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Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (3rd Generation)

USB 2.0 (Type-C) audio interface for Mac® and PC

Item # 88018I83G

The third-gen Scarlett 18i8 from Focusrite equips your home studio with powerful features for making clean-sounding...

The third-gen Scarlett 18i8 from Focusrite equips your home studio with powerful features for making clean-sounding...

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About the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (3rd Generation)

A compact, feature-packed USB interface

The third-gen Scarlett 18i8 from Focusrite equips your home studio with powerful features for making clean-sounding recordings. This latest generation of Scarlett interfaces has better microphone preamps than ever — each one has a selectable "Air" mode that simulates the classic Focusrite mic preamps used in AIR Studios for better top-end detail and spaciousness. The 18i8 has four of those mic preamps, lots of input/output options, and a host of bundled software to get you started making music quickly.

A compact, feature-packed USB interface

The third-gen Scarlett 18i8 from Focusrite equips your home studio with powerful features for making clean-sounding recordings. This latest generation of Scarlett interfaces has better microphone preamps than ever — each one has a selectable "Air" mode that simulates the classic Focusrite mic preamps used in AIR Studios for better top-end detail and spaciousness. The 18i8 has four of those mic preamps, lots of input/output options, and a host of bundled software to get you started making music quickly.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 computer audio interface

Low-latency performance gives you more flexibility

Like the previous generation of Scarletts, Focusrite's new models offer extremely low latency. That means you can record and monitor in real time using software effects, plug-ins, and virtual instruments from your DAW — instead of relying on monitoring dry input signals. (Give that vocalist a little reverb in their mix to make them feel comfortable, and you might find yourself capturing better takes!)

Inputs for your audio sources

There are four combination XLR/TRS inputs on the front panel. Inputs 1 and 2 handle mics, line-level signals, and direct input from instruments like electric guitars or basses, with plenty of headroom to handle hotter styles of pickups. Inputs 3 & 4 accept mic and line-level signals. If you're using condenser mics, phantom power is supplied to the two input pairs via the two front-panel 48-volt selectors.

Need more inputs? The optical digital input on the back panel can accept an eight-channel ADAT stream from an external device like a mic preamp console with an ADAT output. This connection lets you take full advantage of the 18i8's impressive 18-channel input capability, so you can mike an entire band, from vocals and guitars, to keyboards and drum kits.

An impressive list of bundled software

The Scarlett 18i8 is designed to work flawlessly with all major DAW software, but if you're just getting started, you'll appreciate that this interface comes bundled with Avid Pro Tools® First as well as Ableton Live Lite. You also get newly designed Focusrite Control software for intuitive control of your mixing and monitoring setups. The bundled software package also includes the Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite, Softube's Time and Tone reverb and delay plug-ins, and more.

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Product highlights:

  • computer audio interface with 18 input and 8 output channels
  • 4 newly redesigned Focusrite mic preamps offer low noise, high headroom, and evenly distributed gain
  • "Air" mode emulates classic Focusrite ISA mic preamps for spacious sound with additional high-frequency clarity
  • direct instrument input signal path offers lots of headroom for high-output electric guitar pickups
  • super-low latency lets you record and monitor with software effects in real time
  • intuitive Focusrite Control software for configuring your mixing and monitoring setups
    • loopback feature lets your record other sources within your computer "virtually," with no physical connectors
  • bundled software includes Avid Pro Tools First, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, and more
  • supports sample rates up to 192kHz
  • sleek, durable metal chassis
  • accepts mic, instrument, line-level, MIDI, ADAT, and S/PDIF signals
  • optical digital input allows up to eight channels of ADAT signals with external mic preamps and recorders
Connections:
  • 4 front-panel XLR/TRS mic/line inputs for use with microphones, keyboards, and drum machines
    • inputs 1 & 2 also accept direct instrument input, with plenty of headroom for high-output electric guitar pickups
  • standard 5-pin MIDI input/output jacks for use with an external MIDI controller
  • four rear-panel 1/4" TRS inputs for line-level signals
  • four 1/4" TRS balanced analog outputs for connecting powered studio monitors, mixing boards, or effects processors
  • ADAT-compatible optical (Toslink) input for connection to external ADAT devices such as a Focusrite 8-channel mic preamp
  • coaxial digital (S/PDIF) in/out
  • two 1/4" headphone outputs with independent volume control for discrete monitor mixes
  • USB Type-C port for connection to a computer
    • USB-C to USB-A adapter cable included; USB-C to USB-C cable available separately
General features:
  • 24-bit analog-to-digital/digital-to-analog conversion with sampling rates of 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz
  • volume knob for controlling levels in studio monitors
  • 48V phantom power is selectable separately for input pairs
  • illuminated halos around gain knobs indicate signal clipping
  • supported operating systems: Windows® 7, 8.1, 10; Mac OS X 10.16.3 (High Sierra) and 10.14.5+ (Mojave)
  • powered by supplied AC power adapter
  • 9-1/2"W x 2-7/16"H x 6-5/16"D
  • weight: 2.94 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # SCARLETT 18I8 3RD GEN
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What's in the box:

  • Scarlett 18i8 audio interface
  • 80" AC Power adapter (12VDC / 1.2A output)
  • 3 Outlet adapters (US / EU / UK)
  • 58" USB Cable (Type-A to type-C / 2.0)
  • Safety instructions

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More details on the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (3rd Generation)

Russ B.

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 is a 18 input/8 output audio interface that's part of the Third Generation of Scarlett series professional computer audio interfaces. It features 4 XLR / 1/4" combo inputs, all with Scarlett mic preamps, along with up to 8 optical digital input channels (ADAT format), and 2 S/PDIF (coaxial) digital input channels. Two of the 4 front-panel combo inputs can accept mic-, line-, or instrument-level signals, while the other 2 front-panel combo inputs can accept either mic- or line-level signals. Four additional 1/4" outputs are provided on the rear panel. Four line-level outputs are provided on 1/4" jacks, along with 2 digital output channels. The Scarlett 18i8 audio interface includes a plethora of recording software, sounds, and plug-ins to quickly get you started making music.

24-Bit/192kHz DAC: The Scarlett 18i8 employs a high-definition 24-bit/192kHz analog-to-digital converter for exceptional sound quality and recording with up to 111 dB dynamic range. The default sample rate of the 18i8 is 48kHz.

Scarlett Preamps: The Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 is equipped with Focusrite's 3rd generation of microphone preamplifiers for use with all types of microphones. The net result of the Scarlett preamp design is high headroom, low noise, wide dynamic range, extended frequency response, and most importantly, musicality and transparency, with smooth highs, solid deep lows, and everything in between.

  • Air: Focusrite's latest 3rd gen Scarlett mic preamps feature Air circuitry, derived from Focusrite's legendary ISA preamps. Activating Air can make guitars and vocals sound instantly brighter and more spacious, with a lustrous sheen that can make a real difference in your mix.

Focusrite Control: All setup and configuration of the Scarlett18i8 is done through the Focusrite Control software, available for Windows and Mac, found here. The Focusrite Control software allows detailed routing of all inputs and outputs with adjustable level controls for each. Many of the front-panel controls can also be selected for adjustment and offer more detailed options in the software than is available from the front panel.

Audio Inputs: The Scarlett 18i8 includes 4 front-panel combo jacks and 4 rear-panel 1/4" inputs. Rear-panel S/PDIF (coaxial) and Toslink optical digital ports can provide up to 8 channels of digital input.

  • XLR / 1/4" Combo Jacks:
    • Channels 1 & 2: Front-panel input channels 1 & 2 feature XLR/1/4" combo jacks that can accept either microphone-, line-, or instrument-level signals, balanced or unbalanced. Input signal gain for Mic or Line is automatically set, depending on whether an XLR or /14" plug is inserted. A front-panel switch for each input lets you select Instrument-level.
      • Note: Only microphone-level signals should be used if connecting an XLR plug; higher level signals can overload the preamp circuit. If Phantom power is applied, it could damage non-compatible outboard equipment.
    • Channels 3 & 4: Two additional front-panel XLR/1/4" combo jacks can accept either Mic- or Line-level signals, balanced or unbalanced.
  • Digital:
    • S/PDIF Coaxial: A rear-panel S/PDIF (coaxial RCA) input can accept 2 channels of audio with sample rates ranging from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz.
    • Toslink Optical (ADAT & S/PDIF Formats): A rear-panel optical input jack can provide up to 8 channels of audio at 44.1kHz/48kHz sample rates, and 4 channels of audio at 88.2kHz/96kHz. The optical input can also be used as a S/PDIF input when connected to a device with an optical S/PDIF output. The optical input is disabled when sample rates of 176.4/192 are used.

Audio Outputs: Audio outputs from the Scarlett 18i8 include four 1/4" balanced jacks along with a single S/PDIF (coaxial) jack for digital signals.

  • 1/4" Jacks: Four line-level output jacks are provided for signal output (balanced/unbalanced). Outputs 1 & 2 can be used as the Main output, providing left and right channel output to a monitoring system. Outputs 3 & 4 can be assigned as a second set of monitor outputs as well, if needed.
  • Digital:
    • S/PDIF Coaxial: A rear-panel S/PDIF (coaxial RCA) input can output a 2-channel audio signals in S/PDIF format at sampling rates from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz.

USB 2.0 Port: The Scarlett 18i8's rear-panel USB port (type-C, 2.0) is where you connect the included USB cable from the audio interface to your computer.

MIDI I/O: The Scarlett 18i8 includes two standard 5-pin MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) sockets are provided for connecting to MIDI equipped keyboards and sound modules. The MIDI Input is used for plugging in a keyboard or control surface for triggering and manipulating sound sources in the computer/software. The MIDI Output lets the software trigger outboard audio devices such as a synthesizer, sound module, or drum machine. 

Controls: The Focusrite 18i8 provides the following front-panel controls.

  • Input Gain Controls: Each of the 4 front input channels includes an input gain control. These controls have concentric tri-colored LED rings to confirm signal level:
    • Green: Signal level is at least -24dBFS (i.e., signal is present)
    • Amber: The ring turns amber at -6dBFS, indicating the signal is close to clipping.
    • Red: Lights when the signal hits 0 dBFS (digital clipping)
  • Inst Icon: Input channels 1 & 2 include an Inst icon, indicating if Instrument is selected in the Focusrite Control software.
  • Pad Icon: Each of the 4 input channels includes a Pad icon which will light if Pad is selected in the Focusrite Control software. This option decrease the signal level going to your DAW by 10dB, for use with high-level input signals.
  • Phones: Two Headphone outputs are provided, each with their own level control.
  • 48V: Two buttons are provided for activating +48V phantom power to their corresponding XLR/1/4" combo jacks, one for Channels 1 & 2 and one for Channels 3 & 4.
  • AIR: Four yellow AIR icons, one for each Input channel, light to indicate if the AIR feature has be activated for that channel. AIR is selected in the Focusrite Control software.
  • Monitor: This dial controls the output level of the main monitor outputs and can be configured in the Focusrite Control software to adjust the level of any of the 4 analog outputs.
  • USB Icon: Lights to indicate the unit is recognized by a connected computer.
  • ALT Icon: Lights to indicate Speaker Switching has been activated in the Focusrite Control software. This switches the monitor output from Channels 1 & 2 to Channels 3 & 4.

Included Software Bundle: The Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 comes with a powerful software bundle that provides everything you need to record, mix, and master your next project. This software package includes:

  • Pro Tools/First Software: Avid Pro Tools is the industry standard for audio recording and editing software. The Scarlett 18i8 includes Pro Tools/First, Avid's entry-level version of their powerful software. Even as "entry-level" software, Pro Tools/First is packed with important features for recording and editing your music.
    • Up to 16 audio tracks
    • Session Templates: Various session templates are provided to help you get started quickly. Templates for rock, pop, electronica, hip-hop, and jazz can cover a wide range of music styles, each including preloaded virtual instruments. You can also build tracks from scratch and save your track settings as presets.
    • Editing: Featuring Pro Tool's world-class editing tools, the Pro Tools/First software lets you click-and-drag MIDI notes, change tempo, edit pitch and timing, correct mistakes, and much more.
    • UVI Workstation 3: This is a powerful sample player and multitimbral instrument that makes it easy and fun to create unique sounds. It also includes Xpand!2 virtual instrument pack, offering a wide range of sounds, from beats and loops to orchestral instruments, and more.
    • Soundbase: Includes over 3GB of high-quality loops, samples, and sound content created by leading producers.
    • Effects & Utility Plugins: Pro Tools/First comes with 23 effects and utility plugins to help shape sounds, warm up tones, and give tracks greater presence. Plugins range from EQ and Dynamics to Reverb and Delays. Additional plugins can be purchased through Avid.
    • Cloud Storage: Pro Tools/First includes Avid's free introductory cloud storage, letting you save, sync, and share up to three projects.
  • Ableton Live Lite: The Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 includes Ableton Live Lite, the industry-leading music-making software. Key features include:
    • Up to 16 audio and MIDI tracks.
    • 4 Software Instruments.
    • Over 1500 sounds (5+ GB)
    • 21 Audio effects
    • 8 MIDI effects
    • VST2, VST3, and Audio Unit support
  • XLN Audio Addictive Keys: Includes 4 virtual keyboard instruments.
  • Softube Time & Tone Bundle: Includes 3 of Softube's world-class plugins: Reverb, Delay, and Distortion.
  • Focusrite Red Plugin Suite: Includes accurate models of the classic Red 2 equalizer and Red 3 compressor.
  • Focusrite Plugin Collective: This lets you receive free versions of the most innovative software as well as discounts.
  • Splice Sounds: A three month subscription to Splice Sounds gives you access to millions of high-quality, royalty-free sounds and loops.

OS Requirements: Below are the minimum operating system requirements for the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 audio interface.

  • Windows 7 (32/64 bit), 8.1, and 10
  • Mac® OS X 10.10, 10.11, 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra, and 10.14 Mojave

Specifications:

Supported Sample Rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

Audio Inputs:

  • Front: 4 x XLR / 1/4" combo jacks balanced, Mic/Line (Mic/Line/Instrument on 1 & 2)
  • Rear: 4 x 1/4" jacks (balanced Line input)
  • Microphone Inputs 1 & 2:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 111 dB (A-weighted)
    • Gain Range: 56dB
    • THD+N: <0.0012% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Noise EIN: -128dBu (A-weighted)
    • Maximum Input Level: +9 dBu (no PAD), +16dBu (PAD selected)
  • Line Inputs 1-4:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 110.5 dB (A-weighted)
    • THD+N: <0.002% (minimum gain, -1 dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Gain Range: 56dB
    • Maximum Input Level: +22 dBu at minimum gain
  • Instrument Inputs 1 & 2:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 110 dB (A-weighted)
    • THD+N:  <0.003% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Gain Range: 56dB
    • Maximum Input Level: +12.5dBu at minimum gain
  • Line Inputs 5-8:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 110 dB (A-weighted)
    • THD+N:  <0.002% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Maximum Input Level: 18dBu at minimum gain

Audio Outputs:

  • Line Outputs 1-4: 4 x 1/4" TRS (balanced)
    • Dynamic Range: 108.5 dB (A-weighted)
    • Maximum Output Level (0 dBFS): +15.5 dBu (balanced)
    • THD+N: <0.002% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Headphone Output:

  • Type: 2 x 1/4" stereo
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz ±0.1dB
  • Dynamic Range: 104 dB (A-weighted)
  • Maximum Output Level: 7 dBu
  • THD+N: <0.002% (measured at +6dBu with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Other I/O:

  • Optical I/O: 1 x Toslink Optical ports; 8 channels @ 44.1/48kHz or 4 channels @ 88.2/96kHz in ADAT format
  • S/PDIF I/O: 2 x  Coax Digital (RCA) or via Optical input (selectable via Focusrite Control)
  • USB: 1 x USB Type-C, 2.0
  • MIDI I/O: 2 x 5-pin DIN sockets

Dimensions: Width = 9.50", Height = 2.375", Depth = 7.750"

Weight: 2.94 lbs.

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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Generation)
USB 2.0 (Type-C) audio interface for Mac® and PC
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$499.99
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Check out Focusrite's top-of-the-line Scarlett interface with even more inputs and outputs

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Generation) offers these features:
  • 18 input and 20 output channels with eight mic preamps
  • ten 1/4" balanced analog outputs for connecting powered studio monitors, mixing boards, or effects processors
  • 6 rear-panel XLR/TRS balanced mic/line inputs for use with microphones, keyboards, and drum machines
  • built-in talkback microphone
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