or outs, where SPDIF will give you 2 I/O. You can then connect the outs of the preamps to the ins of the AD converters.
    Apogee, Lucid, and Alesis are three manufacturers that make these products, off the top of my head. You can also connect the outboard pres to the line ins on the back of your 001.
  5. sinigual

    sinigual Guest

    Thanks for the info Doc.
    Well my real question: I thnk the 428 will do onboard digitizing and go 8 in to the digi card. (For now that's enough, if I out grow that then it's time to rethink the system) but what about coming back out of Logic or Protools. Do I need a A/D converter to bypass the converters in the digi box on the way to my monitors?
  6. sinigual

    sinigual Guest

    Sorry I meant D to A.
  7. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Jumping in a little late here.

    I just got the 428 as my first "high end" mic pre and I gotta tell ya - wow! I'd read that one of things that's noticeable almost from the start with a higher end pre is that it take less EQ to fit the source in the mix properly. I can now say I've experienced this. I've only had it a couple of weeks but so far I've used it to track acoustic guitar, bass DI, acoustic/electric guitar DI, a variety of drum machines including the Roland V-Session kit, and a couple of vocal speaking tests. Coming soon are a couple of different mic'd guitar cabs, lead and backing vox, and acoustic drum OH mic tests.

    I'm waiting on the digital card as it's apparently back ordered for a couple of weeks. Overall, I'm very happy with this pre and am glad I made the stretch to lay out the Benjamins for it.
  8. Sin,
    Note that you will be limited to 44.1 k by the dae in PT LE.
    Skeetch, nice to hear a good review from a user.
    I still recommend looking around at what other gear you can get for the $$ (especially factoring in the cost of the converter), not because I dislike Focusrite but because you are spending a good chunk of change that might go farther. However, it's good gear and I am not sounding the alarm bells. Keep in touch, let us know what's going on. When you record some tunes on whatever new, cool gear you get, post it in the Critiques forum so we can give it a listen. Cheers, David
  9. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Hi David -

    I hear ya on the chunk-o-change aspect of things. I had to think long and hard on this purchase, especially the aspect of having 4 of the same preamp flavor. The digital card for these runs up to 192k IIRC and the gear I'm shoving the signal into only goes up to 48K. Nonetheless, even the analog section is amazing - recorded some quickie acoustic guitar with it last night and the results were encouraging.

    I don't forsee changing recording formats for awhile yet as the next jump I make will be a pretty major one. So for now and the near to mid-term future, the 428 will serve me well. Next major expenditure near term will likely be a high end mic or comp.
  10. sinigual

    sinigual Guest

    Thanks, you guys are great! Yes I've been in a dialouge w/ the Focusrite engineers and they did point out the 44k shortcomng. But up to now with a digi 001 I've lived with that limitation, I've done various Commericial Projects, (I'm smart enought not to master myself) and clients have been pleased by the results. Whether I move away from ProTools to only Logic or up to HD, I think the Focusrite can come with me,
    Leroy Rodriguez
    Sinigual Studios
  11. sagreene

    sagreene Guest


    Congrats on the purchase! I've had my eye on that thing for a while....but it is just so much $$$ (for me anyway). I have a presonus digimax - 8 channels litepipe going into an rme multiface. That thing really rocks! I need a few more inputs and would love that thing. RME just release the Octopre and the Quadpre..<$600 for the quad, so i may just go with that until i can justify the $1600. How much did you pay for it?
    I'd like to hear some samples too! Keep us posted.

    here's a sample of my bands most recent...I play the drums.

    presonus in action....mastered by a guy in the netherlands with UAD-1

    It may be a little over the top on the mastering.
  12. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Hiya Sam -

    Couldn't get to the site you posted, says it's unavailable.

    Gonna put the ISA through its paces tonight with a live show that I'll be recording and running the the board for. Channel 1 will be getting an input from the DI out on a bass head. Channels 2 through 4 will be used for drum overheads and a "front of kit" mic. Not worried about the bass, but the three mic drum setup will be the wildcard. The stage is gonna be tight so I'm not sure what mic arrangement I'll be using for the kit. Fortunately, the only things running through the mains will be vocals and I'm hoping to have the mains out in front of the band - hopefully, bleed will be kept to a minimum.

    Anyway, if the recording turns out half way decent (which is a big IF at this point) I'll throw up a sample MP3. If not, well, it won't be the ISA's fault. ;) Either way, it'll be an interesting experiment.
  13. sagreene

    sagreene Guest

    bah....mp3 not bad - it's edited, try again.
  14. Pootkao

    Pootkao Guest

    I just picked up the ISA 428 (rented, not bought) for a month. I've been loving it so far, and enjoying the results. I too wanted to bypass the 001 pres and converters in a single step, and Focusrite is doing the job nicely.

    The acoustic guitar I recorded yesterday was the single best acoustic recording I've ever done.

    Another option for avoiding the A/D on 001 is using a DAT deck. 2 channels, at least...
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