The Red series of interfaces is the top rung of Focusrite’s interface range, and Focusrite have announced the launch of Red 8Pre to join their amazing Red 4Pre. In essence the Red 8Pre is the Red 4Pre with 4 more of the Focusrite Air-enabled Mic preamps.
64 Channels Of I/O And 8 Mic Preamps
With 64 inputs and 64 outputs, including a total of 16 analogue inputs and 18 analogue outputs and eight of Focusrite’s digitally-controlled mic preamps, the Red 8Pre answers the need for more microphone inputs as well as a higher I/O count in a 1U interface.
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 mic preamps at the heart of the unit, offer –129 dB EIN and 63dB of gain with software control allows recall of settings and stereo linking, plus configuration of HPF, polarity invert and individual phantom power. The preamps and other parameters can be adjusted from the front panel, with its multifunction controls and colour LCD displays.
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 - with a dynamic range of 118dB (A-D)/121dB (D-A).
Levels at the Red 8Pre's monitor outputs are adjusted with a Digitally-Controlled analogue Attenuator, 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 compromised at lower levels.
Like its smaller brother, the Red 8Pre delivers a wide range of 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 customise the interface layout and integrate hardware inserts.
Every Red 8Pre includes the Focusrite Control software, allowing mic preamp control and the quick and set-up of mixes and monitors; the Red plug-in suite; and Softube's Time and Tone bundle.
Control Over DigiLink??
Lets hope that this control can be extended to the DigiLink connectors so that HD users can use the control software without having to connect using Thunderbolt, which for those of us using cheesegrater Macs is not possible.
The Focusrite Red 8Pre will be available from dealers for $3499.99.