PRO AUDIO
Taylor

Taylor
February 19, 2013

Focusrite Scarlett Studio Review


It’s very rare for digital recording bundles to come packaged with three pieces of gear that are of a good quality and reasonably priced. Typically the included microphone or headphones are sub par at best while the interface is around the quality you expect given it’s price. The Focusrite Scarlett Studio package looks to break that mold by offering three quality pieces of gear into a recording bundle that is priced well below the normal studio package. While the Scarlett Studio package may not be the be all end all solution to your recording needs, it does have everything you need to get a solid recording without breaking the bank.

Here are some details and specifications on each piece of equipment that comes in the Focusrite Scarlett Studio package.

Scarlett 2i2 Interface

Scarlett 2i2 Interface

Scarlett 2i2 Interface

In light of the recent Dave Grohl directed Sound City documentary, its worth mentioning that Focusrite was founded in 1985 by Rupert Neve. Neve is the man responsible for the Neve 8028 Console which was a staple at Sound City studios and is now a part of Grohl’s own personal recording facility. Although Neve has since left Focusrite and sold his shares of the company, the superior quality mic preamps housed within the Focusrite line of interfaces are still intact. These award winning mic preamps can be found in the Scarlett 2i2 interface.

The Scarlett 2i2 records in 24-bit/96kHz and connects to your computer via USB 2.0. The amount of outputs is quite limited on the Scarlett 2i2 with only two balanced quarter inch outs. This may be a deal breaker for some but for most of us who do home recording or portable recording applications, the lack of additional outputs shouldn’t make much of a difference. The inputs are combination XLR/quarter inch jacks with independent gain adjustment. The gain knobs have a nice visual representation by lighting up green to show you are connected and sending signal, and red to let you know that your levels are clipping. There is also a switch for line or instrument depending on your connection. Other notable features include a switch for direct monitoring, 48 volt phantom power, and independent volume control for both monitors and headphones.

The Focusrite Scarlett Studio comes with Cubase 6 LE so you can get recording as soon as you open up the box. If Cubase just isn’t your thing then you will be happy to know that it plays well with all other DAWs. I have used it with GarageBand, Logic, Maschine, and a host of Native Instruments software’s with great ease. The package also includes a USB cable.

Scarlett Studio CM 25 Condenser Microphone

Scarlett Studio CM 25

Scarlett Studio CM 25 Condenser Microphone

The Scarlett Studio CM 25 has everything you expect from a condenser microphone. The CM 25′s large cardioid pick up pattern allows for multiple applications such as vocals, acoustic guitars, violins, guitar amplifiers, or whatever else your creative brain can conjure. Included is a microphone clip tailored specifically for the CM 25 or really any other studio condenser microphone you have in your arsenal. Don’t have an XLR cable? No problem. The Focusrite Scarlett Studio comes with a bright red cable to match your microphone and headphones.

Scarlett Studio HP 60 Headphones

Scarlett Studio HP 60 Headphones

Scarlett Studio HP 60 Headphones

The HP 60 headphones have one of the most important features on a set of studio headphones: comfort. You want to have comfortable feeling cans that you will potentially be wearing for hours as you are tracking. They have a closed back and a frequency response of 10Hz to 30kHz. The bass sounds huge, the highs sound crisp, and if you are in the market for a multipurpose headphone, you can remove the quarter inch jack for an eighth inch plug for your iPod or mp3 player. You can read more detailed specifications on our website but the bottom line is that these headphones pack some serious quality for an affordable recording package.

Review

Looking for a new, non-fire wire interface, I recently purchased a Scarlett 2i2 for my home studio. I have used it in several applications from listening to music, watching movies, tracking guitar, tracking vocals, and I have to say that the sound quality is pristine. There is zero latency when it comes to recording which is perfect for me as I am currently doing sound design for a short film and need to watch it and track simultaneously. If you watch our video overview, you can hear how an acoustic guitar sounds coming through the CM25 microphone. We did not add any compression, tweak any equalization, or add any effects after tracking the guitar. This is to give you an idea of how a clean and unaltered instrument sounds going through the CM25.

In addition all of the voice over work in the video was done on the CM 25 and the same absence of tweaking was evoked here to give you the most accurate representation of the microphone’s sound quality. While we think it sounds great, we will leave it up to your ears to decide. Finally the HP60 headphones aren’t the most outstanding studio monitoring headphones I have come across, but they are solidly built, feel great, and have a great sound.

You are getting some serious mileage out of your dollars with the Focustire Scarlett Studio. While on the surface this is geared toward those looking for a recording package, if you are looking for a quality interface for a good price then the Scarlett 2i2 is definitely worth checking out. Be sure to go to UniqueSquared.com for the best price on the Focusrite Scarlett Studio package and the Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface. Leave all your questions and comments below and happy recording!

SLAM!!

Transcript

The Focusrite Scarlett Studio is a recording package that allows you to get studio quality recordings right out of the box. Included in the Focusrite Scarlett Studio package are a set of HP60 monitoring headphones, a CM25 Studio Condenser Microphone with microphone clip, an XLR cable, a USB cable, and the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. 

The CM25 Studio Condenser Microphone is made of a sturdy metal construction. Being a large diaphragm condenser microphone, the pickup pattern allows for multiple applications from vocals to instruments. All of the audio used in this video was recorded using the CM25. Lets take a listen to how an acoustic guitar sounds through the CM25.

The HP60 headphones are made of a lightweight plastic to prevent fatigue from prolonged use. They are fully adjustable with a closed back and connect to the interface via a ¼ inch jack. You can also remove the ¼ inch jack for an ⅛ inch plug.

This 2 in and 2 out audio interface records at 24bit/96k while utilizing focusrite’s popular mic preamps. The 2i2 is constructed out of sturdy and lightweight Aluminium. On the front you have 2 combination XLR/TRS inputs. There are switches to go between line and instrument, as well as 2 gain control knobs which light up green to indicate signal path and red to indicate clipping. A switch for 48v phantom power allows you to power the included CM25. For monitoring you have a jack on the front for connecting the included HP60 headphones. The direct monitor switch allows you to route audio directly from your inputs to your headphones and speaker outputs. On the back of the Scarlett 2i2 are 2 balanced monitor outputs. You also have a USB 2.0 port for connecting to your computer.

The Focusrite Scarlett Studio package comes with Cubase 6 LE but you can use it with all other popular digital audio workstations.

For more information on the Focusrite Scarlett Studio or to purchase one for yourself, click the link in the description below the video or visit the UniqueSquared.com website. You’re watching UniqueSquared.com.