Focusrite announces two new products that the company says will begin shipping in October: Forte ($749.99 MSRP; $599.99 street), its new USB 2 audio interface, and the iTrack Solo ($199.99 MSRP; $159.99 street), a 2-channel interface for the iOS platform. Forte and iTrack Solo are compatible with both Mac and PC computers.
Forte has two inputs, four outputs, two remote control mic preamps, and uses 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA converters. Forte features a color OLED (Organic LED) display with motion graphics to indicate input and output signal levels, mic preamp gain and other information. A single control knob operates in conjunction with touch-sensitive icon buttons to control input and output levels, and DAW control parameters.
A breakout cable with locking connector is used for microphone (XLR) and line/instrument (TRS) inputs. Balanced line and independent headphone outputs are provided on the unit itself, so the breakout cable is not required for playback-only applications. In addition, the mic and line-level inputs on the breakout cable are separate, meaning all inputs can be connected at once, without having to re-patch when you switch from one to the other. The aluminium case includes non-slip strips on the base. An external power supply is included if phantom power operation is required: otherwise Forte operates solely on USB power.
Focusrite iTrack Solo
The new iTrack Solo has one microphone input (which includes phantom power) and one hi-Z instrument input, and records up to 24-bit/96kHz. The interface is compatible with GarageBand and other popular recording apps. It features the same Focusrite microphone preamp used in Focusriteʼs flagship Liquid Saffire 56 interface. Focusriteʼs signature “halo” indicators around the input knobs let you know if you are recording at the correct level (green) or at too high a level (red). A large monitor knob controls the output level. Monitoring can be switched to listen to your recording signal against your backing track without incurring off-putting latency introduced by your music software.
A supplied cable connects iTrack Solo to the iPad, powered by the included USB cable that delivers the power necessary to run the iTrackʼs high-specification components. A pair of phono connectors on the rear panel can connect an audio system for playback.