I own the Roland Octa-Capture, and I wish more people knew how great this interface is! First, the Class A mic pres are amazingly quite and sound fantastic. Not only are they quiet, but make any mic you plug into them sound great. Secondly, the conversion quality is top-notch. The clarity and depth of field that I hear on my monitors really blows me away. One of the other things that sets this interface apart is the software that comes with the Octa-Capture. The drivers are extremely stable and latency is very low on both Mac and PC.
From doubter to believer...
I was a little apprehensive about jumping into the Roland OC for a couple of reasons: 1) rumors of latency with USA 2.0 units in general and 2) how good are the preamps? My sales rep Greg Savino was able to address #1 (super knowledgeable about all the products I have bought so far) and my ears tell me all I need to know about the pres - super clean and natural sounding, audibly better than my old ones. Setup was a no-brainer, this thing just works. It can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, lots of great features. This is the latest in a series of great choices Greg has helped me make, thanks Greg!
A great all-in-one interface
The Roland Octa-Capture is ridiculously useful and effective. I started out recording in the '80s with reel-to-reel, then transitioned into DAWs around 2000. When I took a break from recording to join a band in 2006, I had a roomful of gear: two rack-mounted Tascam digital mixers, a Mackie Universal control surface, Tascam-to-optical converters, headphone amps, powered monitors and a bunch of ancillary gear. These days I get it all done with a MacBook Pro, the Octa-Capture and a headphone amp (still have my studio mics, stands and so on). I like the fact that I can select +48 phantom power on individual tracks (I also use a ribbon) and that the graphic display on the laptop is so useful. I have up to 8 XLR inputs and I can plug my monitors directly into it. Downloading the latest software was fast and easy. There have been absolutely no issues with it.
I'm very happy with the Roland Octa-Capture. Having had a number of headaches with audio interfaces/DAW/desktops/laptops/etc. over the years, I was super stoked that the Octa-Capture worked right away with my Asus laptop and Sonar X3 producer. I don't even recall having to mess around with settings. I mostly composer with midi, but also do vocals and the Octa-Capture has handed anything I've thrown at it so far.
This thing is awesome. I'm new to recording and mixing, thus I took my time and I looked at a lot of AI devices around the $500 mark that were very similar, but what set this thing apart was it's AutoSens feature which eliminates the guess work of dialing in my guitars and mic's. It interfaces well with my computer via the VS app so I don't have to fudge with the buttons on the interface. The pre-amps are quality, as well as the internal components, which are separated and designed to limit latency. I can literally listen, record, and mix in real time, off the device, if there is any latency I'm not hearing it. True this thing is about 100 bones more than the competition like Presonus and Focusrite's offerings, but it's well worth it for the AutoSens and hands free features this thing offers. You won't be sitting there twisting dials hoping to get the right mix, AutoSens does it all, and any mixing can be done on your computer through the VS app! I run REAPER on this thing no problem, but word to the wise when you load this thing on REAPER be sure to revert to the original version of REAPER after download, that's a problem on REAPERS end not Roland's. And when you monitor, do it through the AI not your computer. The reverb on this thing is pretty impressive to, it really gives my vocals more presense and my guitars more depth.
But the most awesome thing about the Roland is not the bells and whistles in as much as the awesome customer support team at Roland and BOSS. These wonderful and helpful people have gone to bat for us, to make certain this device works on both AMD and INTEL systems and with virtually any DAW you can throw at it. They were quick to respond to all my technical questions and are on standby if I ever need their advice or expertise. Be sure to register your product as well, Roland has a great online community and library's of awesome advice to help and inspire your sound.
And special thanks again to the awesome staff at Sweetwater for hooking me up with Roland!
This was a most impressive interface. I am a sonar user. I have been using the delta 1010 Maudio for years. After 15 hard years, the card started actiing a little weird, pops, and things. I'm thinking, crap, got to get a new card. Started looking around, Sweetwater came through, Mark Chapman helped me. He went over a few technical topics with me. Roland is a great product. The thing connected without any problems at all to Sonar. The features on this thing make recording a snap. The Auto-Sense feature is awsome. It also comes with a screen link that you can use the interface with your mouse. This is a no brainer! Great buy. Plenty of inputs for home studio.
Roland Octa-Capture Rocks!
I own several different USB interfaces for both Pro Tools and SONAR. I was shopping for a new interface for SONAR since it is the DAW I actually use. I called my Sales Engineer Kevin Scott with the intention of purchasing another product, however Kevin highly recommended this interface for my needs. Man am I happy that I listened to my sales engineer! The day after I received it, I was doing an on site session, and this interface worked better than I was expecting. First off since this is a Roland product and my DAW is SONAR, after loading everything and firing it up, SONAR immediately recognized the device and automatically set itself up. Now let's talk about the AUTO-SENS function, it Rocks! This system allows you the ability to let the Octa-Capture listen to the inputs during a sound check, and then automatically dials up the perfect levels. It just could not be easier! Thank you Roland for taking USB interfaces to the next level, and thanks to Sweetwater and my sales engineer Kevin Scott for giving me direction to take my recording paradigm to a higher plain!!!
Roland Octa-Capture Audio Interface
Fantastic device! Unit is extremely well designed & built. Very simple to operate as well. The only issue I had was that the device would not communicate reliably when connected to a USB 3.0 port...even though USB 3.0 ports are supposed to be backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices. I found that my recording & editing applications would hang severely, causing a manual reboot of my workstation every time. I then connected the Octa-Capture to a USB 2.0 port on my workstation & the issue was resolved. The device works perfectly every time now. If you need up to 8 XLR or 1/4" inputs, I highly recommend Roland's Octa-Capture audio interface.
Roland's struck gold with this one.
So there I was, looking to expand my VS-700 rig. I didn't want another VS-700R, necessarily -- it was overkill, and I didn't really want to spend another two grand if I didn't have to. One Fantom was plenty for my needs.) I wanted the VS series' legendary clean preamps, though, and I wanted six to eight more of them. I also really wanted to stick to products that supported Roland's V-LINK system, so I could use both at once in Sonar.
I didn't expect to be quite as impressed as I have been. This may well be Roland's more versatile and useful product in years -- and I'm a significant Roland fan to begin with.
The preamps are excellent, the drivers low-latency, tight and stable. Upgrading the firmware the first time, with the 1.x and 2.x driver differences, is a bit of an adventure -- one must install the 1.x driver to connect to the device, update the firmware, then uninstall the 1.x driver, reboot, then install the 2.x driver. Still, this is a one-time hassle, and once it's complete, subsequent firmware updates require no such dancing about.
The preamps are indeed VS preamps, clean, quiet and efficient. The first two support Hi-Z instrument direct input, while all eight channels offer individual low-cut filtering, phase inversion, phantom power, and their own compressor/limiter. The Octa-Capture supports four discrete mixes (Mix A-D), too -- and these can be running simultaneously, routed to different pairs of outputs. The obvious application for this wiould be in recording, sending different performers mixes that boosted their contributions over others', but I also see a huge advantage here in using an Octa-Capture in live sound for a school, small theatre or church environment, being able to vary the mix to different banks of monitors in a house PA system, to better take advantage of the room's resonant qualities.
The Auto-Sens system is nothing short of a "killer feature" -- it'll save an experienced engineer a little time by auto-setting volume levels for each channel based on the signal levels from a bit of instrument play, but in the case of an inexperienced engineer, it may well be the difference between a good capture and a damaged one. Just press and hold the button, play some music, and let the box figure out how to balance the signal levels.
I haven't worked much with the onboard reverb, but I do seem to recall it's limited to Mixer A only, and presumably there to give the vocal channel a bit of reverb if desired.
Finally, since the Octa-Capture supports V-LINK, two of them can be ganged together for simultaneous use. This offers a really excellent option for expansion, and with two of these plus a laptop for easier management, a fairly robust mobile sound desk with robust recording functionality that fits into a backpack. There are certainly options at its price point that offer more inputs, but seeing this many quality preamps in a device at this price point is unusual, and frankly, kind of delightful.
I'm kind of amazed, really. At its price, it's a natural choice to pair with a VS-700 or just to run by itself as a project studio IO solution, but its applications in live sound as a control center for a small performance hall should not be overlooked either. This isn't just an IO box -- it's a highly portable, highly versatile virtual soundboard for live sound work, that can also produce amazing captures. One of these, plus a basic laptop with the Octa-Capture's software for easier access to all the settings, would be a very cost-effective solution for mobile sound desk work. The ability to run concurrent mixes to different banks of speakers, and to automatically set levels, make it a "magic bullet" when dealing with most live sound concerns.
Focusrite and M-Audio both have offerings with eight preamps in the same price range that are worth exploring too. In my own case, need to stay within the V-LINK family made the Octa-Capture a foregone conclusion, but the Auto-Sens feature in particular makes it a formidable contender even to those without such a requirement. Furthermore, folks who are considering a second VS-700R, but don't quite need the massive iron and second Fantom it provides, would be well-served to take a look at the Octa-Capture as a very cost-effective alternative for V-Studio expansion.
Great one rack space mixer with benefits.
I am using this as a sub-mixer in my live rig. Very clean with no apparent coloration to my sounds. Relatively intuitive interface with the right features for my gear (Pod X3 Live, Kork M50, TC Helicon VoiceTouch Live.)
Very Good Interface
Just want to say
I was blown away
By the clearness of the sound
When using Garage band just sitting around
Our set up is in our hearth room
AKG's are on the boom
Our kids walk by as we record
Without picking up the sound off the floor
The refrigerator is humming
The freezer is doing its song
And the Octa-Capture is ignoring
As we record along
The recordings sound amazing
And we're in this open room
I would recommend this portable interface
For it delivers a mighty fine tune...
Excellent piece of kit
My needs for Audio are really pretty simple. I read audiobooks and now and again when the mood takes me, I dig out the guitar and piano and sing a bit.
When I do, I record it to a DAW, either Reaper or Sonar producer. Currently, I'm liking Reaper a whole lot:)
I've had a ton of equipment and software that worked and half worked with varying degrees of complexity down the years.
This works brilliantly and does exactly what it says on the tin. I know I'm over engineered for my requirements, but who cares? I switch it on and it works.
I'm a very happy bunny.
As far as Sweetwater is concerned, I _know_ they stand behind what they sell. I know the value of that. Sweetwater are a first class outfit.
I've never been so happy with any piece of equipment as with the OCTA-CAPTURE. The quality and durability is incredible. There was a hugely noticeable difference in sound quality and fidelity when I played songs back through the unit. It's got a superior time-clock, and the whole auto-sens feature is super handy.
The only drawback is not having more knobs to dial in settings, but the pros far outweigh this single issue. Besides, the program that comes with it can handle most settings, so you can easily tweak anything there.
Great and works well with Sonar X1
I hooked up my Octa-Capture and all I can say is AWESOME,... AWESOME,... AWESOME!!
This units it just incredible. Oh my goodness.. I could not believe how easy it was to install the drivers, and get sound out of the unit. It only took about two minutes from connection to driver installation to have sound heard. The built in Mixer and Patch bay for routing sounds are excellent and the built in reverb for monitoring is very useul for vocalist while they are recording. This unit works very well with CakeWalk Sonar X1. The device is simple tu use and controlls are accessible from the buttons on the front of the unit.
I have used other audio interfaces, but this (at the price point) is amazing! The construction is sturdy and the recording are clear. I have been using this with Sonar producer and I have gotten great results. The auto sens is good and the pres are decent. There is plenty of headroom to record a good drum track. Love it!
So far very good - works well with 2 units connected together
I have just had these for a week but they have surpassed my other interfaces by a wide margin.
I bought 2 of these for portable recording on 16 channels at the same time with a laptop with usb. 2 units are very easy to connect together and have exceeded my expectations. great units
Install was smooth no troubles (win XP) I was up and running with both interfaces working together in 15min. The software mixer is basic (no led meters) but gets the job done and is very responsive. Preamps are low noise and sound great. They have enough power to work well with my (sorta power hungry) shure SM7B and still have 20+db of gain to spare with no noise. On-unit controls have a little learning curve but after a few hours of fiddling they become very useable. audio output including headphone amps is loud and clear. Latency with two units is the same as with one on and faster than my other units (very fast, under 10 ms round trip). The units are compact (about 2/3 of a rack space wide) and just less than 1/2 a rack deep. They have metal outer shell and the display has a fairly high resolution (for what it is) and is bright and clear. They do have a metal lip surrounding them that sticks out so they were a slight pain to rack mount (the ears are included though) but they will fit everywhere but the top of angled wood racks -which is where I first tried to put them. Normally, I am not crazy about the feel of soft buttons (all the lighted buttons on this are the soft jelly-ish ones) but these buttons do provide good feedback and the lights have extra functions (clip indicators). Overall very happy with these thanks Roland!
Great piece of Equipment
Octa-Capture is great overall
I run a small but pro-level studio. The Octa-Capture interface was recommended to me by Sweetwater, and I bought 2 of them with a bit of trepidation, along with a new Sweetwater music PC and SONAR, to upgrade my system from an outdated one.
I've been an audio engineer for 30 years, and I've been using this setup daily for about 2 years now, and I'm overall quite pleased. I've had the opportunity to compare the Octa-Captures with some very high end converters, and there is very little ascertainable
audio quality difference to my ears. By the time you add in all the variables you'd get in any listening environment, the quality difference simply isn't worth the extra couple grand you'd need to spend (IMO).
Without going into all the operational details, the interface is nice, the menus, though you have to scroll through them, are to the point and easy to navigate, and are replicated on your computer monitor screen through Roland's driver interface. Overall, the device works well and with good stability. I have 2 chained together for 16 inputs.
The only real thing that bothers me is as follows:
Driver setting templates have to be saved individually for each Octa. This means that when you set up 2 Octas for a recording session utilizing both devices, and you want to save your driver settings in the SAVE SETTINGS menu, the settings for both devices are NOT saved under 1 name - even though setting parameters for both Octas appear in the same online screen. The settings are saved only for the Octa currently displayed as the active device on the screen. You have to make a file and save the settings twice, one for each Octa. This is stupid, and it cost me lots of time until I figured it out. Now it's just a goofy inconvenience, to name and call up settings for Octa A and Octa B if I want to recall a session using both Octas. But it is something that really should be corrected in an update, as it's a significant oversight in an otherwise pretty elegant software design.
This is a very well put together unit with tons of features that don't disappoint. I'm loving the preamp with its gate and compressor for every single input.
For a band rehearsal monitoring solution, this thing is a dream. I can leave it stand-alone to monitor without being connected to a PC. The AUTO-SENS feature is just killer, and having 4 direct mixers is ideal for a small band where each member can have his/her own individual mix. Unfortunately, I have to split one of the mixes between two members for a 5 piece band, and the reverb unit is only available on mixer A, but that's fine for the lead singer. The only thing missing for a monitoring solution is a parametric EQ strip per each input channel. That's what caused me to knock down the rating from a 5.0 to a 4.5.
A few minor gripes:
The HI-Z inputs are a little noisy for reamping purposes (apparent high end hiss) when sent through a Radial JCR reamp unit to a high-gain guitar amplifier (MESA Boogie Mark V). This problem was solved with a Radial J48 DI box on the input side and now I can reamp through the J48 into the OCTA-CAPTURE and back out through the JCR with much less noise.
On the PC control panel UI, on the preamp screen, the compressor graph and the IN and OUT meters do not line up visually. This is irritating when you want to visually line up the compressor threshold level (or gate level) with the levels on the IN meter. The meters are offset by 8 pixels or so and have different scales. This was apparently done to make room for the unnecessarily large "BYPASS" button above the compressor graph. This can be solved by a software update, so it's not an issue with the unit itself.
Clean and Compact
I have used this with both Sonar X1 and Pro Tools 10, and it's rock solid with both. The mic pres are transparent with plenty of headroom. The virtual mixer is a snap to use. The Auto-Sens leveling system makes getting levels really easy, especially if you're both the engineer and performer in a session. I have mine sitting on the desk but the included rack tray is a nice option. A great all-around interface!
works great out of the box. seamless interface to cakewalk
I don't regret this purchase one bit. Clean sound, great drivers and easy to use. Coming from the EMU 1616m, this is a breeze.
Does Everything ... Well!
Very good product. Has plenty of well-thought-out features such as the auto-sens that work the way they should. What a time saver when recording band practice! the mic pres seem clear and transparent, though I'm not sure I would use this in place of my UA mic pres for actual tracking, though the difference in price is huge. this thing will be a great work horse for writing, recording scratch tracks, band practices, and small ensembles where you have access to decent post-processing equipment. the reason I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is that the manual it comes with is not that detailed, and I did have a weird experience where muting a track in the output mixer still let the sound through. It was only after I muted it on the input mixer that it actually muted, which is weird.
All in a ll I highly recommend this product!
good only for Kids with 4 line not 8 line
this is only good for kids or some guitarist play together ,,not good for drum set .. and 8 preamp is not real only 4 line work in DAW ,beware
Suffers from Design Flaws
I've owned a Roland Octa-Capture for a couple weeks now, recorded a few songs and put it through the paces. From my point of view, the Roland Octa-Capture sounds flawless... until you start interacting with it. Adjusting the level of the main knob on the unit -- the Sens knob, which maps to each input and output -- results in a crackly, "digital" sounding noise that is entirely unacceptable for an engineer. (Let's say you want to raise or lower the gain during a performance; you pretty much can't do it, unless you want to introduce that crackle sound permanently into the mix).
Strangely, the Roland Octa-Capture product manual, page 37, states that "...you might hear crackling while you turn the Sens knob; this does not indicate a malfunction." Sorry, Roland: this is by definition a product flaw.
Another negative observation: the product's industrial design recalls the anti-analog design wave of the early 80s, back when rows of knobs and sliders were replaced by sleek black units with a small LCD screen and a single jog wheel. This forced engineers and synth users to drill through menus and settings to find that one variable they were looking for, always at the cost of speed, intuition, and tactility. It's the same with the Octa-Capture. If you're a hands-on, visual user, then this is not the audio interface for you.
The Roland Octa-Capture may have a conveniently small footprint and a good price, but I can't in good conscience recommend this product. It's just too frustrating.
Ableton 4 Input Limitation
Why One Star??? Because I was duped into thinking that I would be able to use this product out of the box. This is not true. I can not record a drum set that requires 6 mics. The Ableton Live LE software that comes in the box has a 4 input limitation. At which point I'm supposed to invest another 399.00 USD to purchase the "upgrade" to the Ableton software or purchase some other DAW to use the device to the potential that one would expect "out of the box". It does NOT make sense to me that I should be required to purchase more software just to use the device out of the box. I really do like this device and I would probably have given it a much higher 4.5-5 rating. But because I can not use the device out of the box to record my drummer, I am quite frustrated and disappointed in Roland.
Roland is not the first company that comes to mind when considering interfaces, so I was naturally hesitant when told to check out the Octa-Capture. After spending a decent period of time with it, however, my experience has forever changed my opinion of what Roland brings to the table in the pro audio recording market. Simply put, I was blown away! What I heard was nothing but a crystal clear sound with a great stereo imaging field. No noise, no coloration, just clean gain and transparent output. I am a self-proclaimed control freak in the studio, getting exactly what I want exactly how I want it. So I originally thought the auto input level adjustments on the inputs would be a wasted value for my needs. In actuality, not only did it not get in my way, it worked so well that it greatly increased my efficiency and workflow. The latency exceeds one's expectations of a USB device, multiple cue routings were an absolute breeze, and the software-controllable features made things that much easier when tracking. When in the market for a high quality interface with high fidelity and super clean preamps that won't break the bank, don't forget to check out this brilliant and expandable interface from Roland!