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FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 REVIEW

Posted on November 3, 2011 by Joe Stachowiak There have been 160 comment(s)

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When I bought my first ever audio interface, I forked out £99 for a 2-in, 2-out device with minimal features, average sounding preamps, USB 1.1 connectivity and a copy of Cubase LE. At the time, this seemed like a bargain to me, but things have changed since then. In fact, it wasn’t until I became introduced to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 that I realised just how much things had changed! For only £20 more (at the time of writing), Focusrite are offering a device with similar features, but that makes use of high-speed USB connectivity, includes two of Focusrite’s renowned preamps and comes bundled with four top-quality plug-ins and Ableton Live Lite! To me, this seems like an absolute bargain and with prices like this, it definitely pushes the older USB 1.1 protocol closer towards extinction.

Focusrite-Scarlett-2i2

However, with all this optimism comes a little bit of scepticism. Looking at what is currently on the USB market, the Scarett 2i2’s specifications seem to blow everything in a similar price range out of the water! Surely there must be a catch? That is what I intend to find out…

FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 – DESIGN & BUILD

First thing’s first - I love how this thing looks! I would even go as far as to say that I prefer the look of the 2i2 over the other more expensive and more feature-rich models in the Scarlett range (the 8i6 and 18i6). Its rounded edges give it a professional, executive look, and the fact that it is made of aluminium only adds to this aura. Despite being fairly simplistic, it has the look of a high-tech gadget and I love that!

scarlett-2i2 front

The red and black colour scheme makes this interface really stand out on my desk, which is cluttered with numerous other bits and pieces and the dials and switches all have sturdy feels to them, just as you would expect from a Focusrite product. Both the front and back panels are very simply and logically laid out, so I can already tell that this thing is going to be a doddle to work with.

I really like the compact size of the Scarlett 2i2 as well. This is something that would be very easy to carry around with a laptop and a mic, ready for on-the-go recording. So far, so good then, but how does it sound?

FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 – RECORDING

Scarlett 2i2 connected to my computer and configured within Logic, sE 2200A II microphone hooked up, phantom power turned on and it’s time to record! A few vocal recordings in and I had already heard enough to come to a conclusion. In fact, I really didn’t need to do the tests in the first place as the preamps in the Scarlett 2i2 are exactly the same high-quality preamps as are featured on most other Focusrite interfaces, right up to their flagship model, the Liquid Saffire 56 (although to avoid being misleading they aren't 'Liquid pres'). With their clean, detailed sound, the Scarlett 2i2 is almost worth the money just for the preamps alone! Plus, you can also use the XLR/jack Neutrik combo inputs to record either a guitar or a line level signal, so you really are fully equipped for any small project.

The simplistic interface of the Scarlett 2i2 makes recording a quick and easy task. It provides you with switches for selecting the source type for each input and for activating/deactivating zero-latency direct monitoring. It then gives you a Gain knob for each channel, which are surrounded by ‘halo’ signal indicators. You can use these as a reference when setting your input gain as they turn red to indicate clipping, amber as the signal returns to a ‘healthy’ level and green when your level is at an acceptable level (i.e. no clipping). Of course, these lights are not as detailed as dedicated level meters and I would not rely on them fully to set my levels (as they have no way of showing how close a level is to clipping), but for quickly judging whether a signal is too high or not, they are ideal. You can then use the detailed meters on your recording software to judge exactly where to set your levels.

Finally, the front panel of the Scarlett 2i2 features a large monitor dial for setting the signal level that is passed to a pair of connected speakers, a headphone dial and a ¼” headphone input. It’s all very simple, but this is exactly how I would want it if I were working on a small project in my home-studio.

FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 – INCLUDED SOFTWARE

Firstly, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 comes with a copy of Ableton Live Lite, which I have to say is an excellent piece of software and perfect for creating your first simple recordings. Now, if you are planning on creating monstrous professional projects, then Live Lite is highly unlikely to fulfil your requirements as, amongst other limitations, it only allows you to run up to 8 audio and 8 MIDI tracks per project. However, it does come with a number of included software instruments and effects and perhaps most importantly, it gives you a cheaper upgrade path to the full version of Ableton Live, which is an absolutely amazing piece of software.

Red_Plugin-Header

However, the inclusion of Ableton Live Lite isn’t the highlight of the software that comes bundled with the Scarlett 2i2, as you also get two high-quality effects from the RED plug-in Suite. letting you exploit the originals’ famous sound, conveniently from within your audio software. Coveted by producers and engineers for their exceptional clarity and versatility, the original Red 2 and Red 3 remain prized fixtures in professional recording studios the world over. Now, you can use these revered pieces, easily and flexibly, in your own mixes, I am more than happy to have it in my plug-in collection!

FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 – CONNECTIONS

Aside from the ¼” jack headphone input on the front of the unit, the Focusrite Scarlett has a USB 2.0 Type B connection on the back and two balanced ¼” jack outputs. That’s it!

scarlett-2i2 rear

FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 – SUMMARY

For the price, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is bang on the money. In fact, because of the price and because of what it is (essentially just a simple 2-in, 2-out interface), I don’t have any complaints about it at all! With what is currently available on the market, this is definitely what I would get myself if I were on the lookout for a 2-in, 2-out USB device on a budget! Let’s face it, for most home studios (unless your setup comprises of a number of synthesisers), 2 inputs and 2 outputs is all you are going to need!

In this price bracket, the Scarlett 2i2 is definitely at the top of the list of interfaces that I would recommend. No, it doesn’t come with any digital connectivity, but I know very people in small home studios that require this feature, and interfaces around this price that do feature digital connections do not give you the same quality of the preamps or those brilliant plug-ins. The Scarlett 2i2 also doesn’t come with any MIDI connections, but as most modern controller keyboards and synths transmit MIDI data over USB or Firewire, again, this shouldn’t be a problem – although it is a factor that could definitely sway your decision.

Of course, there are other options with similar functions that will elevate your recordings to the next level. The product that immediately springs to mind is the RME Babyface with its highly transparent and un-coloured preamps, its equally portable design and its extra pair of outputs (allowing you to route a click track to a pair of headphones whilst sending the main music to a pair of speakers, etc.), but it does come at an increased cost compared to the Scarlett 2i2, which can still be used to create pro-sounding recordings.

If you need a little more flexibility and can only stretch your budget a little more, then I would highly recommend taking a look at the Focusrite Clarett 2. It features the same preamps as the Scarlett 2i2, but also features an extra pair of outputs as well as MIDI In and Out connectivity. However, the Saffire 6 is only a USB 1.1 device, so if you don’t need these extra features, nor think that you will need them in the future, then the Scarlett 2i2 is still your best option.

So, to sum up, it’s well made, it sounds great, it is fantastically priced and to top it all off, it comes with four professional and highly-useable plugins! If you have less than £150 to spend and all you need is a simple 2-in, 2-out USB interface, with no MIDI connections, then you simply can’t overlook the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

For more information on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or to buy one, click the link below:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 - More Info/Buy

Click Here To Buy Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

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This post was posted in Blog entries, Computer Music, In-Depth Reviews, Recording and was tagged with 2i2, audio, focusrite, interface, scarlett

160 Responses to FOCUSRITE SCARLETT 2i2 REVIEW

  • says:

    For this review! It really convinced me that this product is what I am looking for. Cheers!

    Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

  • says:

    Emil-MOC;bt395 wrote: For this review! It really convinced me that this product is what I am looking for. Cheers!
    Thank you for this review*

    Posted on November 15, 2011 at 12:28 am

  • No problems! Glad you found it useful :)

    Posted on November 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

  • says:

    Hi, thanks for the great review. I have a question about the Scarlett. On the old Saffire (mine is on the way out and I'm on the lookout for a replacement) you could set the volume for your speakers/monitors seperately from the volume for the headphone audio output. Can you do the same with this? I ask because I had an M-Audio box for a week and if you turned the monitor level down to normal volume, the headphone volume would be almost silent, if you turned that up then the monitor level would be deafening. A massive oversight and why I returned it.

    Posted on November 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm

  • Hi Beatchef. Sounds like you had a dodgy one to me as I have never heard of an interface that has been designed so that the main level affects the headphone level. I just can't think of where or when this would be practical! You will be pleased to know that the Scarlett 2i2 does allow you to control headphone level and main output level separately :)

    Posted on November 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

  • says:

    this little bad boy rocks. i have been threw so many crappy interfaces and this is the best by far.

    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 12:49 am

  • Fully agree. This thing definitely punches above its price! In my opinion, if you are on a sub £300 budget, Focusrite are always the way to go.

    Posted on November 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

  • Hi,

    I have been researching interfaces over the past few days and am looking for something that will record an electric guitar and also from my Roland HD1 electric drum kit (NOT AT THE SAME TIME THOUGH).

    Does the 2i2 enable this or the other product i've been looking at is the presonus audio box.

    Any help would be massivey appreciated!

    Thanks

    Posted on January 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm

  • Hi Darren, thanks for the question. Yes, the Scarlett 2i2 will allow you to do this. It will allow you to record either the guitar through one of the inputs, or you can take a cable that splits from a single stereo minijack into two mono 1/4" jacks and plug one 1/4" jack into each input. The Presonus Audiobox will also allow you to do this, but has the added benefits of MIDI connectivity, which will be useful if you need to use the HD1 as a MIDI trigger. However, the Focusrite 2i2 has the advantages over the Audiobox in that it is USB 2.0 and has slightly cleaner preamps, which is useful if you ever want to make microphone recordings.

    I hope that helps and feel free to ask if you have any more questions :)

    Posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:31 am

  • Pat S. says:

    So I picked up this unit today at guitar center. The computer that I have is a gateway E series. My question is, when I put the cd in to download it, the computer doesn't see it. The operating system is windows Xp professional and it has a cd rom drive, not a DVD rom. Will these two things prevent the cd from the computer being able to download the software? Also, how much more is Appleton upgrade software so I can do more than 8'tracks?

    Posted on February 21, 2012 at 2:55 am

  • Hi Pat, thanks for the questions.

    If you're having problems then I would either contact the retailer that you bought it from or visit the official Focusrite site where you can download the drivers from the web: http://www.focusrite.com/products/audio_interfaces/scarlett_2i2/downloads/

    Does your computer normally 'see' software discs or does this type of thing happen regularly? The Scarlett is compatible with Windows XP SP3, 32-bits.

    The Ableton Live 8 upgrade costs £249.99, so it saves you about £50 from buying the full version: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/computer-music-46/software-4613/audio-midi-recording-46131/ableton-live-8-upgrade-from-live-lite-live-apc-15582

    I hope that helps and if you have any more questions then feel free to get in touch :)

    Posted on February 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

  • John says:

    I have a USB mixer that allows me to stream/record anything my computer can play through my headphones. I picked up the 2i2 to eliminate the "hum" I go tin the mixer, basically using the mixer as an analog device plugged into the 2i2. The "hum" is gone, and I love the quiet, clean sound of my broadcasts. But, I need the ability to stream my show music and Skype calls. Is it possible to do so with this interface? I hear the music and calls through "Direct Monitoring" but it's not streaming as the USB mixer did. Is there a software add on? I have all settings just as I did the mixer when I had it plugged in using the USB connection. I notice the 8i6 has "Loopback". Is that what I'm looking for?

    Posted on March 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  • Hi John, thanks for the question, I will be happy to help but first I have a couple of questions as I am a little confused. How are you differentiating between 'streaming' and 'being able to hear' the music from your computer with regards to the 2i2? Do you simply mean that you want to be able to hear everything without having to enable Direct Monitoring?

    Posted on March 6, 2012 at 9:52 am

  • so I just got my scarlett 2i2. All drivers are installed. I am connecting it
    to my mic(shure sm58) and it doesn't work. The halo signal indicators are
    not lit. But when I connect the scarlett 2i2 to my headphones it is working
    and I can hear sound from the computer. But I can't hear sound when I
    connect my mic.

    Does it mean the scarlett 2i2 I just bought is damaged or something or am I doing anyhing wrong?

    Posted on April 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

  • Hi Harry,

    What program are you trying to record in? You won't be able to hear the microphone signal unless you Record Enable the track that you are wanting to record to in your recording program.

    Joe

    Posted on April 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm

  • Gary says:

    I also have a question regarding using the 2i2 with Skype. I have yet to buy the product but I'm sold on Focusrite and want to select the appropriate option. I plan to record voice narration but be able to take live direction over Skype at the same time. Would the 2i2 have that capability (by selecting the Skype option of having the 2i2 being both the mic and speaker source) or would I also need the loopback function? I have Windows XP Pro (SP3) with a USB 2.0 connection.

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

  • Hi Gary,

    Certainly having loopback channels would help and make things easier, but there may be a way to do it anyway. On the Mac there are various free programs for routing and recording system audio although I'm not sure what program exist for Windows - there must be something out there though! What program are you going to be using to record?

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

  • Gary says:

    Hi Joe,
    I had planned to use Sony Sound Forge (not the Pro version).

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

  • Oh right, again, that program is something that I have no experience with whatsoever I'm afraid so I cannot really advise you on how easy recording in this way is with it. One more quick question though - are you wanting to record your voice and the sounds from the Skype call onto separate tracks in your program (so that you can edit both individually)? Or are you just wanting to record everything onto a single track?

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

  • Gary says:

    I was thinking of just recording everything on the one track. I did find the sonycreativesoftware.com website and checked under their 'Sound Forge family comparison.' One of the featrues listed, on both the home studio and pro version, is 'Acid Loop creation tools.' Does this help?

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

  • "I was thinking of just recording everything on the one track. I did find the sonycreativesoftware.com website and checked under their ‘Sound Forge family comparison.’ One of the featrues listed, on both the home studio and pro version, is ‘Acid Loop creation tools.’ Does this help?"

    Afraid not - Acid loops are something completely different to a loopback function.

    However, as you are wanting to record everything to one track, this could make things a bit easier. Because of this, you could use a USB condenser microphone (e.g. http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/recording-47/microphones-471/usb-mics-4714/audio-technica-at2020-usb-condenser-microphone-with-usb-connector-2658), set it up as your mic for Skype, and then use a program to record your entire Skype conversation. Just search on Google for something like 'recording skype conversation windows' and a host of tips and recommendations of free programs should pop up. Because the mic plugs straight into your computer via USB, you won't need an interface at all! Or were you wanting to use the interface for other purposes as well? Does that help at all?

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  • Gary says:

    Oh! I should have clarified that I don't need to record what comes in on skype, I only need to be able to hear it. I intend to use a dynamic mic via a Focusrite preamp to record text into my computer and then send that file to the client. But the client wants to listen in on line as I am recording it and give me direction as well. So I want to ensure that I'm getting the right product for that.

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  • Ah, sorry, I think that was me not reading your original question thoroughly enough! Ok then, that makes things simpler! If this is the case then you can do this with the 2i2! Just set it as your input source in your recording program and set it to act as your main output for your computer! Bingo! :D

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  • Gary says:

    Brilliant! Thank you so much, Joe. That was the answer I was hoping for. I am greatly reassured!

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

  • Glad I could help and you know where I am if you have any more questions in future!

    Posted on April 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

  • [...] Read a full review [...]

    Posted on April 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm

  • Ossia says:

    Thank you for this good review...

    And for the latency, if I connect my guitar and use guitar rig, is there a noticeable delay with usb 2. I'm using a pci card with a 2ms in and 1.8ms out for a total of about 4 ms.

    Thank you

    Posted on April 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  • Hi, you really shouldn't have any problems with this set-up. Obviously, the more stuff you put in your signal chain, the more latency you will introduce, but USB 2.0 is a fast protocol and it shouldn't cause any noticeable latency in this set-up :)

    Posted on April 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

  • tommy says:

    Hi,

    Im just wanting to know whether this would be the right audio interface to use for recording my dj mixes? I have an allen and heath xone92 and two cdjs and was going to use ableton live intro on the macbook as the software to record on.. would this work?!

    Posted on April 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  • Hi Tommy,

    Firstly, great mixer! I've got the Xone:92 myself and I love it! The Scarlett 2i2 would certainly work for recording your mixes - all you need is an interface with two line inputs. In fact, if all you need an interface for is to record your mixes, you can even save some money and get something like the Alesis IO2 Express (http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/computer-music-46/hardware-4612/usb-interfaces-46123/alesis-io2-express-usb-audio-interface-24095), as that also has everything you need and you shouldn't notice a difference in quality between the two.

    Where the Scarlett 2i2 is better than the IO2 is in its preamps (so if you are recording with a microphone, you will notice the difference between the two) and the 2i2 also has USB 2.0 connectivity, which is much faster than the USB 1.1 connection of the IO2 Express. However, if you're not going to be monitoring, or doing anything more complicated than recording your mixes, then the additional latency isn't going to be a problem for you.

    Whichever interface you choose, all you will need to do is to run a cable from the Mix 1, Mix 2, Booth or Record output of the Xone:92 (I would suggest using Mix 1, Mix 2 or Booth unless you are using them already, because these outputs are balanced and will therefore give you a slightly better signal quality), into the inputs of the interface (Left output of the mixer into the Left input of the interface, and Right output of the mixer into the Right input of the interface). Then, set each input on the interface to 'Line', configure the interface with your computer and with Ableton, set up an audio track in Ableton and press record! I hope that helps but feel free to get in touch if you have any more questions.

    Posted on April 23, 2012 at 10:35 am

  • Chris says:

    Hi
    Would it be posible to use this to play music files on my Mac Mini via the USB connection into my hi-fi amp via the balanced outputs or into headphones, just like an external hi-fi DAC ?

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm

  • Hi Chris, yes that would work absolutely fine, as long as your amp has line inputs - just set the 2i2 up as your system output in the Audio/MIDI Settings utility on your Mac, take the outputs of the Scarlett and route them to the inputs of your amp that's it! :)

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

  • Hi Chris - see reply below :)

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

  • Joe says:

    Hi Joe

    Just got the Focusrite on the back of this review and very happy with it so far. I am using it for predominantly recoding in Ableton with so no problems.

    However just after some advice to use it DJing with timecoded vinyl/CDJs. Since there are no audio inputs on the Focusrite I was wondering if you could recommend anyway around this?

    Cheers
    Joe

    Posted on June 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

  • Hi

    I was wondering if the 2i2 allows to cue in Ableton Live with the headphone output.
    Does the headphone output works like a 3-4 output in Live?

    Best regards,

    Alexandre

    Posted on June 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm

  • Hi Joe,

    What software are you using? Traktor? If so, you will need a Traktor interface I'm afraid. Whilst the Scarlett 2i2 is an excellent interface for recording, it isn't certified for Traktor timecode use. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/dj-gear-30/dj-software-hardware-packages-302/native-instruments-traktor-scratch-a6-48024

    http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/dj-gear-30/dj-software-hardware-packages-302/native-instruments-traktor-scratch-a10-48015

    Posted on June 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

  • Just as an afterthought, if you use different software instead, then you can use timecode with the Scarlett - something like VirtualDJ allows you to use different types of timecode with any interface (including Traktor timecode). The only downside is that Traktor is a more powerful piece of software. http://www.virtualdj.com/

    Also, as the Scarlett 2i2 only has 2 audio inputs and 2 outputs, it isn't ideal for digital DJing. You will only be able to connect one external turntable to it (you need a device with at least 4 line inputs to connect 2 turntables), and you ideally want an interface that allows you to route a different signal to the headphones to the one that is coming out of the main speakers, to allow you to cue up tracks. You can combine interfaces to give you more inputs and outputs, but as you will need another interface anyway, my advice would just be to get a Traktor interface, which will have it all in one unit.

    Posted on June 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

  • Hi Alexandre,

    The Scarlett 2i2 is only a 2 output device, so the headphone output can only mirror what is coming out of the main outputs, so it isn't a good choice for digital DJing. If this is what you want then you may want to look at this instead: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/computer-music-46/hardware-4612/usb-interfaces-46123/focusrite-saffire-6-usb-2-0-audio-interface-4210

    Posted on June 6, 2012 at 11:33 am

  • Martin says:

    Hi, Joe, thanks for the great review.

    I like to create ambient electronic music and maybe also hum something to make my music more interesting for my friends. And I don't have any good microphone, nor headphones and I don't have any external audio, but I'm pretty good with audio software like Cockos Reaper, Audacity etc.

    I'm also a software programmer, and by some coincidence last week one of my clients asked that he would like me to do an in-depth test of the audio software project we are working on, and he said, I should also test it on external audio interfaces.

    So I figured, I could spend some $250 on a major upgrade. I live in Europe, so my store of choice is Amazon UK. While exploring my choices for my budget, I settled with Sony MDRV-6 headphones (I guess, they are almost classic for budget home studios) and I chose Behringer XM8500 mic (some people have tested it in blind tests and said it's almost the same as Shure SM58).

    Now the hardest part - the audio interface. At first I looked at Lexicon Alphas, but some people told me Lexicons have many driver-related issues (I'm on Windows 7 64 bit). So I went a bit higher and got to Roland Duo capture. Seems really basic but I have no idea about it's drivers. But I read in its manual that it is actually mixing both inputs together before adjusting the input level - so basically Duo Capture is 1 input channel, 1 output channel device. That seems too little for my needs. It has a pretty new Windows 7 compatible ASIO drivers, though.

    Looking a bit higher, I saw Fast Track 2 USB. Again - some people say it's not so great for that money. Its input options seem to be limited to MIC/Instrument only. But I might need a stereo input to digitize some old records form a cassette recorder. Also Fast Track 2 USB output level seems to affect both headphones and speakers, I cannot control the volumes separately (maybe I'll never need this feature, but I see that some previous poster here complained about it).

    So I looked for more and found Alesis IO2 Express. While looking on their website to see how up-to-date their drivers are... what? they don't have their own ASIO drivers and they suggest me to use the free ASIO4ALL emulator instead! Well, that emulator is great, but such an attitude made me worry about the overall driver quality of Alesis. Correct me, if I'm wrong.

    So I got as much as I could squeeze out of my budget just to be sure I get the device which would do everything I might need in the near future. And it seems to be the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
    As I understood, its inputs can both work as separate channels and I can use them in a stereo mode if I connect a cable with appropriate jacks, right? And the main thing - it should work just fine with my mic and headphones, right? Do you think, it would be overkill for my needs with my budget mic and budget headphones?

    It would be great also to see, how 2i2 behaves in terms of stability and how low latency I can get on Windows 7 64bit Core i3 machine with 8 gigs of RAM. It would be great to compare the latency with my other choices - Alesis, Roland, Fast Track but I could not find such information anywhere on the Internet, there are only latency tests for high-end Firewire interfaces.

    I hope you can help me to make the right choice (go for 2i2 or I'll be good with Alesis IO2 or Fast Track) and sorry for the long text :)

    Martin

    Posted on June 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

  • Hi Martin, thanks for the questions. It seems like you have been doing your research because everything you say is pretty much spot on! Out of those 3 options, I would rule out the Fast Track first because of its limiting mic/instrument inputs. This mean that you will be very limited with what you can plug into it and record (e.g. you will never be able to record a stereo sound from a synth, cd player, etc.) Now, if this isn't a problem for you, then by all means, rule it back in, but if you think that this could potentially be a problem then I would steer clear of it this time.

    In my opinion the Alesis IO2 is worth considering. I used to own one although I have never had any experience of it with Windows 7. It is Windows 7 64-bit compatible though and although you are correct in that the drivers online aren't product specific, you don't actually need those drivers to use it. The IO2 is plug-and-play and the drivers online are just for if you want to gain access to some of the deeper settings of the IO2.

    The Scarlett 2i2 is certainly the best out of the lot in terms of quality and what you say about it is correct. However, if you are only ever going to be using it with a cheap dynamic microphone, you aren't really going to be getting the best out of it. If you are ever going to be using it with a more expensive mic, then this is where the Scarlett will show its quality.

    If I were you and I was wanting to keep costs down, I would go for the IO2, as this will do everything you need. However, if you think that a step up in quality will benefit you, then I would go for the Scarlett instead.

    In terms of latency I'm afraid that I don't have any figures for you, but all these interfaces should be absolutely fine for simple projects.

    I hope that helps and feel free to ask more questions if you think of them!

    Posted on June 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

  • Joe,

    Help me out please I am a first time user, just wanted to pick up recording as a hobby. After reading your review i knew that this would work out for me. since buying i have realized that i have no idea how to use the software. Please help! do you know of a free website with quick and simple tips? I cant even get abelton lite to record. The monitor works great but i'm not sure i 100% understand how the inputs are labled, or what settings i need everything on. Please if you could point me in the right direction i will forever be grateful!

    ~jason~

    Posted on June 19, 2012 at 2:33 am

  • Hi Jason, starting out can indeed be difficult and confusing. Luckily there are lots of sources of free help out there. I'd check out the official Ableton tutorials to learn the basics: http://www.ableton.com/getting-started. Although made in Ableton Live, the principles will still apply to the Lite version.

    In terms of the inputs, these are the rules:

    • If you are using a microphone, attach it to the 2i2 using an XLR cable (e.g. http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/miscellaneous-49/cables-connectors-496/lynx-mel1c-1-metre-xlr-to-xlr-microphone-cable-521, although you will most likely need a longer one). To connect to the interface, you will need to a cable with a 'male' XLR input, which is the connection with 3 pins (rather than 3 holes). You will need to turn on Phantom Power if you are using a condenser mic and it is best practice to turn off Phantom Power if you are recording with any other type of mic as although it is unlikely, Phantom Power can potentially damage some mics.

    • If you are recording an electric guitar or bass, plug your instrument in using a 1/4" jack cable (e.g. http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/miscellaneous-49/cables-connectors-496/horizon-hc20-20-foot-electric-guitar-lead-cable-1612) and set the switch beneath the Gain knob (on the relevant input) to 'Inst'. In basic terms, this will adjust the signal level of an electric guitar input to give you the best recording level and quality.

    • If you are recording from a 'line' level source (e.g. a synth, a CD player, line outputs on a mixer, etc.), plug your device in using a 1/4" jack again (e.g. http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/miscellaneous-49/cables-connectors-496/lynx-pcl3-3-metre-balanced-jack-to-jack-cable-3068) and set the relevant switch to 'Line'.

    The 2i2 gives you 2 inputs - the first will be labelled 'Input 1' in the software and the second will be labelled 'Input 2'. Just make sure that you follow the tutorials that I linked you to set up your audio interface so that these Inputs become available in your software.

    I hope that helps and feel free to get in touch again if you have any more questions!

    Posted on June 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

  • Joseph says:

    Joe, on the 2I2 why does it not have markers on the gain controls. Like you can see on the Monitor volumn and headphone controls. I need to see where each is set. How do I fix this or can I order them with white markings on each of them.
    Thanks, it' s great unit.
    Joseph

    Posted on June 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  • Hi Joseph,

    The Scarlett 2i2 does have markers on the Gain controls, or at least it should do! If you check this image, you should be able to see that there is a white mark at the beginning and end of the gain range: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/skins/Neutrino/php/getImg.php?src=/store/images/uploads/additional/foc2i2_01.jpg

    There is also a recessed line on the knob so that you can see what position the dial is in. Does that help? Forgive me if I have not understood you correctly.

    Posted on June 29, 2012 at 9:51 am

  • Thank you for the review of the Scarlett 2i2.
    It would be easy to fill a warehouse with the tech stuff I don't know, so my question might seem silly. I'll start with explaining why I'm looking at this device.
    I want to make videos of myself performing music live. I have my musical gear pretty much worked out, etc. The one component that's missing is that the sound quality I get from my (cheap) computer's video recorder (I think it's actually because of the built-in mic) isn't very good. I've been looking for a device that will let me input from my ordinary XLR mics and 1/4" audio plugs into my computer to easily make a live music video.
    My hope for this device turned to concern when I got to the part where you say "No, it doesn't come with any digital connectivity..."
    I'm picturing being able to plug my audio inputs into a box, plug the box into my computer's USB port, start a video recording, then do my music.
    Will the Scarlett 2i2 let me do that or do I still have more to learn and more boxes to buy?

    Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

  • Hi Bob, thanks for the question! In this case I can't see the lack of digital connectivity being a problem. Just plug the 2i2 into your computer via USB, install the relevant drivers, load up a compatible piece of software (what software will you be using out of interest?), plug your mic/instrument in and away you go! I assume that you'll only every want to be recording a maximum of 2 things at one time (e.g. a mic and a guitar?) If you're wanting to record say a mic and a stereo keyboard signal the you'll need a larger device with more inputs as the Scarlett 2i2 only has 2 mono inputs.

    Posted on July 30, 2012 at 10:37 am

  • Thanks for answering my question. I found two devices in my local Best Buy that I think could be my missing link. One is the 2i2, the other is an M Audio MobilePre. At this store, they are exactly the same price. I've been experimenting with a JamMan stereo looper, so I'll probably use one mic for my amp and a second mic near my face where the vocals come out.
    I'll use the software that comes with the device: ProTools with the MobilePre or Live Lite with the 2i2, neither of which I've ever used.
    I want the least gimmickry possible. No pitch correction, very few effects. To quote Rush: "All this machinery making modern music can still be open-hearted..."
    I'm leaning toward thinking that the 2i2 is the kind of machine that won't interfere with my being a simple musician.

    Posted on July 31, 2012 at 3:34 am

  • Both devices are fairly basic, but in my opinion, the Scarlett 2i2 has the better preamps and will get you the better recordings. One more question though just to make sure that you get the right product - are you going to be recording the audio in one program and then combining it with the video after? Or were you wanting the one program to record both audio and video?

    Posted on July 31, 2012 at 9:38 am

  • I'd like to do audio and video in one. I probably don't need anything except an external sound card that plugs into a USB port to do something as simple as I want. I'm thinking that the Scarlett 2i2 will probably also be an easier interface for multi-track recording...which lets me have fewer devices and more space in my studio for drums, ukuleles and the backup singers I've always wanted.

    Posted on August 2, 2012 at 4:24 am

  • Hi Bob. Unfortunately you cannot record video in the Ableton Lite (the software that comes with the Scarlett), so you would have to use something different for recording if you want to do everything in one program. The Scarlett is a great recording device though and for good sound quality on a budget, I would highly recommend it!

    Posted on August 2, 2012 at 10:09 am

  • Hi is there a way to setup loopback for focus rite 2i2 in order to record everything iam hearing? thanks!

    Posted on August 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

  • Hi Jon, there are no loopback channels available on the 2i2 - you'd have to look at the 8i6 to get these: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/computer-music-46/hardware-4612/usb-interfaces-46123/focusrite-scarlett-8i6-usb-audio-interface-44516

    However, you can achieve this sort of thing by using software such as 'Soundflower' (if you're using a Mac), but this does mean that you will have to keep switching back and forwards between the 2i2 and Soundflower as your main audio device if you want to combine instrument recordings with recordings from other computer programs.

    Posted on August 15, 2012 at 10:24 am

  • quincy says:

    Great review. I have a.question before i purchase this product. My background is in beatmaking. I have both a mic and a synthesizer. I know the mic will work but will this product support any other hardware? Im looking to run my microkorg to fruity loops. Right now i only have it in use as a midi controller. So... Is this unit only for guitars or any outside hardware?

    Posted on August 17, 2012 at 12:42 am

  • Hi, thanks for the question! Yes, you can use any line-level source with the 2i2 (such as a synthesiser). Just plug it into the 1/4 inch jack sockets and flick the switch(es) to the 'Line' setting. If you want to use it with an electric guitar or bass, flick the switch to 'Inst'. If you want to use it with a mic signal, plug the microphone into the XLR input.

    The only problem that you may have is that you will not be able to run a stereo signal from the MicroKorg at the same time as a mic signal because the Scarlett 2i2 only has 2 inputs and a mic takes up 1 input and a stereo signal from the Micro Korg takes up 2. Therefore, if you want everything plugged in and recording at once, you'll need an interface with at least 3 inputs. Otherwise, the 2i2 will be fine if you are never using both devices simultaneously.

    I hope that helps and feel free to ask more questions if you have them :)

    Posted on August 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

  • quincy says:

    Awesome. I figured that would be the case. I wont mind unplugging the korg when im looking to record vocals. I did look at the next upgrade .. The 8i2..but i keep hearing horror stories regarding bad clipping. Any idea if this has been resolved? Ty!

    Posted on August 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

  • quincy says:

    Sorry i have another question... Does the Scarlett support running one turntable and mixer to record? If so this goes back to the 8i2.. Id want to run.. The mic.. Turntable.. And korg to my PC.. Ty!

    Posted on August 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

  • Quincy says:

    With the Scarlett 8i6..can I hook up:

    1 - Turntable w/ mixer
    1 - Micro-Korg (Audio & MIDI)
    1 - Condenser Mic
    1 - Spare Mixer

    Also, I been hearing bad things regarding this model. Such as popping and cracking noises when recording. Has this issue been resolved?

    Thank you

    Posted on August 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

  • Hi there! Thanks for the questions - sorry it has taken me a few days to reply, we've been very busy with the opening of our new superstore!

    Firstly I'll start off with answering your questions about the Scarlett 18i6 and clipping and I can honestly say that this is the first I have heard about it. I just did a quick Google search and could only find one instance of this, which is either likely to be the user setting it up incorrectly, incompatible drivers or a rare faulty unit. Focusrite interfaces are very popular and we very rarely get any back for being faulty. In fact, the core technology in the 2i2 is the same as the other Scarlett interfaces, so I can't think why just the 18i6 would have problems. Have you found lots of reports of this clipping problem?

    Secondly, how are you wanting to hook the turntable up to the Scarlett? Are you plugging it into a mixer first and then taking the mixer output into the inputs of the Scarlett? Is so, yes, that's absolutely fine - just go into the 1/4 inch jack connections and choose the 'Line' setting. If you were wanting to plug a turntable straight into the Scarlett (with no mixer), you would firstly need to run the turntable through a phono preamp (which you can pick up pretty cheaply).

    From your list, the Scarlett 18i6 would support running all of those things simultaneously :)

    Posted on August 20, 2012 at 9:57 am

  • Hi Joe, I'd appreciate a little guidance please, I'd like to give my fifteen year-old an option to start recording her guitar (electric & acoustic) and banjo playing hobby if she wishes. It needs to be simple enough for her to mess about with but good enough for her to expand on. Now unfortunately I'm a tin-eared, all-thumbs who could no more strum a chord than fly, but she can and loves it. So I'm looking for something with good enough quality to enthuse (and act as a starter for more), but inexpensive enough to be discarded if its a non-option, and the Scarlett 2i2 seems to fit the bill. So would it plus a reasonable mic give her the chance to twang & strum onto a PC and play around and record the results to a reasonable level or is there a better starter I should consider. Thanks in advance - TerryC.

    Posted on August 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

  • Hi Terry, if you're after a quality interface without breaking the bank then I usually recommend Focusrite. For small recording projects the 2i2 is fantastic and provided a decent mic is used, it will give really good quality. The main limitation is the software that it comes with, as it will only allow you to record and play up to 8 tracks at once, but from the sonds of things, your daughter won't be needing anything more complicated than that for now anyway?

    I hope that helps and I definitely think that you are making the right decision from what you have told me. We've got a couple in stock at the moment so be sure to check us out if you live in the UK :) If you have any more questions or need any more equipment advice then you know where I am!

    http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/computer-music-46/hardware-4612/usb-interfaces-46123/focusrite-scarlett-2i2-usb-audio-interface-46074

    Posted on August 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm

  • Thanks Joe, sounds about right to me. I'll be wrapping it up as a Xmas present so I've a couple of month leeway (I don't want to restrict any warranty period) - in the meantime I'll be looking for all necessary kit for her to plug 'n play so I'd take any advice on that, especially a mic that will manage all the nuance and subtlties of the banjo :) - we are already PC rich.

    Posted on August 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

  • No worries Terry, in terms of the mic, what sort of budget are you on (roughly)?

    Posted on August 30, 2012 at 11:42 am

  • Joe, if I can get the whole kit 'n kaboodle including the 2i2 for £300 I'd be happy.

    Posted on August 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

  • Hi Terry. Given your budget I would recommend looking at either the sE Electronics sE X1 microphone: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/recording-47/microphones-471/condenser-mics-4711/se-electronics-se-x1-condenser-mic-bundle-with-stand-and-cable-17441

    Or the Rode NT1-a: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/recording-47/microphones-471/condenser-mics-4711/rode-nt1-a-recording-pack-includes-suspension-pop-filter-cable-tutorial-dvd-4259

    They are both excellent mics for the price and you'll even have a bit of budget left over to get a stand (if needed) and/or a pop-shield!

    Posted on August 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

  • tincho says:

    hola.......mi idea es mezclar con Ableton live.....la verdad no hago pre-escucha, me imagino que esta mal, no hacerla, de hecho en sets me han entyrado temas desempatados........pero bueeeee.........pero necesito una placa para mejorar el sonido de los set, y siempre me intereso tener un mic para añadir una percusion en elgun momento del set......tambien estaba viendo una native 2 dj, que es mucho mas basica, pero la calidad de sonido es la misma, yo supuendo dado las especificaciones......vos.....para el uso que le voy a dar...hacer dj set con ableton, que placa elijirias, la scarlet, numar io dj o native instrument 2 dj...desde ya gracias.

    Posted on September 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

  • David says:

    Hi Joe,
    I have read all of the comments and really appreciate your inputs on many aspects of this audio interface. I do have some questions regarding the Focusrite Plugin (EQ, Compressor, Reverb). Can I hear the effects while recording (real-time)? Does the effect gets recorded into the track as well ? And does adding the effects in real-time make the latency unacceptable ? I currently have a Creative USB Xifi and when I add some microphone effect while recording, it noticably lags. It's not very good for recording anyways, so I'm looking to upgrade to a dedicated recording interface.
    I also want to record the music (played from the PC media player) and the vocal (mic) to separate tracks. Is it possible with Windows 7 64bit ?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Posted on October 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

  • Hi there and thanks for the comment. I've tried translating your comment on Google but as not everything has translated properly, I may struggle to answer your question correctly. From what I can guess, you are asking what interface is better for DJing with Ableton out of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Numark DJ IO and Native Instruments Traktor Audio 2, so that is the question that I am going to answer.

    Because the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 only has 2 outputs, this means that it is not ideal for DJing because it does not allow you to pre-listen to tracks in your headphones. For this you should check out the Scarlett 2i4, which has 4 outputs, allowing you to play a track out of your speakers whilst listening to another in your headphones.

    The Traktor Audio 2 interface is a great basic piece of DJ kit, but it does not allow you to integrate a microphone into your set-up (as I understand that you are interested in doing), so it is probably not ideal for your needs.

    The Numark DJ IO will allow you to do everything you want (as far as I can understand). However, it will not allow you to use a condenser microphone with it, which may be useful if you ever want to produce studio-quality recordings - the Scarlett 2i4 will allow you to do this, with surprisingly good quality for the price.

    In summary, the Scarlett 2i4 will offer the most flexibility, but the Numark DJ IO will allow you to do basic pre-listening and add a mic. The Traktor Audio 2 will just allow you to do pre-listening. I hope that helps.

    Posted on October 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

  • Shane says:

    Hello!
    I create screen recording tutorials using Camtasia and I am interested in getting better audio quality. Is it as simple as plugging my XLR mic into the 2i2, plugging the 2i2 into a USB port on my laptop and then selecting that as the audio input in Camtasia?
    Thanks!

    Posted on October 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

  • Stu says:

    Hi Joe, my question relates to options really. I have a macbook pro running logic, and I want to record simultaneous tracks - keeping them separate so that I can work on them in logic at a later date. Firewire always seems to come up as the best option, but my mac has fw800!!! So I am seriously thinking of usb2. Hence, I am reading all of your thoughts on the 2i2. Focusrite seem to be the best option for me, but what I want to know is which of the Scarletts is most compatible with my hardware and software: bearing in mind the most important thing for me is to record multiple tracks on separate individual tracks for post-mixing in logic? I hope this makes sense.

    Posted on October 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

  • Hi Shane,

    As far as I'm aware, yes. However, I don't have Camtasia on the computer that I'm currently working on and so I can't test this for you as off the top of my head I can't remember how easy it is to select different audio interfaces in Camtasia. If I remember I'll try and test it tonight on my home computer and let you know!

    Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

  • Hi Stu and thanks for the question. With regards to your fears about Firewire 800, this doesn't mean that you can't use a Firewire 400 interface. A Firewire 400 device will work with a Firewire 800 port on your computer and vice versa, but you will need to purchase an additional cable that goes from a FW400 connection to a FW800 connection and all your data will only be transferred at FW400 speeds - you can read more about Firewire rules HERE if you want.

    In terms of fairly low-priced interfaces with a professional sound, Focusrite are certainly a good option. The Scarlett interfaces will all be the same in terms of compatibility with your computer, as they are essentially all built around the same electronics, so it will just come down to what specs you need. If you only need 2 inputs and 2 outputs, then the 2i2 seems like the one to go for! If you need MIDI and another pair of outputs, then the 2i4 would be a better option. If you need more, then check the 8i6 and 18i6.

    However, if you're also considering FireWire interfaces, you may also want to check out the Saffire 24 DSP. This interface offers extras such as built-in effects and VRM, which allows you to mix your tracks through headphones as if you were listening through pro speakers in front of you - you can even change the environment that you're monitoring in!

    If you're interested in VRM, you can click here to find out more and listen to it in action.

    Most modern interfaces should be compatible with your set-up and as long as you go for a Firewire or USB 2.0 interface, you will be able to record a number of channels to separate tracks in Logic. You probably don't want to get a USB 1.1 device though, as this will usually only be able to record to a maximum of 2 mono tracks in Logic at once.

    I hope that helps and feel free to get in touch again if you have any more questions!

    Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

  • Get92 says:

    Hi Joe,
    I'm looking forward to buy this focusrite scarlett 2i2. While doing some research I found it has got two mono inputs.is that true? If so,if I need to record stereo sound off a Yamaha Keyboard through it's stereo line out how should I connect it to focusrite scarlett 2i2? And then what are the cables and the adapters I will have to buy to connect my keyboard to this item? Thank You. :)

    Posted on November 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

  • Hi and thanks for the question. Yes, the Scarlett 2i2 does have 2 mono inputs, but you can combine them together to record a stereo signal in your recording software. The cable that you need will depend on the connection that your Yamaha keyboard has. I imagine that the stereo output on your keyboard is of 1/4 inch jack type? If so, you will need a cable like this one: click here. If you let me know exactly what model of Yamaha keyboard you have then I can double check for you though. I hope that helps!

    Posted on November 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

  • Get92 says:

    Thanks Joe..yes that is the jack type..that helped me a lot.. (Y) :)

    Posted on November 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

  • No problems, glad I could help! Have a good day :)

    Posted on November 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

  • Binoy says:

    I am using a Yamaha MG82CX mixer now, but I am not able to record anything in my computer with quality. I am a singer so my mixer will mix my vocal and instruments, then the mixer out shold be able to connect to this device and the out of this device should be able to record in my computer, thats what my demmand. Do you think this product can help me, I never used an inteface before. I need to make sure scarlett 2i2 can solve my issue. Pls advice.

    Thnaks

    Binoy

    Posted on December 5, 2012 at 9:24 am

  • Hi Binoy, thanks for the question. This would certainly work but how many things will you want to be recording at once? If you just need to record two things at once it would make sense to plug everything straight into the Scarlett rather than go through the mixer first, because the more pieces of equipment you add into the signal chain, the more noise you will be introducing. Plus, the Scarlett 2i2 has nicer-sounding preamps than the Yamaha. I hope that helps and feel free to get in touch if you have any more questions.

    Posted on December 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

  • Binoy says:

    Thanks Joe,
    I forgot to claer it, For practising I am using karoke music, so the karoke music will come from my computer, and mixer will mix it with my voice. I need to record the output of this mixing into computer. I need to check the quality of my singing by playing it. You are right, this device maybe able to handle the job without a mixer, but I would like to use mixer to put other effects into the music, I think those facility are not available on scarlett 2i2. I just want to make sure that the output of the mixer will handle the recording job.

    Thanks

    Binoy

    Posted on December 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

  • Hi Binoy,

    Yes, you can connect the mixer to the 2i2 then and yes the Scarlett 2i2 will connect to your computer. The best way to do what you want though is to create 2 audio tracks in your recording software. On one, import the karaoke track that you want to sing over. On the other, set it up to record from the Scarlett 2i2. Then connect your microphone to the mixer and the mixer to the 2i2. This way you won't have to re-record the music from the computer, risking a feedback loop (i.e. when you are outputting audio from the computer and then re-recording the sound back on the computer). Alternatively you could just replace the mixer and the interface with a single mixer (with effects) that has a USB connction, e.g. the Mackie Pro FX8 - click here.

    Joe

    Posted on December 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm

  • Binoy says:

    Joe, Thanks for your comments and advice, Need to know one more thing. I am having Vista in my computer, I know that is officialy not supported Scarlett 2i2. Have heared from anyone about running it in Vista? I would like to know is there any chance to run it in Vista.

    Thanks

    Binoy

    Posted on December 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

  • Hi Binoy,

    I'm sure that some people run it on Vista, but I really can't guarantee that it will work stably for you. Just because an operating system is not supported doesn't mean that it definitely won't work - it just means that they haven't been tested together, which could mean that there are some bugs. I personally wouldn't risk it. I would either upgrade your operating system or go for an interface that is definitely supported by Vista, e.g. the Mackie Blackjack: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/mackie-onyx-blackjack-2-x-2-usb-audio-interface.html although if you were dead set on the 2i2, we do offer a 7 day money back period provided you keep the interface in a good condition. You would however be liable to pay the return costs if you purchased it and found out that it didn't work because it is a risk that you were aware of.

    Posted on December 11, 2012 at 9:58 am

  • Steve says:

    Hey, I have a 2006 MacBook and was thinking of getting the 2i2 to record electric guitar direct to ableton. The MacBook is 1gb core 2. Just wandered if there would be any potential issues using the interface with an older MacBook? Cheers

    Posted on December 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

  • Hi Steve, that should all be fine, just as long as your operating system is OS X 10.6.5 or later. Thanks for the question.

    Posted on December 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

  • Umar says:

    Hi Joe, would like some advice if you have any!
    My requirements are fairly simple. I need to record some screen casts on a Mac using Screenflow, I've been using a USB microphone (Spark Digital by Blue Microphones) and it hasn't performed very well (low gain and lots of background noise in a fairly quiet room) so I'll be returning it and I'd like to get a better set up.

    I've been recommended to get a SE2200A II ( http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/recording/microphones/condenser-mics/se-electronics-se2200a-ii-cardioid-condenser-microphone.html ) which is meant to provide a good level of audio recording quality. As I understand, to connect this to a computer via USB, we can use an 'XLR To USB Converter' - I was about to get an Icicle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Microphones-Icicle-XLR-Converter/dp/B001EW5YQS but someone recommended that the SCARLETT 2I2 would be better.

    What do you think about all this? Icicle VS 2I2? If the 2I2 is better, would it work well with an SE2200A II?

    Note I do *not* need multiple sources of input and I won't be using any instruments, also I don't need to hear in real-time what I'm recording, because of all this I thought a 2I2 might be too excessive, however upon hearing that an Icicle wouldn't do the Mic justice, I figured it's worth considering the 2I2.

    Sorry for all the questions! I'm new to audio recording and there are so many devices out there, it can take a bit of time to find the best ones to match your needs!

    Posted on December 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

  • Hi Umar and thanks for the question. I've got to be honest and say that I've never used the Icicle before so I really can't make any sonic comparisons. I wouldn't think that the Icicle would be a bad product though because Blue make some really good mics. I can certainly vouch for the fact that the 2i2 with an sE220A II would sound great though because the 2i2 really does have some great preamps for the price and the sE2200A II is a brilliant product. I'd be tempted to say that the 2i2 will sound a bit better than the Icicle but that the Icicle would suit your needs. That is just a guess though based on the price points and my experiences with both Focusrite and Blue products.

    Posted on December 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

  • James says:

    Hi!

    I'm looking to run this through a MacBook Air 128gb with Logic Pro 9 and an m audio 32 USB keyboard. Will this all work together? Can I still record from the keyboard even though this interface has no midi input?

    Thanks!

    Posted on December 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

  • Hi James, thanks for the question! That sounds like it would work fine together! When you ask if you will be able to record from the keyboard, are you talking about recording MIDI? If so, that will be fine as I imagine that you will still continue to plug your keyboard in via USB. An interface only really needs MIDI connections if you are working with older pieces of equipment that do not have USB MIDI connectivity. As long as you have enough USB ports to run both the 2i2 and the keyboard then you will be absolutely fine.

    Posted on December 31, 2012 at 10:27 am

  • Hi Joe! Thanks for a great review! I am a video editor myself and am looking for a nice little external USB sound interface to primarly monitor sound with. My question is if this interface works with Final Cut Pro?

    Posted on January 1, 2013 at 5:50 am

  • Hi Sebastian, yes that would be absolutely fine :)

    Posted on January 2, 2013 at 10:02 am

  • Greetings Joe ,your review is still helping people a year after you first put it up,so thank you,I have a bit of a problem I am recording vocals for my podcast ,I hear a delay in my headphones,I am assuming that getting zero latency will solve this but I do noy know how to do this on the scarlet please help

    Posted on January 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  • Hi David and thanks for the question. To activate Direct Monitoring on the Scarlett 2i2, simply flick the 'Direct Monitoring' switch (on the front of the 2i2 to the bottom-left of the large 'Monitor' dial) to 'On'. Just remember to configure your DAW software so that the track you are recording to doesn't route its input to its output because this will cause you to hear the direct signal along with the delayed signal that is being recorded. I hope that helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

    Posted on January 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

  • Hi Dear Joe,
    Great explanation 2I2. i have question request you to answer.I want to record
    keyboard sound (Korg pa 500 and Roland fp 5 digital piano) and vst and swar plugin sound from computor with Nuendo 4/5 software on Karaoke track.
    As 2i2 dont have midi input it is possible to use via usb as my both keyboard
    have usb midi in/out. or i should go for 2i4? i will need only microphone in and 2 out for monitor. it will fill my need? and last in new 2i4 any new improvement over sound quality which we miss on 2i2 ? pl help me to sellect from above mention model.
    Thanking you in advance with warm regards.
    Mr Gandhi

    Posted on February 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

  • Hello Mr Gandhi and thanks for the question. Both the PA500 and FP-5 can transmit MIDI via USB so if you have enough spare USB ports for both of them then this will be fine. Just be aware that this will only record MIDI data though - it won't record any sound. You will only really need an interface with a 5-pin MIDI Input and Output (e.g. the 2i4) if you are working with older equipment that doesn't have USB MIDI.

    If you only need a microphone input and 2 outputs then the 2i2 would be a great choice. As I said, just be aware that recording MIDI does not capture any sound - you will only be able to use the MIDI to trigger other sounds, e.g. in your VSTs. If you need to record sounds from your keyboards and a microphone at the same time then you will need an interface with more audio inputs, e.g the Scarlett 18i6.

    There are no quality differences between the 2i2 and 2i4 so you have no need to worry there.

    I hope that answers your question but if there is anything that you want clarifying, you know where I am :)

    Posted on February 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

  • Joakim says:

    Greetings,
    I recently purchased the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and I'm happy with it. However I can't loopback record system audio with it. I plan on playing some instruments live on my computer and record the output. Not MIDI using a daw but the sound I hear. Turns out I can only record the output using cables to the Scarlett input, but that generates unnecessary noise. Any tips?

    Posted on February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  • Hi. Im a videographer who has now gone into the music industry by recording artists on stage. I purchased the Scarlett 212 to record the audio separate to my video footage, direct from the sound desk and later to sync. Which cable connections besides rca plugs would be most suitable between the sound desk and my interface? Im using Wave Pad Sound editor

    Posted on February 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm

  • Hi Joakim. The Scarlett 2i2 doesn't really have this feature I'm afraid. If you've already got the audio recorded on your computer then there is no reason to re-record it though as far as I can tell. If you're wanting to play along with it then just put the already recorded audio into your recording software and play it whilst recording your live parts onto a different track. If you haven't already got the audio recorded then I would suggest using some system recording software. I use Soundflower with my Mac computer. There are programs like Jack that will do it if you have a PC though. Once you have the audio recordings then you don't need to worry about re-recording anything. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions and I'll be happy to help.

    Posted on February 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

  • Hi Steve and thanks for the question. It completely depends on the connections of the desk as to which cables you will need. Some desks will have RCA outputs, some will have male XLR connections and some (and probably most common) will have 1/4" jack outputs. Either way, if you are running the output of a mixer into the inputs of the 2i2, you will need to connect to the 2i2 using the 1/4" jack line inputs. So to sum up, you'll probably need cables like this most of the time (click here) but depending on the mixer you may also need cables like this (click here) or this (click here). Please note that these cables are available in longer and shorter sizes on our website if needed and I've recommended you some mid-range cables. We also stock cheaper and more expensive cables for varying quality needs. Give me a shout if you have any more questions :)

    Posted on February 8, 2013 at 10:16 am

  • Hi Joe, I'm looking to take my recently acquired iPad4 with me when I do some solo gigs in Spain this summer and am looking for a rugged road-proof audio interface to provide me with a high quality output to a mixing desk. I also require the unit to provide me with an all-in-one rehearsal facility where I can plug in a microphone and guitar while the tracks are playing on the iPad and hear it all through headphones. I understand that the iPad cannot power anything and that I will require to get the 'Lightning' CCK cable (MD821ZM). Does the Scarlett 2i2 provide me with these facilities?
    Kindest regards
    Bud

    Posted on February 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

  • Hi Bud. The iPad isn't something that is officially supported by the 2i2 but I have seen it working before. I wouldn't really recommend it though as it may not be that stable. An option for you may be the Focusrite iTrack Solo, which is similar to the 2i2, but does support the iPad. You can only plug in one mic and one guitar maximum at any one time though, i.e. it doesn't have the option of plugging in 2 mics at once. You also need to connect it to a power supply in order to use it. Let me know if you have any more questions and I will be happy to help.

    Posted on February 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

  • Nuno says:

    I just bought the 2i2 but am having a problem getting it to work with Acid Pro 7. I changed the preferences to recognize the device, and through direct monitoring, everything sounds fine. Once I record the vocals, there is a static/buzz. It is not a constant sound, only when the mic picks up something. I've updated the drivers, and noticed that adjusting the buffer can make the interference worse, but nothing would make it better. I have a UX2 and it works just fine with all the same cables and hardware so I don't expect that its faulty equipment. Any suggestions? I've read that recording at 16 and 24 bits could be the problem but not sure why.

    Posted on February 19, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  • Hi Dear Joe,
    Thank You Very Much For Answering My Question Re Focusrite 2i2($149) v/s 2i4($199)
    Now One More Question As Rolands New Duo Capture Ex
    ($199) Already Launch With Similar Features & Nearly Same Price. Which Is Best Out Of Three. What Is Important Difference Between 24 Bit/48 Khz & 24 Bit/96 Khz. I Need Only 2 In/2 Out.
    Which Is Best For Recording Vocal Sound and & Keybord Vst Swarplug In?
    Thanking You With Warm Regards.
    Mr Gandhi (Mumbai)
    INDIA

    Posted on February 20, 2013 at 6:51 am

  • Hi Nuno. I've never used Acid Pro before I'm afraid so with regards to giving tips on how to alter the preferences within the software I'm afraid that I can't help there. That said, if you can get a UX2 to work fine, I'm not sure why you should be experiencing problems with the Scarlett 2i2 :s What computer do you have? Have you tried using the 2i2 with the copy of Ableton Lite that comes with it? If so, do you experience the same problems? Trying that should help to narrow down whether it is a software or hardware issue. Let me know how you get on.

    Posted on February 20, 2013 at 9:57 am

  • Hi again Mr Gandi.

    The '48kHz' and '96kHz' specifications refer to the maximum sample rates of the interface. There's plenty of info about this online - just Google 'sample rate' if you want to learn more.

    In basic terms the sample rate refers to how often the interface 'captures' a segment of sound and stores it as digital data. A 48kHz device captures a segment of sound 48,000 times a second, or once every 1/48,000 seconds. A 96kHz device captures sound more often - once every 1/96,000 seconds.

    Although increasing the sample rate above 44.1kHz (CD quality) shouldn't make a huge difference to your recording quality, because increasing the sample rate above this will only help to replicate frequencies that are outside of the human range of hearing, the differences will only be subtle.

    Also bare in mind that nowadays most music is degraded in quality at the final stage, either being converted to an mp3 or bounced down to CD quality. The general rule is to work with a higher sample rate at the mixing stage even if the track is going to get converted to a lower quality later as this will generally give you slightly better results.

    You will also need to take into consideration that recording at higher sample rates takes up more memory so you will need to find a compromise between quality and size. I generally work at 96kHz even though my interface can go up to 192kHz as this helps reduce the amount of space my recordings take up. I know a lot of people that always work with lower sample rates though, e.g. 44.1kHz and 48kHz. It's just down to the individual's preferences.

    Anyway, as for the choice of interface, if you only need a 2-in, 2-out device and you don't need 5-pin MIDI connections then I would discount the 2i4. Bare in mind that the extra outputs can also be used to set up a separate headphone mix though, which is usful if you are working with DJ software or a recording vocalist.

    As for the 2i2 vs Duo Capture EX, they are really both very similar. At a push I would say that the 2i2 has slightly better preamps than the Duo Capture EX, but that's just my opinion - they are both great little interfaces for the price!

    Posted on February 20, 2013 at 12:11 pm

  • Iain says:

    Do you know if the 2i4 works with the Vista 64 bit operating system. I have one of the soundcards and am pretty sure that I checked this out before purchasing. However when I connect monitors from the balanced line outs I get initial distortion. If I then go into the windows mixer and click the test button it sorts itself out and sounds OK. Any comments gratefully received.

    Posted on February 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm

  • Hi Iain, thanks for the question. Unfortunately Vista is not officially supported by the 2i4 so that is probably why you are experiencing some problems I'm afraid. To find out which operating systems will work with the 2i4, click here to visit the Focusrite website.

    Posted on March 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

  • lovees says:

    my question is
    is scarlett 2i2 connect . with fl studio
    and rode nt1a microphone is good choice
    with this
    n window 7 32bit is compataible
    what is uur view about fl studio connection

    Posted on March 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

  • Hi, thanks for the question. The Scarlett 2i2 is compatible with Windows 7 32-bit and the Rode NT1A is a great choice for a budget condenser mic for vocals and acoustic instrument. It actually sounds a lot more expensive than it is! As for its use with FL Studio that should be absolutely fine. I don't use FL Studio myself so I can't tell you exactly how to set it up but there will be plenty of info on that in the manual. I've just Googled to see if any other people have had problems setting up the 2i2 with FL Studio and aside from a few minor technical problems the majority of people seem to be absolutely fine with this set up.

    Posted on March 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

  • Tom says:

    Hi Joe - I have a Novation Mininova and am thinking of getting the Scarlett 2i2 to record audio on my laptop. I think that the Mininova has two unbalanced outputs and so I need to a run a cable from one of the Mininova outputs to Input 1 of the Scarlett and another cable from the other Mininova output to Input 2 of the Scarlett and then set up my DAW to recognise Input 1 and Input 2 as stereo inputs? If that's right, could you recommend the sort of cable I should be using to connect between Mininova and Scarlett?

    Thanks!

    Posted on March 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  • Spot on Tom! You will need either 2 x TRS or 2 x TS jack cables to connect the MiniNova to your Scarlett 2i2. TRS cables can be used to carry either balanced or unbalanced signals, so they may be a good idea in case you decide that you want to use them for a balanced purpose in the future. Otherwise TS jacks will do the job just fine in this case. How long do you need them? I'll suggest some 3m ones although you can also get them shorter or longer if needed.

    1/4" TRS jack: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/lynx-pcl3-3-metre-balanced-jack-to-jack-cable.html

    1/4" TS jack: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/hosa-cpp-110-10ft-mono-jack-to-mono-jack-lead.html

    Remember, you will need 2 of whichever cable you go for to record a stereo signal :)

    Posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  • Som says:

    Hi Joe,
    Can I use one the Scarlett interfaces (2i2, 2i4 or 8i6) and a decent laptop (Core i5, 8 GB RAM) as a combination to record vocals with a playback track being played from the same laptop? I will need the reverb along with the input vocals routed back into the Headphones.
    Ideally I wouldn't want to spend on a separate FX mixer for the input (on top a Scarlett). Or would I be better off with a Roland UA-22 or UA-55 which has an on-board DSP. Apologise in advance, if I'm sounding like a newbie - as that's what I am in this space.
    Best regards.
    Som

    Posted on March 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

  • Hi Som, thanks for the question! The best way to record in this instance would be to import the playback track into your recording software and then record your vocals onto a second track whilst the first track is playing. That way you don't need to re-record your playback track.

    If you want to route a separate mix to to your headphones (e.g. you want to hear something in your headphones that is different from what you are hearing out of your main speakers), the you will need a device with at least 4 mono outputs. This will give you the tools that you need to route one stereo mix to your speakers and one stereo mix to your headphones. In your example, the 2i4 and 8i6 would both be suitable whereas the 2i2 (which only has 2 outputs) will not. If you don't need to do this (e.g. when recording you will only be listening to the song in your headphones and you won't be playing anything (or anything different) out of your speakers) then the 2i2 would be fine.

    If you want to add reverb to your vocals then you can always do this by inserting a low-latency reverb plug-in onto your vocal track. Your computer sounds powerful enough to handle this.

    Alternatively, if you want to guarantee low latency, you can get interfaces with built-in DSP as you mention. As far as I'm aware the Roland interfaces that you mentioned don't have built-in DSP. I've scoured the product information to double check and can't find any mention of onboard DSP. Are you sure that this is the case? Do you have a PC or a Mac? I can try and recommend you something with onboard DSP if you really want it?

    If you have any more questions or if you would like me to clarify any of my points then just let me know and I will be happy to help.

    Posted on March 28, 2013 at 10:11 am

  • Som says:

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks a lot for your response.
    You are right the UA-22/55 has some posts where it "suggests" that it has an on-board DSP - however haven't seen any formal specs that confirm that. It would be good to have something that acted as a pre-amp, reverb as well as an audio interface AND in the same price range sub-£200. Would be good to know if you came across something in that sweet spot.
    Otherwise, between the 2i4 and 8i6, would you have a preference based on my use cases?
    Cheers.
    Som

    Posted on March 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

  • Hi Som. The cheapest interface I know that does all of these things is the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP (click here). However, this is a Firewire device and so I would only recommend using it if you have a Mac or a Windows machine with a specialist Firewire card (e.g. a Texas Instrument one). Firewire on PCs can often be unreliable even if your PC comes with a Firewire port so I would advise to avoid it if possible.

    Actually - the Tascam US-322 may interest you! This is a new product but I've just spoken to Tascam and they are due in this week! This is a USB interface with 2 preamps and DSP - click here for more info!

    Posted on April 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

  • Hi Joe, I recently purchased an Alesis i04 interface and I am thinking of returning it for the scarlet 2i2. The main problem with it is the mic input. I am using a dynamic mic (Shure sm58) and the gain needs to be turned up to the very top to pick up the mic at all which results in an incredibly low and crackly recording. Does the 2i2 support dynamic mics better and does it have a bit more gain? As I'm focused mainly on recording vocals I'm willing to invest in something a little pricier if the 2i2 won't cut it!
    Thanks for your help,

    Katherine

    Posted on April 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm

  • Hi Katherine. The Scarlett 2i2 certainly has better preamps than the Alesis and it will give you noticeably better microphone recordings. I still wouldn't have thought that the IO4 would have produced recordings at that lower level though. I used to own an IO2 and the recordings were still of a decent quality. Just to make sure, do you have the mic plugged into the XLR input of the IO4 and the corresponding switch switched to Mic/Line?

    If so then what computer and operating system are you using?

    Anyway, regardless, I would certainly recommend the 2i2 as one of the best sub-£200 interfaces for small recording projects.

    Posted on April 8, 2013 at 10:28 am

  • gareth says:

    Can you use the Scarlet 212 in conjunction with a webcam??
    Thanks

    Posted on June 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm

  • You can't connect it directly to a webcam but if you are using a program that allows you to specify a separate device for capturing the audio then this should work

    Posted on June 27, 2013 at 11:22 am

  • Hi Joe, I just bought the 2i2 recording package a couple of days ago and had the guys at my local music store intall it onto my PC for me as I have no idea what I'm doing. Now I've just read on this forum that it may not be compatible with Windows Vista which is what I'm using. What are some of the problems I can expect using this set up? Also, please can you explain why my vocals are really crackly? Thanks alot. Michelle.

    Posted on July 15, 2013 at 7:53 am

  • Hi Michelle. You are correct, Vista does not officially support the Scarlett 2i2. You can find out what operating systems are compatible with the 2i2 on the Focusrite website - CLICK HERE. It's hard to say exactly what problems you will experience using the 2i2 with Vista but the crackly recordings may well be something to do with it :s I would recommend upgrading your operating system or switching interface if you intend to carry on using Vista otherwise you could potentially run in to more problems.

    Posted on July 15, 2013 at 10:09 am

  • Mark says:

    Hi, I'm attracted to the idea of good Focusrite pres, but maybe missing something...I want to use this in a live situation, connect a vocal mic, use the plug ins (say compression) and then take the output from the software back to a powered speaker or as a line in on a mixer. Will this do that?
    Thanks

    Posted on August 14, 2013 at 12:15 am

  • BruceG says:

    Hey! So I just got my lovely 2i2 set up and stuff installed the drivers properly (Plugged it out and back in again to check) My setup is AT2020 Mic for input and Some basic headphones for output.
    So in all my DAWs the output sound only comes through my left channel :/ I've strip searched my DAW's output settings and still nothing with stereo selected, nothing changes. Help Pleeease Please

    Posted on August 14, 2013 at 5:58 am

  • Hi Bruce,

    On the main output channel in your DAW, do you see signal levels for both the right and left channel? I'm trying to find out whether the right channel signal isn't coming out of your DAW in the first place or whether it is getting lost somewhere between your software and the interface. Also what DAWs have you tried it with? If you import a stereo audio track into your DAW, do you get sound out of both speakers? Thanks.

    Posted on August 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  • Hi Mark, thanks for the question. Technically, yes, you can do this. However, you're probably going to experience latency problems (i.e. a delay between when you sing and when you hear the sound through the speakers) because the signal will have to travel into the mic, down the cable, through the interface, to your computer, be processed by your computer and then be fed back out of your computer, through your interface and then out the speakers. The amount of latency that you get will of course depend on how good your computer is and what plug-ins you are using, but it's certainly not an ideal situation for live performance. For live performances, you would be better off getting something that has processing and effects built in, e.g. a mixer with built-in effects (e.g. the Allen & Heath Zed 10FX). Alternatively you could get something like the TC-Helicon Mic Mechanic pedal and plug this into a mixer. This provides you with a selection of effects and automatically processes your voice to get the best out of it. Please note that you will also need an interface if you want to record to your computer though.

    Alternatively there are more expensive desk/interface combination products such as PreSonus' StudioLive desks, but these are a lot more expensive than the 2i2. I hope that helps and feel free to give me a shout if you have any more questions :)

    Posted on August 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

  • Jeffrey says:

    Hi Joe!
    I have a Focusrite 2i4 and it works perfectly on Cubase, however if I try the 2i4 on software like skype, then I can only use the microphone or the speakers seperately. So if I activate the microphone of the 2i4 in skype or other-like software, it will deactivate my speakers of the 2i4 and vice versa. But everything works in Cubase though. Any solution? :s Thank you!

    Posted on August 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm

  • Hi Jeffrey, thanks for the question. Unfortunately I'm not too sure of a solution here though as it's not something that I've ever tried before. Have you checked your Skype Preferences and your computer's audio System Preferences? What are you using to 'activate' the microphone? Are you talking about activating it in Skype? I'll check my Skype settings on my home computer later to see if I can see where you might be going wrong.

    Posted on August 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

  • Jeffrey says:

    Hi Joe, thank you for your reply! I do have to say that I'm Belgian so sorry if I respond incorrectly.
    I have played with the preferences of Skype but like I said in my question, only one of the 2 works, so either the microphone or the speakers. I can combine my laptop speaker/mic with my 2i4 mic/speaker but never together. There always an error that comes up if I call somebody.
    I also have checked my laptop's sound preferences and I think I was only able to activate the microphone there because earlier I was never able to use it. But it's possible that I missed something there.
    I don't really understand the question about activating the microphone but it also is the same with Teamspeak.
    Thank you! :D

    Posted on August 24, 2013 at 12:10 am

  • Joshua says:

    This review is really helpful. I have been experiencing the same problem as Bruce above. It's strictly in the headphone monitoring. I have changed the recording to mono and it picks up both inputs. It actually plays back from my computer in both left and right channels. The issue lies in the headphone jack. Not sure what to do here. Do you think this a faulty unit?

    Posted on August 24, 2013 at 8:21 am

  • Hi Jeffrey :) I hope that you had a good weekend. Are you trying to use your computer's microphone and listen back through a pair of speakers connected to the interface? Or is your microphone also connected to your interface? Also, are you using a Mac or a PC? If you let me know the answers to these questions then hopefully I will be able to help you out :)

    Posted on August 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

  • I suppose it could be... it certainly sounds strange that you would be getting sound out of both channels when speakers are connected, but only from a single channel when using headphones. I'm guessing that you've double checked that the headphones are working on another device? I wish that I could help you out on this one but I would suggest contacting Focusrite support directly as they should be able to give you the best advice (click here). Feel free to pop back and let us know what they say though. If there is a fix then it would be great to post it up on here so that other people with the same problem will be able to get help. I hope that you manage to get it sorted.

    Posted on August 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

  • Jeffrey says:

    Hey Joe! I had a great weekend thank you. I hope the same for you! I use Windows7 and my microphone and my speakers are connected to my 2i4 and it's this combination that doesn't work. Thank you!

    Posted on August 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm

  • In all honesty I'm not too sure why you are experiencing this I'm afraid. It sounds very strange that using one is causing the other to disable and vice versa. In Skype's preferences under the 'Audio' tab, is the 2i4 selected for both audio output and audio input?

    Posted on August 28, 2013 at 9:53 am

  • Jeffrey says:

    Yes, it is. Does it works for you? Well, it's possible that my pc is too weak. :) Thank you for you help! :D

    Posted on August 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

  • If it's working in your other software then it must be something to do with Skype. I've found an article that might be of some help on the Skype forums - CLICK HERE. Does any of that help solve the problem?

    Posted on August 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

  • Jeffrey says:

    Dear Joe,
    You are a hero :) I changed the quality in properties of the speaker and the mic settings to 2 channel, 16 bit, 44100 Hz and it worked :D So problem solved! Thank you so much :D

    Posted on August 29, 2013 at 11:38 pm

  • Excellent news! Thank goodness for Google and internet forums! Ha! Glad I could help Jeffrey and you know where I am if ever you have any more music gear questions in the future :) Have a great weekend and have fun Skyping!

    Posted on August 30, 2013 at 11:58 am

  • Jeffrey says:

    Thank you, I will! :D Take care and see you next time!

    Posted on August 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

  • V. says:

    Hi Joe,
    I wanted to ask you if you are aware of the problem I'm encountering using Final Cut Pro ( 7) with my Scarlett 2i2. The sound comes and goes in a very unlogical pattern. I put play on my timeline and hear normaly my sounds, but then stop for a second to make any action, then go back to playing and there, no sound ! I have to switch regularly to the internal output of my mac so I can have sound. I had never seen that before ! Maybe you can help me on this.
    Thanks in advance
    Vanessa

    Posted on October 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  • Hi Vanessa! I'm afraid that I've not heard of this happening before :( What operating system are you using? Do you know if it works ok with other programs on your Mac?

    Posted on October 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm

  • Tom says:

    Hi Joe

    I'm wondering about using the 2i2 for a very basic purpose: as a mic preamp for karaoke.

    I have a karaoke program on my PC, and a Shure mic. Does the 2i2 just install as standard sound i/o hardware in windows, so that any app can make use of it? (Or does it use an interface that only specific audio software can utilise?)

    I presume I can input the audio into the PC (and the karaoke program) via the 2i2 and USB. Would it also take the audio out, to the speakers, once it's been through the karaoke program, where it would be mixed with the backing track? Or would I use the pc's own sound card as output?


    Thanks!

    Posted on October 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm

  • Hi Tom. The 2i2 should work with most software as it is essentially just an external soundcard. You can even set it as your default soundcard for general use, so that it will (for example) play sound out of connected speakers when watching Youtube videos. Does the karaoke software allow you to select where it receives input from? If you have no other soundcard, this will probably only show one option at the moment (i.e. your computer's built-in audio card). The software will also need to have a way of specifying which input connection of the 2i2 it will receive signal from. You'll probably have your mic connected to 'input 1', but as the 2i2 has multiple inputs, your software will need to be able to recognise this fact.

    You are correct in your assumption that the 2i2 transmits audio to your computer via the USB connection and it can also feed an audio signal the other way in order to play sounds from your computer out of speakers connected to the 2i2.

    I hope that helps :-) If you need anything clarifying then feel free to get in touch again.

    Posted on October 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

  • how can I connect the 2i2's balanced outputs with my swan m200mkii active speakers? The speaker has rca ports for input purpose.

    Posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

  • Hi there. You will just need a 1/4 inch jack to rca cable, e.g.: CLICK HERE. As your speakers only have unbalanced inputs, the signal will be unbalanced though, although this shouldn't matter too much with short cable lengths. To achieve a balanced cable (which reduces noise), both ends of a cable need to be plugged into balanced connections. I hope that helps :)

    Posted on January 10, 2014 at 10:33 am

  • Hy. I have a focusrite 2i4. How can i connect my denon mc 6000 with it. Im using pc and virtual dj pro. I have a pair of Krk rokit rp8 too, connected to focusrite. When i set the vdj and try mixing, my headphones connected to Denon, no sound coming out from the headphones. how can i fix this. Do i need to connect my denon to the focusrite and if yes, how? Now just connected by usb to pc. Im new in digital djing. Pls help. Thx

    Posted on January 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm

  • Hi there,

    Is there any reason in particular that you want to connect the MC 6000 to the 2i4? The MC 6000 connects straight to your computer via USB (i.e. it has a built-in audio interface) and you can connect your speakers straight to the main outputs of the MC 6000. Therefore, I can't think of a reason why you would want to connect it all together. Or, is the 2i4 connected to a second computer? Just let me know and I will be happy to help.

    Posted on January 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

  • Hy. Thx for the response. Tje reason is why i want to connect to the focusrite to denon coz the focusrite is an amazing interface, with exellent sound quality, and i think better than the mc6000. I never tried the denon soundcard but i will. Bought a pair of XLR cable and connected to mc6000. if i set the traktor pro 2 theres no sound at all just in the headphones and just if i press the cue button on the mixer. And still cant prelisten. Do i have to unplug my speakers from the focusrite, coz they connected by trs. so if i do the speakers will connect just to denon with xlr. I set as the manual says but still doing something wrong i think. Never did it before so its kinda hard for me. So from now i just want to connect the easy way. What i want know, just plig the mc6000 whith usb to pc and the speakers with xlr to the mc6000. How can i set in this way the traktor pro 2 to be able prelisten the songs. i watched the lot of videos and read forums about it but still something wrong. I might missundertsatnding something. Thx.

    Posted on January 28, 2014 at 11:54 am

  • Hi there. I think that you're over-complicating things if I'm being honest. Although the Focusrite is indeed an amazing interface, I would just stick to using the built-in USB audio interface of the MC6000 when recording your mixes. An interface is essentially a sound card and so your computer can only really be told to use one soundcard at once, otherwise it would get confused about where to route audio in your system. This is why you will be experiencing problems, such as not getting sound out of the headphone port of the MC6000. If you have told your computer to use the Focusrite as your soundcard, it will pass all sound from your software to the Focusrite and not the Denon, so you will only be able to hear audio with your headphones plugged into the Focusrite. (Yes, if using a Mac, you can do something clever called creating an 'aggregate device', which allows your computer to 'see' multiple interface as just one device, but again, this shouldn't be needed in this situation).

    The second reason that I would suggest just using the Denon is that although I expect the Focusrite does have superior converters, all sound still has to pass through the converters of the Denon first, so if you connect it to the Focusrite, instead of getting better quality, you're actually probably going to be getting worse quality as you're likely to be adding a little more noise into the signal (i.e. the signal has to go through the Denon AND the Focusrite). The Focusrite will only be able to work with the signal that it receives, i.e. it cannot make a worse quality signal sound better, so there is really no point in adding the Focusrite into the chain.

    As I've said, I've never heard the Denon before and although I'm guessing that the Focusrite has better converters, I don't imagine that the Denon will sound bad by any stretch of the imagination. I'm sure it will be more than ok for recording mixes.

    As you rightly say near the end of your post, it's much better to use to MC6000 on its own. Just connect it to your computer with a USB cable and then connect the speakers to the outputs of the MC6000. You will then need to select the MC6000 as your audio interface in the Traktor software audio preferences.

    If that doesn't work, are you getting sound out of your speakers? Is it just the headphones that you're struggling to get sound out of?

    Posted on January 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm

  • Hy there! I connected my krk rokit 8 g2 speakers to the denon with xlr cable and set the traktor pro 2. Its working perfectly. :-) finally got it. No i see how easy it was, as you said i overcomplicated. Sometimes the easy way is the better way. I have sound from my headphone, I can prelisten as well and no problem with the sound either. Nice sound from a dj controller. Thx very much for your help, really happy with my denon now. All the best.

    Posted on January 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm

  • Brill, glad I could help. Enjoy mixing :)

    Posted on January 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

  • Oneil says:

    Hello! Nice review. Though some part seem a bit outdated cause usb 2.0 is already old and is being replaced by USB 3.0 and firewire with thunderbolt.

    Any way, I was researching about low cost audio interface for e-drums. I am planning to use VSTi sound from my mac book pro. My main purpose is to use the sound for monitoring and also in the future for live performances. I am aware that this model does not have any midi input. But lets say my drum module has usb out will it still be able to use this for monitoring(Headphones) and output(mixer/PA system) of VSTi sounds?

    I'm a bit confused on how audio interface works. I understand that you need it for recording line and mic inputs thus the word interface. But for e-drums why do you still need it for low latency(having the drum connected to the computer and not to the audio interface)? Why does the computer not capable of doing it. I mean the computer is still the one that processes the sound and it seems like the interface is just acting as the amp. Why can't my computer output do that?

    Posted on February 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm

  • Hi and thanks for the question. An audio interface is basically just a soundcard. You are correct that your computer already has a built-in soundcard, but a professional audio interface has been specifically designed for working with high-quality audio, whereas your computer's built-in soundcard is likely to just be built for basic audio purposes. Connecting a line-level signal into the recording input of your computer's soundcard is perfectly acceptable and should work. However, a professional audio interface is built with components that will give you a better sound quality, with less noise, less distortion and lower latency. Because an interface is a soundcard, it handles audio signals that enter and leave your computer (including converting analogue signals to digital and vice versa), so the quality of the components and design of the circuits does have a significant effect on both audio quality and latency.

    With regards to your e-drums question, if your drum module uses usb simply to transmit MIDI messages, then you should be able to use the 2i2 and your drum kit at the same time (e.g. set up the 2i2 as your computer's main soundcard and just use the drum module to transmit MIDI). However, you may also want to check out the 2i4, which is like the 2i2 but with MIDI and a couple of extra outputs - CLICK HERE.

    Finally, at this stage I wouldn't worry too much about getting a USB 2.0 device as this is still the norm. I imagine that USB 3 will start to creep in a bit more within the next couple of years, but for simple recording projects such as the one you mention, USB 2.0 should still be fast enough.

    I hope that makes sense and feel free to get in touch if you have any more questions.

    Posted on February 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

  • Justin says:

    does the Scarlett 2i2 interface and Scarlett studio microphone compatible with acid pro 7?

    Posted on February 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm

  • Hi Joe,
    I have a question: can the Scarlet 2i2 operate in a 'standalone' mode? What I mean by this is if I have an active audio input (eg: a turntable via a phono preamp) running into the unit, can I send (and volume control) that signal to my powered monitors directly through the unit (by means of the direct monitoring switch), without having a recording software program open (so bypassing the computer)? I am looking for a good quality but affordable unit to use for recording, but also as an interface for the kind of application described... Thanks, James

    Posted on March 6, 2014 at 8:40 pm

  • Hi Justin, thanks for the question. I'm afraid that I've never used Acid Pro before, but I'm assuming that you can select your sound card in the audio settings, in which case, I cannot envisage any problems, as long as your computer is running an operating system that is compatible with the 2i2. To check this, CLICK HERE to visit the Focusrite website and use their compatibility checker. I hope that helps.

    Posted on March 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

  • Hi James,

    I'm afraid that the Scarlett does not operate in standalone mode. In fact, there are very few audio interfaces that do, although they are not unheard of. The cheapest one that I can think of off the top of my head is the MOTU Audio Express, which I reviewed years ago - CLICK HERE for more info! It's a good bit of kit, so well worth a look at, although it is more expensive than the 2i2. Alternatively, you can buy mixers with built-in audio interfaces (e.g. the Peavey PV6 - CLICK HERE), which give you more hands-on controls, but if you're looking for the best sound quality for the price, then the Audio Express will definitely be the way to go.

    Posted on March 7, 2014 at 10:08 am

  • Momo says:

    Hi There, NEED HELP ! Well, while recording with my new Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 interface , selecting the driver from device set up (Nuendo 4), I can record my stuff smoothly. however after sometime, i experience that the sound could not be recorded/complete silence/dead, then again i have to select "no device " from device set up and then select the correct driver again 2i2, repeating this process is frustrating me . i believe there is no issues with the USB port, Is there any issue with the driver? or have you experience like this? if so, please help me to fix this problem. Thank you in advance.... Momo

    Posted on May 10, 2014 at 10:18 am

  • Hey Momo,
    Have you tried to close Nuendo and trash the Preference folder? Restart and do your device setup again. Hope that helps.

    Posted on May 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm

  • Norbert says:

    I have numbers of cassete songs collected since my young age, I just want to convert those songs into mp3 with high sounds quality. Pls tell me what is the best converter.

    Posted on August 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  • Hi Norbert and thank you for the question. How are you planning on hooking up your tape player to a recording device? Does your cassette player have analogue outputs or will you be coming out of a digital connection?

    The Scarlett 2i2 has great converters for the price, but there are better converters on the market if you want real top-end conversion - you will end up paying more money though and you'll also probably end up paying for other features that you might not need.

    One thing to note is that if you are recording your tapes, all the noise that was in the original tape will also be recorded, i.e. simply recording and converting to mp3 will not provide you with a super-clean recording.

    I hope that helps and if you answer my question, I will try and help you find the best product for your needs :)

    Posted on August 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

  • marco says:

    is it possible to connect my dj mixer (numark m6 usb) to my scarlett 2i2?
    so i can record my livemix in ableton? in stereo.. while listening to the sound on my monitors?

    Posted on August 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

  • Hi Marco,

    Yes, that wouldn't be a problem as the M6 has multiple outputs. All you would need to do is connect your monitors to the main outputs and then use a phono to jack cable to connect the 'Booth' or 'Record' outputs to the line inputs of your 2i2. A cable like this would do the trick: www.absolutemusic.co.uk/hosa-cpr45203-3-metre-twin-jack-to-phono-cable.html You would just need to pull it apart to split it into 2 separate cables (unless your monitors are really close together!) but this is very easily done as the cable is designed to allow you to do this if you need. The two separate connections from your mixer to the 2i2 would allow you to record in stereo.

    I hope that helps!

    Posted on August 18, 2014 at 9:56 am