Focusrite Clarett 8PreX 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Focusrite Clarett 8PreX 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Focusrite Clarett 8PreX 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

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Product Highlights

  • 8 Preamps Model the Classic ISA Design
  • 24-Bit / 192 kHz Audio Resolution
  • 116 dB A/D and 119 dB D/A Dynamic Range
  • Thunderbolt Latency under 1 ms
  • Downloadable iOS Remote Control
  • 64-Bit AAX, AU & VST Plug-in Suite
  • Softube Time and Tone Bundle
  • ADAT, S/PDIF, Wordclock & MIDI I/O
  • Digital Expansion & Detailed Metering
  • Mac, Windows
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Input/Output: 26x28

18x20 26x28
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Focusrite 8-Prex overview

  • 1Description

Designed for recording studios, the Focusrite Clarett 8PreX Thunderbolt Audio Interface combines 24-bit 192 kHz A/D/A conversion, 119 dB real-world dynamic range, 1 ms roundtrip Thunderbolt latency, and eight microphone preamps that can model the sound of the company's ISA transformer-based preamps using the air effect. The high resolution recording and ultra-low latency allows you to enable 64-bit AAX, AU, and VST compatible DA plug-ins while monitoring recordings. The interface is now fully compatible with Windows-based computers, providing stable operation with identical functionality on both platforms, while offering sub-3 ms latency. Also provided is a Windows version of the Focusrite Control software mixer for monitoring and routing configuration.

The interface comes with 64-bit AAX, AU, and VST compatible Red 2 and Red 3 plug-in suite. In addition to the Red Plug-in Suite, the interface includes the Softube Time and Tone Pack. Modeled after the Drawmer 1973 FET Stereo compressor hardware, the Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor is a plug-in that aids in balancing and shaping a mix. TSAR-1R Reverb adds space, depth, and width to a sound. Change settings with a single slider, from realistic three-dimensional rooms to dramatic and dreamlike halls. Tube Delay is an echo effect that can go from clean to rude by overdriving its three modeled tube stages - delivering everything from realistic room echoes, to rockabilly style slap back, to dub reggae echo. Saturation Knob is a modeled output distortion unit that adds grit and warmth - use it to fatten up bass lines, add some harmonics and shimmer to vocals, or simply destroy a drum loop. 

Housed in a 2RU chassis, the interface features two front instrument ¼" TRS inputs, eight rear panel microphone XLR-3F inputs, eight ¼" line level inputs, six line level ¼" TRS outputs, two ¼" TRS monitor outputs, word clock I/O, 5-pin MIDI I/O, stereo S/PDIF I/O, and sixteen channels of ADAT I/O for expansion.

The front panel also features two ¼" TRS headphone outputs with separate volume controls. A dedicated gain control, a +48V phantom power switch, a phase reverse switch, and a high pass filter switch is provided for each microphone preamplifier. A six-segment multi-channel LED meter provides visual feedback, as well as a level control, a dim button, and a mute button.

Eight New Clarett Mic Pres with Extra "Air"
Features a special "Air" setting that switches in an analog model of the classic transformer-based Focusrite ISA microphone preamplifier while the instrument inputs provide extra headroom to handle the loudest pickup
Use DAW Plug-ins in Real Time
Thunderbolt connectivity provides a round trip latency of 1 ms which enables you to monitor through your DAW with your favorite plug-ins such as EQ, reverb, or compression
Precision Digital Conversion
Offers 24-bit 192 kHz conversion with up to 119 dB of dynamic range
Provides 26 audio inputs and 28 outputs into a 2U rack space, including 8 analog inputs, 10 analog outputs, stereo S/PDIF I/O and 16 channels of ADAT I/O. Connect up to 16 more mic preamps over ADAT for a 24-channel microphone setup
Front Panel I/O
Offers two convenient front panel inputs for when the unit is rack mounted
Accessible Metering and Monitoring
Provides analog and digital input levels and main monitor outputs, via a 6-segment, multichannel hardware meter. The monitor features include a level control, plus dim, and mute buttons alongside dual high-power headphone outputs
Downloadable iOS Remote Control
Downloadable Focusrite iOS Control app adjusts cue mixes remotely from iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch)
Softube Time and Tone Bundle
Contains Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor, TSAR-1R Reverb, Tube Delay echo effect, and Saturation Knob, a modeled output distortion unit
UPC: 815301008385
In the Box
Focusrite Clarett 8PreX 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface
  • iOS Control App Via Free Download
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Focusrite 8-Prex specs

    I/O 2x TRS Headphone Outputs
    2x TRS Instrument Inputs
    8x TRS Line Inputs
    8x XLR Microphone Inputs
    8x TRS Line Outputs
    2x TRS Monitor Output
    1x WordClock Input
    1x WordClock Output
    2x ADAT Optical In
    2x ADAT Optical Out
    1x S/PDIF In
    1x S/PDIF Out
    1x 5-Pin MIDI In
    1x 5-Pin MIDI Out
    1x Thunderbolt
    Sample Rates 44.1. 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
    Microphone Inputs
    Frequency Response 20 to 20,000 Hz ±1 dB
    Dynamic Range 118 dB (A-weighted)
    THD+N 0.001%
    EIN -128 dBU (A-weighted)
    Maximum Input Level +18 dBu
    Gain Range 57 dB
    Line Inputssuudrttzuvrttescdeaxax
    Frequency Response 20 to 20,000 Hz ±0.1 dB
    Dynamic Range 116 dB (A-weighted)
    THD+N 0.005%
    Maximum Input Level +26 dBu
    Gain Range 57 dB
    Instrument Inputs
    Frequency Response 20 to 20,000 Hz ±0.1 dB
    Dynamic Range 111 dB (A-weighted)
    THD & Noise 0.001%
    Maximum Input Level +14 dBu
    Gain Range 57 dB
    Dynamic Range 119 dB
    Dynamic Range 117 dB
    Maximum Output Level +18 dBu
    THD 0.007%
    Headphone Output
    Dynamic Range 112 dB
    THD & Noise 0.0008%
    Maximum Output Level +16 dBu
    Rack Spaces 2
    Mac System Requirements OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, macOS Sierra
    Windows System Requirements Windows, 8.1, 10, Windows 10 AU (Redstone)
    Thunderbolt 1 or 2 ports
    Dimensions Not specified by the manufacturer
    Weight Not specified by the manufacturer
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 16.4 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 24.2 x 16.6 x 7.3"

    Focusrite 8-Prex reviews

    Clarett 8PreX 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 5.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very capable I bought the 8PreX over the 8Pre because I wanted more individual controls over things like phantom power for each input, independent of the other inputs. Sound quality is my top concern, with ease-of-use as a close second place. I also purchased the Apogee Element 88 for comparison, and did some recordings with both interfaces, with the microphones in the same exact positions, and adjusting the input gains as best I could to make them as close as possible to each other. I applied no EQ or other effects of any kind. I recorded my guitar through 2 different amps simultaneously, using both a condenser and dynamic mic (Shure SM57) on each amp (4 channels total). The 8PreX also nearly ran out of gain on the SM57s, while the Element 88 gain had plenty of gain to spare. I had the amps at conversation level. If you play louder, the 8PreX would have plenty of gain. Anyway, with the recordings finished, I sat down and I listened. Carefully. Very carefully. Over and over again. The good news is, the 8PreX sounds very, very good. There is a difference to the Element 88; the 8PreX sounds a little brighter. I was very happy with the 8PreX sound, and I suspect that with a little EQ tweak, I could have made the two interfaces sound indistinguishable. I ended up returning the 8PreX and keeping the Element 88 though. The reason was the amount of physical space the 8PreX needs on my small desk. The Element 88 has no knobs or switches of any kind; you simply connect your mics and other cables, and hide it somewhere, probably never to touch it again. My initial concern with the Element 88 was the lack of knobs, but the software controls are very well thought out, making it easy to control gain levels quickly and precisely with the keyboard's arrow keys instead of the mouse. If you've got the space though, go with the 8PreX and buy some nice microphones with the savings. I would give it 4.5 stars if I could, with size being the only demerit.
    Date published: 2016-12-26
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good I bought this interface to record multi-mic sessions in my home. I like the fact that it has dedicated knobs and buttons for all mic inputs, the main monitors, and each headphone jack; it makes it very simple and quick to use. I got this over the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre because I wanted individually-selectable 48V phantom power for each mic input. The 8PreX works very well, and is a fantastic value. The FocusRite software is very easy to use as well, and makes it easy to configure custom mixes for each output. It works well with my DAW too (Logic Pro). I also purchased Apogee's new Element 88, and I compared the two interfaces back-to-back with the same microphones, positioned at the same place in front of my amps. The sound between these two units is VERY similar. There are some differences, but they are almost imperceptible. The most noticeable difference is the brightness of the Focusrite Clarett. Even with the air switch on the mic preamps turned off, the Focusrite was a little brighter sounding than the Apogee. Some people may prefer that brighter sound, and I certainly didn't think it was objectionable. A little EQ adjustment should be able to bring either of those interfaces to an indistinguishable level. I could be very happy with either interface from a sound perspective. Ultimately, I decided to return the Focusrite and keep the Apogee however, simply because the amount of space the Focusrite consumed on my limited desk. I can actually store the Apogee off my desk on a lower shelf because there are no knobs or switches that need to be accessible to use the interface. Once you connect the microphones and other cables, you probably won't need to touch again. Although I like dedicated knobs and switches, I can live with adjusting all the parameters of the Apogee in software. Apogee did a good job designing the software that allows the levels to be adjusted with a mouse or with the arrows on the keyboard - very quick and precise. And without all those knobs and switches, the Apogee is about 1/4 the size of the 8PreX. Given that the Clarret 8PreX was around 2/3 the cost of the Apogee Element 88, I would still heartily recommend the 8PreX to anyone that has the space for it. I would give it 4.5 stars if I could.
    Date published: 2016-12-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy to hook up and the sound is amazing!! This is my second Focusrite pre amp in 10 years. The Clarett does not disappoint. The thunderbolt hook up makes everything a snap and the sound is killer. The air option adds a nice bit of breath to the top end. Great for drum over heads and snare mics. Build quality is excellent.
    Date published: 2018-07-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great sound, clear good quality Big quality sound low latency perfect for a small and big projects
    Date published: 2017-05-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ears aren't removable Great peice of gear, but rack mount ears are not removable.
    Date published: 2017-01-01
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