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> Focusrite Octopre Mkii, New ADAT-ready 8 channel mic preamp
Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 26 2010, 06:21 PM
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Just to inform everyone who is searching expansion for their ADAT cards that Focusrite has introduced OctoPre MkII 8 channel mic preamp with ADAT component as standard. I was checking out Behringer ADA8000 for some time, but this one seems a lot better, and I hope I will buy it in a week or so. For all of you who use EMU cards, or any other card with more possible I/O via ADAT, this may prove like a very good upgrade.





here are the specs:

SpecificationsBack top
• Mic Gain: +10dB to + 55 dB
• Line 1-8 Gain: -10 dB to +36 dB
• Instrument Gain: +10 dB to +55 dB
• Input Pad on inputs 1-8: ~-10 dB

• Phantom power switched in 2 x 4 channel groups (1-4 and 5-8)

• Mic and instrument maximum input level: +8 dBu (+17 dBu with pad on input)
• Line maximum input level: +22 dBu
• Nominal output level @ 0dBFS: 16 dBu, balanced

• Sample rates: 44.1kHz to 96kHz.

• Clock Sources: Internal clock and sync'ing to Word Clock Input.

• Dimensions: W = 484mm / 19”, H = 45mm / 1.8”, D = 265mm / 10.4”
• Weight: 3.6 kg / 7.93


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Apr 26 2010, 07:33 PM
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Nice Ivan - and hope you manage to get one. Focusrite is definitely several steps up from Behringer. Particularly the mic preamps - I think this one borrows the preamps from one of the bigger ISA models.


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Daniel Realpe
post Apr 26 2010, 08:33 PM
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Looks amazing,

and you can record up to 96khz!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 26 2010, 09:35 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Apr 26 2010, 08:33 PM) *
Nice Ivan - and hope you manage to get one. Focusrite is definitely several steps up from Behringer. Particularly the mic preamps - I think this one borrows the preamps from one of the bigger ISA models.


Thanks Tony, and I agree completely. The preamps should be the same ones as from Saphirre Pro (in fact the whole device is very similar to it).
The entry-level devices of this kind are rare atm, but it seems that big names are slowly focusing on this part of the market too, as they recognize the often unused ADAT slots on various semi-pro cards out there.
Easy expansions like this one could really prove useful for a semi-pro musicians/producers home studio, doing a nice job as a front end.
This device doesn't have low-cut and inserts, but it's a fair-priced product all together. Now I just need to get one, and see who will buy my current one biggrin.gif


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Santiago Diaz Ga...
post Apr 27 2010, 06:49 AM
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Nice!! I'll definitly check this out


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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 27 2010, 02:23 PM
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that looks great!!, just pre amp right? no interface?


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Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 27 2010, 05:52 PM
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Device looks like a great choice for exapansion of home studio! smile.gif And if its close to Behringer's price then its a best buy! smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 27 2010, 07:06 PM
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QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ Apr 27 2010, 03:23 PM) *
that looks great!!, just pre amp right? no interface?


Just preamps with ADAT connection.


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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 27 2010, 09:54 PM
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excuse my ignorance, what's adat ohmy.gif?


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 27 2010, 10:00 PM
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It's basically an analog to digital converter, so you can connect the channels to another device via digital link. EMU 1212m card that I have has only 2 analog line inputs on the card, so in order to expand it, you need to do it via digital link. This neat device serves as a front end in that case, with A-D conversion happening inside Focusrite, and D-A conversion happening in EMU 1212m. On top of that, there are still 2 line inputs on the card. So total of 10 channels when upgraded.


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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 27 2010, 10:49 PM
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hey that's VERY, so actually the pre amps on ur sound card are bypassed right? (when u are using the external pre amp), i mean you are not connecting the pre amp to the pre amp on your sound card.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 28 2010, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE (Adrian Figallo @ Apr 27 2010, 11:49 PM) *
hey that's VERY, so actually the pre amps on ur sound card are bypassed right? (when u are using the external pre amp), i mean you are not connecting the pre amp to the pre amp on your sound card.


No, there aren't any preamps on the card, that's the point smile.gif But the card has 2 analog line inputs, and 10 more expandable via ADAT link. This device does exactly that - expands the slots.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Apr 28 2010, 10:30 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Apr 27 2010, 09:00 PM) *
It's basically an analog to digital converter, so you can connect the channels to another device via digital link. EMU 1212m card that I have has only 2 analog line inputs on the card, so in order to expand it, you need to do it via digital link. This neat device serves as a front end in that case, with A-D conversion happening inside Focusrite, and D-A conversion happening in EMU 1212m. On top of that, there are still 2 line inputs on the card. So total of 10 channels when upgraded.


Sort of - ADAT normally refers to the ADAT 'lightpipe' transmission protocol - the way that a digital signal is sent and received by audio. In ADAT a fibre optic cable is used to carry upto 8 tracks of audio plus embedded wordclock information. THE ADC may or may not be on the ADAT.

One of the nice things about this Focusrite is that an ADAT board suitable for a particular preamp usually costs 2-400UK sterling by itself.

Ivan - if you can take a look at an RME adat AD-DA. RME has possibly the best drivers and conversion around below 1000UKsterling and would be a step up from the EMU and so would make a great partner for the Focusrite.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 28 2010, 12:05 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Apr 28 2010, 11:30 AM) *
Sort of - ADAT normally refers to the ADAT 'lightpipe' transmission protocol - the way that a digital signal is sent and received by audio. In ADAT a fibre optic cable is used to carry upto 8 tracks of audio plus embedded wordclock information. THE ADC may or may not be on the ADAT.

One of the nice things about this Focusrite is that an ADAT board suitable for a particular preamp usually costs 2-400UK sterling by itself.

Ivan - if you can take a look at an RME adat AD-DA. RME has possibly the best drivers and conversion around below 1000UKsterling and would be a step up from the EMU and so would make a great partner for the Focusrite.


Sorry if there was confusion, was explaining more in general terms. ADAT is transmission standard, separate from the actual conversion. The whole chain would look something like this simplified:

preamps - AD conversion - ADAT - EMU card digital inputs - processing - DA conversion

Will do tony thanks. The problem is (as always) a limited budget for audio equipment, so I'm choosing very carefully. In the future I will try to invest in better audio card, but for now a suitable entry-level front end and pair of monitor speakers is what I need the most. I'm also considering to skip this Focusrite and invest straight into the monitors, depending how big the budget will be. Ideally I would get them both smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Apr 28 2010, 12:19 PM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Apr 28 2010, 03:02 PM
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What are you using at the moment for monitors Ivan?

Generally for tracking and mixing I'd go with the pre-amp first - on a 'you need a good signal to start with' type principle - but it presumes your monitors are ok...


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Adrian Figallo
post Apr 28 2010, 04:31 PM
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got it guys, thanks!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 28 2010, 07:16 PM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Apr 28 2010, 04:02 PM) *
What are you using at the moment for monitors Ivan?

Generally for tracking and mixing I'd go with the pre-amp first - on a 'you need a good signal to start with' type principle - but it presumes your monitors are ok...


I'm not using monitors at all - that's the problem! wink.gif I use 2.1 system and two pairs of headphones to check out the mixes, and although I got used to them, I need more precision, speed and better response in speakers. I was checking out KRK Rokit 6 as a first-time investment, I guess it will balance out correctly with the current setup. What do you think tony? Bare in mind I'm not building a pro studio, I'm gravitating towards a musician's semi-pro home recording facility.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Apr 29 2010, 10:22 AM
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I think you're right then Ivan to go with the monitors smile.gif . The KRK are nice monitors in that price range though a little bass light - but tbh (pretty) much all monitors in that price range are a bit bass light.

You can get by mixing on headphones - and checking across a couple of pairs is a good idea - but they have tendency to give an incorrect sense of stereo width and depth. An upside is that you eliminate a lot of the room acoustics by using headphones - and so one issue you might find when you put in monitors is how your room's acoustics affect the sound.


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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post Apr 29 2010, 11:10 AM
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Ivan I am using TR6 from Event as studio monitors, although they are fairly ok, there is a little out of ref points in HF domain, so generally I need to roll down over 8Khz a little. But one of my sound engineer friends suggested me ADAM A5X, you should check them out.

Take care biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 29 2010, 11:07 PM
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The focusrite pre-amps in this are very nice. It's a great unit especially considering the price. I'd love one of these. I'm currenly using a Tascam Fire One and wish it had more inputs.


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