Focusrite has just announced the launch of Red 4Pre as the pinnacle of their interface range. The 58-in/64-out Red 4Pre combines four of Focusrite’s specially-developed digitally-controlled mic preamps, plus high-headroom instrument inputs, with dual Thunderbolt™ 2, dual Pro Tools | HD DigiLink™ and Dante™ network audio connectivity.
Air-Enabled Mic Preamps
Four of Focusrite's new, specially-developed 'Red Evolution' preamps lie at the heart of the Red 4Pre, with a quoted audio performance or –129 dB EIN (Equivalent Input Noise) and 63dB of gain. Software control allows recall of settings and stereo linking, plus configuration of HPF, polarity invert and individual phantom power. The preamps include Focusrite's ‘Air’ effect, designed to recreate in the analogue domain the sound of the transformer-based mic preamps in the classic ISA range. The Red 4Pre also includes high-headroom instrument inputs, accessible from the front panel.
New Conversion System
The Red 4Pre's new conversion system features 'parallel path summing', where two matched converters are run in parallel to improve the signal to noise ratio. They operate at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz sampling and are designed to offer a dynamic range of 118dB fro the analog to digital convertors and 121dB for the digital to analog convertors. The Red 4Pre specs show a total harmonic distortion and noise of ≤0.0009% with a frequency response flat from 20Hz to 35kHz with a ±0.25 dB or better tolerance.
The Red 4Pre delivers flexible connectivity. To start with there are Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports connect the interface to any DAW while still allowing daisy-chaining of drives and displays. Next there are dual DigiLink ports which enable you to connect the Red 4Pre directly to any Pro Tools | HD system. Finally the Focusrite Red 4Pre features built-in Dante network audio connectivity: use the dual Ethernet ports to connect any Dante-compatible product such as units from Focusrite's own RedNet range, adding up to 32 channels of Dante I/O (32 inputs, 32 outputs) via Ethernet exactly where they're needed - wherever there's an Ethernet network.
Focusrite Red 4Pre Key Feature
- Dual Thunderbolt™ 2 ports for daisy-chaining – Connect to a DAW with our lowest round-trip latency whilst simultaneously connecting Thunderbolt devices such as hard drives and displays.
- Direct Pro Tools connection – Dual DigiLink™ connectivity with Pro Tools | HD systems and existing Avid® interfaces.
- Expansion - add up to 32 channels of Dante I/O (32 inputs, 32 outputs) to the Red 4Pre - wherever there's an Ethernet connection, over a greater distance, with low latency and at lower cost, without wasting money on unused hardware.
- Front-panel instrument inputs – Provide easy access to high-headroom instrument connections even when rack-mounted.
- Software Included – Every Red 4Pre 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 Red 4Pre interface will be available in stores mid-April at £2099.99 // $2499.99 // €2699.99 inc vat
This seems to be offering a huge amount for around £2000, and with up to 32 channels of Dante I/O (32 inputs, 32 outputs) as well as the right amount of local I/O too with 4 mic preamps, 8 line level input and outputs including a dedicated stereo monitor output. Then there are 16 channels of ADAT optical based digital I/O as well as Word Clock and Loop Sync I/O so it can be part of an HDX system.
It is interesting to see that Focusrite are going for an 'all in' solution rather than a modular solution that some other interface manufacturers are offering and it is very good to see a number of interfaces now coming onto the market offering Thunderbolt, DigiLink and Audio Over IP solutions all in one interface.
I can see this doing very well in the post community in small medium and large facilities alike.
Review Coming Soon
Focusrite will be sending us one the first units they have available for us to review.