Focusrite OctoPre MkII | Mike J.
The Focusrite OctoPre MkII hails from the UK-based musical equipment manufacturer Focusrite has built their reputation designing high-end audio hardware and software. Focusrite offers multiple professional grade products in their Liquid, Rednet and ISA ranges and provide products in the Saffire range to meet the quality-for-the-price demand of the growing home studio market.
One product in Focusrite’s Saffire range is the Focusrite OctoPre MKII, an eight-channel microphone preamp with 24 bit/96 kHz ADAT output only. Intended to be a rack piece that runs to an audio interface (like their Saffire Pro 40 or Saffire 56) the Focusrite OctoPre MKII routes audio via its analogue line outputs or digitally via its ADAT port (and can do both simultaneously). The unit is housed in a 1U rack mount chassis that has I/O on the rear panel and separate combination jack/XLR sockets on front.
Focusrite has designed the MKII to handle a wide range of sonic frequencies, particularly at extreme levels so that the kick and snare of your drum kit don’t clip. Also, each channel of the Focusrite OctoPre MKII is equipped with a 10dB pad to minimize overdrive from hot signals. The MKII features two DI channels for Hi-Z instruments accessible on the front of the unit. The right side of the fascia has 5 LED input metering for each of its eight input channels so that you can avoid monitor your input gain.
Each of the eight microphone preamps can be individually routed to a mixer’s analogue channels and each has phantom power available to it (grouped as channels 1-4 and 5-8) for use with most condenser microphones.