Focusrite Red 8Pre is a high-resolution, astonishingly low-noise, 64 x 64 audio interface with Thunderbolt 2 and Pro Tools | HD support, ultra high-speed Dante networking, and eight digitally controlled, ultra-quiet mic preamps with Neve-inspired, ISA range “Air” effect
Focusrite’s Red 8Pre is a high-resolution 64 x 64 audio interface with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, direct connectivity to Pro Tools | HD, Dante audio-over-IP networking, plus, the ability to record with plug-ins in real time. As impressive as that is, no audio interface would be complete without analog inputs, and that’s where the Focusrite 8Pre particularly shines. Its 16×16 analog I/O includes eight digitally controlled, Red Evolution mic preamps, with Focusrite’s signature “Air” circuitry, which first appeared in preamps created by Mr. Rupert Neve for George Martin’s Air Studios. The Red Evolution preamps, as their name implies, have evolved from the original design, and feature modern enhancements and performance, including astoundingly low self-noise. The Red 8Pre’s ultra low-noise input is maintained throughout the signal chain by Focusrite’s unique, mastering-quality, dual-path summing conversion, which maintains a balanced signal throughout the unit, resulting in a 3dB overall improvement in signal-to-noise ratio. With a Focusrite Red 8Pre in your rack, you can layer track after track without the buildup of noise that plagues lesser preamps and converters.
Focusrite Red 8Pre audio interface in one take:
- Versatile 64×64 digital/analog I/O, and lowest round trip latency
- Eight digitally controlled, Red Evolution mic preamps with ISA “Air”
- Mastering quality, “dual path” converters lower noise floor and increase output
- Dual Ethernet ports and DigiLink connectors for Dante audio-over-IP networking, and direct connection to Pro Tools | HD
- Hardware-oriented software control
- Remote control from iPhone or iPad – Download the free Focusrite iOS Control app and adjust cue mixes created with the Focusrite Control desktop app remotely from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch
Red, RedNet, and ISA customers get a free plug-in from Focusrite and Brainworx
Brainworx bx_console Focusrite recreates the analogue signal paths of Focusrite’s revered ISA 110 and ISA 130 modules which were a part of the Focusrite Studio Console.
Designed and coded by the DSP geniuses at acclaimed software house Brainworx, the new bx_console Focusrite VST/AU/AAX plugin for Mac and PC faithfully captures the sound, feel, and styling of their original iconic hardware.
With bx_console Focusrite retailing separately for $349, its inclusion for free with all Red, RedNet, and ISA purchases is a huge deal!
In addition, customers who previously purchased any Red, RedNet, or ISA solution since January 2020 will have the plug-in available in their Focusrite account as long as they’ve registered the product.
INSIDE THE BOX—Focusrite Red 8Pre
Versatile connectivity and expandability
Focusrite’s Red 8Pre is a high-resolution audio interface with 64 input channels and 64 output channels. The Red 8Pre features Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, which enables round-trip latency as low as 1.67ms, regardless of which DAW you use, enabling you to track and overdub with plug-ins and record virtual instruments in real time. A study in simplifying workflow, the Red 8Pre seamlessly integrates with Pro Tools | HD systems and other Avid interfaces via twin primary DigiLink connectors. Since the best things come in pairs, the Red 8Pre is also outfitted with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, which allow daisy chaining of additional peripherals such as hard drives and displays. The Red 8Pre is also equipped with dual Ethernet ports for high-speed, low-latency Dante audio-over-IP networking, letting you expand your recording capability up to 64 additional channels anywhere on your network. Dual Dante ports enable you to connect additional Red or other Dante-compatible components to provide additional channels irrespective of the interface used to drive the Red 8Pre.
Red Evolution Air-enabled microphone preamplifiers
The Red Evolution microphone preamps in the Red 8Pre are the latest incarnation and pinnacle of the renowned Focusrite Red range preamps. The Red Evolution preamps are designed to deliver ultra clean, transparent audio with an astounding –129dB EIN (Equivalent Input Noise), which in essence is the heat noise generated by components as electrons pass through them, and an equally astounding 0.0009% THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise). The Red Evolution preamps have 63dB of gain for use with any kind of microphone. The Red 8Pre mic preamp can be digitally controlled for adjusting/recalling settings and stereo linking via Focusrite Control software.
ISA Air—Inheriting more than just the name of the Focusrite Red Range, they feature Focusrite’s unique “Air” circuit, a purely analog effect that emulates the sound of the transformer-based mic preamps of the ISA range, the foundations of Focusrite’s “Heritage Sound,” designed by Mr. Rupert Neve for George Martin’s Air studios. Air recreates the sound-shaping effect of the classic ISA transformer by using an authentic analog model of the original transformer-based preamp design. When Air is enabled, the microphone impedance is set to 2.1k ohm and the frequency response curve is given a subtle mid-high boost—all in the analog domain. Engaging Air re-configures the three-stage preamp signal chain to switch in the correct transformer-style input impedance, followed by a linear gain stage, and finally inserting a passive frequency-shaping stage to recreate the tight low end and elevated high-end response, creating the effect described by audio professionals as the classic “Air” sound of the Focusrite ISA mic pre.
Focusrite’s unique, master-quality, dual-path conversion
Focusrite has been building mastering-quality ADA converters for decades, and the converters in the Red 8Pre are the best Focusrite has ever made. Maintaining a balanced signal throughout the system, the Red 8Pre’s dual-path configuration uses two conversion chips in parallel and sums the result, which produces an increase in signal level of 6dB (as the two signals are in phase) while random noise is only increased by 3dB (since phase cancellation happens on average 50% of the time). The result: a net improvement of signal/noise ratio of 3dB.
The Red 8Pre’s converter design strikes a precise balance between multiple factors—including dynamic range, distortion, noise floor and conversion latency—for the optimal overall sound. With 24-bit/192kHz sampling capability and 118dB A-D / 121dB D-A dynamic range, ideal for high-resolution audio, the Red 8Pre delivers a real-world frequency response flat from 20Hz to 35kHz ±0.25 dB or better and ≤0.0009% THD+N. The incredibly low THD+N is an important factor in maintaining overall mix clarity as track counts soar. Focusrite pays as much attention to the analog side of the equation as to the digital, optimizing noise levels by keeping digital and analog components well apart and using multi-layer boards with internal ground-planes.
Dante networked expansion
Dante is the audio networking system of choice for Focusrite products including the RedNet range of modules and the Red 8Pre multi-standard interface. With Dante, you can connect up to 64 additional channels to the Red 8Pre via Ethernet-based networking. A single connection carries both audio and built-in clocking. Whether the Red 8Pre is connected to the computer via Thunderbolt, DigiLink, or Dante, simply connect Dante-equipped units, such as two RedNet A16R (32 channels of analog I/O), four RedNet MP8R (32 channels of RedNet mic pre), and have mic preamps where the music is for shorter input paths, and outputs where the sound needs to go—wherever you have an Ethernet connection. Unlike daisy chaining via Thunderbolt, Dante lets you run additional channels over a greater distance, adding only 150μs of latency to the system, without wasting money on technology or connectivity that will not be used. To minimize time spent on system configuration, Dante makes networking a true plug-and-play process, allowing automatic device discovery and system configuration. Dante cam make audio available anywhere it is required, capturing or relaying a live performance or distributing audio to previously hard-to-reach or prohibitively expensive locations.
Focusrite Control software included
Red 8Pre includes Focusrite Control software, which gives you a clear-cut and intuitive way to set up monitoring and mixes. The software also provides hardware control of the mic pres, setting recall, assigning stereo pairs, adjusting gain, and enabling functions, such as high-pass filtering and phantom power. In addition, Red 8Pre is packaged with Softube’s Time and Tone Bundle, which is a unique plug-in bundle of four professional quality plug-ins, including the Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor, TSAR-1R Reverb, Tube Delay, and Saturation Knob. Also included is the Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, which gives you the sought-after, classic sound Focusrite’s Red Range 2 and Red Range 3 equalizer and compressor hardware, as heard on countless hit records.
Focusrite Red 8Pre key features:
• 64 inputs/64 outputs – inc 16-in /18-out analog I/O.
• Eight Red Evolution mic pres with ‘Air’ transformer emulation
• Precision 24-bit/192kHz conversion, with up to 121dB dynamic range.
• ‘Parallel path summing’ conversion for lower noise
• Optimal combination of sound quality, noise floor, dynamic range and conversion latency.
• Perfect for high-resolution audio.
• Color LCD displays and assignable controls for simple and quick operation.
• Both front panel and software control
• Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy-chaining
• Direct Pro Tools DigiLink connection
• Dante Network Audio enabled
• 1.67ms round-trip latency – record with plug-ins in real time
• Add up to 32 extra inputs and outputs via Ethernet
• Front-panel instrument inputs
• Focusrite Control Software and free plug-ins included
• Focusrite’s best interface series yet.
The Red 8Pre delivers the sound quality, versatility, and control capabilities that world-class engineers, producers, and mixers have relied on from Focusrite since 1985. For more information, call or chat with your Westlake Pro sales consultant today.
What’s In The Box
• Red 8Pre
• Power Cable
• Getting Started Guide
• 2m Thunderbolt™ Cable
• Macintosh computer with Thunderbolt port(s)
• OS 10.9 Mavericks
• OS 10.10 Yosemite
• OS 10.11 El Capitan
• Focusrite Red 2 & 3 Plug-In Suite
• Softube Time & Tone Bundle
• Focusrite Control for monitoring and routing configuration