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Focusrite Forte USB Audio Interface

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Product Description

The Focusrite Forte USB Audio Interface is an incredibly compact but surprisingly versatile 2 in, 4 out interface for Mac and Windows, designed to deliver fantastic audio quality! Forte partners two remote-controlled Focusrite mic preamps with superb digital conversion at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. Built into a solid aluminum case, Forte features a color OLED display, touch controls and a single large control knob for intuitive operation, with DAW integration transforming it into a control interface.

Focusrite Forte USB Audio Interface Features

  • Two Focusrite remote-controlled mic pres for the very highest quality audio quality from your source
  • Ultra-high quality A-D and D-A conversion at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution ensures that the entire path from analog input to your recording system is of the highest quality
  • Bus powered in USB low power mode or by the included power supply for increased available output volume to outputs and delivers +48V phantom power
  • Mac and Windows compatible with simple and familiar operation
  • Premium aluminum enclosure making it elegant, rugged and reliable for life on the road
  • Built-in TRS line and independent headphone outputs plus a breakout cable with XLR mic and TRS balanced line/instrument inputs
  • Touch-sensitive icons switch the multi-mode control knob between monitor, headphone, input and DAW control, while the knob allows instant access to settings
  • Color OLED (Organic LED) metering/display allows you to instantly check levels and see which function the control knob is assigned to
  • Included software allows configuration of low-latency monitoring, mic pre gain and other audio settings
Part of Focusrite’s history of audio excellence
Forte takes its name from the original Focusrite console that embodied all the fundamental elements of the renowned Focusrite sound. Focusrite’s original Forte was the recording console based on the ground-breaking mic pre and compression modules that Rupert Neve created for Air Studios back in the 1980s. The Forte USB audio interface continues this obsession with sound quality.

The ultimate USB audio interface for Mac and PC
Focusrite Forte has been designed specifically to provide a compact, rugged and effective input path to your computer with the maximum possible audio quality for mic, line and instrument sources. In particular, Forte delivers class-leading dynamic range and noise floor – both highly significant in today’s world of an almost unlimited number of tracks making up a mix – and class-leading conversion performance, ensuring you get the very best quality sound at all times.

Two Focusrite mic-pres and world-class conversion
Featuring two of the latest design of Focusrite's remote-controlled mic preamps, the Forte USB audio interface connects to both Mac and Windows computers via USB 2.0. It incorporates highest-quality precision 24-bit A-D and D-A converters operating at sample rates up to 192kHz, and the conversion stages have had maximum attention paid to both analogue and digital design to deliver the best possible performance.

The DAW control interface
Forte includes a color OLED (Organic LED) display to indicate mic, line in, line out and headphone levels, gain structure and other functionality. It features a single, large, smoothly-rotating control knob operated in conjunction with a series of touch-sensitive icons to access preamplifier and output functions – input, monitor, headphone, and control – plus the ability to control DAW functions and act as a remote control for your music software. Included with the unit is Forte Control software application, which allows the configuration of low-latency monitoring, mic pre level adjustment and other features.

A USB audio interface at the forefront of design
A breakout cable with locking connector is used for mic (XLR) and line/instrument (TRS) inputs, but balanced line and independent headphone outputs are provided on the Forte itself, so the breakout cable is not required for playback-only applications. In addition, the fact that the mic and line-level inputs on the breakout cable are separate means that you can keep your inputs connected all the time without having to re-patch when you go from one to the other.

Focusrite Forte can run on bus power in ‘USB low-power mode’ but an included power supply increases the available volume to headphones/line outputs and delivers +48V phantom power to your microphone.

The Midnight plug-in suite
The classic Focusrite Midnight plugin suite is also included in the box, accurately modeling the classic ISA110 EQ and ISA130 compressor from the original Focusrite Forte console.

Tutorial
Take an in-depth tour of Forte's features in this tutorial demonstrating the control knob functions, integrated menu, hardware connectivity and the Forte Control software.

Product Specifications
Focusrite Forte USB Audio Interface Specifications
  • Hardware:
    • 2 in / 4 out USB audio interface
    • 192KHz, 24-bit conversion
    • 2 Focusrite microphone preamplifiers
    • Silver aluminium chassis
  • Top panel:
    • Large multi-function push encoder
    • 4 touch sensitive mode buttons
    • Headphone socket (front panel)
  • Rear panel:
    • 2 balanced monitor outputs – 1/4 inch TRS Jack
    • Input Loom socket
    • Power socket
    • USB 2.0 Port
    • Kensington Lock slot (rear side)
  • Key Performance Figures:
    • Measured Real World ADC Dynamic Range: 117 dB (A-weighted)
    • Measured Real World DAC Dynamic Range: 118 dB (A-weighted)
    • Chipset ADC/DAC Dynamic Range: 120 dB (A-weighted)
  • Microphone Inputs:
    • Gain Range: 0 - 75dB
    • Mic Input: RedNet remote controlled pre-amplifier
    • Maximum Input level at Minimum gain for 0 dBFS (Rs = 150 Ohms, without pad): 12dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • Minimum Input level at Maximum gain for 0 dBFS (Rs = 150 Ohms, without pad): -63dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • SNR (A-weighted): -117dB (Rs = 150 Ohms)
    • Frequency Response (Rs = 150 Ohms): 50Hz - 42kHz +/- 0.1 dB (-0.5dB at 20Hz)
    • THD+N: at -1dBFS: 0.0007 percent (measured with +11dBu input, minimum gain, 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter, Rs = 150 Ohms)
    • Noise: EIN: 128dB (measured with 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm termination 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Input Pad Attenuation: 10dB (Rs = 150 Ohms)
    • Phantom Power: 48V, independently switchable for each channel (only available with external Power Supply connected)
  • Line inputs:
    • Gain Range: -12 - 42dB
    • Maximum Input level at Miniumum gain for 0dBFS: 20dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • Minimum Input level at Maxiumum gain for 0dBFS: -34dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • SNR (A-weighted): -116dB
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
    • THD+N: at -1dBFS: < 0.003 percent (measured with +19dBu input, minimum gain, 1kHz and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Instument inputs:
    • Gain Range: +14 - 68dB
    • Maximum Input Level for 0 dBFS (minimum gain): +10dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • Maximum Input Level for 0 dBFS (maximum gain, no pad): -44dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • SNR (A-weighted): -111dB
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.2dB
    • THD+N: at -1dBFS: < 0.003% (measured with +9dBu input, minimum gain, 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Analog High Pass Filters:
    • Independently switchable (from control panel) for each input
    • -6dB response (referenced to 1kHz): 65Hz +/- 3Hz, roll-off 12dB / octave
  • Analog Audio Outputs:
    • Electronically Balanced Outputs
    • SNR (A-weighted): -118 dB
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
    • Maximum Output Level (0dBFS): +16dBu +/- 0.5dB
    • THD+N: <0.0008 percent (-1dBFS input 1kHz, 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
  • Headphone Outputs Measurered with PSU connected:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz +/- 0.1 dB
    • SNR (A-weighted): -116 dB
    • THD+N: <0.0008 percent (-1dBFS input 1kHz, 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter, 10k load)
    • Maximum Output into 10k: +9 dBu (+7dBV)
    • Maximum Power into 150R: 30 mW
    • Maximum Power into 32R: 27 mW
    • Output Impedance: < 8 Ohms
    • Load Impedance: > 24 Ohms
  • Crosstalk (measured at 1kHz):
    • Input to Input and Output to Output: > 90dB
    • Input to Output: > 90dB
  • Additional Conversion Performance:
    • Clock jitter: < 250 picoseconds
  • Supported Sample Rates: 44.1kHz / 48kHz / 88.2kHz / 96kHz / 176.4kHz / 192kHz
  • Connectivity:
    • Analog Inputs (Inputs 1-2):
      • 2 x XLR Mic
      • 2 x 1/4 inch TRS for Line / Instrument Inputs
      • Software switching of Mic / Line or Instrument Inputs
    • Analog Audio Outputs:
      • 2 x TRS Analog outputs (Outputs 1-2)
      • 1 x TRS stereo headphone output (Outputs 3-4)
    • Other I/O:
      • 1 x USB 2.0 compliant USB port
      • 1 x 5V at 1A DC Power Input (required for Microphone +48V power)
  • Weight: 476g
  • Dimensions: 170 x 116 x 36mm
Helpful Info about the Manufacturer
Phone:  Warranty:  1 Year
Chris K from Washington D.C. area
Rating
Features
Ease of Use
General
Value
Subject
Awesome Interface for Home Studios!!
Features
What do you consider to be the best features of this product? What features would you add to this product if you could?
The biggest and best feature is the OLED screen and corresponding control knob. I don't think any other interface aside from the Duet/Quartet from Apogee include a feature like these. It makes it a breeze to control almost every aspect of the device: input selection, input level, monitor mix volume, headphone mix volume....even certain DAW features like track zoom, record arm, rewind/fast foward, the list goes on. You can even use the control knob for other non-DAW programs like iTunes; spin the knob to control the song volume, click the knob to Play/Pause. The Forte Control software is also excellent in that it allows you to create two separate mixes, one for the monitors, the other for your headphones. You can save different configurations too. Some people may require additional line/instrument inputs, but for home recording, this device is almost perfect! Plus, you can use this device on PC AND Apple OS!!!s
Ease of Use
How easy is this product to use? How easy is the product to use with other products? Did it take long for you to learn to use this product? Was the manual helpful? How playable do you consider this product to be?
I'm a former Focusrite customer, so I may be a little biased. The Forte is pretty much plug and play. Pre-download the software from the Focusrite website, connect the Forte to your computer, setup your inputs, you're off and running. It's really that simple. I did a cursory run through of the manual to learn certain features and how to find different menu options on the device, but that was it. How they crammed so many options on just 5 buttons and a scrolling wheel is amazing!
General
Your general opinion of this product.
I really like everything about the Forte. I haven't owned an RME Babyface or Motu Track 16, so I can't really compare them, but it does everything I need it to and more. The mic preamps are quiet and great sounding, it takes up very little space on my desk, and it's extremely easy to setup and use. The premium construction and OLED make you feel your money is well spent. You can use the Forte on both PC and Mac, which for me doubles the life of my device, as I won't have to buy another interface when I switch over to Mac.
Value
Was this item an overall good value?
The Forte is competitive with the other small form factor usb interfaces out there. They all have different features, some better than others, but you won't be disappointed with your purchase. Both the RME and Apogee Duet are more expensive, and the Motu Track, while including way more inputs, doesn't include the easy to use screen and control knob.
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