With 64 inputs and 64 outputs (including a total of 16 analogue inputs and 18 analogue 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. Featuring Focusrite’s most advanced low-noise conversion and beautiful yet robust design, Focusrite’s Red interfaces offer the perfect balance of form and function, delivering the sound quality and versatility engineers and producers around the world expect from Focusrite.
The eight specially-developed ‘Red Evolution’ mic pres in the Red 8Pre represent the evolution of Focusrite’s premier mic pre design for the needs of today’s recording environment. They lie at the heart of the unit, featuring clear, honest audio performance with –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 elegant front panel, with its clean multifunction controls and clear colour LCD displays. The preamps include Focusrite’s unique ‘Air’ effect, recreating in the analogue domain the sound of the transformer-based mic preamps in the classic 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 high-performance 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 analogue 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.
Like its smaller brother, the Red 8Pre delivers exceptional connectivity - and more of it. 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 plug-ins 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.
Every Red 8Pre includes Focusrite Control software, allowing mic preamp control and the quick and intuitive set-up of mixes and monitors; the Red plug-in suite; and Softube’s Time and Tone bundle. The Focusrite Red 8Pre will be available from dealers for $3499.99.