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Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 USB Audio Interface  

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The Scarlett 8i6 is an 8 in / 6 out audio interface with outstanding sonic performance and flexibility at a truly affordable price. Part of Focusrite' new range of USB audio interfaces, the Scarlett 8... Click To Read More About This Product

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The Scarlett 8i6 is an 8 in / 6 out audio interface with outstanding sonic performance and flexibility at a truly affordable price. Part of Focusrite' new range of USB audio interfaces, the Scarlett 8i6 is designed to make home studio recording and mixing easy without sacrificing audio quality.

Twenty-five years of mic pre excellence form the foundation of this new interface, with two award-winning Focusrite preamps. Combined with a host of additional I/O options, the Scarlett 8i6 helps you get the tracks you want without having to constantly re-patch your studio.

Alongside the two high-quality mic preamps, two additional analogue inputs, four analogue outputs, S/PDIF and MIDI open the door to true multi-track recording. Two Hi-Z instrument inputs let you plug straight in without the need to buy additional DI boxes, and two virtual Loopback inputs are also available for routing digital audio between software applications - ideal for capturing online audio.

Included with the Scarlett 8i6 is Scarlett MixControl, an 18 x 6 DSP mixer. Offering a level of flexibility that is remarkable at this price point, the MixControl software enables you to create six separate mixes with ultra-low-latency. Route any combination of input signals and sequencer outputs to any of the Scarlett 8i6 outputs. Intuitive one-click configurations help you track, monitor and mix as quickly as possible.

Scarlett 8i6 comes with all of the additional tools needed to start making music straight away. Scarlett VST/AU/RTAS Plug-in Suite comes in the box, adding Focusrite compression, reverb, gating and EQ to your recording system.

Focusrite' established Xcite+ bundle is also included. The bundle features Ableton Live Lite (for all your production, performance and compositional needs), Novation' Bass Station soft synth and over 1 gig of royalty-free samples from Loopmasters.

Two Focusrite preamps ensure low noise and distortion, whilst cutting-edge digital conversion captures your audio with pristine quality. Combined with the very latest in USB interfacing technology, excellent routing flexibility and rock-solid driver stability, the Scarlett 8i6 is the heart of the modern home studio.

Scarlett VST/AU/RTAS Plug-in Suite
Scarlett includes a professional plug-in suite that provides a definitive suite of Compression, Gating, EQ, and Reverb for tracking and mixing. Scarlet includes the most popular formats including VST/AU and RTAS (Pro Tools). From one of the most prestigious names in pro audio, made famous by the original Red range and the classic ISA console modules, this plug-in suite provides the perfect upgrade for your Digital Audio workstation. Not only does it sound great, the new Scarlett user interface features a stunning new Red anodized look and feel, which takes the recording and mixing experience to whole new level! Scarlett sets a new standard for drop- dead gorgeous plug-ins!

Each powerful plug-in has a host of fast and easy-to-use pre-sets, providing a great starting point for a huge number of popular sound sources, from vocals and guitars to synth bass and percussion. In addition, every plug-in parameter can be finely tuned to bring out the optimum sound you want, exactly the way you want it. So whether you want a fast set-up or an advanced set-up, Scarlett is destined to become your new 'go-to' plug-in.

Xcite+ Software Bundle
'Xcite+' comes on a DVD-ROM filled to the brim with royalty-free loops and samples alongside some powerful applications ideal for getting the new user started, or to expand the experienced user' creative toolbox.

Ableton Live Lite 8 forms the foundation of this collection, providing the ideal platform to create, produce and perform. Novation' classic bass synth, ˜Bass Station™ enables you to create bass and 303-styled patches. Alongside these comes an entire gigabyte of royalty-free samples, exclusively compiled by LoopMasters, providing a selection of loops and samples large enough to satisfy the appetite of even the most demanding artist.


Two high-quality award-winning Focusrite preamps
High-quality 24-bit/96kHz USB interface
Total I/O count of 8 inputs and 6 outputs
Scarlett MixControl ultra-low-latency DSP mixer/router
Scarlett VST/AU/RTAS Plug-in Suite
Xcite+ Software Bundle
Two Hi-Z instrument inputs
Dedicated front-panel headphone bus
Monitor levels are always within reach
Switchable phantom power
Software PFL

Includes USB cable, universal DC power supply, installer CD, self adhesive rubber feet, Xcite+ Bundle
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6
Microphone Inputs 1-2
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.2 dB
Gain Range: +13dB to +60dB
THD+N: 0.001% (measured at 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise EIN: 124dB analogue to digital (measured at 60dB of gain with 150Î termination (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Input Impedance: 2kÎ

Digital Performance
A/D Dynamic Range > 109dB (A-weighted), all analogue inputs
D/A Dynamic Range > 106dB (A-weighted), all analogue outputs
Clock Sources: Internal Clock; Sync to Word Clock on SPDIF Input (RCA)
Clock jitter < 500 picoseconds
Supported Sample Rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz
8 input channels to computer: Analogue (4), Loop-back (2); SPDIF (2)
12 output channels from computer: DAW (12)
6 output channels from Scarlett 18i6: Analogue (4), SPDIF (2)
18 input by 6 output mixer

Line Inputs (Inputs 1-2)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
Gain Range: -10dB to +36dB
THD+N: 0.001% (measured with 0dBFS input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise: -90dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Input Impedance: >10kÎ

Line Inputs 3-4
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.2 dB
Gain Range: Switch-able between +16dBu or -10dBV for 0dBFS (balanced inputs)
THD+N: 0.003% (measured at 1kHz with a 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise: -100dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Input Impedance: >10kÎ

Instrument Inputs (Inputs 1 and 2)
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
Gain Range: +13dB to +60dB
THD+N: 0.004% (measured with 0dBu input and 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
Noise: -87dBu (20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Analogue Audio Outputs (Outputs 1-4)
4 Electronically Balanced Outputs
Maximum Output Level (0dBFS): +12dBu
THD+N: 0.001% (0dBFS input, 20Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Crosstalk (Channel Isolation)
Any input to input: > 100dB
Any output to output: > 100dB
Any input to output: > 100dB

Connectivity (Channels at a glance):
2, Mic/Line/Inst, Combo XLR, Inc. 2 instrument inputs
2 Line analogue, ¼ TRS Jack, on rear panel
2 S/PDIF , RCA phono, on rear panel
16, MIDI, 5 pin DIN connector, provides 16 channels of MIDI
4, Line analogue, ¼ TRS Jack, on rear panel
2, S/PDIF, RCA phono, On rear panel
16, MIDI, 5 pin DIN connector, provides 16 channels of MIDI

Analogue Channel Inputs (Inputs 1-8)
2 Mic XLR Combo (channels 1-2) on front panel
2 Line ¼ TRS (channels 3-8) on rear panel
Automatic switching between Mic / Line (channels 1-2)
Switching between Line / Instrument Inputs (channels 1-2) via Scarlett Mix Control Application
Switching between +16dBu (low) and -10dBV (high) gain on inputs 3-4 via Scarlett MixControl Application

Digital Channel Inputs (Inputs 9-18) 44.1 - 96kHz
Stereo S/PDIF input on RCA

Analogue Audio Outputs (Outputs 1-4)
4 ¼ TRS Jacks
Output Level control (analogue) for outputs 1 and 2
Stereo Headphones on ¼ TRS (also routed to Outputs 3 & 4) with independent analogue volume control

Digital Channel Outputs (Outputs 5-6) 44.1 - 96kHz
Stereo S/PDIF Output on RCA

Other I/O
1 USB Type œB Connector
2 Standard 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors: In and Out
DC Power Input Connector (for use with supplied universal input power supply)

Front Panel Indicators
2 two segment input meters, -18 and 0dBFS
œLKD Lock Indicator
œUSB Host Connected Indicator
Instrument input source selection LED for channels 1 and 2
Phantom Power (48V) switch and LED for inputs 1 and 2

Dimension (W x H x D): 215mm x 45mm x 220mm (8.5 x 1.8 x 8.7 inches)
Weight: 1.5kg / 3.3lbs

MAC OS X 10.6.5 Snow Leopard

Windows 7 (All versions), Windows Vista (32bit only), or Windows XP SP3 (32bit only)

Scarlett VST/AU/RTAS Plug-in Suite
System Requirements
Mac OS
Power PC G4/G5 or Intel Mac
Mac OS 10.4.11 or higher
512 MB RAM
XVGA [High Colour 1024x768]

Windows XP* or Vista (All Versions)
Pentium III 600 MHz CPU or faster**
512 MB RAM
XVGA [High Colour 1024x768]

Supported Formats
Windows - VST
Mac OS - VST, Audio Unit

* Windows XP users are advised to use Windows XP2 or higher
** 1GHz CPU recommended
All Focusrite products are built to the highest standards and should provide reliable performance for many years, subject to reasonable care, use, transportation and storage.

In the event of a Manufacturing Defect becoming evident within 12 months from date of purchase Focusrite undertakes that the product will be repaired or replaced free of charge if the product is returned to the authorised dealer from whom it was purchased. In these circumstances, or if you need an out-of-warranty repair to your Focusrite product, please contact your local Focusrite distributor in your country of residence or business : Find your local distributor here and you will be advised of the correct return procedure.

Alternatively contact the Focusrite Reseller from which you purchased the product. If you purchase a Focusrite product outside your country of residence or business you will not be entitled to ask your local Focusrite Distributor to honour this Limited Warranty, although you may request a chargeable repair.

Alternatively, the unit may be returned at your cost to the dealer you purchased the unit from so that they can organise a Warranty repair with their Focusrite Distributor.

This Warranty does not include cost of shipping to and from the authorised dealer from whom it was purchased. In every case it will be necessary to provide the original invoice or store receipt to accompany the defective product to the supplying dealer. This Limited Warranty is offered solely to the first purchaser of the product from an Authorised Focusrite Reseller (defined as a reseller which has purchased the Product directly from Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. in the UK or its Authorised Distributors outside the U.K,) and is not transferable.

This Warranty is in addition to your Statutory Rights in the country of purchase.

Please note: A Manufacturing Defect is defined as a defect in the performance of the product which may be expected from a reasonable interpretation of the published description and performance specifications as published by Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. This does not include damage caused by post-purchase transportation, storage or careless handling, nor damage caused by misuse.

A significant proportion of products returned under Warranty (which are very few in number compared to numbers sold) are found not to exhibit any fault at all. Please check that the mains voltage is correctly set for your local supply and that your connecting cables are in good order and correctly connected.

If in doubt about the product functions please read the user guide and if necessary contact your dealer for advice before returning the product to the supplying dealer. You can also contact the Focusrite Tech Support team at the Focusrite Answerbase for general advice.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 7 reviews)

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Reviewed by 7 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


figured it out

By matt funderburk

from Charlotte NC

I bought this knowing that it has horrible reviews on this site ad many many others. The complaint is always that it crackles and slows the audio output. I had this problem as well at first. I soon after figured out how to resolve the problem. I isolated the usb connection to only this device. Im using an hp desktop that has two usb ports on the front and 4 usb ports on the back. I simply plugged all my other usb devices into the rear ports and dedicated the front usb set to the Scarlett 8i6. Now everything is working perfectly. I originally bought the saffire 6 and was not happy with the mix knob for direct monitoring vs DAW output. Let me tell you, the Scarlett model blows the saffire unit away in clarity and output level. As far as in the mix vocal tracking(my problem with the saffire) i was able to record vocals with near zero latency while ableton live played back the prerecorded track. Im a happy guy now.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great Audio Interrface

By Anthony Rodriguez

from Iowa City, Iowa

For all you people complaining about it. Make sure your buffer sizes are adjusted or increased and make sure you have unessential drivers disabled. If you have an onboard audio card in you pc make sure you disable the drivers. Disable Anti Virus and wireless network adaptors since they strain your CPU. YOU DONT NEED THEM FOR RECORDING! And Make sure Printers,Cameras, and other unessential peripherals are disconnected. There is also a free DPC Latency application that tells you if you PC is even capable of having optimized audio recording and playback without drop outs and interference. I hate it when novices give bad reviews to excellent products out of ignorance. The Preamps in this device is amazing it just sounds spetacular. For the price you are getting real semi pro sound. I cant complain. Im using Sonar X1 Producer with my Korg M50 73 key workstation and I couldnt have a better Audio interface then the Scarlett 8I6 for my own personal recording purposes. Now if you need alot of inputs for live recording look elsewhere. This is for personal to small band recording, but mainly for personal producers and or musicians.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Not so good

By Tim M

from Kirkland, WA

I do session work in a studio and was looking for something to dink around with at home. I knew I wasn't going to get studio quality but I'd been using an Apogee One and had been happy with the quality. I wanted to upgrade to get more inputs and bought the Apogee Scarlett. It had really bad lag, very little headroom and poor clarity. I ended up returning the product to get the duet. I had low expectations and wasn't happy with this product.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


used firmware update

By Ron Estell

from Highlands Ranch CO

worked great with current firmware update. no problem with latency. small form factor is nice and portable but not cord friendly. But, no different from other products in this class. Great fidelity for home recording.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


lag a lot

By duck

from mexico

it lags so much you can't work with it, very bad product


Worked for me. Get what you pay for.

By mark kaepplein

from Boston Mass

My first recording last week was of a grand piano and classical music with two Oktava MK012 mics feeding Audacity. I monitored via headphones direct from inputs, thus no lag going in and out of a computer. Unfortunately, the ADC did not capture all details heard monitoring inputs with my headphones. The used 8i6 captured sound, didn't crash with FIRMWARE UPDATE, and sounded better than the HD camcorder by far. I picked the 8i6 for having external 12v power as 5v bus power won't get the most out of opamps. Inside, the LM317 voltage regulators are good, ADC chips, opamps, capacitors, power supply bypassing are mediocre and expected for the price. Upside is squashed dynamics results in less need to buy a compressor/limiter! I hope to upgrade to external mic pre's and ADC, then use the SPDIF in of the Scarlet.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Good preamps, bad latency

By Blake H.

from TN

After deciding to upgrade my Steinberg CI1 interface, I decided on the Scarlett 8i6 and bought it at the Guitar Center in Nashville. PROS: The first impressions were great. The unit has that analogish sex appeal that my white CI really lacked. The casing seems quite sturdy, and ready for anything you can throw at it. Taking advantage of the Scarlett MixControl, the unit has some pretty impressive routing scenarios for this price range,and also a surprising amount of functionality like the zero latency monitoring. The preamps are super nice, and the metering lights seem to be accurate. CONS: The LATENCY. Zero latency monitoring is useless if you can't run your DAW sound at reasonably low latencies. I'm running Cubase Artist 7 on Vista and the total ASIO latency is like 56ms to the point where everything runs stablely on my system (5-6 sample based tracks.) Unbelievably sluggish, making it a huge downgrade from my previous box. I was also disappointed with the DSP software in that there was no provision for FX while monitoring zero latency. The DSP software would be so much more versatile if it could be MIDI controlled. Another big deal is that there is no power switch, so you'll find yourself unplugging and replugging all the time to conserve energy. Overall this is a nice interface that has alot of I/O for it's price range, mediocre DSP capabilities, and impressive sound quality. But the latency performance is a potential dealbreaker, and you'll find alot of aspects weren't well thought out. To remedy some of this the 6i6 and 18i8 have just been released a few days after I bought this. Hopefully these new models will offer some change in latency performance as well.

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