Focusrite are demonstrating their rather attractive new interface, the Scarlett 18i20 at NAMM this week. This is the bigger brother of the Scarlett 18i6 reviewed in February last year and, among other things, adds eight channel of ADAT output. With eight microphone preamplifiers and 18 inputs, this gives a lot of functionality at a relatively low price point. More information follows from Focusrite.
Press Release: Focusrite is pleased to announce the Scarlett 18i20, the latest in its popular series of high-quality USB 2.0 interfaces. It’s designed to be your complete studio hub, and as such features enough inputs and outputs to record and mix a full band. With Focusrite’s award-winning mic preamps and outstanding analogue and digital circuit design, it’s capable of making pristine, studio-quality recordings. What’s more, its contemporary style, with the same graphic identity as Focusrite’s best-selling Scarlett 2i2 and 2i4 audio interfaces, makes it the perfect centrepiece of your studio.
With 18 inputs and 20 outputs in total, Scarlett 18i20 gives you eight critically acclaimed Focusrite microphone preamps with switchable phantom power. Precision 24-bit/96kHz A-D/D-A converters deliver exceptional dynamic range to ensure pristine recordings. The analogue mic/line inputs are fitted with combination XLR/jack input sockets, and connections for channels 1+ 2 are on the front panel and offer additional Hi-Z instrument modes and a switchable 10dB pad. An additional eight channels of digital I/O (four channels at 88.2/96kHz) are provided via ADAT lightpipe, with S/PDIF providing an additional stereo digital input and output. Dual independent headphone outputs let you set up separate mixes for the engineer and the artist, while a dedicated monitor section, with dim and mute buttons, provides comprehensive control over your studio monitors.
Scarlett 18i20 ships with a feature-packed software suite, including Ableton Live Lite music production software. Record audio and MIDI, and run VST audio instruments and effects, such as the compressor, reverb, gate and EQ processors included in the Focusrite Scarlett plug-in bundle. Novation's Bass Station soft synth is also included, plus over 1GB of royalty-free Loopmasters samples.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Key Features
Eight award-winning Focusrite mic preamps with front-panel meters With switchable phantom power, up to 60dB of gain, plus pad and instrument switches on channels 1+ 2.
Precision 24-bit/96kHz A-D/D-A conversion Professional dynamic range ensures pristine, studio-quality audio recordings.
Compatible with Mac, PC and iPad Uses the latest USB 2.0 streaming technology with stable, reliable drivers to provide outstanding performance on both Windows and Macintosh computers, and even iPad® (requires the Apple Camera Connection Kit — no drivers required!)
18 inputs, 20 outputs Enough inputs and outputs to handle day-to-day studio tasks effortlessly, along with the expandability to cope with an entire band or a complex drums setup.
Dual headphone outputs and comprehensive monitor control Send separate, near-zero-latency cue mixes to artist and producer with Scarlett Mix Control, and control the level of your studio monitors quickly and easily from the Scarlett 18i20 front panel.
Complete software bundle Including Ableton Live Lite music software, the Focusrite Scarlett plug-in suite, Novation's Bass Station soft synth and 1GB of Loopmasters samples.
Pricing will be £399.99 inc.VAT / $499.99 and the unit will be available worldwide from March 2013.