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Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen
Todd Simpson
May 17 2020, 03:07 AM
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I have a single channel 3rd Generation Scarlett interface on the way to me. After researching wads of interfaces, it came down to just the scarlett. I love the interface I had been using for years, the iconnectivity 4+, but it seems to have gotten lost in the move!! After diving deep in to the reviews/specs, the scarlett came out as the best price/performance option as far as I could tell. Can't find much in the way of CONs on this unit. It's mostly all PROs in the reviews. I'll let you guys know what i think. I could use my 11 rack or toneshifter as my interface, but I wanted to try one of these third gen units after seeing all the vids and reviews about them. They come bundled with handy plugins, the specs look great, etc. These units can be had for a about $110 which is a killer price for a nice interface. The guts of the interface are pretty much the same as the pricey units in the same line, just fewer channels. Some interfaces use cheaper bits on their single/double channel units. Not focusrite. Far as I can tell, same preamp path, etc. Which is as it should be imho.

QUESTION: ANYONE ELSE USING A SCARLETT?

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Kristofer Dahl
May 17 2020, 07:19 AM
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Very nice, I have been looking for something with more inputs than my duet usb, but it seems most options with similar A/D quality get very expensive.

It would be very interesting to know how yours compares!

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PosterBoy
May 17 2020, 11:53 AM
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2nd Generation 2i4 user here. I often need the two inputs and midi

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Phil66
May 17 2020, 01:20 PM
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Love my 2nd Gen 18i8 smile.gif

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jstcrsn
May 17 2020, 01:31 PM
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I can't even imagine you having a USB 2.0

https://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-UR22C-Inte...sr=8-1&th=1

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Steve Gilfield
May 17 2020, 07:54 PM
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I have the 2i2 second generation.
It works perfectly.
I had no issues.
I could have done my job with the solo, to be honest, but sometimes friends come by my place, and it's super fun to play together at the same time (2 guitars, or 1 guitar and 1 bass) biggrin.gif

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Caelumamittendum
May 18 2020, 09:30 AM
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I have a 6i6 second gen, and I have been considering upgrading, as I'm using all the inputs of the one I have. Will have to look into what could be interesting to get, but I'm probably sticking to Focusrite smile.gif

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Mertay
May 18 2020, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ May 17 2020, 12:31 PM) *
...


USB 3 really doesn't help with soundcards like it does with harddisks etc. .

USB 3 transfers more data than 2 but it isn't faster. So if you have and use lots of inputs at the same time it helps, but for example your guitar signal doesn't arrive faster than usb-2.

My only curiosity on affordable soundcards are audient offerings, the reviews are very mixed regarding the JFET input thats specifically designed for guitar.

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Kristofer Dahl
May 18 2020, 12:25 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 18 2020, 11:47 AM) *
My only curiosity on affordable soundcards are audient offerings, the reviews are very mixed regarding the JFET input thats specifically designed for guitar.


What do you mean with audient offerings?

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jstcrsn
May 18 2020, 01:29 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 18 2020, 10:47 AM) *
USB 3 really doesn't help with soundcards like it does with harddisks etc. .

USB 3 transfers more data than 2 but it isn't faster. So if you have and use lots of inputs at the same time it helps, but for example your guitar signal doesn't arrive faster than usb-2.

ya , thats what I read too , and then I bought one , the "box" size is the same and goes at the same speed , but with usb 3 there are ten times more boxes moving data at the same time ..I have come to conclude that is a BS selling point so they can still sell you what their factories are set up to make , but it is out dated..are they fast enough for most yes , but not for the 'new musician", and I mean programmed everything , if you fill your "box" , you have to wait for the next box to bring it and that is the clicking and popping , so usb 3 puts it in the next box and delivers it at the same time rather than the following box
experiment: get a box and drop it, then get ten same size boxes and drop them, are you going to tell the one box can even come close to transferring the same volume ..once you fill your box full you are screwed

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Mertay
May 18 2020, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 18 2020, 11:25 AM) *
What do you mean with audient offerings?


https://audient.com

Specifically the iD series, these also are quite popular

QUOTE (jstcrsn @ May 18 2020, 12:29 PM) *
...


I think I understand what you mean but you are referring to HQ recording samples like 24 bit 96khz right?

With USB speed/latency, I remember reading data on 2.0 vs 3.0 and what was also surprising is not all 2.0 soundcards have the same speed.

RME (German brand, one of the best) for example though using USB 2.0 surpassed USB 3.0 in speed cause of high quality (and higher cost) components.

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jstcrsn
May 18 2020, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 18 2020, 02:09 PM) *
[ar



I think I understand what you mean but you are referring to HQ recording samples like 24 bit 96khz right?

With USB speed/latency, I remember reading data on 2.0 vs 3.0 and what was also surprising is not all 2.0 soundcards have the same speed.

RME (German brand, one of the best) for example though using USB 2.0 surpassed USB 3.0 in speed cause of high quality (and higher cost) components.
no matter how fast you get USB 2.0 your "box" size is finite , but usb 3 has ten times the boxes moving in conjunction with not behind one another , so you can put ten times the amount if information before it starts "lagging" causing popping
I.E. multiple channels with plugins all running simultaneously

Box size means the amount of data usb can send before it gets full and has to get moved to another box , i am using it for a visual
usb 2 480 MBPS
usb 3 4800 MBPS

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Todd Simpson
May 18 2020, 11:39 PM
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Your information is incorrect on USB 3 vs 2. Please read this article. Bottom line, there is no benefit in round trip latency for using USB 3.0 vs 2.0. In practical terms it just doesn't help.

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/arti...-2-0-vs-USB-3-0

From the aricle

"Firstly, although USB 3.0 offers greater bandwidth than USB 2.0, it will deliver no round trip latency benefits over USB 2.0. This is due to the architecture of the host computer driver stack and its handling of USB audio (isochronous) data. The stack schedules data transfers to and from audio drivers at millisecond frame intervals which means that, no matter how fast the data moves over the USB bus, this defines the limit on minimum latency achievable."


I'm only recording one channel at a time and the latency on this unit is the reason I bought it. It's got a super low latency compared with units in a similar price range and has better components inside. It's got the same parts as the more expensive versions, just has fewer inputts. So for the price, it's just unbeatable imho. The latency is lower than any of my other interfaces and it's so quick there is no audible latency or any artifacting/popping etc. I pulled uup a huge logic project with 32 tracks of midi and guitars and it plays perfectly. USB 2 is more than fast enough for music applications. The Third Gen of Scarlett
QUOTE (jstcrsn @ May 18 2020, 10:08 AM) *
no matter how fast you get USB 2.0 your "box" size is finite , but usb 3 has ten times the boxes moving in conjunction with not behind one another , so you can put ten times the amount if information before it starts "lagging" causing popping
I.E. multiple channels with plugins all running simultaneously

Box size means the amount of data usb can send before it gets full and has to get moved to another box , i am using it for a visual
usb 2 480 MBPS
usb 3 4800 MBPS

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jstcrsn
May 19 2020, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 18 2020, 11:39 PM) *
Your information is incorrect on USB 3 vs 2. Please read this article. Bottom line, there is no benefit in round trip latency for using USB 3.0 vs 2.0. In practical terms it just doesn't help.

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/arti...-2-0-vs-USB-3-0
. This is due to the architecture of the host computer driver stack and its handling of USB audio (isochronous) data. The stack schedules data transfers to and from audio drivers at millisecond frame intervals which means that, no matter how fast the data moves over the USB bus, this defines the limit on minimum latency achievable."
[/i]The Third Gen of Scarlett

have read this many times and others in my attempt to understand USB 2, C ,3,2c, 3c and thunderbolt and am not incorrect ,it is just as fast unless you exceed 480 MBPS
Focusrite has "focused 'on USB 2 , do you think they will put out an article saying their product is inferior
once again usb 2 480MBPS vs USB3 at 4800 MBPS , do you see what that article did , it sold you on the fact that 480 is equal to 4,800

This article is BS read that quote it says the host computer is responsible if that were true gen 3 would not work any better than gen 1 on the same computer..so is it the computer or the interface

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Todd Simpson
May 19 2020, 02:28 AM
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Here is another article from MASTERS OF SOUND about USB 3.0 OFFERINGING NO BENEFITS. If I'd have discovered USB 3 was a big factor, I'd have bought a usb 3 interface. All of my research showed that it was sorta pointless to be honest. But whatever floats your boat smile.gif You'll probably say this article is B.S. as well?

https://masters-of-music.com/stop-asking-fo...rs-no-benefits/

Here is an article from AUDIENT saying the same thing.

https://audient.com/tutorial/usb-in-audio/

And another article from AUDIO MASTER CLASS saying the same thing. USB 3 is pointless for audio.

https://www.audiomasterclass.com/newsletter...ace-fast-enough

"As exciting as it might seem, USB 3.0 might just not be the future of audio interfaces. Of course it is faster than USB 2.0, but only in the sense that it can carry more data traffic and therefore more channels. It doesn't get the data there any quicker so there is no advantage in latency over USB 2.0. For general computer use the higher bandwidth of USB 3.0 is great, but for we specialized audio users it's a bit of a disappointment. The tiny number of USB 3.0 audio interfaces that are available seems to support this conclusion."

I researched this quite in depth before my purchase. However, if you have any information/links you'd like to share that supports your point, I'd love to read them. So far, you entire argument is unsupported and anecdotal. Please do provide any links you may have that lead you to this view. I'm very curious to see them. Or is your view based just on your own "common sense" approach?

Your assertion that gen "it's based on the host is BS" doesn't track either to be honest as we know that gen 1 is very restricted in terms of bandwidth. Gen 2 is NOT restricted in the same way and has plenty of bandwidth for audio. So those two specs are wildly different. And yes, computer speed does have a lot to do with usb 2and usb 3 performance since processing is done by the host machine, not by USB which is just about data transfer and leans on the host cpu for most of it's work. Having worked in tech support for several years, I always look carefully at new specs to determine what they might mean for my music poduction. I don't rely on "common sense" for this as it's often misleading. I do the research and go by the facts.




QUOTE (jstcrsn @ May 18 2020, 08:49 PM) *
have read this many times and others in my attempt to understand USB 2, C ,3,2c, 3c and thunderbolt and am not incorrect ,it is just as fast unless you exceed 480 MBPS
Focusrite has "focused 'on USB 2 , do you think they will put out an article saying their product is inferior
once again usb 2 480MBPS vs USB3 at 4800 MBPS , do you see what that article did , it sold you on the fact that 480 is equal to 4,800

This article is BS read that quote it says the host computer is responsible if that were true gen 3 would not work any better than gen 1 on the same computer..so is it the computer or the interface


You are spot on Mertay. USB 3.0 offers no benefits in terms of recording music. I shared 3 of the article I found about this with him in my reply post. I've read many people saying what he is saying in vairous online forums. It seems like it would be true, but sadly, its just not. It's a case where common sense actually leads to the wrong conclusion.

QUOTE (Mertay @ May 18 2020, 09:09 AM) *
https://audient.com
RME (German brand, one of the best) for example though using USB 2.0 surpassed USB 3.0 in speed cause of high quality (and higher cost) components.



The GEN 3 has great specs and great parts especially for the price. I researched quite a bit and even looked at usb 3 based units. My research indicated the usb 3 spec didn't really help at all for audio, but was being pitched as "future proof" with nothing other than that slogan to support it. The new scarlett has a bigger version of course, just like the last gen. They all use the same preamp/electronics and have great headroom/low noise/low latency. For the price they are the ones to beat.


QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 17 2020, 02:19 AM) *
Very nice, I have been looking for something with more inputs than my duet usb, but it seems most options with similar A/D quality get very expensive.

It would be very interesting to know how yours compares!

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Kristofer Dahl
May 19 2020, 07:17 AM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 18 2020, 03:09 PM) *
https://audient.com

Specifically the iD series, these also are quite popular

Thanks, I didn't know the brand. Both EV8 and the id series could be interesting. It will all boil down to their A/D quality - and I need to try to find some comparative reviews.

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Mertay
May 19 2020, 10:57 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 19 2020, 06:17 AM) *
Thanks, I didn't know the brand. Both EV8 and the id series could be interesting. It will all boil down to their A/D quality - and I need to try to find some comparative reviews.


The list goes like focusrite for affordable, audient id series if one wants to up the quality but still stay in affordable area, then RME (babyface) for a small but HQ option.

The evo's are fairly new and likely to compete with focusrite but I'm not sure of their quality. You could also check RME cause it should be much cheaper in EU than it is in USA.

QUOTE (jstcrsn @ May 19 2020, 12:49 AM) *
...


Your logic is correct but the only thing is for guitar playing (only 1 input, maybe 2) as in your example "1 box" is enough data to be transferred. Thats why in such use usb-2 or 3 doesn't matter, but as said if there were more inputs involved then usb-3 will be needed.

The real argument is the stenberg soundcard you shared offers 32-bit recording, this is likely why they prefered usb 3.0 for that soundcard. 32-bit recording benefits though is a whole different argument...

https://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-UR22C-Inte...sr=8-1&th=1

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Kristofer Dahl
May 19 2020, 11:37 AM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 19 2020, 11:57 AM) *
The list goes like focusrite for affordable, audient id series if one wants to up the quality but still stay in affordable area, then RME (babyface) for a small but HQ option.

The evo's are fairly new and likely to compete with focusrite but I'm not sure of their quality. You could also check RME cause it should be much cheaper in EU than it is in USA.


Thanks for the tip. I did some googling and it seems my issue is the same - My Duet2 usb is still extremely competitive sound quality wise. So unless I am ready to downgrade sound quality - I am probably looking at a +$1000 interface to get more inputs.. Argh!

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Mertay
May 19 2020, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 19 2020, 10:37 AM) *
Thanks for the tip. I did some googling and it seems my issue is the same - My Duet2 usb is still extremely competitive sound quality wise. So unless I am ready to downgrade sound quality - I am probably looking at a +$1000 interface to get more inputs.. Argh!


Yeah if you don't want to decrease quality for quantity of inputs, the RME babyface seems to be the only option from my list.

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jstcrsn
May 19 2020, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ May 19 2020, 10:57 AM) *
. 32-bit recording benefits though is a whole different argument...
I'm game if you are wink.gif


QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 19 2020, 11:37 AM) *
Thanks for the tip. I did some googling and it seems my issue is the same - My Duet2 usb is still extremely competitive sound quality wise. So unless I am ready to downgrade sound quality - I am probably looking at a +$1000 interface to get more inputs.. Argh!

your duet probably has the edge sound wise , but this might be cheaper if your computer supports usb 3.0
https://www.amazon.com/Steinberg-UR22C-Inte...sr=8-1&th=1

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