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Unveiled at last Fall's AES show, Focusrite's ISA430 MKII Producer Pack channel strip is now shipping.

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, the company statesS.

To accommodate the need for more colorful 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 processors--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 is definitely versatile. 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 ISA 428. Both the analog 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 while still preventing a system overload.

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