Anyone who knows me or follows what I write here on Gearnews.com will know that I rate the Clarett range of interfaces very highly. They’re not perfect, what with the lack of DSP and only one Thunderbolt port, but when it comes to sound, they’re phenomenal. Soon Windows users will also be able to benefit from these interfaces. However, are Focusrite too late? After all, connectivity solutions are already moving on to the next format.
When the Clarett range was released at the beginning of 2015, it was deemed a bold move by Focusrite to go with Thunderbolt connectivity. Some other manufacturers were just catching on to the Thunderbolt game, but offered other connectivity options at the same time. By braving the market and pushing the Thunderbolt-only option, they were able to shout about the low round-trip latency their devices delivered.
Unfortunately there’s been some significant latency in developing a Windows driver for the Claretts. However, as of 10th November, Windows 8 and 10 users will be able to hook up to a Clarett just in the same way Mac users do today. This will include a Windows version of the Focusrite Control app for controlling the interfaces from your desktop. Hopefully, this delay means that the drivers and software will be as bug-free and reliable as possible. Focusrite say that “Windows users will enjoy sub 3ms round trip latency and the same reliable, stable operation that Mac-based Clarett owners already experience”.
Whilst this is great news, unfortunately there isn’t any mention of Windows drivers for the Red 4Pre or Red 8Pre yet. These are really significant interfaces which many consider two of the most capable interfaces in their class. Let’s hope the Windows drivers for these don’t take as long to develop. If they do, then who knows what connectivity solutions we’ll have by then? Wireless?!
Focusrite already need to start thinking about what to do next. Some computer manufacturers have already ditched Thunderbolt 2. Supposedly you can connect Thunderbolt 2 devices to Thunderbolt 3 ports as they’re backwards compatible, but there aren’t any connectors available yet. Just take a look at the recently upgraded MacBook Pro for example, which will only sport Thunderbolt 3 ports.
If you’d like more information about the Clarett range of Thunderbolt audio interfaces, head over to Focusrite’s website.