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Alesis iO26 Audio & MIDI Firewire Interface

Dolphin id:8590 Product SKU:iO26

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Audio/MIDI 24-Bit/192KHZ Firewire Interface

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Utilizing state of the art FireWire technology, Alesis' iO|26 offers professional–level features such as Alesis High Definition Microphone Preamps, Cirrus audiophile converters and jitter elimination technology, with high–quality 24-bit/192kHz audio input for PC or Mac. The iO|26 houses 2 headphone outputs, line-level inserts on the mic preamps, 48V phantom power, 5-segment signal/clip meters, and full MIDI and S/PDIF I/O in a convenient, portable tabletop design.

With ADAT lightpipe inputs for additional connectivity, the iO|26 gives you forward-thinking expansion potential, no matter what your recording sessions may demand. Flexible, routable Hardware Direct Monitoring allows you to send a customized, latency-free mix to each output pair. An AC adapter is also included, for computer users that don’t supply FireWire power.

Whether you find yourself on the road or in your own studio, the iO|26 gives you the Alesis performance that professionals have depended on for decades.


  • 24Bit/192kHz Recording for high-quality, pristine recordings
  • Superior Clock stability with DICE II JET™ Jitter Elimination Technology
  • Audiophile Cirrus converters to provide maximum dynamic range on inputs and outputs
  • Flexible, routable Hardware Direct Monitoring and HDM Control Panel software for customizable monitoring mixes
  • Cubase LE software included (Windows and Mac compatible)
  • Bus or adapter powered
  • Inputs
    • 8 Alesis High Definition Mic/Line Preamplifiers built in (2 switchable high-impedance inputs for direct guitar and bass recording)
    • Switchable Phantom Power for each channel pair
    • Inserts on every analog channel
    • 16 channels of ADAT input
    • 16 Channels of MIDI I/O
    • Stereo S/PDIF digital input
    • Stereo turntable input
  • Outputs
    • 8 line-level outputs
    • 2 discrete stereo headphone outputs
    • Stereo S/PDIF digital output

System Hardware Requirements

  • PC:
    • Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 2.0 Ghz or faster
    • 1 Gig RAM or more
    • Windows XP Home or Professional 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
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Alesis iO26 Audio & MIDI Firewire Interface Reviews


alesis io26

Dolphin Staff are friendly and they deliver quickly. As for the Alesis IO26, it is highly impressive as a durable \"on the road\" 8 track recorder. It has run stable since I\'ve got it, has great sound quality and for the price leaves the competition standing. Coupled with the daisy chain, it can even work alongside the multimix (if you use the ASIO4ALL driver)


Alesis iO26

I bought the Alesis io26 about 6 months ago and have been pleased with it. For the price there is no other 8 channel analogue audio interface available with very decent Mic Pre-amps, inserts and Phantom power on all inputs. It has two guitar instrument impedance switches on the first two channels for electric guitars and basses. I use it with Sonar 8.5 to record and also practice live with my band.

Mic Pre-amps are nice and transparent with a nice amount of gain. There is obviously increased noise if you turn the gain up very loud but this has never been a problem for me. The only main issue is the drivers which are not really up to scratch compared to more expensive models. The minimum latency I can get on a new custom Intel i7 DAW system running Windows 7 is 128 samples for small projects, increasing it to 256 for larger projects at 48Khz. This is fine for most purposes although with a system like this lower latency should be possible. On my older AMD Athlon II dual core machine I could only run at 512 lowest without dropouts.

It has two headphone outputs which is really useful for me. The first is only assignable to output channels 1-2 but the second can be assigned to any pair for a different monitor mix. There is also a live hardware monitor options, however the latency is low enough at 128 samples to not need to use this.

One thing to note is that other users have often said that stability can be a problem when it is powered via firewire, and that plugging in a power adapter can solve a lot of problems. I have only ever used it with an adapter so I can’t comment on this. With the adapter it has been pretty solid.

In conclusion this is a great interface for the quality of the preamps, and features but the driver problems/high-ish latency means I would only recommend it if you are on a tight budget. If you have a bit more cash to spare maybe look at a “Focusrite Saffire Pro 40”, a “Presonus Firestudio” or a “M-Audio Profire 2626”

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Ive just ordered one too!



Alesis io/26

Well i'm a drummer who's been recording with
midi for a few years but now, as people have
been telling me i've moved to wave recording.

The Alesis is easy to use, very easy just plug
the mics it set the gain and your recording.

I'm only using 6 mics but moving to 8 shortly
because it's so simple to use....AND i love the
2 headphone inputs, means i'm not moving my recording phones around several stand.

Sound quality of it is wonderfull much better
than my old analoge mixer and build quality
is second to none..

Out of 10 it has to be a 10



Never before in the history of mankind, has a genious at work, developed something of such great power, with such simplicty. This masterpiece, is a divinely inspired piece of kit, essential to any recording studio, where achievement is key. As of this day, people will no longer refer to " the best thing since sliced bread", they will instead refer to, "the best thing since the Alesis iO 26"


Alesis iO 26 Firewire

I purchased this audio interface a few weeks ago from dolphin, to go with my Mac book, (OS X Tiger, 2.0gHz Intel duo processor, with 2GB RAM, 120GB Hard drive) as I needed a new soundcard, with enough in's and out's to be able to record drum kits, live gigs, etc.

Other soundcards I have used similar to this are the Edirol UA-101 and the M-Audio Firewire 1814, both similar products, with 2 mic/line inputs, and 6 line inputs, 8-10 audio outputs, and relatively priced. I also considered the Echo audiofire 8 and 12, although these are slightly more expensive because of the extra inputs.
Eventually I chose the Alesis because of its flexibility, functionality, and price.

One advantage of the Alesis is that it has ADAT inputs, so I can eventually expand to have as many as 26 inputs, which will do most people very adequately.
Two channels have already got a high-impedance switch, for DI’ing guitars/basses etc, so eliminates the need for DI boxes. Also each input has an optional phantom power button, which is switchable so as not to damage expensive ribbon mics etc. Each input has a high quality mic preamp, and there is an insert channel on each input, if you want to add your own vintage mic preamps or compressors.

The advantage of firewire over USB is that generally firewire devices drain power from the laptops/computers battery, and don’t require an AC adapter. This provides fantastic mobility, though be aware that your laptop battery will run out slightly quicker than without. The main disadvantage from firewire to USB is that USB transfers data at 50Mb/s, where as firewire transfers at 40Mb/s, unless of course you are using firewire 800, which transfers at 80Mb/s. but to be honest, I’ve never had any troubles running on firewire, and my system seems to cope with it fine.

Installation couldn’t have been simpler, I didn’t bother installing Cubase LE, but the driver and control panel were quick and straightforward to install. I had no troubles selecting my soundcard for iTunes, Cubase, Reason and Logic.

There are two headphone out mixes, but only the second headphone out mix is assignable, to outputs 1-2 or 3-4 or 5-6 or 7-8 for example. A headphone matrix might make this job a little easier if you want the flexibility, but there is still more routing flexibility that that of the Edirol, and M-Audio.

From experience when using the Edirol, if it accidentally slipped out of the USB socket, I had to restart the laptop for certain programs like reason 3, to recognise it. This was extremely dangerous at live scenarios, where everything counts on the laptop! I haven’t had this problem with the Alesis as of yet.

The only place I can really fault this product is on design. I don’t like having all my cabling sitting on-top, which I think looks a bit messy, especially if you are using all the insert points, but having said that, the other soundcards don’t even have insert points! I don’t think it would have been too much effort in making the unit fit in a 19” rack, but this will have to sit on top for now, which is only a minor issue really. At the moment I have done away with my mixing desk because this is so flexible!

Another thing that put me off the Alesis when considering interfaces was that I could not find any reviews on the internet to say if it was good or bad, so I hope this helps if you are considering a new soundcard or just an upgrade. A really good product and you wont be disappointed, and excellent service from dolphin as usual!

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