Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

Scarlett 18i20, USB audio interface from Focusrite in the Scarlett series.

Public price: $499 VAT
PaowZ 11/17/2013

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 : PaowZ's user review

«  Excellent interface invoice »
5

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I need an interface with a multitude of inputs for recording drum sound. I racked and is used with a laptop usb (i7/8Gb/SSD) to record multiple tracks at once. For features, I refer you to the specs available here https://global.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-18i20
This model is the most complete version of the Scarlett. A nice design, knobs good enough and do not plastoc crap, a meter to gain more practical.
Comes with keys to access Focusrite plugins directly on their site.

UTILIZATION

From a driver for it begins to affect stability. It may happen that the driver farts from time to time, requiring a reboot of both the interface and the PC. I put a reserve adding that my laptop may have a concern which we must do this procedure from time to time. Anyway, once the sequencer is running and I start recording, I do end to end on 8 tracks (drums) without a single stall and without loss of ASIO buffer. And that is a guarantee of stability, although sometimes the driver jumps. As such, a shift is released in October. Focusrite takes care of updating the software part. In terms of latency, I have to turn around 10ms, it is not a factor to be taken into account if you are in hardware monitor, which is my case. I put an 8 for the driver who jumps from time to time but once it is stable, 9 will be well deserved ;)

GETTING STARTED

Installation is seedless. A soft just detect the presence of the card and is activated to display the entire interface with which rule tracks and mix different configs. The interface is clean but needs a little grip when you do not usually have as many paths and choices that you can make. The possibilities are enormous, we can re-direct inputs to all outputs in all directions and backup configs on both PCs but also inside of the card for use in standalone (one salvageable config mode standalone), you can use it as a mixer and choose to scan the signal or not. Attention, all the features of the card are not necessarily adjustable from the GUI. It is not a problem so far, it is sufficient to know.
Sound, yes, most importantly, when I changed my cards, I hesitated between RME, Focusrite and MOTU. I fault myself turning to hybrid MOTU but concerns related to the USB has been reported, then RME, although renowned for its preamps, did not offer the possibility of Focusrite. And finally, I wanted to give it a try - risk - with a young material, but which seemed to offer a good price / performance ratio. Well I took. The preamps are quality and will start to breathe very late in the race knob, they offer a good dynamic range and are a good notch above the Profire and Tascam I have. The sound recordings are realistic. Not bad, not flirtatious or flattering (this is not what I ask what kind of material, moreover ..) but realistic sign of good transparency. I found the warmth of my 4c ;)

OVERALL OPINION

I roll with this card for a few months. I have owned a few cards before, but none of that caliber. I could not tell if the resulting sound is better or worse than a MOTU / RME but it is far better than anything I've owned. For the price, Focusrite up a competitive product on the whole, given its potential. I remake that choice without problem. I just regret that there is no built-in a few effects to make direct DSP. So, I do it in the sequencer. Apart from this detail, this is a great product despite some driver errors, errors that start from now-and already be corrected with maj.
For the photo, we see the very bottom of the rack, I use it to record our rehearsal we made the headphone with electronic drum. A luxury, yes .. but a luxury that is affordable considering the quality.