There are six interfaces in the range, as well as two studio pack bundles, from the Scarlett Solo (two-in/two-out, single-mic preamp), up to the Scarlett 18i20 (rack-mounted 18-in/20-out). The improvements are immediately apparent at first glance, with new metal gain controls and a sleeker red metal chassis underscoring a host of improvements to the product design. The latest Scarlett mic preamp now features a more even gain structure, so users can accurately set their levels, and the instrument input has also been completely redesigned with increased headroom so it can handle even seriously hot guitar pickups. Focusrite has provided analog protection circuitry across both the inputs and the outputs, guarding the interfaces against unwanted power surges. The Scarlett range also now operates at sample rates up to 192kHz.
Following the recent announcement of an alliance between Focusrite and Avid, Scarlett second-generation interfaces will also ship with Avid Pro Tools | First. Named Focusrite Creative Pack, the exclusive offering features the free version of the industry-standard Pro Tools digital audio software, and 12 additional plug-ins, including the Eleven Lite for real-life guitar amp emulations and Tape Echo to bring the sound of classic analog delays to mixes. Focusrite and Avid will continue to collaborate closely to ensure that all new Scarlett interfaces are compatible with each new version of Pro Tools, providing the best possible user experience. The joint commitment to testing and the inclusion of the exclusive Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack with every second-generation Scarlett interface makes them perfect partners for Pro Tools. Also provided are Ableton Live Lite, Softube’s Time and Tone bundle, the Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite, 2GB of Loopmasters samples and more.
Avid and Focusrite have a history of important collaborations, from the world’s first plug-ins to feature a fully skeuomorphic GUI (D2 and D3), to the original Focusrite-designed Digidesign Mbox interface, in 2000, the hardware of which was entirely a Focusrite design, bringing Pro Tools software to the masses. Focusrite was also responsible for the popular Control|24, Avid’s first mid-format console. Since then, Focusrite has introduced a wide range of interfaces on multiple protocols, from USB and Firewire to Thunderbolt and Ethernet. The Scarlett range, famous for its mic preamps and distinctive red metal chassis, was first introduced at NAMM in 2010 and has gone on to become the number-one USB interface range in the world. Focusrite interfaces now extend up from the iTrack range of iOS interfaces to the modular audio-over-IP RedNet range, used for live, broadcast, recording and installations across the globe.
The bus-powered range of Scarlett second-generation interfaces is now available, with the Scarlett 6i6, 18i8 and 18i20 following later in June. The Scarlett range is Mac- and PC-compatible, working across all major DAWs, offering class leading conversion up to 24-bit / 192kHz and a dynamic range up to 109dB.