The return of the Focusrite Red Mic preamp
Focusrite has announced the return of its classic Red Series mic preamp with the introduction of the Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre, a module for the popular 'Lunchbox' format.
The Red Range was originally launched in 1992 and rapidly became sought-after in the world’s top studios for their unique signature sound and ability to perform on a wide range of instruments with almost any microphone.
A mono mic preamp uses the same circuit design and components as the original Red mic pre, the Red 1 and for the first time, a Focusrite product has become available in a 500-series 'Lunchbox' format. The original Lundahl LL1538 input transformer and custom Carnhill output transformer have been integrated into the new design as in the original Red 1 and Red 8 microphone preamps. The switched gain structure of the Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre allows the recall of preamp settings via a gold-plated selector switch. With a gain range of 66dB and a carefully-chosen input impedance, the Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre can be used with most microphones, whilst the built-in VU meter provides calibration to ensure accurate levels.
The UK manufacturer has also launched an18-in 20-out USB 2.0 interface called Scarlett 18i20. This has been designed to be a complete studio hub, with enough inputs and outputs to record and mix a full band.
Scarlett 18i20 comes with eight Focusrite microphone preamps with switchable phantom power together with 24-bit/96kHz A-D/D-A converters. The analogue mic/line inputs are fitted with combination XLR/jack input sockets, whilst connections for channels 1+2 on the front panel offer additional Hi-Z instrument modes and a switchable 10dB pad.
An additional eight channels of digital I/O are provided via ADAT light-pipe, with S/PDIF providing an additional stereo digital input and output. Two independent headphone outputs allow separate mixes for the engineer and the artist to be set up, while a dedicated monitor section, with dim and mute buttons, provides comprehensive control over the monitors.
The 18i20 comes complete with a music production software suite, which centres on Ableton Live Lite. Record audio and Midi, together with run VST audio instruments and effects, such as the compressor, reverb, gate and EQ processors are included in the Focusrite Scarlett plug-in bundle.