The first question we have to talk about is: what exactly is an audio interface like Focusrite Scarlett 6i6?
An audio interface is hardware that connects your computer with other audio gear like microphones, studio monitors, and more. A common audio interface converts analog signals into digital audio that your computer can read. It doesn’t only expand inputs and outputs but also can greatly improve the sound quality of your computer.
Whenever you make your recordings or listen to music, the audio interface will produce a more accurate sound for your headphones or speakers.
Audio interfaces are used for recording music, voice-overs, instruments, sound designs, and podcasts.
Choosing an Audio Interface
How do you choose a great and perfect audio interface for you? Here are some criteria to help you out!
For starters, you’ll find 2 channel desktop interfaces that can record a pair of mono signals, or a single stereo signal at once. But if you are more advanced, there are those that can handle a lot of channels and many inputs at the same time. Technically, what audio interface you need will come down to what you plan to record.
For singer-songwriters, you might need a pair of inputs. If you are going to plug in some instruments in your interface, make sure it is equipped with instrument-level inputs and has phantom power. To plug in outboard processors, headphones, and studio monitors, line-level inputs and outputs are the things to consider.
Here are the common or standard audio interface connection types you have to check whenever you are looking for a new audio interface:
- Thunderbolt: Currently installed on the newest Mac computers. It is a high-bandwidth Intel tech that offers excellent data transfer rates and very low latency performance.
- USB: Almost all newer computers have USB 2.0 and 3.0. There are many interfaces designed to run on USB power. Which makes this a great for recording via your mobile.
- FireWire: Commonly found in Apple products, it provides high-speed data transfers perfect for multi-channel recording.
- PCIe (PCI express): Found in desktop computers. These cards are plugged directly into your motherboard. PCIe connection provides high-data bandwidth and low-latency. Which makes audio interfaces able to handle many I/O at the same time.
We are not really going to delve deep into this category. Basically, a great audio interface will help produce music that sounds better. But you also have to consider your inputs and outputs. Remember, you have to pair your audio interface with great headphones, speakers, and microphones to be able to produce clear music and sound.
There are a lot of choices in the market for an audio interface and it can be a daunting task to choose one. Always consider what you are going do with this audio interface. Knowing what your needs are will help you choose the perfect one for you. My advice is to list all the things that you need and what this new audio interface should have.
Last but not least, the price. Always consider how much an audio interface is, to be honest, nobody wants to go broke just because of an audio interface. You need to save up for the best studio headphones and studio monitor to go with your audio interface.
The Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
There are two generations of the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6. But in this review, we will only be talking about the 2nd gen version. But for a brief introduction, let’s look at the specs and a video review of the 1st gen Scarlett 6i6 to know where our 2nd gen came from. It is always nice to know a little about history, right?!
1st Gen Scarlett 6i6
There are a lot of great reviews since 1st gen Scarlett 6i6 was released up until now. You can check out the internet to look for some. But we came across this video that talked about this amazing audio interface. It is very detailed and gives a good overview.
Specs: 2nd Gen Scarlett 6i6
Pros and Cons: 2nd Gen Scarlett 6i6
Compared to the 1st gen, 2nd gen has lower latency, is easier to use, and has improved sonics. The instrument inputs of the 2nd gen have been re-engineered to handle modern active pickups with an evened out gain structure of the mic preamps. Also, the updated Scarlett 6i6 has wired analog protection circuitry to protect your audio interface from damaging power surges.
Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 is very portable with its compact design. It has 2 preamps on the front panel while 2 additional inputs and 4 outputs at the back panel.
This audio interface has super low latency. Because of this, Scarlett 6i6 will let you monitor with native plug-in effects in real time. It will let you hear and record performances clearer and cleaner.
In regards to this audio interface I/O, Scarlett 6i6 has XLR inputs for your mics, hi-Z for your instruments, line inputs, and S/PDIF digital I/O. It has flexible connectivity when you are recording.
Scarlett 6i6 is an entry-level audio interface perfect for your home or project studios.
The Scarlett 6i6 is bundled with an exclusive Pro Tools – First Focusrite Creative Pack. This package features a 16-track version of the DAW with 12 awesome additional plug-ins. You might also get the following:
- Softube’s Time and Tone Bundle
- Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite
- 2GB of Loopmasters samples
- Access to Focusrite’s Plug-in Collective
- Red 2 and Red 3 Plug-in Suite
- Softube Time and Tone Pack
- Ableton Live Lite DAW software
- Novation Bass Station VST and AU plug-in synth
- XLN Addictive Keys, and more!
If you are looking for an audio interface that lets you access your mixes remotely from your Apple products, Scarlett 6i6 might be the one for you! You can download their FREE Focusrite iOS Control app in your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 User Reviews
There are a lot of great and average reviews about Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 like this video reviews on youtube. Check it out!
Competitors of the Scarlett 6i6
Let’s check out the competitors of Scarlett 6i6 in the market.
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is a great entry-level audio interface without an audio track limit with a wide range of useful plug-ins. It comes with an amp simulator and stomp-box effects, passable digital reverb, a wide range of monitoring utilities, frequency analyzers, and full seven-band equalizer.
Plus, AudioBox iTwo is known for its mobile interface. Built like from small tanks with metal chassis and knobs secured to reduce strain on the internal circuit board. AudioBox iTwo can take a serious pounding but remain reliable and working.
As a bonus, PreSonus gives you a FREE plug-in suite for your DAW! It includes 7 popular plug-ins from top studio gear manufacturers like Maag Studio, Lexicon, Arturia, and more!
Overall, a decent audio interface for strong audio recording and mixing compared to others that you can bring anywhere you go!
Audient iD4 features its compact desktop chassis with Audient’s famous Class A’s console mic preamps, JFET DI, conversion technology, two headphone jacks, and console-style monitoring control. iD4 has a big volume know that lets you tweak your DAW and plug-in parameters, even lets you scroll your iTunes library!
The monitor mix control of iD4 lets you blend inputs, DAW return signals, and even lets you switch the LED ladders to display input levels whenever you are listening to a 100% input.
There is also a monitor pan function that allows you to create a stereo mix of the input signals. When you press the iD4 button, it lets you turn the volume encoder into a mouse scroll wheel. Then, when you push the volume encoder, it dims the speaker output by 15dB and causes the mute switch to flash.
ID4 lets you experience top-notch audio interface whether you’re in the studio or on the road with your Audient board!
If you are a solo musician, Audient iD4 might be the one for you.
Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD
U-Phoria UMC404HD features its genuine MIDAS preamplifier technology. Which is famous around the world that delivers ultra-clear sound with plenty of headroom. It is safely protected by an impact-resistant metal chassis to make sure it can stand the test of time.
This audio interface is engineered for professional level recordings with microphone, guitar, bass, and keyboard connectivity. It features 24-bit/192kHz resolution with 4x studio-grade MIDAS mic preamps. It is also compatible with a lot of recording software with zero-latency monitoring letting you experience your creation with no delays or lag.
Behringer will also provide free audio recording, editing, and podcasting software with 150+ instruments/effects plug-ins that you can download.
If you are looking for an audio interface for your professional studio, Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD might be the one you need.
Focusrite Group is a global music and audio products group. They are famous for developing and selling hardware and software products to create high-quality recordings and live sounds. Their products are commonly used by audio professionals and amateur musicians.
There are four established and growing brands: Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Novation, and Ampify. Each one of these brands is known to be the leaders in the music-making industry.
For your audio interfaces and other products for recording musicians, producers, and professional facilities, Focusrite and Focusrite Pro is the one for you! But if you want to create electronic music, music-making software and apps, Novation and Ampify might be better options.
Focusrite won a number of awards for music and audio trade, including two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
Verdict: Scarlett 6i6
Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 Second generation is a great entry-level audio interface if you are looking for an easy to use one. Also, it is more budget-friendly compared to other interfaces available in the market. It also offers a lot of “freebies” that you can use when you are just starting out.
If you do not need a ton of inputs, Scarlett 6i6 can be the one for you. Remember to partner this awesome audio interface with a great studio monitor, like this entry-level PreSonus Eris E4.5, or amazing headphones.