Focusrite Clarett 4Pre ( Thunderbolt Audio Interface )


Focusrite // Recording Solomon Grey with the Clarett 4Pre

We hired a beautiful-sounding abandoned warehouse in leafy Buckinghamshire (the HQ of Focusrite) and invited Solomon Grey and their string quartet to perform ‘Epitaph’. We tracked the strings, vocals, keys and Ableton Live triggered software samples only using the Clarett 4Pre, with an additional headphone amp to supply more foldback channels to the string section.


  • 18 Input / 8 Output
  • 4 Microphone Preamps with “Air” Feature
  • Phantom Power
  • 2 Headphone Outs
  • Expandable via ADAT Input
  • S/PDIF I/O
  • Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-in Suite
  • Softube Time and Tone Bundle
  • Mac OS X


The Clarett 4Pre from Focusrite is a Thunderbolt audio interface that combines 24-bit/192 kHz digital conversion, with four microphone preamps that can model the sound of the company’s transformer-based ISA preamps using the “Air” effect. The Instrument inputs feature extra headroom to handle the loudest pickups, and the 1.38 ms round-trip latency simplifies workflow and allows for the use of favorite plug-ins in real time. Each of the four front panel inputs includes a “Gain Halo”, an illuminated ring around the gain control that lights up green when there’s signal present and red when it’s too high. There’s a main monitor knob plus dual headphone outputs with independent volume controls.


Focusrite Control is a software mixer designed for easy configuration of monitoring and routing setups. Simple and intuitive to use, the software offers a traditional mixer workflow and allows immediate access to internal hardware functions. The interface comes with the 64-bit AAX, AU, and VST compatible Red 2 and Red 3 plug-in suites. Also included is the Softube Time and Tone Pack. Modeled after the Drawmer 1973 FET Stereo compressor hardware, the Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor is a plug-in that aids in balancing and shaping a mix. TSAR-1R Reverb adds space, depth, and width to a sound. Tube Delay is an echo effect that can go from clean to rude by overdriving its three modeled tube stages – delivering everything from realistic room echoes, to rockabilly-style slap back, to dub reggae echo. Saturation Knob is a modeled output distortion unit that adds grit and warmth.

Four Clarett preamps
“Air” feature switches in an analog model of the classic transformer-based Focusrite ISA microphone preamp
Microphone preamps deliver EIN of -128 dB
118 dB A/D and 119 dB D/A dynamic range
Up to 24-bit/192 kHz sample rates
Thunderbolt technology ensures extra-low round-trip latency
Detailed metering
“Gain Halo” illuminated rings around the gain controls light up green when there’s signal present and turn red when the level is too high
Expandable over ADAT
AAX Native, Audio Units, and VST 64-bit Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-in Suite
Softube Time and Tone Bundle with Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor, TSAR-1R Reverb, Tube Delay, and Saturation Knob.

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