Edirol FA-101 by Jack Morgan
I’ve recorded an awful lot of music with this half-rack Firewire interface. It’s very reliable, versatile, clean sounding, great value and portable. And being shallow for a moment, I think the red metallic finish is very sexy too.
The FA101 has 10 inputs and 10 outputs. On the front panel there are twin Neutrik combo sockets for mic preamps on inputs 1 and 2, supplying 40dB of gain and +48V phantom power if needed. Input 2 also has a high-impedance option for DI'ing electric instruments. On the back panel there are three other pairs of analogue inputs with balanced jack connectors.
The FA101 can be powered either via the mains adapter or from your computer via Firewire (this has been so convenient for recording on the move). The ASIO driver has an overall latency of about 20 milliseconds at 44.1kHz with 440 sample buffers on input and output. I have not experienced many problems in terms of crackles and other glitches in my recordings, except when I am driving my CPU too hard for all sorts of unrealistic reasons (I’m not very disciplined).
This has been and remains a very trustworthy and high quality interface to track and mix my music through… I’m still surprised that I picked it up for just £350. I would warn potential buyers that the mic preamps aren’t very exciting and could do with more dynamic range – I’ve had to look at other options for powering my new Electrovoice RE20.