Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 is an 18 input, 8 output recording interface, with 4 mic / instrument preamps.
Not only is this 3rd Generation interface simple and compact, it’s got ridiculously low latency, to help record effortlessly while still using effect plug-ins for some vibe.
Scarlett 18i8 has a similar form to the new Scarlett 8i6, with the addition of optical inputs for an extra 8 inputs to help with bigger tracking sessions.
On the front you get 4x XLR/Jack compo inputs, each with a gain control knob, pad and ‘instrument’ selector. There is also the new switchable Air setting, to reproduce the Air effect of Focusrite’s original ISA mic preamp. This offers your vocal recordings a brighter and more open sound.
There’s also a couple of phantom power buttons (in case you’re using condenser microphones). There are TWO headphone sockets on the front, each with their own volume controls, plus a nice big monitor knob.
Around the back is your 1 – 4 line outputs via balanced 1/4″ jack connectors, plus your USB port for connection to computer. The extra bits that you won’t find on smaller Scarlett Gen3 models include MIDI OUT and MIDI IN sockets, OPTICAL input (9-16), and SPDIF I/O. There is also your additional analogue inputs – four 1/4″ inputs for the 5-8 input – which are fixed-line (not with controllable gain).
The Big Tick:
Focusrite interfaces represent serious power for both performers and engineers alike. The low latency allows for perfect performance – even when tracking vocals while using plenty of effects. Scarlett 18i8 is “just right” for tracking and mixing in a small home or project studio, with the option of adding the extra 8 inputs via optical, should a drum kits or small ensemble all need microphone preamps.