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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

USB audio interface from Focusrite belonging to the Scarlett series.

13 user reviews
8/10

Annonces Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

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Average Score:
( 4.5/5 based on 13 reviews )
7 reviews
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5 reviews
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"Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 review"

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20Publié le 03/12/15 à 07:16
The Scarlett-18i20 is an audio device that has a selection of inputs and outputs that can be effectively used to record a band. This device replaces heavy amounts of equipment that may you need in a studio in order to combine the mix and instead finds them all in a single audio interface. The device also has exceptional sound quality and comes with Mic pre-amps that are designed by focusrite and have an award winning sound to back them up. The audio interface also comes with a circuit design that is both analogue and digital and is therefore capable of recording audio at an extremely high quality.

Utilization

The first thing I noticed about the Scarlett-18i20 was that it had a wide sele......
Read more
The Scarlett-18i20 is an audio device that has a selection of inputs and outputs that can be effectively used to record a band. This device replaces heavy amounts of equipment that may you need in a studio in order to combine the mix and instead finds them all in a single audio interface. The device also has exceptional sound quality and comes with Mic pre-amps that are designed by focusrite and have an award winning sound to back them up. The audio interface also comes with a circuit design that is both analogue and digital and is therefore capable of recording audio at an extremely high quality.

Utilization

The first thing I noticed about the Scarlett-18i20 was that it had a wide selection of inputs and outputs, as well as many ways in which to tweak the volume of each of the connections. I was able to plug the audio interface directly into my computer easily and effectively thanks to the 2.0 USB connection that it had.

Key features


I found there to be 18 inputs and 20 outputs. There was also 8 Mic preamps on the device with the ability to switch them to phantom power. The audio Interface also came with analogue inputs that had a combination of XL and jack sockets. As well as this, there are also eight channels of digital I/O which are accessible via an ADAT light pipe. There are also several headphones outputs which allow you the ability to send the mix to several individuals at once. For instance, you could send the sound output to the individual artist, as well as the sound engineer.

There is also a section for monitoring and this comes with buttons that you can use to cut the sound, as well as the ability to control the studio monitors that are running from the audio interface. I also was pleased that the audio Interface worked with software such as Abelton live, and it made the process of submitting the audio into the program easier and more fluid.

Comparison

The closest audio interface that you could compare with the Scarlett-18i20 is that of the focusrite Saffire pro 40. I found the design of the Scarlett-18i20 to be very similar of the Saffire pro 40 and there was a similar amount of inputs and outputs, as well as a selection of control on the gain on the Saffire pro 40 which was similar to that of the Scarlett-18i20.

One of the main differences between the two audio interfaces is that the Scarlett-18i20 are continuing to be developed by focusrite, where as the Saffire models have stayed the same over the years, with the input design of a FireWire cable. This type of connection uses less CPU power than USB but is being discontinued by modern computers. This means that they risk being discontinued and may therefore be unsuitable for individuals who are running the latest computer software with which to use the device.

Pros and cons

This is a very well-designed audio interface with a wide variety of input and output options. I experienced very clean sound when I played guitar softly through the audio interface. However, when I began to play the guitar on a more intense level I found that clipping occurred. This can be an issue and you need to be careful that the volume on the instrument that you play into the audio Interface isn't too loud, otherwise you will get permanent clicking on your recordings and this will be undesirable in most situations.

Some individuals have also complained that the Scarlett-18i20 device did not work with their Mac computer and that they had to upload the latest drivers in order to get it working. I did not have this problem but I would imagine that it is not the most difficult procedure to carry out.

Summary

If you are interested in producing music for a band which uses many different inputs when recording music then a device such as the Scarlett-18i20 will be perfectly suited in a studio environment. The device is also light enough to carry around and this means that you can create high-quality recordings in any location. I recommend the Scarlett-18i20 audio interface for any individuals who have a desire to record music.
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Anonymous

"Stable and good, but the finish leaves a lot to be desired"

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20Publié le 05/15/14 à 13:03
I bought this soundcard to have the maximum of inputs and outputs for my home-studio. In this respect, I have nothing to say. The soundcard is very good, you will be limited by the PC, not by the card itself!!! I use it with a UAD twinfinity 710 preamp and dbx 166xs compressor. Simply wow (for a home studio)!

Computer: intel core i3 3.10 Ghz, 4GB, running windows 7 64bits.

UTILIZATION

The drivers are very stable, not a single crash nor recording ruined. I don't know if they are updated frequently, there's no need to update :-)

I use it with Cubase 6.5.

No issues recording 16 tracks at the same time. I haven't exceeded 16 playback tracks.

GETTING STARTED

Problem-free installation. Setu......
Read more
I bought this soundcard to have the maximum of inputs and outputs for my home-studio. In this respect, I have nothing to say. The soundcard is very good, you will be limited by the PC, not by the card itself!!! I use it with a UAD twinfinity 710 preamp and dbx 166xs compressor. Simply wow (for a home studio)!

Computer: intel core i3 3.10 Ghz, 4GB, running windows 7 64bits.

UTILIZATION

The drivers are very stable, not a single crash nor recording ruined. I don't know if they are updated frequently, there's no need to update :-)

I use it with Cubase 6.5.

No issues recording 16 tracks at the same time. I haven't exceeded 16 playback tracks.

GETTING STARTED

Problem-free installation. Setup relatively easy (except for the software routing).

I took a quick look at the manual. Sorry! :-D

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using it for 4 months now. I had had four soundcards before. And this one is the best (I only know home-studio quality soundcards).
What I like best: Its rack format, that it's internally powered, its performance, its two headphone outputs, its combo jacks on the front, its stability.
What I like least: Its finish (slippery volume controls, small and very, very fragile pad, inst and phantom power buttons!!!). I've had two broken and I don't even know why!
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"Top of the pop, man"

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20Publié le 05/13/14 à 08:02
- Which technical specifications motivated your choice?
The number of inputs/outputs, the rack-mounting possibility, the MIDI interface, and the brand

- What do you use it for?
To record in a mini-home studio (awaiting more resources to expand), alone or with a band, to keep the settings of each track.

- What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)?
Adobe Audition CS6 Windows 8, intel i7, 8GB RAM (good setup for the most part)

- Do you use it with other instruments or systems (mixing console, preamp, DtD, ...) and what's your setup? ...
I'm a newbie, so I can't give any specific characteristics. I use it with a Presonus Studio Channel preamp to record vocals.

UTILIZATION
......
Read more
- Which technical specifications motivated your choice?
The number of inputs/outputs, the rack-mounting possibility, the MIDI interface, and the brand

- What do you use it for?
To record in a mini-home studio (awaiting more resources to expand), alone or with a band, to keep the settings of each track.

- What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)?
Adobe Audition CS6 Windows 8, intel i7, 8GB RAM (good setup for the most part)

- Do you use it with other instruments or systems (mixing console, preamp, DtD, ...) and what's your setup? ...
I'm a newbie, so I can't give any specific characteristics. I use it with a Presonus Studio Channel preamp to record vocals.

UTILIZATION

- Are the drivers stable?
Never had a problem.

- Which software do you use?
Adobe Audition CS6 - no problems

- What's the latency of your system?
I record at 8 ms, and I think you can go further

- How many tracks can you record/playback simultaneously ? ...
Since I don't have a whole orchestra behind me, I have been able to record 4 tracks and play back 8/10 tracks without any problems.

GETTING STARTED

- Did you have any problems during the installation?
You need an Internet connection to download the driver, after having validated a code.

- Did you have any incompatibility problems?
No, sir.

- How complicated is the overall configuration?
Even being new to it, I got how it works rather quickly, which means...

- Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive? ...
Uh... I haven't opened it.

OVERALL OPINION

- How long have you been using it?
Two/three months, not longer.

- Which feature do you like the most / the least?
The most: everything, really, I'm very satisfied!
The least: If you bear with me, I'll go look for something...

- Did you try any of other models before buying this one?
Two small interfaces: Presonus Audiobox USB and Yamaha Audiogram 3
The 18i20 dwarfs them both (fortunately!!)

- How would you rate its value for money?
For such a number of inputs and outputs, it's really a very good value for money. It is true that the preamps aren't of the best quality, but they are far from being bad. Anyway, at this price and given what the 18i20 offers, it couldn't be better.

- Based on your experience, would you buy this product again? ...
If I had the same budget, without hesitation.
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"A good product"

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20Publié le 05/11/14 à 16:34
- Which technical specifications motivated your choice?
The number of I/OS, the brand.

What do you use it for?
Mobile recording and as audio interface for my keyboards (Mainstage).

What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)?
I use it with a mac mini (Intel core i7, 16GB RAM, 500GB HDD)

Do you use it with other instruments or systems (mixing console, preamp, DtD, ...) and what's your setup? ...
For recording I have used an ADAT Marian (ADCON) converter to have free analog I/Os, otherwise I use ADAT cards on digital consoles...depending on the setups I find where I go. I almost only do demos, to be true.
For my keyboards, I use simply the MIDI interface of the Scarlett, to......
Read more
- Which technical specifications motivated your choice?
The number of I/OS, the brand.

What do you use it for?
Mobile recording and as audio interface for my keyboards (Mainstage).

What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)?
I use it with a mac mini (Intel core i7, 16GB RAM, 500GB HDD)

Do you use it with other instruments or systems (mixing console, preamp, DtD, ...) and what's your setup? ...
For recording I have used an ADAT Marian (ADCON) converter to have free analog I/Os, otherwise I use ADAT cards on digital consoles...depending on the setups I find where I go. I almost only do demos, to be true.
For my keyboards, I use simply the MIDI interface of the Scarlett, together with a UM550 for MIDI routing of two keyboards and a pedalboard.
The audio of my Prophet08 is processed within Mainstage and then sent to the Scarlett.
I use 4 analog outputs (1 stereo for the stereo sum, in case the console is too small, 1 stereo for my personal monitoring on stage...And the rest is output separately via ADAT with the 8 outputs of the external converters. That way, the FOH engineer can do whatever he wants from the console.

UTILIZATION

Are the drivers stable?
Yes. Very stable, actually. To be honest, since I switched to Focurite, I have no problems in this respect. I used to have a Digi002, and it was a nightmare, but now I'm pretty chilled.

Are they up to date?
No, but when they work fine...

Which software do you use?
Logic pro 9, Reason 7 and Mainstage 3. Everything works smoothly. You only need to be careful with the launch options (32 bits/64 bits) so everything works together, but otherwise, it works fine.

What's the latency of your system?
On paper, too high.
With a 256 buffer, the software displays a round-trip latency of 20ms...But, actually when I play on top it's almost imperceptible. And I am pretty sensitive to such details, so I suspect the real latency value to be equal or less than 5ms with this buffer value.
And also knowing that my Mainstage uses a lot of resources (sometimes 6 or 8 virtual instrument tracks with my prophet08 which goes through the Scarlett and Reason in the background, the CPU gets really hot).
So I take some precautions.
To be true, recording live (even with 16 tracks) I can lower the buffer to 128...But, in the end, it's absolutely useless for what I do. So its awesome!

How many tracks can you record/playback simultaneously ? ...
I have already recorded 16 tracks. I haven't tested the playback, but I use 10 outs live and it works smoothly. I think you can push it to the limits without any problems.

GETTING STARTED

Did you have any problems during the installation?
Yes, you need an Internet connection to get the drivers.

Did you have any incompatibility problems?
Not for the time being.

How complicated is the overall configuration?
It's easy, even if I don't like the Scarlett MixControl software...But, at the same time, with such number of ins/outs it's not easy to offer routing options that are clear without a Rube Goldberg machine. Personally, I haven't used it much. I muted all hardware monitoring from the interface to use software monitoring (or real monitoring on a hardware console before the interface, when I do demos).

Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive? ...
Yes. But, at the same time, it is dispensable.

OVERALL OPINION

How long have you been using it?
7/8 months.

Which feature do you like the most / the least?
The most: The stability
The least: The complexity of the MixControl software...But I think you can get used to it if you dedicate some time to it, which I haven't done. But it's no deal breaker.

Did you try any of other models before buying this one?
I had Focurite Saffire 6...at home, due to my laziness of having to take it off the rack every time to work. And I was very happy with it, given the stability of the drivers, so I decided to be loyal to the brand.

How would you rate its value for money?
Regarding the number of I/Os, very good.
The preamps are neither excellent nor bad.... they are OK and do their work. An interface with 18 inputs equipped with 8 preamps and a Wordclock output, for this price —and seeing how it all works—, is a good investment, I think. For the time being, at least.

Based on your experience, would you buy this product again? ...
Certainly!
Considering my budget. I think that if you want something better without compromising on the number of I/Os and features, you need to fork out a lot more with other brands. So, yes, I'd buy it again without hesitation.
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Tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Focusrite
  • Model: Scarlett 18i20
  • Series: Scarlett
  • Category: USB audio interfaces
  • Added in our database on: 01/10/2013

We have no technical specifications for this product
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Other names: scarlett18i20, scarlett 18i 20, scarlett 18 i20, scarlett18 i20

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