18-Channel USB2.0 audio interface with USB-C connection
- 24 Bit / 192 kHz
- 8 Scarlett microphone preamps
- Phantom power +48 V
- Switchable air function
- Talkback function with integrated microphone
- Pad switch
- 8 Mic / line inputs: XLR / 6.3 mm jack combo balanced - 2 of them front side with instrument input
- 10 Line outputs: 6.3 mm jack balanced
- 2 Stereo headphone outputs: 6.3 mm jack
- 2 S / PDIF input and output coaxial
- 2 ADAT input and output
- MIDI input and output
- USB-C connection
- BNC Word Clock
- For PC / Mac
- Format: 19"/ 1U (removable rack panel)
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 482.6 x 46.6 x 259.8 mm
- Weight: 3.19 kg
- Includes USB cable (Type C to A), Ableton Live Lite and Focusrite Hitmaker Expansion (registration from 1 October 2021)
The scarlet heart of the studio
The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, a USB audio interface for Mac and PC, is the flagship of the acclaimed Scarlett interface series. It features eight balanced line inputs for connecting synthesizers or other line-level audio sources and ten balanced outputs. In addition, it features a digital stereo input and output in S/PDIF format and an eight-channel ADAT I/O. The eight analogue inputs are combined XLR/jack sockets and can thus be used with microphones. The 18i20 features eight high-quality Scarlett microphone preamps with switchable 48 V phantom power, as well as the brand-new Air Mode. Electric guitars and basses can also plugged in directly, since the impedance of the two front sockets can be set to Hi-Z. The Scarlett 18i20 also looks great and is very attractively priced.
Love is in the "Air"
Focusrite’s outstanding reputation for building high-quality mic preamps has been established for over three decades now, and much of this expertise has been included in the third generation of Scarlett interfaces via the brand-new integrated Air Mode, which when selected opens up and brightens the high end in a way that is intended to emulate their classic ISA preamps – or, as the British manufacturer puts it, to provide “unique high-end detail for vocals and acoustic guitar”. Decades of experience really do speak for quality in this case, and the AD/DA converters provide optimum clarity and detail with a maximum bit depth of 24 bits and frequency rates of up to 192 kHz.
The power of 18
The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20’s 1HU rack format is suitable for professional studios. The eighteen flexibly designed inputs should be fit for any purpose, and the ten analogue outputs mean you can, for example, create alternative monitoring mixes or integrate outboard effects units. Two headphone outputs, a word clock, and a built-in talkback mic neatly round off the picture. What is more, the integrated MIDI interface can be used to connect a master keyboard, for example, since a sound generator of four XLN Audio Addictive Keys is already included in the bundled software package.
Founded in 1985 by Rupert Neve, Focusrite quickly made a name for itself with high-quality analogue consoles. Today, the company markets audio interfaces, mic preamps, consoles, analogue EQs, and channel strips as well as hardware and software for digital audio processing. The company is based in High Wycombe, England, and has won numerous industry awards. In addition to the Focusrite Pro line, the company also has subsidiaries that include Adam Audio, Novation, and iOS app creator Ampify Music.
Get started right away
The newly designed “gain halos” (the red and green LED rings around the gain controls on the front panel) are intended to make it easier to adjust gain settings, so that budding producers can start recording immediately after buying the interface. To make things simpler still, Focusrite has included a “Quick Start Tool” and put together an impressive and comprehensive package of free software, some in the box and some available for download, which includes Ableton Live Lite, Pro Tools First, Focusrite Red Plugin Suite, Focusrite Plugin Collective, Focusrite Control, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, a three-month subscription to Splice Sounds, and a software tool of four XLN Audio Addictive Keys of your choice.
In the spotlight: Solo, 2i2, 4i4, 8i6, 18i8, and 18i20
The third generation of Scarlett interfaces comprises the Solo, 2i2, 4i4, 8i6, 18i8, and 18i20 as well as two bundles, the Solo Studio and 2i2 Studio, each of which includes a microphone and headphones. The abbreviations 2i2, 4i4, etc. specify the number of inputs and outputs. In other words, “2i2” stands for two (i)nputs and two outputs, and 4i4 accordingly stands for four (i)nputs and four outputs. The “Solo” bends the rules in this respect, since it actually features two inputs and two outputs – the name instead suggests that it is intended for solo artists or singer/songwriters.
Focusrite USB Audio Interfaces at a glance
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Focusrite Studio and Recording Equipment at a glance