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B&H # FOOPMKIID Mfr # OCTOPRE MKII DYNAMIC
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You Pay: $699.99
Product Highlights
  • 8 Channels
  • 8 Compressors
  • 24-bit/96kHz ADAT Input/Output
  • Phantom Power
  • Direct Analog Out per Channel
  • Single Rack Space Chassis

The OctoPre MkII Dynamic from Focusrite provides 8 channels of Focusrite microphone pre-amplification, 8 VCA-based Red 3-derived compressors, and built-in 24-bit/96kHz digital inputs and outputs. The unit can act as a feature-rich expansion upgrade for any digital audio workstation, or for any analog or digital console or hard disk recorder.

The Compressors are based on a feed-forward VCA design, derived from the Focusrite Red 3 hardware compressor. With just a single dial, the 8 'recording' compressors allow the user to quickly achieve the desired amount of compression for each channel, providing a natural but loud sound. The single dial solution decreases the threshold and increases the makeup gain simultaneously.

The compressors use a soft-knee progressive compression curve and feature a fixed attack time and release time. The compressor has two modes - "Normal" and "More". These settings let you change the behavior of the compressor to suit different instruments, with the "More" button doubling the ratio from 2:1 to 4:1, while shifting the threshold range.

8 award-winning Focusrite pre-amps form the foundation of this device, with pre-amps optimized to handle extreme levels from sound sources like acoustic drums
8 "single-dial" VCA-based, feed-forward compressors deliver the right amount of compression, fast - based on the character of the celebrated Focusrite Red 3
Soft-knee design achieves transparent compression while a "More" switch doubles the ratio to deliver "compression with effect"
Built-in 8-channel 24-bit/96kHz digital ADAT intput provides analog monitoring of any digital ADAT feed, as well as the ability to clock from any ADAT device
Built-in 8-channel 24-bit/96kHz digital ADAT output with a "real world" dynamic range performance of 110dB
The internal clock delivers a jitter performance of +/-20 PPM
Industry-standard JetPLL jitter elimination technology is employed when using external clocks
Designed not to clip, the OctoPre MkII is optimized for tracking drums and is able to handle extreme levels from sound sources like kick drums and snares
2 Hi-Z instrument inputs (DI) ready for plugging in guitars and bass
Input clip and Compression active LEDs on every channel
Fast-acting 5-LED input meters on every channel provide clear reference of input levels, and help to avoid analog or digital clipping
Direct outputs on every channel for routing and flexibility, especially in a live environment
+48V Phantom power available on every channel, switched in two groups (1 thru 4 and 5 thru 8)
Internal clocking, master clocking and external clocking via BNC or ADAT
44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz sampling rates
Number of Channels 8
Inputs 8 x XLR
2 x TOSLink ADAT Lightpipe
1 x BNC Wordclock
Output 8 x 1/4" TRS phone
2 x TOSLink ADAT Lightpipe
1 x BNC Wordclock
Phantom Power +48V, switchable in groups of 4 (1/4, 5/6)
Multi Function Compressor on all channels
Compressor Threshold Range: -44dBFS (maximum) to -4dBFS (minimum)
Compression Ratio l: 2:1, 1: 4:1
Auto Make Up Gain: 4.0dB (minimum), 18.0dB (maximum)
Attack: 1.2mSec
Release: 28mSec (-3.5dB method)
Compression Curve: Classic Focusrite Soft Knee
THD+N (maximum at any compression threshold, input < +16dBu, gain at minimum): < 0.18%
Gain Range Microphone: +10dB to +55dB
Line: -10dB to +36dB
Instrument: +10dB to +55dB
Maximum Output Level Nominal output level @ 0dBFS: 16dBu, balanced
Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz, +/-0.1dB
Noise THD+N: <0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz to 22kHz bandpass filter)
Power Requirements Internal universal input PSU
Dimensions (WxDxH) 19 x 10.4 x 1.75" (483 x 265 x 45mm)
Weight 7.3 lbs (3.6kg)
Specialties A/D and D/A dynamic range: 110dB, A-weighted (all inputs and outputs)

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
FocusriteOctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression
 
4.6

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to mount (10)
  • Attractive (9)
  • Great sound quality (8)
  • Easy to set up (6)
  • Good power output (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Basic systems (4)
    • Home (3)
    • Home studio (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Tech savvy (6), Pro audio / DJ / mixing (5), Audiophile (3), Practical (3), Technically challenged (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (10)

    Reviewed by 14 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-14

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    5.0

    Awesome product

    By gigless

    from Cleveland, OH

    About Me Pro Audio / DJ, Tech Savvy

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attractive Design
    • Easy to Mount
    • Easy To Set Up
    • Great Sound Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

        I use this to give me 8 additional mic pres on my Focusrite 18i20 audio interface. Works like a charm once I got a word clock cable to keep them in sync that is. The compressors are decent, the mic pres are very good for the money. I definitely would recommend this if you need additional inputs for an recording interface with an ADAT i/o and/or a word clock out. One thing to note. The Focusrite 18i20 doesn't send the clock out adat so to sync this device with an 18i20 you need a word clock cable.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Excellent preamp

        By Ryszard. S.

        from Siloam Spring's, Arkansas

        About Me Technically Challenged

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attractive Design
        • Easy to Mount
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Good Power Output
        • Great Sound Quality

        Cons

        • NONE

        Best Uses

        • Basic Systems
        • Home
        • Home Made Studio

        Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

        This Focusrite OctoPre MK II Dynamic is perfect edition for my Liquid Saffire 56. I'm very pleased with my purchase

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great product!

        By DJ Seizo

        from Tucson, AZ

        About Me Audiophile, Practical, Pro Audio / DJ, Tech Savvy

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attractive Design
        • Easy to Mount
        • Easy To Set Up

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Basic Systems
          • DJ / Mixing

          Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

          easy to use, great features, perfect size and weight

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          8 more channels for a 003 rig.

          By Silent Rob

          from Atlanta, GA

          About Me Pro Audio / DJ, Recording Engineer, Tech Savvy

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attractive Design
          • Easy to Mount
          • Easy To Set Up
          • Easy to use
          • Great Sound Quality
          • Lots of features
          • Small

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • 003 expansion
            • Basic Systems
            • Home
            • Location recording
            • Project Studio

            Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

            I originally bought this to build a humble portable recording rig. Its worked great for that! I've used it on a few location sessions and the pre's are pretty good quality for my purposes. Especially at this price.

            But since then i've been using the additional 8 i/o's for hardware inserts on mix sessions. Finally i'm able to patch in a ton of my neglected analog gear.

            This box really gives you a lot of bang for the buck. I'm also happy that B&H had it significantly cheaper than any other seller online.

            The only negative thing about it is switching between mic and line pres. If you want mic pre's you have to plug in XLRs. For the line pre's you have to plug in TRS cables. Its a small thing but it makes this box near impossible to permanently mount and wire to a patch bay. I wish they would have included a toggle switch on the front.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Just what I needed

            By Raykibb

            from New Orleans, La

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Good Warmth

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

              This preamp+ sounds incredible especially with the addition of compression to all eight inputs seperately. I have it connected to a Liquid 56 and have been getting rave reviews on the sound. Hook-up was a breeze, just plug the optical cables in & turn it on.

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              4.0

              Solid, Low-Cost Preamp

              By Daniel

              from Santa Barbara, CA

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                This preamp is well-suited to small-scale live applications, with eight inputs and built-in compression. I can easily run a 50-75' mic snake to the stage and receive a fairly clean signal in my board. Easy to use, and mounts well.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Nice features - weak knobs - good price

                By broadcaster

                from Chicago, IL

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Highly Flexible
                • Versatile

                Cons

                • Poor Quality Construction

                Best Uses

                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                Finally. Someone who followed Behringer's logical design and useful features but built to higher quality standards. Mostly. The pres sound good, though I've had no chance yet to test them on choirs or delicate acoustical instruments (except Xylophone!). The first event saw them used with drums, pianos, synths and a few vocals. The live radio gig saw about 48 inputs and I was pressed to do it on a Yamaha O2R96 (waiting to install the PM1D in the new room). I used the Yamaha preamps for all the highly detailed inputs. As for the Focusrite, it did okay. I actually used some of the compression on a couple close toms and liked what it did, though I didn't purchase it for the compression. Why I LOVE this design? Not only do you get 8 mic pres via ADAT into the console but you also get 8 analog lines via ADAT out of the console! Only the horrible Berhinger used to have that feature. Now there are 3 or 4 designs that give you 8 DA's on the same unit. Highly useful. The added plus is that Focusrite's model can output either the ADAT return OR the mic pres on the line ouputs. Having a second ADAT output may even come in handy sometime. It has everything I need for flexibility in the field, which is where it will be used. I do bemoan the fact that there is NO room to add labels above or below each pre. Some others do a better job at that. My only big complaint is the quality of the knobs. They are just plain cheap and feel as though they will break with very little side pressure. It's too bad, because we can't afford that to happen when traveling with the units. Tsk, tsk, Focusrite! Don't do a good job with design and sound and then pull a Behringer on us with the knobs. Overall, we are happy... if the knobs don't break!

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Intuitive layout

                By DigitalHater

                from Baltimore, MD

                About Me Amateur Audio Engineer, Audiophile, Practical, Technically Challenged

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attractive Design
                • Easy to Mount
                • Easy To Set Up
                • Great Sound Quality

                Cons

                • 48v linked to 4 channels
                • No Firewire insouts

                Best Uses

                • Recording

                Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                I love this thing, I bought it to extend the inputs of my MOTU Traveler mk3, and I have been using it just as much to feed my 16-track hard disc recorder late at night. I expected this to mainly handle the drum mics, but I want to put everything through this. I love the super simple 1 knob compression, analog knobs right there on the front panel. The only complaints I have are minor, and I can easily live with them.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                4.0

                Great Sound/Easy to use

                By tw

                from MA

                About Me Tech Savvy

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Mount
                • Easy To Set Up
                • Good Power Output
                • Great Sound Quality

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                    I was able to pull this unit from the box and inside of 30 min dialed in a great tone while recording a drum kit. The Preamp tone adds a bit of flavor and the 1 knob compressor is very user friendly. Seems like a great unit for the money.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    4.0

                    Very Nice but doesn't lock automatically

                    By JUANESOLARES

                    from Delray Beach FLORIDA

                    About Me Pro Audio / DJ, Technically Challenged

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attractive Design
                    • Easy Setup
                    • Easy to Mount

                    Cons

                    • Lack Of Power

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                      I have Protools HD. Very nice gear easy to hook up. Very resourcefull but the only thing I really dont understand is why it doesn't include an automatic sample rate sensor?? It makes this unit vey risky to work with when hooking many preamps!!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Preamps and useable Compresson

                      By willis100

                      from Columbia, SC

                      About Me Engineer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attractive Design
                      • Easy Setup
                      • Easy to Mount
                      • Good Power Output
                      • Great Sound Quality

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Live Recording

                        Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                        This unit is the second OctoPre in the rack. There is a third unit, an older 8-channel that is limited to 48k and has fine sounding pres, but the OctoPre has two features that I really liked. The first, was the built-in compression, which works quite well for a single-knob function. The "more" switch is about all it needed. Another nice feature are the direct outs, so that a mic signal can be sent to a mixer for live shows.

                        Very well built and a good value.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great sound, but not for live work

                        By Dan the sound guy

                        from Erie, PA

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Recording

                            Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                            This product is for recording use or with digital equipment.
                            It is not good if you are running analog audio equipment. There is much better equipment out there for that.
                            For its intended purpose it is an excellent piece of equipment if you don't like playing with settings on compressor.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            chunky compression goodness

                            By UBETCHA13

                            from Raleigh NC

                            About Me Audiophile, Tech Savvy

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attractive Design
                            • Easy Setup
                            • Easy to Mount
                            • Good Power Output
                            • Great Sound Quality

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                                I now have three of these interfaces to give me awesome pre-amps with compression for live capture of concert audio for our videos. we run them into a Presonus Lightpipe for 48k sound. You can either use them at the snake as a pass through or on the board end taking direct outs from the board, this versatility is helpful in a live situation. Unlike other pre's of this type there is no stupid "matrix" software to fail you, it's ADAT out only no USB or Firewire so no drivers to battle either. It comes with no software since you don't need any to run it. They are as close to analog in a completely digital system as you can find set up wise & they sound GREAT.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                great sound, easy to use

                                By Ethan Sellers

                                from Chicago, IL

                                About Me Practical, Pro Audio / DJ, Tech Savvy

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Attractive Design
                                • Easy Setup
                                • Easy to Mount
                                • Good Power Output
                                • Great Sound Quality

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Basic Systems
                                  • Home
                                  • Larger Rooms
                                  • Outdoors
                                  • Smaller Rooms

                                  Comments about Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic - Microphone Preamp with Compression:

                                  I bought this unit to add an additional 8 channels of pre-amp and A/D conversion to the ProTools 003 Rack Plus unit I bought, as part of a mobile studio set-up. It connects to the 003 via ADAT optical cables, BNC connectors, or 1/4" outs. The XLR/Line combo inputs on back don't require toggling from one to the other - you just plug it in and you're good.

                                  I've used the unit for a bunch of sessions already - vocals, digital piano, acoustic guitar, flute, acoustic and electric violin, and percussion. In a few weeks, I have a rhythm section tracking session with drums and bass scheduled, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it fares in that situation.

                                  The pre-amps sound pretty clean and transparent to me.

                                  I've used the unit with line inputs, passive DI boxes, and a variety of mics - AKG D-112, AKG C-414BULS, SM-81, SM-58, SM-57s, and some relatively inexpensive ribbon mic my fiddler has at his place.

                                  The condenser mics came through appropriately detailed with their presence peaks intact and the dynamics were nice and smooth. The D-112 - a kick drum mic - had some awesome bottom end to it, making the bodhran sound really deep and oomphy. The ribbon mic on the fiddle needed more gain than the unit provided, so we might combo the OctoPre with a tube mic pre-amp, next time.

                                  The ribbon mic brings me to another feature - phantom power. Your choices are in/out for channels 1-4 and likewise for 5-8. One has to make sure that ribbon mics are not on the same group of four channels that require phantom, or use another mic pre entirely for that mic - lest you fry your ribbon mic. The ability to turn phantom on/off for each channel might be useful, but this is a minor quibble for me.

                                  My digital piano through passive DI definitely sounded infinitely clearer and smoother when I used the OctoPre MkII's built-in A/D conversion rather than run the 1/4" out of the OctoPre into the 003 and have to set the gain in two places. It solves the gain-stage question for you when you only have to twist one knob to make it louder.

                                  It's not the warmest pre-amp ever for vocals and acoustic instruments, but - let's be honest - is that what you're expecting for 8 channels of mic pre, compression, AND A/D conversion in a single rack space? For that, you need to probably pay some multiple of this unit's price for a quarter of the number of channels.

                                  Besides, I was looking for something pretty "neutral" anyhow, to form the core of my rig.

                                  The built-in compression is one knob and a button (More, which really puts the hammer down), so you have to like what they do with the compression settings and/or go easy on the compression at tracking and plan to tweak your settings in your DAW.

                                  I've found that a little bit goes a LONG way for acoustic instruments and vocals. Too much and things can get muddy/indistinct in a hurry, which is why I have historically been wary of compression at tracking. I think the best use for it is simply a little "lick" at tracking, so that you don't have to set all your input levels with peak avoidance in mind.

                                  If wishes were horses... It would be neat to have a phase button, a low-end roll-off button, and the option to do phantom power or not on each channel - I liked those features on my two-channel mic pre.

                                  For my purposes - a good solid home studio and remote recording set-up - this is a great unit at a very reasonable price. It sounds great and is simple to set up and operate. It does everything I'd hoped it would, and I'm thrilled with the results I'm getting.

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