The Focusrite Scarlett range of interfaces has been hugely popular over the last few years here at Red Dog Music, and it’s not hard to see why. Their combination of features, reliability, compatibility and their superb value has made them a staff and customer favourite since they first appeared. Now though, it’s time for an upgrade: it’s time for the Focusrite Scarlett 2nd generation.
The new Focusrite Scarlett series
As before, no matter how you use your interface, chances are there’s a Scarlett mk2 for you. From the Solo to the 18i20, via a host of familiar names – 2i2, 2i4, 6i6, 18i8 – the new Focusrite Scarlett series covers your bases.
And trebles. (Yes, I know the spelling thing doesn’t really work here, but close your eyes, have someone read it to you, and enjoy the homophone).
So, I’m sure you want to know what’s changed. After all, let’s be honest, they don’t look that much different at first glance, but doubt ye not, there is a lot going on in those little red boxes…
New Focusrite Scarlett – the hardware
Okay, the big headline figure first, the new generation Scarlett interfaces now offer recording of up to 192 kHz at 24 bit. Not too shabby for an interface at this place in the market, is it?
Oh, and you wanted to record with low latency so you can include some of the DAW effects as part of your monitor mix? How does under 3 milliseconds sound? Yup, in test recordings using Logic X on a Mac Pro with a 96 kHz sample rate and a buffer size of 32 samples, the latency came in at 2.74 ms. Pretty low.
Okay, next up: the microphone preamp. Focusrite have been making clean, transparent mic pres for ages, so nothing much needs doing there, but they’ve tweaked a few values here and there, making the gain change more evenly as you turn the knob, making it easier to get the right gain setting to maximise your signal-to-noise ratio while ensuring you don’t clip.
And while we’re on the subject of the front end, the instrument inputs have been redesigned, giving them the headroom to cope with the hottest of super-hot guitar pickups. The inputs and outputs have both been given the analogue protection circuitry treatment as well, guarding your Scarlett against unwanted power surges.
New Focusrite Scarlett – the software
If you’re into recording, you may have heard of a little thing called Pro Tools. Well, Focusrite and Avid have got their heads together to let you get your hands on a special version of Pro Tools First – Avid’s introduction to the wide world of Pro Tools. When you get on board the Pro Tools First train the Focusrite way though, you get a little something extra: 12 plugins that take you from guitar amp modelling to ring modulation via delays, compression and all sorts of tasty ear candy generators for your mix.
But hold on there: that’s not all! You also get the fantastic Red2 and Red3 plugins, the Softube Time & Tone pack, the Novation BassStation synth plugin, Ableton Live Lite and 2 GB of samples from Loopmasters!
Factor all that in, and you’re good to get making music straight away.
Johansson. Pimpernel. O’Hara. Fever. Focusrite.
Whether you’re in Savannah or Atlanta – or even somewhere that isn’t in the Peach State, the new generation Scarletts are better for you. In fact, to quote Focusrite, they are: ‘Better. Faster. Easier.’
The new generation of Focusrite Scarlett interfaces isn’t revolutionary – it doesn’t need to be, the first lot did everything you need, the Scarlett mk2s are more evolutionary, a few tweaks, a few additions that keep this range at the forefront. Whether you want to record an album with several songs written by Tom Waits or you have your own compositions in mind, the Scarlett can help you do it.
So there you go, a nice set of hardware improvements, and a cracking software bundle that doesn’t include ‘phage T12. If you’re sniffing about a new audio interface, you really should check out the new range of Focusrite Scarletts.
Red Dog Music is the UK’s friendliest musical instrument and pro-audio dealer. Between our 5000 square foot Edinburgh shop filled with an incredible range of products, a spectacular shop in Leeds, and a London showroom in Clapham specialising in high-end instruments, dj and pro-audio, Red Dog Music has you covered from north to south and from performance to playback.
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