One of the first things DJs wanting to get into making music usually buy is an audio interface, and the Focusrite Scarlett audio interfaces are as close as you get to an “industry standard” at the budget end of the market. And now, all three of these interfaces have been updated for a fourth time.
Focusrite says: “The new range features the Solo, 2i2, 4i4 … offering greater audio specifications, enhanced creative capabilities, and unprecedented ease-of-use.
“The new Scarlett range boasts better specs than any previous generation of Scarlett. Key features include Auto Gain, Clip Safe and a re-engineered Air mode, cementing its status as a giant leap for the acclaimed range.”
Why buy an audio interface?
They give you a meaningful upgrade on the little 1/8″ socket on your laptop for both input (microphone/line) and output (headphones). That means better audio quality, more control, and more flexibility when producing music with software such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, Serato Studio or Logic.
Make your own pro-sounding music: Dance Music Formula
So if you’re wanting to make music on a computer and you find you want to do things like add a good microphone for vocals, add a line input or two (maybe for plugging in a synth or drum machine), and monitor it all on decent headphones, that’s the time when an audio interface becomes a must.
Why buy a Scarlett interface?
Mainly because you can’t really go wrong with an industry leader, they offer good value for money, and have lots of user-friendly onboarding for beginners.
These improved models have 120dB dynamic range (for less background noise and distortion), good quality microphone pre-amps, auto gain and “clip safe” for getting your levels right, and neat “halo” indicators on the knobs that work as level meters.
Electronic producers will want to pass on the Scarlett Solo (as it has no stereo line input) and look at either the 2i2 if you’ll be adding instruments or vocals to your productions “one at a time”, or the 4i4 if you’re a multi-instrumentalist. The latter offers four separate inputs and outputs over the former’s two, plus more bells and whistles including Midi I/O that aren’t found on the lower models.
Expect to pay around £/$200 for the Scarlett 2i2 and £275/$300 for the Scarlett 4i4. More info over on the Focusrite website.