Cuyahoga Community College

Cuyahoga Community College, known locally as Tri-C, is Ohio's first community college and the oldest and largest public college within the state. Its Recording Arts & Technology Program has become a staple of the college’s curriculum, awarding graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree covering areas such as music recording and mixing, location sound, commercial production, audio for video and television, internet audio, record production, and live sound reinforcement. For years, Focusrite has been a part of that curriculum, with 70 Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 multichannel FireWire audio interfaces installed in each of the program’s workstations. Earlier this year, Tri-C’s Recording Arts & Technology Program made the move to upgrade to Focusrite Clarett 8Pre 18-in/20-out Thunderbolt audio interfaces.

“Industry standards are important to us, and Thunderbolt has emerged as a standard connection protocol, so it was time for us to integrate that into our workflow,” says Mark Baker, Studio Tech Support Manager, based on the school’s Metro campus. “The Saffire Pro 40 worked great for a long time, but it was time for an upgrade, and the Clarett 8Pre was the perfect choice.”

Baker says they looked at a number of possible other solutions, but the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre was clearly the superior choice. In addition to the interface, which provides seamless connectivity to the school’s Mac laptops, he also cites the improved Focusrite Control software — a software mixer that simplifies configuration of monitoring and routing setups from Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch — as well as improved metering, and the ability to operate at up to 192 kHz. “And as much as the improved functionality and added features were important, the Clarett 8Pre has pretty much the same user interface as the Saffire Pro 40, so there was no learning curve here, and they integrated easily with our existing wiring scenario. We teach a lot of classes on these, so that made the transition to them much easier,” he explains. Then there’s the Clarett 8Pre’s sound: “The mic pres sound amazing, what you’d expect from Focusrite, and there’s more headroom, as well.”

Focusrite's Clarett 8Pre sports eight great-sounding Clarett microphone preamplifiers, an outstanding dynamic range, and ultra-fast, low-latency performance enabled by Thunderbolt. The mic preamps feature Focusrite's switchable Air Effect, which gives microphones the air and clarity of an ISA transformer-based mic preamp. Baker also lauded the Clarett 8Pre’s ability to be daisy-chained, allowing for easy expandability. With its comprehensive connectivity including analog I/O, S/PDIF, MIDI and ADAT I/O, the Clarett 8Pre offers a wealth of connectivity in a single 1U form factor. Clarett 8Pre is also available over USB, featuring identical high-quality, low noise mic pres, and I/O count. Compatible with standard USB-A and newer USB-C connections, the Clarett sound can now be enjoyed on Mac or PC.