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Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 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 4i4 USB Audio Interface, 3rd Gen

4-in, 4-out USB audio interface

Scarlett 4i4 is the perfect interface for musicians and producers starting to expand their setups and needing that extra little bit of connectivity. Take your creativity to the next level with four inputs and four outputs enabling simultaneous recording of microphones, instruments, synths and drum machines - with maximum audio quality. Equipped with high performance 24-bit/192kHz AD-DA converters, Scarlett guarantees the same professional sound quality throughout the third-generation range.

The 4i4 features two of Focusrite’s best-ever performing third-generation Scarlett mic preamps: with optional Air setting to reproduce the Air effect of their original ISA mic preamp, giving your vocal or acoustic recordings a brighter and more open sound.

Record guitars or basses via the two high-headroom instrument inputs without any clipping or unwanted distortion and get creative using the four flexible line inputs – two on the front with gain control, and two fixed-line on the back allowing you to record up to four mono sources or two stereo line-level sources such as synthesisers or drum machines with guaranteed clarity.

A pair of virtual loopback inputs allows you to capture a stereo feed of any combination of hardware input and software playback channels – making podcasting, live streaming and sampling tasks easier.

Scarlett 4i4 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: two comprehensive digital audio workstations, Ableton® Live Lite™ and Pro Tools® First Focusrite Creative Pack; Softube’s Time and Tone Bundle; Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite; a choice of one of four of XLN Audio’s Addictive Keys.

If that wasn't enough, Focusrite have partnered with Splice to give 3rd Gen. interface owners a free 3-month Splice Sounds subscription when setting a new Splice account. Splice Sounds offers millions of high-quality, royalty-free one-shots, loops, and presets, with new releases daily from your favourite 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 membership of their Plug-in Collective offering free software downloads and generous discounts, as well as a 3-year warranty and award-winning customer support.

  • Two of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable Air mode to give your vocal recordings a brighter and more open sound
  • Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass
  • Two balanced line inputs for connecting synthesisers, drum machines and other line-level sources
  • Four balanced outputs for clean monitoring and sending audio out to effects pedals
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • ֠֠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 4i4 3rd Gen.
  • 1 x USB cable (Type C-A)
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C
  • Protocol: USB 2.0
  • Form Factor: Desktop
  • Simultaneous I/O: 4 x 4
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192 kHz
  • Number of Preamps: 2
  • Phantom Power: YES
  • Number of Pads: 2
  • Instrument Inputs: 2
  • Line Inputs: 4
  • Analogue Outputs: 4
  • Headphone Outputs: 1
  • Loopback : YES
  • MIDI I/O : YES
  • Bus Powered: YES

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Customer reviews

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  • nandagopan

    26/9/2020

    This was my first time owning this product and I used it with Abelton Live, and so far, it is very good and i would reccomend this to anyone.

  • Adrianne Arendse

    13/7/2020

    This was really easy to install, get up and running and configure. The guides, mostly video associated to the user's Focusrite account, break the process down into very simple steps. The interface is well-made, easy to use and a necessary update to my meagre setup.

  • Philip Moss

    04/7/2020

    Does exactly what it is meant to. Excellent piece of kit

  • Stephen Medland

    03/7/2020

    This product is amazing. It is easy to use. Have used other interfaces before but not as good as this. I Highly recommend it.

  • Andy Winklmuller

    27/6/2020

    Best product in its price range by far!!

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