For that substantial chunk of extra money the new Clarett series costs over the Scarlett range, you’d expect some decent perks; fortunately Focusrite deliver by the bucketload. The Clarett interfaces feature the following improvements over the tried-and-tested Scarletts:
- ISA-inspired microphone pre-amps
- -128dB input noise, compared to the -100dB on the Scarlett 2i2. Keep in mind that dB is a logarithmic scale, which means there’s about 500 times less noise than the Scarlett. Impressive, huh?
- 118dB of representable dynamic range, compared to 114dB on the Scarlett. Again, logarithmic… so that’s just over double the range.
- Thunderbolt connectivity as opposed to USB, so can sustain latency of around 1ms, but can only currently be used on Macintosh computers. PC compatibility is in the pipeline, though.
- 24-bit / 192kHz on the Clarett as opposed to 24-bit / 96kHz, so can capture ultrasonic frequencies up to 96kHz. That’s 2 full octaves above the human hearing range, and although we can’t hear them, they shape and affect the frequencies we can hear, so that’s a good thing. Probably. Bonus: The Clarett will allow you to write songs for bats and dogs.
- True 64-bit architecture, as opposed to the Scarlett’s 32-bit-ported-to-64-bit framework. Still works. Awesome.
- More detailed metering than the Scarlett: 6 levels of blinky lights as opposed to ambiguous “gain halos” that go green when you’re good and red when it’s clipping. I’m red/green colourblind. USEFUL!
Both are built like brick-outhouses, are funky red colours (probably, see point 7), have ADAT expandability and MIDI I/O. Basically, they’re both great, but the Clarett is greater.
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