It's 10 years since Focusrite launched their best-selling Scarlett range of audio interfaces, now into its third generation. CEO Tim Carroll and Will Hoult, Head Of Product at Focusrite and Novation talk to Sam Inglis about what's behind the success of the Scarletts, the principles of interface design, how the company has negotiated the pandemic and the silicon shortage, and Focusrite's vision for a greener future.
00:00 - Introduction
00:31 - From Musician To Manager
04:43 - Changes In The Market
07:20 - The Scarlett Range
10:20 - Removing Barriers To Creativity
11:29 - More Home Studios
15:03 - The Chip Shortage
18:10 - Why There's Not A Focusrite DAW
23:32 - The Family Of Brands
27:24 - Sustainability In The Audio Industry
29:43 - Role At Focusrite
30:40 - The Intimidation Factor
32:58 - Driver Performance And Latency
36:56 - Simplicity And Product Longevity
39:47 - USB As The Dominant Protocol
43:09 - The Challenges Of Designing Mic Preamps
46:39 - Determining The Number Of Inputs
50:19 - Rackmount vs Desktop
52:24 - The Benefits Of Upgrading Your Interface
Focusrite - Biog
Focusrite is an award-winning recording and production equipment brand established in 1985. The initial focus was on high quality recording and production equipment for industry professionals, but in 1989 they began to broaden their range of products to serve a wider customer base of professional, commercial and hobbyist musicians.
Novation Electronic Music Systems Limited was acquired in 2004 and extended the Focusrite range and customer base into the electronic dance music segment of the market. Since then Focusrite has continued to innovate, with the introduction of Launchpad in 2009 and the Scarlett USB Audio Interface range in 2010, one of the top-selling product lines for home studio recording. In 2019, Focusrite acquired ADAM Audio and Martin Audio, adding professional studio monitoring and touring speaker systems to the range.
Optimal Audio was launched in 2021, an initiative from Martin Audio which aims to make the world of commercial audio installation less complex. Optimal Audio manufacture high-quality loudspeakers, amplifiers and controllers for commercial audio applications. Recently Focusrite also acquired Sequential, the respected American synthesizer manufacturer led by legendary electronic instrument designer and Grammy winner Dave Smith. The acquisition brings the total number of Focusrite Group brands to eight.
Editor In Chief Sam Inglis has been with Sound On Sound for more than 20 years. He is a recording engineer, producer, songwriter and folk musician who studies the traditional songs of England and Scotland, and is the author of two books: Neil Young's Harvest (Bloomsbury, 2003) and Teach Yourself Songwriting (Hodder, 2006).
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