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Focusrite ISA Two Help

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Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby nightdwell » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:03 pm

Hello All,

I just purchased an ISA Two preamp to connect to my audio interface and I had some questions. I have the output of the preamp going into my Presonus 2626 thunderbolt interface using line level inputs. Is there any situation where I could increase the gain on my interface preamps while using the isa two? For example I had plugged in my electric guitar using the instrument inputs on the focusrite and I noticed that the volume was a little low and If I turned up the trim too much I would notice some slight distortion but when I turned the trim down a bit and turned up the gain on my interface it helped bring that volume up with no distortion and I could still tell a difference in the preamp quality vs just plugging in direct to my interface. Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks!
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Re: Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:23 pm

There's no problem adding additional gain in the interface if you feel you need it.
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Re: Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby nightdwell » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:29 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:There's no problem adding additional gain in the interface if you feel you need it.

Awesome. I appreciate the feedback!
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Re: Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:43 pm

What levels are you seeing in your DAW? If you come from an analogue background like me it takes a leap of faith to not aim for '0VU'. IIRC the equivalent of zero on an analogue recorder in a DAW is in the region of -22dBFS and 24 bit recordings have huge dynamic range so there is no point in recording hot. If you want to use the distortion your preamps generate then drive them hot enough to get there but otherwise leave generous headroom margins and you will get a clean signal path.

HTH (and welcome to the forums).
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Re: Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby nightdwell » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:03 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:What levels are you seeing in your DAW? If you come from an analogue background like me it takes a leap of faith to not aim for '0VU'. IIRC the equivalent of zero on an analogue recorder in a DAW is in the region of -22dBFS and 24 bit recordings have huge dynamic range so there is no point in recording hot. If you want to use the distortion your preamps generate then drive them hot enough to get there but otherwise leave generous headroom margins and you will get a clean signal path.

HTH (and welcome to the forums).

Thanks for the response. On the instrument input I realized that the gain knob isn’t active and only the trim is used to adjust the gain and my levels are low compared to plugging direct to my interface. I haven’t used much outboard gear but I’m starting to add it so i can get the quality I’m looking for.
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Re: Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:00 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:IIRC the equivalent of zero on an analogue recorder in a DAW is in the region of -22dBFS

-20dBFS equates to 0VU In the SMPTE alignment.

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Re: Focusrite ISA Two Help

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:01 pm

:thumbup:

Close but no cigar (which is good, 'cos we know smoking is bad for you)
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