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Thread Serious doubts with the18i20

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1 Serious doubts with the18i20
I'm planning to buy my first non-Sound Blaster audio interface (now i have a Sound Blaster XFi Elite Pro) and the Focusrite 18i20 is one of my options by price and IO number, but i've some serious doubts.

First of all I have a 7.1 speaker system. Can I listen 5.1 movies or multichannel videogames? According to the manual you can get sound and route it from the analog inputs, DAW inputs, and internal mixes, but how system sounds are treated?.

Second. Can i record sounds from the pc? An online radio, videogames, ...
Whether or not you can record system audio is more of a function of software, rather than hardware. I know that the Audacity (freeware http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) has features that allow Windows users to record audio from their systems. As for whether you can listen to multichannel audio through the interface, again, that depends on the software, I would think. Certainly, there are enough analog outputs on the 18i20 to handle surround audio. Hopefully, Simon from Focusrite can give more specifics on this. Good luck!
Hi Devs0und,

The 18i20 does not feature a 5.1/7.1 encoder/decoder. However, it does feature multiple outputs that can be routed directly to surround sound channels.


Hope this helps!

Best Regards,
David // Focusrite Technical Support
As an 18i20 user :

You can listen to 5.1 and 7.1 but only if the program supports some kind of routing. Their is no internal decoder like david said.

Also you can Not record any music or sounds from your computer unless you connect some outputs to some inputs with cables and re-record them.

The 18i20 is not build for that. It is a multi track recording interface for recording several instruments or singer with an instrument.

You need something completely different equipment.

- Angelie

It's not about what you got to use ....    but how you use what you got...

[ Post last edited on 07/19/2015 at 01:46:50 ]

Seems that this type of equipment is too dedicated. It is a pity that is not fully compatible with other simple and common things in Windows.

I think i'm going to buy another sound blaster, a good one with ASIO support, like the one i'm using rigth now but updated, pci express and ready for Windows 10.


[ Post last edited on 07/19/2015 at 04:12:16 ]

I think i'm going to buy another sound blaster, a good one with ASIO support, like the one i'm using rigth now but updated, pci express and ready for Windows 10.

Based on what you're looking for in an interface, feature-wise, that sounds like the right decision. Good luck! :-)
Hi guys,

As already mentioned, our audio devices do not support any DTS decoding, that is quite specialised and these units were not built for it.
However as quite rightly explained, our units can be used to output surround sound (2.1, 5.1 & 7.1 depending on the Scarlett/Saffire you choose), assuming that the audio program you're sending signal from utilises the ASIO driver for multiple outputs.
For example, it is quite possible to mix a song in Logic/Pro Tools/Cubase etc for surround, and, using the Mix Control software, send that out to a surround system.
Whilst the 18i20 is unable to record Loopback (audio playing on your computer) without a physical cable from output to input, our Firewire Saffire range does have the loopback feature for 'in-the-box' loopback recording, the Saffire Pro40 is the I/O equivalent of the Scarlett 18i20.

Hope this helps, however it does sound like you require a slightly different type of unit to the above.
Good luck and hope you get up and running soon.

Best regards
Simon // Focusrite Technical Support