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  #1  
Old 01-15-2015, 03:08 PM
tchipman tchipman is offline
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Default Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

I haven't been here in a while. Now I'm considering updating my interface. It scares me to even think. So my sales engineer told me about this one.

I've been using a Digi 002 Rack for years..along with a Focusrite ISA220 and a Presonus Digimax hooked up for 8 channels of ADAT. I'd like to use both the ADAT pre's and the ISA via S/PDIF (instead of just the analog) because I did pay extra ($500) for that little piece when I bought the ISA220.

My question is will I be able to get this done with the Focusrite interface. AND (and this is the big one) will it play nice with Pro Tools 9?

Am I just asking for trouble ...........$499 seems really inexpensive for a complete interface with 8 pre's......
Tim
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2015, 03:26 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

Focusrite makes some good gear, but they also make a lot of stuff that just isn't ready for prime time.

The Scarlett series tries to be good "bang for the buck" but the line is has its share of problems, I really urge you to go with something else.

To answer your question, yes the coax SPDIF and optical ADAT on that unit can be used at the same time.

As for playing nice, by all indications it should work, but personally I've never had any luck with Scarlett drivers on Windows.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2015, 04:21 PM
tchipman tchipman is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaone View Post
Focusrite makes some good gear, but they also make a lot of stuff that just isn't ready for prime time.

The Scarlett series tries to be good "bang for the buck" but the line is has its share of problems, I really urge you to go with something else.

To answer your question, yes the coax SPDIF and optical ADAT on that unit can be used at the same time.

As for playing nice, by all indications it should work, but personally I've never had any luck with Scarlett drivers on Windows.
thanks for your reply..........I'm using an iMac but I have noticed a lot of people on here having trouble getting things working together smoothly. My stuff is all working right now .....I guess like most I'd just like something a little better!
Any suggestions?
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2015, 05:21 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

My suggestions may be impractical depending on your price range, whther your mac has TB, and whether you need 8 preamps - not all of these come with 8 mic preamps built-in.
  • Apogee Ensemble
  • RME Fireface 802
  • RME Fireface UFX
  • UA Apollo
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2015, 05:49 PM
tchipman tchipman is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaone View Post
My suggestions may be impractical depending on your price range, whther your mac has TB, and whether you need 8 preamps - not all of these come with 8 mic preamps built-in.
  • Apogee Ensemble
  • RME Fireface 802
  • RME Fireface UFX
  • UA Apollo
I really don't need the preamps. Thanks so much .....I'll check these out.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2015, 10:12 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

The Focusrite interfaces from what I have seen have been the most popular replacements for 002/003, ever since PT9 allowed people to use 3rd party interfaces.

I have not really seen too much complaint about them working, and they seem to provide very good support. I am not doubting MesaOne's experiences with them. I do know that there have been less problems with them on Macs than on Windows.

As far as being inexpensive, I see it more as that the 002/003 were overpriced, and also that you were paying for the included Protools software at the time, which added to the cost.

I can tell you that pretty much everyone who has used the Focusrite Saffires or Scarletts has felt that they sound better than the 002/003.

If your budget is in that range, they are great value for the money.


As for the other brands, they are sometimes more expensive because of extra things you are getting. With the Apollo, you are basically paying for a built in UAD card, in addition to the interface. With Apogee, you are paying for a higher level of sound quality (I have heard wonderful things about the new Thunderbolt Ensemble). With RME, I don't know as much about them, although they are probably the best in the business when it comes to good drivers, stability, and rock solid reliability.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2015, 10:37 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
I am not doubting MesaOne's experiences with them. I do know that there have been less problems with them on Macs than on Windows.
That's fair, I've only ever used them on Windows, and I haven't used the 18i20 specifically. So my experience with Focusrite may turn out to be irrelevant.

At any rate, if the extra money can be scraped together I think the interfaces I listed are worth it, even if the 18i20 is problem-free.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2015, 06:24 AM
tchipman tchipman is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaone View Post
That's fair, I've only ever used them on Windows, and I haven't used the 18i20 specifically. So my experience with Focusrite may turn out to be irrelevant.

At any rate, if the extra money can be scraped together I think the interfaces I listed are worth it, even if the 18i20 is problem-free.
Thank you both. I did notice that the problems I saw were with the Windows platform. I started with a Windows version of PT back in the v.5 days maybe 1999 or so and even the Digi 001 didn't like the PC. So even though I'd never even switched on a Mac I bought a G4 from Sweetwater and all has pretty much been well since then. As I said before I'm now using an iMac (which I'd never buy again) but it's all working pretty well. I might just keep on with what I've got until it breaks then get into the Thunderbolt stuff. My iMac won't support that so I'll have to wait.
In other news the headphone jack on the 002 is really loose and it's not the nut on the outside. I'd like to have more than one headphone jack anyway. Is there a good alternative to using that headphone jack?
thanks so much for your help.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2015, 07:38 AM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

Right now I use the Scarlett 8i6 and the ONLY issue is that when you change sample rates between sessions, which has been discussed here at length, is well known by Focusrite. There are some workarounds that add a few extra steps to smooth things out for now, so its okay...but not ideal. That said, everything else about the 8i6 is really nice. Sounds great and I've had no problem (other than learning curve) with using the Mix Control with it.

I use the S/PDIF for output to my JBL monitors and it all sounds sweet!

I've been thinking of upgrading to the Sapphire Pro 40...not sure yet. I don't quite get the differences between the Sapphires and the Scarletts.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2015, 08:02 AM
tchipman tchipman is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Scarlet 18i20

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Originally Posted by DonaldM View Post
Right now I use the Scarlett 8i6 and the ONLY issue is that when you change sample rates between sessions, which has been discussed here at length, is well known by Focusrite. There are some workarounds that add a few extra steps to smooth things out for now, so its okay...but not ideal. That said, everything else about the 8i6 is really nice. Sounds great and I've had no problem (other than learning curve) with using the Mix Control with it.

I use the S/PDIF for output to my JBL monitors and it all sounds sweet!

I've been thinking of upgrading to the Sapphire Pro 40...not sure yet. I don't quite get the differences between the Sapphires and the Scarletts.
I looked at the Pro 40 as well. I think it's a firewire connection and the Scarlet 18i20 is usb........they look very similar.
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