We’ve seen several generations of Focusrite OctoPre units, from the old Platinum series to the black-and-blue MkII models to the recent high-performance Clarett OctoPre. Now the ever-popular Scarlett range is getting two new OctoPre models designed to instantly add eight extra inputs to any audio interface equipped with ADAT I/O. The Scarlett OctoPre and OctoPre Dynamic feature eight second-generation Scarlett mic preamps, 24-bit/192kHz A-D conversion and, in the case of the Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic, user-friendly compression on every channel and eight channels of D-A conversion.
Both units also feature eight analogue line outputs, meaning that they’re perfectly happy to act as stand-alone eight channel mic preamps in a live environment, for example. Each channel gets a five-segment LED level meter on the front panel and the first two channels can be switched to provide high-impedance instrument inputs. Focusrite say that these newly-designed instrument inputs offer additional headroom to cope with hot pickups while the mic preamps are well suited to handle high input levels when recording kick, snare and other punchy sources. The Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic provides additional assistance with built-in, fully analogue soft-knee compression on every input. There’s a single control knob to set the amount of compression on each channel, with a ‘More’ button to double the ratio for a less transparent, more aggressive effect. ADAT output at the rear delivers all eight channels at up to 96kHz or four channels at 192kHz. The Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic features an additional eight channels of ADAT input that can be fed to the eight line outputs. Finally, word clock in and out featuring JetPLL jitter elimination allows both units to sync with digital systems. Available now, these useful-looking units are very attractively priced, with Scarlett OctoPre costing £399.99$399.99 and the Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic costing £599.99$599.99.