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Focusrite has just announced a pair of new audio interfaces, the Forte and iTrack Solo, which enable you to record directly onto your Mac or PC computer. The iTrack Solo is compatible with iOS as well, so you can record to an iPad. Both interfaces feature 24-bit converters and record two simultaneous inputs, but they offer different form factors and approaches to workflow.
The new Forte has a sleek, tabletop design with a large push-button control knob, four touch-sensitive icon buttons and a color OLED display. It features two premium microphone preamps and quality A/D and D/A converters, so you can be assured that all of the audio going in and out of this device will be high caliber.
The oversized control knob works in conjunction with the touch-sensitive icon buttons on the Forte. For example, tap the headphones icon, and the control knob allows you to instantly adjust the headphone volume. One of the touch-sensitive buttons acts as a remote control for your favorite DAW software. A suite of Focusrite plug-ins is included, with software versions of the ISA110 EQ and ISA130 compressor. Forte Control software is also included, providing control over routing, low-latency monitoring, gain and other settings.
The Forte can be bus-powered via its USB connection; however, if your microphones require phantom power, the included AC adapter will be necessary. The two channels also feature high-pass filters, polarity reverse and pads. The main 1/4” TRS outputs and stereo headphone jack are built into the body of the Forte, while the two XLR and TRS inputs are handled by an included locking breakout cable. This audio interface offers quality sound in a very portable package.
With a tough unibody aluminum chassis, the iTrack Solo is a versatile audio interface that enables you to record directly onto an iPad, Mac or PC computer. It features an XLR microphone input with available phantom power and a 1/4" unbalanced input for electric guitars or basses. There are two gain knobs on the front panel, and they both feature bi-colored LED rings that glow green with healthy signals, and turn red when clipping is detected.
The iTrack Solo features an especially user-friendly setup process when used with an iPad. You just connect it to an AC outlet with the included power supply. A “device link” cable is included with the unit. One end of this cable plugs into a dedicated port on the rear of the iTrack Solo and the other end plugs directly into the iPad; no other adapters are necessary. From this point on, no additional parameter adjustments are required. If you’re using Garageband on the iPad, just launch the application and start recording.
The iTrack Solo connects to a desktop or laptop computer via USB 2.0 and is bus-powered, so no AC adapter is required. It’s also class complaint, so no drivers or additional software is needed. Ableton Live Lite 8 recording software is included along with the Scarlett plug-in suite, which includes EQ, compression, gate and reverb. The microphone preamp in the iTrack Solo is the same one that is found in Focusrite’s popular Scarlett and Saffire audio interfaces. The iTrack Solo is a great new entry-level interface for people who want versatility coupled with a durable build quality.
|Inputs||1 x XLR
1 x 1/4" unbalanced instrument
|2 x XLR
2 x 1/4" TRS balanced line/inst.
|Outputs||2 x RCA unbalanced line
1 x 1/4" stereo headphone
|2 x 1/4" TRS balanced line
1 x 1/4" stereo headphone
|Sample Rates||44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
44.1, 48 kHz - iPad
|44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz|
|Controls||1 x Large multi-function push encoder
4 x touch sensitive mode buttons
|2 x backlit gain knobs
1 x direct monitor switch
1 x monitor level dial
|Connectivity||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|Construction||Aluminum unibody chassis||Aluminum chassis|
|Display||No||Color OLED display|
|System Requirements||Mac: OS X 10.7 or 10.8
iPad: iPad, iPad 2, or the new iPad with iOS 5 or iOS 6
PC: Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) and Windows 8
|Dimensions||1.77 x 5.9 x 3.9" (45 x 150 x 100mm)||6.7 x 4.6 x 1.4" (170 x 116 x 36mm)|
|Weight||1.1 lb (500 g)||1 lb (476 g)|