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scarlett 6i6 vs scarlett 2i4 or others
Old 19th February 2015
  #1
Here for the gear
 

scarlett 6i6 vs scarlett 2i4 or others

I will be making this purchase soon in the next month or so.
Originally I wanted the 2i4 ($200 new) but I think the extra $50 for the 6i6 ($250 new) is worth it?
(seems like price lowered since I originally was shopping)

Before I finalize my decision I'd like to see if anyone thinks different or has any other products I should consider.
I've done my research for the past year or two and I feel like this is best for me.

1. Is it worth the extra $50 to go with the 6i6? --- I think so
BUT --- Yes -- I could use that extra money for cables and/or a mic...

2. Are there any other interfaces I should seriously consider?
I've spent a while looking at others but "steel" feel 2i4 or 6i6 is best choice.

What do you think ?
Old 19th February 2015
  #2
We just bought a little 2i2 a few weeks ago for a project studio and we're pleased with the results. The difference with most models seems to be related to options with the output section. If your setup is simple, go with the cheaper model. It shouldn't affect quality. If you have a set of speakers and headphones, even the base model can handle that.
Old 19th February 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I've had the flagship 18i20 and currently have a 2i2 that I'm sending back because of a faulty USB port. The 2i2 will do just find long as you only need a max of 2 inputs. I like that it has monitor outputs for studio monitors. I must warn you that the volume output while is fairly loud isn't as loud as I would like. The headphone output isn't that loud and while it will drive my M50 headphones it isn't like the 18i20. I'm comparing all of this versus the 18i20 so how it competes against Steinberg UR series or Tascam I have no clue. It is a good unit with little latency as I get about 6.5ms using it in Maschine 2.2 at 44.1k and buffer set at 1ms. The mic pre honestly is pretty much the same as the 18i20 inputs 3-8. Focusrite claims that inputs 1-2 are of higher quality. However, inputs 3-8 sounded better to me and several others who have the unit. The 2i2 will get the job done and for only $150 or so. The 2i4 for some reason not sure why doesn't have monitor outputs. My buddy has the 2i4 and its not worth the extra over the 2i2 unless you are running midi connections off the interface. If you are using a USB midi controller and need TRS for connecting studio monitors go for the 2i2 over the 2i4. I actually think the 2i2 only cost $120. That's more money for a decent mic or cables.

Last edited by Melodicmusic; 19th February 2015 at 03:55 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 23rd February 2015
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Hmmm I was actually asking about the 2i4 and the 6i6.
I read some not-so-favorable reviews on the 2i2 -- however I did not realize 2i4 doesn't have monitor outputs??
I also did not think the 2i2 had enough inputs for me.
I would ideally like to hook up my usb midi keyboard, a turntable mixer, a mic, and at least two guitars (maybe three).

Does this change anything?
Old 23rd February 2015 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaado View Post
Hmmm I was actually asking about the 2i4 and the 6i6.
I read some not-so-favorable reviews on the 2i2 -- however I did not realize 2i4 doesn't have monitor outputs??
I also did not think the 2i2 had enough inputs for me.
I would ideally like to hook up my usb midi keyboard, a turntable mixer, a mic, and at least two guitars (maybe three).

Does this change anything?
Oh ok. Yes that will change everything since you need to hook up all those things. A 2i4 still won't cut it because you will only have two inputs. Those would be used by the two guitars and leave you without inputs for your mic and turntables. I accidentally told you a wrong answer regarding the 2i4 it does have monitor outputs. The 6i6 would allow you to cover all grounds for connecting all your gear. Go for the 6i6 it's bascially the Samething as the other Scarlett range with more inputs than the 2i2 and 2i4. It will possible have better output DB got headphone and monitor output. Check sweetwater out since they are running a special where you get the red series plugins for free. They are some pretty cool plugins to use.
Old 23rd February 2015
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
AndrasFL's Avatar
 

Which DAW are you using?
Old 23rd February 2015 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
AndrasFL's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaado View Post
Hmmm I was actually asking about the 2i4 and the 6i6.
I read some not-so-favorable reviews on the 2i2 -- however I did not realize 2i4 doesn't have monitor outputs??
I also did not think the 2i2 had enough inputs for me.
I would ideally like to hook up my usb midi keyboard, a turntable mixer, a mic, and at least two guitars (maybe three).

Does this change anything?
Then you could look at this unit. It gets stellar reviews from both users and experts.
This is my next interface http://m.guitarcenter.com/Steinberg-...81-i3517004.gc
Old 23rd February 2015
  #8
Here for the gear
 

DAW? Nothing nearly that fancy.
Just an i5 PC I built 5 years ago.

Thanks for that suggestion --- $300 is definitely my max limit (ideally would like to spend less).
Old 24th February 2015 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaado View Post
Hmmm I was actually asking about the 2i4 and the 6i6.
I read some not-so-favorable reviews on the 2i2 -- however I did not realize 2i4 doesn't have monitor outputs??
I also did not think the 2i2 had enough inputs for me.
I would ideally like to hook up my usb midi keyboard, a turntable mixer, a mic, and at least two guitars (maybe three).

Does this change anything?
Of course the 2i4 has monitor outputs. It's designed to feed reference boxes from outputs 1/2, and you can take your pick of balanced TRS or unbalanced RCA connectors, and control their volume level with the big silver knob on the front of the unit. If you're using the interface by itself, the extra features of the 2i4 are invaluable and well worth the extra $50 over the 2i2. If you're plugging the interface into other equipment (say a small-format mixer like the one I have in front of me), then you'll probably find yourself turning all the knobs in the output section full clockwise.

If you want all this hooked up at once, even the 6i6 will not be enough, really. The keyboard avoids the interface entirely unless you want to use DIN-5 connections turntables, then the turntables will take a stereo pair of line-ins, the mic one of the pres, then you'll have one pre left for "two or three guitars". The 18i8 will have four pres and four line-ins, more than enough for what you're doing here, if indeed you expect to be tracking all of this at once.

If you don't expect to be playing all of these at once, I would recommend doing what I did; get the 2i4, put a small mixer in front of it as a patching tool; you can have everything plugged in (including the Scarlett's outs so you plug the phones into the mixer) and mute/unmute channels to select inputs you want to record, panning them as necessary.
Old 24th February 2015 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liko View Post
Of course the 2i4 has monitor outputs. It's designed to feed reference boxes from outputs 1/2, and you can take your pick of balanced TRS or unbalanced RCA connectors, and control their volume level with the big silver knob on the front of the unit. If you're using the interface by itself, the extra features of the 2i4 are invaluable and well worth the extra $50 over the 2i2. If you're plugging the interface into other equipment (say a small-format mixer like the one I have in front of me), then you'll probably find yourself turning all the knobs in the output section full clockwise.

If you want all this hooked up at once, even the 6i6 will not be enough, really. The keyboard avoids the interface entirely unless you want to use DIN-5 connections turntables, then the turntables will take a stereo pair of line-ins, the mic one of the pres, then you'll have one pre left for "two or three guitars". The 18i8 will have four pres and four line-ins, more than enough for what you're doing here, if indeed you expect to be tracking all of this at once.

If you don't expect to be playing all of these at once, I would recommend doing what I did; get the 2i4, put a small mixer in front of it as a patching tool; you can have everything plugged in (including the Scarlett's outs so you plug the phones into the mixer) and mute/unmute channels to select inputs you want to record, panning them as necessary.
Can you elaborate on this?
What kind of "mixer" are we talking about here.
This sounds like a great idea.
Old 24th February 2015
  #11
Gear Head
 

I own the 2i4 and the 6i6 right now. I returned the 2i2 because the headphone output was too low to live with. You obviously can sort out the inputs / outputs looking at the photos. What I will add is that when you go to the 6i6 then you must also embrace the Scarlett Mix Control software mixer in order to use the 6i6. You lose having hard buttons and switches for line / instrument and pad controls and you *must* use the software mixer to access these features.

Does it matter? Maybe.

I'm on Windows and one example I've encountered is that when I use the FR (Focusrite, I'm getting lazy) as the normal "sound card" output, then Windows will reset your sample rate to 44 khz when it needs to play something. This makes an audible glitch on my monitors AND you need may need to reset it before launching your recording software. It causes little irritants, but it works. If you are monitoring your recordings thru the headphone jack, then you must use the FR s/w mixer to set your HP mix on the 6i6. Not a bad thing per se, but with the 2i4 you control it with a hard knob that blends computer audio with the incoming signals.

FR does a great job on the pre's imo.

That's my input for ya.

-Kents
Old 24th February 2015
  #12
Gear Head
 

ps: I think I read an error above - the 2i4 does not have balanced monitor outputs - they are RCA plugs only. Again, the pics will sort this out.
Old 25th February 2015 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kents View Post
ps: I think I read an error above - the 2i4 does not have balanced monitor outputs - they are RCA plugs only. Again, the pics will sort this out.
Um, look at chokobo's pics above (the 2i4 is the first pair); the 2i4 does indeed have balanced monitor outs, they're the two TRS jacks on the right of the back panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaado
Can you elaborate on this?
What kind of "mixer" are we talking about here.
This sounds like a great idea.
By mixer I mean a small-format mixer, about 8-12 channels, like the Mackie 1202-VLZ4 or A&H ZED-12, that general area:



Take some TRS-TRS or XLR-TRS patch cables and run the main outputs of the mixer to the inputs of the Scarlett. You can also feed the interface from aux sends, or on the Mackie mixer, the "Alt" mix (the "Mute" button actually switches the channel between the "Main" and "Alt" mixes). Now you just plug your sources into the mixer, and to switch between sources for recording, simply route them to the recording feed panned either hard left or hard right, with all other sources muted or not routed.

You can also patch the outputs of the Scarlett back into the mixer, and use the mixer itself as your monitoring hub. This gives you options even the 2i4's expanded capabilities don't allow, such as monitoring a variable mix of all four outputs and/or sources you're not recording. The interface, in this configuration, is little more than a converter, but it's still available to take on the go for on-location recording, leaving the mixer behind.
Old 26th February 2015
  #14
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skiltrip's Avatar
Even if you're a solo recordist, and only need to record one or two things at a time, I always recommend going with more inputs, if only to leave things plugged in and set. I use the 6i6. I use a Mackie 802 mixer for another 2 preamps, that are sent direct out to input 3+4 on the Focusrite.

I keep a vocal mic on input 1
Bass guitar direct on input 2
acoustic guitar mic on input 3 via the Mackie
guitar amp mic'd on input 4 via the Mackie

It's a terrible situation to constantly be swapping cables/mics or trying to match preamp levels when you switch between instruments. With all the inputs assigned and always wired up, you just grab whatever instrument you want, arm the track and play.

One of these days, I might pick up a 2 channel digital output pre like the ART Digital MPA II for the SPDIF in, but I haven't had a real need for another 2 inputs yet. I like that I have the option though for growth in the future.

For what it's worth, I also use my Mackie 802 for the master output and headphone amp for monitoring. The Main outs from my DAW go to one of the stereo channels on the 802. I keep the volume maxed on the 6i6, and just control the playback volume from the mixer.
Old 3rd March 2015
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the suggesting the UR44. That is a very nice contender.
I will have to pass on the mixer for now due to budget (I think it's better to spend the extra $50 for the 6i6 then another $200-300 for the mixer right now) --- but it's good to know I have this kind of option and flexibility moving forward.

So I guess now its 6i6 vs UR44
Old 4th March 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
 

If you can save another $100 forget focusrite and Steinberg and go for the Tascam UH-7000. The DAC alone in it will be MUCH better than any of those two. I know you need more inputs but the AD/DA conversion you will get with the Tascam will be worth having to change out one instrument for another. The UH-7000 goes for $400 new but you can find deals on them under $400 and I have seen some on eBay go for around $300. This unit was originally $600 a few months back.
Old 20th March 2015
  #17
Here for the gear
 

So I've compared all the suggestions.
It's between the focusrite sapphire 6i6 ($250 USD) and the steinburg UR44 ($300 USD).
The others are above my budget.
The 6i6 is $50 cheaper so it has the edge right now unless people feel the UR44 is a better quality product.
Old 20th March 2015
  #18
Gear Maniac
I sent my Komplete Audio 6 back due to spdif issues as well as not having a dsp mixer to monitor all inputs. I purchased a 6i6 and the direct monitoring of all inputs is what I needed and is working just fine. I didn't really compare the converters or preamps because I don't plan on using them much as I am going to use an outboard preamp and adda... I think it's great ONCE you figure out the MixerControl. I'm so far happy. If you' do plan on using the onboard preamp and converters, I'd suggest you save up a little longer and get the Tascam UH7000 as the reviews appear to be amazing for a $400 interface. I saw a used one for $350. I think it was released at $600 and the price has fallen by almost half due to lack of interest or sale or both...Good luck.
Old 21st March 2015 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarathonMan View Post
I sent my Komplete Audio 6 back due to spdif issues as well as not having a dsp mixer to monitor all inputs. I purchased a 6i6 and the direct monitoring of all inputs is what I needed and is working just fine. I didn't really compare the converters or preamps because I don't plan on using them much as I am going to use an outboard preamp and adda... I think it's great ONCE you figure out the MixerControl. I'm so far happy. If you' do plan on using the onboard preamp and converters, I'd suggest you save up a little longer and get the Tascam UH7000 as the reviews appear to be amazing for a $400 interface. I saw a used one for $350. I think it was released at $600 and the price has fallen by almost half due to lack of interest or sale or both...Good luck.
I agree the Tascam UH-7000 is amazing and is a pro level interface for cheap. Samash has them on sale until the end of the month for $349 with a $50 off of $399 or more sale. It is a much better interface than any of those others listed in the same price range.


Huge Savings at SamAsh.com | Sam Ash Music 1-800-4-SAMASH
Old 21st March 2015
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Used a 6i6 last year with zero issues in OSX. Switched to Windows for a time and it was a driver nightmare. YMMV.
Old 24th March 2015 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serstickman View Post
Used a 6i6 last year with zero issues in OSX. Switched to Windows for a time and it was a driver nightmare. YMMV.
That's a bit concerning.
I will be using Windows 7 64-bit.
Anyone else have/had driver issues on Windows ?
Old 24th March 2015
  #22
Gear Nut
 

I would pay for 6i6 and I actually did, because it can work standalone and that it works with a mixer software.

Having 6i6 I could connect my keyboard, computer and speakers to it permanently. I no longer have to juggle my cables depending on what I want connected to the speakers/monitors (keyboard or a computer).

And I can play on my keyboard without computer being connected to a computer.

But there are more uses for the mixer software. For example I often use different piano sound on my headphones and on the speakers (I play without much reverb on my headphones). I also direct metronome sound to my headphones only - never to speakers.

These are just the most basic functions that I use daily and which would not be possible on anything below 6i6 because of the lack of standalone mode and lack of MixControl.
Old 13th April 2015
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Ok friends, it's close to purchase time and I want to confirm the following (excuse the noob).
This is regarding the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6:

1. Will I be able to hook up my turntable/mixer, microphone, and at least one guitar ?
1a. For the turntable/mixer -- do I only need to hook up the mixer since the turntable is connected to the mixer?

Last edited by shaado; 14th April 2015 at 05:11 PM..
Old 13th April 2015
  #24
Gear Addict
 

*Scarlett 6i6, there's no Saffire 6i6 I know of.

I was in your shoes a while ago and opted for a refurb'd 6i6 with Focusrite warranty, almost the same price as a new 2i4. Keep in mind if hooking up guitar, the 2i2 doesn't really have a proper instrument input and no pad if you end up with clipping. I chose the 6i6 due to the Mixcontrol software.

No issues with drivers yet, just follow the instructions properly (download drivers first, don't let Windows try to download drivers) and all should be fine. I have friends using it too.
Old 16th April 2015 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaado View Post
Ok friends, it's close to purchase time and I want to confirm the following (excuse the noob).
This is regarding the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6:

1. Will I be able to hook up my turntable/mixer, microphone, and at least one guitar ?
1a. For the turntable/mixer -- do I only need to hook up the mixer since the turntable is connected to the mixer?
Actually I am not 100% sure about #1 . Afair if you switch on phantom power (if your mic requires it) it is switched on for both inputs 1 & 2 - the only ones with preamps. Not sure how you want to connect your guitar (through amp or di or anything else). You can download a manual and make sure yourself. Or write Focusrite - they are fairly quick to reply.
Old 24th December 2015
  #26
Here for the gear
 

UPDATE [12/24/2015]:
Hello everyone!
Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to update everyone that I ended up getting the Scarlett 6i6 from Sweetwater.com for $230! (it's also $230 on Amazon FYI)
I've contacted my sales engineer to ask him about setting up my keyboard, mic, guitar, and turntable/mixer!
Pretty cool how they assign you a sales engineer to help you out!
The packaging was very impressive -- they give you a bag of candy and a nice sincere letter from the CEO about the company and how they are here to help you.

Once I get everything set up I'll report back on my experience!
Old 20th March 2016 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaado View Post
UPDATE [12/24/2015]:
Hello everyone!
Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to update everyone that I ended up getting the Scarlett 6i6 from Sweetwater.com for $230! (it's also $230 on Amazon FYI)
I've contacted my sales engineer to ask him about setting up my keyboard, mic, guitar, and turntable/mixer!
Pretty cool how they assign you a sales engineer to help you out!
The packaging was very impressive -- they give you a bag of candy and a nice sincere letter from the CEO about the company and how they are here to help you.

Once I get everything set up I'll report back on my experience!
hey shaado, congrats. any update on your purchase? are you happy with it? i'm considering the same one. do you find that having to navigate the mixcontrol software is a pain?
Old 11th June 2016 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by middleWave View Post
hey shaado, congrats. any update on your purchase? are you happy with it? i'm considering the same one. do you find that having to navigate the mixcontrol software is a pain?
Bump on this question - I'm in the same boat...

I've read quite a bit about unstable drivers and Mixcontrol nightmare - can the Gearslutz confirm or deny these allegations?

Thanks!
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