Extensive inputs and outputs, high-quality converters and MIDI anchor the company's latest USB interface.
The Scarlett interfaces have brought Focusrite's much-lauded mic preamps to a lower price point. But the two interfaces in the series, the 2i2 and 2i4, are relatively limited in terms of inputs and outputs. As its model number implies, the 18i20 vastly expands upon the other Scarlett units: its 18 inputs (each with a Focusrite mic preamp) and 20 outputs allow for relatively complex studio setups and routing schemes for a USB interface, and I/O can be expanded even more by way of an included digital connection.
The device's MIDI capability should make it appeal to electronic music producers with extensive hardware collections, and its dual headphone output and monitor controls are aimed at vocal production and acoustic recording. The unit can record at up to 24-bit/96kHz and is compatible with Mac, PC and iPad. Ableton Live Lite, a Novation bass synth and a gigabyte of samples from Loopmasters are included in the box.
Focusrite will release the Scarlett 18i20 in March 2013 at a suggested retail price of US$599.99 / UK£399.99.