We have heard a great deal recently about the benefits of Bus Powered interfaces, especially with regard to the new USB type C and Thunderbolt 3.0 connection formats. The team at Focusrite have let us in on a little more information about their latest offering the USB-C version of their Clarett range of small form factor interfaces.
Bus powering is where the interfaces draws its power from the host computer via the cable connecting the two. There is no need for an extra power supply, PSU or wall wart. This can be hugely convenient for a small, portable interface, because users can benefit from the same optimum audio performance, without the need for a power supply clogging up their bag or requiring an extra power outlet.
Clarett 2Pre USB requires 3A at 5V in order to be powered, a demand that can only be met by connecting directly to 15W USB Type-C™ ports on host computers. This means these users will have one less power supply to worry about, and they will be truly mobile with Clarett 2Pre USB.
Focusrite introduced the new Clarett USB range at the recent Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California back in January and it would appear that the new Clarett range will lay down quite challenge to competitors more than twice the price.
The range features specially designed high performance, low-noise (-128dB EIN) mic pres with a low distortion, ultra-linear design that guarantees a clean, open and transparent sound, giving accurate representation of the original performance. Three interfaces appear in the range: Clarett 2Pre USB (10-in, 4-out), Clarett 4Pre USB (18-in, 8-out) and Clarett 8Pre USB (18-in, 20-out).
In the past, Bus Powered interfaces have tended to suffer lower performance specs when compared to the same unit running with a PSU. However, when connected via USB-C, the Clarett range boasts up to 119dB of dynamic range.
Any Mac or Windows PC with USB 2.0 or above is fully supported. One major goal for Focusrite is their decision to include standard USB and USB Type-C cables so you can get recording with incredibly low latency through amp simulators and effects plug-ins right out of the box.
Decades of analog circuit design knowledge has been applied around some of the finest 24-bit, 192kHz A/D and D/A converters delivering a superior signal path. In addition, the Air-enabled mic preamps can reproduce the input impedance, clarity and frequency response curve of Focusrite's original ISA mic preamp.
The most portable and compact of the three interfaces in the range is the Clarett 2Pre USB providing two mic, line or instrument inputs with four analog line outputs. MIDI I/O and an ADAT input completes the connectivity. Clarett 4Pre USB and Clarett 8Pre USB add mic/line inputs, S/PDIF I/O and two headphone outputs with volume controls.
You can find out more about the new Focusrite Clarett USB-C range at the Focusrite website.