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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface   

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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 ...Read More

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OVERVIEW

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.

Note: Includes the Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-In Suite (AAX/AU/VST) upon registration of interface. Accurately modeled on the classic Red 2 EQ and Red 3 Compressor, the Red plug-ins let you exploit the sound of the hardware originals, conveniently from within Pro Tools (10 and above) and other audio software.

USB 2.0 audio interface with 8 Focusrite mic preamps.

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.

SPECIFICATIONS

Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface

  • 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)
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FocusriteScarlett 18i20 Audio Interface
 
3.4

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

54%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (8)
  • Durable (7)
  • Easy to use (7)
  • Versatile (5)
  • Compact (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (9)
  • Amateur recording (7)
  • Professional recording (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (8), Experienced (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Take this over the Audiobox 1818VSL

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...Read complete review

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).

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sounds Nice. Quality Control Issues

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...Read complete review

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.

Reviewed by 14 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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2.0

A latency monster

By 

from Salt Lake City

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Compact

Cons

  • Too latent

Best Uses

    Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

    I bought this in the hope it would help my home recordings. While the mic pre-amp were better than the M-Audio interface I had used previously, the latency in this machine was horrible. I mean, it ruined my ability to sing or perform to a recording. My recording quality took a dive for months.
    I finally gave up the ghost and bought a Yamaha MG12XU 12-Channel Mixer to use with the Scarlett. Turns out that for vocals and guitars I don't even need the Scarlett, which now is relegated to just serving as a midi interface.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Extremely poor build quality

    By 

    from Boulder, CO

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

      Cons

      • Breaks Easily
      • Pricey / Poor Value

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

      I saw several reviews here reflect my same experience. The push buttons are made of cheap plastic that degrades over time and breaks off. Extremely disappointed in this purchase.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      I may need to send this back no support for Linux ubuntu

      By 

      from maui

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

      Might need to send this back, I like the features like word clock and optical I/O but it might not be on the supported list for Ardour which runs on Linux Ubuntu. Have not tryed it as of yet. Might need M audio. It does say any USB 1-2 will should work so I think I'll give it a try.
      Thanks guys any help out there???
      Franklin

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      5.0

      Great, entry lvl interface

      By 

      from Raleigh, NC

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Durable
      • Easy To Use

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

        I see a few negative reviews for this product, and I felt the need to write my own. First and foremost, it is unfortunate to hear that a few people have had issues with the sound quality, and overall performance of this interface.

        I personally am in love with this piece of equipment. I have owned the 18i20 for almost 2 years and it has been nothing short of amazing. Keep in mind that this is an entry level interface, but for the money you certainly get a great starting point. I have this paired via fiber to a OctoPre MkII Dynamic. The mic pres on this bad boy are great, and comparable to those twice its price.

        With that said, if you have the money I would suggest looking into the ISA range. However, this interface will deliver consistent, quality sound while providing an above average A/D-D/A conversion. I have about 10 years of experience recording in a Home/Project studio setting, and the setup that I currently have (18i20 + Octopre) is the most user/budget friendly system on the market. Best of luck!

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

        (3 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Annoying

        By 

        from Indianapolis, IN

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

          Cons

          • Faulty Usb Connection
          • Unreliable

          Best Uses

            Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

            Without a doubt, this is the most frustrating piece of audio equipment I have ever used. When connected to a MacBook Pro, the computer only recognized that the interface was connected 50% of the time or less. Using different USB cables failed to solve the problem, and Focusrite's customer service was not exactly quick to respond. I spent many hours over many evenings trying to coax this thing to work. I ended up sending it back just shy of Musician's Friend's 45-day return window. Granted, your mileage may vary, and I may have just received a defective interface. But even though I've had other Focusrite equipment that's been fine, I doubt I'll be buying anymore in the future.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome Interface!!

            By 

            from USA

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Great Sound
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface:

              The Scarlett 18i20 is a great interface for the money. I've been using this interface for almost a year now with rock solid performance. The preamps are excellent and Mix Control is sweet. My only small complaint is that phantom power is supplied in banks of 4 but it's no deal breaker. For quality, sound and reliability for the money this interface can't be beat.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great interface

              By 

              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 reviewHelp Icon

                (4 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                A suprising disapointment

                By 

                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 reviewHelp Icon

                (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Sounds Nice. Quality Control Issues

                By 

                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 reviewHelp Icon

                (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                SCARLETT 18I20 AUDIO INTERFACE

                By 

                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 reviewHelp Icon

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

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