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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen

164

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) and Ableton Live Lite, Pro Tools First, Focusrite Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite, Softube Time & Tone Bundle and a software tool of 4 XLN Audio Addictive Keys of your choice
Recording / Playback Channels 18x20
Number of Mic Inputs 8
Number of Line Inputs 8
Number of Instrument Inputs 2
Number of Line Outs 10
Headphone Outs 2
Phantom power Yes
Number of S/PDIF Connectors 2
Number of ADAT Connectors 2
Numer of AES/EBU Connectors 0
Number of MADI Connectors 0
Ethernet 0
Other Connectors No
MIDI interface Yes
Word Clock No
Max. sample rate (kHz) 192 kHz
Max. resolution in bit 24 bit
USB Bus-Powered No
Incl. power supply Yes
USB Version 2.0
Width in mm 482,6 mm
Depth in mm 259,8 mm
Height in mm 46,6 mm
Item number 468427
$475
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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.

About Focusrite

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.

164 Customer Reviews

5 136 Customers
4 23 Customers
3 4 Customers
2 0 Customers
1 1 Customer
4.8 / 5

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l
Interface on another level
lapsio 18.04.2020
I have never in my life even remotely thought that interface can change my workflow this much. Integrated zero-latency hardware 1 bus mixer is game changer since... it works even if PC is turned off and interface is unplugged. It means that you can actually set this interface up in such way that when PC is off Scarlett 18i20 can behave as pass-through device passing any line-in of your choice (eg. inputs 7-8) directly to your main XLR monitors. It makes it really easy to connect multiple either balanced or unbalanced devices to monitors. Kinda like... monitor controller or actual mixer AND interface in one device.

Really nice. Value added by this device is simply incredible. Also it works under Linux (as of today there's kernel patch available on linuxmusicians fixing implicit USB feedback issue).

The only issue I have with this device it's that it has ONE bus mixer. Means you can create one "custom mix" aka virtual mixer (with whichever physical or software inputs you like) and then assign this one mix output it to whichever outputs you like but there's only ONE such stereo mix. It means that you can't for example pass line-in 7-8 to out 1-2 and line-in 5-6 to out 3-4 as that would require 2 independent virtual mixers which is not possible.

pros:
- standalone 1 bus mixer
- signal level meters and other back lit indicators look super dope
- 10 built-in output channels (a lot of devices have only 8). In general great i/o
- rubber caps to cover rack ears mounting holes if you don't use them
- kind of works with Linux as well as smartphones

cons:
- standalone ONE bus mixer
- i believe more controls should be exposed as physical buttons. Eg. AIR switch which is physical on some other Scarlett devices.
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M
A PITA for Linux users
Mercs 13.01.2021
While physically speaking the quality of this unit is great, the software implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Many configuration options, such as extending the number of inputs through the ADAT connection, require using the Focusrite Control proprietary software suite, which is only available for Windows and Mac. Why not make all options configurable without a PC, and especially without a proprietary piece of software?

This device desperately needs hardware controls for user settings. With that, all Focusrite would really need to do to provide Linux support is to make the device USB class compliant. Unfortunately, since the driver is proprietary, the Linux driver is a reverse-engineered one that works but still has some issues, the device being as new as it is. The free/open source community will fix the driver issues in time, and the device is already quite usable, but all the troulbe make one beg the question: why make things so difficult, Focusrite?

Otherwise, the device is fine. Lots of inputs right into your PC - what more can you ask for.
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M
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen
Mark4378 28.09.2021
A great interface,i'm using for micing drums so plenty of ins to great pre-amps,also using the midi connections for electric kit, all works well no issues latencey etc, the talk back and monitoring software included make for an excellent bundle.
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All-In-One
Bonzvy 24.03.2021
Ich nutze den 18i20 3rd Gen schon seit längerem und habe keinerlei Beschwerden. Der Preamp ist für meine Ohren sehr transparent, die Haptik fühlt sich gut an. Ich verstehe das manche die "zu kleinen" Regler bemängeln, aber ich habe damit kein Problem. Das Interface bietet viele Erweiterungsmöglichkeiten, zu dem ich nicht viel sagen kann, da ich sie bis heute nicht verwenden musste. Verwenden tue ich das Interface primär in meinem Home Studio, wurde aber auch schon für kleiner Live Gigs eingesetzt.

Ich finde es sehr sinnvoll, dass es einen Talkback Mic integriert hat, jedoch muss man dafür das Interface direkt vor den Augen haben oder über die Focusrite Control bedienen. Zweiteres funktioniert zwar, aber dann ist man zu weit weg vom Talback Mic - also alles etwas semi optimal wenn man das Interface in einem Siderack verbaut hat.
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