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User Review

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 review - Reviews Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
The Scarlett-18i20 is an audio device that has a selection of inputs and outputs that can be effectively used to record a band. This device replaces heavy amounts of equipment that may you need in a studio in order to combine the mix and instead finds them all in a single audio interface. The device also has exceptional sound quality and comes with Mic pre-amps that are designed by focusrite and have an award winning sound to back them up. The audio interface also comes with a circuit design that is both analogue and digital and is therefore capable of recording audio at an extremely high quality.

Utilization

The first thing I noticed about the Scarlett-18i20 was that it had a wide selection of inputs and outputs, as well as many ways in which to tweak the volume of each of the connections. I was able to plug the audio interface directly into my computer easily and effectively thanks to the 2.0 USB connection that it had.

Key features


I found there to be 18 inputs and 20 outputs. There was also 8 Mic preamps on the device with the ability to switch them to phantom power. The audio Interface also came with analogue inputs that had a combination of XL and jack sockets. As well as this, there are also eight channels of digital I/O which are accessible via an ADAT light pipe. There are also several headphones outputs which allow you the ability to send the mix to several individuals at once. For instance, you could send the sound output to the individual artist, as well as the sound engineer.

There is also a section for monitoring and this comes with buttons that you can use to cut the sound, as well as the ability to control the studio monitors that are running from the audio interface. I also was pleased that the audio Interface worked with software such as Abelton live, and it made the process of submitting the audio into the program easier and more fluid.

Comparison

The closest audio interface that you could compare with the Scarlett-18i20 is that of the focusrite Saffire pro 40. I found the design of the Scarlett-18i20 to be very similar of the Saffire pro 40 and there was a similar amount of inputs and outputs, as well as a selection of control on the gain on the Saffire pro 40 which was similar to that of the Scarlett-18i20.

One of the main differences between the two audio interfaces is that the Scarlett-18i20 are continuing to be developed by focusrite, where as the Saffire models have stayed the same over the years, with the input design of a FireWire cable. This type of connection uses less CPU power than USB but is being discontinued by modern computers. This means that they risk being discontinued and may therefore be unsuitable for individuals who are running the latest computer software with which to use the device.

Pros and cons

This is a very well-designed audio interface with a wide variety of input and output options. I experienced very clean sound when I played guitar softly through the audio interface. However, when I began to play the guitar on a more intense level I found that clipping occurred. This can be an issue and you need to be careful that the volume on the instrument that you play into the audio Interface isn't too loud, otherwise you will get permanent clicking on your recordings and this will be undesirable in most situations.

Some individuals have also complained that the Scarlett-18i20 device did not work with their Mac computer and that they had to upload the latest drivers in order to get it working. I did not have this problem but I would imagine that it is not the most difficult procedure to carry out.

Summary

If you are interested in producing music for a band which uses many different inputs when recording music then a device such as the Scarlett-18i20 will be perfectly suited in a studio environment. The device is also light enough to carry around and this means that you can create high-quality recordings in any location. I recommend the Scarlett-18i20 audio interface for any individuals who have a desire to record music.