From beginner bedroom producers using the Scarlett 2i2 introductory interface, right up to studios using the Clarett 8PreX, there is almost unrivalled flexibility in the Focusrite range. The Red4Pre is the latest and greatest release in this much-loved interface range, and will fit in as well in the home studio as in a professional setup. The pinnacle of the range 56-in/64-out device, the Red4Pre combines four mic preamps with Thunderbolt 2, Pro Tools HD and Dante network audio connectivity and is jam-packed full of features.
One of the most impressive qualities of this interface is its versatile connectivity. Thunderbolt 2 connectivity allows easy connection to any DAW, as well as the lowest round-trip latency from Focusrite, which lets you absolutely smash the system with plug-ins and effects and not experience any lag or latency issues. The Thunderbolt ports make daisy-chaining additional components like hard drives and displays not only possible, but also easy. The Red4Pre also features twin DigiLink connectors for easy connection to any Pro Tools HD system or existing Avid interfaces, and Dante connectivity straight out of the box. Dante audio-over-IP networking enables you to simply and cost-effectively link your Dante-compatible components and devices together. Expansion is easy through Dante, and linking devices together can open up new possibilities.
For example, using the Red4Pre in conjunction with a RedNet A16R via Dante connection will add 16 I/O channels into the studio. Whilst this expansion might be costly and clunky through other modes of connection, Dante facilitates it with ease, connecting simply through Ethernet cables and ports. The Red4Pre can connect up to 64 additional channels via Dante networking. Another handy feature of the Red4Pre is the Red Evolution mic preamps found on board, complete with Focusrite’s unique ‘Air’ effect, which recreates the analogue sound of the mic preamps in the classic ISA range. The preamps deliver clear and honest audio, with –129 dB EIN and 63dB of gain, meaning you can seriously crank the volume if needed. The controls for the preamps are on the actual device, meaning you can avoid your computer screen for on the fly adjustments, allowing you to stay in the moment creatively.
Coming with the hardware is a software bundle, which includes the new Focusrite Control software: Softube’s Time and Tone Bundle and the Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite. Users will be especially stoked about the Softube software, with the professional quality plug-ins TSAR-1R Reverb, Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor, Tube Delay and Saturation Knob all included. The Focusrite Red4Pre looks like a serious machine, if you’re in the market for a device along these lines you could do worse than giving it some thought.