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Focusrite OctoPre with ADAT card???
Old 2nd February 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Focusrite OctoPre with ADAT card???

I am wanting to get a discreet mic pre to add gain to my signal chain. I don't want color, just gain. I will be using the ADAT card to link the OctoPre to a FireFace 800.


Is the OctoPre a quality unit?


Thanks in advance.


Tom
Old 2nd February 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
bump

anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvolhein ➑️
I am wanting to get a discreet mic pre to add gain to my signal chain. I don't want color, just gain. I will be using the ADAT card to link the OctoPre to a FireFace 800.


Is the OctoPre a quality unit?


Thanks in advance.


Tom
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Mikeren's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Tom,

The Octopre uses the 'Platnium' range preamps. They don't sound bad but you are paying less than $100 a channel. Unless you need 8 additional inputs (which was not your stated goal) you might see a greater increase in quality spending the same $800 on a two channel preamp.
As far as 'adding gain to your signal chain', I'm a bit confused. The Octopre (with ADAT card) gives you 8 pres at once thru the ADAT connection. There is nothing about it that will provide you with more gain--just more inputs.

MR
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Octopre

I have an Octopre and loved it. I say loved because Im no longer tracking and am looking to sell it. I will say however, that it is quite clean! I have used it on drums and the DI inputs for Bass Guitar. Never have had anything but great experiences. I used the ADAT card option going into my Digi002Rack and it worked without a flaw. I can't imagine any problems with the fireface. I did have to switch my internal clock to the Focusrite, but this was fine with me.

Never really noticed any sort of coloration. What I put in was what I got out sort of thing. The built in compressor on each channel is a nice touch as well. I would use a little on snare and kick. I would almost always use a little on Bass going through the DI. If your using this just for Gain, aside from the pre, you can also use it as an extra gain stage via the DB-25 Line inputs. Pre -> Octopre Lin In -> Adat out. The only problem I have ever had is wanting to get higher sample rates into my digi, but that is a limitation of Lightpipe/Digidesign and not the Octopre. You can send 1-4, and 5-8 out both Adat ports at higher sample rates. This is an option not supported by my 002R. Not sure if this is a problem for you RME.

BTW, if you wanted to just use the compressors, you could also just utilize the Line inputs and have the compressors there before the ADAt card. I tried it once with previously tracked drums. The overall sound didn't fit the song much, but I do remember liking the option of eight compressors in sort of an outboard set-up.

As I mentioned, I am selling my unit/Adat card/ DB-25 - TRS snakes, and optical cable. I had to move my stuff into my apartment and can no longer track. Otherwise I would still hold on to it. It was the perfect Class A, 8ch. preamp for my 002R. Great sound and neat feature set.

Hope this helps,

DM
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeren ➑️
Hi Tom,

The Octopre uses the 'Platnium' range preamps. They don't sound bad but you are paying less than $100 a channel. Unless you need 8 additional inputs (which was not your stated goal) you might see a greater increase in quality spending the same $800 on a two channel preamp.
As far as 'adding gain to your signal chain', I'm a bit confused. The Octopre (with ADAT card) gives you 8 pres at once thru the ADAT connection. There is nothing about it that will provide you with more gain--just more inputs.

MR
Thanks for the advice.

The stated gain of the OctoPre is 60 dB. That is what I need to drive my SM7 and other dynamic mics. Unless I don't understand it, that is the same as the pots on the front of the FireFace. But you are right about "additional." With an analog pre, I could go into the FF front pots and get way more gain.

I also admit that I don't need all 8 additional inputs and have been looking at the Focusrite Twin Pak Pro, with more features.

Do you have a recommendation for a pre?

t

Last edited by tvolhein; 2nd February 2009 at 04:02 PM.. Reason: More
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Aarhus Lydstudie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvolhein ➑️
Thanks for the advice.

The stated gain of the OctoPre is 60 dB. That is what I need to drive my SM7 and other dynamic mics. Unless I don't understand it, that is the same as the pots on the front of the FireFace. But you are right about "additional." With an analog pre, I could go into the FF front pots and get way more gain.

t
Hi, sounds like you are complicating things more than necessary. The signal chain you need is like this: mic -> preamp -> converter. You don't want to go through 2 preamps. 60 db gain will do and the focusrite preamp is pretty clean (and really boring!).

I've had the octopre with adat option, and it worked fine with the digi 002R I had at that time. I didn't fancy the compressors at all! To me, they sounded really bad.

Let us know what kind of work you want to do + your budget, then it'll be easier to give advise about alternative preamps/converters.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aarhus Lydstudie ➑️
Hi, sounds like you are complicating things more than necessary. The signal chain you need is like this: mic -> preamp -> converter. You don't want to go through 2 preamps. 60 db gain will do and the focusrite preamp is pretty clean (and really boring!).

I've had the octopre with adat option, and it worked fine with the digi 002R I had at that time. I didn't fancy the compressors at all! To me, they sounded really bad.

Let us know what kind of work you want to do + your budget, then it'll be easier to give advise about alternative preamps/converters.
I record acoustic, from singer/songwriter to bluegrass quartets. Budget is $1,000 max. The reason that I am concerned about gain is that the SM7 needs a lot of it for my application. I don't get screamer vocalists and I don't mic amps. I have the FireFace 800, and use a variety of condenser mics also.

I am getting soured on Focusrite stuff after reading some of the reviews.

I want two channels of good, clean pre amp. Would like some simple and good sounding limiting/compression also.

One good two-channel pre would give me 10 input channels, enough to do the work I have.

thanks
t
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Aarhus Lydstudie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not sure what preamp would be best with your budget, but I would recommend not to by both both preamps and comp/limiter with that budget. You'll get better results if you use the money on two decent preamps and then use plug-in comp/limiters during mixing instead.

Try to find a used two channel preamp like A-designs pacifica, Great River MP-2NV , etc.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Newcleardaze's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
On your Fireface 800, you've got 4 preamps and room for 6 more through it, so perhaps a good 4 channel pre might do the trick for you, such as the Sytek MPX-4Aii (you can Google it and find their website) or if you can swing a few hundred bucks more, the Focusrite ISA428. Also 2 of the FMR RNPs would fit nicely into your budget.
The FMR stuff would also be a good option for two channels as well as their RNC compressors.

Just some things to look into.
Good luck
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I had the Trakmaster Pro and it sounded awful. I was very disappointed with the preamp in particular. It sounded nothing like the higher end Focusrite and was not clean to my ears. My Behringer ADA8000 sounds alot better and that really doesn't say much for the Trakmaster. So I would recommend staying away from the Platinum Series. I've read a few posts on this forum where people recommend them and can't really understand why.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
I had the Trakmaster Pro and it sounded awful. I was very disappointed with the preamp in particular. It sounded nothing like the higher end Focusrite and was not clean to my ears. My Behringer ADA8000 sounds alot better and that really doesn't say much for the Trakmaster. So I would recommend staying away from the Platinum Series. I've read a few posts on this forum where people recommend them and can't really understand why.
Interesting. Have you ever tried their Compounder?
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No, the only other Focusrite preamps I've heard are the ISA and Red series at my friends old studio. Both are excellent though different. The Trakmaster Pro (or at least the one I had) was thin and made everything sound small to my ears. I don't know if something was wrong with the unit that I had but it was enough for me to never go near the Platinum Series again.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
No, the only other Focusrite preamps I've heard are the ISA and Red series at my friends old studio. Both are excellent though different. The Trakmaster Pro (or at least the one I had) was thin and made everything sound small to my ears. I don't know if something was wrong with the unit that I had but it was enough for me to never go near the Platinum Series again.
The Compounder is a dual compressor, no pre-amp. It is in the Platinum series.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've never heard of it. Why? Is it a good compressor?
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have the octopre with adat card alongside some high end preamps. I only use it when recording drums because I need the extra inputs... i plan on ditching it eventually when I can afford another HD interface and more pre's. It's not bad but to me it sounds worse at high gain. Based on your needs, I think you'd be better off spending the $1k on one or two good channels, or save up another $1200 and get something like an API 3124.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Aarhus Lydstudie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jval ➑️
I have the octopre with adat card alongside some high end preamps. I only use it when recording drums because I need the extra inputs... i plan on ditching it eventually when I can afford another HD interface and more pre's. It's not bad but to me it sounds worse at high gain. Based on your needs, I think you'd be better off spending the $1k on one or two good channels, or save up another $1200 and get something like an API 3124.
thumbsup
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
I've never heard of it. Why? Is it a good compressor?
Well you recommended staying away from the Platinum range. Yet you don't actually know what the Platinum range consists of. Good solid advice thumbsup
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Aarhus Lydstudie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonsqueezer ➑️
Well you recommended staying away from the Platinum range. Yet you don't actually know what the Platinum range consists of. Good solid advice thumbsup
Do you like the preamps in the platinum series?
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aarhus Lydstudie ➑️
Do you like the preamps in the platinum series?
I have only tried one, the Trakmaster Pro. I think it is good value.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonsqueezer ➑️
Well you recommended staying away from the Platinum range. Yet you don't actually know what the Platinum range consists of. Good solid advice thumbsup
But he's looking at preamps. I'm just basing my opinion on my experience with the preamp in the platinum range. So, just because we don't share the same opinion that means mine is not valid?
Old 2nd February 2009
  #21
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Focusrite Platinum stuff is basically junk. Thin pres, no headroom, and it all runs ridiculously hot.

You can do much better.

The Octopre is a utility tool, not a boutique product. It does make sense in some rigs, but it's not world-class.

If you only need two channels, I'd say stay away from the Platinum range entirely. Have a look elsewhere.

It's hard for me to out and out recommend something because you need an A/D converter, it sounds like. All of my pres with built-in AD are single-channel. But others can probably chime in.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
But he's looking at preamps. I'm just basing my opinion on my experience with the preamp in the platinum range. So, just because we don't share the same opinion that means mine is not valid?
Did I say that?

I know that he is looking at pre-amps. With that reasoning one could argue that your comments about the platinum range are invalid to the thread.

But then you miss my point. Knowing that you haven't tried the Compouder helps put into perspective your comment about the platinum range. If you had told me that you had used all the products in the range, the remark would frankly have more weight. That's working on the assumtion that I decide to trust you of course. After all this is a forum and I don't know you. I am quite happy to accept your opinion of the Trakmaster. But your comments on the Platinum range I find unhelpful, irrelvant to the thread and lacking of any real substance.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemonsqueezer ➑️
Did I say that?

I know that he is looking at pre-amps. With that reasoning one could argue that your comments about the platinum range are invalid to the thread.

But then you miss my point. Knowing that you haven't tried the Compouder helps put into perspective your comment about the platinum range. If you had told me that you had used all the products in the range, the remark would frankly have more weight. That's working on the assumtion that I decide to trust you of course. After all this is a forum and I don't know you. I am quite happy to accept your opinion of the Trakmaster. But your comments on the Platinum range I find unhelpful, irrelvant to the thread and lacking of any real substance.
Good Point. Let me rephrase my opinion; Being that all units within the Platinum Series share the same preamp design, I recommend staying away from all preamps within the Platinum Series. Based on my experience with the Trackmaster Pro. I feel you can do better within that price range. This opinion does not reflect upon any compressors within the Platinum Range (such as the Compounder) since I have no experience with those units.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
Good Point. Let me rephrase my opinion; Being that all units within the Platinum Series share the same preamp design
It's worth noting though that the pres in the Octopre are different from the pres in the Octopre LE (the Octopre's are Class A, although compromised).

I do not know which one is found in the channel strips. Neither is terrific.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal3 ➑️
It's worth noting though that the pres in the Octopre are different from the pres in the Octopre LE (the Octopre's are Class A, although compromised).

I do not know which one is found in the channel strips. Neither is terrific.
They both have the same specifications on the Focusrite website. What could the difference be?
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
Good Point. Let me rephrase my opinion; Being that all units within the Platinum Series share the same preamp design, I recommend staying away from all preamps within the Platinum Series. Based on my experience with the Trackmaster Pro. I feel you can do better within that price range. This opinion does not reflect upon any compressors within the Platinum Range (such as the Compounder) since I have no experience with those units.
Thanks Iggy. Sorry to be picky. I think the revision is more helpful.

I partially agree with you on the sound of the Trakmaster. But I am not sure it is that easy to get something hugely better with similar features at that price point. The compounder however I have found to be outstanding in its price range. Though the gate section is pants.

Back on topic.... I do agree with the logic of going for a for fewer pres and upping the quality. This will of course mean avoiding the platinum range of pres.

Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop ➑️
They both have the same specifications on the Focusrite website. What could the difference be?
One is Class A (the higher-end one), one isn't, it means the electrical design is different, even if the quoted numbers are the same. Could absolutely mean a difference in sound.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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Iggy Poop's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal3 ➑️
One is Class A (the higher-end one), one isn't, it means the electrical design is different, even if the quoted numbers are the same. Could absolutely mean a difference in sound.
I could understand that. It looks like the OctopreLE might be different preamps than the Octopre. The LE is probably likely to be closer to the TrakMaster Pro that I had. But perhaps the Octopre is more in line with the ISA series. The ISA's are good clean pres. Either way, I can see alot of better alternatives in or close to that price range. For myself, I was very disappointed with my TrakMaster Pro and for that reason choose to stay away from anything from the Platinum Series.
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone going to make an actual suggestion?

I find myself in a similar position to the OP, so would like to know myself.

So far we have don't get a Platinum. Narrows it down a little, but not much.

Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I tried the unit with the adat option. While the pre warms up a bit that way, I still prefer using the pres with a mogami dsub-trs going into a patchbay that allows me to use a Rosetta as the converters....'thin syndrome' gone...still not an ISA pre which I have and love, but they are usable for at least toms and under snare and stuff...
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