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Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic Reviews

4.0 stars based on 22 customer reviews
  • Michael Atherton
    from Trego, Montana May 3, 2017Music Background:

    Focusrite Octopre

    I have used this product for a while and have been impressed by its ease of use, portability, and sound quality. Wanted to add that after a negative TSA experience in an airport, a bunch of screws were stripped and missing. Focusrite followed through and mailed me the missing parts from England at no charge. Tech Support doesn't get any better than this.

  • Tre Guzardo
    from TX January 29, 2017

    Great for the price

    I'm fairly new to recording, I already had the Saffire Pro 40 and I decided I want to expand on that. I was very curious about the OctoPre Dynamic because I liked the sound of my Pro 40 so I assumed it would sound as good if not better. Now, to me, the built in compressor is amazing for just about any kind of setup. Whether you want it subtle or in your face, it has a very nice sound to it. I would recommend this to any other beginners out there, it's a great preamp and very easy to use.

  • Belt Fed Studios
    from December 30, 2016Music Background:


    If you have ADAT capabilities you will want this-- excellent I mean excellent mic pre's. Very gentle compression that allows you to dial intuitively without a bunch of extra knobs and parameters - which then allows you to be more creative.
    Superb on vocals, and even makes a cheap mic sound stellar- excellent on acoustics- and it goes without saying - a must have for recording drums.

  • Kevin Minor
    from Merced, CA September 13, 2016Music Background:
    I do stuff.

    Great for Drums

    I have used this for drums & guitars. clear preamps with plenty of gain. The dynamics can take a little bit to dial in but can help shape the sound going in extremely well. extremely easy to pair with interface via ADAT

  • Kevin Henderson
    from Radcliff, KY August 25, 2014Music Background:
    Louisville, KY youth orchestra woodwinds, guitar, piano, B3, producer, writer, arranger, etc.

    Excellant, very professional product!

    As a musician, writer, producer, Pro tools 11 user, I am always searching for products to enhance and make my workflow easier. Having the Focusrite 18i20 already, I needed something to expand my inputs, to allow a total of 18 well balanced noiseless controllable inputs. The Octopre Mk2 did the job wonderfully! The eight on panel individual compressors were a must to me for recording vocals. I can instantly administer compression to a vocalist that is overpowering the other vocals with effortless ease. Combined with the eight rotary input levels and individual led input meters, recording becomes less stressful. The 18i20 and the Octopre work seamlessly together. Focusrite's software, as well as Pro tools recognized all hardware instantly with nothing additional required on my part.
    In conclusion, I feel that the Focusrite products will enhance your DAW experience for a price point at less than half of comparable units with no lack in quality whatsoever. You can't go wrong!

  • Bobby Elliott
    from Erin TN March 12, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, Engineer, Live Sound, Studio Musician

    Great Addition to My Studio

    I have a Liquid Saffire56 and have been wanting to add 8 more ins... this is the way to go! It must be the built in compression, but this sounds BETTER than the 56?!! If you want to add 8 more in your studio then you better get this!!
    When I first bought this I thought I had messed up, I hooked it up and it would not sync. Called my sales engineer Derek Senestraro and before I hung up the phone I had a new one on the way! The new one arrived and... same problem. Come to find out , the problem was a bad optical cable, which Sweetwater replaced for free!
    I know this is a review of the OctoPreMkII, but I just cannot say enough about the customer service at Sweetwater! 5 Stars all around!

  • Steve Bander
    from Rockwall, TX August 26, 2012Music Background:
    Semipro musician,Hobbyist Recording Engineer, Family Practice Physician

    Focusrite OctoPre Mk II Dynamic- Just what the Doctor Ordered!

    As a Physician/Drummer/Recordist whannabe, I was looking for extra mike inputs that sounded great, were easy to use, and compatible with the rest of my Logic Setup. I learned about Focusrite years ago when I got a TwinTrack Pro to go with my Roland 2480 rig for Vocal recordings (anyone old enough to remember the 2480?). When I got the computer-based setup, I got the Focusrite Liquid Sapphire 56 as the interface with the TwinTrack connected via SPIF. This worked and sounded great, but I soon got tired of plugging and unplugging mikes to record 8 channels of drums and the rest of the band in a very cramped control room space. Working with Brandon at Sweetwater (bless him for his patience), it seemed that the OctoPre was the easiest, most cost effective option for getting 8 more inputs for the drums,and plenty of inputs for the rest of the band. The best thing was that you don't need to be an engineer to hook it up, the manual was VERY easy to understand, and I knew I could count on Sweetwater support if I had problems. The sound is everything that I expected, I have tremendous Flexibility for the various recording situations I encounter, and best of all, my fat little fingers are no longer fumbling around in the back of my rack!

  • Seth Gorden
    from Bloomington, IL USA May 23, 2012Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    Live Vocal

    I bought the OctoPre MkII Dynamic simply to get more channels at an acceptible level of quality, a very utilitarian purchase. Since purchase, I've used the OctoPre in the studio on guitars and vocals, and for live classical events including both vocal and instrumental concerts/recitals. This amp has handled all of my applications gracefully and cleanly.

    For live vocal tracks I usually run a Royer R121 at high gain and tweak and the compression knob as needed. It's simple to dial in my sound, and it maintains clarity at the highest settings.

    I often ask for feedback from my clients, and most of them say they don't like listening to their recital recordings right away. But when they do, almost without exception, I've received 'wows' and specific compliments on the clarity and purity of the vocal tracks.

    Caveat: Exposes the care with which you place your microphones. My live event clients always have limited time for sound check, and I'm always biting my lip when I've snap-decided a mic position. The price of clarity is that you hear precisely what you've done with your front end equipment. But that's also helping me become a better, more thoughtful engineer during setup.

    I am very satisfied with the OctoPre and my clients are very pleased with the results. Much of my new business this year has been word-of-mouth recommendations. The OctoPre has been instrumental in the growth of my live recording business. Highly recommended.

  • Nicholas
    from Metro Detroit, MI February 6, 2012Music Background:
    Wedding Entertainer, Musician, DJ

    Natural Mic Pres & Helpful Compression for Live Recording

    I recently purchased the OctoPre to do a live recording. The compressors were really helpful in getting a hotter and more consistent signal into before conversion to digital.

    In addition to the obvious additional 8 channels of input, you can make use of the 8 outputs to get additional monitor/headphone mixes. Works great with the Saffire Liquid 56 and the zero latency mixing available within the interface.

  • Phil
    from Midwest USA August 5, 2011Music Background:

    Killer Live Preamp, Awesome Value!

    I got this sweet 8-channel pre to expand my live recording rig. Not only does it sound fantastic, but the 1-button compressors are absolutely incredible. With this wonderful preamp in my rig, I can dial in live drums in a couple of minutes, even under festival conditions. I simply can't recommend the Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic highly enough.

  • Zmuzik
    from Memphis, Tn November 15, 2010Music Background:
    Music Producer, Musician, Recording Engineer, Director of Music


    This is an awesome piece of gear. I use this with my Digi 003+ to record a live band with vocals, The compression is awesome! This is a must have. I have upgraded to Protools 9 and my 003+ interface will be replaced with the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 and the OctoPre will be like magic. I will purchase a 2nd one!!!!!

  • Andrew
    from Raleigh, NC December 2, 2015Music Background:
    12+ years of exp with drums, guitars, and recording

    Excellent unit for the money

    First and foremost I want to say thanks to Focusrite for their excellent product portfolio. I own a handful of their mic preamps and the OctoPre MkII Dynamic has been in my arsenal for about 2 years.

    This is a quality unit for the money. With 8 clean pres, built in compression, and adat I/O you cant beat it in my opinion. I have this connected to a Scarlett 18i20 via adat and man have I been impressed with the quality. I have been playing and recording for over a decade and the majority of my experience is in home/project studios. I do not claim to know a lot when it comes to professional studio gear, but I have had the opportunity to work with both boutique, and dirt cheap preamps and I would classify this as good as the majority of them. I use the OctoPre MkII Dynamic primarily for drums due to the built in compressors. They are not the most amazing compressors, but they work consistently day in and day out. I can get anything from clean/untouched quality to squashed and super-compressed mayhem. I have also tried these pres on vocals, and they sound solid with slight compression. I have also found that slight compression on a guitar cab can yield good results.

    Overall, I would highly suggest trying this unit for yourself. If you are looking for a clean, dependable preamp under $1000 then this is one of the best you can buy. I hope this helps, and keep rockin!

  • David Katsikas
    from MA August 3, 2015

    Exactly what I was hoping for!!

    I purchased the focusrite Octopre dynamic rack with hopes that I would acquire quality focusrite hardware grade compression for the use of retracking pre-recorded drum samples, guitar/bass and vocals through the pre and compression that is built in to this rack.

    I wanted the red 8 (who doesn't?) but like many others cannot afford it. I have to say that while the red 8 is obviously more versatile and well frankly an amazing device (I've had the pleasure of recording through it), this rack delivers quite well for the $$.

    I will eventually own a red 8 but, until then I am quite content with this.

    I would have given it 5stars but...

    I was hoping I could bus into the rack via the Adat in: effect the signal: then Adat out back to my daw. This proved to only be a dream of mine. Instead I had to analog out into the OctoPre dynamic and then I was able to adat into my daw.

    Maybe this is a feature that could be added focusrite...

    Regardless, I'm very happy,
    Dave K

  • Juano Lippi
    from Brooklyn February 2, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician

    A Great Add

    I use Pro Tools 10 with a Mac/Lion, and I added this to my RME FF800 interface for more xlr inputs and it works great. Nice design, simple to use and just a cool piece. Compression on each channel is a perk for added color.

  • Buck Anderson
    from Louisiana October 16, 2012Music Background:

    Great 8 Extra

    This unit after a little bit of pushin and pullin works great with my MR816CSX. Clean pre's and the compression works like a Focusrite. Very smooth.. I be Diggin it fo sure

  • TJ
    from September 11, 2012

    Great capabilities

    It's a great way to get 8 channels of IO. You can select whether line outputs are assigned to carry the sound thru from preamps or from ADAT.It has compression on inputs. I would prefer to have pads and 48v switch for every channel in addition to compression. Also while compression is good but it will let some of the attack thru since attack time is not 0. I don't think there's any better options at this price range, still deducting a star for no pads and no separate phantom power switches. Also the front sticks out a little more then my other gear in the rack...

  • TC
    from Houston, TX January 4, 2012Music Background:
    Musician w/home studio

    OctoPre MkII

    I was impressed, I needed mic pre's to track drums and got a bonus with the built compressor. Just the right amount of compression for the drum tracks and the added compression gave the room mic the presence i was looking for. A snap to expand my DIGI03, largely i just plugged it in and OctoPre seamlessly appeared on my input selection. Very cool.

  • Pro4one
    from East Coast May 19, 2010Music Background:
    Christian Music Producer, Recording, Singer-Songwriter

    Great piece of gear

    Got this piece to record a acoustic band (7piece + vocals). At first the manual is very simple- not much info, so it took me few tries to get it set up right. Once that was done and my 003R recognized it; I was up and running. Any mic I throw at it sounds good. (Blue Baby Btl, Bluebird, AT 4k series, Shure KSM). The compressor on each chanel is a great addition. And having 16 simultaneaous inputs... great.
    Recommend it!

  • Ziad Sidawi
    from Beirut, Lebanon December 17, 2016Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Good but there is better

    I was happy with the OctoPre, until I got my first 500 series Mic Pre. And then I was shocked. The headroom, the clarity and sound...
    You get what you pay for. I sold mine and planning on buying the Audient ASP-880.

  • Ziad Sidawi
    from Beirut, Lebanon October 12, 2014Music Background:
    Moving from hobbyist to pro recording eng.

    Nice until I tried a boutique mic pre

    It is all relative I guess. I liked them and their multiple output connectivity, until I had the money to buy one mic pre that cost as much as this unit. Now I can hear the headroom point and other issues the other reviewers mentioned.
    But it is not fair to compare apple against oranges.

  • Richard Levengood
    from Brooklyn, NY September 16, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Drummer

    Not enough

    Okay so these accomplish a lot for what you'd expect paying as much as this unit cost. After reading such raving reviews I thought I could trust this purchase for my mobile recording rig.

    These pres are not good. They are relatively thin sounding and the noise floor is not ideal. Recording dialogue with these pres or any quiet source is simply not an option. Also the headroom just doesn't allow for much of a sweet spot on any dynamic source. I was terribly hopeful that this could be a cheaper solution for recording tracks that don't need a super high end pre but alas I'll have to search elsewhere.

    The pres themselves also sound like they have a low, medium and high gear. The last tick of power in the pres bring in a terrible hiss but give the gain needed for recording something like an acoustic guitar or someone talking at a normal voice.

    If you are doing high end recording I wouldn't suggest this unit. It sounds like a lot of people would like this for a solid drum solution. I could see how this would fit in nicely there. Don't have to drive the preamp (showing its flaws) and it has a built in compressor that may possibly be a lot of peoples first compressor making it extremely exciting for them to use.

    Prosumer level equipment at best.

  • Ken
    from Las Vegas June 17, 2013Music Background:
    Studio owner, producer, engineer, musician

    Not impressed

    Terrible pre amps. Very little headroom with tiny dials that reflect this disappointing lack of headroom, depth, and clarity. The compressors on each channel are pretty much worthless as they have a very stringent hard knee. The routing options are nice but I would not and could not recommend this unit to anyone interested in making quality recordings.

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