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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Focusrite Scarlett 18i8

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
May 19th, 2019 03:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Looking for any last minute input before I pull the trigger on a purchase.

I've been looking at these for quite a while in their versions of size and pretty much settled on the idea of having more access and not needing it is better than wanting more access and not having it.

I imagine some of you use or know about the Focusrite products and have an opinion.

Are there other options anyone would recommend I consider before I spend the $$$.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8

ninworks
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Middle Tennessee

Guitar Slave
May 19th, 2019 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have an 18i20 and it works very well. I would bet the pre amps and converters are the same just fewer channels. As with anything you get what you pay for. There are definitely more expensive interfaces with better specs but, I have used my interface a lot and it sounds and works great.

I have a high opinion about Focusrite products. I also have a ISA-428 analog mic pre amp with the built in digital converters and it's a monster.

I have used their plugins with my DAW for years. Great stuff all round.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 19th, 2019 05:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Scarlett stuff is down right decent prosumer level stuff that can make great recordings. Some of the Audient and RME stuff might sound a little better for a little more money but for an all in one box in its price range it is very good. One alternative would be the Roland studio capture.

I think you'll be happy though either way.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
May 23rd, 2019 08:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

I got it home, hooked it up and powered everything on.

The system found the new equipment on it's own … I did nothing, it just worked :)

I had been getting quite a bit of noise through my HS8 speakers while coming straight from the computer jack. I was told that the 18i8 interface would clear all that out.

Boy Howdy! … It sure did and I have better control via the level control on the interface.


I'm going to go fetch *Shadows and Dreams* see what it does through the new set-up. :)



Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 23rd, 2019 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great! Have fun!

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

May 23rd, 2019 08:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

:-)


BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jun 11th, 2019 06:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'll be downloading the program(s) to my computer this weekend (that's tomorrow and the next day for me) to see if I can get this interface operational for recording.

Any advice or issues I should be aware of before I start?

I'm a serious rookie at this sort of thing and want to avoid any common pitfalls as I get started.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 12th, 2019 12:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Any advice or issues I should be aware of before I start?

I'm a serious rookie at this sort of thing and want to avoid any common pitfalls as I get started."

Well, technically that list could be very long. For starters, it isn't the tape era anymore, so certain philosophies are no longer valid(most are).

#1 is this - 0.0 DBFS scale(digital scale in your DAW) does not equal a VU meter in the slightest. So do not try to hit up near 0. It's ok if it does, but don't aim for it. Try to keep percussive peaks to -6 DBFS.

It's not longer a game of "add enough gain to get above the tape hiss noise floor". So really, you can set digital levels more conservatively. It's also far less forgiving than the gradual onset of analog console/tape distortion. When you peak over 0 DBFS, it goes from fine to nasty in an instant.

Modern 24bit recording has an insanely low noise floor, so don't record too hot.

Go for 24bits on your recordings. Sample rate is debatable. On certain instruments I hear more pleasant high end at higher rates. You'll have to experiment. Nothing wrong with 44.1khz though. That will do just fine. Higher rates take more CPU power and disk space.

Don't plug a phantom-hot cable into a ribbon mic.

And as always, if it sounds good, it is good.

If you ain't having fun, you 'a doin' it wrong.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jun 26th, 2019 01:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Had a bit of a problem and am shifting gears.

My Focusrite hardware comes with the free activation of Ableton (an ultra low version of course) and I gave that a try. I download the program then I have to activate it with Ableton.

Well, I can't get it to activate. The screen they say should automatically appear ... does not appear. Along with that this low level version includes no Tech Support to help me out.

Considering this problem and the fact that it's a very low level version I would be getting anyway, I'm thinking, why don't I just buy something better to begin with.

I am understanding Pro Tools is pretty much the standard used by many, many people, including many studios.

Looks like $599.00 for a permanent version and then after a year a follow up payment each year to keep it updated and maintain support.

While I don't consider six hundred dollars to be cheap, I don't mind paying to have something good to work with. I'm not necessarily looking for some lowest possible cost situation.

I have also heard Ableton is not the easiest program to work with anyway.

Any thoughts regarding software options?

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 03:36 PM, Jun 26th, 2019)

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 26th, 2019 01:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

You should be aware of a few things before jumping into pro tools.

$600 is indeed the license for native. They just increased subscription fees 100% so you are looking at $200 a year to make sure you get updates. If you lapse on this, it's a buy back in fee for at least 300. You also have less hardware options 3rd party to use if you want faders down the road.

Avid is very closed minded and expensive.

It also happens to be the industry standard because it is already in many studios infrastructures and it would be far too costly to change now.

There are some plusses to it. Since it is the industry standard, many semi pros and home pros use it as well. You can send and receive sessions pretty well.

It edits far better than any other daw I know.

It is a processor Hog though. It easily takes more pc power to run its engine than other daws.

It also uses its own plugin architecture. Most but not all plugins come in AAX, while pretty much all come in VST which all daws use.

If I were in your shoes, I would be looking at Reaper, Studio one, Logic if a mac, or Cubase.

Pro tools is really made to run well on mac, PC is not as smooth.

Definitely read up on these things as the daw you choose will be the Daw you learn, and probably will have to stick with for a long time.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jun 26th, 2019 04:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

"It is a processor Hog though. It easily takes more pc power to run its engine than other daws."

How would I check my computers processing ability to determine if this would be a problem for me.

I had this PC custom built for this purpose a couple of years ago, but I'm not enough of a geek to know even how to talk about it. ;)

Is there a settings screen I could bring up and get some detail? Then pass info along here and see what you think?

littleuch
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Florida

Jun 26th, 2019 04:13 PM   Edit   Profile  

I use Pro Tools 10 with Win 7. A total pain in the arse learning curve just to get off the ground, but I'm reluctant to change gears until the system croaks now that I know just enough to be dangerous.

What version of Windows do you have? In win 7 you can get your specs by click Start/right click computer/properties. This should get you your processor, ram memory, etc.

(This message was last edited by littleuch at 06:15 PM, Jun 26th, 2019)

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jun 26th, 2019 04:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

My computer was built as windows 10 was coming out.

They set it up with 7 and I upgraded to 10 shortly after. So I am running windows 10.

I'll go check it out as you say.

Edited to add: here is what I came up with under *system*.

Processor: Intel(R) Core (TM) i5-6600k CPU @ 3.5 GHz 3.5GHz

Installed RAM: 8.00GB 7.88 useable

Type: 64-bit operating system X64-Base Processor.

What does that tell us?

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 06:40 PM, Jun 26th, 2019)

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Jun 26th, 2019 05:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'll let others who are more knowledgeable chime in here but will say I operate i7-3612QM CPU @2.10 GHz, with 8 GB RAM. It can get clunky but I've made optimizations and get by. I'm limited to 8 GB RAM and know that's about low end so I'd look to expand that.

On a different note, I haven't seen any discussion here in a long time about Samplitude. I know nothing about it and it's workflow but have been getting solicitations for $149 for their PRO X4 SUITE.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Jul 7th, 2019 01:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Its really tough to recommend without knowing what functions you are looking to use in a DAW. I would look at PT 2019 required specs and go from that.

If you are likely to do heavy editing and grouping functions PT is indeed good. However if you are looking to use the computer like a tape machine, with only rudimentary edits and punch ins, something like Reaper is very affordable and light on the computer. You can even run it off a flash drive.

Even on my system I built myself a few years back. pro tools gives me issues when tracking. Sometimes when mixing. My latency buffer is always higher in PT to avoid glitches being recorded.

A powerful Macintosh is what most studios use for PT as it runs better on them.

BlondeStrat
Contributing Member
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Jul 16th, 2019 03:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well folks, with some tech support from Focusrite I got the Ableton free version on the computer.

My plan at this time is to go with the Ableton DAW.

I can start learning with this *sample* program now and I'll upgrade to the *Ableton Live 10 Standard* version for $449.00 in a few weeks.

I'm just glad to have it installed …

Now the weak link is ME.

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Focusrite Scarlett 18i8




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