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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (1st GENERATION) USB Recording Audio Interface
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- CHECK OUT THE NEW 2ND GENERATION MODEL BELOW
- Excellent digital performance
- Rugged metal unibody case
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface, truly portable interface
- Includes an authorization code for Ableton Live Lite, Scarlett Plug-in Suite (RTAS/AU/VST), Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite (AAX/AU/VST), the Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Novation Bass Station, and 1GB of Loopmasters samples
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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
Focusrite's Scarlett 2i2 is a 2 in/2 out USB recording interface featuring two award-winning Focusrite preamps. Housed in an attractive anodized aluminum unibody chassis, the interface not only sounds fantastic but looks great too. What's more, it's solid enough to take on the road when you travel.
The Scarlett 2i2 is much more than just a pretty metal box. For more than 25 years, Focusrite has designed some of the most popular microphone preamps in the industry. This experience has been used to create the transparent, low-noise and low-distortion preamp found not only in the Scarlett 2i2 but also the flagship FireWire interface, the Liquid Saffire 56. Plenty of available headroom makes it suitable for moving coil, condenser and ribbon microphones regardless of the source. Phantom power is provided for mics that need it.
Connect and Monitor Instrument Inputs for Recording
The front panel Neutrik combination input can be used to connect line and instrument level signals as well as microphones. This makes it perfect for recording the output of a synthesizer or stage piano, while at the flick of a switch, you can cater to the output of an electric or acoustic guitar. Unique halo indicators let you know that you've got a good signal level for recording. Red means that your signal is clipping, and that you should reduce the gain. The halo will momentarily turn amber as the level returns to a healthy level, at which point it will turn green. A large monitor dial provides a tactile control for the volume of your speakers, while a high quality headphone amp provides a clean yet loud signal to headphones connected to the front panel socket. The direct monitor switch routes audio directly from the inputs to both the headphone and speaker outputs. This allows you to monitor the incoming signal with zero-latency.
High Quality Mic Preamps
Scarlett 2i2 features two high quality award-winning Focusrite mic pres. With more than 25 years of experience in designing analog equipment, Focusrite produces the best mic preamps in the industry. The preamps found in the Scarlett 2i2 are no exception to this, and share the same design as those found in our flagship interfaces: Saffire PRO 40 and Liquid Saffire 56.
Direct Monitor Function
Flick the direct monitor switch on the front panel of your 2i2 and you will hear what you're recording through your speakers or headphones, without the signal having to go through your computer. This avoids the possibility of latency, which can be distracting when recording. With 24-bit resolution at sample rates of up to 96 KHz, the digital conversion in the Scarlett 2i2 is of very high quality, meaning that every note and every subtle detail is captured with great clarity.
Rugged Metal Unibody Case with Truly Portable Interface
The anodized aluminum unibody chassis ensures that your Scarlett 2i2 can withstand the harsh environment of the road. It also makes Scarlett 2i2 the most beautiful interface around. Scarlett 2i2 is very light and compact making it easy to fit in a laptop bag. It's also bus powered, meaning that you don't need an additional power supply. Simply plug in to your computer and hit record.
Included DAW and Effects Software
Inside the box you'll find an authorization code for Ableton Live Lite (available via online download), as well as Focusrite's Scarlett Plug-in Suite and the Red 2 & Red 3 PlugIn Suite (AAX/AU/VST) upon registration of interface. Compatible with all major DAWs, Scarlett plug-in suite provides EQ, Compression, Gate and Reverb-essential tools for polishing your mix.
Which Scarlett Interface Is Right for You?
The Focusrite Scarlett series comes in a range of interface configurations. Use the chart to the left to compare models and find the right Scarlett for your recording needs.
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I want to clarify a few things for future buyers, though, and don't take this as a warning to stay away from this product. It is excellent if you can set it up right.
#1 - MICROPHONES V. INSTRUMENTS. The Scarlett has a very nicely designed combo jack, which allows you to plug in both an XLR connector and a 1/4" TRS jack plug. The Scarlett is automatically configured to recognize any XLR connector as a microphone and any 1/4" TRS jack plug as an instrument. So if you intend to use microphones I urge you to get an XLR cable to connect them. It is basically necessary you use XLR for condenser microphones to utilize the 48V phantom power. Even with a dynamic microphone, I really recommend you use an XLR connection. A dynamic microphone using a 1/4" TRS will be much quieter than one using an XLR, and can hardly be heard through a headphone monitor even with the gain turned up 100%.
#2 - MONITORS. If you intend to use headphones as a monitor (to listen to yourself as you record), you will need headphones ending in a 1/4" jack (6.35mm). Most headphones rarely end in anything other than a 1/8" jack (3.5mm), so it is 99% likely you will need an adapter. Get yourself a 1/8" female to 1/4" male TRS adapter if you want to use headphones. You can find these easily at Wal-Mart, BestBuy, etc. As a side note, on the back are two line outputs that also require 1/4" TRS jack plugs - these are for loudspeakers, not headphones. There is only one jack for one pair of headphones. (I am pretty sure you can use a headphone splitter if you need more headphones.)
#3 - DRIVERS. The package insert for this product will tell you to register your product on their website so you can download a USB driver. Go ahead and register because there are other free downloads, but DO NOT install the USB drivers from focusrite.com if you are using Windows. If you already installed it, you must uninstall it by going to Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. Go to http://beta.focusrite.com/releases/focusrite_usb2_drivers/ and download/install the latest USB2 driver (last I checked, there was only one available). You will know the driver is working if Line Output and Line Input appear and are enabled in Control Panel > Sound when you plug in the interface.
#4 - Find, download, and read the manual for this product. It will save you from any disappointment or surprises.
When this unit works, it works just fine and does what I need. But it's so incredibly inconsistent and has given me such headaches in my 11 months of ownership that I am certain I'll be replacing it with another brand. Most notably, even with updated drivers, the unit prevents windows from booting until it is unplugged. It very often freezes all audio until unplugged. It stops programs from opening until unplugged. It works very differently on USB 2.0 vs 3.0, with the manufacturer recommending that you simply stick with 2.0 to avoid static/noise issues. Even on USB 2.0, after about an hour of use, my recordings become distorted and will not normalize until I unplug and reconnect the unit.
I would easily give this unit a 5/5 if it were not for such awful software that just drags it down into nigh-uselessness. But as it is, even after speaking with Focusrite support, I have to leave it at 2/5.
Setup: A more-than-capable PC, Rode NT1A microphone, proper cables (have tried many different USB brands and types).
Recently I also made some stereo recordings of my band using a pair of balanced outputs from my mixer, once again the 2i2 performed perfectly. The unit is small and portable and runs totally on USB power, and although In my studio I use a different DAC/Preamp to drive my powered monitors, it can also be used to perform this function and it works perfectly when I'm traveling. There is a large output level control for adjusting monitor level, and a separate control for the 1/4 stereo headphone jack, a switch allows you to directly monitor your sources. There's really nothing bad I can say about this unit unless you don't like red, it's performance and features are exactly what I needed. I fully recommend the Focusrite 2i2, it helps me make great recordings, and based on it's performance I'd recommend the other Focusrite products based on this design. Great job!
I bought this specifically for use with an iPad to do mobile recording. The app I use is Auria, but GarageBand will work as well. Be sure to use/buy a POWERED USB hub in order to power the Scarlett.
Wonderfully quiet device. Simple to use and the mic/instrument inputs are very warm sounding. It is truly shocking to see that you can achieve some VERY convincing, near commercial grade recording with this interface. In the hands of a clever musician or engineer, I bet a commercial grade recording project could be done right off the iPad.
If you're new to recording I highly suggest this interface. It's like having a real professional recoding console in the palm of your hand.