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Quality of the sound using a Focusrite Octo-pre?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Calgary, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    I was looking at the Focusrite Octo-pre with 8 channels of pre-amp and compression for under $1000. Seems almost too good to be true. Does anyone have an opinion of the quality of these units? Thanks. :)
     
  2. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    There's been a lot of discussion on these forums about that specific unit, but to save you some search time, I'll chime in...

    They do not suck...they do not shine....they can and have been used to make superlative sounding recordings, but take a lot more work to find the "magic' spot...to my ears, they do work well with most drum sounds (including OHs and toms)...kinda lackluster on vocals unless using an SM7 or RE20...

    Some people hate them, some tolerate them, some have and use them but they are definately on the "soon to be sold" list (that's my position right now)...very few people love and rave about them...I use only a few of the Octo's pres now, but get lots of mileage out of the AD card (I think its a good one....)

    Can you make a good sounding CD using one? Yes...but like with all else, it really depends more on mic choice, placement, engineering chops, etc, than preamp...having engineered/released 5 indie CDs and done a couple score of demos in which the Octo played a part, I've had no complaints....

    They are what they are: a decent sounding set of pres that are kind of workhorses in the midsized/small studio...get the AD card, and you all of a sudden you have a pretty good sounding set of line level converters....great addition if you have an 002 set up, as they do tend to beat the PT 002/Mbox pres to death on everything.

    On second thought...I may keep mine around...never know when you'll need a reliable set of pres and AD....

    K
     
  3. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    They're actually pretty decent pre's for uncolored, transparent action. If you want color don't get them.

    This entire album was tracked with an Octo-Pre. Listen to the clips.

    link removed
     
  4. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Excellent advice, thanks guys. I can't assess the preamps in Colleen Grace thing through the MP3 compression but thanks for the link., nice work.
     
  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Not my work. Matt Pavolatis was the engineer on that. Great engineer out of Santa Monica. A real Wizard IMO.

    I know mp3's are hard to judge.

    Just to clarify though, I was privy to hearing alot of the raw tracks on that album and was in the control room for some of the mixdown and the tracks were flawless from vocals to upright piano to acoustic guitars (D-28 yum-yum). IMO the Octo-pre did a great job.

    Drum kit was tracked to 2" tape at another studio.
     
  6. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Cooool. She's a decent singer. I'm not really into that style either, but I have to admit she's got some talent. It's a decent production. :D
     
  7. JonKraft

    JonKraft Active Member

    I picked up a broken one for 50 bucks. The plan was to fix it and sell it... I fixed it and I tried it out on a couple things. I decided to keep it around for a while.

    I hate the compressor. Or at least I havent found a use for it yet. Although my partner used the DI on his guitar squashed to hell and it was a cool sound.

    I once chose it over my beloved API on a snare drum. They can sound a bit "glassy" to my ears in certain cymbal frequencies. Also I've noticed you have to record them low (peaks -20db) to avoid squaring of the signal. I usually record about there anyway, but I was setting levels on my own drum kit and recorded too hot (although it didnt overload the converter). I happened to look at the waveform, and noticed it was squared.
    I dont know if this was a defect in my unit, but watch out. Anyone else have this problem?

    A friend uses the digital card with his PT 002 rig and is very happy with it.

    Havent used mine much, so thats all I've experienced.

    All in all, it seems good for the money. If its what you can afford, you can always pick one up, use it for a while and keep saving. Just sell it when you have enough for something better (if you are even unhappy). There is a huge market for those things.

    Jon
     

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