I recently made a purchase of a cheap, easy to use audio interface, called the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for $150.
I also have a Digi 002 interface, which i have used for 10 years, but i’ve never used more than two inputs at the same time, so i wanted to simplify my setup.
I wanted to get a Scarlett 2i2 so i could have a basic lightweight interface to travel with.
One of my goals with my recent purchases of Ableton and Serum, was to be able to make music with just my laptop. I can definitely do this with the setup i have now. Its really minimal, but i love it.
I like going out to Starbucks and working on tracks while i’m drinking iced teas.
What are the features of the FocusRite Scarlett 2i2?
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is about as simple of an audio interface as you can get.
Now, I’m working in Ableton with midi, soft synths, samples, vocals, and guitars that i record directly from a guitar pod.
The feature of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are:
- 2 xlr + 1/4 inch inputs and 2 outputs with a USB interface
- 2 good quality mic preamps
- phantom power
- direct monitoring
- latency control
- Focusrite Plugin Suite Downloads (including a compressor, eq, reverb, and gate)
The Scarlett 2i2 can also be purchased as a studio package with headphones and a condenser mic in a separate package for $250.
Setting up the FocusRite Scarlett 2i2
The setup was a piece of cake, for me personally.
I was high on marijuana edibles and was still able to set it up in about 15 minutes.
I just plugged it in and changed the output in Ableton to the Scarlett 2i2 and it worked.
I didn’t have to download drivers, or change settings, it just worked for me.
Watch the video below about the Scarlett 2i2 Studio Bundle. (Also, follow Warren Huart’s youtube channel. He’s got some nice videos about production and the skills to back it up.)
Reviews of the FocusRite Scarlett 2i2
The majority of the reviews for the Scarlett 2i2 were very positive.
It received 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with a few bad reviews from people that could not figure how to set it up.
The majority of the complaints seemed to come from people who were using it with Pro tools. I haven’t personally tried it yet with Pro Tools.
I think some of these people with complaints may be a little bit technologically retarded. It was easy in my experience.
I literally just plugged it in via USB, then changed the output settings in the Ableton preferences. That was it!
Plugin Package Included with the Scarlett 2i2
When you purchase this audio interface, you get access to 4 plugins that include: a compressor, eq, gate, and reverb.
I have not tested these plugins out yet, but i did watch the review of them above and it seemed pretty positive.
Cost of the FocusRite Scarlett 2i2
The cost of this interface is $150, which is pretty decent.
There is also a Focusrite Studio Package that comes with headphones and a condenser mic. This studio package costs $250.
I’m working mostly with midi, samples, guitar, and vocals. It works great for what i need to use it for.
If you are a beginner, or just want a very simple, portable recording solution, this is a good option.
Other Cheap Audio Interfaces You May Want to Check Out
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the most popular cheap interface, but there are a few other options you may want to check out.
Prosonus AudioBox – $99 – includes 2 xlr + 1/4 inch inputs and 2 outputs with a USB interface and a Studio One DAW.
Steinberg UR22 MKII 2-Channel USB Interface – $120 includes – includes 2 xlr + 1/4 inch inputs and 2 outputs with a USB interface and Cubase LE.