|The 119th AES convention in New York featured the launch of three new Focusrite products, among the most versatile of these the ISA 430 MKII Producer Pack. Expanding on the original ISA 430, the ISA430 MKII audio processing unit offers flexibility, both in terms of routing and of sonic characteristics. Phil Dudderidge, the chairman of Focusrite, comments: “The ISA 430 MKII is the sum of Focusrite’s analogue technology from day one to the present.”|
The transformer-based mic-pre has been extended to incorporate a variable impedance option, also featured on the ISA 428, providing the engineer with increased control over the interaction between microphone and pre-amp. In addition, an ‘Air’ switch introduces an inductor circuit into the secondary of the transformer, adding clarity and ‘spaciousness’ to the signal without the need for EQ. To accommodate the need for more colourful dynamics, a vintage opto circuit is included in the compressor section as well as the original discrete Class A VCA design. Improved ‘Blend’ control is also present, allowing the engineer to restore some natural dynamism to a track. In addition, all four dynamics processers; the compressor, gate, expander and de-esser, contain Focusrite’s ‘Listen’ feature, enabling monitoring of each module for ease of use.
With changeable signal path order and two multi-purpose inserts, the ISA 430 MKII’s versatility is unrivalled. The inserts can be used to ‘split’ the EQ and dynamics so that, should the post mic-pre output and external ADC inputs be in use, the unit will act as a separate pre-amp, EQ, Dynamics and stereo ADC; four discrete processors simultaneously.
The optional stereo ADC provides the ISA 430 MKII with 24-bit 192kHz capabilities and employs the same converters as those featured in the TEC award nominated ISA 428. Both the analogue outputs and the inputs to the ADC pass through a sensitively designed soft limiter, which gradually changes in ratio leading up to 0dBFS, producing a gentler limiting effect whilst still preventing a system overload.