The Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic is a feature-rich
expansion upgrade for any digital audio workstation. With 8 channels of
Focusrite microphone pre-amplification, 8 VCA-based Red 3-derived
compressors and built-in 24-bit / 96 kHz digital inputs and outputs, the
OctoPre MkII is equally ideal as an expansion for any analogue or
digital console, or for a hard disk recorder.
The OctoPre MkII
Dynamic's digital inputs and outputs let you make the most of
often-neglected ADAT I/O—ideal for expanding the number of mic-pre
inputs on your interface or for providing analogue monitoring from any
digital ADAT feed.
With this entire package fitting into a single
1U chassis complementing Focusrite's Saffire PRO range, and all
controls adjustable from the front fascia, OctoPre MkII Dynamic sets the
standard for modern, compact, multi-channel recording expansions.
Saffire Mic Pre
Focusrite has, over the past two decades, built a reputation as the
market leader for high quality recording equipment, with its mic pre
technology as the cornerstone of that enviable reputation.
original ISA mic pre, as featured in the early Focusrite Forté console,
is still used by many of the industry's greatest producers and has
contributed to the sound of countless hit records. Today, Focusrite
design equipment for a far greater audience, from professionals to
amateur enthusiasts, all with varying budgets.
As with the
Classic ISA mic pre used in both the ISA and Red ranges, the Saffire mic
pre found in the OctoPre MkII Dynamic is designed to the highest
possible standards. It upholds the same wide bandwidth philosophy
featured in the original forté console, back in 1989. As with the
Classic ISA mic pre, the Saffire mic pre design features custom
components which have undergone an intense testing and qualification
With the facts and figures in, Focusrite designs then
have to pass the essential listening stage. Any design can measure well
on the test bench but only a great design can be qualified in the
studio. The FET-based Saffire mic pre design is no exception. It
delivers clarity without colouration and exhibits the signature
transparency for which Focusrite have become famous.
high channel count interfaces (Saffire PRO 40 and Liquid Saffire 56) and
both the OctoPre MkII and OctoPre MkII Dynamic, the Saffire pre-amp has
been optimized for drums. The theoretical maximum level of a microphone
was calculated, and the mic pre was adjusted with this in mind so as
not to clip with this level present, set to minimum gain. As a result,
the mic pre won't clip, even with a high output level mic right up close
to a snare drum (the mic input will accept signal levels up to +16dBU
from a microphone).
The Compressors featured in OctoPre MkII Dynamic are a new VCA-based,
feed-forward design, derived from the celebrated Focusrite Red 3.
just a single dial, these eight 'recording' compressors allow you to
get to the desired amount of compression for each channel, fast,
providing a natural but loud sound. The single dial solution decreases
the threshold, and increases the makeup gain simultaneously, the result
of which is a sound that gets progressively more compressed but retains a
good output level.
The compressors uses a soft-knee progressive
compression curve, modeled on the properties of the Red 3 compressor,
and featuring a fixed Attack time of 1.2 ms and Release time of 28ms.
The circuit has been tuned by ear at Focusrite and these settings were
chosen after critical listening and analysis of the Red 3. Bass guitar
and drums were put through the Red 3 compressor, and the threshold,
ratio, attack and release envelopes were modified until the desired
'controlled' sound was achieved. These settings were then applied to the
new VCA circuit where the soft knee and ratio curve had been
duplicated. A further listening then helped to tweak the settings and
ensure that the compressors behaved as expected.
has two modes: Normal and 'More', which let you change the behavior of
the compressor to suit different instruments. Whist the Red 3 is well
known and loved for its sympathetic approach to compression, it's not
regarded as an 'effect' compressor. However, with the OctoPre MkII
Dynamic's 'More' button, found on each compressor, you can bring a bit
of aggression to your sound. The More button doubles the ratio from 2:1
to 4:1 and shifts the threshold range, so you have more sensitivity on
control. The threshold is closed down, working across a smaller range,
as you're applying threshold control over a much louder signal.
- Eight award-winning Focusrite pre-amps
- Eight 'single-dial' Focusrite Compressor
- Compress transparently or with effect
- Built-in eight channel 24-bit / 96 kHz digital outputs
- Built-in eight channel 24-bit / 96 kHz digital inputs
- State-of-the-art Clocking Solutions
- Two high-quality instrument inputs
- Input clip and Compression active LEDs on every channel
- 5 LED input metering on every channel
- Phantom power available on every channel (switched in two groups: 1-4 and 5-8)
- 24-bit resolution, 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz sampling rates
- Internal clocking, master clocking and external clocking via BNC or ADAT