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
Sonic.Fury 05/14/2014

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 : Sonic.Fury's user review

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The technical features that motivated my choice were the number of I/Os, the flexibility in terms of routing, the two independent headphone outputs, which come in really handy, and the 1U rack format.
I use the interface with a preamp and my macbook pro 13" early '11 and a pair of Yamaha HS7 as monitors.
Especially to record guitars and some vocals, right now, but I will certainly use it for other things later. I use it mainly with Live 9 and Logic pro X.

UTILIZATION

On mac there's no driver as such, so it is very stable. The software included for internal routing isn't complicated and it works fine, with very practical presets.
Overall, it's really easy to use.
I have never had the chance to record more than 4 tracks simultaneously, but the latency is quite all right.
In terms of updates, I must confess that I haven't paid much attention.
In the end, everything works fine and without problems.
Moreover, it does its job very well, for the price and type of hardware, but you can't expect the same conversion as with a high-end interface. The preamps are all right for the price but they are certainly not the best. But, for the price, it's pretty good. You can do some pro stuff, as long as you have good mics and external preamps.

GETTING STARTED

No remarks regarding installation and setup. I haven't even looked at whether it has a manual or not.

OVERALL OPINION

I've used it for almost six months now and I tried different interfaces at different price points. The most similar was the M-Audio Profire 2626. I think the choice is very subjective, but I prefer the scarlett. It looks nicer, the two jack/XLR inputs on the front are much more practical and I prefer the preamps of the scarlett.
Its value for money is all right, even if I bought it at my local store (to pay in installments) and it wasn't cheap. But focusrite are rather nice and offer a small bundle with some virtual instruments and a sample library that isn't bad at all. But it's the hardware itself that is a good deal secondhand.
Based on my experience, I would buy it again because it's gear I know I can keep some time before switching to something else.