Roland Octa-Capture – first impressions

I have been contemplating purchasing a Roland Octa-Capture audio interface for measurement purposes and Qlab playback purposes for the last 6 months or so. After having some long discussions via text with Arthur Skudra about the device and it’s value as a audio measurement device and also getting official verification that the device can provide enough P48 phantom power for up to (8) Earthworks mics at 10mA each, I decided to place an order. I now have (3) of them.

Before I continue I must point out something rather alarming about the device. It comes with a pair of 1RU rack ears but the device itself is taller and you can’t rack mount one without leaving a space between it and the next device. This is a big bummer and I may return two of the three and get something else for playback purposes and hold on to one Octa Capture that I leave the ears off for portable measurement purposes. Stay tuned.

If you’re not discouraged by a device that isn’t rack friendly but very portable, read on. The Roland Octa-Capture is a 8×8 analog audio device with a headphone output with separate volume control, MIDI I/O and SPDIF I/O. With a street price of $500 USD, it’s an interesting device to consider for measurement purposes.

Today I sat down with the device to see what needs to be done to configure it to work with Smaart V8. A few pointers. There is a default setting that appears to be only accessible from the front panel of the device that allows you to turn off a power saving mode. Setting can be either OFF or 4 hours which is the default. Not sure I like that default but all of my boxes will be set to OFF permanently. Next you want to mute all the inputs so that you don’t cause a feedback loop. You never want to send your measurement mic signals to the main outputs!!!

After posting about the unit on the Facebook Rational Acoustics Smaart group, I was handed this helpful piece of information regarding inputs 7 & 8.

Rational Acoustics forum – Roland OctaCapture input levels thread

Rational Acoustics forum – Roland OctaCapture Listening Test