#1
I'm looking to start recording live drums, and I saw that Focusrite is coming out with a new interface that I thought supported eight inputs and a crazy number of outputs. I was about to make the pre-order, but then I looked at screenshots and product features and was a little confused.

From MusiciansFriend:

Four combo inputs with Scarlett mic preamps and two newly designed high headroom instrument inputs let you record any combination of instruments or vocals together. Connect your synths, keyboards or mixers into four additional line inputs on the rear panel, and connect any equipment with digital I/O to the SPDIF inputs to record ten simultaneous channels. Connect an OctoPre via ADAT, expanding to 12 mic preamps and 16 analog inputs. Two discrete headphone outputs let you send separate headphone mixes to two artists, or an engineer and artist, while two balanced jack outputs let you connect to your professional studio monitors. With further MIDI connectivity, you can also integrate your favorite hardware synths with your DAW.


So its...six inputs (four combos, two "high headroom instrument inputs") and four outputs (two headphone outs and two balanced jack outputs)?
Sorry if this is a noobie question but I'm confused by the numbers in the product name and all this talk of expansions lol

Also if anyone has a reccomendation for a USB interface with at least 7 inputs and at least 4-6 outs, feel free to leave 'em here. I prefer fidelity in my preamps and low-latency, of course. $400 was about what I was looking to spend, but if I had the wrong idea about this here Focusrite's capabilities, I realize I might have to adjust that expectation.
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#2
OK... Here is how I read it.

4 XLR inputs that you can also plug a 1/4" jack into (combo inputs)
2 "high headroom" instrument inputs (these will be 1/4")
4 "regular" line inputs (these will also be 1/4")
2 digital inputs (SPDIF looks like RCA in/outs)

So.... Four mic inputs.

You CAN plug a mic into a 1/4" jack with an adapter, but they don't usually sound good.

So, to use this for drums, you would most likely need to get an additional unit with preamps in it that you would then connect to the Focusrite via the adat inputs.

A few years back, I went on the hunt for the best 8-channel interface under $1000 and I think I found it. It was the Steinberg MR816, which has since been replaced by the UR series.... So check out the UR824. It has wonderful Cubase integration, but by no means requires you to use Cubase. Although, depending on what you're using for a DAW now, you might appreciate the version of Cubase that will come bundled with it.

Mine has been rock-solid, the latency is excellent (also has direct monitoring - like zero-latency), and the preamps are *always* highlighted as one of the best features of the device in all of the reviews.

CT
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#3
This is an 18i8?

you have four analog inputs available at a time on the interface (mic/line/inst on the first 2, mic/line on the second 2).

For drums, you'll need another preamp/converter combo.
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#4
OK, let's break this down:

4 XLR/1/4" TRS combo inputs - the first to of these are the high input inputs, IE inputs 1 and 2
4 1/4" TRS line inputs
2 S/PDIF Digital inputs
8 ADAT inputs

2 1/4" TRS Monitor outputs
2 S/PDIF outputs
Apparently they are counting the 2 headphone jacks as 2 outs each

18 in / 8 out, which should be counted as 18-in / 4-out in all honesty.
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#5
From this "Connect an OctoPre via ADAT, expanding to 12 mic preamps and 16 analog inputs." , the Octopre has 8 inputs, so 12 mic preamps minus the eight from the Octopre leaves 4 mic preamps and 4 line (or 2 out of these as instrument) inputs. If you can swing for the extra ADAT preamps (lots of used ones floating about $300) you should get the inputs that you need, otherwise as it is it won't be enough inputs.

I think Presonus there was a Roland around your price point that should do it, PreSonus had something as well but I think it might be firewire/thunderbolt.