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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface  

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Overview
  • Eight high-quality award-winning Focusrite preamps
  • 24-bit/96kHz USB 2.0 interface compatible with Mac, Windows and iOS
  • 18 inputs & 20 outputs
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $599.99
  • Your Savings:
    - $100.00
  • Your Price:
    $49999

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Focusrite

USB 2.0 audio interface with 8 Focusrite mic preamps.

The Focusrite 18i20 brings the recording performance of 8 award-winning Focusrite mic preamps and combines them with a high-quality 24-bit/96kHz USB 2.0 interface that’s compatible with Mac, Windows, and iOS platforms, which means legendary recording performance on the iPad (Apple Camera Connection Kit required). Focusrite’s mic preamps are found in the world’s top studios and give the 18i20 an unequalled level of performance, with low noise, minimal distortion and enormous dynamic range. The Scarlett preamps offer exceptional headroom, and two front-panel inputs also offer 10dB pad buttons to handle the highest-level inputs without distortion.

Comprehensive inputs/outputs
With 18 inputs and 20 outputs, Scarlett 18i20 includes enough I/O to handle the vast majority of day-to-day studio tasks at maximum quality, with maximum flexibility. Scarlett 18i20 features six combo XLR/jack mic/line inputs plus two front-panel XLR/jack mic/line/instrument inputs with 10dB pad buttons, 10 analogue line outputs, two independent headphone outputs on the front panel, and ADAT and S/PDIF digital I/O, plus MIDI I/O and Word Clock out for digital synchronization when required.

The ADAT interface can be used to bring in digital sources or to add extra preamps such as Focusrite’s OctoPre Mk II, bringing the mic pre complement to 16 channels, ideal for recording a complete band and minimizing overdubs.


High channel count and Focusrite quality – now on USB 2.0 and iOS
Scarlett 18i20 is the USB complement of the tried and tested Saffire PRO 40 Firewire interface. Suitable for Windows, Mac and even iOS (with the Camera Connection Kit*) platforms, Scarlett 18i20’s USB 2.0 connection suits almost any computer, helping you build a setup in which external storage and audio interfaces do not have to share the same computer bus (recommended for the best performance) – if you have Firewire drives, for example, a USB audio interface is the best choice.

Comprehensive bundle of included software
Comes with Ableton Live Lite – ground-breaking production and performance software, Scarlett Plug-in Suite – EQ, compression, gating and reverb, Novation Bass Station - software model of the classic Novation analogue mono-synth, and 1GB of Loopmasters samples.

Features
  • Eight high-quality award-winning Focusrite preamps
  • 24-bit/96kHz USB 2.0 interface compatible with Mac, Windows and iOS
  • 18 inputs & 20 outputs
  • Dual independent headphone buses
  • Scarlett MixControl ultra-low-latency DSP mixer/router
  • Unmatched routing flexibility
  • Comprehensive bundle of included software

Put the power of 8 Focusrite preamps to work on your Mac, PC, or iOS device.

 

Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface Specifications:

  • Inputs and Outputs
  • IN
  • 8 Mic/line analogue Combi XLR Including 2 instrument inputs
  • 2 S/PDIF RCA Phono Can be routed via lightpipe
  • 8 ADAT Optical Lightpipe 4 channels via SMUX 2 96kHz
  • 16 MIDI 5pin DIN connector Provides 16 channels of MIDI
  • OUT
  • 2 Line analogue ¼” TRS Jack Dedicated monitor outputs
  • 8 Line analogue ¼” TRS Jack
  • 4 outputs (7/8 & 9/10) are also available via the 2 independently controlled, stereo headphone ¼” Jack on the front panel
  • 2 S/PDIF RCA Phono Can be routed via Lightpipe
  • 8 ADAT Optical Lightpipe 4 channels via SMUX @ 96 kHz
  • 16 MIDI 5pin DIN connector Provides 16 channels of MIDI
  • System requirements
  • Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion or later
  • Windows 7 (all versions) or Windows 8 (Not including Windows RT)
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
FocusriteScarlett 18i20 Audio Interface
 
3.8

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

63%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Durable (5)
  • Easy to use (5)
  • Good audio (5)
  • Versatile (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home studio (6)
    • Amateur recording (5)
    • Professional recording (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Professional musician (6)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-8

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great interface

    By JimmyJams

    from FL

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • 8 Ins 20 Outs
    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Ios Compatible
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

      I'm not sure why others are having issues with this interface. I purchased mine a couple months ago and have used it extensively with no issues. Works fantastic with an iPAD and multi-track app. Works well with PC and MAC units as well.

      Comment on this review

      (1 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      A suprising disapointment

      By midisync

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Easy Setup

      Cons

      • Bad Sound

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording

      Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

      It's hard to believe that Focusrite created an interface that sounded this bad. There was a high pitched whining noise which varies as you moved the mouse around the screen. I tried multiple USB cards but nothing helped. I mistakenly considered this an 'upgrade' from my M-Audio 2626. This definitely was not the case. I returned this one to the store. BTW I also own their OctoPre MkII which actually sounds pretty good.

      Comment on this review

      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Sounds Nice. Quality Control Issues

      By SMW14042

      from Florida

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Breaks Easily
      • Unreliable

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

      I bought this as an upgrade to my cheaper interface. I heard a lot about Focusrite's preamps and I was really intrigued by a new line of USB interfaces from that company. The first one I bought sounded great, when it worked. For whatever reason, it kept disconnecting. It was also hit or miss about recognizing the inputs I was sending it. I would do everything correctly in the DAW and, for whatever reason, the interface would not recognize certain inputs. Sometimes it was random. For example, inputs 1, 2 and 4 would record and 3 would be dead. Yes, I checked to see if cables were plugged in, phantom power was engaged etc. It happened all the time and seemed to have no rhyme or reason. Usually a reboot or two would fix it.

      So, took it back to the retailer and they were great about giving me a new unit. The second unit did not drop the connection like the first one, but the random failure to record certain ins continued. I gave up and just accepted that a few reboots might be required before I could start a session.

      Then the button to switch from instrument to line level broke on channel 1. It got stuck on instrument for a while until I somehow managed to disengage it. I pulled out the button and found that it had snapped off inside the unit. And, no I did not press the buttons hard or otherwise abuse the unit. Now channel 1 is no longer able to toggle between instrument and line. Not too much of a big deal because I have an Octopre (two additional instrument /line ins) and I rarely record more than one direct in (bass) at any given time. However, since all the buttons are of the same construction, it WILL be a big deal if, for example, one of my phantom power switches goes the same way. I'm not happy about this. However, I don't want to be without the unit for however long it takes to send it back (for a second time). So I live with it.

      At any rate, the unit sounds great. But, its build quality and reliability have left me wanting. It kind of bugs me that I have to keep "living with" shortcomings on this unit.

      Comment on this review

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      SCARLETT 18I20 AUDIO INTERFACE

      By Logic

      from Richmond, VA

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Easy To Use

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

        Purchased this unit after reviewing several similar interfaces in this price range, and this thing does not disappoint!!! The pre-amps on this unit are so clean and clear sounding, and it is so easy to set up, install, and use!!! I'm running this thing with Sonar X2, and it integrates flawlessly,and it has enough inputs and outs for any home recording set up. A tremendous product!!!

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        I am very disappointed by this card.

        By EmpressSissi

        from France

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

              The drivers are not stable at all.
              I have crackling sound.
              I have a good computer : Macbook Pro Macbook Pro 13 "/ 2.9 GHz i7 / 8GB / USB3 / OSX 10.8.4

              Impossible to use Cubase 7 with this soundcard.

              Comment on this review

              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great interface!

              By Lake Breeze Audio Recording

              from Minnesota

              About Me Professional Musician

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Clear Sound
              • Compact
              • Durable
              • Easy To Use
              • Lightweight
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio

                Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

                Has great features Mixcontrol looks confusing but its easy once you get the hang of it most of the settings work great as is. Plug in monitiors and its ready to go some older M-Audio interfaces made you go and configure your monitiors from time to time which was confusing and bothersome. Everything works great built like a tank knobs feel soild i like the channel screen that lets you know when you have a signal/clipping on the 8 mic/inst inputs. 2 headphone outs i do recommend a headphone amp for a extra boost. Sound is clear and looks great in my studio rack. I highly recommend this product for people looks for more inputs/outputs and routing options.

                Comment on this review

                (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Top Entry Level Interface!!!

                By Walt

                from New Bern, NC

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Durable
                • Easy To Use
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

                  I switch to this from a Motu Ultralite Mk3 Hybrid because I was not happy with the preamps, conversion, and not enough I/O. This is the top entry level audio interface you can buy in this price range. You get the ability to expand it with the included ADAT, Word clock, and Spdif options. You can add a Octo-Pre for an additional 8 channels which gives you 16 channels of mic inputs. There is room for outboard pres and other gear you have too. Now the sound quality is awesome for what you get. If you like a nice rounded low end and tight detailed mids, and tight high end then this is the right interface and preamp option for you. You won't have to worry about the preamps sounding thin in this unit cause they are FULL in a good way. The AD/DA conversion in this unit is better than ANY lower end interface on the market and will rival mid range interfaces and IMHO better than what I was getting in the Motu. The plugin software that you have to download is really nice especially the compressor! The drivers are very solid, just install them and forget it. I have not had one blue screen of death since I got mine in April. Overall, this is the best you can get at this price or less with all the options that you get. I almost forgot the two headphone outputs which is a plus! I would say if you are looking at this unit stop now and go BUY it cause it is worth at least a few hundred more than what it is selling for.

                  Comment on this review

                  (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Take this over the Audiobox 1818VSL

                  By Handonam

                  from San Diego, CA

                  About Me Novice

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Clear Sound
                  • Durable
                  • Easy Install
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                  • No Os Volume Control

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Home Studio
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

                  If you had to choose between this or the Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL, then it's a no brainer that this is your choice.

                  I previously owned the 1818vsl, which is roughly similar. The unit was very unreliable (kept popping, had to reflash the firmware to stop it from overbuffering). Then, i switched to this, and all my problems went away.

                  It has more features, such as toggling the front inputs to be instruments, along with padding. The knobs weren't so linear in volume (i had a little bit of a tough time adjusting sensitivity past 80% to match my SM57s for my acoustic guitar), so it's hard to adjust on the fly. It's a full rack, with a full depth (unlike the 1818vsl which is not as deep). So, it's slightly heavier and not as mobile. But, if you have a rack mount, it probably won't matter to you.

                  The only con I put was that you can't control the volume though the OS, like Presonus (and i think MOTU) does. But, I think that's to prevent the underbuffering sound I got using the Presonus. But, I can deal with changing the volume by physically reaching for the volume knob (or using the mixer's volume).

                  Comment on this review

                  Displaying reviews 1-8

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