Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 18x8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

18-in/8-out Thunderbolt Audio Interface with 4 Mic Preamps and Focusrite "Air" Effect, 24-bit/192kHz Conversion, 2 Headphone Outputs, and Included Software Mixer - Mac/PC
5/5 8 Write review Item ID: Clarett4Pre
Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 18x8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface image 1
Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 18x8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface image 1
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Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 18x8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface
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The Centerpiece of Your Home Studio

Focusrite's Clarett 4Pre 18-in/8-out audio interface is a powerful foundation for your studio or mobile recording rig. It sports four great-sounding Clarett microphone preamplifiers, an outstanding dynamic range, and ultra-fast, low-latency performance enabled by Thunderbolt. Clarett's magic starts as soon as you plug your microphones in — the mic preamps feature Focusrite's switchable Air effect, which switches in an analog model of Focusrite's classic ISA transformer-based mic pre. With flexible connectivity including analog and S/PDIF I/O, the Focusrite Clarett 4Pre is ready to integrate into virtually any recording rig.

Everything you need in a preamp/interface

The Clarett 4Pre's four newly designed Clarett mic preamps deliver a truly impressive dynamic range. Perfect for your home recording rig, the Clarett 4Pre gives you flexible connectivity — including analog, S/PDIF, and MIDI I/O, plus an ADAT input — all in a sleek desktop form factor. With its sonic performance, leading edge round-trip audio latency and ease of use, the Clarett 4Pre is an excellent value.

Use your favorite plug-ins in real time

With the Clarett 4Pre's exceedingly low round-trip audio latency over Thunderbolt, you can record and monitor in real time with your favorite familiar DAW plug-ins. No special processing or DSP is required. Select any plug-in and create your dream recording chain on every single channel. Every Clarett ships with the Focusrite Classic Red 2 and Red 3 AAX, AU, and VST plug-in suite, which accurately models Focusrite's classic Red range EQ and compression hardware. Also included is Softube's Time and Tone Bundle, with TSAR-1R Reverb, Tube Delay, and Saturation Knob.

Newly designed Focusrite mic preamps bring your recordings to life

Focusrite fitted the Clarett 4Pre with mic preamps that were designed exclusively for the Clarett range with loads of pristine gain and vanishingly low noise. In addition, these preamps include Focusrite's proprietary Air feature that switches in an analog model of Focusrite's acclaimed classic transformer-based ISA mic pre, breathing life into your recordings. If you've always wanted vocals that shimmer with presence and silky air, then try recording with the Clarett 4Pre. You will be impressed.

Accurate digital conversion

Sweetwater engineers know that conversion is key to superior digital audio, and the Clarett 4Pre features Focusrite's class-leading 24-bit/192kHz conversion. Offering up to 119dB of dynamic range, Clarett is the cleanest way to get sound in and out of your DAW.

Track the band in a single take

The Focusrite Clarett 4Pre provides flexible I/O packed into a tidy desktop chassis. This includes four front-panel mic/line inputs (the first two of these are also instrument inputs), and on the real panel, four analog line inputs and outputs, stereo S/PDIF I/O, and eight channels of ADAT optical input. The ADAT input can be used to bring in eight additional digital mic preamp channels, such as the Focusrite OctoPre MkII, for maximum flexibility. The front panel also includes two convenient headphone jacks with level controls.

Intuitive and easy-to-use software mixer

Your Clarett comes with Focusrite Control, a brand-new software mixer that makes short work of configuring your monitoring and routing setups. Simple and intuitive to use, Focusrite Control offers an easy-to-grasp traditional mixer workflow and gives you immediate access to internal hardware functions.

Remote control from your iPhone or iPad

With the free Focusrite iOS Control app, you can adjust the mixes you made with Focusrite Control on the desktop app from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Included software bundle:

  • Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-in Suite accurately models Focusrite's coveted Red range EQ and compressor hardware
  • Softube Time and Tone Pack with TSAR-1R Reverb, Tube Delay, Saturation Knob, and Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor
  • Ableton Live Lite
  • 2G Loopmasters Samples
  • Access to Focusrite's Plug-in Collective, with exclusive offers from Nugen Audio, Exponential Audio, Fabfilter, D16 Group, Flux, Positive Grid, Sound Radix, Eventide, iZotope, and more

Focusrite Clarett 4Pre Features:

  • Four Clarett mic pres with Air
  • Copious headroom, vanishingly low noise
  • Focusrite's proprietary Air feature
  • Focusrite's class-leading 24/192 conversion and sync
  • Up to 119dB of dynamic range
  • Flexible I/O with ADAT input for expansion of up to eight more inputs
  • "Gain Halo" metering provides clear indication of levels to avoid clipping
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use Focusrite Control software mixer makes short work of configuring your monitoring and routing and gives you quick access to internal hardware functions
  • Record and monitor in real time with your favorite DAW plug-ins
  • Create custom monitor setups for both you and your artists
  • Includes Red 2/Red 3 plug-in suite and Softube's Time and Tone Bundle
  • Four front-panel mic/line inputs with phantom power
  • The first two combo connectors are also hi-Z inputs
  • Four rear-panel 1/4" line inputs and outputs
  • Stereo S/PDIF I/O, ADAT input (8 channels), MIDI I/O

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity Thunderbolt
Form Factor Desktop
Simultaneous I/O 18 x 8
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Number of Preamps 4
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 4 x XLR-1/4" combo, 4 x 1/4" (line in)
Analog Outputs 4 x 1/4", 2 x 1/4" (headphones)
Digital Inputs 1 x Optical Toslink (ADAT), 1 x Coaxial (S/PDIF)
Digital Outputs 1 x Coaxial (S/PDIF)
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.9 or later
OS Requirements - PC Windows 10
Depth 7.56"
Width 8.74"
Height 2.5"
Manufacturer Part Number Clarett 4Pre

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Write your review

AU Perfection

Since I am new to the world of VST instruments, and had a need for using this AU interface in real time, I researched many of the AUs that are on the market, and decided to go with the Clarett 4Pre for several reasons. First, as this market is continually innovating, having a Thunderbolt interface was essential. I was looking for a top quality, low latency, simple to use software configurable unit that I could use with my QuadCore i7 MacBook Pro and MP11 that also had expansion capabilities. I was very interested in getting the best sound reproduction from some of the latest sampled pianos such as the Ravenscroft 275 and have the ability to record/input acoustic instruments into the DAW.After working with the Clarett 4Pre for the past couple of weeks, I realized that I had made the right decision. The sound quality, low latency, and seamless integration are incredible. I use the unit with MainStage, and the Clarett sits nicely on the right side of my MP11. I also installed 4 vinyl bumpers on it to accommodate the MacBook Pro. Everything is right there where you need it, easy access to the front panel controls and 4 mic inputs, rear I/O for interfacing with the MP11, studio monitors and instruments, USB midi into the Mac to control VSTs along with the impeccable performance of the Clarett 4Pre.
Music background: Classical Pianist, Keyboardist

The best!!!!

It had been years since my last interface and I wanted something that had no latency, every thing about this has been wonderful. Even the "air" setting, something that didn't even matter to me until I had it. Everyone who uses it are blown away!! For home recording there is nothing in this price range that can even touch it.
Music background: Home Recording


I upgraded from a m-audio profire 610 firewire interface and have been looking at this thing for awhile...I use ableton live 9 and maschine and the only thing I regret is that I did not buy this sooner. There is NO noticeable lag even when I use a bunch of waves plugins together, it sounds like I am recording through hardware. the software is straightforward and easy to use right out of the box. the unit is noticeably better built than my old profire 610 (its like comparing a plastic wrench to a metal one) the preamps are clean and clear and the "air" feature just brings out mid and high frequency ranges in a way that just sounds amazing; I honestly don't think I would turn the feature off, it just sounds really good without overdoing whatever the hell it does :) all in all This is a great buy especially at the price I bought it for. A+ focusrite

Great Sound!

I've only had the Clarett 4Pre for a few days, but it has been excellent so far. I'm coming from a far inferior Akai EIE Pro, so that may have something to do with my opinion, but all the same... This interface really hits the mark on everything it was designed to do. I've tried the preamps already, and they do sound great (I really prefer the sound of the "Air" circuit, but I'm sure there's a time and place for it. Hard to say since I haven't recorded anything for a proper project yet. My only complaint with the preamps is how far up the gain knob needed to be for me to get a proper level (at least with the Blue Microphones condenser that I tried). With the other controls, like the headphone amps, there always seems to be tons of room left on the knob, but not with the gain pots a much, in my experience with my microphone. Basically, rely more on what you see coming into your DAW than where the gain knob is. The gain halo is just good for visualizing clipping. By the way, the knobs feel fantastic. It certainly feels like it is built to match its decently expensive price. It is a really solidly built, gorgeous piece of hardware all around. And while I'm on inputs, I also like having a couple more line inputs on the back. I'm currently using a pair for a return from a Lexicon hardware unit. The placement on the back is perfect for that. I haven't had a chance to use the ADAT/Optical connection, but I love having the flexibility to record a ton more channels through this interface.The monitor knob is nice and big. I did adjust the gain on my KRK monitors back to +0dB to give myself more headroom. The knob itself is a large, solid metal one that has a great feel and is easy to make small adjustments to. As far as the headphone outputs, I absolutely LOVE having two independent outputs available. It's super convenient to be able to route different mixes for those two person sessions especially. The headphone controls also feel great (metal, solid build). And for both the headphone amps and monitor output, the sound is fantastic. I've seriously noticed that my KRK monitors and Audio Technica M50x's sound much better through this unit than my old Akai EIE Pro. Very open and clear top end and seemingly extended, more responsive bass frequencies through all outputs. I really think it's noticeably better sound-wise, and I have loved listening to music through it.Obviously the latency is another big selling point of this interface for a lot of people. I'm using the 4Pre with a 2011 Mac Mini with a 2.3GHz dual core i5 and 8Gb of RAM. This has an older Thunderbolt 1 connection, and it is certainly slightly outdated in computer terms. With a 128 sample buffer size, Logic X shows 7.3ms roundtrip latency. That's about two times faster than my USB 2.0 Akai EIE Pro. The latency really doesn't seem perceptible to me through a microphone, but I don't play guitar and I haven't tried it for that yet. My MIDI keyboard also seems a tad more responsive with the faster output latency (3.6ms in Logic X) In short, I don't foresee having any more problems with latency, especially with a newer computer with a faster processor and Thunderbolt 2.That't about all I can think of to say. I've been very impressed and happy with my purchase. It's just an improvement over my old unit in every way that I can think of. It's a lot more reliable, better sounding, more flexible, and of better quality. The included software is a nice cherry on top too. Focusrite really nailed it - the 4Pre does everything that they aimed for it to do very very well. Thanks to Focusrite for a great product and congratulations on a job well done. It was worth the wait for the Clarett 4Pre!
Music background: Producer, instrumentalist, current student

Quality top to bottom!

This Clarett 4Pre is awesome! I've been through a dozen or so recording interfaces over the past 10+ years, and nothing has hit every mark with distinction the way the Clarett has. First off, build quality is a significant step above the Scarlett range, mainly noticeable in the knobs. No loose or wiggly knobs here, just solid feeling controls. The preamps sound excellent in Air mode or out of Air mode. Both are equally great, just different. One is a little warmer, and one is a tad brighter and more present. The preamps are also very, very quiet. I mean, there's no noise unless you max it out. It's not even a gradual increase in noise, it's simply silent unless maxed out. AD/DA is top notch as expected. The lower latency vs USB 2.0 is great, but don't go expecting this unit to let you use a 256 or higher buffer with no noticeable latency. On a 2015 MacBook Pro quad core, I'm able to have virtually no latency at all at a 64 buffer, and no truly noticeable/problematic latency at 128 (you can hear it and feel it if you're looking for it). At 256, you can get by, but you'll notice it, and 512 and above, as expected, should be reserved for mixing. I love the IO setup on this box. Having 4 pres on the front is absolutely perfect for my in-home setup. I rarely record more than one channel at a time, but I love leaving my instruments and mics hooked up with their levels already set. One channel is a DI bass, one DI guitar, one Vocal mic, and one mic that lives on a guitar cab. This way I never have to waste time setting levels. I will occasionally double up the inputs for something different, so I appreciate the front face placement of the pres. The Clarett might just be a lifer, as long as Thunderbolt continues to be a standard.
Music background: Engineer, songwriter, recordist
See also: Focusrite, Focusrite Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces