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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen

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Overview by GAK

The Scarlett range is Focusrite’s best-selling range of USB audio interfaces, they have enabled millions of musicians, songwriters, and producers to record, mix and play back audio in studio quality. This 3rd generation of the Focusrite Scarlett range has something for everyone, at an affordable price.

There’s an extensive range of I/O configurations - Solo, 2i2, 4i4, 8i6, 18i8, and 18i20, giving you different options depending on your budget and how big your setup needs to be.

There’s also Studio Packs available with the Solo and 2i2 interfaces, which include a 3m XLR cable, and closed-back headphones to get you creating music in minutes. You also get free software with your chosen interface - Ableton Live Lite and Pro Tools First Focusrite Creative Pack, as well as a free 3-month trial of Splice Sounds. The Scarlett range’s audio interfaces are compact, easy to use, and versatile.

This range includes Scarlett mic preamps that give a warm, dynamic response, and high headroom instrument inputs so you can record without clipping or distortion.

The Air mode brings vocal and acoustic recordings to life, by adding a textured, bright detail to higher frequencies, emulating the famous boost in the mid to high frequency range from Focusrite’s original ISA mic preamps at the famous AIR studios.

Gain halos are a signature feature - surrounding the gain knobs like halos, they let you know the signal level by glowing a different colour depending on the amplitude of the incoming signal. They let you know when there’s clipping or unwanted distortion. Previously the gain halo colours weren’t customisable - only traffic light colours - but now you can choose from seven different colours for each meter state.

USB-C connectivity allows faster data transfer, and ultra-low USB latency, meaning you can record and monitor in real time. The connection can be flipped, so you don’t need to plug it in upside-down.

The Easy Start tool makes it easier to get up and running within minutes, and the high performance converters add great clarity for an interface in this price range.

In all, the Focusrite Scarlett series is a great range for many types of musicians - from beginners who want to start recording at home for the first time, singer-songwriters, small bands, right up to professional producers, for which the 18i20 is better suited. There is really something for everyone and every budget.

Which Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface should I buy?

Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is the most compact and simple audio interface by Focusrite, ideal for guitarists, solo artists, entry-level home recording, demos, and travelling musicians, providing an easy, affordable way to make studio quality recordings. If you know you won’t be adding more instruments, this is a great option.
You can upgrade to the 2i2 or 4i4 if you need a little more connectivity, or go to the mid upper range, like the 8i6, for more inputs and outputs.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is the world’s best selling audio interface, and lets you simultaneously record and playback up to two channels, with independent headphone and monitor outputs. It’s ideal for singer-songwriters, travelling musicians, keyboard players and vocalists, and home recording.
You can upgrade to the 4i4 and 8i6 for more connections, or if you’re a professional, there’s also the 18i8 and 18i20.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio Pack, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio Pack is a great option for singer-songwriters who want to get up and running right away. This is the most compact interface by Focusrite, so it’s great for singer songwriters or musicians who don’t need to record lots of instruments. With headphones, xlr cable, and free software included, you will be recording within minutes.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Pack, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Pack is a great option for musicians who want to get up and running and soon as possible! With the headphones, xlr cable, and free software included in the package, you can record studio quality music within minutes.

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface has 4 simultaneous inputs and outputs for a more versatile recording solution. It’s ideal for travelling musicians, synth and key users, and any musician who wants to record multiple sources at a time, specifically guitars and basses.
Upgrade to the 8i6, which is quite a big jump up from the 4i4, or go to the top end of the range to a 18i8 or 18i20 if you’re a professional that needs lots of inputs and outputs.

Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is the upper mid range model of the series, still compact but a great solution with 8 simultaneous inputs and 6 outputs. It’s ideal for professional studio owners that still want something compact, podcasters, synth and keys users, producers, and travelling musicians.
You can upgrade to the 18i8 or the rack-mountable 18i20 for extra channels and versatility.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is ideal for studio owners who need a variety of inputs and world class sound. It’s high channel count and compact size makes it the right balance of portability and versatility.
It has two high headroom instrument inputs, so you can plug your guitar or bass straight in, eight balanced line inputs to connect synths or other line-level audio, and four balanced outputs for monitoring and effects sends. It also has four monitor outputs, with anti-thump tech and speaker switching. Whatever you’re recording, take your whole studio with you.
A UDG Creator Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Hard Case is available for this model, and you can upgrade to the 18i20 if you’re a professional that needs a rack-mountable option with lots of preamps and connections.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen
The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is ideal for professionals who need a rack-mountable option with lots of preamps and connections.
The 18i20 is the most versatile interface in the Scarlett range, with 18 inputs and 20 outputs, so you can leave instruments plugged in for easier writing and recording. There’s four monitor outs, with anti-thump tech and speaker switching, as well as a built-in talkback mic so you can talk to the musicians from your studio, just what a professional needs.

The Scarlett 18i20 has dual ADAT optical In and Out ports. You can add up to eight further inputs and outputs at 48kHz or 96kHz through a mic preamp such as Scarlett OctoPre or Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic, or four channels at 192 kHz, so you can expand your recording and mixing capabilities.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen

2-in, 2-out USB audio interface

The most popular audio interface for artists across all genres, the third-generation Scarlett 2i2 provides two mic/line/instrument inputs allowing simultaneous recording and playback of up to two channels with independently controllable headphone and monitor outputs.

The 2i2 features two upgraded third-generation Scarlett mic preamps: with optional Air setting to reproduce the Air effect of Focusrite’s original ISA mic preamp, giving your vocal and acoustic recordings a brighter and more open sound.

Equipped with high performance 24-bit/192kHz AD-DA converters, Scarlett guarantees the same professional sound quality throughout the third-generation range.

The high impedance, high-headroom instrument inputs allow you to record guitar or bass without any clipping or unwanted distortion, while Gain Halo metering makes it easy for you to set the input level.

Scarlett 2i2 is designed to stand up to days on the road, and connects straight to your Mac® or PC via USB cable, with no external power required. It comes with all the software tools you need to get started, including two comprehensive digital audio workstations: Ableton® Live Lite™ and Pro Tools® First Focusrite Creative Pack. Intuitive enough for beginners yet advanced enough to inspire real creativity with great-sounding effects.

Focusrite have partnered with Splice to give 3rd Gen. interface owners a free 3-month Splice Sounds subscription when setting up a new Splice account. Splice Sounds offers millions of high-quality, royalty-free one-shots, loops, and presets, with new releases daily from your favorite producers, sound designers, and artists. Creators use Splice to make all kinds of music, including chart-topping pop, Grammy-winning albums, underground mixtapes, and cinematic scores.

And as with all Focusrite products, you’ll also benefit from a 3-year warranty, award-winning customer support and membership of their Plug-in Collective offering free software downloads and generous discounts.

  • Two of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable Air mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound
  • Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass
  • Two balanced line inputs, suitable for connecting line-level sources
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • With our Quick Start tool, it's now easier than ever to get up and running
  • ֠֠Ableton Live Lite music making software
  • ֠Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack
  • Free 3-month Splice Sounds subscription with new Splice accounts
  • Focusrite Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-In Suite
  • A choice of 1 of 4 XLN Audio Addictive Keys virtual instruments
  • Softube Time & Tone Bundle
  • Access to the Focusrite Plug-in Collective
  • Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen.
  • 1 x USB cable (Type C-A)
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C
  • Protocol: USB 2.0
  • Form Factor: Desktop
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192 kHz
  • Number of Preamps: 2
  • Phantom Power: YES
  • Instrument Inputs: 2
  • Line Inputs: 2
  • Analogue Outputs: 2
  • Headphone Outputs: 1
  • Bus Powered: YES

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Customer reviews

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  • Pip

    13/10/2020

    As expected, it's a lovely bit of kit, fairly priced at GAK.

  • colin cooke

    01/9/2020

    Brilliant service as usual

  • Robert Dugdale

    31/8/2020

    Very happy with my Focusrite Scarlett interface

  • Jayne Crean - James's missus

    31/8/2020

    This is indispensable... just like generations one and two :)

  • Mattias Bhatt

    27/8/2020

    Great service, great product. Fast delivery.

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