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Microphone Month

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 31 customer reviews
  • from Wilmette, IL May 11, 2016Music Background:
    Amatuer

    GREAT !!!

    Love it. Great piece for the home studio. Recording possibilities are gret.

  • from April 22, 2016

    great product, great service

    Easy to set up and use. The Scarlet Mix Control software can be helpful too. What really impressed me was the speed and quality of service when I did have an issue. Through a fault of my own completely, I busted the monitor outs and focusrite had it repaired quickly and free!

  • from March 4, 2016

    Good box, awful software

    I like the box, sound of the preamps and having so many more inputs, but the mix control software is just bloody awful. Truly pathetic. There has been a few decades of progress in usabilty and user interfaces, but nobody at FocusRite is up on that. True amateur job here. MixControl looks like something from the mid 1990s. Whoever developed the user interface of MixControl deserves to be fired on the spot, but only after being berrated in front of their family and tattoed (or branded), "Do Not Let Me Develop a UI" on their forhead. For Gods sake keep these FocusRite UI "designers" away from anything having to do with medicine, ariline cocpits or nuclear power!

  • from Ithaca NY February 25, 2016Music Background:
    Home Musician

    Excellent Product

    I started my search for an audio interface knowing that I had an unusual collection of interfaces to process. I'm connecting my mics to the four front panel pre-amp inputs, my guitar through a Line 6 POD HD500X via the SPDIF interface, and my elderly Roland digital piano through the MIDI, and using Reaper as the DAW on Windows 7. It all works great, and with the monitor function on the 18i8 I can record without latency issues while playing back previous tracks and then process the signal later. Signal quality appears to be excellent through the interfaces I'm using. I need to turn the gain up high on the phantom-powered mic pre-amps, but they work fine. Specific control of the separate headphone and monitor outputs is very useful, and I wanted an AC-powered unit so I never have to think about batteries, (although ground loops must be eliminated between the various pieces of audio equipment). Because of the specific interfaces I wanted to use, I looked at a large number of audio interfaces before settling on the 18i8 and I was looking for great value for the money - I believe I got what I asked for, which can be rare. I had to contact Focusrite tech support for some advice on configuration, and they were very responsive and helpful. I haven't had the product for long but if it is as reliable as I expect, then this is a five-star product for sure in my view.

  • from Vail, co February 10, 2016Music Background:
    Guitarist

    Great interface at an affordable price

    Very easy to use. Clear and smooth buttons. Good compact size. This is a powerful piece of equipment!

  • from December 18, 2015

    Kinda Noisy

    I've been working in the music industry as a composer/producer/engineer for over 25 years now and have used a lot of different brands of gear. I'm new to Focusrite and the Scarlett 18i8 and it seems to work well so far, but it's noisy. I'm guessing this is more for a consumer level? I can make it work for my studio but if I had known about the noise I would have looked around a little harder.

  • from November 12, 2015

    good solo artist interface

    It's a fairly nice piece of hardware. The preamps are pretty good. The mixcontrol software that is required for monitoring is extremely stupid and a pain to deal with when recording midi to audio within ableton. Routing monitor mix levels that sound good while recording multiple sources is a pain. Good beginning interface for the price. Mixcontrol is a major downside tho so keep that in mind when purchasing if you're planning to use the second headphone output as a output for external effects processing. Steep learning curving to the software.

  • from October 28, 2015

    Focusrite 18i8

    Its great for what i need to do! simple easy and affordable! and if i want, i can add to it which is even better!

  • from Memphis September 21, 2015

    Excellent

    Absolutely as good as I expected. A little learning curve on the mix software, but YouTube had plenty of tutorials. Thanks to Sweetwater again!! You guys have retained the same great service I first experienced over 20 years ago.

  • from Apex, NC August 27, 2015

    Great interface for a sweet price

    I am running this interface with Cubase DAW in a PC environment. Works flawlessly and was easy to set up. Solid construction and a cool look!

  • from Los Angeles July 3, 2015Music Background:
    Music Student/Composer/Guitarist

    Consistent, powerful, clean.

    Clean preamps with pleeeeeeeenty of gain (have never had to crank it all the way), and a simple and reliable setup. Never have had any problems syncing this baby with any of the three DAWs I have used (Reaper, Protools, Logic). Also, the two-headphones inputs are very useful. Love it, and I suspect I'll be using this for many years! Thanks Sweetwater for being the best as usual.

  • from June 6, 2015

    Dependent upon DAW

    Tech support was good in helping me though issues with firmware update. I would give the product a 2 because of being dependent upon finding a DAW. The Mixer's lack of functionality ate 3 stars. Having tech support help me get the firmware update to work on one of my usb ports at sweetwater and focusrite the ( ie. 18i8 worked with audacity can be used as a 2i6 the one I was replacing ... so 3 stars are back. It's not a paper weight.

  • from wooster ohio May 11, 2015Music Background:
    producer/sound engineer

    excellent buy

    Best bang for your bucks

  • from Morriston,Fl. April 9, 2015Music Background:
    Musician and Home Studio

    Audio Interfaces

    This is one of the cleanest sounding recording interfaces I have even used plus the fact that it can be also used as your personal mixer which is great for a keyboardist on the road . Using this in a home studio setting it has more than enough inputs and outputs to record anything .Ease of use and setup is easy .And you get some nice VST effects for your Daw .So when your Sweetwater rep says Focusrite is the way to go listen cause they know what they are talking about . Thanks to Wayne Davis my rep .

  • from Utah April 8, 2015

    Great Interface--got a lemon

    Couldn't get anything out of the monitors. Finally got sound out of them--if I touched the monitor volume knob just right and held it there. Returned it. Not sure if I'll get another one or try something else.

  • from Northport, AL December 17, 2014Music Background:
    radio host

    Replaced a Bunch of Gizmos and Cables

    I had avoided USB audio interfaces for years--after a bad experience with an M-Audio firewire interface. Consequently, I'd hacked together several gizmos (analog mixer, monitor speaker controller, auxiliary speakers) with a bunch of cables that ultimately plugged into my computer's line-in port. The 18i8 replaced all those gizmos and allowed me to reduce my cables to three: the USB connection to the computer and two cables to the monitors.

    Plus, although I am no audio engineer, I do think I'm getting a cleaner sound. And audio-expert friends tell me the mic pre-amps in the 18i8 are very good. My tinnitus prevents me from personally hearing the difference.

    Focusrite's accompanying software works flawlessly with my Windows 8 machine running Adobe Audition CC. And its controls for routing the audio out of the computer give me great flexibility.

    My main use for this interface is to record a radio show in a home studio. The routing options and low latency of the 18i8 have greatly improved my that recording experience.

    Why did I wait so long to buy one of these? Oh, yeah, it was because of that crappy M-Audio firewire interface. My experience with that device was so bad that I refuse to buy any M-Audio equipment.

  • from Nashville, TN October 15, 2014Music Background:
    Songwriter

    Fantastic interface for the demoing songwriter

    I really can't say enough about this interface. But the ultimate shining feature of this baby is its clarity. It seems to help make room noise minimal, even if you're not recording in ideal environments. I've made pitching demos in an apartment with paper-thin walls before, and this interface came through for me.

    It's also got some amazing features, like light indicators on the dials to make sure you're not peaking on a channel, as well as having inputs that handle quarter inch as well as XLR, so you don't have a bulky piece of hardware.

    Best of all, it's so easy to set up with Logic and ProTools. Like I said, I could rave all day about Focusrite products.

  • from September 8, 2014Music Background:
    Music producer

    Awesome

    Slimpy the best , thanks team koons!!!!!

  • from Nashville, TN September 7, 2014Music Background:
    recording engineer, hobbyist musician

    Top notch in the price range

    the A/D converters are what really set this off for me.

    great stable low latency drivers. clean mic pres. awesome built in DSP mixer for zero latency (they say near zero. 1.4ms. trust me, you won't notice it at all. if going through your DAW first, even with the driver set at "1.0 ms", you still end up with between 7 and 10ms after conversion. the DSP mixer bypasses this, so it is a true 1.4ms. I digress) monitoring.

    I was using a Tascam US-1800 before I got this. This made the same sources sound noticeably better when recorded with identical methods. especially my guitar direct in and bass direct in.

    If you use guitar rig 5, or likely any other software amp sims, I have learned through 2 years of wasted effort, that your A/D conversion is highly important for those amp sims to sound good. I upgraded my guitar and my bass and tried multiple softwares and user preset packs and still couldn't nail my tone. I got the 18i8, and had it nailed in minutes. It really does make that big of a difference.

    can't say enough good about this thing. it took my recordings from demo to pro sounding in 2 days (seriously, not exaggerating.)

  • from Weston,Florida June 27, 2014Music Background:
    Recording musician,guitarist...

    Just Average

    Bought a new Mac with all USB 3 connections.The MIDI connection with this interface, as with many others, does not work with USB 3.That was disappointing.The AWESOME tech support guy at Sweetwater was able to help me get around it with a couple of options.One of which he walked me through to to able to get up and running.
    Thanks again !!!

  • from Finger Lakes Area in NY. June 20, 2014Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior, Hobbyist, Demo Producer

    Whisper Quiet

    This interface replaced my DIGI 002, and the improvement was immediately noticeable. The Focusrite preamps are QUIET! My ribbon mics sound so clean! I am SO glad I made the upgrade. Thanks to my sales engineer, Carson McClain, I have the right gear for my needs. Thank you, Sweetwater.

  • from New York June 20, 2014Music Background:
    Audio engineer student, hobbyist

    Nicely built

    This is a solid interface that feels like it will last forever. I just wish it had a db meter on it. The volume knobs on my interface doesn't directly correspond to each headphone output. In other words headphone volume knob 2 controls headphone 1s volume and vice versa. I'm not sure if this is a fixable problem or not but the interface is still an awesome product. Would recommend

  • from Santa Barbara, CA June 10, 2014Music Background:
    musician/songwriter

    solid and versatile

    I bought this to replace a failing mbox2mini and get more inputs/outputs in the process. It was easy to set up with protools and works great. I love having 2 headphone outputs. Have yet to try it at 96khz. I think it sounds better than what I had.

    While the Focusrite Mic Pres have been raved about in reviews, I have to say that you will still want a good quality, preferably tube mic pre as a line input, especially for vocals, if you want to get professional results. Once I plugged in my V-72 the whole high end opened up. There was a dramatic improvement. But I do use the internal pres for DI guitar, etc.

  • from Boston, MA April 24, 2014Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    Great preamps!

    We replaced our DigiDesign 002 with the Scarlet 18i8 just in time for two new CD projects. We had laid down some tracks with the 002 but when we heard how clean and accurate the 18i8 sounded with the exact same set-up, we redid all those tracks. The fidelity brings out the best in our existing mics and gear. We could tell that the Focusrite preamps are living up to their reputation. What a joy to listen to the raw tracks at the end of the session! Having now heard the comp tracks in a variet of playback settings, I can now "hear" that Focusite sound... and love it!

  • from Fair Oaks, California, USA April 9, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician

    Excellent in Every Way

    When it comes to value per dollar spent, this li'l red box can't be beat. It offers excellent quality and a lot of versatility that one would not expect to find in its price range. You'll be producing professional quality tracks when you plug this interface into your computer. And here's a bonus for any techno-geeks who may be reading this -- it works flawlessly on my laptop running a Linux OS. Many thanks to AJ Becerra for recommending the 18i8.

  • from Augusta, GA February 1, 2014Music Background:
    DJ/Producer

    Blown away!!!

    You can't beat the price for what you get!! Sounds clean and the compressor is tight. Right out the box your ready to do some serious recording. I use it with my MAC with Logic Pro X. Pro grade quality sound for a fraction of the price.

  • from St. Louis, MO January 23, 2014Music Background:
    Pro turned hobbyist

    Wowzas!

    I spent some time researching audio interfaces in this price range. Not the low end but also not the high end. Quality-wise most interfaces in this range are built more like the low end. Not the 18i8! this thing is solid as a tank. I can take it out in the field and plug it into my iPad or hook it up to my home studio rig.

    The preamps are very good, albeit a little quieter than I'm used to. I can generally get plenty of volume out of them, though. The drivers can be a bit finicky on newer OS's and such, but Focusrite seems to stay further ahead of the game than other manufacturers in that regard. Focusrite support is GREAT and the people at Sweetwater are more than happy to provide EXCELLENT help as well when it comes to getting things setup and working properly.

    Very happy with this purchase!

  • from January 20, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician.

    Great interface!

    What do I know about interfaces? Glad you asked, my imaginary other side of this conversation! Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 could cure cancer!

    The body is solid (and RED - really, what more could you ask for?!), the smooth as butter action of the knobs excites the senses.

    "That's great," - I hear you saying - "but how does it sound?"

    "Like angels..." - a gentle whisper answers as you nervously look around in a futile attempt to locate the source of that sound.

    Scarlett's preamps sound delicious, that's all I'm going to say. You need to hear them. Let me rephrase that - you NEED to hear them! Line-in's are clean and solid and.... have I told you about the sound of this interface? Oh, a disembodied magical voice already did? Well, allow me to add something.

    It sounds delicious. DE-LI-CIOUS! She's a beautiful interface in this price bracket. What's that? Oh... Yeah... It's a "she." We're in love.

    Her name's Scarlett.

  • from Owings Mills, MD January 9, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer for Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

    Focusrite Scarlett 18i8

    This unit was recommended by our sales rep and I am extremely pleased. The unit is solidly constructed. I went with the addition i/o's and I am glad I did. Clean inputs and sound. No problems installing and setting the unit up with my DAW. I have been using for about a month and I am a happy customer.

  • from Santa Barbara, CA November 11, 2013Music Background:
    Music Worker

    Very Nice

    So far, I have had nothing but good experience with this unit. It installed without issue, is very transparent, and required only a short learning curve. Works perfectly for Live 9, Sonar X3 and Maschine.

    The Audio Kontrol 6 is the alternaive, but will not install on my machine under Win7 x64 Professional (ok on all other versions of Win)

  • from Santa Cruz June 24, 2013Music Background:
    25+ years of Recording, Live Sound, Musician, Hobbyist & Student

    what a deal

    I started out with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for my laptop/iPad recording setup. I was very impressed with the recording I am able to create. I needed more i/o and go this guy. This is a steel. Works with no drivers needed. simple clean controls! I can even get all 18in and 8out @ 24bit 96k to show up when connected to a iPad. Best of all I do not need a hub (via the camera connection kit) The quality you get from this box at this prices is unbelievable. If you looking for an upgrade but don't have a lot a crash this is a great option.

Questions about the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8?

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