The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Focusrite ISA One A/D Card
Old 20th October 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

Focusrite ISA One A/D Card

What's the significance of the one with the A/d card? I have an M-audio Fast track pro usb audio interface and thinking of getting the ISA One but being new in the preamp universe I couldn't really get the purpose of the card. My audio interface has an xlr input so do i still need the A/d card? what should I expect if I don't get the Isa One with an A/d card?
Old 20th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
e3p0's Avatar
 

It is what it is. The Digital card converts the mic pre and the DI to digital, or two external sources. You can "expand" your interface to record more simultaneous sources, or bypass your A/D entirely.

The ISA card has optical out, so if you wanted to use it with your M-audio Fast track, you will need to also purchase (or build) a breakout cable that has SPDIF.

You don't "need" the A/D option. I chose to get one and use it all the time.

When I record at my friends house (he has Presonus firestudio) we expand his number of inputs to 10 and in turn the firestudio gets the benefit of better clock too. When I record at home, I expand my RME Babyface to 4 inputs.

I hope this helps.
Old 20th October 2013
  #3
Here for the gear
 

I have an ISA2 so I don't have the option of using the A/D card. I connect the balanced output of the ISA2 to the balanced line input of my Audiofire 12 and use the A/D converters of the Audiofire 12.
Old 20th October 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e3p0 View Post
It is what it is. The Digital card converts the mic pre and the DI to digital, or two external sources. You can "expand" your interface to record more simultaneous sources, or bypass your A/D entirely.

The ISA card has optical out, so if you wanted to use it with your M-audio Fast track, you will need to also purchase (or build) a breakout cable that has SPDIF.

.
Sorry but I didn't get it I understand that the a/d card lets me use multiple inputs instead of one. but can't I just use the xlr input of my audio interface to connect the Isa one?
Old 20th October 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...ifference.html

this link is quite useful on the the differences between analogue and digital Isa one
Old 21st October 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
e3p0's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soujiro View Post
Sorry but I didn't get it I understand that the a/d card lets me use multiple inputs instead of one. but can't I just use the xlr input of my audio interface to connect the Isa one?
Yes. This is true. You can also use the DI at the same time. I was only trying to explain what the digital option adds to the setup.
Old 21st October 2013
  #7
You can also plug an external source into the second channel of the A/D card if you're not using the DI, so it can act as a standalone "mono" converter as well (for example, a second ISA One without the digital card could be patched in for stereo recording with just one AD-equipped unit).
Old 21st October 2013
  #8
Gear Addict
 
ZombieMorg's Avatar
 

In short, if you need more inputs on your Fast Track, or you feel that the conversion (the stage after the preamp, but before the signal reaches your computer) isn't very good, then the digital card is for you.

If you don't need more inputs, or you don't care/notice the added quality from a better converter then running the ISA into your Fast Track will be fine.

Also, if you don't go for the digital card then make sure that you're going into the Fast Track with a TRS jack, not the XLR. You need to go into the line input instead of the mic input otherwise you will be amplifying the signal twice, causing distortion.
Old 21st October 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
tedtan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by e3p0 View Post
It is what it is. The Digital card converts the mic pre and the DI to digital, or two external sources. You can "expand" your interface to record more simultaneous sources, or bypass your A/D entirely.

The ISA card has optical out, so if you wanted to use it with your M-audio Fast track, you will need to also purchase (or build) a breakout cable that has SPDIF.

You don't "need" the A/D option. I chose to get one and use it all the time.

When I record at my friends house (he has Presonus firestudio) we expand his number of inputs to 10 and in turn the firestudio gets the benefit of better clock too. When I record at home, I expand my RME Babyface to 4 inputs.

I hope this helps.
Hey e3p0, how would you compare the ISA One converter to the RME Babyface converters? Does either stand out as being better than the other or are they just a bit different?
Old 21st October 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
e3p0's Avatar
 

I honestly haven't done any rigorous comparisons. I could set something up, but I would say they are both pretty similar (read pretty good without obvious limitation). I can't really imagine a test that would take out the variables of one or the other's "color". I notice NO difference on the RME when it is clocked with the Focusrite though.

One thing to note, some people have complained of clipping with the ISA One DI patched into a line input. Going out of the ISA digitally, the level is always exactly as the LED meters show.
Old 21st October 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 
tedtan's Avatar
 

Thanks for your input, e3p0 - no need for a test. I was assuming that they would be pretty close, but I wanted to get your take on it as I haven't heard the Babyface to compare them first hand.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
e3p0's Avatar
 

Yeah, they are both nice.

I like the flexibility the ISA one gives. I love the Lundahl transformer tone. I love TotalMix.

I wish I had more outs, but I can deal with what I have.
Old 24th October 2013
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Just to clarify a couple of things, the digital card is 2ch to accommodate that both the Mic and DI circuits in the ISA One. A line level signal can be fed to either channel if you would like to use the converters with the output another device.

The digital card has optical SPDIF as well as coaxial SPDIF and AES output, so in the case of the FastTrack, no additional format conversion is required.
Old 25th October 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
e3p0's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt.Focusrite View Post
Just to clarify a couple of things, the digital card is 2ch to accommodate that both the Mic and DI circuits in the ISA One. A line level signal can be fed to either channel if you would like to use the converters with the output another device.

The digital card has optical SPDIF as well as coaxial SPDIF and AES output, so in the case of the FastTrack, no additional format conversion is required.
I use mine for stereo (and 2-channel) a/d all the time.

It looks like the M-audio Fast track Pro only has SPDIF coax. When I bought my ISA digital card, they had stopped shipping with the breakout cable and so I only have access to ADAT or SPDIF optical.

While some lucky people got a flight case for their ISA One and a breakout cable for their A/D card, I did not luck out on either front. I carry mine in the POP box.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump