Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface for Recording, Songwriting, Streaming and Podcasting — High-Fidelity, Studio Quality Recording, and All the Software You Need to Record

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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface for Recording, Songwriting, Streaming and Podcasting — High-Fidelity, Studio Quality Recording, and All the Software You Need to Record

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface for Recording, Songwriting, Streaming and Podcasting — High-Fidelity, Studio Quality Recording, and All the Software You Need to Record

RRP: £179.99
Price: £89.995
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Most interfaces are class-compliant, so will work out of the box –just plug them in and start using them straight away. Some come with extra software you will need to access some of their more detailed functions and routing. Many, especially mobile interfaces, are bus-powered so you don't have to plug a mains power supply into them. Finally, there's an interface output that uses interface cables to take digital signals to your computer. The cables are commonly USB or firewire, but newer options like ethernet cables are available. Thunderbolt cables are used for Mac computers. USB and firewire provide fast speeds so you can choose between the two according to your computer input availability. Likewise, there are adapters to switch between the two options. All units in the range have received physical and technical upgrades, with improved preamps (now up to 56dB gain), balanced connectivity throughout, and the inclusion of Focusrite’s ISA transformer preamp emulation option (Air). On the bus-powered Scarlett 4i4, you get two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs, and four TRS outputs. In my experience, when trying this out, the ‘Air effect’ has a presence that is felt more than heard. Regardless, it is a welcome addition that many users will no doubt embrace in their recordings.

Universal Serial Bus is commonly used on budget audio interfaces as it is offered by every single computer. It has the slowest data transfer rate. Firewire Includes Ableton Live Lite, three months of Pro Tools Artist, and the Hitmaker Expansion, with plugins from Antares, Softube, Landr, XLN Audio and more. The Clarett+ 2Pre on test has two mic pres with combo mic/line/instrument inputs, four balanced outputs, MIDI I/O, and ADAT for a total of 10 ins and 4 outs. It is USB 2.0 compatible, with a connection via a USB-C port that supports bus powering but from a device that provides 15W (or use the included PSU instead). Focusrite's Control software is easy to use and also available as a simplified iOS app, so you can control levels, including your low latency monitoring mix from your phone. The ADAT ports let you expand the total number of inputs and outputs by 16 (20 x in, 24 x out, hence 44) but part of us wishes there was more onboard analogue I/O. Still, at least there’s the provision for sizable expansion. The SSL 12 is the bigger, new relation to the SSL 2 and 2+ interfaces. It has extra connectivity but the same option to inject some classic SSL character – inspired by the SSL 4000 console – into your recordings.

What is an audio interface?

Basically, an XLR input will be powered by a preamplifier while the TRS/Hi-Z power will bypass it. The modern audio interface includes gain knobs for controlling your microphone volume. In many interfaces, you’ll find a +48v phantom power button which is a small electrical charge that will run up to your microphone through an XLR cable. In high-end or mid-range microphones you will probably find an external power supply. If it isn't available then you can use phantom power without worrying about over-powering or damaging your microphone. Form factor simply refers to the physical size and shape interface of electrical products. In audio interfaces, there are two types of Form Factors. Desktop Interfaces

We think the one-dial solution is beautifully implemented and overall the design makes both the EVO 4 and 8 clever, compact desktop solutions that sound great. These are great value too, the simplest and cleverest solutions to compact audio interfaces we’ve come across. EVO 16 is designed to work in tandem with the EVO software app, and this offers deep control of the unit. Many of EVO 16’s parameters can also be accessed from the front panel using the parameter buttons and main volume, which doubles as an encoder. This is made much simpler thanks to EVO 16’s LCD display. This tiny display is not only crystal clear but easy to view even when you’re way off-axis. As you can see from the table above, there are some noticeable improvements in the 3rd Gen. All specs considered, the inputs and outputs benefit from a wider dynamic range, gain ranges, and higher input and output levels. What Else Is New In The 3rd Gen? An audio interface takes the signals from your instruments or microphones and digitizes them before sending them to your computer. You can relate it to an external sound card that is equipped with extra features.

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With the 76 Compressor, you choose 1176-style Vocal, Guitar, Fast, or Off one-button compression, each delivering a characteristic flavour without going overboard. The Vintage option provides the tube emulation, gentle saturation, and top-end lift of UA’s classic 610 channel. On most audio interfaces you’ll typically find both XLR and 1/4-inch inputs, often combined into combo connectors so that you can plug mics, guitars, synths and the like into the same input. Many interfaces also offer a phantom power option, which is required if you want to use certain microphones.

Overall, the iD24 brings this unit in line with other 2nd generation iDs, offering an attractive balance of features, with a heavy focus on a genuinely audiophile front end – which we love. It has well-designed software for additional features like cue mixes and signal routing. All in all, it is a flexible interface delivering good value for money. Audient is gradually upgrading its original generation iD units, and the latest one is the iD24, which replaces the iD22. iD24 is a 10-in/14-out interface with two of Audient’s highly-respected 8024 Class-A mic preamps. It also has a front-mounted JFET-based instrument input, which when plugged up replaces mic input 1.Focusrite has done a great job with the new 3rd generation interfaces. While first glances may give the impression that they are just a prettier version of their former selves, the real magic lies under the hood. This is evident in many of the upgrades listed above. Universal Audio used to focus on the high-end market with interfaces that boasted both a quality signal flow and also acted as hosts and accelerators for the company’s very well-regarded plugin range. That changed with the Volt range, a set of four units that eschew the plugin hosting in favour of value and more standard features. The more expensive 176 and 276 are reviewed later in this buyer’s guide, but the Volt 1 and 2 offers most of what they deliver bar their extra 1176-style compression. SSL 12 is a 12-in/8-out interface, with four XLR combo mic/line inputs with high gain ‘SSL-designed’ mic preamps (including a +48v option for using condenser mics). Two inputs at the front can be poached for recording hi-Z instruments like guitars, bass, or vintage instruments. You get four balanced outputs and two sets of headphone outs. The extra eight inputs come by way of an ADAT connection. The main purpose of an audio interface is to convert the analog signal to digital to transfer it to the computer. Interface connectors are used to connect the audio box to the computer. USB and Firewire provide 800 MB/s and all the way up to 1.25 GB/s. If you have loads of work then you either a USB and Firewire will do. Both connections are easily available on the computer. If you're part of a team of up to 20-25 people, you might consider Thunderbolt, it delivers the lightning fast speed of 5 GB/s. However, the ports are mostly found on Macs. PCIE option is more complicated as it requires you to install a special sound card which isn’t common for home or professional studio use. In most cases, USB or Firewire will do the job, but if you want some extra speed then you might consider a thunderbolt port.

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