Tag Archives: Microphone

Focusrite Forte Audio Interface

Today Focusrite unveil “Forte”, their flagship portable audio interface.
Named in honour of their legendary console that virtually bankrupted the company in the 1980’s, this holds all the same quality values that they hold dear to thier hearts, but focuses on premium sound on the go. The interface’s key feature is that the Microphone preamps are taken from thier high end RedNet, ethernet based audio system, not the same ones used in the Saffire and Scarlett ranges.

I was really impressed by some of the design choices for this product, the large Aluminum volume and parameter control is just the ticket to pair up with some powered monitors. Some thought has also gone into the connections, with the outputs directly on the back panel, whilst the mic and instrument connections are on a detactchable extension lead.

I really am looking forward to running some tests on the A/D conversion, as the converters have 117dB and 118dB respectivel;y for the ADC and DAC.
These figures are actual real-world measurements, unlike many other manufacturers, so we should be able to expect Pro-tools HD quality as a minimum.

The only slight limitation is that the device cannot be powered from USB when using Phantom Power, it requires an external supply.
What this tells me is that the chips (converters, Preamps, op-amps and associated circuitry) take a lot more power, which totally goes in line with the premium nature of the product and has my faith in the no-expense spared concept.

I can almost hear the RME Babyface quivvering in it’s booties!

I’m looking forward to putting this through it’s paces as soon as i can.

Key Features of the Focusrite Forte

• Premium two-input, four-output USB 2.0 audio interface for Mac and PC.
• Best-in-class mic preamp performance with 75dB gain range (0-75dB).
• Class-leading real world ADC (117dB A-weighted) and DAC (118dB A-weighted).
• Colour OLED screen with motion graphics to show input and output signal levels.
• Multi-function touch icons and scroll wheel with DAW control functions.
• Bus-powered from USB cable (included PSU required for phantom power).

You can read more on the Focusrite Forte here

Forte will be available in October from Scan, – Pre Order now for £399.99


Novation MiniNova – New 37 Mini-key Synthesizer

The Novation MiniNova is a brand new compact, 37 Mini-Key synthesizer, built using the same engine as it’s flagship “Ultranova” model.

Since the introduction of the Supernova synth, the first of the Nova range in 1998, Novation has always innovated with each model.
The MiniNova has many brand new features inclusing “Animate” controls and “VocalTune” voice effect.

The 8 back-lit “Animate” buttons trigger synth engine “mods” to twist and warp the sounds as you play. Novation have also included a large filter cutoff knob and an arpeggiator, where you can use the 8 buttons to create brand new realtime sequences.

VocalTune does exactly what you are expecting it to, replicating the psudo vocoder Auto-TunMininova blacke vocals that have (somewhat annoyingly, at least to a professional producer!) dominated urban music for the past decade. It does amaze me that it’s taken this long for someone to add this to a hardware synth, respect to Novation for giving the people what they want! The mic input is mounted on the top of the synth, so you are free to use your own choice of microphone.
There is also an instrument input, so you can also put your guitar through the effects engine.

The synth engine has an impressively powerful synth, with 14 standard waveforms, such as Sine, Square, Pulse & Triangle, 20 Digital waveforms and 36 Wavetables.
There are 3 oscillators per voice which can either be individually tuned or synced and a “Hardness” setting which can act as an extra low pass filter.
Talking of filters, there are 14 different types, out of which 2 can be run at the same time. There are also 3 LFO’s, 6 Envelope Generators and 20 modulation slots where you can link modules inside the synth engine to create your custom shaped sound. Up to 5 effects can be put on each voice including reverb, delays, choruses and their own Gator effect.

The bundled editing software actually runs as a plugin inside your DAW program, but as with any decent analogue synth, every parameter is actually editable from the synth itself.

The Scan team are due to visit the Novation factory next week and will report on thier return once they’ve got thier eager, (not quite so) little hands on this little monster!

MiniNova features include:

  • Hugely powerful mini-synth with UltraNova’s sound engine
  • Classic vocoder and brand new VocalTune effects
  • Realtime ability to warp and tweak your sounds
  • 256 awesome onboard sounds – instantly searchable
  • Up to 18 available voices
  • Up to five layers of effects per voice
  • Includes patch librarian and editing software for Windows PC and Mac
  • Run guitars and other instruments though the vocoder and effects
  • 37 key keyboard with hardware MIDI I/O

MiniNova will be released in October, priced at £299.99

Pre-order from Scan :   http://www.scan.co.uk/products/novation-mininova-synthesizer