Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Gen 18i8 or 18i20?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by 7ibby001, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. 7ibby001

    7ibby001 SS.org Regular

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    Hey SS!

    I'm looking to upgrade from my Focusrite 2i2 1st Gen, and saw that the Scarlett 3rd Gen just came out. I'm looking to have a set up that can accommodate 2 Guitars, a Bass, 2 mics (a condenser and a SM7B), and an electric piano/keyboard (Nord) and a Minilogue XD. I'm running Windows 10 Pro with Cubase 10 Pro and am not considering a Mac workflow, and I'm not currently thinking of doing any live drum recordings at home.

    Does anyone have these units? How do you like it so far? Does the Loopback function work for recording DAW audio to do music production streaming on Windows?

    What are some other options within the 500-700 USD price range that would be suitable for my setup?

    Cheers
     
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  2. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    if I was spending $500-700 usd I'd go for something more transparent over more inputs unless you need to record a live band.

    Something like an Audient or RME Babyface Pro.

    And, being on Windows I would STRONGLY recommend looking into RME products as their drivers are basically second to none.
     
  3. 7ibby001

    7ibby001 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the suggestion!

    Looking at a Babyface Pro, I don't think I'll have enough inputs out of the box to run my set up ._. I need an interface that can record an SM7B, a Rode NT1 condenser (48v Phantom Power required), minimum 2 instrument ins and 4 line ins for 2 synths, 2 Helix's and 2 other inputs to run Helix Native and Bias Amp 2 all simultaneously. It probably sounds like overkill but it's a lot easier to write and record with my band members this way, and currently that's going to be my main use case for it.

    Would it be better for me to get an RME Babyface Pro and get an expansion bay later on though? It can support up to 12 ins, I'm assuming through ADAT?

    I'll probably invest in more pro level gear (looking at Antelope Audio stuff) once I get good enough at tracking and mixing to charge good money for my services, so I dunno if the Babyface Pro will be enough for my current needs out of the box, even if the signal is pristine.
     
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  4. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    7ibby001 likes this.
  5. 7ibby001

    7ibby001 SS.org Regular

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  6. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    Seriously, the Focusrite stuff is really good. You will be able to make great sounding recordings with the Scarlett. I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out because of one dude on the ‘net’s word. FWIW.
     
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  7. 7ibby001

    7ibby001 SS.org Regular

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    Of course! I loved my Scarlett 2i2, it's served me well and I'm definitely still considering all the units. Just seeing what my other options are :D
     
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  8. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    This is exactly my setup. I used an ART TubeOpto 8 via ADAT for my expansion which gives me just enough for tracking drums at rehearsal spaces or a whole band with a more spartan mic setup on the kit. The RME stuff is pretty incredible in terms of quality and stability. My next move, when my budget and skill set allows, will be to upgrade to either a Fireface 802 or similar. Then I could go nuts with expansions.

    I haven't used a Focusrite interface since my old 2i4. It worked as a starter unit but I definitely had more random issues, higher noise floor and I definitely needed the RME upgrade after a few years. I'm sure the more modern interfaces are fine.
     
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  9. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    It's good to have options which is why I gave him three instead of just saying to buy the brand that I bought.
     
  10. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    Not sure if you've pulled the trigger on anything, but if you're going in that price range and want to stick with Focusrite, I'd go Clarett 4pre. 8 simultaneous ins (4 x XLR/instrument) & 4 x Line in. To factor in the Helix units, if you're using the Helix rack, plug your guitars into those, then use the Guitar Thru into one of the 1/4' inputs for a DI track and then you've got a dry signal for Bias Amp.
     
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  11. 7ibby001

    7ibby001 SS.org Regular

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    Haven't bought anything yet, still weighing my options and seeing what I can get if I stretch my budget. I'll consider it! Are the preamps in the Clarett that much better? :O I might wait for an update to the line before I jump the gun on it. It hasn't been updated in a while and I have a feeling it's going to be updated soonish. Would really like a native Thunderbolt3 version of it that works with Windows.

    The RME stuff looks fine but having barely any inputs out of the box is kinda annoying. I'd have to get a patch bay+mic pres to accomodate my set up which is another rabbit hole I don't want to get into right now .-. Any other suggestions as to what brands to look to if I expand my budget? I've seen varying stories on UAD and Antelope Audio which deters me from them even though they're pro level gear.
     
  12. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    The Clarett pres are not significantly better than the Scarlett, they just sound more focused with less overall noise. This is the best comparison video I've found for the two:



    In your price range, you won't find much in terms of Thunderbolt that will have all the ins and outs that you want. You're going to have to either sacrifice ins/outs or thunderbolt.

    If you're going to bump your budget up, I'd say look at the PreSonus Quantum or UAD Apollo series.
     
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