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Focusrite has Two winning Audio Interfaces with their new Scarlett USB 2.0 Series and both
loaded with Features and options The i816=
he Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 gives you a ton of flexibility for a portable interface. Two vibrant Focusrite mic/instrument preamps are right on the front panel where you need them, while the back panel hosts a slew of extra I/O - up to 18-in/4-out simultaneously! With six additional line inputs around back, plus 8-channels of ADAT input and 2-channel S/PDIF I/O, the Scarlett 18i6 is a perfect foundation for home or project studios that may need to expand in the future.
To keep that high channel count under control, Focusrite includes their acclaimed MixControl software for ultimate flexibility. Create up to six separate mono mixes or three stereo mixes, each routable to any of the Scarlett 18i6's outputs. Save your mixes for instant recall later on. Re-route your signal path without having to replug your whole studio. The Scarlett 18i6 was built with flexibility in mind.
Focusrite didn't stop at stellar sound quality and flexible routing with the Scarlett 18i6 - you also get the Scarlett VST/AU/RTAS plug-in suite featuring Focusrite's acclaimed Scarlett compression, reverb, gating, and EQ! These plug-ins give you access to the vibe of classic Focusrite studio hardware with the flexibility of software processing. Factor in the included
Ableton Live Lite 8, a ton of royalty-free loops and samples, and the free Novation Bass- station synthesizer, and you've got a complete music production suite that's ready to go whenever inspiration strikes.
A ton of I/O for an interface in this class Up to 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA for pristine sound quality
Flexible routing options make it easy to change your signal flow without re-plugging cables
MixControl software makes it simple to create low-latency monitor mixes on the fly
Included Xcite+ software bundle adds a ton of value with free software, loops, and plug- ins
and with the i816 $299.99 USA and 8i6 $249.99 Focusrite Makes it easy on your
Checkbook! They have two brand new winning products here in my opinion!
I would also like to warn anyone who is about to install on Windows (tried XP 32 and Win 7 64) that there are confusing instructions in the manual. Do NOT, whatever you do, install the "resources" file off the CD that comes in the box - this installs a driver that refers to "Scarlett 18i6 audio". Although the manual does warn you to download the latest version of the Scarlett Mix Control, you would have had to anyway as it is not on the CD - and because of the lack of any "audio" drivers I was confused into believing that the resources file should be installed also.
When you install Mix Control, what they don't tell you is that this also installs the usb and audio drivers, but again be wary of windows itself popping up a "search for drivers" though bubble and cancel it when it does so. Not doing this leads to a second set of drivers and you are likely to be rewarded with a Blue Screen Of Death.
To set up your DAW you are told to select the "Scarlett USB" ASIO driver - however I had two to select from : "Focusrite USB 2.0 Audio Driver" and "Scarlett USB" and the Scarlett one produced an error saying that device was not available. After uninstalling, reinstalling just the MIx Control download and evading Windows driver searches I had just the single "Focusrite USB 2.0 Audio Driver" and this seemed to work. How about just telling us that in a readme attached to the Mix Control download?
I am still confused by the setup of this device and while this may be my own unfamiliarity with the environment, it would be useful if Focusrite had a forum on their own website rather than the paltry "Answer Base" which actually displays a complete lack of any Answers.
While the unit itself appears to have excellent quality in the hardware I think there is a distinct lack in the manual and the software. But I am, after all, an early adopter and I suspect there are some bugs that need to be ironed out. Hopefully V1.1 of Mix Control will be better - and how about attaching a "read me" to it that explains the pitfalls and details the changed driver names to save others from the hair pulling and cussing that I have gone through?
In Windows 7, when only having the Scarlett USB (CD-driver) installed, you can see it in Control Panel (Sounddevices) as Speakers and as a Line In. When you install the Focusrite 2.0 USB driver, the Speakers option all of a sudden dissappears. Above that, I had trouble with crackling noises in Cubase and Windows througout using the Focusrite Driver, even with changes in buffer size through the MixControl.
It seems to work for now, but it's irritating not to understand the reason for the trouble...
I apologize about the "lack" of the on-off switch, not sure where I saw or read that. I too am puzzled about the manual-drivers-plug ins, I emailed Focusrite about Scarlett 18i6 and I am using a Mac (did You get the paper in the box "Important Information for Mac OSX users (It the web link takes You too a earlier date of user guide and Scarlett Plug In Suite Installer and on same link , Scrolling down to 18i6 it shows a earlier date on the MixControl Installer (but version is same) I emailed Focusrite Tech Support pre-sale to verify info on what version of OSX compatible with and it reply-on box says OSX 10.6.5 but is compatible through OSX 10.6.7 (most current version) I use Apple's Garageband (not High tech) but the Install sequence I received from Focusrite (as no user guide was on their site yet for the Audio Interface or Scarlett Plug In Suite) was to download the most current d-loads for Focusrite MixControl and Drivers from Focusrite.com (contradicting the lone piece of paper in the box, and the only English language info was Focusrite Scarlett 18i6 and number of ins and outs and the Xcite + Sticker (sides of bix were in German, French,Italian and Spanish
The Xcite+ pack cards with auth #'s were in English, and I was instructed to
1) d-load MixControl for 18i6
2) and D-Load Scarlett Plug In Suite
both above from Focusrite.com and user guides for each
3) use Ableton Live Lite 8 disk and after installing MixControl
Install Ableton Live Lite (which was v 8.0.9 and prompt said projects created in v8.1.3 or earlier will not be able to be opened and to do the update 8.2.2 (after account creation in Ableton
4) did above and then installed Scarlett Plug in Suite (No option to activate)
5) installed d-load of Novation Bass Station and I received a promt for my Name and serial number on the Novation card
6) I am not a Abelton user and emailed and called Focusrite Tech Support (who have been helpful pre-[urchase and pre-arival of unit and > unit but once I could not get the Scarlett Plug In Suite activated
nor find either plug in in Apple Garageband V5 iLife 09 that came with my mid summer iMac Intel Core i3 3.06 GH 4 GB ram 500GB HD
I have used g-Band since version 1 (bought iLife the first one) then later editions came with eMac;s in 2004 and now V5 iLife 09
with plans to update to iLife 11 (I bought my iMac and then discovered my Tascam A/I did not have Snow Leopard Drivers (all other gear did) I bought and returned (sealed) a T.C.Electronics Impact Twin Firewire 400 as it had far more bells and whistles than needed and I did not receive any install disks etc and recentlyread their drivers arehaywire or were,
I have apple Jampacks V1 the discontinued one and 4 out of 4 except World Music which I got for a song online at a authorized Mac dealer's online Garage sale , they were opening a 2nd store and I paid $20.00 for one and $30.00 each for the other 3 (they sell online for $89.99 to$99.99 and they remain sealed (I did that as I had no interface and completated selling them and updating to Logic Express or Logic Studio
or other gear.
I did email wher I bought the 18i6 and they asked me to set up a tech support ticket with them and call them. I realize these are new products and I actually got a PDF user guide from the dealer site berfore Focusrites site and am puzzled over that paper and versions of Mac OSX versions for plug in suite and Micx Control
I could do without MixControl and use the drivers as with Garageband there is not mixing, though Mix Control has routing but Mac's have Audio-Midi set up which does that sort of The plug ins are nice and better quality I am sure than stock Garageband ones Sorry again for the mix up on the on-off (I use a seperate surge protector for the 18i6 plugged into a another one (Into the same AC plug)
Any Mac users out there?
I did also verify that using a 32 bit plug in in a 32 bit application (G-Band) ona Mac running at 64 bit will work and is compatible, first answer was yes, second no and consensus was Yes per Tech Support
Will post again if I find any short cuts , which DAW's areou using
You Tube jas a Focusrite and BNovation channel bit info on these limited, I am checking online and Sound on Sound Harmony Central etc (as Scarlett Plug in Suite is dated 2009 so info must be out there same with Novation Bass Station (I guess I am used to a USB A/I plug and play after driver install (I really like the ADAT in) on these and the price point and specs and included software is excellent Future Music May 2011magazine gave it a too hard to believe for the price and reviews to follow
I know the unit has just recently been released, but come on! I just got it today, I've got the weekend to research the web as much as I can for a solution. But come Monday, Focusrite better make it right or I'm sending it back. I can't afford for them to do software driver development on my time. I like it and want to keep it. But they better straighten this crap out. I've already wasted a whole day on it.
I'm running it on an New HP laptop with an i5 CPU and 6 Gigs of RAM. It's a system built for media purposes. So i know it isn't my system or a lack of resources.
If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears!!
[ Post last edited on 06/25/2011 at 03:14:52 ]
After negotiating-out that general issue, I decided to put the unit through its paces by applying what I purchased it for.
I've invested heavily into Toontrack's Superior Drummer collection and want to be able to track my V-Drum kit through the 8i6, real-time, with the lowest latency possible during a full band tracking session because those drums sound amazing...
Well long story short... The latency performance was great as long as the 8i6 stayed online. I jammed on the kit through the 8i6 for 15 minutes or so (the estimated time of consistent performance was sporadic with each attempt and reset), but it never failed that after a certain amount of time the sound would stop and my laptop indicated nothing other than "no sound". Upon investigation the my system could no longer find the device or driver like it was no longer attached, even though the led on the unit itself indicated a connection with the PC (even after I powered off the PC). I can't work like that so I'm sending the unit back even though it sounds amazing when it's working.
The reason I'm sending it back is that the only way I was able to reset the driver was to power-down, physically remove the USB and plug it back in before powering the laptop back up. The other thing that made me realize that it was hardware relate (it seems) is that when I powered-down the laptop the led on the 8i6 unit still indicated a live USB connection and the only way to reset it again, was to physically disconnect and reconnect the unit, even though the laptop was completely turned off.
I need performance 'now' and don't have time to wait for Focusrite to fix drivers. I can't have musicians having to stop and start during a session killing the groove because the drums keep unexpectedly stopping, and waiting for reboots along with reloading apps to get back on with the session. It defeats my purposes.
I love the sound and everything about the unit, but I need MIDI and real-time sample triggering performance more than anything else. I've got a studio full of awesome, industry grade converters (RADAR, etc..) and outboard gear. I'm also sure that Focusrite will make good on straightening out these issues down the line, as all new releases have unexpected issues that require firmware upgrades and driver adjustments. But I unfortunately can't wait. Otherwise I would.
If you're a user needing this unit strictly as an audio device, don't let my post effect your decision. My application is somewhat unusual in nature. I still believe in Focuserite. I'm just stuck between a rock and a hard place and can't afford any hardware issues over the next few months.