Focusrite ISA 220
Focusrite ISA 220

ISA 220, Preamplificatore Transistor from Focusrite in the ISA series.

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content in English
moosers 25/08/2010

Focusrite ISA 220 : Recensione di moosers (content in English)


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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.


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.


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.


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...