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Focusrite Scarlett Solo Video Review

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Focusrite Scarlett Solo Video Review

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB audio interface stands as an entry point into the Scarlette ecosystem, coming at just around $100.

But the price point doesn’t take away the quality and in this Scarlett Solo review, we’ll go over what you get with this nice little package. To start with, the build quality is amazing. Even though it is the cheapest interface in the series, Focusrite Scarlett Solo specs are rather similar to the 2i2 or any of the other, more expensive offerings. The body is an anodized aluminum shell with amazing, professional-feeling knobs and buttons that are placed as solid as they can be.

The build quality is definitely a 10 out of 10. But there are some drawbacks that come with the size, the monitor volume combines the headphone and speaker outputs, meaning you can’t really control it separately, but as soon as we go down, we go back up, this small interface even adds direct monitoring functionality, with amazing latency.

It’s a USB-C interface and gets powered by that connection alone also powering the phantom power for the microphone input and as well as the more expensive offerings it includes an air switch that brings more character to the preamp, which by istelf is wonderful. It’s a very compact, robust interface that’s great for travel.

Just like mentioned before, the focusrite scarlett solo usb audio interface is the cheapest offering from Focusrite, coming at $100, which is a decent chunck of changed shaved off of the second cheapests offering the Scarlett 2i2, which is more towards the $150 mark and if you want to save even more money, you can get the 2nd gen focusrite solo interface for around $80.

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A great deal! But it could be argued that $100 is still quite a bit of money for an interface, that only offers a few inputs when you can find a similar offering for cheaper or offering with more ports for the same price.

But that’s not why focusrite scarlett solo interface is great, it’s the fact that for a $100 you’re getting a premium product for just the fraction of price. It shouldn’t be seen as interface you buy for a home studio, but an interface you buy for traveling – something you just throw into your backpack and get on going.

We do a lot of interface reviews and we have to say, this has to be one of the most durable little audio interfaces out there. It is cheap, it is compact and it is built like a tank – which comes with every Focusrite interface, but to have it on their budget option is just wonderful.

Scarlett audio interface solo stands to be a great option for anyone who is looking for a new compact interface as the focusrite scarlett solo phantom power capabilities, size and quality is just hard to beat. We definetly like this scarlett solo audio interface and will use it many more times in the future. All the road trips are looking to be quite promising!

Focusrite is know for their high quality product, including options for hobbists, amateurs and industry professionals.

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The scarlett solo audio interface is just the first step in the wonderful world that the Focusrite has crafted, anything from USB audio interfaces to Synths, Keys, Apps and much much more. And we hope you’ve enjoyed our scarlett solo audio interface review and if you did, let us know what else should we review from what Focusrite offers?

And better off, why not check it out right this moment?! As our youtube channel already includes many products from both under the Scarlett series and the Novation series, so feel free to check out our channel for more videos.

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Focusrite

Focusrite Group Acquires Legendary Synth Brand by Iconic Dave Smith

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Focusrite Group Acquires Legendary Synth Brand

Sequential merges into Focusrite

With great excitement, Dave Smith announces that Sequential is joining the Focusrite Group of music and audio brands. Sequential is part of a family made up of some of the best and brightest companies in the music instruments and pro audio industries: Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Martin Audio, Optimal Audio, ADAM Audio, Novation, and Ampify Music.

Sequential’s synths have made a huge impact in music for decades, and continue to inspire music makers all over the world. Instruments such as the classic Prophet® 5 — the world’s first fully programmable polysynth, designed by Dave Smith and launched in 1977 — and the futuristic Pro 3® hybrid monosynth, which combines analog and digital in a powerful paraphonic instrument, show Sequential’s dedication to the craft of synthesizer design.

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Focusrite Group Acquires Legendary Synth Brand by Iconic Dave Smith 43

Sequential will operate as a separate entity to the other brands in Focusrite Group and will continue business as usual. Operationally, Sequential will retain its existing company structure, with Dave Smith leading engineering, product development, and mentorship of Sequential’s new breed of designers.

Commenting on the news, Focusrite’s Executive Chairman Phil Dudderidge said, “We’re excited and pleased to add Sequential’s instruments and pedigree to Focusrite Group’s portfolio of world-class audio and music production tools. Dave Smith’s history as an innovator speaks for itself. From his creation of the world’s first fully programmable polysynth (the Prophet 5) to his co-invention of MIDI, Dave Smith has literally changed the world of music several times. We’re looking forward to continuing his history of innovation and expanding the global market for Sequential’s instruments.

Sequential’s Dave Smith commented, “With Focusrite, we’ve found an ideal home and a perfect cultural and technological fit. Phil Dudderidge and his team have a long history of quality, vision, and focus on what musicians and audio professionals really want. We’re excited to join such an industry powerhouse and contribute to our mutual success. I expect great things.

Dave Smith continues to lead the engineering and product development and work with the Sequential design team into the future. Dave has more time to develop amazing synths!

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Plugin Alliance

Plugin Alliance goes Subscription and Releases The MEGA Bundle

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Plugin Alliance is proud to announce the availability of the new MEGA Bundle Subscription Services. The MEGA Bundle is the new gold standard for subscription-based plugin-bundles, offering an impressive collection of 100+ plugins from 28 Alliance brands including SSL, Ampeg, Brainworx, Focusrite and many more.

I use in my daily workflow several Plugin Alliances plugins, they part of my Top 5 Plugin and Effect companies. Well worth to check their product line and start using either the subscription or single plugins. See also our Brainworx bx_console SSL 4000 E Review – an SSL console Emulation by Plugin Alliance, bx_masterdesk Review – Mastering for All and Complete Mastering Chain by Brainworx, bx_oberhausen Review – a Famous Iconic Synthesizers Emulation by Brainworx, SpecOps Review – Spectral Effects Processing by Unfiltered Audio, and BYOME Review – Build Your Own Modular Effect by Unfiltered Audio.

MEGA Bundle

The MEGA Bundle contains an ever-growing collection, starting today with 100+ state-of-the-art plugins:

  • Best-in-class TMT console-emulations from SSL, Focusrite and more
  • Brainworx M/S Mastering tools
  • Several Virtual Instruments from DS Audio, Brainworx and more
  • 3D mixing from DearVR / Sennheiser
  • Innovative modular FX from Unfiltered Audio
  • Dozens of branded and officially endorsed analog-modeled units
    • Guitar Amps (ENGL, DIEZEL, Chandler…)
    • Bass Amps (Ampeg…)
    • EQs (Mäag, SPL, Millennia, Dangerous Music…)
    • Compressors (Shadow Hills, Purple Audio, Vertigo, ACME, elysia…)
    • Effects (ADA, Noveltech…)
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All these plugins are being offered in multi-platform versions, working on Mac and PC (VST 2/3, AAX and AU). 70+ of our plugins even work on professional AAX DSP systems. Plugin Alliance offers a simple and unified, dongle-free activation scheme, so one activation will give users access to ALL of the tools at once, and every license for the bundle is good to activate up to 3 machines!

Pricing and Availability

From Q4 on, the MEGA Bundle will be available for $24.99 per month.
But as of today, prepaid annual plans (1 Year Auto-Renewal) are being offered for $249.99 per year, which is a 17% saving over the month-to-month price. ($24.99 x 12 = $299.88 per year // Prepaid Annual plan = $249.99 per year)

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Virtual Instrument Library

Cla­rett 8Pre USB by Focusrite – a Studio USB Audio Interface Review

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Clarett 8Pre USB featured

Clarett 8Pre USB is Focusrite’s USB Flagship Audio Interface

With the Clarett 8Pre USB, Focusrite introduced into the market an audio interface with USB support and extraordinary quality at an attractive price tag. We also did look at the Clarett 8PreX see for the full report Clarett 8PreX by Focusrite – a Thunderbolt Audio Interface Review.

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Clarett 8PreX (at the top) and Clarett 8Pre USB (below)

The USB Interface Clarett 8Pre USB offers 18 inputs and 20 outputs. 8Pre USB is an audio interface, excellent for a semi-professional or professional studio. Focusrite did send a review unit with no strings attached.

Clarett 8Pre USB line art
Clarett 8Pre USB line art

The Clarett 8Pre USB as an audio interface connects microphones, instruments, line-level audio signals and digital audio signals to a MAC or PC through the computer’s USB port. Dynamic inputs signals are routed to your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and the outputs from the DAW are configured as the unit’s physical outputs.

In conjunction with the Focusrite Control application, you now have a highly versatile and professional solution for routing high-quality audio to and from your DAW. You can route and set levels, pull in the different features like AIR and define the type of the input.

Focusrite Control 8Pre USB Input Settings
Focusrite Control

Installation

On a MAC the installation is easy, you need to install the Focusrite software tool, reboot your MAC and the device works with your MAC computer. I did see the issue where the Focusrite software tool called Focusrite Control on my MAC did only see the device after a reboot.

Clarett 8Pre USB back
Clarett 8Pre USB back

Sound

Clarett 8Pre USB, one of Focusrite acknowledged USB audio interfaces including high-quality Clarett analog pre-amplifiers with the excellent AIR function.

Clarett 8Pre USB extends an outstanding sounding interface with eight mic preamps eight outputs. The unit supports a 118dB dynamic range, low noise, precision 24-bit/192kHz resolution and mic preamps with an analog Air effect. The used Preamps are fabulous and very clean and do not add any character. The unit offers low latency, you can only get a lower round trip with the Clarett 8PreX. While testing latency was never an issue.

Recording a band Example
Recording a band Example

Preamps

The preamp sounds incredible, why is that significant you ask? With other budget audio interfaces, you could have the issue that the preamps are less clear or they run into issues with increased gain. The sound quality of the high-end converters in this unit is absolutely surprisingly impressive. The quality of the stereo output of the audio interface is as good as anything I’ve heard. The quality of the converters on the Clarett is just amazing you can certainly hear it.

Clarett 8Pre USB top
Clarett 8Pre USB top

USB

USB support is a common interface standard for both Windows and MAC. USB is a so-called save bet when you are on Windows and do not have a Thunderbolt Interface. If you do have a Thunderbolt you should strongly consider Clarett 8PreX as an alternative model.

AIR

The AIR feature adds that Airy mid-high presence. Without AIR enabled, the preamps are clear and neutral. When you enable the AIR feature so you can truly hear the difference. You can enable AIR individually on each channel. Independently selectable on an input channel, AIR alters the pre-amp’s frequency response to model the impedance and resonance characteristics of Focusrite’s classic transformer-based ISA mic preamps.

Clock and Midi

You can easily synchronize Clarett 8Pre USB with other audio equipment in your studio. The device can work both as a slave to an external clock signal or as the master clock source. With the MIDI Interface, you can play in your DAW on your keyboard and route the MIDI signal to a vintage synth or directly into your Eurorack.

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Future Proof and Support

When you buy an audio interface you need to be ready for the next years and OS releases to come. Focusrite has an excellent record in supporting Windows and MAC users over the years. MAC is less of an issue as you do not need special software like on Windows. The audio interface is built for professionals and shows that in the support from Focusrite.

Software Tool

I set up the signal routing with the included software tool on a MAC OS computer. Routing sound and signals are comfortable with the Focusrite software. If you do come from an audio interface with fewer inputs and outputs you change the way you process audio. As you do have access to plenty of I/Os you can permanently connect for example a compressor or other hardware units and just route when needed the sound through those units. I use different available inputs to capture dry and wet signals. For example, from Eurorack, Effect Pedals, and Synths. All recorded tracks could then be easier mixed before mastering. Audio like mics, instruments, audio signal, Eurorack or Pedals are recorded into your DAW and then played back from there through speakers and headphones.

Clarett USB Mixer – basic principles
Clarett USB Mixer – basic principles

Rating:  Five Out of Five Stars

Clarett 8Pre USB is the best value USB audio interface money can buy. This Audio Interface completely sounds transcendent, undoubtedly exceeding other interfaces in the same league. The audio quality of these preamps/converters is unmatched and for the price of the unit. When I enabled Air, it did add a bit of glow and vibe.

Clarett 8Pre USB
Clarett 8Pre USB

The Clarett 8PreX has become my new go-to audio interface in my studio. The device captures sounds from my Eurorack, AE Modular, DAW, Synths, and Pedals. I can easily route the sound through my hardware effects units when needed. When recording video the inputs are really needed as we tent to add mics on top. If you do prefer USB over Thunderbolt the Clarett 8Pre USB is the ideal alternative.

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