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ADAT input to go into Focusrite Scarlett 18i8? Audio Interfaces
Old 8th October 2017
Here for the gear

Thread Starter
ADAT input to go into Focusrite Scarlett 18i8?

Hi all,

I have a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8. I'd like to expand it's inputs (to 16) by connecting an ADAT interface to it.

I want to do this cheaply as the additional inputs need not be top drawer sonically, as long as they're not terrible.

Can anyone recommend a 'bottom end' ADAT interface so that I can try out using the extra ADAT channels? It doesn't need to have pre-amps as I'm using
the pres from a Soundcraft Spirit Studio.

Should I be looking to buy new, or would some old tech like the Alesis XT20 do the job?

Any recommendations gratefully received.

ps - the Scarlett only has ADAT in (not out).
Old 8th October 2017
Here for the gear


I'm also looking for some ADAT expansion but have not been able to find anything that suits my needs. For small budgets it seems the only option is to use a Behringer ADA8200. Unfortunately all the line inputs are in the front of the unit. Or if you can find a used Alesis AI3 that would work.
Old 10th October 2017
Gear Head
Note that I'm not reccomending anything that I currently own (save #3 ); rather, I've been shopping this for a long time and gone through several iterations of ADAT expansion, and am on the cusp of getting an old console for a full blown hybrid system. What you're after, the 8 line-level-to-ADAT unit, without the preamps, is not very common, and is especially not common if you're looking on this board. You didn't specify a budget, but I'm going to assume you're not about to drop the money for an Antelope Orion 32, so here's some tips.

1. Look on Reverb/Local Used Listings for "Last Gen" converters. Apogee Rosetta units can be found in the $600-800 range. Behringer Units modded by Black Lion or Revive can be found in the $400-500 ballpark. Other options could include Lucid, and Aphex's 141B.

2. Get a 2nd interface, specifically a firewire interface. There's some high quality interfaces that have been rendered useless by things like iOS updates.... and different iOS updates. I ran a Mackie Onyx Blackbird as the ADAT expansion for my Audient id22 for most of 2017, up until about a week and a half ago. I bought it from someone who had a Mac and literally had it bricked thanks to Apple. I picked it up for a cool $150 (retail new, even right now, is $500), bought a $20 firewire card for my PC from Amazon, and used the firewire connection only to play with the routing on the device; the driver on the id22 was doing the real work. Another great option for this is something from MOTU; I see their 828mkII in Cash America Pawn Shops and on OfferUp/Craigslist for $150 or less regularly, another casualty of driver changes. Again, you don't care about the drivers except to set up your routing.

3. (What I did) Get rid of the Scarlett or whatever, get a patchbay, andmove to a "last gen" powerhouse that's still just as useful today as it was in the mid 2000s... specifically an RME Fireface 800. Why? Because once you have more inputs available, you begin to think of what could be plugged into them, so you set up an i/o routing to an outboard compressor you got for cheap online... and suddenly, your 16 i/8o setup begins to feel so small because you'd love to use all these other outboard compressors, eqs, and fx units that have suddenly appeared in your studio... but you've already used your adat i/o, so now, after fiddling around with your setup for a month, you realize that 18i20 is, practically speaking, just a 16i18, and you need 20i22 in order to get the routing you want... so you finally one day realize you've gone up the wrong side of the upgrade path, you part with your old interface at a loss (and hopefully its your first interface and you skip the other 2 similar interfaces I bought and repeated this process with), and you get something that will make it possible to expand as much as you need, or at least feels like it will. $600-800 for an FF800, 2 adat i/o, plus 10 analog i, plus coaxial spdif, plus daisy chaining a 2nd identical unit along the firewire... 56 possible ins with 2 fireface units, 20 analog, 32 via ADAT, 4 ch by SPDIF, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Old 11th October 2017
Here for the gear

Thread Starter
Haha. Thanks Id10t3qu3 your post gave me some great food for thought and the last paragraph gave me a good chuckle.

I only record drums - I'm a drummer - so 16 tracks should (in theory) be overkill and will allow me to experiment with routing and outboard gear as you suggest. (I already have a Spirit Studio 24 so that has plenty of scope for grouping etc).

Since I picked it up for £25 I've got hold of an Alesis XT which will allow me to experiment with ADAT. If the converters are horrendous at least I will have learned what my rig is capable of and will only have lost £25.

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