Focusrite’s ‘best converter’ adds eight new pres
Focusrite’s Red series of flagship audio interfaces has again been expanded with the introduction of the Red 8Pre, boasting ‘the best conversion’ to date through the use of two matched converters running in parallel to increase the signal to noise ratio and twice the number of preamps as its smaller Red 4Pre sibling. The converters operate at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz sampling with a dynamic range of 118dB (A-D)/121dB (D-A). According to the manufacturer, the Red 8Pre delivers ≤0.0009% THD+Noise and a flat frequency response from 20Hz to 35kHz (±0.25 dB or better).
Tackling the need for more mic inputs and a higher I/O count, the unit boasts 64 inputs and 64 outputs, of which there are 16 analogue inputs and 18 analogue outputs. The interface also houses eight of Focusrite’s ‘Red Evolution’ digitally-controlled mic preamps which promise -129dB EIN and 63dB of gain, and software control for recall of settings, stereo linking and high-pass filter configuration. Levels on the monitor outputs are adjusted via a digitally-controlled analogue attenuator, which instead of turning down the level on the D-A, attenuates the monitor outputs in the analogue domain. According to the manufacturer, this allows the D-A's full dynamic range to remain available at all monitoring levels.
Integrating the manufacturer’s ‘Air’ effect as a recreation of the signature ‘breathy’ sound of transformer-based preamps such as those in the manufacturer’s ISA range. the preamps and other parameters can be adjusted from the device’s front panel, via multifunction controls integrated LCD displays.
The device also boasts solid connectivity options, integrating dual Thunderport 2 ports for daisy-chaining devices, dual DigiLink ports for Pro Tools | HD systems and existing Avid interfaces and dual Ethernet ports for an extra 32-channels of I/O via Dante.
The Red 8Pre ships with Focusrite Control software, allowing mic preamp control and the fast setup of mixes and monitors; the Red plug-in suite; and Softube's Time and Tone bundle.