Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Review

Producers and musicians need a dependable audio interface that they can use at all times, especially during the moments when they feel the need to record a track with excellent quality without the help of studio equipment. The Focusrite 18i20  provides the recording operations with the brand’s highly-acclaimed microphone preamps and joins them with superb-quality 24-bit/96kHz and USB 2.0 connectivity.

Mic preamps that come from Focusrite are often used in well-known studios all over the world and they provide the audio interface performance that can be compared to professionally done recordings.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • Eight of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable Air mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound. Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass. Four monitor outputs with anti-thump technology and speaker switching, and onboard talkback functionality with built-in, front panel talkback mic. Eight balanced line inputs for connecting synthesizers, drum machine and other line-level sources
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 3-month Splice subscription, and your choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
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*Price from:  2021-09-22 at 21:16 EST

Features

  • Features 24-bit depth.
  • Features 96 kHz sample rate.
  • Includes 18 inputs.
  • Features I microphone preamps.
  • Includes 8 XLR/TRS combo jacks.
  • Includes 2 S/PDIF.
  • Features 8 ADAT/optical.
  • Has total output of 20.
  • Features 1/4-inch 10 TRS.
  • Features 5-pin MIDI input and output.
  • Includes 2 headphone outputs.
  • Includes Wordclock input and output.
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows.
  • Features phantom power.
  • Features direct monitoring.
  • Features onboard DSP.
  • Features LED metering.
  • Features latency control.
  • Includes monitor control.
  • Includes headphone control.
  • Is rack-mountable.
  • Includes software.

Advantages

The Scarlett 18i20 comes in a black and red design and features 2 multi-input, balanced mic, and jacks located at the front with typical pad buttons along with 48v switches.

It has LED meters to notify users when they have a USB connection and if they plan to distribute items by digital means. It also features 8 multiple LEDs to place input level along with a monitor volume knob, dim and mute options. There are also 2 headphone outputs on the jacks accompanied by volume controls.

It is great to have an interface with plenty of connections and knobs but what matters here the most is the sound that is produced by this unit. The brand is known for manufacturing professional equipment. This unit manages to provide a transparent and clear sound with the tiniest latency.

It is also great that users can plug a microphone, headphones, and guitar into the front panel and they can get audio without having to switch on the DAW. You indeed acquire significantly clean and clear preamps with this unit. They churn out better quality sound as compared to the other units in the market.

The company’s interfaces include their MixControl software that lets users undertake audio routing with lower latency. You do have to spend some time in order to learn the MixControl functions if you are serious about doing some nice routing arrangements for headphones.

Customers who liked this product said that the interface provides great sound and it has superb build quality. It is also user-friendly and works well with Windows, Mac, and iOS. Many customers also loved that it includes a decent software bundle.

Disadvantages

Customers who were disappointed with some of the features shared that there are no output indicators on the interface. Pro Tools enthusiasts were also dismayed by the fact that the bundled software does not operate with Pro Tools.

Conclusion

Many people have bought this item and were satisfied with it overall. The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20  suits the needs of bands and singers/songwriters who plan on tracking drums, record live gigs, and monitor MIDI in and out.

It also greatly benefits electronic artists. If you want plenty of inputs and outputs along with high-quality sound, then this product is for you. However, you should look for other alternatives if you want to use Pro Tools with the interface.

Furthermore, if you want output indicators, you can check out other products of the Scarlett series from the company. What I love about this is the sound and in my opinion, the quality of sound that an interface produces is a huge deciding factor. As far as price is concerned, the device comes at a reasonable price and is definitely worth every penny of your money.