Focusrite is a premium audio interface. The 2i2 stands for the number of outputs and inputs that the device has. It can be used by both beginners and experienced musicians. Focusrite is a global brand which specializes in offering audio interfaces and other audio products. If you are a musician, you can buy this audio interface for better music. The interface will help you to record with better sound quality. This is the second generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
This is the bestselling USB audio interface in the market. It focuses on achieving the best sound, easy experience, and fastest speed. The latest generation has improved features. It is versatile and compact with two natural sounding microphone preamps and low latency. You can take it anywhere and connect using a single USB cable to your computer, then plug two instruments or mics directly. You can use it to record studio quality audios. This audio interface is a perfect partner for the Pro Tools. The best part of this is interface is that it comes with a Pro tools Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite.
It is compatible with all DAWS on mac 10.10 upwards and PC windows 8.1 upwards. Unfortunately, MIDI is not a feature of 2i2.
What to look for in Focusrite 2i2
The best audio interface should produce the best sound quality. The quality of sound should be pristine and clear without any buzzing sound, which is an issue with other models.
Excessive latency is a nightmare to most musicians because it makes focusing hard when recording. The best audio interface should have a super low latency. Focusrite 2i2 has super-low latency, making your recording easier.
If you need a portable audio interface that you can take everywhere, it should be durable and able to withstand the various conditions. It should be compact and lightweight for easy portability. Focusrite has a red exterior which is attractive and also durable. The case is made of anodized aluminum, making it strong and able to withstand various conditions on the road.
- 2i2 has two natural-sounding mic preamps, two inputs, ¼” balanced outputs to connect studio monitors, and one headphone output with gain control.
- It has a class-leading conversion and sample rates up to 192kHz/24bit. Latency is super low when using plugins in real-time without DSP.
- It has a limited offer of free venomode DeeQ, pivot, maximal 2, and plugins upon registration and download.
- It comes with pro tools pack and Ableton Live Lite, tone and softube Time bundle, red plugin suite, free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, 2GB of Loopmasters samples. They are all available through download after registration and purchase.
- It is compatible with windows seven upwards and Mac OS X 10.10 upwards. The frequency response is 20Hz-20kHz± 0.1dB. The supported sample rates are 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96kHz, 176 kHz, and 192kHz.
- The monitor dial will give you a tactile control for the volume of the speakers. The headphone amp ensures that a clear and loud signal is transmitted to the headphones.
- It produces high quality conversion. Every note and small details are captured with clarity.
- It is light and compact for easy portability. You can carry it in your bag. It is also bus-powered, and you may not need any additional power supply when traveling.
- Focusrite has two outputs and two inputs. The inputs can accommodate both ¼” instrument cables and XLR microphone cables. You can record two instruments or microphones at the same time. This Focusrite has no SPDIF/MIDI outputs or inputs. It is a basic interface with two outputs for connecting TRS cables to speakers. It also has ¼” headphone jack on the front with a separate volume dial.
- You can switch the inputs between the instrument and line. To have the best sound with the direct input guitars, set it to instrument and line for the microphones. If you have a different direct input box in front with a Hi-Z input, set it to line.
- The main upgrade is the 8db increased headroom that is added to the instrument inputs for easy pickups. This helps the clipping issues of the first generation and solo models. Other upgrades include added sage protection circuits to the outputs and inputs, and the updated converters.
- It has darker indicator lines to the monitor, gain, and the headphone knobs. It also has LED lights around the gain knobs t show when the signal is clipping, and it is green or orange before clipping. The 48V phantom power switch is for the microphones that need a direct monitor switch and power for monitoring without latency. Generally, 2i2 has a nice hardware, knobs, and connectors.
- The 2i2 Scarlett interfaces have lower latency and increased sample rates. At 48kHz/64 setting, it has 7.79 ms of latency. This is a great improvement compared to generation one. The added support of higher rates it can be dropped down to 48kHz/32 to have 5.17ms of latency. You can drop it even to 3ms at 96kHz and up. Lower latency helps with overall CPU usage. You can use higher buffer settings without sacrificing much latency.
- The Focusrite Scarlett interfaces sound great; they are clear. The 2i2 has clear sound when recording guitars. It is more natural, and you can hear the high frequencies better. The overall tone is brighter when compared to other interfaces.
- The windows system needs installing drivers before using the Scarlett USB interface. The 2i2 uses different drivers when compared to the first generation. Although the drivers may not work well with your system, it is one way of dealing with windows drivers. This may not have anything to do with the interface.
- The Focusrite 2i2 comes with a better software bundle that you can find with an audio interface. The 2i2 comes with Ableton Live Lite 9 and a pro Tolls kit that will add some nice pedal effects and some amps to the free version of Pro Tools. Ableton can be used with the Pro Tools 12. It can be used together with ReWire and take advantage of Live’s drum racks and other tools and effects within Pro Tools.
- It comes with some plugins like softube’s Time and Tone bundle, Novation’s bass station virtual synthesizer, and Focusrite Red Plugins. The model comes with the creative pack that has 12 free plugins to use with the Pro Tools.
- The downside with the free version is that it works with the plugins from the Avid marketplace. This may make it hard to use the pedals with other guitar amp plugins. But the Live Lite supports third party plugins that you can get easily.
- The Focusrite 2i2 has a solid build quality, clearer sound, and low latency, which make it the best option for an affordable entry-level interface for recording vocals and guitars. You may encounter some problems with the drivers, but it seems to be a standard theme when it comes to windows and the audio interfaces. You can toggle the buffer size to help fix some of the problems.
- The model has two inputs, two outputs, and two quality preamps. You can hear the recordings through the speakers or headphones. The signal does not go through the computer first. You only need to flick the switch. This design offers super-low latency and makes focusing easy.
- It has a USB connection that makes the setup process easy and simple. You only need to plug it in and get started.
- The inputs on the front panel can be used to connect the instrument and line level signals and even microphones. This makes recording flexible, for example, when recording the output of a piano or a synthesizer. You cater to the output of an electric or acoustic guitar by flicking the switch.
- The front panel has indicators to show you when the signal for recording is good. The red light shows when the signal is clipping, and you need to reduce the gain. It turns green when the signal is good.
- It also comes with an authorization code to allow you to access the recording software online.
- It has a good design, and the controls are convenient. The balanced inputs and outputs work well and offer plenty of gain.
- It is easy to set up and use. It offers clear and quality sound.
- Focusrite 2i2 is a great audio interface. Most users are happy with it. You can install the latest drivers to ensure that it works well.
- You may experience some bugs with the drivers.
- It has no SPDIF or MIDI outputs and inputs.
- It has no support for an iPad
- You can’t set the headphones to monitor different output.
- Two channels
- 24 bit/192kHz A/D resolution
- Two Focusrite preamp
- 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo inputs
- 2 x 1/4″ Line, 1 x 1/4″ Headphones outputs
- USB Bus powered
- 48V phantom power
The bundled software includes Pro tools creative pack, Ableton live lite, softube’s time and tone pack, 2GB Loopmasters samples, and Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite.