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Rating and Reviews: Focusrite Clarett 8PreX

Focusrite's top interface gives you 26x28 I/O via Thunderbolt, with 8 ISA-modeled preamps, 10 analog outs, 2 banks of ADAT, S/PDIF, plus MIDI and word clock.

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"Focusrite Clarett 8PreX Review from Mike Snoody" submitted January 15, 2017

By Michael Snoody in Chandler, AZ
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I have played drums, guitar, piano and sang for over 15 years. I produce, engineer, and mix all kinds of music.
Music Style: All sorts of music, no limits
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Overall: I have used other focusrite interfaces before and I was always impressed with the bang for buck they gave you but using the sapphire pro40 at one point and then going into my local studio that has burl, lavry, avid and apogee converters to choose from I realized what I was missing. I went ahead and upgraded to the Avid HD omni for a while but I grew tired of being limited to 8 channels REAL quick as I record live drums a lot. My friend told me about the Clarett range and at first I was skeptical because of how cheap they were. I didn't want to backtrack in terms of conversion quality which was the most important feature in my interface for me. He finally took me down to guitar center where his friend was the pro audio manager and we were able to do a shoot out with the Clarett 8preX, Avid Omni, UA apollo 8p, and the lynx aurora 8. I was just floored by how well the Clarett sounded. I won't say it sounded "better" than any of the other units listed above, but it definitely wasn't any worse than any of them either. In fact, when listening between the Clarett and Omni I preferred the Clarett's sound over the omni. As for the lynx and the Apollo, I had never heard them before that day and I have never used either since but from what I can remember from that day they both sounded great, but not any better than the Clarett which was over 1000 dollars less. The Preamps on the Clarett 8PreX are not bad. I have some outboard pre's that I use but I had to use all 8 pre's on the Clarett recently for a drum recording and I was very happy with the results I got through them. I ran my Overheads, Spot mics for Ride China and Hi hat and 2 room mics through the Clarett pre's and I used the Air mode feature for everything except the rooms. The Air mode literally does what it says, adds air to your track. It is a great feature and while I wouldn't use it on everything, I could certainly see myself using it on acoustic guitars, some vocals, string instruments and piano, cymbals, etc. All in All I am EXTREMELY happy with the Clarett and it really sounds great regardless of the low price. Focusrite really nailed this one and if you don't feel like spending 2k+ on converters only but still want the conversion quality of 2k+ converters for under 1000 dollars, go with one of the Clarett interfaces.
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