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Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (Second Generation)

USB 2.0 audio interface for Mac® and PC

Item # 880SC188G2

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Overview

Our take on the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (Second Generation)

Focusrite's highly capable Scarlett 18i8 was made for digital recording enthusiasts looking to capture clean-sounding tracks using their computer. It features four high-quality Focusrite mic preamps, extensive and expandable input/output options, and a host of bundled software to get you started making music quickly. This interface's compact design helps it fit easily in most desktop setups.

Pro-quality interface in a desktop design

Focusrite's highly capable Scarlett 18i8 was made for digital recording enthusiasts looking to capture clean-sounding tracks using their computer. It features four high-quality Focusrite mic preamps, extensive and expandable input/output options, and a host of bundled software to get you started making music quickly. This interface's compact design helps it fit easily in most desktop setups.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 computer audio interface

The Scarlett 18i8 packs versatile recording options into a compact chassis.

Faster, better performance

This interface's super-low latency makes capturing great-sounding tracks easier than ever. That's because 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!) Focusrite also updated their already highly acclaimed mic preamps to offer more even, precise gain adjustment. Plus, they've improved the headroom of the direct instrument input to cleanly capture stronger signals, like really hot electric guitar pickups.

Inputs for your audio sources

Four combination inputs on the front panel can accept XLR cables from dynamic or condenser microphones, and 1/4" line-level signals from drum machines and keyboards. Inputs 1 and 2 can be switched to a high-Z instrument input, for direct connection of an electric guitar or bass. There are four additional 1/4" TRS inputs on the rear panel, as well as MIDI, S/PDIF, and optical digital inputs, for expanded versatility to record small combos. Phantom power is supplied to two inputs at a time with a push of one of 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 this interface'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, Novation's Bass Station Virtual synthesizer, and 2GB of Loopmasters samples.

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
  • redesigned direct instrument input signal path offers improved headroom, so it can handle seriously hot electric guitar pickups
  • super-low latency lets you record and monitor with software effects in real time
    • roundtrip latency as low as 2.74ms
  • new, intuitive Focusrite Control software for configuring your mixing and monitoring setups
  • bundled software includes Avid Pro Tools First, Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, and more
  • supports sample rates up to 192kHz
  • analog circuitry protects inputs and outputs from common mishaps, like plugging an output into a console with phantom power or shorting a mic input when phantom power is engaged
  • 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:
  • 2 front-panel XLR/TRS switchable mic/line/instrument inputs with 10dB pad for use with microphones, electric guitars and basses, and other instruments
  • 2 front-panel XLR/TRS balanced mic/line inputs for use with microphones, keyboards, and drum machines
  • MIDI input/output for use with an external MIDI controller (up to 16 channels)
  • four rear-panel 1/4" TRS inputs for line-level signals
  • two 1/4" balanced analog outputs for connecting powered studio monitors, mixing boards, or effects processors
  • ADAT-compatible optical (Toslink) digital 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 2.0 port for connection to a computer
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 with Mute button for studio monitors
  • 48V phantom power is selectable separately for input pairs
  • illuminated halos around gain knobs indicate signal clipping
  • USB cable included
  • supported operating systems: Windows® 7 (64-bit), Windows 8.1, and Windows 10; Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • 8-15/16"W x 2-5/8"H x 7-1/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Audio interface (18-in/8-out)
  • 5' USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Type B USB on other end)
  • AC adapter with attached 58" DC output cord (DC output: 12V 1200mA)
  • 3 AC adapter plugs (US / UK / Euro)
  • Important Safety Instructions
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Features
Specifications

Features

2nd Generation Overview: The Focusrite Scarlett line of USB audio interfaces is the best selling in the world. The second generation Scarlett products are still housed in a red anodized aluminum chassis, and feature upgrades to make your recordings sound even better. The new interfaces feature super-low latency to let you record and monitor your performance with software effects in real time. Scarlett 2nd Gen products have new metal volume controls, and now operate at sample rates of up to 192 kHz. The new Scarlett mic preamps have more gain structure to let you more accurately set your levels. At the same time, the redesigned instrument inputs have more head room to make it easier to record electric guitar without clipping. The new generation interfaces also have new analog protection circuitry across the inputs and outputs to guard against unwanted power surges.

Scarlett 18i8 (2nd Gen): The Scarlett 18i8 (2nd gen) is an 18-in/8-out USB recording interface, which allows you to record audio onto a Windows or Macintosh computer. The Scarlett 18i8 is designed for multi-instrumentalists, producers, and small bands who want to record audio from a wide range of sources, such as drums, guitars, keyboards, and vocals. It has 6 analog inputs, 2 S/PDIF inputs, 2 balanced monitor outputs, MIDI in and outs, and two stereo headphone outputs with separate volume controls. You can expand the number of mic/line inputs by connecting an optional microphone preamplifier to the interface via the ADAT optical input. The 18i8 comes with a USB cable, AC adapter, and free software via download.

Mic Preamps: The Scarlet 18i8 2nd gen features four high-quality Focusrite mic preamps with combo connectors that accept either XLR or 1/4" plugs. The rotary input level controls have unique gain "halo" indicators that change color to let you know if you have a good signal (green) or clipping (red). The award-winning Focusrite microphone preamps feature plenty of headroom and 48V phantom power when using condenser microphones.

Line Inputs: The combo connectors can be used to connect line-level devices via XLR or 1/4" plugs. The Scarlett 18i8 (2nd gen) does not have a "Mic/Line" switch because the preamplifier stage is automatically configured for a microphone when you plug an XLR into the input, and for a line or instrument when you connect a 1/4" plug. In addition, four 1/4" TRS line input jacks (Labeled 5, 6, 7, & 8) are provided on the rear panel. The line inputs will accept balanced or unbalanced inputs.

Instrument Inputs: Inputs 1 and 2 can be used for connecting an instrument, such as a guitar. They will accept TRS (balanced) or TS (unbalanced) plugs. Using the Focusrite Control software (Device Settings page), you must set the inputs to Instrument when you connect a musical instrument via an ordinary 2-pole guitar jack, or Line when you connect a line level source as the balanced output of an external audio mixer via a 3-pole (TRS) jack.

ADAT Connection: In addition to the 8 analog inputs, the Scarlett 18i8 has an optical ADAT input port which can provide an additional 8 inputs (at 44.1 or 48kHz sample rate), or 4 inputs (at 88.2 or 96kHz). Using an optional mic preamp, such as the Focusrite Octopre MkII, you can easily expand the input capability of the Scarlett 18i8. The Octopre MkII connects to the Scarlett 18i8 via a single Toslink optical cable.

10dB Pad: A 10dB pad may be inserted in each of the front input signal paths, controlled in the Focusrite Control Device Settings page. The pad increases the headroom of the input stage and is used to reduce the input signals that are "too hot." The red "Pad" LED indicator glows when the pad is selected.

Digital Ins/Outs: The Scarlett 18i8 (2nd gen) is equipped with S/PDIF (RCA coaxial) digital inputs and outputs on the rear panel. This allows you to input two-channel digital audio signals into the interface, or output a digital signal to a digital recording device. These two channels are considered as Inputs 9 and 10 and Outputs 7 and 8, and the signals can be routed in the Focusrite Control software.

MIDI Ins/Outs: Two standard 5-pin DIN sockets are provided for connecting external MIDI equipment. The Scarlett 18i8 (2nd gen) serves as a Break-out / Break-in Box or Hub for routing MIDI data in and out of your computer, for distribution to other MIDI devices. When MIDI data is received at the MIDI IN port, the green "MIDI" LED will illuminate.

Direct Monitor: Direct Monitoring allows you to hear the output of the 18i8 without having to go through your computer (with possible latency effects). In the Focusrite Control software, you can control the balance between the input signal and the DAW playback.

Computer Interface: The Scarlett 18i8 (2nd gen) connects to your Windows or Macintosh computer via a USB 2.0 or 3.0-compliant USB port. The interface is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)
  • Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)

Included Software: Focusrite Scarlett interfaces come with Pro Tools/First recording software, which features the main features of Pro Tools 12 in an entry level package. All of the bundled software is available via free download with the code key included in the box. An Internet connection is required for downloading the software. The Scarlett 18i8 (2nd Gen) includes the following software:

  • Pro Tools/First
  • Focusrite Red 2 & 3 Plug-in Suite
  • Softube Time and Tone bundle
  • Ableton Live Lite
  • LoopMasters sample library
  • Novation Bass station
  • 18i8 USB Drivers for Windows
  • Multi-language User Guides

Specifications

Configuration: 18 Inputs (8 Analog, 2 S/PDIF, 8 ADAT), 8 Outputs (6 Analog, 2 S/PDIF)

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

Analog Inputs: 4 x XLR / 1/4" combo jacks (Mic/Line switch: automatic; Line/Instrument switch on Inputs 1 & 2: software controlled); 4 x 1/4" rear panel inputs (labeled 5, 6, 7, 8)

  • Microphone Inputs:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5/-1.5 dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 109 dB (A-weighted)
    • Gain Range: 50dB (-4dB to +46dB)
    • THD+N: <0.002% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Noise EIN: -127dBu (A-weighted)
    • Maximum Input Level: +8.5 dBu (without pad)
  • Line Inputs:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5/-1.5 dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 109 dB (Line Inputs 1-4); 110 dB (Line Inputs 5-8)
    • THD+N: <0.003% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Gain Range: 50dB (-21dB to +29dB)
    • Maximum Input Level: +22 dB (Line Inputs 1-4), +16 dB (Line Inputs 5-8)
  • Instrument Inputs:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5/-1.5 dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 109 dB (A-weighted)
    • THD+N: <0.003% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Gain Range: 50dB (-4dB to +46dB)
    • Maximum Input Level: +12dBu

Monitor Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (balanced)

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5dB)
  • Dynamic Range: 108 dB (A-weighted)
  • Maximum Output Level (0 dBFS): +16 dBu, balanced
  • THD+N: <0.001% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Headphone Outputs: 2 x 1/4"

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.5dB)
  • Dynamic Range: 108 dB (A-weighted)
  • Maximum Output Level (0 dBFS): > +13 dBu, balanced
  • THD+N: <0.001% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Dimensions: Width 9.019", Height 2.665", Depth 7.57"

Weight: 3 pounds 14 ounces

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Expandable to 12 mic inputs with ADAT input. [ Robert  Feb 19, 2017 ]
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Check out Focusrite's top-of-the-line Scarlett interface with even more inputs and outputs

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (Second 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