Focusrite scarlett 2i2, the best sound card at low price

Focusrite scarlett 2i2, the best sound card at low price

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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 – See price or buy

There focusrite scarlett 2i2 sound card is one of the best sellers ever, for what reason ?. I bought this audio interface just by accident, my great Audient id14 audio interface had broken and I didn’t want to spend more than 200 euros for an alternative sound card. Given the great reviews from users and given the low price, I said to myself, let’s try it.

Many sound cards cost over $ 300 not because they offer better quality than preamps or converters, they simply have more channels or more features. My requirement was to have a quality 1 or 2 channel home audio interface. When working this way it doesn’t even make sense to have an audio interface that is bundled with Pro Tools and has 16 mic inputs if you only need to record a vocal or a guitar.

To tell the truth in my case only one channel is enough, as long as it is all of quality, this sound card offers two and is equipped with microphone preamps and phantom power. Before buying this sound card I looked at other models like: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6, Apogee One, M-Audio Fast Track, Presonus AudioBox etc.

During my choice phase I discarded the idea of buying a firewire audio interface because while it was a popular connection type in the past, computers with a firewire port are disappearing, and Firewire is known to have compatibility problems with different computers. Unless your computer uses a Firewire chipset made by Texas Instruments, FireWire interfaces may work with errors. Even though Firewire is faster than USB 2.0 (remember we are now at version 3.0) if you don’t record more than 16 instruments at a time the difference in data transfer speed is almost negligible. Rather I advise you all to spend more money on a good computer with a powerful processor, a large hard drive and a lot of ram.

I originally wanted to get the Apogee One which costs more than the Scarlett 2i2, but it has a built-in condenser mic which has good quality, but I don’t like the fact that it has an unbalanced 1/8 inch jack output. This means that powered studio monitors cannot be connected to the interface without dampening the signal. On the other hand, the Scarlett 2i2 has 2 balanced outputs for 1/4 inch jack connectors which produces less noise and hum than unbalanced ones.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 sound card offers clear and pristine sound and allows recording at 24-bit and 96 kHz, but frankly it is a negligible detail because even with a 192 kHz sound card the differences would be imperceptible. The microphone preamps in audio interfaces at this price are usually noisy and poor, for example I didn’t like the ones in the Presonus Audiobox, with focusrite the problem is less there. Even when I set the gain up to maximum, the signal remained silent. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 sound card preamp is the same as the Liquid Saffire 56.

Scarlett 2i2 works with low buffer settings without nailing the CPU. Even with a buffer of 77 samples, there were no problems. Latency when monitoring is also incredibly low at around 6ms avoiding audible delays. If you are allergic to latency there is a direct monitor switch on the interface that routes the audio input directly to the headphones and speaker outputs without having to go through the computer allowing for zero latency listening. This nice interface illuminates the knob during use, if it is green it means that the signal is good, if it is red it indicates that the signal is clipping.

Let’s start talking about the defects, being powered via usb if you use many programs during use you may have some problems in doing recording but using a powered USB hub you will prevent the audio interface from taking CPU resources. Another aspect to consider is that there are no Midi connections but actually many midi devices such as keyboard controllers can be used via USB. The biggest “problem” arises if you need to record from multiple audio sources at the same time. The Scarlett 2i2 allows you to record a maximum of 2 inputs, so if you need to record with more than 2 microphones at the same time you have to look for another sound card.

When should I purchase a model with multiple channels?

1.) if you want to record eg 1 voice, 2 acoustic guitars and 1 bass at the same time you will need an audio interface such as Focusrite Scarlett 8i6.

2.) if you want to record a drum kit you will need a multi-channel preamp such as the Focusrite OctoPre MkII because 2 microphones are not enough for the drum kit.

3.) If you need mic inputs but can’t afford the purchase of a multi-channel preamp, then choose models with many built-in mic inputs such as the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 or 18i20.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the best audio interface in its price range and proves perfect for songwriters, small home recording studios and DJs who need a way to connect their laptops to a PA system. The Scarlett 2i2 is offered with Ableton Live Lite 8 and Focusrite’s Rossrite plug-in suite which includes EQ, compression, gate and reverb plugins.

Audio interfaces