Focusrite Announce All-In-One Solution For iPad
Following on from the release of their iTrack iPad dock back in January, Focusrite have just announced that they will be releasing a full ‘studio pack’ incorporating the dock in mid-September. The pack looks set to retail at around $400 and looks as though it could be a really good way for iPad-based producers to get into recording live instruments and vocals. The pack includes the Focusrite iTrack dock, a CM25 condenser mic and HP60 headphones; very nearly everything you’ll need to begin making some pretty good quality recordings onto your iPad.
The iTrack dock incorporates two focusrite pre-amps; the same pre-amps that are used in their Scarlett range. Too many novices ignore the importance of decent pre-amps when they are recording, and these really are pretty good. Focusrite have enormous experience in the pre-amp market and you will find some of their higher end products in a huge proportion of professional studios worldwide. Whilst the pre-amps included here are obviously not of the very best quality, they are certainly among the market leaders in this price category, as numerous reviews will confirm.
The CM25 is a fairly basic condenser, but again is not a bad mic for this price. Many budget condensers can sound a little harsh in the upper mids, but this microphone is relatively smooth. There is no roll-off switch or pad on the mic, so if you are recording louder sound sources you will need a little space between source and mic, but this isn’t a huge deal.
The HP60 headphones are described as ‘studio-reference’ by Focusrite. What this means is that they supposedly let you hear the sound as it really is, rather than boosting certain frequencies to try and get the music to sound ‘better’. Anyone that has listened to music on Beats headphones for example, will have heard that they add a huge bass boost to the music they are playing back. If you are to mix accurately, this is a real problem – hence the need for ‘transparent’ studio reference headphones. Again, the HP60s are not top-level – pro quality headphones of this type start at around $400, and that is the cost of this entire bundle. However, like the rest of this package, the headphones are very good for their price and will certainly be better to mix on than most non pro-audio headphones out there.