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New Focusrite Red 8Pre rack offers 64 inputs and 64 outputs
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New Focusrite Red 8Pre rack offers 64 inputs and 64 outputs

by Stephen Charlton2016/09/28

Focusrite just announced their new flagship interface, the Red 8Pre, and it’s got everything but the kitchen sink. The 1U rackmount unit features 64 inputs and 64 outputs, including 16 analogue inputs and 18 analogue outputs.

Focusrite build off success of Red 4Pre

The new model is building off the release of the well-received Focusrite Red 4Pre back in May. The new addition to the line-up doubles the number of mic inputs and increases the overall I/O count. Both models feature exclusive ‘Red Evolution’ mic preamps. They are digitally-controlled and offer 63dB of ultra-clean gain, -129dB EIN and individual phantom power. Software enables you to recall settings, stereo linking, polarity inversion and configure HPF. The preamps also have Focusrite’s Air effect, which recreates the sound of the transformer-based mic preamps in the classic ISA range. Air is

“ideal for bringing out the breathy quality of a vocal or adding presence to an acoustic guitar.”

The extensive feature set on the Red 8Pre is edging into pro territory . It’s an interesting direction for the company to head in, given they are perhaps best known for entry level products such as the Scarlett range. The Red 8Pre release date hasn’t been set, but we know that it will be available for $3499.99 from Focusrite dealers.

High-headroom instrument preamps complement Red 8Pre mic preamps

Focusrite Red 8Pre front panel

The front panel of the Focusrite Red 8Pre.

So what else is under the hood? Buyers will enjoy two high-headroom instrument inputs on the front panel and dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for connecting to a DAW while daisy-chaining of drives and displays. Engineers can use the dual DigiLink ports to connect the unit directly to any Pro Tools | HD system. But wait, there’s more: The dual Ethernet ports enable connection of any Dante-compatible product, therefore providing up to 32 channels of I/O. The Focusrite Control software allows you to assign any of the physical I/Os to any driver/Pro Tools|HD channel,

“making it easier than ever to customise the interface layout and integrate hardware inserts.”

The monitor outputs operate via a Digitally-Controlled Analogue Attenuator, so rather than turning down the level on the D-A, they attenuate in the analogue domain. This maintains the D-A’s full dynamic range no matter the monitoring levels.

The Focusrite Red 8Pre is inspired by the award-winning early ’90s Red range of rack units. Time will tell if the newcomer lives up the legacy.

SoundReview recently put the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 interface through its paces. See our in-depth review of the relatively affordable unit here.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton

Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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