Focusrite scarlett 18i6 1st Gen

Focusrite scarlett 18i6 1st Gen

Brand: Focusrite

USB Sound-Card, Software & Recording

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CODE: scarlett 18i6 1st Gen


Despite the change of livery, to red, the Scarlett 18i6 looks very much like similar Saffire interfaces, but as well as the replacement of Firewire with USB, this model offers I/O options that are unique amongst the two interface ranges.

As the name implies, the 18i6 has a total of 18 audio inputs and six audio outputs. Eight of the inputs are analogue, six being line level. The other two offer the option of mic, line or hi-impedance formats. Phantom power is available on the two mic channels, and is switchable globally. The remainder of the inputs are digital, comprising an eight-channel ADAT port and stereo S/PDIF connector. The six outputs are presented as a pair of analogue jacks, a stereo headphone jack, and a stereo S/PDIF connector — there's no ADAT output. Unlike some competing small interfaces, the 18i6 also includes 16 channels of MIDI I/O on standard MIDI five-pin DIN connectors. This configuration should make the interface a good starting point for the serious home studio owner.

The ADAT and S/PDIF ports mean that you can easily expand the interface at a later date with more I/O. (Given the lack of ADAT output, though, you'll only really benefit from expanding the system with more recording inputs — hooking up a few outboard compressors isn't going to be on the cards.) The supplied software should also increase the Scarlett's appeal: Focusrite's Xcite bundle (which features Ableton Live and the Novation Bass Station soft synth) and their Scarlett plug-in bundle are included. so there's everything you need to get up and running quickly.

The A-D and D-A converters can operate at up to 24-bit word lengths and sample rates up to 96kHz, and both have a healthy A-weighted dynamic range: 110dB for the A-D and 106dB for the D-A. The mic preamp spec is impressive, given the price of this interface — but there's detailed info on the Focusrite web site, so I won't dwell on that here.

Warranty: 3 years official warranty
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