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Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 57 customer reviews
  • Paul Martin
    from Southern Ohio May 5, 2017

    Buyer Beware!!!

    I bought this unit with high hopes. I am terribly disappointed that the included software Albeton Lite 9 and Pro Toold First) is limited to 4 inputs. So the 8 inputs available on this unit cannot be used unless you but a DAW. I even loaded a copy of Sonar Cakewalk I had. The audio engine crashed when I tried to use more inputs. I am no newbie to DAWs. On a positive note, tech support did respond fairly quickly but they didn't seem to be aware of the limitation of their included software. Be careful. If you want to use more than 4 inputs, like I do, this unit will not work as shipped.

  • Eli
    from Rochester, NY July 13, 2016Music Background:
    35 years of jazz experience.

    OK but could be a lot better - disappointed

    I've had this interface for a couple of years and have made a number of recordings through it. The best thing about it are the large number of inputs and outputs. The worst thing about it is that the Scarlett Mix software application that comes with it to control your inputs and outputs is unbelievably confusing and the manual is awful and totally inadequate. I have wasted countless hours trying to route inputs and outputs and DAW properly and then several times I had it working just right and it forgot its settings and I had to recreate it. Focusrite really needs to document the hell out of this and explicitly show us 20 or 30 examples of routing setups that you can use - and also provide these as loadable settings. The manual needs to be re-written with a lot more detail and info. No one wants to waste hours doing this instead of recording.

    The second extremely annoying thing about this product is that none of the knobs on the front for controlling the input gains and the output signals have a decent visible marking to see where the knob is rotated. If you're not working in an extremely brightly lit room, you'll be squinting or pulling out a flashlight constantly as you try to see where the knob is set. This is such a basic user need that I'm amazed Focusrite even ships it this way. I mean how hard is it to paint a little white marking line on each knob??? Don't they use their own products?? No excuse for really crappy engineering of the user interface - the analog knobs!

  • Customer
    from Florida July 11, 2016

    Great audio interface for the value!

    This is a solid unit, low latency, stable. Capable of great recording. I am going straight in with my At4050 mic for recording vocals and it sounds very nice on the top end. I am using with Pro Tools 11 and it is working better than my previous Mbox pro 3.

    My only complain would be the size of the Master knob and headphone levels as well as the lack of visibility with them, I can't really tell where I am dialed in at times, not even with proper lighting, I think this is fixed on the second gen version.

  • Vista Lane Entertainment
    from USA May 18, 2016Music Background:
    Musician, Engineer, Producer

    Excellent Interface!!

    I bought the 18i20 just a little over 2 years ago and it performs as good today as it did when I first purchased it. Amazing unit for the price and it works perfectly with Sonar Platinum 2016. Great features and stability but most of all the pres are fantastic! They sound full and clean with little to no color. What you put in is what you get out.

    The reason I gave it a 4.5 star rating is because Focusrite has yet to release the official Windows 10 drivers. The drivers I am using now are stable and work well enough, but I did notice after upgrading to Windows 10 (and the current Focusrite beta drivers) my CPU seems to be a little bit more intensive than it was with the 1.8 drivers and Windows 7. I have a 3.8 GHz quad-core computer with 32 GB ram, 1 TB Solid State Drive, 3 internal HDD's and 1 external drive as well. I've been round and round via email with Focusrite tech support on releasing Windows 10 drivers but they have yet to deliver. It appears they are more interested in releasing new products than supporting their older line of products. Other than that the interface itself is most excellent and with the proper recording skills the 18i20 will produce extremely professional results. If you're looking to upgrade your current interface the Scarlett 18i20 would be my first recommendation.

  • Michael Broadhurst
    from Portsmouth, VA March 23, 2016Music Background:
    Professional performer and recording engineer.

    Still glad I bought it - I think . . .

    I bought this through Sweetwater - always very positively impressed with Mike Soper and all of Sweetwater.
    In the beginning, one of the channels (#3) was always noisy. I contacted Focusrite (e-mail) and actually exchanged very detailed and helpful messages with an obviously knowledgeable tech/engineer. He suggested I needed a better power conditioner. The Furman PL-8C (also Sweetwater) did seem to help.
    I must agree that the accompanying MixControl software - while it might work, is some of the most unfriendly software out there. I wish there was a way to set a default sample rate so I did not have to set it, check it, reset it, turn on the recorder, reset it, do a test recording, reset the sample rate and finally record.
    I have had this unit for well over a year and had no problems until last month. Before I press "record", I always check to make sure all cables are seated properly (rack mounted, so cables stay plugged in - no constant in-out wear). During the recording - with no vibrations, the USB cable lost contact; it did not fall out or even look as if it was not connected, it just lost contact. I pushed it back in during the concert - lost a minute or so of unrepeatable content. Later, at home, I inspected the connection and cable. All USB cables (I had 4) were the same loose fit. I finally glued the cable to the chassis.
    The front panel push buttons are EXTREMELY cheap. Of course a couple had broken and the unit was out of warranty, so I took it apart and discovered the really CHEAP design and manufacture of those push buttons - all I can say is to be VERY careful when you actuate them.
    For the price point, this is good stuff. Just realize it is built to that price point and not beyond.

  • Eric
    from Davis, CA March 16, 2016Music Background:
    Working musician

    Focusrite 18i20

    I've had the 18i20 for almost two years now and still think it is fantastic.
    The preamps are very good and the noise floor is whisper quiet.
    I really like having two separate headphone outs with their own volume controls.
    The MixControl software took a little getting use to, but I now find it is well
    worth the effort to learn. The provided plugins are well designed and sound good too.

    My only minor beef, and it is pretty minor, is that the mic pre's don't have enough gain to
    adequately support a ribbon microphone. I remedied this by buying a phantom powered in-line CloudLifter. This did the trick, and to be honest, a lot of mic pre's aren't adequate for ribbon mic's.

    This is a very good sounding interface that is easy to use and offers a lot value.

  • Aaron
    from March 15, 2016

    awesome interface!

    As an audio production major at my university, I wanted to find an interface that would suite my classes and still be able to be used for many years to come. I had a TASCAM interface before and found it shotty. I then was referred to this focusrite system. I love this system! very clean sound and I can keep my monitors on without them humming. I also love the plugins that come bundled with the interface.

    I will be a repeat customer for here on out. Gotta love the candy!

  • Keith
    from January 17, 2016

    Great - When it doesn't crash

    I got this used from another vendor so the warranty was only "30 days". Unfortunately it was more than 30 days before the problems started. It sounds great. I run several synths - some rack-mount, some keyboards - with a Macbook Pro running Mainstage3 using MIDI to control the synths and collecting audio from each instrument for mixing and other processing in Mainstage. So I'm not using any of the unit's onboard mixing capabilities, I just have all the inputs and main out routed directly to/from DAW.
    Several times over the past 6 months, usually in the middle of a performance, all audio will stop. The input meters will freeze where they were the moment audio stopped. Flipping off power for a couple of seconds will restore operation. It might go another 10 minutes or 10 days without repeating the problem.
    I have upgraded all drivers and mix control software to current versions.
    I just can't trust it to run when I need it. Going to find a replacement as soon as possible.

  • Todd
    from Michigan November 3, 2015Music Background:
    Drummer, Guitarist, Hobbyist Enigineer

    Nice Sound but Difficult Set-up

    I wanted to give this a 5 star really badly, but I have to be honest... the drivers are terrible. So much so, that I had to spend 6-8 cumulative hours loading, reloading, re-configuring and contacting both Sweetwater and Focusrite tech specialists. All of whom seemed to have different opinions of what might be wrong. In the end.. they even had to provide me with Beta drivers that aren't part of their normal driver library just to get it to work. So... it's not just me.

    I have an exceedingly fast Windows based laptop, and I still can't confidently set this thing to 96khz without fear of clicking and popping. It just doesn't seem to play nice with Windows. At the end of the day... I have it set to 24 bit / 48 khz and it does sound really nice. It's been stable so far, but I did have to send the first one back for a replacement.

    Though this unit offers good I/O, the input limitations are a bit of a bummer. I route signals to outboard gear so I can adjust things post recording. When you do this... you need more inputs than the 8 it comes with. Since I utilize 2 of my inputs for an outboard pre-amp.. it now only has 6 recording inputs. This isn't a ptoblem if you have an Octi-pre or some other way to send an ADAT signal to this unit, but if you're running analog outboard gear... you need an analog input. ADAT just doesn't cut it.

    Overall... I do like the sound of this unit. I just wish I could reliably run it in 96 if I wanted to. Not really necessary for most home recording folks, but it would make me feel better nonetheless. I really think Focusrite needs to work on a clear set of instructions for installation on Windows. They also need to fix the driver issues.

    I guess maybe I expected more from Focusrite, which is my major disappointment. However... it's not in the same price category as RME or Apogee, so... I guess you get what you pay for.

  • Customer
    from October 20, 2015

    Great when it works

    If you want to use this thing to it's full capacity, I suggest buying something else. It has a lot of great features, and maybe I'm pushing the gear too hard, but it doesn't seem to be able to handle using them all together (I.e. adat, midi, audio, mix control software) as I've been experiencing crashes and complete loss of audio. My guess is focusrite figured they'd make something cheap with all the features and anyone at that price point wouldn't be using them all anyways. Shoulda spent the extra money.

    from ROGERS AR October 7, 2015Music Background:


    I needed this unit to record a piano project in a elderly ladies home. Using with Pro Tools 12 and Windows 10 on a HP laptop. We recorded 13 songs in one day without any problem. Easy to setup and use. I highly recommend this interface.

  • Todd
    from Michigan October 3, 2015Music Background:
    Drummer, Guitarist, Hobbyist Enigineer


    I bought this interface as a replacement for my Tascam US-1800. I thought... "man.. I can't go wrong with Focusrite. Everyone loves their pres". Well... the pres MAY be nice, but I've had this for two weeks and have yet to get the thing to work properly. I've blue screened on my windows system more times than I can count. When I contacted Focusrite... they said "here... try these new beta drivers. They should help with the blue screen issue". Sure.. they helped with that, but the thing won't work with Studio One Pro at all. It keeps switching to 48khz every time Studio One fires up. Even after you shut down Studio One... Mix Control is locked into 48khz. The only way to get it back to your sample rate of choice, is to go back into control panel and it instantly switches out of being locked.

    The only time it works properly... is when I use the non-beta versions of Mix Control and family drivers. However... I'm back at the blue screen when I shut down. Every time.

    All I can say is... I have no clue how this is working for anyone. It must simply be quality control thing. Maybe it's not the drivers as much as trying to fix a poorly built interface with driver patches.

    Now I'm sending this back and trying to see what other interface I might be able to get into. I'm seriously disappointed.

  • Flo-Town
    from SC September 27, 2015Music Background:
    Professional audio engineer

    Excellent interface

    The 18i20 is a great interface for the project studio. It offers clean, quality pre amps at an affordable price. I love the pots on the face of the unit for manual control

  • Russell Featherstone
    from Dubai September 4, 2015Music Background:
    Audio Engineer - 10 years

    Great clean preamps, lots of ins and outs

    Great clean preamps, lots of ins and outs. Everything easily accessible from the front including dim and 2 headphone outputs.

    If you need lots of connectivity this is great for the price. Be aware though its USB2 which might become outdated very soon (doesn't affect audio performance) and the plugins aren't available in AAX.

  • Rafael Salvador
    from NJ August 16, 2015Music Background:
    DJ/Producer/Sound Designer/Nightlife Event Planner

    Great Interface

    This is a solid, quiet unit at a great price point. Highly recommended.

  • Jaxman12
    from N.E. Florida USA August 3, 2015Music Background:
    Piano, Synths Organ, Choir Director, Musical Projects

    Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

    Bought this interface to replace an M-Audio Fast Trak C600. The build quality is great. It is very clean sounding. Mix software is great. Price was good also. I would recommend this to anyone.

  • Brian
    from Albany July 29, 2015

    Was a big fan of Focusrite until now

    First off, Sweetwater is great. I mean that. They spent an hour trouble shooting this unit only to determine it was defective. I have to go through warranty to get it fixed but I am sad to say this will be my last Focusrite product. I won't recommend them to my friends.

  • Sam
    from New England July 25, 2015Music Background:
    Sampling, Mobile Recording

    Solid, Affordable Recording Solution

    I'm almost always recording on the go; setting up in all sorts of places. I've used a 18i8 for about five years now (still rock-solid!), which you can fit in a backpack, but on looking to expand to be able to use more than four inputs, I decided to go to the 18i20 and switch to a rack-mounted system.

    This audio interface is really solid, like the rest of the Scarlett line. My only issue is that all the XLR inputs aside from 1 and 2 are on the back, meaning a patchbay or at least some short XLR cables hooked in the back passed through to the front are almost mandatory. Another thing to consider is that it doesn't let you deliver phantom power to just one or two channels, but only the first four or the last four, meaning if you're using some dynamic or ribbon mics alongside your condensers, you have to be careful which channel you plug them into (although, in all likelyhood, there'll be a tube preamp or something in between).

    Overall, I am very satisfied with this audio interface and plan on hanging on to it for a long time to come. It's done a solid job with what I've thrown to it so far, and it's likely to keep doing so for a good time. :)

  • Nick Skinner
    from Calistoga, CA June 29, 2015

    Best Interface I have ever had!

    Great USB interface.
    MixControl takes a minute to get used to but otherwise perfect unit.

  • Customer
    from June 8, 2015

    Scarlett's Delight

    The Scarlett 18i20 is really great. As a past user of another product that required constant Core Audio upgrades, I have found that the Scarlett is much easier to use. It is more of what you would call plug and play and I am extremely satisfied with this product.

  • Max McInnis
    from Duvall, WA May 6, 2015

    Great all around interface

    I was looking at several different interfaces, primarily the universal audio appolo which I used at the recording studio I worked at. But after trying this out, I am very happy with the results. I use some external pres, but the pres are already pretty good! Also the plugins that come with it are an added bonus! Love the Sweetwater service. Never buying from anywhere else again!

  • Dan
    from Naples, FL April 26, 2015Music Background:
    Assistant to Beethoven

    Love - hate

    When I first got this over a year ago I loved it, and even now love it with the one large issue being it died on me after 11 months. I would turn it on and it would flick on, then off, then on, then off, repeatedly. I contacted Focusrite and despite emailing them a very thorough explanation of it's behavior and steps I took to troubleshoot, they kept emailing me as if I never wrote word one. Very frustrating when you take the time to help support to only have them ignore you and ask to try things not only you tried, but have told them you already did. I'm a tech of 20 years with 12 computer certifications and my own business. Their troubleshooting seemed to come from someone that didn't even know the product I was talking about.

    Example: (Me) "It won't turn on". (Them) "Can you try to update the firmware?".

    I'm at the point to where I need to get another sister board to this to allow more IO's, but am finding it very difficult to go with them. 3.5 stars is great from what I've had to deal with but I do love the product when it works. Last thing is that since I RMA'd it, I've asked them to tell me what the problem was. Mainly I'm concerned that it may have been a power issue but have massive power conditioning in my rack. I've since them even replaced the outlet my power conditioner plugs into but not knowing what the issue was really bothers me and their support has since stopped trying to find out what it was. I am happy to have it back and can only hope it lasts longer than it did initially.

  • Frankie B
    from Laguna Beach, CA March 12, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician

    Great sound and flexibility

    A nice recommendation by Zach Bailey based on my priority list. Exceeds my expectations. Not only does it work perfectly well, the pres are very smooth and detailed with good high end sensitivity and have seem to have good clean gain and headroom. Almost as if there is hardware limiter in the very top. This is a huge upgrade to my rig and nicely recommended. The routing and monitoring control software is excellent (although it takes a bit of RTFM) as well.

    Very low latency (as good as my older firewire stuff) Works great with soft synths and guitar modeling plugins. (keep the plugin count down and freeze some tracks) Hardware config Using with Sonar Platinum, Win 8.1, i7-4790K 16G, SSD

  • Ed Ryan
    from Barnet, Vermont 05821 February 2, 2015Music Background:
    pro musician, songwriter, home studio owner and engineer

    Scarlett 18i20

    Haven't used it enough yet to give a complete eval, but it seems like it's going to be a great tool accompanying Pro Tools 11

  • James Bayne
    from Tampa, FL January 29, 2015Music Background:
    recording engineer, Pro musician, hobbyist

    Focusrite Scarlett 18 I 20

    fantastic for the money! Love it!

  • David
    from Austin TX January 14, 2015Music Background:
    Play out almost every weekend

    Watch Out - incompatible with Pro Tools 11 on PC!

    I wish I could give this device zero stars.

    I bought this device to use with Pro Tools 11, running on Windows 7. I actually bought this because I was so utterly frustrated with the drivers for Presonus Firestudio. The Firestudio drivers are very heavy users of CPU, and I thought that for sure this device, being USB would be very light on CPU, so I bought it.

    Well let me tell you, in Pro Tools 11, with Scarlett 18i20, you can't even play back a session, let alone record one. It freezes up Pro Tools, gives a zillion crazy error messages. I even have to "kill" Pro Tools from Task Manager. (No joke!)

    I have confirmed this *at length* with Focusrite Technical Support. I have it all *in writing*. They acknowledge that these drivers "have some problems" with Pro Tools 11 and assure me that they are going to release a new driver "soon". But that's not good enough; I need it now.

    Alas, they have a "Beta" driver available which they claim works "better with Pro Tools". Do you want to rely on a Beta Driver? I don't even want to install it on my machine, thank you.

    I am *so disappointed* with Focusrite. I consider this to be outright *deception*. The 18i20 was released to the market in March 2013. This is 2 years later and they still don't have working drivers for the most popular DAW in the world! And they won’t admit it in their sales literature (of course)!

    Besides from that, the device is indeed very pretty. And I'm sure it works well for any other DAW. It probably works fine with Pro Tools on Mac. (I don't know?)

    So now I have to ship it back to the vendor, pay return shipping costs, probably a restocking fee ... and I still don't have an interface.

    Oh, and for the record ... Focusrite makes Presonus look good! At least the Presonus still works on my machine.

  • Brian
    from United States September 14, 2014Music Background:
    Composer, Multi-instrumentalist & Location Sound Mixer

    A bit over-hyped, but a good purchase.

    First of all, Sweetwater is superior in customer service and tech support to just about any audio retailer I've experienced, so thank you guys.

    I'm about a week into using the 18i20, upgrading from a 10-year old digi 002r. Definitely a step up and a good product for the price-point, but honestly it's a only a slight improvement.

    Hardware: The preamps don't get real beefy up until about 3 o'clock, and suddenly you're clipping, and the knobs aren't very pro-feeling. However, the clarity of the preamps, S-to-N, and the A/D are better, and having two instrument DI's is a great addition. I must say the DI's are *very* warm, punchy and clear. Excellent for bass.

    Software: MixControl has to be the most frustrating program I've ever had to use in my recording experience. It isn't intuitive in the slightest: you must RTFM, and when you seek help on focusrite's site, you'll find there's key info that's missing from the scarlett's page that's actually on saffire's. (A sweetwater rep had tell me that, much to our collective frustration.) If the 18i20 was, say, $200 more for the added benefit that MixControl was simpler, visually clearer, generally more user-friendly, and automatically stayed open in the background, I wouldn't hesitate to shell out the extra dough.

    I do feel the overwhelmingly positive feedback on the 18i20 is a bit over-hyped and undeserved, mainly because of the software end, and focusrite's poor support. That said, for all the I/O and overall quality of the hardware relative to the very affordable price, it's a good buy.

  • Peter
    from San Francisco, Ca USA August 20, 2014Music Background:
    Guitarist, recording and music producer

    A Monster Rig

    Received the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 and the Creation Station 250 from Sweetwater. After some excellent consultation from Tech about Reason 7 compatibility, I believe I have a monster recording rig for my new studio. Sweetwater Customer Service and Tech departments are outstanding!

  • Arnel
    from August 1, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Very good and very nice interface

    I bought this interface and I realy like it. It sounds great and the pre amps work pretty good. I am not surprised because I know focusrite always has great thing. But I realy enjoy it. 100% recomanded.

  • Maurice Ragland
    from CA USA July 5, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Producer, Dj

    Rock solid!

    I have always been a fan of Focusrite wince my first interface with from them. No matter what other brand I try, I always come back because of reliability and quality. I bought this to replace a brand new Behringer fca1616... I never looked back. The size of this thing surprised me and it is built like a tank. Everything is rock solid and the sound is cleaner and punchier than my old/new interface!!! I tested out the preamps with all my synths and it is really transparent and clean just like my old saffire pro 24. The installation was a snap minus the interfaces compatibility with USB 3.0 which at times studio one fails to see it but 95% of the time it works. The gain I wish could be a little more and this is just a thought... It would be nice if they had included the VRE with the unit along with a dsp. The routing options are baffling as well as having individual headphone outs (I use a lot of different headphones to check my mixes). Overall it would be a five if focusrite would fix the USB 3.0 issue even so.. I would not trade it for anything else!!

  • microlar
    from California, USA July 3, 2014Music Background:
    Amateur guitar player

    Excellent audio interface

    I bought this unit to replace my M-Audio ProFire 610, since I needed more inputs.
    The transition was totally painless.
    The pre-amps work flawlessly with either my microphones or guitars.
    Great quality and features for the price.

  • Anthony
    from Davenport, IA June 15, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician


    After seeing nothing but great reviews on this I had to get one, and I'm very glad I did to say the least. The preamps alone make this worth every penny! I was skeptical after seeing people only use this with Pro Tools or Logic Pro, as I use FL Studio and wasn't sure how well it'd mesh with the Mix Control software, but to my surprise FL and the Mix Control software blend perfectly! No more latency to the vocalist and I can easily solo, mute, and adjust channel volume without disturbing the recordee. I gave it a 4.5 out of 5 because I feel that the two headphone knobs along with the monitor knob could be space apart a little bit, maybe arranged like the gain knobs, I keep wedging my fingers between them, but a great piece of equipment nonetheless.

  • Yates Zaldevour
    from United States June 11, 2014Music Background:
    Live musician, sound designer, self producer, home engineer, underground noise enthusiast

    Really cool and a great price

    I wasn't sure where to go and what to do when I needed a new sound card. The sales man at sweetwater had a talk with me and this is where I ended up. So far I am a month into use and I am really and happy with it. I went from an Alesis ioi 26 to this and my sounds are cleaner and more crisp AND it has a on/off switch (Alesis did not). I would recommend this to anyone who needs to step up there game. I think I am in love... lol

  • Bobby James
    from Tuscaloosa, AL USA June 9, 2014Music Background:
    Musician (mainly a bass guitarist) for 13 years

    Love it!

    It does what I need it to. Really a great product for the following reasons: (Including but not limited to) Lotta ins and outs, lotta control (especially with the software that comes with it; the Novation Bass-Station synth that comes with is awesome too; built in power supply, looks cool, and it's fast.

  • Harold Smith
    from Pekin,Illinois May 30, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician-retired

    Focasrite 18i20

    Works fine. We had to rely on Sweetwaters tech support at first,which was a little frustrating,but tech support did a good job of helping us get everything to work flawlessly.

  • Cynthia K
    from Seattle, Washington, USA April 22, 2014Music Background:
    Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Music producer, Recording Engineer.... and Dancer

    Absolutely Lovely Interface!

    I rated this at 5 stars without hesitation. From the quality of the chassis fit and finish to the superb crystal clear pre's (After all its the pre's that make the interlace!) my only question is how do they sell it at this price point!

    I was really struggling back and forth with the purchase of a new interface (I had badly outgrown my old one) and Carson, my sales engineer suggested the 18i20 as well as several others. My criteria was sound quality and reputation - cost was secondary. I did my research (in depth, not cursory) and just kept coming back to Focusrite.
    I have not been disappointed - in any respect. The mix software took a little bit to wrap my head around, but once I did, I found it very straight forward, and you can patch about any input to any output.

    Once again, Sweetwater's suggestions and the brands they carry have hit it out of the park. Thank you to Sweetwater (who always stand behind what they sell) and to Focusrite

  • Danno
    from St. Paul, MN March 31, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar/ more, Audio Engr./Studio owner

    Focusrite 18i20

    Preamps are VERY warm sounding!
    The foldback outs are pretty strong as well.
    The recordings it helps make with my i-Pad mini, are as good as my Dig. Workstation in my studio! (64 bit)
    To say the Focusrite USB front end is a good product, is an understatement!
    Nice Job!

  • Mike Gann
    from Alexander, AR March 27, 2014Music Background:
    16+ years playing guitar, singing, writing, and recording -- when my wife lets me :)

    This has to be the best for the money

    Install the drivers, connect to the USB, and start recording. It's as easy as that. But it gets even better. The pre-amps in this and the ADA conversion leaves you with crystal clear, pristine recordings. When we playback our recordings during band practice, we are blown away at the lifelike quality of pre-recorded speech. I had nothing but problems with a similar audio interface in this price range. I cannot recommend the 18i20 enough. It is worthy of all the sparking reviews. I am recording 16 tracks simultaneously into Sonar X2 with no problems. The ADAT I&O works flawlessly with my old (discontinued) Presonus Digimax FS.

  • Vicente T.
    from New York, NY March 22, 2014Music Background:
    Recording/Mix Engineer

    the Focusrite Way is the Right Way ;)

    I had been doing research for the past 2 years trying to find an interface to replace my Mbox2. Don't get me wrong, the Mbox2 is cool for coming up with ideas. But it was about that time for an upgrade. I was looking for something that had 8 inputs, great preamps, had enough outputs and definitely inexpensive. I almost went with PreSonus, but kept coming backto Focusrite. I know they have always been known for their great preamps. I tried out this Scarlett and I was blown away. I remember doing a test where I spoke into a M-Audio NOVA. I had never heard that Mic sound as great as it did at that moment. So it's no joke when they say award winning preamps ;)
    Some have asked me why didn't I go with the Saffire Pro 40.
    I know it works on Firewire, but I just simply don't need that. My workflow works perfectly fine with USB. Besides during my research I saw better things said about the Scarlett. And the MixControl definitely comes in handy, to customize your work flow :D
    I'm happy to now be apart of the Focusrite family.
    But hey don't take my word for it. Go out and try it for yourself.
    Btw...Sweetwater rules. They really do care about their customers, and have yet to disappoint. Keep up the great work.
    And a quick shot out to my sales rep Andrew Plassman.

    from United States March 12, 2014Music Background:

    SCARLETT 18I20


  • Bobby
    from Winnipeg, MB February 20, 2014Music Background:
    home studioist, musician

    a breathe of clean sound

    the sound with this is so clean and real, literally no coloration. i think the only thing better then these are the boutique and very expensive ios (ie HDIOs)

  • Mike
    from Bel Air, MD February 16, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Recording, Guitarist, Drums

    Transparent & Accurate Sound

    The sound quality of the Focusrite Scarlett is obviously better than the all-in-one digital audio workstations I've had experience with (Roland & Tascam).

  • Scott Haas
    from Monclova, OH February 13, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Hobbyist

    Great Sound and Flexibility

    With the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 I'm hearing more of my vocals, especially at lower volumes. Also I noticed a great reduction of the 60 cycle background hum that I had with my old setup. It is true what I've heard other people often say, "Good gear does make for better sound". I'm using Windows 8.1 64bit and so far no problems there.

    The multi-track recording works great in my Sonar X1. In Windows the USB drivers give you 8 tracks or 4 sets of stereo tracks. There is additional input via ADAT and SPDIF tracks but I've nothing to test that. I also use other Windows software which doesn't do multi-track input, like Sound Forge Audio Studio and Adobe Premiere Elements. At first I didn't see how to record more than one stereo input at once as you can only pick one stereo input. Then I realized I could use the Focusrite software to send the mix to a set of line outs. I simply ran short cables from the line outs to the line inputs 1 and 2 which is the default input in Windows software that isn't smart when it comes to multi-track input.

    The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is I feel the manuals are not real user friendly. They lack the usual how to use the gear and get the most out of it real life stories and illustrations.

  • cory french
    from Hawaii February 11, 2014Music Background:

    sounds good after a couple hiccups

    received the unit...the inst. button on input 2 was detached and not functioning...bad start...but sweet water quickly sent me a new one upon request and this one so far is rock solid, sounds great, good price, super stoked,

    conclusion...the first one was dinky, prob a recall or something, i dunno but felt dinky, the replacement...SOLID...what can i say? make sure you feel the unit is well put together, its totally worth it if you get one that is well built, just make sure, I'm pretty confident sweetwater will get your back

  • marc rubin
    from cleveland ohio February 5, 2014Music Background:
    35 years recording

    swiss army knife

    I got this for an in field job. Very nice unit. Quiet preamps. Interfaces well with DAW via USB. Allows you to backup record via ADAT in case usb to computer stops working (at 48khz though). zero lat monitor is hand and the dual headphone mixes and be handy. has a touch of pumping if the preamps get overloaded. (but that means you set your levels wrong....)

  • Kenny
    from Morristown TN USA January 27, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Guitarist. Keyboard. Song Writer.

    Great Interface

    I recently bought the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20. I was concerned about using USB as I had always used firewire. My concerns were unfounded as USB works just fine, as good as firewire. I didn't know how bad my old interface was till I upgraded to this interface.

  • Dave
    from United States December 30, 2013Music Background:
    Professional drummer, remote session drummer


    Great pre amps! I'm recording drums and everything from the kick to the overheads get captured very clean. Even if the gains are a little hot the sound is good, if that's what your going for.

  • Aaron
    from W Lafayette, IN December 24, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Recording Guitarist/Vocalist Jack of all, Master of none.

    Great Interface! Lots of I/O, and GREAT Preamps!

    This interface replaces an older Firepod. The preamps are MUCH better than Presonus's! The added plug-in are a nice bonus, and are very usable!!!

    The interface works very well on my PC (Win7-64b) at 3ms latency. 2ms works good, but every now and then, it drops. Probably due to my PC, not the interface. It took only a few to get the best configuration, to use with my (Sonar) DAW, and still hear PC sounds.

    The 2 headphone outs are very loud, which can be very good (and deafening)! LOL I also like the software control panel, helps fine-tune in-put levels on the fly. I would definitely consider another one, if this gave out. And to think, I was gonna spend twice this, on an RME. For the price, you CAN NOT BEAT this product!

    Thank you so much Steph Mc Dowell and Sweetwater, for the great recommendations, and listening to my needs!!! ...and getting it to me so quickly (with my candy)! ;-) You Both Rock!!! ...and so can I again... :-)

  • Customer
    from NY USA December 16, 2013Music Background:
    Young home recording mix

    Amazing and it's only $500!!!!!

    I had a at scam cheap 8 mic pre interface before this and I could here a difference from my laptop to plugging that in to my speakers, but then I got this and I was amazed. The D/A is spectacular but the mic pres are what really shine through for me, they're clear and district with very little coloration (at least to my ears but I'm no professional). The USB gives great flexibility for any set up. The knobs are ether rubber, with great grip, or metal and both feel great, although there is a slight wiggle in the knobs. I've had for almost a year now and have had no problems. The software included in it is very easy to use and it has made tracking so much easier for me. All in all I think this is a great product specially when you consider the price... I love it!

  • Nate Poeppel
    from Aberdeen, SD November 27, 2013Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Producer, Songwriter

    Great Sound, Great Function

    I've had the 18i20 in my rack for around 4 months now and would like to share my thoughts! To start with, the functionality is what really stands out. Paired with MixControl, the 18i20 is extremely flexible and can be easily routed with this control software. I love it for latency-free live sessions. Make sure you study it a bit. The pres sound great. A ton of headroom and it's hard to beat them for the price.

    My only problem is an odd problem between the software and digital connectivity. After several calls with my Focusrite, we've found a problem where the 18i20 paired with my OctoPre (ADAT) and Avid Eleven Rack (SPDIF) at the same time causes MixControl to crash when all units work at the same time. I'm able to run one digital source device or the other but not both at the same time. It's an unusual setback easily fixed in my case by running the Eleven Rack out with XLR, but I'm just giving a heads up to anyone looking to run a similar setup!

    Overall, it's great interface and you honestly can't beat it for the price. Get it.

  • Alex
    from Ann Arbor, Mi November 19, 2013Music Background:
    long time hobbyist


    I'm a home hobbyist. I record guitars, bass, acoustic drums, and vocals. I previously used Cubase and a Delta 1010lt. I've upgraded to Reaper and this Focusrite interface. It works superbly, no pops or crackles or crashes or odd behavior of any kind. It works perfectly with Windows 7 sleep mode, and with my rather old Core 2 duo computer. I regularly record on all 8 tracks at once and it's perfect.

    The preamps are the best I've used. They are much more dynamic, quiet, and present than the Delta's, the Behringer Xenyx mixer I was using, or a few other preamps I've used. Plenty of gain, the pads are extremely useful, and I love the indicator LEDs.

    The mixer is entirely adequate and does what I need.

    Reaper loves it. They work perfectly together.

    And I've found the 4 Scarlett plugins quite nice. I prefer all 4 over Reaper's plugins.

    I see why some people report that the headphone volume is low - the master volume effects all of the outputs. So if you've turned that down, it's gonna drop the range of the headphone volume knob. I'd call that a bit quirky but I'm sure there's a reason for it. Anyways once you know this, you can get any volume you'd ever need out of the headphone ports.

    I was recording 15 minutes after unboxing this.

  • Peter P
    from Beaufort, NC November 1, 2013

    Focusrite Rocks

    Nothing but good things to say about this. i had originally bought an Oynx Blackbird and after 3 days of trying to get ti to work i sent it back and got this. Plugged it in and in minuets we were recording. It sounds great is really easy to use, has some really flexible routing capabilities and all the inputs and outputs you could want. Works well in windows(I'm on 7) and mac.

  • Jack Jackson
    from Paris, TN September 21, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Performer, Writer

    We have arrived...

    ...at the technology I needed. If you're synching to a S/PDIF audio source, choose S/PDIF and not Internal Synch Source, or you'll get chatter in your audio from the Scarlett re-synching itself.

  • Ryan Wogh
    from Arlington, VA September 13, 2013Music Background:
    Musician - No Blitz

    Better than I expected

    Fantastic I/O sound quality as an upgrade to my 003 Rack. Not only does it act as a great DAW interface, but it can double as a mixer. We use this for band practice and it's incredible. You set the input knobs on all the channels like any other interface (as loud as possible without clipping) and then you can mix using the computer software that comes with it so everything sounds even. You can even do a mix for every headphone/output interface (total of 10).

    Only negative I have is the interface numbering system seems backwards to me, but you can easily deal with that.

  • Curt Sines
    from Memphis, TN July 27, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Drum Manufacturer.

    Focusrite Scarlettb18i20

    I'm a drummer and a drum manufacturer. I bought this unit to record sound clips for my website. I had always heard that Focusrite had the best pres out there. The 18i20 did not disappoint. I am amazed at how warm, pure, and full my drums sound through this thing. No coloration of sound. The 18i20, in combination with my selection of mics, faithfully represent the drums as they are - which is what I wanted. I'm using then18i20 with Auria on ipad and 602 and 604 series Sennheiser drum mics, sm 57, and Rode Nt 5's. I haven't even gotten into all the capabilities of this unit, but if you want superb quality, ease of use and unadulterated sound combined with outstanding support- this is your answer. AWESOME! Very pleased!

  • Paul
    from NJ June 4, 2013Music Background:
    House DJ & Producer

    Excellent $500 Interface

    I just picked up this unit yesterday from Sweetwater based on loving a borrowed Scarlett 2i2 and (my salesman) Carson's recommendation. All I can say is wow, rediculously good upgrade for $500 - coming from an old Delta 1010. I'm a DJ, so this unit runs right into my Urei 1620LE, running Traktor pro and Live and damn - it never sounded so good. AD/DA is super clean, plus it has 8 mic pres, ADAT, and SPDIF at $500? Seriously the price is too low! I was seriously considering dropping the money for a RME UFX, but you can get 4 of these for the same price - so I am happy. Can't say anything about the mic pre since I haven't used them and probably won't, but the rest is a steal. Buy it now before they wise up and raise the price...

  • Walt
    from NC, USA June 3, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Producer, TV & Film Composer, Studio Owner

    Top entry level Audio interface

    This is the top entry level audio interface you can buy in the $600 and under price range. You get the ability to expand it with the included ADAT, Word clock, and Spdif options. You can add a Octo-Pre for an additional 8 channels which gives you 16 channels of mic inputs. There is room for outboard pres and other gear you have too. Now the sound quality is awesome for what you get. If you like a nice rounded low end and tight detailed mids, and tight high end then this is the right interface and preamp option for you. You won't have to worry about the preamps sounding thin in this unit cause they are FULL in a good way. The AD/DA conversion in this unit is better than ANY lower end interface on the market and will rival mid range interfaces and IMHO better than what I was getting in the Motu. The plugin software that you have to download is really nice especially the compressor! The drivers are very solid, just install them and forget it. I have not had one blue screen of death since I got mine in April. Overall, this is the best you can get around $600 or less with all the options that you get. I almost forgot the two headphone outputs which is a plus! I would say if you are looking at this unit stop now and go BUY it cause it is worth at least $200 more than what it is selling for.

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