Focusrite announces the launch of Red 8Pre. With 64 inputs and 64 outputs (including a total of 16 analog inputs and 18 analog outputs) and eight of Focusrite’s specially-developed digitally-controlled mic preamps, the Red 8Pre answers the need for more microphone inputs and a higher I/O count.
In addition, in common with the Red 4Pre, the Red 8Pre includes two front-panel high-headroom instrument inputs, dual Thunderbolt 2, dual Pro Tools | HD DigiLink and Dante network audio connectivity.
The eight specially-developed ‘Red Evolution’ mic pres in the Red 8Pre feature –129 dB EIN and 63dB of gain. Software control allows recall of settings and stereo linking, plus configuration of HPF, polarity invert and individual phantom power. In addition, the preamps and other parameters can be adjusted from the front panel, with its clean multifunction controls and clear color LCD displays. The preamps include Focusrite’s unique ‘Air’ effect, recreating in the analog domain the sound of the transformer-based mic preamps in the ISA range – ideal for bringing out the breathy quality of a vocal or adding presence to an acoustic guitar. Red 8Pre also includes two high-headroom instrument inputs, instantly accessible from the front panel.
The Red 8Pre’s conversion system features what Focusrite calls ‘parallel path summing’, where two matched converters are run in parallel to increase the signal to noise ratio. They operate at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz sampling – ideal for high-resolution audio – with a dynamic range of 118dB (A-D)/121dB (D-A). The Red 8Pre delivers ≤0.0009% THD+Noise and a frequency response flat from 20Hz to 35kHz ±0.25 dB or better.
Levels at the Red 8Pre’s monitor outputs are adjusted via a digitally-controlled analog attenuator. This allows them to deliver full dynamic range at all signal levels, rather than the conventional approach using digital attenuation on the D-A, which is cheaper and offers slightly lower distortion, but means that bit-depth – and thus monitoring accuracy – is lost at lower levels.
Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports connect to a DAW while at the same time allowing daisy-chaining of drives and displays. Round-trip latency as low as 1.67ms permits recording with preferred plugins in real-time and simplifies workflow – no need for cue mix utilities or outboard DSP – while dual DigiLink ports connect the Red 8Pre directly to any Pro Tools | HD system. In addition, Red 8Pre features built-in Dante network audio connectivity. The dual Ethernet ports connect any Dante-compatible product, such as units from Focusrite’s own RedNet range, adding up to 32 channels I/O via Ethernet exactly where they’re needed – wherever there’s an Ethernet network – with low latency and lower cost. Furthermore, Focusrite Control allows the user to assign any physical input or output to any driver/Pro Tools|HD channel making it easier than ever to customize the interface layout and integrate hardware inserts.
Software Included – Every Red 8Pre includes Focusrite Control software, allowing mic preamp control and the quick and intuitive set-up of mixes and monitors; the Red plugin suite; and Softube’s Time and Tone bundle.
The Focusrite Red 8Pre will be available from dealers for $3499.99.
Focusrite is exhibiting at Booth 202 and Listening Room 514 at the 141st AES Convention, September 29-October 1, 2016, in Los Angeles.