by Guy Perchard (Red Dog Music’s Recording Specialist)
It’s no massive secret that Focusrite probably have the best preamps going for the money. 60dB of gain with only 0.001% signal distortion? Crazy. Yes, I realise that was a bit of a tech-nerd statement. But I said it. On the back of their current Saffire range of audio interfaces, Focusrite have now released a little box of awesome called the Scarlett 8i6, and rather than just being a collection of very high quality ins and outs for your DAW, the Scarlett wants to give you something extra.
Sweet sounding, dynamic extras. The Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 features DSP, which for the uninitiated means it processes the audio going through it in various ways to unburden your recording system and offer signal routing and effects. The effects in question come bundled as the Scarlett VST suite, featuring a super-smooth compressor based on the sound of classic 60’s optical units, a lush sounding reverb, a multi-mode gate and 6-band parametric EQ. So, you’ve pretty much got all your basics covered inside this clever little red box!
I love this magic-box-of-awesome, but it’s not perfect. The Scarlett is advertised at being an 8 in, 6 out interface, so at first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking “fantastic, now I can finally close mic my drum kit and/or send out six different signals to a soundman when I play my next gig.” Well, not quite. The I/O has been ‘fluffed up’ the semi-useful SPDIF connection adding additional stereo in and out and two magical “internally routable” inputs that don’t physically exist.
In physical terms, the Scarlett is a 4 in, 4 out interface and should be damn proud of that! You basically get two of Focusrite’s prize winning preamps, ridiculously low-noise line level connections, routing options that would make a heart surgeon proud and four incredibly good ‘meat and veg’ plug-ins that you’ll probably use on everything you do… all wrapped up in a solid little casing.
Click HERE to get your paws on one.