Using the new drivers from Focusrite's website, installing this on a Windows 7 64 bit setup was a breeze. Performance has been rock solid in Sonar as well as computer related audio tasks such as movies and games.
Box is built tough (aluminium casing) and the knobs feel nice and sturdy.
I don't do a lot of vocal or mic recording tasks as I'm a guitar and bass guy who records direct for the most part, but I can tell you the preamps in here are a nice upgrade from the Art Tube MP and EMU 0404 pre's I was previously working with. Using an M Audio Sputnik on a female singer and cutting my brother's acoustic, the sound quality is much cleaner, detailed, and a lot quieter as far as background noise goes.
Sound wise, I still prefer to use my Stealth pedal for tracking bass and guitar direct, but going direct into the Scarlett isn't a terrible option by any means if that's what you are getting this for.
Overall sound quality of the unit is on par with the Emu 0404 to my ears, and that's a good thing because I think the Emu sounded good, just wasn't happy with the pre's, and I was having a lot of issues with the Driver's on Windows 7.
The included Plugin suite sounds great and only adds to the ridiculously good value this package gives you. I highly recommend getting this if you are in need of a mobile recording solution, or are on a tight budget for home-based projects as well.
Just got this box a couple of days ago. What can I say....
Surprisingly small, compact and perfect for 'on the go'.
Measuring at 45L by 17.5W by 10D cm in size, all I can say is. wow. Fits in my laptop case, with the laptop inside. I don't know if you can get any more portable.
This device has 2 XLR inputs, which also double as TRS/TS inputs for instruments, guitars etc. one headphone input on the bottom right corner. The headphone out has its own knob to turn the level up or down, the monitor knob is a big thing, but it allows easier access of volume change to the main outputs.
A USB connection, at USB 2.0. Thats 480mbps, so I doubt there would be any latency issues on your setup. (There were no latency issues whatsoever on my machine. Windows 7, 64. i3, 2.4ghz, 4GB Ram)
The box has selections on each input whether you need a line level or a instrument level input. Along with a 48v phantom power button which when you press, you get the phantom power running in the inputs. The little button turns red, so you know when its on (good indication). There is also a green light with a USB sign which shows you that there is power running to the device via USB. Can't get any more simple, yet useful.
This box surprised me, and I definitely was not expecting it. The mic pre-s sound very clean, transparent, warm, and I have an apogee duet, and I can definitely say it can rival its mic pre's.
I have Mac and Windows, and this box had no problem with either. Windows 7 64, Mac Leopard. Performance was as expected. No hiccups whatsoever.
It was very easy to set up, install driver then plug and play.
The box feels very good in the hand. the aluminium casing gives it that extra feel and the knobs on the device are pretty easy to rotate, not stiff, and seem like they are built with quality.
I have played around with the knobs and I have found that it does the job perfectly, with condenser microphones, I can honestly say, 55 dB gain is enough, cant say the same for dynamic microphones (haven't used on this device yet). But I know dynamic microphones are more dB-hungry.
I have used this device with a Neumann U87, and a Rode NT1-a. This device certainly brings out the characteristics in both. All in all, get this device!
Back to the sound performance, I can confirm that this box is money well spent. If all you need is 2 inputs and 1 output(pair of speakers), then this is the box for you. I was amazed at the low price, but when you think about it, you are getting less mic pre's, less outputs, and its all I needed, if the box had more ins and outs it would cost more, so you could compare it to other devices which have more ins and outs, because this box is so compact.
The output at left and right TRS, outputs, sounds very good, and I am using the Adam a7 pair, and all I can hear is detail, very crisp.
There is a Kensington security lock, that's if you want to secure it somewhere so it isn't removed as easy as removing the USB. This is only for the paranoid s out there, as I don't see why you should secure it like that. But it is an extra feature which was worth mentioning.
This box comes with the plugin suites from Focusrite, and honestly...this box is a steal, I am seriously thinking at how Focusrite are able to sell such a box of high quality components for this cheap. but then they decide to add the plugin suite also? I'm beginning to think its a loss leader...but lets not get into business. This box is definitely worth every penny.
Whether you are on a tight budget, or even if you are not on a tight budget, this usb audio interface will amaze you. trust me. Forget about the cheap price, this device is definitely not cheap.
Nothing but praise on my end, but I seriously cannot fault this device anywhere...Perfect for my needs.
I've been through a ton of audio interfaces. I have some bigger ones, but most of the time all I really need are 2 high-quality inputs and outputs for recording stereo takes. Also I like to keep a small USB unit handy for traveling. When my ProTools 8>9 upgrade didn't resolve the audio issues I had with my FW1814 and Fast Track Pro (they worked fine in the OS and in Logic), I sold the FTP and started looking for a replacement. At first I tried the Saffire but when it's mounted in the rack, I cant reach around to turn the power on/off. Also being a Firewire device, I worry that Apple will stop supporting FW400 so I sent it back. I then tried the Venom but I don't want to carry a keyboard around all the time. So after several months of hemming and hawing, I finally settled on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
I like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It's extremely well-constructed. The little red brick could dent someone's head, should I need it for self-defense. The lit knobs are groovy and functional. And the audio quality is pretty good. As a bonus, Focusrite threw in their Scarlett VST/AU suite so I've got some new software-based compressors and eq's to try out. My only gripe is that I could use a little more boost (maybe 10db-20db) on the headphone audio.
I've tested it with OSX 10.68 & 10.72 in Logic 9.16, Cubase 6.05, and Reaper 4.151. I've also tested it with Windows 7 32-bit (no SP1) with Cubase 6.x. I'll have to check it out with ProTools but I'm still a little seething with Avid for making me pay them for tech support, and them never fixing my issue.
This is a focusrite quality DAW for under 200 bucks and it sounds better than anything I've ever heard in it's price range. That’s a big statement but I’m sure the competition will get heated soon enough for these tiny portable DAW’s. I got it for recording on the go with a laptop and it's clean MIC pre's (which focusrite is known for). It almost sounded as good as my $750 Joe meek TwinQ rack with Spirit mixer preamps. Missing some clarity and definition compared but put it this way, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless you compared tracks side by side. It's quite clean and has that focusrite character that hits vocals and acoustic guitar just right. Definitely sounds better than my old motu 828mkII mic pre’s. The plug-ins and software alone are worth the amount. I recommend this to anyone who needs to do portable recording, singer/songwriters. First time DAW buyers should get this as well. Cheap 2 ins boxes never sounded nearly this good. You won't be dissapointed especially with the clipping light feature and direct monitoring. The clipping light feature is such a simple solution I’m surprised I have never seen it on any DAW yet. It really helps when you’re recording on your own. If only this came with spdif in this would be an incredible deal. Having the ability to add your own gear or compressors would make this an ideal box. I’m about to get an Ipad so hopefully this will work with it. I heard that all you need is to get a USB splitter to power and it should work. Good job Focusrite for staying competitive and breaking ground in the home/portable recording market.
Sounds great. Unless you record something loud. There is a gain issue with this box
I bought this to replace an old MBox which had Focusrite preamps. It sounds fine and it's cheap. Here is the problem. If you record something loud, like a cranked amp or a snare drum hit or a kick drum hit, it distorts. Even with the gain pot set to the off position. I wrote the manufacturer and they confirmed that for some unfathomable reason, audio passes through this box even with the gain pot turned all the way off. Of course, you can do a work around in Logic or Protools or whatever to lower the signal, or put a preamp in front of it, but I'm astounded that no review I have read has picked this up. Even though I wrote the manufacturer, I am curious if anyone else can record with the gain pot switched off. Guitars direct in, microphones. Doesn't matter. It just seems so nutty. Anyhow, keep this in mind.
I purchased this unit to be used as a portable interface for when Im not at home. What struck me when I first opened it all up is how well this thing is built for the money. The aluminium finish seems very sturdy, and all the buttons/knobs feel like they're built to last (except the 48v button perhaps, seems a little flimsy in comparison).
Installing the drivers was an ease, and havent had a single problem since its been used.
I have this unit set on the lowest buffer size in Presonus studio one v2, recording at 44.1khz 24bit with 5ms latency which is quite impressive. I have had no problems with latency/clicks/pops etc - everything has been very smooth since its first use.
The Preamps are really good for an interface of this price. Clean sounding with a slight added warmth to them. They are also very quiet, and required little gain for my at2035 to function at appropriate levels.
If I do have one gripe it would be the fact that Focusrite seem to have this unit capped at 16bit whilst using WDM, but can be changed to 24bit when using ASIO. Its nothing major, but I would have preferred the option.
Overall this is a very impressive unit which appears to punch above its weight. If you need a small portable interface and minimal i/o then this is a bargain. Highly recommend.
I've had this for quite a while now. One problem mentioned once before is when the gain knobs are turned all the way down they still let in plenty of signal. This posed a problem one time when I had an audio source too hot for the preamps, which caused some distortion. Luckily I was able to get the source quieter, so all was well in the end.
The sound in my humble opinion is very good. It's clear on the high end and there is little noise. I'd like to know what awards these pre amps have won, as I couldn't find out from the internet. Still, they're most definitely worthy, whatever the awards are.
Like everyone says this thing is like a little red brick capable of bashing someone around the head with - I don't know why but I've just noticed that written in nearly all reviews. It's very light and is extremely portable. The gain knobs are good, if not lacking some more grip. The volume knob is bare plastic with no grip, same as the headphone knob - it's not a huge gripe, but there could have been a textured surface for the fingers to grip onto. The 48v phantom power button is definitely very high quality, whilst all the switches are the same plastic as the volume control - but they still function perfectly well, if not a bit wobbly to the touch.
One more gripe I have, solved simply by buying the Scarlett 2i4, is having a stereo/mono switch for direct playback. There have been a couple of instances where this would have been real handy. The way I have rectified this is by sending it through my computer on a very low buffer, so I suppose I'll just have to get the upgrade instead next time, or go for something else with some more functionality. If I do that though, I'll be sacrificing on portability.
This works great and sounds great! Has several features that make it very nice. I especially like the dedicated headphone volume knob. The only problem I have with it is that when I turn the volume knob a pink noise is generated ontop of the music and it plays it out through my monitors. This does not happen when I am not changing the volume, so other than that it works great in my opinion. Very happy with this product.
I bought this unit when I set up my pianist's home studio a couple years ago(I have an Apollo 8 thunderbolt). We produced an album this year so I used his setup too when we were tracking some instruments at his house and so I can give an honest and detailed review of the product.
We used the interface with a couple Rode nt5 in Xy configuration to record his piano, and with a Rode nt1 some percussions and a pan flute. Then , after recording a lesson Paul cos, I did some mixing before bouncing the track to do the final mixing on my system.
Here's the results:
The scarlett handled the mic'd instruments remarkably well for its price. Plenty of clarity and stereo separation, perfectly usable. The problems came out with the guitar though: the instrument input has a very low distortion threshold, so even a direct vintage less Paul clipped the signal, making the recorded takes close to unusable.
For the mixing work I found I didn't quite hear all the details (on my krk kns 8000) as I heard then on my Apollo but again, it's perfectky usable for a project studio.
To wrap up this is almost perfect for the price they are asking, but remember: if you wanna record electric guitars or even worse active basses avoid it like the plague!