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Alesis IO26 26-Channel FireWire Audio/MIDI Interface

The ultimate 26 channel digital audio computer interface. (42) Read 5 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
Ships to: Can ship to United States
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Alesis IO26 FireWire Audio Interface

The ultimate 26 channel digital audio computer interface.

Compatible with PC and Macintosh computers, the new Alesis IO26 is a FireWire audio / MIDI interface with support for upwards of 26 channels of audio, S/PDIF and ADAT digital inputs, plus a built-in 16-channel MIDI interface. Sporting a compact, elegant tabletop form factor, the IO26 offers 8 analog mic/line inputs on "combo" connectors with phantom power and insert jacks, supports a wide array of sample rates, and provides a switchable high impedance input for integrating guitars and basses as well as switchable phono preamp -- everything required in the high-end home studio or project studio environments.

Featuring state-of-the-art DICEII FireWire audio chip for the ultimate in digital audio connectivity, the IO26 is the ideal interface solution for desktop recording/MIDI sequencing applications for both the home and project studio. The package even includes Steinberg's Cubase LE DAW software to help you get started.

The Alesis IO26 is the perfect computer interface for any project that incorporates digital audio and/or MIDI, including:
-- Songwriters/musicians who require a fast, effective interface for recording vocals and musical instruments

-- Audio professionals who add audio (dialog or music) to presentations or other visually oriented materials

-- Composers scoring for picture, computer games, and other multimedia content

Features
8 analog mic/line inputs on "combo" connectors with phantom power and insert jacks

Mic line inserts to patch signal processing equipment directly into the signal path of each channel

ADAT optical input capability, with support for as many as 8 channels of ADAT digital audio

16 channel MIDI interface

16 ADAT channels at 44.1 and 48 kHz; 8 SMUX ADAT channels at 88.2 and 96 kHz

Stereo digital, 24-bit S/PDIF connector

Switchable high impedance input on channels 1 and 2 for recording guitars and basses

8 balanced line outputs (quarter-inch TRS)

S/PDIF output

All I/O is balanced / 24-bit -- with support for 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192 kHz sample rates

Five-segment signal/clip LED ladders on each input

Two headphone outputs -- with individual level control

Dual FireWire ports facilitate cascading of additional FireWire devices

Can be powered by the computer's FireWire bus or via an included AC adapter

Steinberg's Cubase LE DAW software for a complete recording system

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Alesis products.
System Hardware Requirements

PC:
• Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 2.0 Ghz or faster
• 1 Gig RAM or more
• Windows Vista / XP Service Pack 2 or higher (Windows XP Media Center Edition is untested)

Mac:
• Power Mac G4 Dual 867MHz or faster, all Intel Mac models
• 1 Gig RAM or more
• Mac OSX 10.4 or higher
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 401-658-5760
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (42 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"ALESIS IO26, AS GOOD AS IT GETS!"
Sound: Very Clear, the preamps dont color the sound at all, which is what I want, nice clean recordings. It has hardware direct monitoring, as most interfaces do, so there really isnt a problem of latenct while you're tracking. Feature: I gave it a 10 because the feature really work for me, as I suspect they will for many. One of my favorite things about this piece is the phone preamp (for turntables). I produce hip-hop/rap so a turntable is a must, and the channel for preamp is switchable between phono and channels 7/8. Another great feature would have to be the two ADAT inputs. This baby can be expanded to accomedate just about anyone. Ease of Use: It got an 8 because some people who give up easy may not be able to ffigure out how to control the hardware direct monitoring. Another thing that hurt its score here was the fact that it uses two different drivers and you have to select which one to use. Its between WMD (only selects stereo or mono form the io26) and AISO (can select and one of the io26 inputs or stereo pairs of inputs). If you are familiar with the protocols then there will be no problem but for some it would cause confusion. Quality: This is built like a rock. All the ins/puts are bolted or screwed on secure to the rest of the unit. No little plastic holders on this thing, its the real deal. All the knobs and switches feel great, except for the blend and main volume knob, they are similar to endless encoder knobs, because they are digital controls. Value: It is definately worth the price, no questions asked. And look at the competition in this price range, there's no comparison. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to deal with them as of yet, probably won't. The Wow Factor: The led meters on every analog channel definately add to the "sex" appeal. Its an all metal chasis, and its a nice silvery color. The end caps are rubberized plastic and feel really cool and durable. This unit definately looks attractive. Overall: I probably wont upgrade from this until I go to an HD/TDM setup. Seriously, I dont think it gets much better than this, unless you spend alot more money. The Alesis io26 has a ton of features for the price, and if you make hip-hop/rap and don't use Pro Tools, then this is the interface you want. Seriously.
Style of Music: Rap/Hip-Hop
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"Despite a few annoyances, definitely a solid product."
Sound: The sound from iO26 is crystal clear. I run live&PC audio through my Alesis Studio 24 mixer > Peavey rackmount amplifier > Carvin loudspeakers, so I have clean & uncolored audio output, and I can say that the iO26 is very very clean. Zero latency monitoring for overdubbing is what I bought this for and it works perfectly for that; I can multitrack from/to my PC via firewire and run the iO26 to my mainboard. Feature: No accessories, but none are really needed. In response to the comment about not being expandable, this model is Lightpipe enabled, so you can definitely expand this one to multiple i026's. I also don't get the comment about the the headphone output level. It -IS- separate from the Main level. With dedicated knobs for headphone 1 & 2 even. The only really annoying feature for me is the the lack of control of the firewire audio out from the PC running through the i026. The hardware and software allow leveling of channels 1-8, and ADAT through the software, however, the audio out on the PC must be handled by Cubase or Cakewalk or Soundforge or whatever I'm working with. They really could have added a volume knob for this. It's an easy work-around, but still, its a work-around Apparantly the "Mix/Blend" is supposed to do this in a roundabout way, but aargh, I'm not getting any joy from it. So now I have THREE device levels to control: the mainboard, the i026, AND the PC audio application level. Gah! The only other gripe is the looks of the product. Kind of meh. Rackmountable would have been sooo much nicer. As for the reviewer with the driver problems, I must assume that you have pre-existing .dll problems with your PC, or did not follow directions. I have a well maintained Dell laptop and the installation went very smoothly, with no hiccups whatsoever. IMPORTANT NOTE: As with ANY firewire or USB device, it is CRITICAL that you determine the proper installation order: Plug device into computer first and then install drivers -OR- install drivers first and then wait for installation prompt to connect the device!!! If you do this sequence incorrectly, you are essentially guaranteed a tragic and possibly irreversible registry problem with the hardware device. So, my highest suspicion is that the previous reviewer must have plugged in the device and then installed the iO26 driver, and therefore the product will not work, and will be very difficult to fix. This is NOT the fault of Alesis, it is a problem with Microsoft, and has to do with the way Windows handles hardware abstracting. Ease of Use: Very easy to use for me, but then again, I have been doing sound & mixers for many years. Oh, and I'm a professional computer network engineer, so computer & technical stuff is like, well, sesame street to me haha. At any rate, the hardware is very simple, as you can see. The iO26 monitor application is critical though, if you are using more than the 1&2 outputs. It doesn't launch automatically, and if you tried to multi-channel out and didn't notice this, I can see where you would get frustrated right away. Quality: High quality all the way. I've always been happy with Alesis quality. My only gripe is their products are too small. ie., Studio 24 is only 16 channel, i026 is only 8 channel. Rated 9 instead of 10 because the Mix/Blend knob and the Main level knobs are INFINITY knobs... aaarrggghh! WTF Alesis? Did you think MAYBE I would like to know that the knob is turned all the way up or all the way down or maybe eyeball the indicator on the knob to see if it was at 0 or 5 or 10? I dunno, maybe because its a MIXER... or did you just get a great deal on a bunch of knobs that turn around forever with no indication whatsoever of where it is at in the scale? No. Instead I have to turn the knobs indiscriminately to the right or the left or whatever and never really know what the position actually is. stupid stupid stupid choice on these knobs ESPECIALLY for main mix. Value: Not a super value. IMHO, the price is kind of high for an 8 channel interface. That is probably due to the fact that everyone else charges an arm and a leg for this stuff too though. Manufacturer Support: Never needed any support with Alesis. Sounds like from the other users that they leave a bit to be desired. The Wow Factor: Definitely gets the job done. Does exactly what I want, excellent quality, great sound, reasonably flexible, ADAT & advance features could be easier to use. If it was rack mountable I would have given a 10 for sexiness. Overall: Not likely to upgrade this for a really long time.
Style of Music: rock & experimental
11 of 14 people (78.57%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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