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The new Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 18-in/8-out interface extends the Scarlett range of USB 2.0 interfaces from Focusrite, each of which offers a series of high-quality inputs and outputs for different recording requirements.
With four Focusrite mic pres, Scarlett 18i8 is designed for producers and recording artists or bands who require the ability to record a significant number of sources at the same time including multiple mics/instruments, with expansion capability enabling it to handle multiple studio recording requirements. Scarlett 18i8 works on Mac, PC and iPad (Apple Camera Connection Kit required for iPad).
Focusrite was commissioned to make its first ‘no-holds-barred’ microphone preamps by Sir George Martin for his Air Studio facility in London. Over the following 25 years Focusrite designed some of the finest mic preamps in the music industry, and in recent years has developed a series of best-selling audio interfaces for people who really care about sound.
At the heart of 18i8 is a set of four Focusrite mic preamps with up to 60dB gain, designed specifically for Focusrite’s computer audio interfaces. The first two offer Mic/Line/Instrument on universal XLR/TRS connectors while 3 and 4 offer Mic/Line capability on universal XLRs – all four on the front panel with pads and 48V phantom power. Four more line inputs are provided on TRS connectors. An ADAT optical digital connector provides eight additional digital inputs that can also be used with external mic preamps like Focusrite's OctoPre Mk II to increase the number of mic inputs the 18i8 can handle to 12. A stereo S/PDIF coaxial input is also included.
On the output side, there are two TRS monitor outputs, stereo S/PDIF coax, and two independent stereo headphone outputs, each with their own volume knob so artist and engineer can control their own personal monitoring. All analogue inputs and outputs have their own connectors, so no breakout cables are required, and all feature Focusrite precision 24-bit, 96kHz sampling A/D and D/A conversion to get the most accurate signal possible into and out of recording applications on Windows®, Mac® and now iOS® apps.
Scarlett 18i8 is housed in a compact red unibody metal case to withstand the rigours of the road – and the studio. Input level controls feature signal halos – LED rings around the level control that give a simple and immediate go/no-go level indication: green means there is a recordable signal while red indicates overload. A large main monitor knob with mute button means that main monitor levels are always at your fingertips.
Included in the package is the Scarlett MixControl low-latency DSP-based software mixer and router, with intuitive one-click presets and a latency of under 1.4 ms. You’ll also find the Scarlett plug-in suite for VST, AU and RTAS, offering EQ, gate, compression and reverb, plus Ableton Live Lite, the Novation Bass Station soft synth and a Loopmasters sample pack.
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