It’s no secret that Focusrite’s Scarlett USB audio interfaces are a worldwide bestseller. The Focusrite Scarlett Generation 3 is now available delivering improved audio performance and user experience while still offering excellent value for money. The Generation 3 series of interfaces will have the best-ever Scarlett preamp, made with an Air mode facility. Focusrite has also added more monitoring capability and flexibility (read below).
Focusrite Scarlett Generation 3 Range New Features
Interfaces such as the Scarlett 2i2 and Scarlett 2i4 have become the industry standard for people who need a high-quality interface at a more than sensible price point. Since the original series, people have appreciated them for this in practice, production and performance duties. Here’s Focusrite’s explanation of the Scarlett generation 3 series of interfaces:
Audio Performance Improvements
The main focus with all audio interfaces is the audio performance, and the Gen 3 series is undoubtedly out to impress. The mic preamp section has been made even better than the previous generations, with an improved dynamic range and far lower noise performance for yet the most delicate of recordings. The AD-DA converters featured within the Scarlett generation 3 are still of world-class 24-bit/192kHz quality, guaranteeing clarity and punch across the frequency range.
ISA Style Air Effect
Something Focusrite became famous for, with their very first ISA mic preamp, this air effect is now featured on the Focusrite Scarlett Generation 3 range of interfaces which can offer brighter and spacious capture of your vocals and instruments.
When you buy many interfaces, setup takes longer than expected as a result of variations of drivers, firmware, plugins and control panels needed. The Gen 3 Scarlett interfaces now include a QuickStart tool to help you through the minefield to get recording quicker.
Low-Latency USB Driver
Another plus for the Generation 3 series of Scarlett Interfaces; the low latency USB driver delivers incredibly low latency – so little in fact that you can’t hear it! This enables you to perform, record and monitor in real-time with your preferred DAW and plugins in situ.
Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Generation included software
If you are just getting started with music production, the new Scarlett series also comes with all the software you need to start recording and making music. All Focusrite Scarlett generation 3 interfaces include:
- Ableton® Live 10 Lite™
- Pro Tools® First Focusrite Creative Pack
- Softube’s Time and Tone Bundle
- Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite
- A choice of one of four of XLN Audio’s Addictive Keys
- Membership to the Focusrite Plug-In Collective, offering free software and exclusive offers every two months
- Three months of free access to Splice Sounds when setting up a new Splice account
Changes to the Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Generation lineup
As you can see from the images, the Scarlett interfaces still feature black and red livery with a more contemporary style. Gain knobs are illuminated, and the ISA style air effect is triggered easily on the front panel of the interfaces. The entire range now features a USB-C connector (with the ability to be backwards compatible with your standard USB-A sockets on computers) as well as having balanced TRS outputs on every interface including the baby interface of the range, the Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen.
The Gen 3 version of the famous Scarlett 2i2 now has direct stereo monitoring so that you can monitor your recording channel(s) with zero latency.
The Scarlett 2i4 has now grown into a Scarlett 4i4, as it has additional line inputs. This is especially handy when sending audio to outboard FX units like pedals, or enabling a cue mix. The 4i4 works with Focusrite Control, so you can easily route your monitoring mixes and audio configuration from the comfort of your computer. The 4i4 also features two virtual inputs to enable capture of a stereo audio feed from any combination of hardware inputs and software playback channels; this is a godsend for people wanting to perform or present on live streams and podcasts. All of this is bus-powered, with no external PSU required.
Another growth from the 2nd Generation 6i6, the Scarlett 8i6 Gen 3 has two further fixed line inputs to record even more material like synths and effects processor returns. The 8i6 also features the loopback feature explained above with the podcaster/live-streamer in mind.
Continuing the theme, the Focusrite 18i8 Generation 3 features additional fixed line-level inputs for synths, drum machines The 18i8 also has ALT speaker switching ability so you can connect two pairs of monitors making A-B demoing easy. The loopback feature is also on this interface for more demanding Livestream needs.
The biggest brother in the range, the Scarlett 18i20 3rd generation contains all of the features seen on the smaller units such as the loopback and ALT speaker switching as well as:
The 18i20 contains pads on every channel giving you extra headroom for the loudest of sources such as drums without the risk of clipping. Also onboard is dual ADAT so you can add eight further mic res up to 96khz. Rack ears are included if you need to find a secure home for the interface in your studio rack.
Focusrite Scarlett Generation 3 studio packs
The 3rd generation of Scarlett interfaces also has two studio bundles offering excellent value if you are starting your studio journey. Both the Solo Studio Pack and the 2i2 Studio pack include the respective interfaces, a studio-quality condenser microphone and clip, XLR cable and a pair of the new Scarlett HP60 MK3 headphones offering a more comfortable fit than the previous version. The sound quality is excellent for both recording and mixing.