Reviewed: Focusrite Clarett 8Pre USB audio interface
It’s been a while since I had my hands on a Focusrite Clarett audio interface, with the previous Thunderbolt model landing on my desk several years back. There were some restrictions with this in that it wasn’t exactly PC friendly, and it certainly wasn’t a friend to your hip pocket either. But a lot has changed in the last couple of years, and now with the release of the Clarett 8Pre USB audio interface there have been a number of improvements. A smaller size, a smaller price tag, greater AD/DA conversion and a wider compatibility makes this an audio interface that many of you may well now stop and consider. If you’re looking for eight high quality microphone preamps in one single rack space with conversion worthy of backing them up, then the Clarett 8Pre USB might just be for you.
Reviewed: Focusrite Clarett 4Pre USB
The Focusrite Clarett range focuses on tour audio interfaces designed to offer the kind of quality and features found in units costing twice the price. The series goes from the desktop Clarett 2Pre (10-in, 4-out) and Clarett 4Pre reviewed here (18-in, 8-out) to the single-rackmount Clarett 8Pre (18-in, 20-out) up to the Thunderbolt-only Clarett 8PreX, with a very respectable 26-in, 28-out. Aside from the consistent visual presentation, the line is also held together by its reliance on Focusrite’s decades of analogue design experience, along with Air-enabled preamps that reproduce the input impedance, clarity, and frequency response curve of the company’s original ISA mic preamp.
Reviewed: PreSonus Studio 26 USB Interface
PreSonus offer a range of products to cater for different needs, but they are mostly known for their audio interfaces, in particular the AudioBox. PreSonus have taken the simplicity of that unit and delivered a new USB audio interface that offers quality audio and a very workable hardware interface that will certainly feel right at home with so many compact recording setups looking for style and sound quality. The new Studio 26 USB is here to offer that little bit extra in the same compact housing.
Reviewed: RME ADI-2 DAC DA converter & audio interface
No one does analogue to digital conversion like RME, and the ADI-2 DAC is proof of that. After the success of the ADI-2 PRO, the company saw further possibilities for a simpler DA device in the hi-fi market and with that realisation, the ADI-2 DAC was born. Built with incredible audio quality in mind for use in a home environment, this is the device you should consider when you really want to hear everything.
Reviewed: PreSonus FaderPort 16
Most of you who keep an eye on home studio gear will certainly be aware of the PreSonus FaderPort. The original compact control surface for transport and fader controls made its way into many home studios over the last ten or so years, and still continues to be a popular option for simple mix tasks when you don’t want to use the mouse for every function. Well, with a few advancements in the last couple of years, PreSonus have now launched their flagship model in the FaderPort line, one that will offer far more control and a greater ‘hands-on’ workflow. Offering more than ever, the FaderPort 16 is here.
Reviewed: Bome Box
When I think back to some of my studio setups in the 90’s and years following, there were always several MIDI merge boxes, through boxes, routers and other devices holding together the mess of five pin DIN cables that ensued. It was beautifully simple and yet stupidly complicated all at the same time. Then, as technology developed, we started to see MIDI over USB and devices began to appear that no longer sported the classic five pin DIN connection, yet still they operated on MIDI signals. This is where so many recording and production setups have been split with the old and the new devices not talking to one another, even though they are all speaking the same language. What resulted was the need to have your computer always in the centre of the setup to convert and route your MIDI signals. At least, that was the case, until the advent of the Bome Box.
REVIEWED: TWO NOTES AUDIO ENGINEERING TORPEDO CAPTOR LOADBOX AMP DI
Home recording is a heck of a lot of fun, but it can also be loud, at least if you want to capture the fury of a raging tube amp in all its rabies-froth-spitting glory. Two Notes have been solving this problem with a series of digital load box/cabinet emulators, but now the new Captor is here to offer a more affordable take on the issue.
Reviewed: Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio
Focusrite are the makers of some of the world’s most revered preamps and channel strips. Their Red series and ISA rack models can be found in top studios the world over. It goes without saying that they know a thing or two about great front end audio equipment. This puts them ahead of the pack when it comes to building audio interfaces, as they already have a stable front end to build off. And of course, the reputation of the Red series is what Focusrite has banked on with their Scarlett range of budget audio interfaces. Targeted at home studio to intermediate users, the Scarlett series offers a wide range of recording solutions. The most versatile for a musician looking to start recording would probably be the Scarlett Solo Studio bundle.