Product Profile: Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Gen Range, Hitmaker Expansion

This is an exciting time to be a recording musician. For the last 20 years, successful computer-based audio recording depended heavily on hardware-based DSP (digital signal processing). Now, today’s computers are for the most part powerful enough to run DSP instruments and plug-ins natively while still allowing for high track count and low latency recording sessions. 

The Focusrite Scarlett range is the world’s best-selling range of recording interfaces for some very good reasons. Focusrite’s Scarlett range of audio interfaces are solidly built, dependable, sound consistently great and are backed up by Focusrite’s world class customer service. Now in its third generation, Focusrite’s Scarlett interfaces continue to be successfully used in project and professional recording studios around the world.

Focusrite offers recording interfaces across a wide range of features and specifications. All six interfaces in the Scarlett 3rd Gen range offer solid build quality, high headroom instrument inputs and powerful 24-bit/192kHz AD-DA converters capable of operating at extremely low latency. Setup with any of the 3rd Gen Scarlett range of interfaces could not be easier thanks to Focusrite’s easy start tool, which walks you through the setup process making it possible to get recording literally within minutes after taking your 3rd Gen Scarlett interface out of the box.

The 3rd Gen Scarlett 18i20 shown here features eight of the best performing Scarlett mic preamps Focusrite has ever offered for tracking guitars or recording vocals. The 18i20 features two High Z instrument inputs for direct tracking, a pair of auxiliary outs for switching between two pairs of monitors, a built-in talkback mic and loopback capability via the Focusrite Control app. You also get ADAT I/O ports for expansion capability.

All the 3rd Generation Scarlett range from the least to the most expensive features switchable AIR mode, which is based on a design first used in the Rupert Neve designed Focusrite Forte console. The ISA One preamp in that console combined a transformer-coupled mic/line preamp with a classic Neve equalizer. 

Now, Focusrite is giving every newly registered Scarlett owner their Hitmaker Expansion pack, an added-value bundle of software instruments and plugins that is included at no extra charge with every new Scarlett Range interface giving you a comprehensive range of recording and production tools at no extra charge.

Once you register your Scarlett interface you will (from your Focusrite customer portal) be able to download full licenses to Antares® Auto-Tune® Access, Relab LX480 Essentials, Softube® Marshall® Silver Jubilee 2555, XLN Audio® Addictive Keys, XLN Audio® Addictive Drums 2: Studio Rock Kit, Brainworx® [bx_oberhausen, Brainworx® bx_console], Focusrite SC, Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite and Brainworx® [bx_masterdesk].

As If that is not enough of a value proposition, every new Scarlett customer now gets by registering their product licensees Ableton® Live Lite Three Month Avid® Pro Tools® subscription, a three-Month Splice Sounds Subscription and Access to Focusrite’s Plug-In Collective.

Using Hitmaker Expansion you can choose to work in either Ableton® Live Lite or sign up for a free three-month subscription to Pro Tools (or use any other DAW of your choosing). You can put down a drum track for a song with Addictive Drums while working out a melody with Addictive Keys. Then you can layer in some synth lines or keyboard pads with Brainwork® bx oberhausen soft-synth or play your guitar through the Marshall Silver Jubilee. Next, you have a great reverb from Relab® that you can use before mixing with the Red Plugin Suite and the Brainwork Focusrite console plugin. Finally, the Brainworx mastering plugin puts the finishing touches on your tracks.

If you look at the software in the Hitmaker Expansion pack as sold individually, it adds up to about $1300 and you’re getting all this with all Scarlett’s from the $120 Scarlett Solo up to the $550 Scarlett 18i20. It is a solid value proposition and is as well-rounded and comprehensive a software package that is currently included with any audio interface at any price. 

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just getting started, Scarlett 3rd Gen recording interfaces and the added value Hitmaker Expansion bundle from Focusrite make it possible to get radio/distribution tracks professionally recorded on just about any newer PC or Mac.

Details about the entire Focusrite Scarlett Range and the Hitmaker Expansion bundle of software instruments and plug-ins are available now at focusrite.com.