Focusrite Clarett 8Pre X 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

8-channel Microphone Preamplifier/Audio Interface, 24-bit/192kHz, with Thunderbolt/ADAT Connectivity, and Included Plug-ins - Mac/PC
Focusrite Clarett 8Pre X 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface image 1
Focusrite Clarett 8Pre X 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface image 1
$999.99
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Focusrite Clarett 8Pre X 26x28 Thunderbolt Audio Interface
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The Core of Your Professional Studio Recording Setup

Boasting eight stellar Clarett mic preamplifiers, outstanding dynamic range, ultra-fast Thunderbolt performance, and dual ADAT ports, Focusrite's top-of-the-line Clarett 8PreX 26-in/28-out audio interface is a powerful foundation for your professional recording rig. The magic starts as soon as you plug your microphones in — the Clarett mic pres feature Focusrite's switchable Air Effect, which gives your microphones the air and clarity of an ISA transformer-based mic preamp. With comprehensive connectivity including analog I/O, S/PDIF, 16 channels of ADAT, word clock I/O, and more, the Focusrite Clarett 8PreX is an ideal foundation for your studio setup.

Ideal audio interface for permanent studio install

The Clarett 8PreX's eight newly designed Clarett mic preamps deliver truly impressive dynamic range. Perfect for permanent studio install, the Clarett 8PreX gives you a wealth of connectivity — including MIDI I/O and 16 channels of ADAT — all in a professional 2U form factor. With its versatility, speed, and sonic performance, the Focusrite Clarett 8PreX is an excellent choice of interface.

Record in your comfort zone

With the Clarett 8PreX'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 Pack — a powerful plug-in bundle consisting of Softube's world-class TSAR-1R reverb, Tube Delay, and Saturation Knob.

Newly designed Focusrite mic preamps bring your recordings to life

Focusrite fitted the Clarett 8PreX 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 preamp, breathing life into your recordings. If you've always wanted vocals that shimmer with presence and silky air, then try recording with the Clarett 8PreX. You will be impressed.

The cleanest way yet to get sound in and out of your DAW

Sweetwater engineers know that conversion is key to superior digital audio, and Clarett features Focusrite's class-leading 24/192 conversion. Offering up to 119dB of dynamic range, Clarett is the cleanest way yet to get sound in and out of your DAW. And naturally, the Clarett 8PreX includes word clock I/O, which enables it to act as a master for clocking multiple devices or receive word clock from a master clock source such as a digital mic preamp.

Exceptional I/O capability handles any recording scenario

The Focusrite Clarett 8PreX gives you 26 audio inputs and 28 outputs packed into a professional 2U rackmount chassis. This includes eight analog inputs, ten analog outputs, stereo SPDIF I/O, and 16 channels of ADAT I/O. The ADAT outputs are perfect for sending audio to an external D/A for line output expansion, while the inputs can be used to bring in 16 additional digital mic preamp channels — such as a pair of Focusrite OctoPre MkIIs — for maximum flexibility. In addition, you get two dedicated front-panel hi-Z instrument inputs with generous headroom to handle your guitars and basses with hot passive or active pickups.

Accessible metering and monitoring

Featuring a 6-segment, multichannel LED meter, the Clarett 8PreX's monitor panel keeps you informed of analog and digital input levels and main monitor outputs. Monitoring facilities include a level control, as well as dim and mute buttons. Add to that two wide-dynamic-range front-panel headphone outputs with volume controls and enough power to deliver healthy level to high-impedance headphones, and the Clarett becomes your go-to device for mixing and tracking.

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 dim, mute, and other 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 8PreX Features:

  • 8 Clarett mic preamps with Focusrite's proprietary Air feature
  • Copious headroom, vanishingly low noise
  • Accurate digital conversion and clocking
  • Expanded I/O for big tracking sessions
  • 8 analog inputs, 10 analog outputs
  • Stereo SPDIF, 16 channels of ADAT I/O
  • Two front-panel hi-Z instrument inputs
  • Accessible metering and monitoring
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use Focusrite Control mixer makes short work of configuring your monitoring and routing; provides 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 Focusrite's Classic Red 2/Red 3 plug-in suite
  • Focusrite's class-leading 24/192 conversion
  • Up to 119dB of dynamic range
  • Word clock I/O master/slave functionality
  • 6-segment, multichannel LED meter
  • Monitor level control, plus dim and mute buttons
  • Two wide-dynamic-range front-panel headphone outs

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
Clarett 8Pre X User Manual
Focusrite Control User Guide

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity 1 x Thunderbolt
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 26 x 28
Number of Preamps 8
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x 1/4" (instrument), 8 x 1/4" (line), 8 x XLR (mic)
Analog Outputs 2 x 1/4" (monitor out), 8 x 1/4" (line out)
Digital Inputs 2 x Optical Toslink (ADAT), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
Digital Outputs 2 x Optical Toslink (ADAT), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
Headphones 2 x 1/4"
MIDI I/O In/Out
Clock I/O In/Out
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.9 or later
OS Requirements - PC Windows 10
Rack Spaces 2U
Width 19"
Manufacturer Part Number Clarett 8Pre X

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 29 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Focusrite Clarett 8prex

Short and simple it works as advertised. I am a big fan of focusrite products I had the 18i20 and it worked superbly almost no latency to speak of. The Clarett is a step up with more expandability, works flawlessly with my system.
5/5

A game changer

The 8Pre X is the best upgrade that I've done in years. If you want a studio quality drum sound, this thing will get you there. I used the Glyn Johns method with the 8Pre X and can't believe the results. I have a three track drum sound that I would put up against any close mic mix. What do I do with the other five inputs? A great problem to have. Shhhhhhhhh..... This thing is worth a lot more than what it sells for.
5/5

Clarett 8Pre X is the Best I've owned

I started with the Saffire Pro 14...really nice. The graduated to Saffire Pro 40, better yet sound and connectivity. No Complaints there.My Saffire Pro 40 was damaged by a severe power surge during this summers cooling season so I just purchased the Clarett 8Pre X. This thing sounds amazing and i haven't yet tried the Air feature. The mid range is sweeter and less forced, the lows and the highs are much cleaner, sweeter, and much more powerful than the Saffire units. The Focusrite Control software is more straight forward/easier to use. The preamps sound great and recording guitar direct is such a pleasure. The sound is awesome!This is an huge improvement and step up. Makes mixing, composing, and sound design more fun and pleasurable. Completely thrilled with the purchase.
Music background: Going Pro...
5/5

Incredible Interface!!!

I spent months researching different interfaces and I arrived at the Focusrite Clarett 8preX. I have been recording music for the past 12 years and have never come across an interface quite like this one. It has pretty much every possible option you would need in an interface, and it was extremely well thought out and designed. Every detail has been taken into account with this interface, including the Focusrite Control software. The preamps sound clear and warm with plenty of headroom. The "Air" mode is just awesome...sounds great on almost everything. The ability to plug in XLR and 1/4" connectors into the same channel and then switch back and forth between them in the software is such a great option! There is plenty of connectivity with this unit, from analog to ADAT to S/PDIF. The build quality and sound quality are the best I've seen and this interface is worth every penny spent. If you're looking for a new thunderbolt interface, the Clarett 8pre and 8preX are an incredible and awesome way to take your studio to the next level!
5/5

EASY TO USE

I JUST UPGRADED FROM AN OLD BOSS BR1180CD, I HAD BEEN HAPPY WITH IT UNTILL MY HARD-DRIVE CRASHED ON ME. NOW NOT SO HAPPY WITH IT CUZ I LOST ABOUT 50 SONGS FROM THE PAST FEW YEARS. IT HAD BEEN MY SKETCHPAD FOR WRITING AND DEMO'ING SONGS FOR MYSELF AND THE BANDS IVE BEEN PLAYING IN LATELY. I WAS DEAD IN THE WATER. I CONSIDERED JUST GETTING ANOTHER HARDRIVE BUT MY OLD MIXER HAS BEEN GETTING MORE AND MORE SCRATCHY, SO INSTEAD I BUNDLED THE CLARETT 8PREX AND AN ELEVEN RACK + PROTOOLS12 TOGETHER. UNTILL TODAY, IVE HAD ZERO EXPERIENCE WITH PROTOOLS OR ANY OTHER DAW FOR THAT MATTER B. IVE ONLY HAD IT FOR ONE DAY BUT I ALREADY RECORDED THE HEAVY ROCK STYLE TUNE I WAS WORKING ON WHEN THE 1180 DIED ON ME A COUPLE WEEKS BACK. I DID 4 GUITARS THRU THE ELEVEN RACK, EACH WITH ITS OWN TRACK, NONE OF THAT BOUNCING NONSENSE. I DI'D THE BASS THRU THE 8PREX AND ANOTHER BASS TRACK THROUGH THE ELEVEN RACK. 8 CHANNELS OF DRUMS WENT THRU THE CLARETT 8PREX WITH THE CYMBAL MICS A LITTLE HIGHER THAN NORMAL AND WITH THE AIR ON THOSE. PLUS A COUPLE MORE TRACKS FOR THE ODD PERCUSSION. THAT I THOUGHT IT NEEDED AFTER THE DRUMS WERE TRACKED. IVE GOT AN 11 PIECE KIT PLUS ROTO TOMS AND AND A BUNCH OF OTHER PERCUSION IVE COLLECTED OVER THE YEARS, SO IM GONNA NEED A FEW MORE CHANNELS, IM PROBLY GONNA NEED TO ADD AN OCTOPRE DYNAMIC OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO MY NEW RECORDING RACK. THEN AFTER THE DRUMS MY WIFE CAME OUT TO CHECK IT OUT, AND WE DID SOMETHING LIKE 9 OR 10 VOCAL TRACKS AND SHE ALSO DID A PIANO TRACK ON TOP OF EVERYTHING. AND IT ALL SOUNDED GREAT. THIS THING BLOWS THE OLD MIXER INTO THE 2 INS OF THE OLD 1180 AWAY, IM STILL GONNA GIVE THE 1180 THE PROPER BURIAL IT DESERVES BY TAKING IT OUT TO THE RIFLE RANGE AND PUTTING IT OUT OF ITS MISERY. THE RED PLUGINS ARE PRETTY COOL AND MADE A DRAMATIC EFFECT TO KICK AND SNARE. I ALSO PUT ONE OF THE PRO TOOLS DELAYS ON ONE OF MY GIRLS VOCAL TRACKS AND THAT WAS COOL TOO. IT HAS ALL KINDS OF OTHER PLUGINS, THAT I HAVENT HAD THE CHANCE TO CHECK OUT. ITS LATE WHERE I LIVE, SO I RECORDED SOME HEAVY GUITARS WITH THE BIG BLUE SETTING ON THE ELEVEN AND DI'D SOME BASS, ID FIRE UP THE DOUBLE KICKER DW COLLECTORS BUT ITS LATE SO I FIGURED ID WRITE A REVIEW FOR ANYBODY THAT IS IN THE SAME SHOES I WAS IN LAST WEEK. IM ALSO COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY BY THE SERVICE I GOT FROM THE SALES ENGINEERS ESPECIALLY MATT MCKIBBLE AND ALSO FROM THE COUPLE GUYS THAT HELPED ME OUT FROM TECH DEPARTMENT, I FORGOT ONE DUDES NAME SO IM NOT SAYING ANY NAMES, BUT THANKS MIKE. HAHA.BUT YEAH THE FIRST DAY I EVER MESSED WITH THIS KIND OF THING AND IVE GOT 29 TRACKS DOWN, AND A NUMBER OF THEM STEREO. IM ALREADY WORKING ON A NEW IDEA JUST FROM GOOFING OFF WITH EASY DRUMMER AND THE ELEVEN RACK INTO THE CLARETT, ALL WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT BOTHERING ANYBODY. IM A BEGINNER WITH ONLY ONE DAYS DAW EXPERIENCE AND SETUP WAS EASY ON THE CLARETT. I NEEDED A LITTLE HELP ON THE ELEVEN RACK SINCE I HAVE CAPITAN I GUESS, BUT TECH SET ME UP AND OFF I WENT.I NEVER WROTE A REVIEW BEFORE BUTGREAT PRODUCT, GREAT SERVICE, THANKS GUYS.
Music background: PLAYA

Sweetwater Advice

Carson McClain

In a blind listening test with Sweetwater Sales Engineers, the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre X was voted as one of the best-sounding Thunderbolt interfaces - even against other convertor/interfaces twice the price! It has fantastic audio quality and incredibly reduced latency.

Mitch Gallagher

What is it that you want from an audio interface? Transparent sound quality, dynamic and detailed mic preamps, low noise, no latency, and ease of use. In many ways, you can sum it up by saying that the interface should pretty much disappear. It should work so invisibly that you don't have to think about it -- just hit record or play and make music. With the Clarett 8Pre Thunderbolt audio interfaces, Focusrite has achieved just that. These are great-sounding, easy-to-use interfaces with virtually no latency and no need for complex control apps. Just power it on, plug in your mic and monitors/headphones, launch your DAW, and get to work. Beautiful! There are two models in the Clarett 8Pre family: the Clarett 8Pre and the Clarett 8Pre X. Both offer support for up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, monitor control functions, dual headphone outs with independent level control, MIDI in/out, stereo S/PDIF digital in/out, 8-channel (8Pre) or 16-channel (8Pre X) optical in/out, dedicated stereo monitor outs, and eight line-outs. So what's the difference between the two? Aside from the extra optical I/O on the 8Pre X, which makes it a 26 x 28 interface (the 8Pre is 18 x 20), the primary differences come down to form factor and control. On the 8Pre, phantom is switchable in two banks of four channels. On the 8Pre X, each of the eight inputs has independent phantom switching, and a highpass filter and polarity invert are added on each channel. The 8Pre is a streamlined single-rackspace unit where the 8Pre X occupies two rack spaces. The 8Pre uses combi jacks for mic/line input, while the 8Pre X has separate XLRs for mic in and 1/4" for line. The 8Pre has a word clock input for digital sync; the 8Pre X adds word clock out. Both 8Pres feature Focusrite's killer mic preamps with a new feature: Air. A switchable function that uses analog circuitry to re-create the tonality of Focusrite's classic transformer-based ISA preamp, Air adds clarity, shimmer, sparkle, and detail to the sound. It really is a beautiful effect, and even though it's switchable, I left it on virtually the entire time I was tracking! With Air disengaged, the 8Pre and 8Pre X preamps are transparent and neutral sounding, ideal for a wide range of sources. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the 8Pre and 8Pre X is the latency -- or lack thereof! Though the interfaces come with an elegant new app for control and cue mixing, there's no need for it in general use. Latency is so low that you can track straight into your DAW without noticeable delays. This makes for a very fast and natural workflow. But if you do need to create special headphone mixes, the control app can handle it for you. Both the Clarett 8Pre and 8Pre X offer flawless ease of use. The sound quality is exemplary, the specs are outstanding, and the ear confirms those numbers hold up. There's plenty of I/O for most rigs and all the features you want; in other words, the 8Pre and 8Pre X are pure winners. The only question is which one is right for you. But either way, you can't lose. Both are killer interfaces.
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See also: Focusrite, Focusrite Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces