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Focusrite OctoPre MkII vs. M-Audio Octane 8
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JonathanComis
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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Focusrite OctoPre MkII vs. M-Audio Octane 8

Hey guys,

Does anyone have any experience with these two 8 channel mic pre's? I need a budget friendly 8 chan. mic pre and was wondering if either of these really out weigh the other. I'm currently using only the pre's in my Mackie Onyix 1620 and think they sound decent - so if you think they sound better than those then that's a plus. Thanks for the help.

-Jonathan
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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I don't have experience with the focusrite unit, but I do with the Octane. I found it very clean and it had a lot of power available. I really liked it for tracking g things like drums and guitar. I can also tell you the octane is essentially an 8 channel dmp3, so if you are looking for more comparisons you can also search for that catagory. I've owned dmp3s as well and really liked them.

Jacob
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JonathanComis
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7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkokura View Post
I don't have experience with the focusrite unit, but I do with the Octane. I found it very clean and it had a lot of power available. I really liked it for tracking g things like drums and guitar. I can also tell you the octane is essentially an 8 channel dmp3, so if you are looking for more comparisons you can also search for that catagory. I've owned dmp3s as well and really liked them.

Jacob
That's what I like to hear brother! The drums are what's really on my mind. I'm glad you dig it for that application. Thanks for throwing your two cents in there.

Anybody have an opinion on the Focusrite?

-Jonathan
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7th March 2012
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I own 2 OctoPre MkII (not dynamic) units, and they're connected to 2 Saffire Pro 40s (32 pres, total). Love them. Quiet, clean, affordable. I record live performances, and find the units to be very road-friendly and reliable.
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7th March 2012
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Originally Posted by winedup View Post
I own 2 OctoPre MkII (not dynamic) units, and they're connected to 2 Saffire Pro 40s (32 pres, total). Love them. Quiet, clean, affordable. I record live performances, and find the units to be very road-friendly and reliable.
That's awesome! So I guess the two units are pretty comparable. Looks like it's gonna come down to budget! Thanks for your post and help.

Anyone have experience with a different 8 channel pre that they would recommend over the M-Audio and Focusrite?

-Jonathan
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7th March 2012
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Wow, what would you use 32 mic pres for!?!?

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7th March 2012
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The Presonus D8 is essentially the same thing. I own a Digimax FS, same pres as the D8. I use it mainly for drums. I also have used the Octopre and M-Audio DMP3. If the Octane does indeed contain 8 channels of DMP3, then it should sound pretty good. The Octopre also does a fine job.

All of these pres are in the same ballpark as far as sound quality goes. Just slightly different flavors to each. I favor the DMP3 and Octopre pres for acoustic stuff, and the Presonus for drums. But the differences between them all is slight. The Presonus will be more budget friendly, and synching via ADAT with it is quick, simple and painless.
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8th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkokura View Post
Wow, what would you use 32 mic pres for!?!?
Reasonable question :-) I only record live (in-concert) music, so having lots of inputs/pres is critical to recording larger acts.
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8th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winedup View Post
Reasonable question :-) I only record live (in-concert) music, so having lots of inputs/pres is critical to recording larger acts.
That makes sense.

Jacob
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8th March 2012
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Originally Posted by omtayslick View Post
The Presonus D8 is essentially the same thing. I own a Digimax FS, same pres as the D8. I use it mainly for drums. I also have used the Octopre and M-Audio DMP3. If the Octane does indeed contain 8 channels of DMP3, then it should sound pretty good. The Octopre also does a fine job.

All of these pres are in the same ballpark as far as sound quality goes. Just slightly different flavors to each. I favor the DMP3 and Octopre pres for acoustic stuff, and the Presonus for drums. But the differences between them all is slight. The Presonus will be more budget friendly, and synching via ADAT with it is quick, simple and painless.
Yeah I was looking at the Presonus too. Geeze I don't know how I'm gonna make a decision. The thing is, it's all about personally preference. And I don't have the option to try before I buy so I can discover what I prefer to achieve my personal sound. ughh the woes of an engineer. So since you have pretty much some experience with all three units, if you could only have one which one would it be? Presonus, Focusrite, or M-Audio?

-Jonathan
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8th March 2012
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I used an Octopre for a few years. I found it reliable, quiet, clean and basically did the job more than adequately. Very good value.
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8th March 2012
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Just researching this kind of box myself and hoping to include playback channels as well but just found the vanilla Octopre doesn't have this....so, it's jump up a step and save some cash for the O'pre Dynamic or go the other end of the field and get a Behringer ada8000
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8th March 2012
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Originally Posted by 66d35 View Post
I used an Octopre for a few years. I found it reliable, quiet, clean and basically did the job more than adequately. Very good value.
Good to know. Thanks for your input dude!

-Jonathan
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8th March 2012
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Originally Posted by Sanchez View Post
Just researching this kind of box myself and hoping to include playback channels as well but just found the vanilla Octopre doesn't have this....so, it's jump up a step and save some cash for the O'pre Dynamic or go the other end of the field and get a Behringer ada8000
I couldn't bring myself to buy Behringer. Although I've heard people have been satisfied with the ADA8000, their products are way too unreliable to even consider it. They don't have a terrible reputation for no reason. I'd rather spend the extra few hundred bucks for the build quality.

-Jonathan
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8th March 2012
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Yep, I've surprised myself by even considering it but at the same time the B-box DOES have a fairly good rep., and tbh I think there's more to the Behringer-bashing than simply poor build quality so it's kind of an interesting challenge-of-self to be even thinking about it. A few hundred bucks difference...the Behringer box is only a couple hundred to start with and at the price of a few days' rental how far can you go wrong?
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8th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanComis View Post
Anyone have experience with a different 8 channel pre that they would recommend over the M-Audio and Focusrite?
My studio is fully analogue based around an 8 track 1" reel to reel. I've got the ART TubeOpto 8 set-up so that everything goes through it just before it hits tape and I love the sound of it. If I won the lottery, I still think I'd have it set up where it is.

You get plenty of nice clean gain more than enough for even the lowest output ribbons (although seeing as this is Gearslutz, may be I should phrase that "more than enough for an SM7"). I also use it to get the final mix off of 2 track tape onto the computer, and I can't fault it in that application either.

The only place I can fault it is that phantom is only switchable in groups of four, intead of per channel, but that doesn't affect me because I always use external phantom supplies anyway. Also, the XLRs can be a bit tough to take out, but I'm sure you can live with that.
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8th March 2012
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Originally Posted by olliejohn View Post
My studio is fully analogue based around an 8 track 1" reel to reel. I've got the ART TubeOpto 8 set-up so that everything goes through it just before it hits tape and I love the sound of it. If I won the lottery, I still think I'd have it set up where it is.

You get plenty of nice clean gain more than enough for even the lowest output ribbons (although seeing as this is Gearslutz, may be I should phrase that "more than enough for an SM7"). I also use it to get the final mix off of 2 track tape onto the computer, and I can't fault it in that application either.

The only place I can fault it is that phantom is only switchable in groups of four, intead of per channel, but that doesn't affect me because I always use external phantom supplies anyway. Also, the XLRs can be a bit tough to take out, but I'm sure you can live with that.
Yeah I like ART's gear. I got a headphone amp from them that's always served me well. However, I did use their low end 2 channel tube mic pre and wasn't very impressed. Preference I guess. Thanks for your suggestion!

-Jonathan
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10th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanComis View Post
Yeah I was looking at the Presonus too. Geeze I don't know how I'm gonna make a decision. The thing is, it's all about personally preference. And I don't have the option to try before I buy so I can discover what I prefer to achieve my personal sound. ughh the woes of an engineer. So since you have pretty much some experience with all three units, if you could only have one which one would it be? Presonus, Focusrite, or M-Audio?

-Jonathan
I actually have not used the Octane. Many people claim that the pres are the same as the DMP3, but the specs do not match up. The Octane pres have 50dbs of gain and the DMP3 has 66. Also some of the other numbers don't line up either. That's why I said above "if the Octane does indeed contain 8 channels of DMP3". By the numbers it doesn't look like it. But maybe they sound the same.

That being said, of the 3, in general I prefer the sound of the DMP3 over the Presonus and focusrite pres. So if indeed the Octane has 8 channels of DMP3.........................
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11th March 2012
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Haven't had direct experience with the Octane but have had the DMP3 next to my Saffire pres. Of the two I preferred the sound of the Saffire pres though both offer a lot of pre for their price tag!
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16th March 2012
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How much better are these 2 preamps vs. the pres in the digi 003?
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16th March 2012
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I've owned and have been using an Octane since 2007. HUGE headroom too (as I discovered recording lots of drum kits). Very clean and transparent. Very nice box.
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17th March 2012
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I have the digi 003 that I run an ADL 600 into for my "money" pres. I was thinking about getting more pres for live recording but I want those pres to be an upgrade from the digi 003 pres. This brought me to this thread. Seems like something like the Octopre is cheap with lots of pres plus digital ins. Could I run my really good pre into something like the Octopre then Octopre into digital in of the 003? Would this be better conversion as well, bypassing the digi 003?
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17th March 2012
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Been using the original Octopre LE which DOES have 8 outputs as well as 8 inputs, and a behri ada8000 both hooked into an RME HDSP9652 PCI.

FWIW the input jacks that focusrite use on the original and the later model are a weak point.

Other than that performance is just fine and to be honest I would be hard put to hear any real difference between the two set of pres unless you really push the behri ultra hard, when it does get dirty in a not-so-nice way, but for the money....
And IF I ever decide I need the third ADAT filling on the RME I will probably get another Behringer.
Their A to D is as good as anyone elses until you get up to phone number money. D to A isn't bad either....
#24
15th June 2012
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i know i'm a bit late, but i've been using a profire2626 and octopre mkii(dyn) for about 6 months now, and if I remember correctly the 2626 uses the octane pres. They both have their ups and downs, but if you'd ever use them for drums i know i'd be going for the octopre. Honestly, both kinds of press are kinda bland, the focusrite unit is quieter and more responsive, the profire when you drive its pres is kind of brighter than i'd like in a low end interface, but I feel like i've managed a few great sessions with these guys. If you mic things right and learn the pres a bit you can be dangerous. I'd give both units a thumbs up but I'd say focusrite! It definitely packs a punch with 8in/8out, adat and a pretty solid clock if you're broke like me and can't get a clock yet
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